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OM 7.18.0 Information Technology Use Policy

About This Policy

Effective Date: March 1996
Last Updated: April 2016
Responsible University Office: Office of the Chief Information Officer
Responsible University Administrator: Chief Information Officer

Policy Contact:

Office of Information Technology


All information technology resources of the University shall only be used in a lawful manner and in support of instructional, research and service missions sanctioned by the University. Access to these resources is granted to each individual for a specific purpose. Proper use of the resources must be consistent with that purpose. In particular, instructional access is granted for work done by officially registered students in support of a recognized course of study. Research access is granted for work approved by an authorized official of a University department.

Limited personal use of information technology resources is permitted only if all of the following conditions are met:

  • There is little or no cost to the University; 
  • Any use is brief; 
  • Any use occurs infrequently; 
  • The use does not interfere with the performance of any other University employees’ official duties; and 
  • The use does not compromise the security or integrity of University property, information or software. 

By using University-supplied information technology resources and associated facilities, individuals and other entities agree to abide by all policies and procedures adopted by Clarkson University as well as all current federal state and local laws. These include University policies and procedures against harassment, plagiarism, and unethical conduct; as well as local, state, and federal laws prohibiting theft, intellectual property and copyright infringement.

The University reserves the right to restrict the use of its information resources and facilities, and to limit access to its computers systems and networks when faced with evidence of violations of University policies or standards, of contractual obligations or of federal or state laws. The University also reserves the right to remove or limit access to material posted on or transmitted by its computers and network facilities.

Acceptable Use Guidelines for Computer and Network Facilities

The University strives to provide fair and distributed access to information technology resources for a large number of users. The acceptable use guidelines which follow apply equally to all types of information technology resources. Everyone using University information technology resources is responsible for following guidelines which characterize acceptable use.

  1. Clarkson supports the principles of academic freedom and free inquiry and expression in the online environment as well as in the classroom. This freedom must however be balanced with the responsibility not to infringe on other rights of individuals. 
  2. Acceptable use of shared information technology facilities follows the same standards of common sense, courtesy, and restraint that govern the use of other public facilities. Acceptable use requires users to be ethical and respectful of the rights of others and of the diversity of the University community, and to maintain a climate which does not interfere with the studies, work or living environment of any members of the Clarkson community. 
  3. Acceptable use of information facilities respects individuals' rights to privacy and to freedom from threats, intimidation, harassment and unwarranted annoyance. 
  4. Acceptable use includes the right of individuals to access and save any legal files on the internet. However, material which is potentially offensive to others should not be publicly displayed without an academic reason. 
  5. Acceptable use standards require everyone to take prudent and reasonable steps to prevent unauthorized access. Access authorization relies on user identification and password for each user. The user-ID forms the basis for mechanisms which are designed to establish ownership and responsibility for computing resources and use. Acceptable use respects these identification and security mechanisms. 
  6. Acceptable use requires that all users refrain from any illegal and improper intrusions into the accounts of others and/or into any University information technology resources and systems. 
  7. Acceptable use requires that all users recognize and honor the intellectual property rights of others. 
  8. Acceptable use of information technology resources requires that all users refrain from acts that waste resources and prevent others from having broad access to University computers and resources.

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Information technology resources —all University owned and operated computers, software, hardware, and infrastructure. It further includes all University services and programs such as email, course management systems, and web pages. It also includes:

  • Data and other files, including electronic mail, stored in or located or residing on (temporarily or otherwise) University-owned centrally-maintained systems, departmentally-maintained systems, and University-owned systems or computers. 
  • University data and other files stored off campus in systems owned or operated by other entities. These systems may be subject to their own terms and conditions related to privacy and other matters.
  • Data communicated over University networks.

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March 1996

April 2016

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