Access To and Use of Computing Resources
University computing services support the educational mission and operational needs of the institution, encourage community and contribute to open communication. Policies protect individual and institutional rights, and identify responsibilities associated with the privilege of access to institutional resources. By accepting the privilege of using University resources, the individual accepts the responsibility for learning the legal and policy restrictions on that use and agrees to abide by those regulations. The Wittenberg Information Technology Services Department is responsible for the integrity of computing systems and resources and for establishing guidelines for access and use of computing resources.
A user is responsible for all activity originating from his or her account and for ensuring that passwords or other security measures are not breached. A user who suspects that someone else has accessed his/her account must contact the Information Technology Services immediately. Faculty and staff members are responsible and accountable for their immediate family-member accounts. Family-members include spouses and dependent children as defined by the federal government for tax purposes.
Users may not:
- share passwords,
- attempt to circumvent security measures,
- interfere with the ability of others to use the network,
- use university computing resources for harassing communication, and
- use computing or networking resources to operate a business unrelated to the mission of the university.
- abide by the provisions of copyright law. Wittenberg's information for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be found at http://www.wittenberg.edu/web/dmca.html. and
- comply with federal, Ohio, and other applicable laws; applicable university rules and policies; and applicable contracts and licenses.
All staff are expected to use good judgement in determining the appropriate amount of time spent in accessing the Web and using other computer applications. Establishing and enforcing guidelines for at-work personal/recreational use of Wittenberg computing resources is the responsibility of each supervisor, within the general provision that there be zero impact on the employee's work performance.
Users who violate this policy may be denied access to university computing resources and may be subject to other penalties and disciplinary action, both within and outside of the university.
Use of hardware/software
University owned or leased computer hardware, software, and software licenses are the property of Wittenberg University. With the exception of intellectual property, data stored on university property is the property of Wittenberg University. ( A policy statement on ownership of intellectual property is being drafted by the Cabinet and will become part of this policy. )
Legitimate use of a computer or network system is based on the requirements of a user's position, not on the knowledge of the user or whatever is technically possible. Although some limitations are built into computer operating systems and networks, those limitations are not the sole restrictions on what is permissible.
The University owns licenses to a number of proprietary programs. Users may not redistribute or reverse engineer software outside of the license terms with the software suppliers. Copyright protection also applies to many resources found on the Internet, including but not limited to images, audio and video files, and electronic versions of print materials. The use and redistribution of any software or other copyrighted materials without permission is strictly prohibited.
Protection of confidential information
Once an individual is granted access to data, he or she is responsible as a custodian of that data. Data custodians are held accountable for maintaining the security and confidentiality of those records to which they are granted access. Additionally, all faculty, staff and students must comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines regarding the release of student information.
Access to and use of data
Material that is damaging to the university, in violation of copyright laws, in violation of university contractual agreements, or otherwise contrary to university standards may not be downloaded or posted to university computers or transported across university networks. Violations include, but are not limited to:
- Accessing, or attempting to access, data or information without proper authorization regardless of the means by which this access is attempted or accomplished;
- Download copyrighted programs
- Giving another person access to data or information to which they are not authorized;
- Obtaining, possessing, using, or attempting to use passwords or other information about someone else's account;
- Forging, fraudulently altering, or willfully falsifying computer files/data identified as university records;
- Using electronic resources to hoard, damage, or otherwise interfere with administrative or academic resources accessible electronically;
- Using electronic resources to steal another individual's work or otherwise misrepresent one's own work;
- Interfering with the work of another user;
- Supplying or attempting to supply false or misleading information or identification in order to access another user's account,
- Deliberate, unauthorized attempts to access, use, or manipulate University computers, computer facilities, networks, systems, programs or data.
Users may not change, copy, delete, read or otherwise modify university leased or purchased software except where permitted.
