IT Usage Policy
Just as knowledge and discussion are at the heart of teaching and learning, so too
are information and communications technology such as computers and networks central
to the mission of the university. The guidelines that govern the use of such technology,
therefore, should reflect the principles that inhere in the idea of a liberal arts
college. Among these are the following:
that freedom of inquiry and expression are fundamental values of the liberal arts
college and are abridged at our peril;
that inquiry and expression flourish in an atmosphere of respect and toleration, even
as dissent and disagreement are encouraged, and that
therefore each member of the university has the right to be free from harassment;
that treating others with respect entails respecting others' privacy; and
that the successful functioning of the university depends upon the honest and responsible
conduct of its members.
These principles imply both rights and responsibilities that must be balanced against
one another. For example, the right to freedom of expression ends when expression
becomes harassment; one's legitimate expectation of privacy ends when actions carried
out in privacy seriously threaten the common good.
Information technology presents both important opportunities and the temptation for
misuse. Accordingly, and for the benefit of all members of the University, the Information
Technology Usage Policy stated below is intended to make clear how the balancing of
these core principles is to be realized in practice.
All members of the University are expected, on pain of penalties described herein,
to abide by this policy. These principles embody ethical ideals, and so the policy
stated below will in some respects go beyond the mere requirements of the law.
1 - Network and Systems Integrity
Actions taken by users that interfere with or alter the integrity of the University's
network or computers systems, or that use University network services to disrupt others,
are prohibited. Such actions include, but are not limited to, the following:
unauthorized use of accounts,
impersonation of other individuals in communications,
attempts to crack or capture passwords,
attempts to break encryption protocols,
destruction or alteration of data or programs belonging to other users,
attempts to steal or destroy software,
creating worm, virus or other malicious processes, and
running programs or processes that disrupt or interfere with the University's operation
of its systems, servers, computers or network.
In addition, users may not:
conduct experiments to identify or demonstrate system or network vulnerabilities without
prior permission from the office of Information Technology Services,
attach network hubs, bridges, routers, or gateways to the campus network, or
use University static network addresses without permission from the office of Information
2 - Copyright and Licensing
Illinois Wesleyan University expects individuals affiliated with the University to
uphold copyright laws ensuring the protection of intellectual property, giving authors
due credit, and demonstrating responsible citizenship. In addition, all users of
University-owned computers are expected to abide by software licensing agreements.
No user may copy, or attempt to copy without authorization, any proprietary or licensed
software provided or installed by IWU.
Illinois Wesleyan University advocates that individuals creating content proactively
review publisher right's agreements before signing and retain authority over the intellectual
property. Individuals are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the use of Creative Commons licenses, which allow content creators to create their own licenses and control their
own rights for use.
Illinois Wesleyan University encourages individuals to be familiar with the application
of the four factors comprising the doctrine of Fair Use. Developed by the U.S. courts over many years, the Fair Use factors provide guidance
in determining whether use of material in print and digital publications is legal
and fair to the content creators. Illinois Wesleyan University policy sets forth
the expectations that all individuals will avoid plagiarism, and has established judicial
policies to address violations.
The University recognizes its role in educating students about ethical behavior in
the computer setting as elsewhere. To that end, the Chief Technology Officer will
provide, on request, information about software licensing issues, while the University
Librarian, as Copyright Officer, will provide information and guidance regarding copyright, publishing agreements, and rights and permissions questions.
3 - Privacy
Illinois Wesleyan University respects every individual's rights & legitimate expectation
to privacy in the electronic forum and prohibits users of university computers, including
personally owned computers linked to university servers and telecommunications equipment,
from violating such rights. Examples of violations of privacy rights include, but
are not limited to, the following:
reading another person's electronic mail without consent,
accessing another's files without consent of that party,
viewing or capturing data transmitted by another user over University networks,
accessing without authorization electronic records on another person, and
using another person's password.
Users of university computers and networks should be aware that complete privacy cannot
be maintained in electronic media. For example, system failures might make private
information publicly visible for a brief time; supervisors might need to gain access
to urgently needed job-related materials when the employee who maintains those materials
is not available; Information Technology Services staff may need to access data and
software stored on university computers while providing maintenance or safeguarding
the integrity of systems and networks; and, unscrupulous persons might gain access
to unauthorized materials despite all precautions.
Those university employees whose legitimate job functions may require accessing private
directories, data or software must make reasonable efforts to respect the privacy
of others. Supervisors, for example, must make reasonable attempts to respect an employee's
privacy while accessing job-related materials. Information Technology Services staff
must make reasonable efforts to maintain system integrity by means which do not involve
accessing or collecting private data before resorting to actions which may violate
a user's privacy. If Information Technology Services staff have good reason to believe
that an individual is engaged in illegal activities or serious infractions of university
rules, they may monitor that individual's files and computer use, but only after obtaining
permission from the appropriate senior official (such as the Provost, the Dean of
Students, or the Vice President for Business and Finance).
4 - Appropriate and Ethical Use
Illinois Wesleyan University expects its constituents to use information technology
in ways that are ethical and appropriate to the University's mission. Individuals
are responsible for knowing and abiding by not only the policies listed below, but
also other applicable university policies governing standards of conduct, such as
those in the Student, Faculty, and Staff Handbooks and the Sexual Harassment Policy.
Actions which are unethical or inappropriate include, but are not limited to, the
sending unsolicited advertising, promotional material, or other forms of mass mailing
solicitation, except in those areas that are designated for such purpose, such as
a classified ad area,
using University-owned computers for personal monetary gain (except as such use relates
to professional development),
displaying in a public setting electronic materials which may be distracting, intimidating,
or harassing to others, and
using University technology resources to store or transmit electronic information
with sexually harassing content. For more information on this issue, see the University
Sexual Harassment policy.
In general, uses of university-owned computers which interfere with the educational
mission of the university are prohibited.
5 - Disciplinary Actions
The University may take disciplinary and/or legal action against any individual who
violates these policies. Such actions include temporary or permanent suspension of
an individual's use privileges to all or part of the college computing facilities,
temporary suspension from the University, or permanent separation therefrom. Any member
of the university community may report violations of this policy. Violations of the
policy should be reported to either the Chief Technology Officer or, in the case of
a violation of a larger university policy, the corresponding official or university
body. Inquiry and disciplinary action will follow judicial procedures which govern
the individual(s) involved. For example, student violations will be handled in accordance
with judicial procedures outlined in the Student Handbook, while faculty violations
will be handled in accordance with judicial procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook.
Questions regarding disciplinary action should be directed to the appropriate administrator
(such as the Dean of Students, Provost/Dean of the Faculty, Human Resources Director).
6 - Liability
Illinois Wesleyan University hereby expressly and explicitly disclaims any liability
and/or responsibility for violations of the policy hereabove stated.
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