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Computer Policies

Information Systems Policies and Procedures

The policies contained in this section apply to all faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and guests of Monmouth College who use the Monmouth College Network and to all the Web and information servers operating on the Monmouth Network.

The Monmouth Information Network may not be used in any manner prohibited by federal, state, or local law or disallowed by contracts and licenses. Examples of such laws, rules, policies, contracts, and licenses include the laws of libel, privacy, copyright, trademark, obscenity, and child pornography; the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which prohibit "hacking," "cracking," and similar activities; the College's policies contained in the current printed versions of the Monmouth College: Scots' Guide, Administrative Staff Handbook, Monmouth College Catalog, Faculty Handbook, Support Staff Handbook, and all applicable software licenses. Users who engage in electronic communications with persons in other states or countries or on other systems or networks should be aware that they may also be subject to the laws of those other states and countries and the rules and policies of those other systems and networks. Users are responsible for ascertaining, understanding, and complying with the laws, rules, policies, contracts, and licenses applicable to their particular uses.

Policy on Appropriate Use of Information Technology

Monmouth College provides computing resources in order to advance the College's mission and to meet the educational and professional needs of students, faculty, and staff. Ability to access computing resources does not, by itself, imply authorization to do so. Users are responsible for ascertaining what authorizations are necessary and for obtaining them before proceeding. Accounts and passwords may not, under any circumstances, be shared with, or used by, persons other than those to whom they have been assigned by the College.

Monmouth College supports the statement on software and intellectual rights adopted by EDUCOM, a consortium of several hundred colleges and universities with active interest in educational use of computers.

Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledge, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution.

Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, and trade secret and copyright violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community.

Copies of the complete EDUCOM statement are available from the Information Systems Center.

Users should also be aware that some types of computer abuse (notably intentional damage, and unauthorized alteration of or access to computing systems) are also violations of Illinois and Federal criminal codes, as is the unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted software.

Authorized Use

Use of the Monmouth College computers is limited to those persons identified below and is subject to the following standards of use.

Users

Monmouth College information technology is intended to support all of its member constituents. This includes all students, faculty, and staff. Special accounts can be created for institutionally recognized groups of committees, constituent family members, or alumni. These special accounts are considered on an individual basis and should not be regarded as a normal benefit. Application for a special account is made through the Information Systems office.

Personal use unrelated to College instruction or business is also permitted, but only during non‑peak use periods. However, no employee or student may use Monmouth computers for profit-making ventures or on behalf of external organizations or persons unless such use is directly related to Monmouth courses or to faculty/staff research and professional development.

Students

Computer accounts are disabled after students graduate or withdraw from the College. Accounts may be reactivated for up to one year after a student leaves. Request should be made through the Information Systems office.

Employees

Computer accounts are disabled after an employee leaves.

Faculty/Staff Emeriti

Monmouth faculty/staff emeriti may have limited access to Monmouth academic computing systems. Faculty/staff emeriti must make their request for computing privileges to dean of the faculty.

Accounts

All information technology support is managed through the distribution of system accounts. The system is utilized by first "logging on" to the system account (verifying the operator identity) using a log on name and secret password.

All account applicants must read and sign the Monmouth College Information Technology Account form. These accounts are a privilege granted to those who use them responsibly.

Cost of Computing

There is currently no extra fee for Monmouth College information technology use. This includes hardware and software. Expendable resources (printer paper, toner cartridges, etc.) are charged out to separate departments as they are used. It is expected that all use of information technology services are for Monmouth College academic and administrative use only. Students may use these services to produce single copies of papers or class handouts (not including draft copies). Copy machines are available if multiple pages are needed.

Rules and Regulations

Monmouth College is not responsible for any fines or legal fees that may result from use or misuse of the Monmouth computing systems.

Computer software and electronic transmissions of text and photographs are protected under the Copyright Act of 1976.

The use of the computing systems to harass or threaten others may result in the suspension of computing privileges as well as disciplinary action by the College. The harassment policy is outlined in the Scots' Guide.

