Skip to main content

DNS Policy

Domain Name Service (DNS) is an internet service that translates meaningful alphabetic names into numeric IP addresses which are given to computers, services or any resource participating in the Internet. DNS translates hostnames into IP addresses and IP addresses to hostnames. An example is WWW.VANDERBILT.EDU which translates to

This is the current statement on use of Vanderbilt domain name services (which VUIT operates for the University) to serve Vanderbilt and certain non-Vanderbilt domain names. Vanderbilt domain names are those registered and owned by Vanderbilt (at large) to represent Vanderbilt's presence in the Internet. Vanderbilt domain names consist of, relevant VU-owned IP network reverse mapping domains, and domains such as which have been obtained to protect names associated with Vanderbilt in the Internet domain name space.

DNS Name Servers:

VUIT retains official responsibility for maintenance of the top level DNS servers for Vanderbilt University. DNS servers are maintained by system administrators that adhere to University policies and practices related to server administration and security. The DNS servers are highly available (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Top Level Domains:

Vanderbilt.Edu is the top level domain.


Websites are now organized based on official namespace guidelines, which map to large functional units of the university. Exceptions can be made only for compelling business purpose. In a strategic effort to organize the Vanderbilt webspace -- so that content is available under a logical structure -- new websites are to be built under the organization structure that is already in place at the University and Medical Center. (e.g. if you are part of the College of Arts and Science, your website will be; If you are a student organization, your website will be; If you are part of the Kennedy Center, your site URL will be If you are part of the medical center, your website will be

DNS Requests:

DNS Requests must contain a sub-domain name as well as the top level name. (i.e. IT.VANDERBILT.EDU) In this case, IT is the sub-domain and VANDERBILT.EDU is the top level name.
Visit the DNS IP Request Form.

DNS Resource Records Updates:

  1. Changes to resource records are published twice daily, (morning and evening) on a set schedule. If changes to this schedule are needed, notification must be sent to with as much prior notification as possible.
  2. Ad-hoc and emergency publishing of DNS resource records may be coordinated through the VUIT ( during normal business hours or through the VUIT Network Operations Center ( after business hours and on weekends. VUIT requests that ad-hoc changes be minimized to maintain the scheduled publication times if at all possible.
  3. To have a DNS resource record modified please submit a Pegasus Request under the category of  "Core Infrastructure - DNS Request" (

DNS Sub-Domain Name Server Delegation:

Domain Name Service depends on designated servers having the proper authority to answer for the resource records within the assigned zones/sub-domains. This authority can reside at the top level zone/domain (i.e. or selected zones/sub-domains can be delegated to another server performing DNS resolution (i.e. Once a zone/sub-domain is delegated, that server becomes responsible for the authoritative name resolution of the resources records pertaining to that sub-domain.

It is the intent of VUIT to maintain a centralized Domain Name Service authority to maximize security and appropriate Service Level Agreements.

  1. VUIT will no longer delegate Sub-Domain Name Server authority.
  2. Existing delegated sub-domains will be allowed to continue operations.
  3. For existing delegated sub-domains, that department is responsible for any and all DNS resource record data maintained within that sub-domain. VUIT is not responsible for the integrity of resource records within the delegated sub-domain.
  4. The authorized department is responsible for any Service Level Agreements of resource records contained within the delegated sub-domain. VUIT will retain responsibility for root domain and general DNS service outside of the delegated sub-domain.
  5. The responsibility of security for delegated name servers rests solely with the authorized department.
  6. VUIT requires that any changes to delegated name servers be communicated at least 3 business days in advance in order to ensure proper forwarding of the sub-domain requests.

DNS Naming Conventions:

  1. DNS names represent the university and should reflect a university, department, service association or school affiliation.
  2. Names must be made in the best interest of the University and must not be offensive in any way.
  3. VUIT has the right to refuse any name if it is deemed inappropriate.
  4. Names may also be refused if the requested name may cause confusion about the true purpose of the system.
  5. Only domain name registrations that are clearly noncommercial, not-for-profit, and not for personal benefit are considered.
  6. Domain name registrations must be clearly acceptable to Vanderbilt administration from the point of view of associating the name and purpose with Vanderbilt's supported services.
  7. Domain name registrations should express Vanderbilt's (global) organizational interests.
  8. Domain name registrations should be logically justified in obtaining service in Vanderbilt's domain name service by virtue of employing Vanderbilt's network, Internet connectivity, and (possibly) Vanderbilt owned computer systems for provision of services in the registered domain.

Non-Vanderbilt Domains:

VUIT can provide Domain Name Service for University customers that are outside of instead of relying on the registrar.s DNS servers. Potential advantages of using the VUIT DNS servers include ease and speed of resource record change and localized support through the existing VUIT support structure. This service can be applied to both existing and newly created non-Vanderbilt Domains.

Basic Information:

Domain name registrations must be explicitly requested by, and registered for the name(s) of appropriate Vanderbilt faculty or administrative staff in their role(s) as Vanderbilt departmental staff in order to maintain proper administrative and billing processes. These Vanderbilt affiliated people and departments are the sponsor(s) of the registering organization's requested use of Vanderbilt's domain name services. The registration should identify the technical contact as the VUIT Network Operations Center, via the so-called "NIC handle" (or network identifier), NOC1576-ARIN, in the Network Solutions "WHOIS" database.

The responsible sponsoring person must provide a statement of sponsorship for the requested domain name in Vanderbilt's domain name servers and identify the sponsor's department and role at Vanderbilt. This statement should include assurance of intent to abide by the criteria outlined in this document. (It's suitable to do that by explicit reference to this text as an attachment, or as the VUIT "stated criteria for serving a non-VU domain in VU DNS servers".) The statement should also include a short description of the purpose of the requested domain name and of the associated organization, group, or project. The statement should be provided to VUIT via the DNS IP request form . 

Visit the DNS IP Request Form.

If the host is off-site (non-Vanderbilt DNS servers), VUIT will not support administration or changes for the off-site service nor will we provide reverse DNS entries or mail exchange configurations. If any of these criteria eventually fail to be met, then a previously justified domain name service registration will be reevaluated for disposal or transfer to another domain name service.

Registering a Non-Vanderbilt Domain Name:

Go here for more details:

Other Policy Compliance Requirements:

All those who use the VUIT Domain Name Service are expected to comply with the University.s Acceptable Use Policy. Those individuals and groups must also comply with the University's Trademarks and Licensing policies.

  1. Vanderbilt Acceptable Use Policy
  2. Vanderbilt Trademark Licensing Policy