Use of any University computing resource constitutes acceptance of this policy.

Your responsibilities

Introduction: Your use of University computing resources is a privilege, and it is your responsibility to help maintain the security, integrity, and functionality of what you use.

About this policy: This policy applies to anyone who uses University computing resources, whether student, faculty, staff, or guest. This policy will change from time to time, and it is your responsibility to acquaint yourself with those changes. You must adhere not only to this policy, but also to the policies that apply to any computing resources you use, even if those resources do not belong to the University (like the UNET network, or internet-accessible computer systems).

Authorization: The University or its departments authorizes your use of campus computing resources when it grants you an account for accessing those resources; it revokes your authorization when it terminates your account. Unauthorized use of campus resources is prohibited. Providing false information to obtain an account is prohibited. When you cease to be a student or employee or otherwise assume a new status, you may not use accounts, privileges, information, or other resources for which you are no longer authorized.

Intended Use: Computing resources are intended for scholarship, learning, community outreach, University administration, and furtherance of the University mission. Limited personal use of University computing resources is welcome, but such use must not interfere with University activities. In addition, you may not use your account or other University computing resources for any unauthorized commercial activity, political campaigning, or for anything likely to subject the University to liability.

Protecting University resources: You may not lend your accounts or passwords to others, or use others’ accounts. You are expected to take all reasonable precautions for protecting your account, including choosing a secure password and protecting it, logging off correctly, and physically securing your computer and network connection. You are responsible for any activity that comes from your account, your network connection, or your computer. You may not provide access to University computing resources to unauthorized individuals.

Personal Identity: In email, or through any other mechanism, you may not pretend to be someone else, or claim to represent the University in any unauthorized capacity. You may not use an IP address or computer name other than one explicitly assigned by the University.

Harassment: The University has existing policies on sexual and racial harassment. You may not use computing resources to violate those policies.

Other policies: In your use of University computing resources, you must adhere to all other computing policies in addition to this one, such as policies on lab usage, and permitted software and hardware and to all other University policies described in relevant faculty and student manuals.

Intellectual property: It is easy to copy material from around the world, but you must properly acknowledge work that is not yours. Plagiarism is punishable by failure, expulsion, or loss of employment.

Respect contractual obligations. In most circumstances, redistribution of copyrighted material, including music and pornography, is illegal. You may not use material, including software, that you are not legally entitled to use. You must not allow material licensed to the University to be used by people not entitled to use it.

Common sense, or Additional prohibitions: If it’s not yours, leave it alone! Among other things, it is therefore a violation of this policy to knowingly or carelessly: inspect, “sniff”, decrypt, copy, transfer, alter, or destroy any file, electronic communication, or any other similar computing resource, without the explicit permission of the owner; access or attempt to access information, accounts, software, networks, or any other resources without the explicit permission of the the owner, regardless of whether the resource is owned by the University or not; damage, or attempt to damage, or degrade, or deny others access to any University computing resource; “port-scan” any computer or network; copy password files, or otherwise attempt to learn others’ passwords; knowingly propagate or use viruses, Trojan horses, or other malicious constructs; send excessive, unsolicited email, or “spam.”

If you find any potential security flaws or attempted violations, please report them the Computer Center as soon as you can.

Limited resources: Network capacity (or bandwidth), modem ports, and lab computers, among other things, are limited, shared resources. Do not use them wastefully. Class work and employee assignments are the highest priority, personal learning second, and other uses are last. You should relinquish a resource to anyone with a higher-priority need.

Legal restrictions: You should be aware that there are many laws affecting computing and things you might do. There are statutes covering: system intrusion, harassment, data privacy, fraud, theft of services, use of publicly funded facilities for political purposes, libel and slander, distributing copyrighted material, and much more. If you can’t do something by telephone or in a newspaper or face-to-face, then you generally can’t do it with a computer either.

University Responsibilities

Computing Privacy: Protecting your data privacy is a goal of the University, but it is not a guarantee. The University makes reasonable efforts to respect and preserve the privacy of your computer files and usage. In the course of maintaining the health of systems and the network, staff may routinely scan ports and traffic on the network, review audit trails, and inspect and analyze usage patterns like CPU or bandwidth utilization, or network traffic destinations. If staff encounter evidence of policy violations or illegal activities, they may notify the appropriate authorities; the University may monitor the computing activities of suspected violators. Computing staff will not otherwise search through or provide the contents of computer files or traffic except to: authorized University administrators upon request or law enforcement officials under warrant.

Finally, despite our best efforts, your data and network traffic are vulnerable to illegal and unauthorized inspection and modification by others. If you have concerns about your own privacy, consider using off-line storage media, encryption programs, and taking other precautions as you see fit. The ultimate responsibility for protecting your privacy is yours.

University employees should be aware of their obligation to protect the privacy of student records.

Data Protection: You are responsible for taking precautions to protect files you store on network servers. If you are not sure how to backup files onto separate media, or how to create a backup rotation, talk to a computing staff member. Unless you take precautions yourself, your data may be vulnerable to accidental deletion or corruption.

Your own computer: The University is not responsible for losses due to theft, a malfunctioning network, problem installation software, or any other hazards, so provide your own insurance if you feel you need it.

Reservations: Computing services are provided without any warranty, express or implied. Network connectivity and electric power may be disrupted, and any aspect of any service may be discontinued, without notice.


Violations and Enforcement: Minor violations of this policy will be dealt with by the ITS Director, and may result in loss of privilege or disconnection from the network. More serious violations will be dealt with by the Student Conduct Office, through standard disciplinary procedures for faculty and staff, or turned over to law enforcement officials.

Questions or Problems: The Information Technology Services’s Help Desk, the ITS Director, or your Dean can help clarify this policy or help you resolve any other problem you encounter in using University computing services and facilities.

Approved by President’s Council: On August 21, 2001.

Use of any University computing resource constitutes acceptance of this policy.