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Department Publications

Computing Resource Standards

Introduction

The Maricopa County Community College District provides its students and employees wide access to information resources and technologies. With the advent of new forms of technology, Maricopa has recognized that the free exchange of opinions and ideas essential to academic freedom is furthered by making technological resources more accessible.

At Maricopa, technological resources are shared by its users; misuse of these resources by some users infringes upon the opportunities of all the rest. As Maricopa is a public institution of higher education, however, the proper use of those resources is all the more important. That Maricopa makes its technology available for educational purposes requires users to observe Constitutional and other legal mandates whose aim is to safeguard equipment, networks, data and software that are acquired and maintained with public funds.

General Responsibilities

Computing resources (including, but not limited to, desktop and laptop systems, printers, central computing facilities, District-wide or college-wide networks, local-area networks, access to the Internet, electronic mail and similar electronic information) of the Maricopa County Community College District are available only to authorized users, and any use of those resources is subject to these Standards. All users of Maricopa's computing resources are presumed to have read and understood the Standards. While the Standards govern use of computing resources District-wide, an individual community college or center may establish guidelines for computing resource usage which supplement (but do not replace or waive) these Standards.

Use of Maricopa's computing resources, including websites created by employees, is limited to educational, research, service, operational, and management purposes of the Maricopa County Community College District and its member institutions.

It is not Maricopa's practice to monitor the content of electronic mail transmissions, files, or other data maintained in its computing resources. The maintenance, operation and security of Maricopa's computing resources, however, require that network administrators and other authorized personnel have access to those resources and, on occasion, review the content of data and communications maintained there. A review may be performed exclusively by persons expressly authorized for such purpose and only for cause. To the extent possible in the electronic environment and in a public setting, a user's privacy will be honored. Nevertheless, that privacy is subject to Arizona's public records laws and other applicable state and federal laws, as well as policies of Maricopa's Governing Board all of which may supersede a user's interests in maintaining privacy in information contained in Maricopa's computing resources.

Frequently, access to Maricopa's computing resources can be obtained only through use of a password known exclusively to the user. It is the user's responsibility to keep a password confidential. While Maricopa takes reasonable measures to ensure network security, it cannot be held accountable for unauthorized access to its computing resources by other users, both within and outside the Maricopa community. Moreover, it cannot guarantee users protection against loss due to system failure, fire, etc.

Much of the data contained in Maricopa records that are accessible through use of computing resources is confidential under state and federal law. That a user may have the technical capability to access confidential records does not necessarily mean that such access is authorized. A user of Maricopa's computing resources is prohibited from the unauthorized access to, or dissemination of, confidential records.

Maricopa personnel are discouraged from offering advice to Maricopa employees regarding personal, non-job-related use, maintenance or repair of any computer equipment or software that belongs to such employees. Maricopa can assume no responsibility for any result from such advice.

Violation of any provision of the Standards could result in immediate termination of a user's access to Maricopa's computing resources, as well as appropriate disciplinary action. A violation of the Standards should be reported immediately to the appropriate administrator.

Prohibited Conduct

The following is prohibited conduct in the use of Maricopa's computing resources:

  1. Posting to the network, downloading or transporting any material that would constitute a violation of Maricopa County Community College District contracts.
  2. Unauthorized attempts to monitor another user's password protected data or electronic communication, or delete another user's password protected data, electronic communications or software, without that person's permission.
  3. Installing or running on any system a program that is intended to or is likely to result in eventual damage to a file or computer system.
  4. Performing acts that would unfairly monopolize computing resources to the exclusion of other users, including (but not limited to) unauthorized installation of server system software.
  5. Hosting a website through the use of Maricopa's computing resources without the use of "maricopa.edu" in its URL. If an institution owns additional domain names, those services should directly reroute visitors to a "maricopa.edu" domain and not host web pages directly.
  6. Use of computing resources for non-Maricopa commercial purposes.
  7. Use of software, graphics, photographs, or any other tangible form of expression that would violate or infringe any copyright or similar legally-recognized protection of intellectual property rights.
  8. Activities that would constitute a violation of any policy of Maricopa's Governing Board, including (but not limited to) Maricopa's non-discrimination policy and its policy against sexual harassment.
  9. Transmitting, storing, or receiving data, or otherwise using computing resources in a manner that would constitute a violation of state or federal law, including (but not limited to) obscenity, defamation, threats, harassment, and theft.
  10. Attempting to gain unauthorized access to a remote network or remote computer system.
  11. Exploiting any computing resources system by attempting to prevent or circumvent access, or using unauthorized data protection schemes.
  12. Performing any act that would disrupt normal operations of computers, workstations, terminals, peripherals, or networks.
  13. Using computing resources in such a way as to wrongfully hide the identity of the user or pose as another person.

Faculty, Staff and Student Personal Website Standards

Faculty, staff and students may use Maricopa's computing resources for development of personal websites as a learning tool. Use of Maricopa's resources for this purpose is a privilege, not a right. The development and maintenance of such a website is subject to the following Faculty, Staff and Student Personal Website Standards, as well as the General Standards for Use of Maricopa's Computing Resources:

  1. The author of a website may not use the site to advertise personal services, whether or not for financial gain, nor for any commercial purpose.
  2. A website may not be created in such a way as to allow any person unauthorized access to Maricopa's computing resources.
  3. The author of a website is solely responsible for the contents of the site. The home page of a personal website must display, or link to, the following disclaimer in a conspicuous manner:

    "This site is authored and maintained by [name of author]. It is not an official website of the Maricopa County Community College District, and Maricopa is not responsible for the contents of this site."


  4. Maricopa does not endorse the contents of any personal website. It is solely the author's responsibility to ensure that the personal website comply with all relevant Standards, as well as state and federal law, and any relevant policy of Maricopa's Governing Board.
  5. Upon discovery of a violation of any relevant Standard, Maricopa may unilaterally delete a personal website from its computing resources and terminate the author's access to those resources.

Published in the Spring 1999 Edition of In Brief



Questions or comments?
Contact Lee Combs @ 480.731.8878

Maricopa Community Colleges
Office of General Counsel
2411 West 14th Street
Tempe, AZ 85281-6942
480.731.8877 / 480.731.8890 fax

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