|(a) This section applies to all written electronic
communications which are sent to an institution of higher education
over the Internet or other electronic network or by another means
that is acceptable to the institution of higher education, for which
the identity of the sender or the contents of the message must be
authenticated, and for which no prior agreement between the sender
and the receiving institution of higher education regarding message
authentication existed as of the effective date of this section. This
section does not apply to or supersede the use and expansion of existing
(1) for the receipt of electronically filed documents
pursuant to the Texas Business and Commerce Code or other applicable
statutory law where the purpose of the written electronic communication
is to comply with statutory filing requirements and the receiving
institution of higher education is not a party to the underlying transaction
which is the subject of the communication; or
(2) for the electronic approval of payment vouchers
under rules adopted by the comptroller of public accounts pursuant
to applicable law.
(b) Prior to accepting an electronic signature, an
institution of higher education shall ensure that the level of security
used to identify the signer of a message and to transmit the signature
is sufficient for the transaction being conducted. An institution
of higher education that accepts electronic signatures may not effectively
discourage the use of electronic signatures by imposing unreasonable
or burdensome requirements on persons wishing to use electronic signatures
to authenticate written electronic communications sent to the institution
of higher education.
(c) An institution of higher education that accepts
electronic signatures shall not be required to accept a digital signature
that has been created by means of a particular acceptable technology
described in §203.44 of this chapter.
(d) An institution of higher education shall review
and consider any applicable guidelines as described in §203.40
of this chapter and recommendations that have been adopted by the
department in determining whether and for what purposes the institution
of higher education shall accept a digital signature. A copy of such
guidelines and recommendations may be obtained directly from the department,
or may be obtained electronically via the department's website.
(e) An institution of higher education shall ensure
that all written electronic communications received by it and authenticated
by means of a digital signature in accordance with this section, as
well as any information resources necessary to permit access to the
written electronic communications, are retained by the institution
of higher education as necessary to comply with applicable law pertaining
to audit and records retention requirements.
(f) To the extent of any conflict of rules and procedures
adopted under the Texas Education Code Section 51.9336 with that of
rules adopted under 1 TAC 203, the former will prevail.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §203.43 adopted to be effective November 28, 2004, 29 TexReg 10710; amended to be effective September 20, 2011, 36 TexReg 6143; amended to be effective November 23, 2015, 40 TexReg 8191; amended to be effective November 23, 2017, 42 TexReg 6506