Chicago 430 S. Michigan Ave.Chicago, IL 60605(312) 341-3500
Schaumburg 1400 N. Roosevelt Blvd.Schaumburg, IL 60173(847) 619-7300
For the latest version of this policy, visit the Information Technology policy page.
The purpose of the Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources Policy is to ensure an information infrastructure that promotes the teaching, learning, research, professional and community service missions of the University. Electronic resources are powerful enabling technologies for accessing and distributing the information and knowledge developed at the University and for facilitating communication and collaboration among members of the University community and with the world at large. As such, they are strategic technologies for the current and future needs of the University.
Electronic resources give individuals the ability to access and communicate sensitive information. This policy is designed to secure the rights of others to the privacy of their personal information.
Electronic resources are often shared resources. This policy provides the basis for equitable sharing of resources among members of the University community.
This policy explains the rights and responsibilities that users share in sustaining the electronic resources made available to them by the University. This policy will provide a reference for University students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, contractors and authorized guests, and will communicate the roles and responsibilities of those charged with maintenance, operation and oversight of University electronic resources.
Within the University community each person will have differing purposes for accessing electronic resources; however, each person also has a shared responsibility to utilize those electronic resources in a manner consistent with the University's policies and procedures. In addition, users are bound by the requirements of local, state, federal and international laws and contractual commitments.
By striving for compliance, the University can assure its ability to provide, maintain and protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of its data, systems, services and facilities.
This policy applies to all persons accessing or using University electronic resources. This includes University students, faculty, emeriti faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, contractors, agents and all other persons authorized for access or use privileges by the University, commonly referred to as users.
Electronic resources covered by this policy include, without limitation:
All users are to utilize all appropriate precautions to maintain the accuracy, integrity and confidentiality of confidential data, ensure that no unauthorized disclosures occur, refrain from sharing confidential information with anyone not authorized to access it, and comply with all University, local, state and federal policies and laws with respect to confidentiality of information, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
The University provides electronic resources to users to facilitate their advancement of the University's mission. The University will not routinely monitor an individual user's electronic data, software or communication files. However, users should have no expectation of privacy in network activity or files stored on University equipment. Electronic messages (including email) and files that are transmitted, received or stored with the use of the University's resources, whether or not saved or deleted, are the property of the University.
Users may not:
Electronic data, software and communications files stored on central servers are copied to backup media and stored. Backups are intended to enable recovery of data in case of major system failures; however, individual email messages may be recovered. Users are responsible for backing up their own personal computer data.
All activity on systems and networks may be monitored, logged and reviewed by system administrators or discovered in legal proceedings. In addition, all documents created, stored, transmitted or received on University computers and networks may be subject to monitoring by systems administrators.
The University has the right to access, monitor and disclose the contents and activity of an individual user's account(s) and to access any University-owned electronic resources and any non-University-owned electronic resource on University property that is connected to University networks. This action may be taken:
This action will be taken with written authorization from the vice president for technology and chief information officer and the designated responsible administrator (as defined in the "Enforcement" section of this document).
The University has the right to monitor or block electronic content in three ways. The University may:
The University may also control the amount of network bandwidth available at any given time for specific types of applications or classes of users. Examples include allocating increased bandwidth for resident students and student laboratories during hours when offices are not typically open and classes are not in session, and constraining the bandwidth allocated for streaming audio and video if there is no demonstrated academic application for the service.
University employees, including personnel in the Division of Information Technology, may not:
Software may not be copied, installed or used on University electronic resources except as permitted by the owner of the software and by law. Software subject to licensing must be properly licensed and all license provisions (including installation, use, copying, number of simultaneous users, terms of the license, etc.) must be strictly observed.
All copyrighted information, such as text and images, retrieved from electronic resources or stored, transmitted or maintained with electronic resources must be used in conformance with applicable copyright and other laws. Copied material used legally must be properly attributed in conformance with applicable legal and professional standards.
Computer and network resources are provided to support University functions. The University permits the use of its computer and network resources for limited personal activities, but personal use must conform to University policies and must not interfere with the primary goals of supporting teaching, learning, research and service.
Users may not use electronic resources for:
University electronic resources may not be used for commercial purposes, except as specifically permitted under other written policies of the University or with the written approval of senior vice president, finance and operations and CFO. Any such commercial use must be properly related to University activities and provide for appropriate reimbursement to the University for taxes and other costs the University may incur by reason of the commercial use.
Users are also reminded that the ".edu" domain on the Internet has rules restricting or prohibiting commercial use; activities not appropriate for the ".edu" domain that otherwise are permissible within the University's electronic resources should be performed on other domains.
The University designates "responsible administrators" for cases involving possible misuse of electronic resources or for the inspection of email or other user files. The responsible administrators are: the president for cases involving members of the Executive Council, the provost and executive vice president for cases involving academic deans and faculty, the vice president for human resources for cases involving staff and administrators, and the vice president for enrollment and student services for cases involving students.
In any and all cases where acceptable use comes into question, management of the University reserves the right to determine what is appropriate and acceptable and what is not. This section outlines the procedures that will apply in the case of suspected violations of University policies.
All users are encouraged to report to the chief information officer, or through procedures outlined in the University's Whistle Blower Policy, any suspected violations of University computer policies. Users, when requested, are expected to cooperate with University officials in any investigation of system abuse. Failure to cooperate may be grounds for cancellation of access privileges, or other disciplinary actions.
If University officials have sufficient evidence of misuse of computing resources, and if that evidence points to the computing activities or the computer files of an individual, they shall pursue one or more of the following steps, as appropriate, to protect other users and electronic resources.
The University retains final authority to define what constitutes proper use and may prohibit or discipline use the University deems inconsistent with this or other University policies, contracts and standards. The University also reserves the right to change the policies, information, requirements and procedures announced in this policy at any time. Changes required by University contractual commitments shall become effective and binding upon users upon execution of any such contract by the University. A user shall be deemed to have accepted and be bound by any change in University policies, information, requirements or procedures if such user does use electronic resources at any time following announcement or publication of such change.
Individual units within the University may define supplemental policies or conditions of acceptable use for electronic resources under their control with the written review and approval of the chief information officer. These additional policies or conditions must be consistent with this policy but may provide additional detail, guidelines and/or restrictions. This policy will supersede any inconsistent provision of any unit policy or condition.
The University makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for providing electronic resources to any user. The University bears no responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information or services obtained through electronic resources. The University will not be responsible for any damages suffered from the use of University electronic resources, including loss of data, delays, service interruptions, missed deliveries or failed deliveries. Use of University electronic resources is at the user's own risk, including the reliability or security of information obtained, transmitted, received or stored.
This policy document is based, in part, on the acceptable usage policy documents of Stanford University and Marquette University.