Acceptable use of information technology resources

University Policy 00-1
Policy-Making by the President

1.0 Purpose

This policy is designed to guide students, faculty and staff in the acceptable use of computer systems, networks, and other information technology resources at Wayne State University.

2.0 Guiding principles

  • 2.1 The University community is encouraged to make innovative and creative use of information technologies in support of educational, scholarly, and administrative purposes. Wayne State University supports access to information representing a multitude of views for the interest, information and enlightenment of students, faculty and staff. Consistent with this policy, Wayne State University supports the use of information technology resources in a manner that recognizes both the rights and the obligations of academic freedom.
  • 2.2 Wayne State University recognizes the importance of copyright and other protections afforded to the creators of intellectual property. Users are responsible for making use of software and other information technology resources in accordance with copyright and licensing restrictions and applicable University policies. Using information technology resources in a manner violating these protections, or furthering the unauthorized use or sale of protected intellectual property, is prohibited.
  • 2.3 Wayne State University cannot protect individuals against the receipt of potentially offensive material. Those who use electronic communications occasionally may receive material that they might find offensive. Those who make personal information available about themselves through the Internet or other electronic media may expose themselves to potential invasions of privacy.
  • 2.4 Information technology resources are provided to support the University's scholarly, educational, and administrative activities. Information technology resources are limited, and should be used wisely and with consideration for the rights and needs of others.

3.0 User responsibilities

  • 3.1 Users are expected to use computer and network resources in a responsible manner. Users should take appropriate precautions to ensure the security of their passwords and prevent others from obtaining access to their computer resources. Convenience of file or printer sharing is not a sufficient reason for sharing computer accounts.
  • 3.2 Users may not encroach on others' use of computer resources. Such actions include, but are not limited to, tying up computer resources with trivial applications or excessive game playing, sending frivolous or excessive messages, including chain letters, junk mail, and other similar types of broadcast messages, or using excessive amounts of storage.
  • 3.3 The following behaviors are prohibited while using University information technology resources, including computers and networks owned or operated by Wayne State University, or to which Wayne State University is connected:
    • Modifying system or network facilities, or attempting to crash systems or networks;
    • Using, duplicating or transmitting copyrighted material without first obtaining the owner's permission, in any way that may reasonably be expected to constitute an infringement, or that exceeds the scope of a license, or violates other contracts;
    • Tampering with software protections or restrictions placed on computer applications or files;
    • Using University information technology resources for personal for-profit purposes;
    • Sending messages that are malicious or that a reasonable person would find to be harassing;
    • Subverting restrictions associated with computer accounts;
    • Using information technology resources to obtain unauthorized access to records, data, and other forms of information owned, used, possessed by, or pertaining to the University or individuals;
    • Accessing another person's computer account without permission. Users may not supply false or misleading data, or improperly obtain another's password to gain access to computers or network systems, data or information. Obtaining access to an account name or password through the negligence or naivete of another is considered to be a specifically prohibited use;
    • Intentionally introducing computer viruses, worms, Trojan Horses, or other rogue programs into information technology resources that belong to, are licensed to, or are leased by Wayne State University or others;
    • Physically damaging information technology resources;
    • Using, or encouraging others to use, information technology resources in any manner that would violate this or other University policies or any applicable state or federal law; and
    • Falsely reporting or accusing another of conduct that violates this policy, without a good faith basis for such an accusation.
  • 3.4 Users should remember that information distributed through the University's information technology resources may be considered a form of publication. Although Wayne State University does not take responsibility for material issued by individuals, users must recognize that third parties may perceive anything generated at Wayne State University as in some manner having been produced under Wayne State University auspices. Accordingly, users are reminded to exercise appropriate language, behavior, and style in their use of information technology resources.

4.0 Policy administration

  • 4.1 The University encourages all members of its community to use electronic resources in a manner that is respectful of others. While respecting users' privacy to the fullest extent possible, the University reserves the right to examine any computer files. The University reserves this right for bona fide purposes, including, but not limited to:
    • Enforcing polices against harassment and threats to the safety of individuals;
    • Protecting against or limiting damage to University information technology resources;
    • Complying with a court order, subpoena or other legally enforceable discovery request;
    • Investigating and preventing the posting of proprietary software or electronic copies of texts, data, media or images in disregard of copyright, licenses, or other contractual or legal obligations or in violation of law;
    • Safeguarding the integrity of computers, networks, software and data;
    • Preserving information and data;
    • Upgrading or maintaining information technology resources;
    • Protecting the University or its employees and representatives against liability or other potentially adverse consequences.
    • No action under this section may be taken by university officers without the approval of the President or his/her designee.
  • 4.2 The University may restrict the use of its computers and network systems when presented with evidence of violation of University policies, or federal or state laws, or when it is necessary to do so to protect the University against potential legal liability. The University reserves the right to limit access to its information technology resources, and to remove or limit access to material stored on University information technology resources.
  • 4.3 All users are expected to conduct themselves consistent with these responsibilities. Abuse of computing privileges may subject the user to disciplinary action as established by applicable University policies.
    • Students who violate this policy may be subject to discipline pursuant to the Student Due Process Policy, Wayne State University Code Annotated.
    • Represented employees may be subject to discipline in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement.
    • Non-represented employees may be subject to discipline in accordance with the Handbook for Non-represented Employees.
  • 4.4 The University and users must recognize that all members of the University community are bound by federal and state laws pertaining to civil rights, harassment, copyright, security and other statutes governing use of electronic media. This policy does not preclude enforcement under such laws.
  • 4.5 This policy is for all units of the University. Schools, colleges, and divisions may adopt policies governing the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources that incorporate the University Policy. School, college and division policies must be approved by the Vice President for Information Technology.

5.0 Reporting violations

  • 5.1 Allegations of conduct that is believed to violate this Acceptable Use policy should be reported in writing to the Computing and Information Technology Information Security Office. To ensure the fairness of any proceedings that may follow a reported violation, the individual filing the report should not discuss or provide copies of the allegations to others.
  • 5.2 Nothing in the section shall be interpreted to prohibit an individual from pursuing such other administrative or legal rights as he or she may have. While the University's primary responsibility to investigate violations of this policy rests with Computing and Information Technology. Exceptional cases should be reported to the President or his/her designee.

6.0 Duration

  • This University Policy is revocable by the President at any time and without notice.

7.0 Effective date

  • 7.1 This University Policy is effective upon issuance.
  • 7.2 Executive Order 97-1 is revoked immediately.

Signed by Former President Irvin D. Reid, May 12, 2000

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