Right to privacy
Though users can expect the University to respect their privacy, the privacy rights of individuals using university owned equipment have some limits. In particular, Wittenberg reserves the right to monitor volume of traffic, investigate potential policy abuses, and take steps necessary to suppress viruses and other damaging programs. Computer Center personnel will not access programs, files or data without permission from one of the following:
- The creator/ custodian of the materials,
- The Dean of Students or President if the creator/custodian is a student or prospective student, or
- The appropriate Vice President, Provost, or President if the owner is a member of the faculty, staff, alumni, parent, or family member of the faculty or staff.
Computer files are a form of property and the contents of a file will be treated as physical property. Users are expected to respect the privacy and restrictions placed upon information stored or transmitted across computers and network systems, even when that data or information is not adequately secured.
Safeguarding of security passwords, user identity, and system access
Investigating or reading another user's files is considered the same as reading papers on someone's desk - a violation of the person's privacy. Reading protected files without authorization by the custodian of the file, by whatever mechanism, is prohibited.
None the less please be aware that from time to time, especially when you are away from your desk, your supervisor or another employee may need to access your computer or files. You should not expect information left on your computer or in your files to be unconditionally private.
Students, faculty and staff should report violations of this policy, potential loopholes in computer systems security, and cooperate with the Director of Computing in the investigation of suspected policy violations. These issues should be reported to the Information Technology Services Solution Desk firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (937) 525-3801.
Users who have valid accounts may only use computer and network resources that they are specifically authorized to use. Users shall use accounts for authorized purposes and are responsible for safeguarding their computer account. Users should not allow other person(s) to use their account. Passwords should be changed often to ensure that private and secure files are kept secure. Computer accounts may not be transferred or used by other individuals including family and friends.
E-mail and Worldwide Web applications
Wittenberg maintains electronic mail, web, and other systems to facilitate university business. Although e-mail correspondence can take on a more informal tone, all messages composed, sent, or received on the electronic mail system should be considered official university correspondence and could be subpoenaed by a court of law.
The university expects e-mail messages to be treated as confidential by other employees and accessed only by the intended recipient. Employees should not attempt to gain access to another employee's messages without permission.
Communications via e-mail are subject to all university standards and policies that govern other forms of communication.
The university provides bulletin boards and chat rooms for communication purposes. As such, the university reserves the right to delete posted materials that violate standards of appropriate conduct.
The university also provides the opportunity for students, faculty and staff to post individual web pages. The University does not monitor web pages but individual students or staff members should be aware that university policies regarding harassment or inappropriate conduct apply to web page materials.
University email, web and other electronic services may not be used for commercial and/or private gain.
Any user's account, software, and hardware, is a possible target for vandalism. Attempted or detected alteration of user system software, data or other files, as well as equipment or resource disruption or destruction, is considered vandalism.
Any user of computing and networking resources can be denied full or partial access to computing and networking resources if he or she violates this policy. Generally, denial of service will be justified by well-documented violations of policy and warnings. The Information Technology Services may terminate or restrict any person's access to its resources, without prior notice, if such action is necessary to maintain availability, security, and integrity of operations for other users of the resources, or in the case of serious policy violations. The Information Technology Services will notify the user and the appropriate Vice President or Provost when access has been restricted or terminated.
Appeals will be handled through existing processes. (Student violations will be referred through the student conduct or academic misconduct system as outlined in the Student Handbook. Faculty and staff violations will be referred through conduct processes outlined in the Faculty Manual and the Administrative and Hourly Staff manuals.) Where directly applicable the Student Handbook, and the Administrative and Hourly Staff manuals take precedence over this policy.
Any user of computing and networking resources is subject to disciplinary action up to and even including termination of employment or expulsion from school for serious violations of this policy. Examples of serious violations include, but are not limited to, violations of the law (child pornography, FERPA), software piracy, and unauthorized access to and/or modification of data (academic records, financial, payroll, donor information). FERPA information may be found at http://www.wittenberg.edu/students/ferpa.html. Should it become necessary to deny faculty, staff, or current students access to computing or networking resources, a notice will be sent to them within 24 hours by mail. Should it become necessary to deny any other individual access to computing or networking resources, a notice will be sent to them within 48 hours by mail.
This document last reviewed May 2, 2013.