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Staff Acceptable Use Policy for Technology & the Internet

This document discusses the Staff Acceptable Use Policy for Technology & the Internet

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Employee Acceptable Use Policy for Technology & the Internet

Approved: UW-Green Bay Technology Council (4/15/02)
Chancellor's Cabinet (4/23/02)
Version 2005.4 (4/26/05)

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay furnishes computers and provides access to campus network resources, including the Internet, in order to support learning, promote educational excellence and prepare students for an increasingly technological world. Much of the responsibility for appropriate use of information technology and the Internet rests with the employees. Therefore, UW-Green Bay requires that employees act responsibly by reading and following the policies outlined below. This document incorporates UW System Policy number 97-2 and UW-Green Bay guidelines for the appropriate use of information technology by employees. This document applies to all permanent and temporary employees, including student employees. For policies related to the activities of students in their academic role please see University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Student Acceptable Use Policy for Technology and the Internet. Student Acceptable Use Policy for Technology


In accordance with its mission to disseminate and extend knowledge, to foster the free exchange of ideas, and to provide effective support for its teaching, research and public service functions, it is the policy of the University of Wisconsin System to afford broad access to information technology resources for university students, faculty and staff for use in fulfilling the university’s missions, and for appropriate university-related activities.

Access by Individuals

Access to information technology resources carries with it the responsibility for ensuring that the use of these resources is primarily for university purposes and university-related activities, and for maintaining the integrity and security of the university’s computing facilities. In the interest of making the use of information technology resources a natural part of the day-to-day work of all members of the university community, incidental personal use is tolerated. However, one should use non-university sources of e-mail, internet access and other information technology services for activities of an extensive or recurring nature that are not related to university purposes. For the security of the information technology system, individuals having access to information technology resources must take reasonable care to ensure that unauthorized persons are not able to use their access to the system.

Dissemination of Information and Official Documents

Information technology resources are a dynamic mechanism for the free exchange of knowledge, and it is desirable for the university to foster the robust dialogue that results from the use of the resource, and to encourage students, faculty and staff to participate in that dialogue. Those exchanges that reflect the ideas, comments and opinions of individual members of the university community must, however, be distinguished from those that represent the official positions, programs and activities of the university. Students, faculty and staff using information technology resources for purposes of exchanging, publishing or circulating official university documents must follow institutional requirements concerning appropriate content and style.

The university is not responsible for the content of documents, exchanges or messages, including links to other information locations on the internet or world wide web, that reflect only the personal ideas, comments and opinions of individual members of the university community, even where they are published or otherwise circulated to the public at large by means of university information technology resources.

Inter-institutional Cooperation

During times when they are away from the UW institution where they are enrolled, students may benefit from the ability to use the information technology resources of another UW campus. To the extent possible with available resources, each UW System institution should allow access to its information technology resources by students taking distance education and other courses from other UW System institutions.

Limitations on the Availability of Information Technology Resources

The university’s information technology resources are, by nature, finite. All members of the university community must recognize that certain uses of university information technology resources may be limited for reasons related to the capacity or security of the university’s information technology systems, or as required for fulfilling the university’s primary teaching, research and public service missions.

Privacy and Confidentiality of Electronic Documents

No information technology resources can absolutely guarantee the privacy or confidentiality of electronic documents. UW institutions should, however, take reasonable precautions to protect electronic documents containing private and confidential information, and to assure persons using university information technology resources to transmit e-mail or electronic documents that the university will not seek access to their messages or documents except where necessary to:

  • Meet the requirements of the Wisconsin Public Records Law, or other statutes,
  • laws or regulations;
  • Protect the integrity of the university’s information technology resources, and the
  • rights and other property of the university;
  • Allow system administrators to perform routine maintenance and operations, and
  • respond to emergency situations; or
  • Protect the rights of individuals working in collaborative situations where
  • information and files are shared.

UW System institutions may choose to establish more detailed procedures for determining when access to electronic documents will be sought by the institution. As encryption products become more readily available, institutions may also wish to make them available to information technology users as appropriate to protect privacy interests.

Other Limitations on Use of Information Technology Resources

In addition to the general principles set forth in this policy, the use of information technology resources may be affected by a number of other legal and ethical principles. While it is not possible to list all potentially applicable laws and regulations, the following are particularly likely to have implications for the use of university information technology resources:

1. Ethical standards of conduct for the appropriate use of one’s university position and university resources are established for faculty and academic staff in Chapter UWS 8, Wisconsin Administrative Code, and for classified staff in Chapter ER-MRS 24, Wisconsin Administrative Code.

2. Chapters UWS 14 and 17, Wisconsin Administrative Code, establish standards and disciplinary processes relating to academic and nonacademic misconduct by students, including prohibitions on disruption of university activities, damage to university facilities, harassment and similar matters.

3. Chapter UWS 18, Wisconsin Administrative Code, governs conduct on university lands, and applies to all members of the university community. Chapter UWS 21, Wisconsin Administrative Code, regulates the use of university facilities.