Employees and students should refer to the appropriate handbook regarding disciplinary procedures. Users who tamper with system security, access accounts of others without appropriate authorization, send or forward chain letters, maliciously attempt to degrade system performance, change or erase the work of others, send mass emails, post messages containing profane or abusive language could lose their computing privileges and could be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal as an employee and/or student. This list of inappropriate use is not exhaustive.

No person may use or access any other system account without the express permission of the account owner. If a person, through negligence or naiveté, permits unauthorized access then it is the responsibility of the discoverer to promptly exit the account (if opened) and then alert the Information System staff. For example, if a person leaves a workstation without properly logging out of the system, the discoverer should simply log that person out! Any access to the account owner's files or account information would be considered a breech of the discover's account contract with Monmouth College and could result in loss of account privileges. Users will be held responsible for activities taking place within or from their own accounts.

Privacy and Security

Users should be aware that their uses of College computing resources may not be completely private. While the College does not routinely monitor individual usage of its computing resources, the normal operation and maintenance of the College's computing resources require the backup and caching of data and communications, the logging of activity, the monitoring of general usage patterns, and other such activities that are necessary for the rendition of service. The College may also specifically monitor the activity and accounts of individual users of College computing resources, including individual login sessions and communications, without notice, when (a) the user has voluntarily made them accessible to the public, as by posting to Usenet or a web page; (b) it reasonably appears necessary to do so to protect the integrity, security, or functionality of college or other computing resources or to protect the college from liability; (c) there is reasonable cause to believe that the user has violated, or is violating, this policy; (d) an account appears to be engaged in unusual or unusually excessive activity, as indicated by the monitoring of general activity and usage patterns; or (e) it is otherwise required or permitted by law. Any such individual monitoring other than specified in "(a)" or necessary to respond to perceived emergency situations, must be authorized in advance by two vice presidents of Monmouth College or the president and one vice president of Monmouth College. The College, in its discretion, may disclose the results of any such general of individual monitoring, including the contents and records of individual communications, to appropriate College personnel or law enforcement agencies and may use those results in appropriate College disciplinary proceedings.

Communications made by means of College computing resources are also subject to Illinois' Public Records Statute to the same extent as they would be made on paper.

The Information Systems office makes every effort to secure account information from unauthorized use. However, no computer system is absolutely protected. Account owners must take reasonable precautions as well. Passwords are the key to system accounts. If your password is known to others or is easily guessed then the security of your account information is questionable. It is suggested that passwords are changed periodically and that they are not based on nick names, etc.

If there are any questions about account security then the account owners should use a floppy disk (drive A) for all data storage.

World Wide Web Publishing Policy

The policies contained in this section apply to all faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and guests of the Monmouth College Information Network (MCINET) and to all the Web and information servers operating on the Monmouth Network. Every page, both official and personal, on a Monmouth WWW Server is required to have a registered Webmaster (See Webmaster Agreement Form).

Definitions

MCINET (Monmouth College Information Network) ‑ All computer systems and interconnecting communications lines, hardware, and software that are the property of Monmouth College and all Internet Protocol addresses that are in the Monmouth domain. Privately owned systems that are attached to the College‑owned communications lines are considered to be "on the Monmouth Network." This includes any device, on the campus or off, that makes use of an Internet Protocol address that is in the Monmouth domain, such as a dialup PPP (point‑to‑point) protocol connections.

Official Page ‑ World Wide Web information pages (published on the MCINET) that are sanctioned by Monmouth College. This definition includes all of the following categories of WWW pages except for the Personal Web Page.

The College Home Pages ‑ The "main entrances" to the College's electronic communications network. The Alumni and Public Relations Office is responsible for their look and content.

Departmental Web Pages ‑ The pages for College academic departments and administration offices. They are the responsibility of the department/office heads and the home page must contain the correct College nameplate and other items. Student academic clubs or interest groups under the auspices of a department or office must be monitored by a faculty or staff member. These pages must also contain the College visual identity elements, and may – at the request of the mentor or College administration – include an additional clarifying statement.

Centrally Supported Web Pages ‑ Pages that run across department or department/office lines, such as "news and events" pages, interim courses and the like. Prior to the startup it must be decided which office is immediately responsible for any page. These home pages also must contain the College's visual identity elements.

