CJ. Technology Acceptable Use Policy

South Plains College Employees, Students and Guests

South Plains College reserves the right to amend or otherwise revise this document as may be necessary to reflect future changes made to the Information Technology (IT) environment. All users of South Plains College IT are responsible for reviewing this Policy periodically to ensure your continued compliance with South Plains College IT Guidelines. In accepting a user account, the user agrees to this policy.

This document has been reviewed and endorsed by the Technology Committee and its members, while enacted and enforced by the Associate Dean of Information Technology and the staff of Information Technology

I. Introduction

Guiding Principles

This document establishes general guidelines that apply to all users of Information Technology resources owned or managed by South Plains College, including but not limited to SPC employees, students, external individuals (such as SPC contractors) or organizations and individuals accessing external network services, such as the Internet, via SPC’s Information Technology facilities.

The policies described in this document apply to all information technology owned or managed by South Plains College and represent the minimum acceptable use policies for IT. Individual departments may have additional (and more restrictive) policies regarding IT resources held in those departments. Users should contact the specific departments for questions about each department’s specific Acceptable Use Policy.

Information Technology resources are provided to support and enhance the mission of South Plains College. South Plains College encourages the use of information technology resources for this primary activity and supports such activity to the extent that resources permit. Other activities are considered to be secondary. As such they are not necessarily prohibited or even discouraged. However should such secondary activities in any way interfere with primary activities, they may be terminated, whether or not such activities are explicitly detailed in the information technology policy statements.

Examples of primary uses:

  1. Communication with others in support of teaching, scholarly work, service, and administrative activities (professional email and associated applications, web page management, social networking applications, etc.)
  2. Completion of coursework and course management activities
  3. Preparation of academic papers and projects and conducting scholarly activities
  4. Completion of job responsibilities

 

Example of secondary use:

  1. Non-academic activities such as personal electronic mail (email), web page creation, and/or web browsing
  2. Individual Rights: South Plains College respects and promotes equitable and fair access to resources, intellectual property, real property, and civil rights. Activities which threaten these rights are prohibited and may be terminated, whether or not such activities are explicitly detailed in the information technology policy statements.
  3. Information Technology Resources at South Plains College: Information Technology at South Plains College encompasses the use of all campus computing, telecommunications, electronic educational media, and management information systems technologies. These IT resources support the instructional, research, and administrative activities of the College. Examples of these resources include, but are not limited to, the central administrative, academic and library computing facilities; the campus - wide data, video and voice networks; electronic mail, video conferencing systems; access to the Internet; voice mail; fax machines; classroom audio-video; departmental and general use computing facilities and related services.
  4. Acceptable Use of IT resources: South Plains College campus computing facilities and network are provided as a service to employees, students and other members of the College community to support the mission of the College. The College strives to provide fair and distributed access to computing and network facilities for a large number of users. Proper use follows the same standards of common sense, courtesy, and restraint in the consumption of shared resources that govern the use of other campus facilities. Improper use violates those standards by preventing others from accessing shared facilities.

 

II. Guidelines for Appropriate SPC IT Use

The following list, while not exhaustive, provides some specific guidelines for appropriate IT use:

  1. Authorization: Use only Information Technology facilities for which you have specific authorization. Do not use another individual’s SPC account, or attempt to capture other users’ passwords. Users are individually responsible for all use of resources assigned to them; therefore, sharing of SPC accounts is prohibited. Users will develop and maintain a secure password for their account.
  2. Facilities: Observe established guidelines for any information technology facilities used both inside and outside the College. For example, individuals using SPC’s computer resource centers must adhere to the policies established for those centers; individuals accessing off-campus computers via external networks must abide by the policies established by the owners of those systems as well as policies governing use of those networks. Contact the Technology Information Center for more information about specific departmental It policies.
  3. Alter, Delete or Destroy: Do not attempt to inappropriately alter, delete or destroy any hardware or software on any SPC IT system. This constitutes a violation of acceptable use of IT facilities no matter how weak the protection is on those products.
  4. Plagiarism: Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access and trade secret and copyright violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community.
  5. Illegal Downloading: The official South Plains College position on peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing utilities (e.g., KaZaa, iMesh, Gnutella, BitTorrent, etc.) is that the software itself is not illegal, nor banned by South Plains College. It is illegal, however, to download or share copyrighted material for which you do not hold the copyright or have written permission to copy/share.
  6. Appropriate Standards: Use appropriate standards of civility and common sense when using IT systems to communicate with other individuals. Do not use email to transmit confidential information relative to personnel matters, internal investigations and litigation. Encrypt any file containing sensitive student or employee data. Any information not considered directory information shall be deemed sensitive. When sending personal messages to other users, participating in a chat room discussion, posting on bulletin boards or leaving a voice mail message, identify yourself as the sender. Using SPC’s IT resources to harass, threaten, slur, embarrass, libel, slander, or demean other individuals is explicitly prohibited.
  7. Volume Usage: Moderate use of public IT resources. South Plains College has a large and growing body of employees and students, all of whom need access to IT resources. There may be times when these resources are in high demand, and as such, you should limit use of public IT resources to primary purposes only.

