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Columbia College Chicago
Network and Computer Use Policy
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Network and Computer Use Policy

1.  PURPOSE

Columbia College Chicago provides information technology for educational, research and administrative applications for its current faculty, staff and students (hereinafter, the "Columbia College Community"). In general, the Columbia College Community may use College information technology (which includes privately owned computers connected to the College network via wireless network) in connection with the College's teaching and student-centered mission. Because these technologies leverage each individual's ability to access and copy information from remote sources, users must be mindful of the rights of others to their privacy, intellectual property and other rights.  This Use Policy codifies what is considered appropriate use of computers and networks with respect to the rights of others. With the privilege to use the information resources of the College come specific responsibilities outlined in this policy.

2. AUTHORIZED USE

2.1 Access to Columbia College Chicago information technology and network resources imposes certain responsibilities and obligations and is granted subject to College policies and local, state and federal laws. Computer and network resource use should always be legal and ethical, reflect academic honesty and community standards, and show restraint in the consumption of shared resources.

2.2. Authorized use of Columbia College-owned computer and network resources is consistent with the education, research, and service mission of the College. Such use includes instruction, independent study, research, community service, communications with professional colleagues and official business of offices, units, recognized student and campus organizations and agencies of the College. The term "authorized use" does not preclude use of computer and network resources for private endeavors provided such endeavors do not violate this policy or burden the uses outlined above. The College reserves the right to extend, limit, restrict or deny privileges and access to its computing resources and to retrieve and read any E-mail message sent using College resources.

2.3. Authorized users of Columbia College-owned computer and network resources are (1) the Columbia College Community and (2) any other individual, group or business entity granted permission by an individual department chair or unit director responsible for particular information technology or network resources, provided such use is otherwise in compliance with this policy and does not unduly interfere with use by the Columbia College Community.

 

3. APPLICABILITY

3.1.  Hardware and Software
This policy is applicable to all electronic data storage, retrieval and communication apparatus (computers, servers, networking devices, telephones, printers, networked copiers or other information technology hardware) and all official applications software owned, licensed or leased by the College. In addition, any information technology that connects directly to the College data or telephone networks, connects directly to a computer or other device owned or operated by the college, and/or otherwise uses or affects College information-technology facilities is subject to College information-technology policies, regardless of its owner.

3.2 Data Management and Related Software
For purposes of this policy, information technology and network resources also include all electronic databases made accessible via Columbia College Chicago but owned by other entities. These databases include on-line services to which the College subscribes on behalf of and for the benefit of the Columbia College Community.

A. College Portal Technology

The College Portal includes Campus Groups (defined groups of faculty, staff and students to whom the college will communicate information directly to and who can communicate with each other). Except for information posted to the Portal by the Administration, Columbia College Chicago does not control the content of information or files delivered to Campus Groups. Columbia College Chicago neither accepts nor assumes any obligation to monitor the Campus Groups.

B. Electronic Mail

All messages composed, sent, or received on the E-mail system are and remain the property of the College. They are not the private property of any Columbia College Chicago Community member.  The use of the E-mail systems is for College business only and may not be used to solicit for commercial ventures, religious or political causes, outside organizations or other non-job-related solicitations.

4. LICENSE GRANTED TO COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO

4.1.  By posting messages, uploading files, inputting data or engaging in any form of communication via the network, users grant Columbia College Chicago a royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide license to use, copy, sublicense, adapt, transmit, publicly perform or display any such communication.

4.2.  This agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Illinois without giving effect to any principles or conflicts of law. If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

5. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

5.1. The rights and responsibilities discussed in this document are designed to ensure fair access for all users. College information technology is intended for the use of the Columbia College Community for teaching, learning and administrative college purposes. Any use that is counter to these purposes or that interferes with such use by others is unacceptable. Each person exercising the privilege of using Columbia College Chicago information technology and network resources accepts certain implied obligations and limitations (such as storage space, bandwidth, time limits, etc.). Members of the Columbia College Community may not use information technology in ways that interfere with or demean others or that consume excessive college resources.

A. Users of the Columbia College Chicago Portal may not:

1. Restrict or inhibit any other user from using and enjoying the Campus Groups.

2. Post or transmit any unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, or defamatory information of any kind, including without limitation any transmissions constituting or encouraging conduct that would violate any local, state, national or international law.

3. Knowingly post or transmit any information, software or other material that violates or infringes upon the rights of others-including material that is an invasion of privacy or publicity rights; material that is protected by copyright, trademark, or other proprietary right; or derivative works with respect thereto-without first obtaining permission from the owner or rights holder.

4. Knowingly post or transmit any information, software or other material that contains a virus or other harmful component.

5. Post, transmit or in any way exploit any information, software or other material for commercial purposes, or material that contains advertising.

B. Users of the Columbia College Chicago E-mail may not:

1. Abuse the E-mail or Internet systems through excessive personal use or in violation of the law.

2. Send or requested delivery of pornography or racially derogatory, discriminating, threatening or abusive communication. Community members should always ensure that the business information contained in E-mail/Internet messages is accurate, appropriate and lawful.