Student Organization Web Pages ‑ Pages for the use of Student Senate‑chartered organizations, found under the departmental Student Life Home Page, and periodically reviewed by the organization's faculty or staff mentor. These pages must contain the College visual identity elements, and may – at the request of the mentor or College administration – include an additional clarifying statement.

Personal Web Pages ‑ Pages representing individual faculty, staff and students of the College.

Webmaster ‑ Every page, both official and personal, is required to have a registered Webmaster.

Monmouth WWW Servers ‑ All systems that are host to pages belonging to registered Information Providers.

Official Pages ‑ The electronic equivalent of the pages of a printed publication of the college. An Official Page is subject to the same standards as the printed materials of the college.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) ‑ The Internet address for a page on the World Wide Web.

Link ‑ A one‑way hyper media connection from one site to another on the World Wide Web. Expressed as a "link to" or "link from" a Web site or page of information.

Official Pages ‑ Quality and Content

Faculty, students and staff may create electronic department pages, organizational pages, and personal pages that conduct official College business or support the College's mission. Electronic pages, and all of their contents, are subject to existing Monmouth College policies as well as local, state and federal laws. Links to other web sites and computers are also covered under this policy. Thus, a page may be judged in violation if it contains links to a page that violates the policy.

Any electronic publication produced at Monmouth College is a reflection of the institution and thus must be of good quality and responsible content. All department and centrally supported home pages must have the Monmouth nameplate and logo. These pages will be regularly reviewed so that the College's electronic image reflects the same excellence as its print publications attempt to convey.

Copyright laws apply to electronic publishing as well as to print publishing. Publisher must have permission to publish the information, graphics, or photographs on their pages if the publisher is not the author or creator. Electronic publications are subject to the same College policies and standards as print publications.

Student organization pages must be periodically reviewed by the faculty or staff mentor, just as mentors review written publications. The College expects mentors and student organization leaders to use sound judgment in page content and quality. The College reserves the right to require a clarifying statement on student organizational pages in coordination with the organization's student leadership and mentor.

Personal Pages

These pages will be linked to an index page under the "People" heading of the Monmouth College website. They may also be accessed, at the discretion of a departmental webmaster, from other pages within the Monmouth College web. Each personal web site must include a home page named "index.htm" or "default.htm" which includes the following disclaimer: "The views and opinions expressed on the following personal web pages are strictly those of the page author. The contents of these pages have not been reviewed or approved by Monmouth College." No commercial business endeavors are to be conducted through personal pages on the College system. Personal web pages may not use the College nameplate, logo or seal anywhere. The College may request that such pages be modified, and reserves the right to – at its discretion and without prior notification – remove from the server any pages that it deems to be in violation of these precepts. The College also reserves the right to suspend the personal web page publishing privileges of any individual who knowingly violates college policy or governmental statute pertaining to electronic publishing, libel or decency.

Intellectual Property/Copyright

Materials that are owned by others may not be placed on Web pages without the expressed permission of the owner. One should assume that materials published on the Web by others are protected by copyright unless a disclaimer or waiver is expressly stated. (Common violations of this policy include unauthorized use of such things as trademarked images of Dilbert, the Simpsons, and Mickey Mouse as well as photographs, artwork, text, and data that have been created or are owned by others.)

Materials licensed to the College by their owner are restricted to use by members of the College community only and may not be redistributed by any method. (Some examples would be Encyclopedia Britannica entries or Chicago Tribune newspaper articles.)

All Web/information servers on the Monmouth Network (both College‑owned and personally owned) must use only legally licensed software.

Commercial Activities

No employee, student, or guest may use systems on the Monmouth Network for profit‑making ventures unless such use is directly related to Monmouth courses, to faculty/staff/student research or professional activities.

Privacy

Pictures, video, audio, or personal information of or about a person or persons may not be placed on Personal Pages without the subject(s)'s expressed permission. The burden of demonstrating consent is on the Webmaster of the page in which the material appears.

The usage of personal information on Official Pages is restricted to that allowed by federal, state, and local laws and by College standards for print publications.

Addendum (10/12/04)

No one will attach any router, wireless access point, or bridge equipment to the Monmouth College network without prior consent from the Information Systems Office. Appliances connected without prior approval from the Information Systems Office will be removed at the owner's expense and the port may be disconnected.

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