Disciplinary action for violation of these guidelines may include but is not limited to:

  • Loss of access to SPC IT resources.
  • Loss of access to SPC email services.
  • Extremely limited use of email and Internet services.
  • Dismissal
  • Criminal prosecution

III. Users’ Rights

A. Access to Information Technology (IT) Resources

Central IT Resources

South Plains College’s IT facilities and services – such as the computer - equipped classrooms, video conferencing rooms, voice mail, and training – are available only to members of the College community and authorized guests.

In the event that any employee or student leaves, resigns or in any way concludes his or her relationship with South Plains College for whatever reason:

  1. Employees: Access to all IT resources, including voice mail and email, will be terminated within 90 days (all deletions will comply with the records management system requirements) of termination or immediately (if requested by the appropriate parties). All electronic storage will be deleted simultaneously. Retirees may elect to maintain their SPC email account.
  2. Students: Access to all IT resources, including email services will be terminated after one year of non-enrollment at SPC and all electronic storage will be deleted.

Departmental IT Resources

For information concerning access to departmental IT resources, contact the appropriate department chair.

Remote Access to IT Resources

SPC provides VPN connection for employees. Additionally most resources are accessible through the commercial Internet, the SPC website and MySPC.

B.  Data Security and Integrity

SPC IT Maintained Equipment

SPC IT provides reasonable security against intrusion and damage to files stored on the central IT facilities. Neither the College nor any IT staff member can guarantee protection against media failure, fire, floods, etc. Neither can IT guarantee protection from unauthorized access of personal data on College IT facilities. Users should use all available methods to protect their files, including the frequent changing of their passwords and storing back-up copies of information off site. In the event that data have been corrupted as a result of intrusion, IT should be notified immediately. Every reasonable attempt will be made to restore files to their status prior to intrusion; however, IT cannot guarantee restoration.

Departmental IT Equipment

Upon request, the IT staff will assist in implementing procedures to maximize individual user security. Although IT backs up some departmental servers at departmental requests and makes reasonable attempts to protect those servers from intrusion, it does not provide the same level of protection or offer restoration of files stored on all departmental servers. Therefore, it is especially important that each department has a back-up strategy and security plan for their IT resources. IT will consult on those plans upon request.

College-Bandwidth Management

Information Technology reserves the right to manage the College’s voice, data and video bandwidth allocation based on criteria for bandwidth management involving the integrity and robustness of College owned equipment, data, and services as well as the appropriateness of bandwidth use when compared to the College’s academic goals, administrative missions, and acceptable use policy for information technology.

Privacy

Users of SPC IT resources and the SPC email systems shall not expect personal privacy. The IT department reserves the right to monitor all activity on the SPC network and email systems. The IT department may copy certain emails or material if criminal or unsavory usage is suspected. Personal or private information stored on South Plains College IT equipment, software, or systems runs the risk of not remaining private.

Title 18 United States Code, Section 2792: “A government entity may include in its subpoena or court order a requirement that the service provider to whom the request is directed create a backup copy of the contents of the electronic communications sought in order to preserve those communications. Without notifying the subscriber or customer of such subpoena or court order, such service provider shall create such backup copy as soon as practicable consistent with its regular business practices and shall confirm to the governmental entity that such backup copy has been made. Such backup copy shall be created within two business days after receipt by the service provider of the subpoena or court order.

"Notice to the subscriber or customer shall be made by the governmental entity within three days after receipt of such confirmation, unless such notice is delayed pursuant to section.”

Ownership of Copyright for Materials Developed with SPC’s Resources

South Plains College has established guidelines related to ownership of copyright property. The exact policies and procedures relating to copyrights may be found in Board of Regents Policy DBD (Intellectual Property Policy)

Responsibility for Errors in Software, Hardware, and Consulting

Information Technology in conjunction with department points of contact makes its best effort to maintain an error free IT environment for users and to ensure that the IT staff is properly trained. Nevertheless, it is impossible to ensure that IT system errors will not occur or that IT staff will always give correct advice. South Plains College presents no warranty, either expressly stated or implied, for the services provided. Damages resulting directly and indirectly from the use of campus resources are the responsibility of the user. However, at the request of the user, when errors are determined to have occurred on IT facilities, members of the IT staff will make a reasonable attempt to restore lost information to its state prior to the failure, at no cost to the user. As part of maintaining the IT environment, the IT staff applies vendor - supplied or locally developed fixes as appropriate when problems are identified. Given that vendors may be involved and that staff resources are finite, no guarantee can be made as to how long it may take to fix an error once it has been identified.

When software errors are considered major problems or could produce inaccurate results, users will be notified as soon as possible using appropriate electronic and/or other media.

Changes in the SPC IT Environment

When significant changes in hardware, software or procedures are planned, Information Technology will notify the affected departments/business units. The affected departments/business units will then notify their departmental user community through email and other media to ensure that all users have enough time to prepare for the changes and to voice any concerns that they might have.

Comments, Suggestions, Corrections

Questions concerning this or any other Information Technology Policy can be directed to Information Technology at askspc@southplainscollege.edu.

 

Date Issued: November 1996
Approval: Administrative Council
Revision Issued: February 8, 2013, Technology Committee
Approval: Executive Council, February 18, 2013

 


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