3. Send or receive copyrighted materials, proprietary information, or similar materials without prior authorization.  The College reserves the right to review, audit, intercept, access and disclose all messages created, received or sent over the E-mail system for any purpose.

4. Retrieve or read any E-mail messages that are not sent to them. All messages should be treated as confidential and accessible only by the intended recipient.

5.2. Privacy
Each user of Columbia College Chicago information technology and network resources is entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy except when the Columbia College Chicago Administration has probable cause to believe a particular use violates local, state or federal law or when the college has reason to believe that the technology is being used in a threatening, abusive, libelous and inflammatory manner, the Associate VP/CIO will screen reported problems and direct them to appropriate existing administrative bodies for resolution.

5.3. Academic Freedom of Speech
Columbia College Chicago establishes its information technology and network resources as "limited public forums." This means that, except as stated below, authorized users may not be censured based upon, or otherwise limited in, the content of data, files, or communication stored, received, or communicated via Columbia College Chicago information technology and network resources provided such information is related to authorized use as defined herein.

5.4. Illegal Speech
Except for Official Information, Columbia College Chicago exercises no editorial control over the content of information created or published via Columbia College Chicago information technology and network resources. Except for Official Information, the content of information created or published via Columbia College Chicago information technology and network resources shall be the sole and exclusive responsibility of the author of such information. Nevertheless, when it is brought to the attention of the Information Technology Department that a user is using Columbia College Chicago information technology and network resources in violation of this policy or local, state, or federal law, the Associate VP/CIO will screen reported problems and direct them to appropriate existing administrative bodies for resolution.

5.5. Intellectual Property Rights
All users must comply with local, state, and federal laws regarding ownership of intellectual property. Although Columbia College Chicago accepts no responsibility or obligation to regulate, approve or otherwise exercise editorial control over non-official information published via its computer or network resources, the College reserves the right to remove any material from its information technology or network resources when such material is in violation of local, state or federal intellectual property rights,  the Associate VP/CIO will screen reported problems and direct them to appropriate existing administrative bodies for resolution.

6. SPECIFIC PROHIBITIONS

6.1. Harassment
No user may use Columbia College Chicago information technology and network resources to harass any other person. For purposes of this policy, harassment shall include, (1) using the computer and network resources with the intent to annoy, terrify, intimidate, or threaten another person, (2) using the computer and network resources with the intent to repeatedly communicate with another person (except via listserv to which the other person voluntarily subscribes) after that person has informed the user to no longer contact him or her, or (3) using the computer and network resources to disrupt or damage official College functions. When it is brought to the attention of the Columbia College Chicago Information Technology Department that a user is violating the prohibition against harassment, the Associate VP/Chief Information Officer will work with the administration to screen problems and direct them to appropriate existing administrative bodies for resolution.

6.2. Commercial Use
No user may use Columbia College Chicago information technology and network resources for private commercial gain.

6.3. Misrepresentation
No user who creates or maintains a personal web page using Columbia College Chicago information technology and network resources may represent the information contained therein as official information nor may such user represent that he or she is acting on behalf of Columbia College.

6.4. Violations of Copyright
No user may use, publish, copy or store copyrighted material via Columbia College Chicago information technology and networking resources without the permission of the copyright owner.

7. SANCTIONS

7.1. Upon notice and determination that an authorized user has violated this policy, the Columbia College Chicago Administration may take such actions as will prevent future violations by directing them to appropriate existing administrative bodies for resolution.

8.  CONSEQUENCES OF MISUSE OF COMPUTING PRIVILEGES

8.1. When an authorized user has violated this policy or when any use of information technology at the College presents an imminent threat to other users or to the College's technology infrastructure, the IT department may take whatever steps are necessary to isolate the threat without prior notice if circumstances so require. These steps constitute revocation of the privilege to use Columbia College Chicago information technology and network resources by changing passwords, locking files, disabling computers, or disconnecting specific devices or entire sub-networks from College, regional, or national voice and data networks. The IT department will restore connectivity and functionality as soon as possible after the threat has been identified and neutralized.

8.2. Telephones, computers, network connections, accounts, usernames, authorization codes, and passwords are issued to Users to identify them as authorized users of College information technology. Users must not share their privileges with others, and must ensure that authorization codes and passwords remain confidential.

8.3. To prevent computer viruses, adware and spyware from being transmitted through the college network, only authorized downloads will be permitted. The college has a legal obligation to remove any illegally loaded or pirated software on college-owned equipment. Software provided to anyone by the college for use in the organization may not be copied, duplicated or installed without a license without explicit authorization from the College.

8.4. Violation of the Network and Computer Use Policy may result in disciplinary proceedings including possible termination and, in some cases, in legal action. Disciplinary proceedings involving information technology may have serious consequences. Unauthorized use of College information technology by Users may result in police intervention or legal action.

8.5. Where definition of user or application status become unclear or where patterns of use appear to be out of compliance with this policy, the Associate Vice President/Chief Information Officer will provide interpretations or direction as appropriate on behalf of the college community. Where necessary, the Associate Vice President/Chief Information Officer will consult the with the President's Cabinet.