Administration

Board of Trustees Policy

SUBJECT:

Acceptable Use of Technology

NUMBER:
5.6
DATE:
June 16, 2008
SUPERSEDES:
June 2004

Purpose

The College views technology and its use in instruction, in service delivery, in advising, in communications as a strategic asset. This value has positioned the College as one of the most technologically advanced community colleges in the country. The College’s commitment to academic freedom and appreciation for creating an environment of free inquiry extends to the electronic information environment. To ensure that the College's investment in technology promotes free inquiry, innovation, quality learning environments and the creative applications that advance the mission of the College, a strong policy infrastructure for technology use is important. Acceptable use policies preserve the stability and security of our information technology resources, protect the College from inappropriate use, and ensure reasonable accessibility to technology resources for our academic community. These policies govern desktop, network, email, telephone, internet, data security, and software uses of College-managed information technology equipment and resources.

Policy

This policy outlines the acceptable use of Montgomery County Community College’s computer and network resources by all who have been granted access. Users of computing resources are expected to take a responsible and professional approach to the use of these resources, as access to these resources is a privilege not a right. The College’s computing resources and facilities are intended for legitimate instructional and administrative use; computing facilities and network access cannot be used for commercial purposes without proper written authorization.

Members of the user community must use only those resources to which they have been specifically granted access by the College; and by using the College’s technology resources, users assume personal responsibility for their appropriate use and agree to comply with this policy and other applicable College policies, as well as city, state, and federal laws and regulations.

In making acceptable use of resources you are expected to:

  • use resources only for purposes as outlined in this policy;
  • protect your user ID, password, and system from unauthorized use;
  • access only information that is your own, that is publicly available, or to which you have been given authorized access;
  • be considerate in your use of shared resources;
  • demonstrate respect for principles of open expression;
  • be aware of copyright laws as they apply to computer software and other materials that you may access with College computing resources.

Unacceptable use of resources may include but is not limited to:

  • use of another person’s system access, user ID, password, files, or data, or giving the use of one’s system, user ID, password, files, or data;
  • use of computer programs to decode passwords or access control information;
  • attempt to disguise the identity of the account or computer you are using;
  • attempt to gain unauthorized access to resources and data, including other’s passwords;
  • attempt to circumvent, subvert, or disable system or network security measures;
  • engage in any activity that might be purposefully harmful to systems or to any information stored thereon, such as creating or propagating viruses, disrupting services;
  • damage files or make unauthorized modifications to College data;
  • make or use illegal copies of copyrighted materials, software, or music, store such copies on College resources, or transmit them over College networks;
  • creation or display of threatening, obscene, racist, sexist, or harassing material which is in violation of existing law or College policy;
  • use of College resources for any other illegal activity;
  • monopolizing systems, overloading networks with excessive data, degrading services, or wasting computer time, disk space, printer paper, printer toner, manuals or other resources;
  • use the College’s resources or networks for personal profit;
  • installation of unauthorized hardware or software onto any College owned computer/network (the Information Technology Department is responsible for all installations, requests for exceptions should be sent to the Information Technology Help Desk);
  • connect a personal computer to the College’s network unless it meets technical and security standards established by the College’s information technology area.

Incidental Personal Use

This use is an accepted and appropriate benefit of being associated with the College’s technology environment. This type of personal use must adhere to all College acceptable use policies and procedures. Employees’ supervisors may restrict personal activities of their employees if these personal activities are impacting the employees’ job performances.

Additionally, personal use by students is permitted as long as it adheres to these guidelines and doesn’t interfere with instructional processes. Faculty and staff may restrict personal use by students in these situations.

Privacy and Use of Information

Employees are expected to be knowledgeable of, and to perform their duties in compliance with, federal, state, and local laws and college policies, including the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act designed to protect the confidentiality of data and the privacy of individuals. Confidential or demographic data that pertains to students, employees, or college operations, must be used in a manner that protects rights of privacy and limits personal and institutional liability.

Consequences

Employees of the College who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of their employment. Students who violate this policy are governed by the Student Code of Conduct. The College also reserves the right to withdraw access to its system to any user. The College, additionally, reserves the right to notify appropriate legal authorities in the event that its system is used in a manner that constitutes a violation of any local, state, or federal law.

Information Disclaimer

The College is not responsible for the loss of information or interruption of electronic communications. The College reserves the right to discard incoming mass mailings (“spam”) without notifying the sender or intended recipient and to block all Internet communications from sites that are involved in extensive spamming or other disruptive practices, even though this may leave the College computer users unable to communicate with those sites.

While the College takes reasonable measures to protect the security of its computing resources, the College cannot guarantee absolute security and privacy. In cases of administrative or judicial proceedings, information stored electronically may be released to outside parties. Users should recognize that although access to their files and data is normally avoided, situations may arise where employees with legitimate business purposes may have the need to view information or email or monitor user activity on the network. Causes for access may include, but are not limited to the health or safety of individuals or property; violations of College policies, or local, state or federal laws; termination of an employee; and the need to locate information required for College business. Information Technology resources licensed to the College through external contractual agreements may include additional disclosure stipulations.

Any questions about this policy or the applicability of this policy to a particular situation should be referred to the Vice President for Information Technology.

 

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