Information Technology Resources Acceptable Use Policy
To enhance its educational, cultural, and economic missions in service to the community, Sandhills Community College provides students, faculty, staff, and community members with computers, tools, instruments, and facilities that provide access to campus and global information resources. The College expects and requires ethical and responsible behavior of individuals using information resources. This policy statement identifies acceptable uses of these resources and includes circumstances in which the interests and rights of others must be protected and preserved.
This procedure applies to all users including faculty, students, staff and visitors using College computing and network resources and to all systems owned by the College and any systems connecting to the College’s network. Use of College systems signifies your understanding and agreement with these terms.
Information technology (IT) includes but is not limited to all computers, tools, instruments, or facilities which enable individuals to access or interact with information available through the library system, the internet, or local campus networks. Resources may be individually controlled or shared, stand-alone or networked. Included in this definition are classroom technologies, computing and electronic communication devices and services, email, telephones (including cellular), voice mail, multimedia, instructional materials, and related supporting devices or technologies.
By using College-supplied information technology resources, individuals, groups, or organizations agree to abide by all policies and procedures adopted by Sandhills Community College, as well as all current federal, state, and local laws. These include College policies and procedures against harassment, plagiarism, and unethical conduct, as well as local, state, and federal laws prohibiting theft, copyright infringement, insertion of malicious software into computer systems, and other unlawful intrusions. When individuals accept College issued user accounts, they agree to comply with this and all other computing related policies.
All users of the College’s computing resources are presumed to have read and understood the following standards.
The College’s information technology acceptable use standards require that each user:
- Respect software copyright laws. Software licensed by the College must only be used in accordance with the applicable license agreements.
- Abide by all security provisions. Users are not permitted to share authentication details or provide access to their college accounts to anyone else. The owner is responsible for all usage on their assigned account.
- Respect the rights of others to have freedom from harassment or intimidation. Sending abusive or unwanted materials is a violation of college policies, may violate the law and is prohibited. Targeting another person, group or organization to cause distress, embarrassment, injury, unwanted attention or other substantial discomfort is harassment. Personal attacks or other actions to threaten, intimidate or embarrass an individual, group or organization, or attacks based on a person’s race, color, national origin, creed, disability, religion, gender, veteran status, sexual orientation, age, arrest record, or marital status are prohibited.
- Identify yourself clearly and accurately in electronic communication. Anonymous or pseudo-anonymous communications do not dissociate any user from responsibility for their actions and are inappropriate. Communication under a false name or designation or a name or designation which the user is not authorized to use, including instances in conjunction with representing that the user is somehow acting on behalf of or under the auspices of Sandhills Community College is prohibited.
- Recognize the College reserves the right to access, review, and monitor the use of computing resources. This includes but is not limited to equipment and usage, as well as the data that is stored or transmitted.
- Observe proper online etiquette. Online networks shall be used only as permitted by the College, only in accordance with applicable College policies and only for lawful purposes. Any conduct that in the College’s discretions restricts or inhibits others from using an online network or violates College policies or applicable law is not permitted. Users are prohibited from posting on or transmitting through any online network any unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, profane, hateful, racially or ethnically demeaning or threatening or otherwise objectionable material of any kind, including without limitation, any material which encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any applicable law or college policies. Transmission of chain letters and pyramid schemes of any kind are prohibited. Use of any online network to send unsolicited advertising, promotional materials or other forms of solicitation to others is prohibited. The College reserves the right to restrict and/or interrupt communications through or by use of any College computers or information technology services, which the College believes to be harmful to the College or to others.
- Refrain from using applications that inhibit or interfere with the use of the network by others. This includes but is not limited to applications which use an unusually high portion of network bandwidth for extended periods of time.
Violations of this policy shall be cause for discipline. Alleged violations of this policy shall be subject to the College’s existing disciplinary procedures. Sandhills Community College treats access and use violations of information technology resources seriously. Unauthorized or improper use will lead to the possible revocation of a user’s access. The College may also require restitution for any use which is in violation of the usage guidelines. Sandhills Community College will pursue criminal and civil prosecution of violators when appropriate.
Users should recognize that limitations to the privacy of electronic documents. The College cannot guarantee privacy of any accounts. Violation of this policy grants the operator of the system the right to review a user’s usage and waives all rights of privacy the user (including students, faculty, staff, and community members) may claim or may have. The College retains the right to release the names of users to appropriate authorities in accordance with college procedures.
All equipment attached to the College network, including wireless networks, must be approved by the Chief Information Officer except in specifically identified public access areas.
Additional limitations or prohibitions may exist in departmental facilities. Individuals are responsible for adhering to these policies and observing posted guidelines. Refer all inquires to the specific department. In addition, all interactions outside the College are subject to the acceptable use policies of the outside agencies such as network access providers, telecommunications companies, or software developers.
The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Sandhills Community College, its Board of Trustees, and college employees from and against any claim, lawsuit, cause of action, damage judgement, loss, expense, or liability resulting from any claim, including reasonable attorney’s fees, arising out of or related to the use of the College’s hardware, software, and network facilities. This indemnity shall include without limitation, those claims based on trademark or service mark infringement, trade name infringement, copyright infringement, defamation, unlawful discrimination or harassment, rights of publicity, and invasion of privacy.
