Responsible Use of Information Technology Resources

Purpose

Willamette University provides its information technology resources primarily to support its instructional, research and service missions. This policy outlines the individual responsibilities for use of these information technology resources by the Willamette University community in order to ensure:

  • reliable operation of the information technology infrastructure,
  • fair access to resources,
  • the free exchange of ideas,
  • adherence to all applicable federal, state and local laws, applicable contracts and licenses and University policies,
  • protection of individual rights of privacy, and
  • protection of institutional data and other information resources.

Applicability

This policy applies to all users of Willamette University's information technology resources that include, but are not limited to, computing equipment, networks, institutional data, the library's digital resources and databases, and telecommunications devices whether owned, operated, leased or otherwise provided by Willamette University, and whether accessed from on or off campus.

It applies to equipment and software not owned by the institution only insofar as that equipment or software utilizes or impacts Willamette's information technology resources.

Responsible Use

Precedence in the use of information technology resources is given to activities that support the instructional, research and service missions of the University. Other uses may be allowed if they do not significantly consume resources or interfere with other users, but may be restricted by Willamette Integrated Technology Services.

All users of Willamette University's information technology resources will use only those computer and information technology resources and data for which they have authorization and only in the manner and to the extent they are authorized. Users will not tamper with, deliberately damage or attempt unauthorized access of any of the University's information technology resources. Individuals who are unsure about whether they are authorized to utilize a particular information technology resource should assume that they are not authorized until a University official grants such authorization.

Therefore in order to comply, all users of Willamette University's information technology resources are responsible for:

  • Protecting their network access credentials and maintaining the security of their accounts;
  • Refraining from sharing or allowing others to use their accounts;
  • Respecting the finite capacity of the resources and limiting use so as not to consume an unreasonable amount of resources or interfering with the activity of others;
  • Respecting intellectual property and not violating copyright;
  • Protecting the integrity of any information they enter or store on Willamette University's systems;
  • Refraining from any activity that may compromise the operation of Willamette University's computing and network devices or the software installed on those devices;
  • Respecting the privacy and personal rights of others, guarding against abuses and actively taking action to protect the rights of other users of Willamette University's information technology resources;
  • Protecting the confidentiality, availability and integrity of computing and information technology resources, including data; and
  • Abiding by applicable federal, state and local laws, University policies, as well as applicable contracts and licenses.

Prohibited Uses

Under no circumstances shall members of the University community or others use the University's information technology resources in ways that:

  • Violate federal, state or local laws, University policies, or applicable contracts and licenses;
  • Intimidate, threaten or harass other individuals;
  • Interfere with reasonable use by other members of the University community;
  • Reveal confidential information or violate individual rights to privacy;
  • Attempt unauthorized access to any information technology resource;
  • Purposely damage or degrade any information technology resources; or
  • Threaten the University's tax-exempt or other status.

Privacy and Security

As required by federal and state law or other University policy, the University will attempt to manage its information technology resources to maintain an individual's privacy. However, the University does not guarantee the confidentiality of any information entering or residing on its systems and will not be liable for the failure of these privacy efforts. While the University does not routinely monitor individual usage of its computing resources, the normal operation and maintenance of the University's computing resources require the backup and caching of data and communications, the logging of activity, the monitoring of general usage patterns, the scanning of systems and network ports for anomalies and vulnerabilities, and other such activities that are necessary for the rendition of service. The University also reserves the right to access and examine any information on its systems or traversing its networks.

Responsibility for Policy, Enforcement and Sanctions

The Vice President of Integrated Technology Services will determine operational policies, networking standards and procedures to implement the principles outlined in this policy. Willamette Integrated Technology Services has the right to take actions to protect the University's information technology resources and enforce this policy.

Failure to comply with the appropriate use of computing and information technology resources threatens the atmosphere for the sharing of information, the free exchange of ideas and the secure environment for creating and maintaining information. Willamette Integrated Technology Services has the right to isolate, reduce or eliminate the privileges of any user of the University's information technology resources that it has determined has violated any of these policies. It may refer students to the University's Judicial System for further sanctions. Employees of the University may receive sanctions as outlined in the University's Administrative Handbook. A violation of these policies may result in civil or criminal penalties.

(Last Revised December 15, 2008)