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The Administrative Policies

TAP NO. 26: COMPUTING ETHICS AND GUIDELINES

The purpose of the Computing Ethics and Guidelines Policy is to help maintain an information technology infrastructure that supports the basic mission of the Duquesne University. Information technology is a critical resource for the University as it acquires and distributes data for the purposes of teaching, learning, research, and management. These guidelines rely on common sense and ethical behavior to protect the privacy and access rights of each member of the community. Failure to adhere to these guidelines can result in the suspension of computing privileges, charges being brought according to the appropriate University policy and/or procedures based on one’s status in the University, and prosecution under state and federal laws, where applicable.

A. POLICY

Students, faculty, and administrators at Duquesne University have two basic rights regarding computing: privacy and access to an equitable share of hardware, software, and network resources. It is unethical for any other person to violate these rights. University owned computing resources are intended for administrative, research, and educational purposes only; they should be used in a manner consistent with the administrative, instructional, and research objectives of the University. They should not be used for personal profit, commercial development, or frivolous activities.

B. ACCESS

Access to computers, programs, and files is restricted to authorized users. Respect for the privacy of others is maintained by not intentionally seeking information about passwords or files belonging to other users unless explicitly authorized to do so by those users.

Academic communities are by nature open. Respect for the spirit of academia should be maintained. The theft, mutilation, or abuse of public or private computing resources violates the nature and spirit of the academic environment. This theft includes theft of services. Acts of theft will be referred to both the appropriate University authority and Campus Police.

Computer systems, software, applications, and other resources are provided for the benefit of the individuals within the University community. Deliberate or suspicious introduction of computer viruses, deletion or removal of software programs or files is a violation of computer usage policies. Acts of this nature will be referred to the appropriate University authority for disposition.

Central and network computer access are protected by password security. Protection of computer accounts is accomplished by not divulging one’s password to others, by changing one’s password frequently, and by deleting unwanted files. If another user should gain access to one’s password, the password should be changed immediately.

C. USAGE

Computer resources, while widely available, are finite. Common sense regarding shared resources should be exercised. Engaging in deliberately wasteful practices—for example, printing large amounts of unnecessary listings, using the laser printer as a copy machine (printing multiple copies of a document), making unnecessary laser printouts (printing after every editing change), or unnecessarily holding a public PC or workstation for a long period of time when other users are waiting for these devices—is to be avoided.

Computers in individual student rooms, faculty, and staff offices are for use by authorized persons only. Activity on these machines is considered to be under the control of the assigned user.

No server of any sort may be run on the Duquesne Network other than those sanctioned by Computing Technology Services (CTS) and the policies as ratified by the University. This includes, but is not limited to game servers, Windows Servers, Novell NetWare Servers, or any form of Unix in a server configuration.

Institutionally owned systems may not operate recreational peer-to-peer applications or any peer-to- peer messaging application that is exploitable due to improper configuration or application weakness. Institutionally owned computers and privately owned computers performing institutional business must have current managed anti-virus software installed.

Services such as DNS, DHCP, BOOTP, WINS, FTP, or HTTP may be operated only within the guidelines and polices of CTS.

Duquesne University maintains public access computing labs for use by Duquesne faculty, students, and staff only. Proper use of public computer laboratory facilities is expected. Proper use follows the same standards of common sense and courtesy that govern the use of other public University facilities. Anyone engaged in an activity or use of the facility which hampers or interferes with the ability of others to do their work may be asked to quit the activity and/or leave the facility. Examples include loud conversation, disruptive behavior, excessive computer volume or display of pornographic, offensive or obscene materials.

Computer mail (email) is a resource widely distributed and supported on the Duquesne Campus. Electronic mail is to be used for appropriate educational, research, and administrative purposes only. It is a violation of the Computing Policies of the University to start or forward chain letters. This behavior is also in violation of most network policies. In addition, University policy prohibits users from sending threatening, obscene, or harassing messages to other users.

It is the policy and practice of the University to respect the copyright protection given to software owners by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Therefore, it is against policy for any student, faculty, or staff member to copy or reproduce any licensed software or other copyrighted material on University computer equipment except as expressly permitted by license. Appropriate laws and copyrights are to be respected. Requests for the duplication or installation of software will not be honored without proof of license or proof of purchase.

The University supports the rules of use stipulated and recommended by EDUCAUSE. Established guidelines for any networks or systems used both inside and outside the University are to be followed.

All faculty, administrative, and student use of computers is governed by this guideline statement. Users requesting access to the University computing resources will be required to sign a statement on the appropriate user account request form indicating that they have read, understand, and agree to abide by these guidelines.

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