Individual organizations within the College may establish and define procedures or conditions for use of information technology resources under their control. Established procedures or conditions must be consistent with this overall policy but may provide additional detail, guidelines, or restrictions. In addition, all interactions outside the College are subject to the acceptable use policies of the outside agencies such as network access providers, telecommunications companies, or software developers.
Please note: College adherence to NCCCS IIPS Information Security Manual (and any subsequent revisions): the College will reference the NCCCS IIPS Information Security Manual in developing any procedures related to employee use of system access and data management. The manual is housed in the office of the Chief Information Officer and Human Resources.
Intellectual Property, Copyright and Fair Use
As a public, non-profit institution, the College recognizes that its resources must be used for the express purpose of the college mission, must be allocated wisely, and must recover the cost for use of its resources. This policy supports the College’s mission while it encourages and supports the intellectual property rights of the faculty, staff, and students at the College, including its facilities, equipment, and all other resources. Sandhills Community College complies with all federal and state laws governing the educational use of copyrighted material. It is the policy of Sandhills Community College to comply with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. All Sandhills Community College faculty, staff, and students are expected to act as responsible users of the copyrighted works of others which includes making informed decisions based on the fair use exemptions to the copyright laws.
Sandhills Community College provides an environment that supports the academic activities of the faculty, staff, and students. The College encourages the development, writing, invention, and production of intellectual property designed to improve the productivity of the College and/or to enhance the teaching/learning environment. It is the intent of the College to maintain a positive atmosphere for scholarly development.
As used in this Policy, the following words shall have the following meanings:
- Intellectual property: Intellectual property is defined as intellectual and creative works that can be copyrighted or patented, such as literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, computer software, multimedia presentations, inventions, etc. Intellectual Property includes any materials specifically created for use in a distance education course. These materials could include, but are not limited to study guides, software, videotaped lectures, databases, lectures, transparencies, visual aids, lab manuals, syllabi, bibliographies, glossaries, tests, assignments, course documents, and other instructional materials.
- Copyrightable work: Copyrightable work includes all creative work that is protectable under the copyright laws of the United States or other countries. Copyright protection is available for most literary, musical, dramatic, and other types of creative works, including but not limited to computer software, teaching materials, multimedia works, proposals, and research reports.
- Significant college support: Significant college support means the use of specialized, experimental equipment, or computer facilities; or the use of any College resource in a way that leads to an appreciable expenditure of college funds if that expenditure would not otherwise have occurred. Occasional use of office or classroom space, libraries, or general computer hardware and software will not ordinarily constitute significant use.
Please note that notwithstanding the following information and conditions; a student retains portfolio rights to works created be the student as a class assignment or as part of a pro-bono commission approved as a student project by an instructor. A pro-bono commission is work that an instructor may approve for students to undertake as a skill-building opportunity. Students may receive token payments provided by the person or group that commissions such a work.
The ownership of a copyright resulting from the development of intellectual property and any rewards or recognition attributed to the copyright or patent will be determined according to the following conditions:
Ownership of Intellectual Property
- Ownership resides with the employee or student: Ownership resides with the employee or student if the following criteria are met:
- The work is the result of individual initiative, not requested by the college.
- The work is not the product of a specific contract or assignment made as a result of employment or enrollment at the college.
- The work is not prepared within the scope of the employee’s job duties or the student’s enrollment.
- The work involves no use of significant college support including facilities, time, and/or other resources.
- Ownership resides with the College: Ownership resides with the College if the following criteria apply:
- The work is prepared within the scope of the employee’s job duties or the student’s enrollment.
- The work is the product of a specific contract or assignment made in the course of the employee’s employment with the college or the student’s enrollment.
- The development of the work involved significant college resources including the use of facilities, time, and/or other resources of the college including, but not limited to, released time, grant funds, college personnel, salary supplement, leave with pay, equipment or other materials, or financial assistance.
- The college and the employee or student may enter into an agreement for an equitable arrangement for joint ownership, sharing of royalties, or reimbursement to the college for its costs and support. When it can be foreseen that commercially valuable property will be created, the college and the employee or student shall negotiate an agreement for ownership and the sharing of benefits prior to creation of the property. In all such cases, the agreement shall provide that the college will have a perpetual license to use the work without compensation to the employee or student for such use.
- If an employee is granted full or partial leave with pay (e.g. release time or educational leave), to write, develop, produce, or invent intellectual property, the employee and the college will share in any financial gain, and the college's share will be negotiated prior to the time the leave is taken.
- The College owns all rights to its logo, seal, and other related materials.
- The College, at its sole discretion, may release its rights of ownership in Intellectual Property. However, the College shall retain a royalty-free license to use said Intellectual Property for research and education.
- Notwithstanding the provisions of this policy, in the case of a work created under a grant accepted by the college, the ownership provisions of the grant shall prevail.
All College faculty and staff will ensure that the intellectual property created by them are original except for such materials from copyrighted sources that are reproduced with the written permission of the copyright holder; that the intellectual property in no way constitute a violation of or an infringement upon any copyright belonging to any other party; that the intellectual property will contain no information previously published or copyrighted by the faculty member unless such information is noted in the material; and that the it contains no matter which is libelous or in any way contrary to law.
Individuals are responsible and liable for their own actions in the creation, use, and distribution of intellectual property. Violations of this policy may also result in disciplinary action by the College including expulsion from the College and/or termination of employment.