4.09 – Information Technology Acceptable Usage

A. Purpose

To establish the standard for acceptable use of information technology (IT) resources and establish the parameters for the use of IT resources consistent with college policies and local, state, and federal laws.

B. Policy

In accordance with local, state, and federal laws, college information technology resources are provided for institutional-related purposes including support for the college mission, instruction, administrative functions, student resources, and for purposes considered acceptable by the college.

C. Procedures

This policy applies to all authorized users who access IT resources under control of the college including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, the Board of Trustees, visitors, contractors, consultants, and all other authorized users as determined by the college.

IT resources include all computer hardware and software, user accounts, voice or data networks, mobile communication devices, and electronic information that is owned, licensed, managed, operated, stored, provided by, or otherwise associated with the college.

All authorized users who are assigned access to college information systems are responsible for the security of data, software, and associated equipment and agree to comply with all federal, state, and local laws. Users must adhere to the terms of all software licenses and contractual agreements.

Employees’ access to data is granted on the basis of their respective job descriptions and responsibilities. All employee authorizations for data access must be approved by the employee’s supervisor and submitted to IT for activation.

Acceptable Use of IT Resources

Acceptable use of the college’s IT resources includes the following, and authorized users of the college’s IT resources agree to and accept the following:

Using IT resources for purposes only related to the college’s mission or administrative purposes.

Using IT resources and only doing so in the manner and extent to which they are individually authorized.

Protecting accounts and authentication credentials (e.g., passwords) from unauthorized use.

Sharing data only with others as permitted by applicable policies and procedures.

Complying with security controls on all IT resources used for college purposes, whether or not operated by the college.

Using college’s IT resources for personal use must remain minor and incidental and must not negatively impact job performance and responsibilities.

Unacceptable Use of IT Resources

Authorized users must not engage in unacceptable use of the college’s IT resources, including but not limited to, the following:

Violating federal, state, or local laws; regulations; licenses and contract agreements; or college policies.

Committing, attempting to commit, or facilitating acts of academic dishonesty.

Intentionally disrupting, attempting to disrupt, damaging, or exposing IT resources to unauthorized access or harm.

Sharing or transferring authentication details to others or circumventing the college’s technical, administrative, or process controls or measures, which could allow unauthorized users to gain access to the college’s IT resources.

Engaging in paid consulting, non-college business purposes, or activities for political gain, unless allowed by other college policies.

Engaging in unauthorized commercial activities for personal gain, fundraising, or other business unrelated to the college, including soliciting, promoting, selling, marketing, or advertising products or services.

Engaging in content deemed inappropriate including, but not limited to, visiting sites that pose a threat to the network, harassment of, threats to or defamation of others, creation of a hostile environment, and illegal discrimination.

Sending, posting or displaying material in emails, webpages, or other electronic forms of communication in violation of RSMo 565.090, 537.523, 537.110, or 573.010-573.065, or other local, state, or federal law.

Expectation of Privacy and Security

The college will take responsible measures to protect the privacy of its IT resources and accounts. The college does not guarantee absolute security and privacy. There are circumstances in which the college may access, monitor, limit and/or disclose a user’s communications or other data on e-resources without the user’s permission.

These circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:

To maintain the integrity of the college systems, network or data;

When required by federal, state or local law, administrative rules, court order or other legal authority;

To preserve the health and safety of individuals or the college community;

When there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of law or a significant breach of college policy may have taken place; or

To address a legitimate business need or system maintenance.

The college monitors activity on IT resources and may block or filter content deemed to be inappropriate, lacking educational value, or that poses a threat to the network. This includes, but is not limited to, material that is defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, or illegal.

Authorized users can request to unblock a website using the provided form on the blocked site or by emailing helpdesk@otc.edu. The IT department will review the website and its appropriateness to the OTC community. If the request is determined to be valid, the site will be unblocked and a notification will be sent indicating that the request has been honored. In the event the request is determined to be invalid, an explanation will be provided.

Internet & Electronic Communications

College electronic communications are to be used to enhance and facilitate teaching, learning, scholarly research, support academic experiences, facilitate the effective business and administrative processes of the college, and foster effective communications within the academic community. Electronic mail, news posts, chat sessions or any other forms of electronic communication must comply with state and federal law. The college reserves the right to review all electronic communications at its discretion.

Reporting Non-compliance

Individuals should report employee non-compliance with the policy to the Office of Human Resources, and student non-compliance with the policy to the Dean of Students. Violations of, or non-compliance with, the policy may lead to college disciplinary action under college policies 3.40 Employee Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures and 5.15 Standards of Student Conduct, as well as legal action.

Appeal Process

Appeals of disciplinary action resulting from enforcement of this policy will be handled through existing disciplinary/grievance processes under policies 3.40 Employee Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures and 5.16 Student Discipline and Appeals.

D. Definitions

Information technology resources are all hardware, software, accounts, voice or data networks access, and electronic information that is owned, contracted, managed, operated, stored or provided by Ozarks Technical Community College.

College Community are students, faculty and staff of the college, the Board of Trustees, visitors, contractors and consultants performing work or services on college owned or leased properties and all other invitees of the college.

E. Authority

This policy and these procedures are maintained under the authority of the executive vice chancellor for academic services.

F. Related Policies

3.40 – Employee Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures

3.42 – Employee Use of College Resources and Space

5.15 – Standards of Student Conduct

5.16 – Student Discipline and Appeals

5.24 – Academic Integrity

G. Implementation

Purpose, Procedures, Definitions, Authority and Related Policies sections approved and adopted by the Chancellor’s Cabinet on 06/07/22

Policy approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees on 09/08/98 and revised 2/13/06 and 08/08/22

Set the policy for review 2023-2024