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Staff Policy Handbook

Part VIII: Employee Conduct


802 - Use of Computer Resources


A. Statement of User Responsibility:

1.) The use of all computer accounts and resources (including hardware, software, and network) is the personal responsibility of each account holder. Use of Academic Computing resources must be consistent with institutional policies governing how we conduct ourselves as members of the community including policies regarding cheating, plagiarism, harassment and theft. Other campus policies are not altered by the use of computer resources and shall apply to all misuse of the resources. It is the computer user's responsibility to comply with all general campus, as well as state and federal laws.

2.) Academic Computing services and resources are made available to support the academic programs and activities of Drury University. Use of those services and resources is a privilege that is not to be abused and can be taken away without prior consent or when required by law or when there is a substantiated reason to believe that violations of law or policy have occurred. In time-sensitive cases, access may be restricted to meet critical operational needs. Any inappropriate, illegal, unethical or immoral use constitutes a violation of this policy whether or not it is specifically identified below. Any activity intended to damage Academic Computing resources or any individual is a violation of the policy.

3.) Each computer user is responsible for the storage of personal files created on Drury computing facilities. Hard disks will be routinely cleared of files. Under no circumstances will Drury University be held responsible for any files stored on or deleted from its hard disks.

4.) Each computer user is responsible for taking reasonable care of his/her account and password. For example, one should change his/her password frequently; one should not under any circumstances give his/her password to another person.

5.) Internet users should take all necessary anti-virus precautions before downloading or copying any file from the Internet.


B. Examples of Uses of Computer Resources In Violation of this Policy Include:

1.) Use of computer resources for any purpose unrelated to the mission of the university.

2.) Use of computer facilities for cheating, including unauthorized copying, installation, sending or receiving of programs, assignments or files.

3.) Sending unsolicited annoying or obscene messages or mail to another computer or computer user.

4.) Utilizing a false identity in obtaining or utilizing an email account.

5.) Accessing adult web sites (specifically those self-identified as such) or other obscene materials in public labs or university offices. Such conduct may be considered sexual harassment, i.e., an action "that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic or work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic or work environment" (from the university's harassment policy statement).

6.) Examining, or attempting to examine, another computer user's files or mail, without explicit permission by the owner of those files or mail.

7.) Interrupting, hindering, or otherwise interfering with the normal operation of the computer labs and other resources.

8.) Posting copyrighted text or images on a web page without the owner's permission.


C. Examples of Appropriate Uses of Computer Resources Include:

1.) Faculty research;
2.) Student research;
3.) Class assignments;
4.) Instructional use in classes;
5.) Employee Job Responsibilities

D. Privacy Issues and Access to Files on the Campus Servers:

1.) Monitoring of E-mail and Personal Electronic Files

The university and its staff shall treat all electronically stored information as confidential, but may examine or disclose information when authorized by the owner of the information, when approved by appropriate Vice-president, or required by local, state or federal law including, but not limited to, laws regarding harassment, libel and defamation of character.

2.) Electronic Mail (E-mail)

The E-mail system at Drury provides a convenient (not necessarily confidential) way of communicating between students and faculty, between colleagues and between friends. It is expected that Drury computer users will use common courtesy in the use of E-mail.

Examples of inappropriate use of email include:

- Re-posting (forwarding) personal communication, intended to be confidential, without the author's prior consent.
- "Chain letters," "broadcasting" messages to lists or individuals, and other types of use which would cause congestion of the networks or otherwise interfere with the work of others are not allowed.
- Anonymous or fraudulent posting of email messages.

3.) Privacy

- Electronic mail (e-mail) is a form of public communication and cannot be guaranteed to be private. Messages can be intercepted while in transit through the system. Be discreet.
- Issues of personal privacy and data confidentiality are very important to the university. Personal data will only be accessed in accordance with part IV, section A.
- The systems and network administrators do have access to all files stored on the university servers. In the course of routine system maintenance, trouble-shooting and mail delivery problem resolution, staff may inadvertently see the content of email messages. However, these individuals are prohibited from accessing personal files except as otherwise stated in part IV, section A.

E. Intellectual Property:

All communications and information accessible via the Internet should be assumed to be copyrighted and should be accessed and re-distributed using regular copyright rules. When sources found on the Internet are cited, the name, date and location of the information must be included.

F. Compliance Procedure:

1.) Inappropriate uses of computer resources should be reported to the Director of Academic Computing or the Director of Computer Services.

2.) Anyone discovered to be hindering normal operations or making inappropriate use of computing resources will be contacted and appropriate action taken.

3.) Upon report of a violation, the user may be denied access to Drury computing facilities. All pertinent information on the alleged violation will be given to the appropriate vice-president who will oversee the judicial review process.

 

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