Policy for Responsible Use

Introduction

Millersville University recognizes the importance of information technology to the mission of a modern university. These electronic resources provide vital communication links among faculty, students and staff. They are infused into the curriculum and provide expanded opportunities for accessing instruction and information. These resources facilitate research and scholarly endeavors, and they aid collaboration within and beyond the borders of the campus. Information technology permits the University to provide its services to faculty, students, staff, and the community and to streamline administrative processes. Millersville University makes electronic resources available to faculty, staff and students for the purpose of conducting official University business, including academic scholarship and research purposes.

Millersville University's expectation of responsible, considerate, and ethical behavior extends to cover the use of campus microcomputers and workstations, departmental computing facilities, general-use computers, campus network resources, video conferencing, fax, telephone, cable TV, and networks throughout the world to which the University provides computer access. Use of University resources must comply with State and Federal law and University policies.

This policy covers all electronic media, including but not limited to: campus and State System of Higher Education networks, central and distributed computing facilities, voice and video networks and systems, electronic mail, listserv and mailing list discussion groups, Internet and world wide web access, and electronic records stored on either servers or systems under the control of an individual or the university.

Uses of public electronic resources (such as computer labs) other than for these purposes is not permitted. Occasional and limited personal use of electronic resources for telephone, voice mail, e-mail or Internet access is expected but this privilege can be withdrawn by the University for any use or application that the University at its sole discretion deems inappropriate. If the non-business usage of any information service results in a direct cost to the university for any reason, it is the individual's responsibility to reimburse the University. Any commercial use intended for personal profit or financial gain may be a violation of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Electronic Mail

The use of E-Mail is a privilege which may be revoked at any time for abusive conduct. The following type of information or software cannot be placed on any University owned technology system:

  1. that which infringes upon the rights of another person;
  2. that which may injure someone else and/or lead to prosecution for violation of law (examples of these are: pirated software, destructive software, or pornographic materials);
  3. that which consists of any advertisements for commercial enterprises. It is a violation of the Federal Postal Lottery Statute to send chain letters through electronic messaging which request sending money or something of value through the US mail.

Electronic forums such as distribution lists and newsgroups have expectations regarding subject area and etiquette for postings. Members of the Millersville University community should be considerate of the expectations and sensitivities of others.

Network Use

All users of the computing/information network facilities must act responsibly and maintain the integrity of these resources. The University reserves the right to limit, restrict, or extend computing/information network privileges and access to its resources. Deliberate acts which are wasteful of computing/information network resources or which unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of others are prohibited. These acts include, but are not limited to, sending mass mailings or chain letters, creating unnecessary multiple jobs or processes, obtaining unnecessary output, or printing or creating unnecessary network traffic. Printing multiple copies of any document including resumes, theses, and dissertations is also prohibited.

No person shall knowingly run or install on any of the University's computer systems, or give to another, a program which could result in the eventual damage to a file, computer system, or information network, and/or the reproduction of itself. This is directed towards, but not limited to, the classes of programs known as computer viruses, Trojan horses, and worms. No person shall attempt to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover security loopholes.

Use of the University's network resources to gain or attempt to gain unauthorized access to remote computers is prohibited. Any network traffic exiting the University is subject to the acceptable use policies of the network through which it flows (e.g., NSFNET, SSHEnet, etc.), as well as to the policies listed here.

Webpages

Millersville University recognizes the value and potential of personal publishing on the internet and allows students, staff and faculty to develop individual WWW pages that are consistent with University business, academic advancement and research purposes.

Software

All persons shall abide by the terms of all software licensing agreements and copyright laws. In particular, unauthorized copying of copyrighted software is prohibited, unless the University has a site license specifically allowing the copying of that software. Furthermore, the copying of site licensed software for distribution to persons other than Millersville University faculty, staff, and students, or the copying of site licensed software for use at locations not covered under the terms of the license agreement, is prohibited.

User Accounts

All faculty, staff and students shall use only the computer or network ID that was assigned to him/her, unless multiple access for the ID has been authorized by the Vice President for Information Technology or his/her delegate. Users may use only the password(s) provided to them and shall not try in any way to obtain a password for another user's computer or network ID. Attempting to disguise the identity of the account or machine you are using is prohibited.

Privacy and Confidentiality of Electronic Media

The University recognizes the role of privacy in an institution of higher learning and will make every attempt to honor that ideal. Recent court decisions and amendments to Pennsylvania’s Right-To-Know Law (65 P.S. §67.101 et seq.) establish, however, that University employees should not presume that they have privacy expectations with respect to information stored on or sent through University-owned information technology resources. In addition, the University may be required to provide information stored in its information technology resources to someone other than the user as a result of court order or a civil, criminal, or internal administrative investigation. Although the University reserves its management rights with regard to care, custody, and control of information technology resources, the University will not routinely monitor or review the contents of a user’s computer(s) or accounts(s).

Consequences

Violation of one or more of these published policies may result in a loss of access to the University computing/information network systems pending referral to the appropriate disciplinary process or as the result of such process. Violators may also be subject to prosecution under Federal or State law.