Information Technology and Resources

Acceptable Use of Technology

Overview

Acceptable Use policies define what users may or may not do in the process of utilizing Cincinnati State information technology (IT) resources.

Scope

This policy addresses the use of Cincinnati State communications services and the communication of information among Cincinnati State employees, students, contractors, and vendors.

Cincinnati State reserves the right to modify this policy from time to time at its discretion.

Policy Statement

Cincinnati State provides communications services for the convenience and efficiency of students, employees, and school-approved partners in their conduct of business with the College. All messages and documents sent or received through these communications services and/or stored on Cincinnati State owned or controlled computers, servers, or other devices are subject to Cincinnati State integrity standards.

Definitions

The term "student" includes all persons taking courses, credit or non-credit, at the College, and those who attend other educational institutions at a Cincinnati State location or who participate in an online relationship with Cincinnati State (in a high school dual enrollment program, for example). Individuals who are not specifically enrolled for a specific term but who have a continuing relationship with the College are considered students.

Employees are individuals classified as full-time, part-time (including adjunct faculty), or temporary employees of Cincinnati State, including student workers.

College refers to Cincinnati State Technical and Community College and its subsidiaries, divisions, and affiliates.

Business Partners are individuals or firms considered customers and suppliers of the College, including contractors and consultants.

Communications Services, for the purposes of this policy, are messages and documents sent or received via letter, memo, telephone, voice mail, fax, audio/video tape, computer media, file/print servers, electronic mail, online computer services (internet, AOL, etc.), instant messaging, wireless message devices, or any other means provided by the College or conducted over College resources.

Controls

Content

Communications Services are provided for the convenience and efficiency of users in the course and scope of their interactions with and within the College. Although they sometimes may be intended to be confidential, all communications may become subject to discovery in a civil or criminal proceeding, or to disclosure in a response to a valid request for documentation under the Ohio Public Records Act. The content of electronic communications (e-mail, fax, computer files, etc.) and voice mail messages may have the same status as paper records.

The following types of messages are strictly prohibited:

  • Messages with content that violates state, federal, or other public law, such as pornography, wire fraud, or copyright violation.
  • Messages that intentionally spread computer viruses or other harmful content.
  • Messages with threatening, harassing, abusive, vulgar, lewd, racially offensive, defamatory, or indecent content.
  • Messages involving commercial transactions, chain letters, or solicitations and distributions that are not related to Cincinnati State.
College-wide Message Distribution

In the event a student, employee, or system administrator wishes to use Cincinnati State communications services for distribution of a College-wide message, said message must be approved in advance by the Human Resources Department and/or the Marketing and Communications Department at the highest level that represents the audience to which the information will be sent.

Personal Use of Communications Services

Occasional personal use of Cincinnati State communications services is allowed to Cincinnati State students and employees. The following rules apply to usage:

  • Students should use their Cincinnati State e-mail accounts primarily for communications related to their educational endeavors.
  • Personal use of College communications services for commercial purposes not related to Cincinnati State business is prohibited.
  • Cincinnati State communications services should not be used for personal postings to online venues.
  • Employees may use College communications services for personal use only on their own time, and such use may not impact an employee's ability to perform assigned job functions properly.

Internet Usage

Cincinnati State provides access to public information networks for the convenience and efficiency of students and employees in the scope of educational processes at Cincinnati State. It is the responsibility of each user to closely adhere to the following with respect to his or her use of all public information networks (e.g., the internet).

  • A user shall utilize the the public information networks primarily for purposes relating to Cincinnati State, and shall refrain from recreational or idle activity. Incidental and occasional personal use is permissible, but such use is subject to all of the College's policies.
  • A user shall not purposely visit any internet website that contains threatening, harassing, abusive, embarrassing, vulgar, lewd, racist, or indecent content or implication.
  • A user is prohibited from downloading any software which is not approved by their instructor, supervisor, or respective Information Services group.
  • A user shall strictly observe all license restrictions for software that may be used on the internet.
  • A user may not violate any law or government regulation.
  • A user may not send any message that is in any way threatening, harassing, abusive, embarrassing, derogatory, or vulgar in content or implication.

Monitoring and Disclosure

The College, for its legitimate business purposes, reserves the right to access and monitor all Cincinnati State communications services. Legitimate business purposes include (without limitation) such activities as: (a) legal or contractual obligations to produce any communications or audit any communication processes; (b) retrieval of data from back-up or archive for system functioning; (c) network and system security; (d) safeguarding of Cincinnati State confidential information; (e) prevention of sexual harassment and workplace intimidation; (f) the investigation of complaints involving improper behavior and the enforcement of Cincinnati State policies; and (g) management and control of costs and capacity of Cincinnati State IT systems.

Generally, it is not practical for Cincinnati State to have separate access control and monitoring systems for business and personal use. Accordingly, all users of Cincinnati State communications services must expect that the following can be accessed or monitored for legitimate business purposes:

  • Messages sent or received via Cincinnati State-provided internal or external electronic communications services, including e-mail and voice mail.
  • Data or software stored on Cincinnati State-owned computers, servers, storage media, or other devices.
  • Usage of the internet or Cincinnati State intranets.

No facilities are provided or maintained for private or confidential e-mail, voice mail, or computer files. Cincinnati State may:

  • Authorize security personnel system administrators and/or supervisors to review and/or monitor electronic or voice mail messages and/or data or software contained on Cincinnati State computers, servers, storage media, or other devices on a periodic, random, and/or ongoing basis to ensure compliance with this policy, for other purposes authorized by law or as part of an investigation.
  • Grant access for other staff, for necessary business purposes, to access data or software stored on Cincinnati State equipment.

Violations

Any student or employee found to have violated Cincinnati State policy related to access or use of Cincinnati State communications services will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal in the case of students and termination in the case of employees.

In addition, subject to local, state, or federal laws, students and/or employees could face criminal charges resulting in a fine or imprisonment.

Student Recording and Distribution of Course Lectures and Materials

Students may not photograph, record (using audio or video technology), duplicate, reproduce, transmit, distribute, or upload or share via internet or website environments any class lectures, discussion, and/or other course materials, unless written permission has been obtained in advance from the instructor.

In the case of class discussions and/or presentations, permission must also be obtained from all students in the class and any guest speakers, if applicable. All participants must be informed in advance that activities will be recorded.

Students should review the course syllabus for instructions regarding the instructor’s policy on class recordings. Unless directly authorized by the syllabus, any student wishing to record classroom activities must discuss this issue with the instructor and obtain written permission.

Any photograph or recording of class activities and/or materials is authorized solely for use as an educational resource by an individual student or, when permission is granted, with other students enrolled in the same class. Photographs and/or recordings may not be publicly exchanged, distributed, shared, or broadcast for any purpose.

Permission to allow a photograph or recording is not a transfer of any copyrights.

Violation of this policy may subject a student to disciplinary action under the College’s Student Code of Conduct.

Exception: it is not a violation of this policy for a student determined by the Office of Disability Services to be entitled to educational accommodations to exercise any rights protected under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, including needed recording or adaptations of classroom lectures, discussions, and/or course materials for personal research and study. However, all other restrictions on other use and/or distribution apply in such cases.