Maryville College Network and Computer Use Policy

This policy was developed by the Information Services Committee in the Spring of 2002, approved by Cabinet on June 6, 2002, and revised May 2006. The Policy will be reviewed at least every two years and revised as needed.

I. General Guidelines

Each member of the Maryville College community (students, faculty, staff, and authorized guests) who uses computing resources (College-owned computers, peripherals, software, servers, network storage, and Internet access) is expected to know and must agree to follow this Computer Use Policy. Persons who use College computing resources must also abide by any federal, state, or local laws or regulations that apply. This includes but is not limited to Copyright laws.

The primary purpose of the Maryville College network is to support the administrative and educational functions of the campus. The College provides computer access to students currently registered for classes and maintains computers for staff and faculty with software appropriate to their work-related needs. Use of College-owned computers and the network, including the Internet, is a privilege rather than a right.

Students may receive Internet access by connecting personally owned computers to the network in their residence hall rooms or designated ports in the Library. Information Technology (IT) will distribute hardware specifications necessary to connect to the network. Production software such as word-processing, spreadsheets, and applications needed for class work will be available in the computer lab. Users are provided with file storage space on the network. These network drives are backed-up nightly.

Each authorized user may access only the network account that is assigned to him or her. Each user is held responsible for all activity on and information stored in his or her account. Users should take every precaution to protect their account passwords.

All users of College computing resources are expected to respect the privacy of others. Users are expected to respect the confidentiality of messages sent to others. Users may not access or review e-mail messages that are not distributed to them. All users of College computing resources must report possible security lapses to Information Technology staff.

Educational and administrative use of Maryville College computing resources has the highest priority. Recreational use of the Internet should be kept to a minimum between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

II. Privacy

The College does not disclose nonpublic information except when requested, in writing by the user, or the disclosure is permitted or required by law. Information collected by the College may be shared with other College departments as well as outside vendors for marketing purposes.

All users of Maryville College’s network recognize that information transmitted, stored, and used on the network is subject to the governing policies of Maryville College and applicable state and federal laws. Maryville College is responsible for and takes significant measures to ensure the integrity of the network.

Maryville College, through the Information Technology department, secures and protects information on the College’s network by the use of unique user identifications (IDs) and individual passwords assigned to each user. These IDs and passwords access private space on the network that no other user may access, and provide individually customized permissions relating to a user’s ability to access College-owned data and systems.

IT will ensure the integrity of the network and minimize risk of unauthorized use by issuing private identifications and passwords to users, enforcing systematic changes to passwords at least once a year, and instituting system configurations, for example, a “three-strikes you’re out” policy that will prevent unauthorized access to an account after the third unauthorized/incorrect attempt.

In the course of performing College functions, certain departments rely on information for bona fide business needs. In these circumstances, the College grants permission to staff in these departments to access relevant information on student and/or employee records. In addition to the system hardware and software, all electronic files and electronic messages are the property of Maryville College, whether composed, received or sent by a user of the network. E-mail messages and other electronic files constitute business records belonging to the College. Because all messages are the property of the College, users should not expect that messages are private. Maryville College reserves the right to monitor any and all usage of its computer and communications network and reserves the right to inspect email and to track internet website visitation. The College may disclose any messages in the network for any purpose without notice to a user and without seeking permission of the user.

IT is responsible for providing service in the most efficient manner while considering the needs of the total user community. At certain times, the process of carrying out these responsibilities may require special actions or intervention by the IT staff. At all other times, IT staff members have no special rights above and beyond those of other users. IT shall make every effort to ensure that persons in positions of trust do not misuse computing resources or data or take advantage of their positions to access information not required in the performance of their duties.

IT prefers not to act as a disciplinary unit or to police network activities. However, in cases of unauthorized, inappropriate, or irresponsible behavior, IT does reserve the right to take corrective action, starting with an investigation of the possible abuse. IT, with all due regard for the rights of privacy, shall have the authority to examine network files, passwords, accounting information, printouts, tapes, or other material that may aid the investigation. The IT Director or designee must authorize examination of the user’s files. Examples of examination include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The Director of IT may instruct his or her staff to investigate an account suspected of being used by someone other than its rightful owner.
  • The Director of IT may instruct his or her staff to investigate an account suspected of being used in a manner that violates Maryville College’s policies, or federal, state, or local law. If such action is necessary, users are expected to cooperate in the investigation. Failure to do so may be
    grounds for cancellation of access privileges.
  • The Director of IT may take temporary measures as required, including temporarily suspending a user’s ability to access network resources if he or she determines that it is necessary in order to assess or control risk to the network as a whole.
  • Users will be notified if their accounts have been examined.

 

III. Prohibited Activities

  • Users of the network must not share account passwords.
  • Attempting to use an account belonging to someone else is prohibited.
  • Any attempt to circumvent network or account security is prohibited.
  • Independent commercial activity by users is prohibited except for College related business.
  • Use of email and other network resources to harass, offend, or threaten is prohibited.
  • Downloading or making unauthorized copies of software is forbidden.
  • Unauthorized attempts to access files belonging to Maryville College or another user are prohibited.
  • Unauthorized modification of files belonging to Maryville College or another user is prohibited.
  • Development of programs to access or modify files belonging to Maryville College or another user is prohibited.
  • Intentional introduction of computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, other destructive computer files, or other detrimental unauthorized software is prohibited.
  • A personally owned computer connected to the College network may not be used to host network services.
  • Users may not use e-mail to solicit individually for charitable or commercial ventures, or in any way that violates the College’s no solicitation policy. Users may not use the network to proselytize for religious, political or other causes.
  • The College polices prohibiting sexual or other harassment are applicable to usage of the network. Messages that contain foul, inappropriate, or offensive language, or those containing racial or ethnic slurs, or sexual innuendo are prohibited.

 

IV. Sanctions for Policy Violations

Violations of this policy will be reported to the employee’s supervisor, in the case of a College employee; the Dean of the College in cases that involve Academic Integrity; or the Associate Dean of Students.

Faculty, Staff and Student Handbooks spell out possible sanctions to be applied when rules and policies are not followed. Additionally, Maryville College’s Academic Integrity Policy contains provisions for dealing with dishonesty involving electronic information, documents and equipment. (See Academic Integrity Policy, “Violations of Academic Integrity” section, items 6, 7, & 8.) In addition to sanctions noted in the above-mentioned documents, a user’s privileges to use the College network may be revoked. State or Federal penalties may apply.