4. Section 943.70, Wisconsin Statutes, defines and prohibits certain computer crimes.

5. Chapter 11, Wisconsin Statutes, restricts the use of state facilities for political activities by state employees.

6. The federal copyright law applies to materials published or circulated through the use of computing resources.

7. The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act restricts access to personally identifiable information from students’ education records.

Students, faculty and staff are responsible for understanding and observing these and all other applicable policies, regulations and laws in connection with their use of the university’s information technology resources.

UW System Institution Responsibilities

In order to assist members of the university community in fulfilling their responsibilities with respect to use of information technology resources, each UW institution shall disseminate this policy, together with guidance as to any specific campus policies affecting the use of information technology resources.

Failure to Comply with Information Technology Resource Policies

Failure to adhere to the provisions of this policy may result in the suspension or loss of access to university information technology resources, appropriate disciplinary action as provided under existing procedures applicable to students, faculty and staff, or civil or criminal prosecution.

To preserve and protect the integrity of information technology resources, there may be circumstances where the university must immediately suspend or deny access to the resources. Should a student’s access be suspended under these circumstances, the university shall inform the student immediately and shall afford the student an opportunity to respond. The university shall then determine whether disciplinary action under Chapter UWS 17, Wisconsin Administrative Code, or some alternative course of action, is warranted and shall follow the procedures established for such cases.


Applicability and General Principles

These policies apply to all employees. This includes any remote access which employees may gain from off-site, but which involves the use of UW-Green Bay sites, servers, intranet facilities, e-mail accounts or software.

All permanent employees will receive a computer account, which includes file storage on the central servers and email services. All temporary employees hired for more than 30 days will receive a computer account, which includes file storage on the central servers and email services. Employees with computer accounts will be provided training on accessing their accounts and some time during their work shift to access a computer to check email and other job related applications.

The technical aspects of electronic communications and storage require that files and transmissions be backed up, logged and occasionally analyzed.  When such activities are done as part of the normal business of maintaining an efficient computing and networking environment, employees will maintain strict confidentiality of the information.  Beyond system administration requirements or as required by law, the university shall only permit inspection, monitoring or disclosure of e-mail or electronic documents without consent from the account owner after consultation with the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor, or their designees. The University will respond to lawfully issued subpoenas and public records requests.  In addition to responding to legal requests, users should be aware that data might, due to software or hardware failure, become accessible to those who are not explicitly authorized for that access.  Therefore, users should exercise extreme caution in using e-mail to communicate confidential or sensitive matters.  No guarantee of complete privacy is made or implied by this policy.

External access will be provided to authorized users by the assignment of unique login identification code “usernames” and passwords. Authorized users will be personally responsible for maintaining the integrity of UW-Green Bay’s access policy, and may not permit other persons to use their usernames, passwords, accounts or disk space, or disclose their usernames, passwords or account information to any third party.   Users must respect the integrity and security of UW-Green Bay’s computer systems and network, and the access privileges, privacy and reasonable preferences of other users. UW-Green Bay reserves the right to limit resource allocations in order to optimize an equitable allocation of resources among users.

Rules of Conduct and Compliance

Employees who violate this Acceptable Use Policy may have their access privileges suspended or revoked by the network administrator. In addition, further disciplinary action may be taken as permitted by applicable law, university code, and/or the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement. Apparent or alleged violations to the policy will be brought to the attention of the appropriate institutional officer, or her/his designee.

The following procedures will be used by the Information Services Division for potential violations of the campus Acceptable Use Policy for Technology and the Internet.

  1. If a CIT employee believes that a faculty or staff member may have violated the University’s Acceptable Use Policy s/he will report it to the IT Security Officer in a confidential manner.

NOTE: All suspected or apparent violations within the Business and Finance operational areas will be brought to the attention of the Vice Chancellor for Business & Finance prior to investigation.

  1. First time minor violations. The IT Security Officer will send an email to the employee regarding the potential violation providing specific information about the nature of the violation. The message will also include the timeframe for response and an offer to provide technical assistance if needed. If the employee does not respond within the timeframe the IT Security Officer will proceed with step 3.
  2. Repeated minor violations. The IT Security Officer will notify the supervisor asking him/her to address the violation. The employee and the appropriate line administrator* will be copied on the e-mail.
  3. Suspected violations of State or Federal law. The IT Security Officer will contact Public Safety, the appropriate line administrator* and the individual’s supervisor. Public Safety will conduct an investigation to determine if criminal activity has taken place. If the activity is criminal, Public Safety will handle the investigation. If the activity is not criminal, the matter will be referred back to the IT Security Officer who will proceed with Step 5.
  4. Serious Violations (not criminal) The IT Security Officer will contact the employee’s supervisor and the appropriate line administrator.* The supervisor and/or appropriate administrator is responsible for investigating the violation, determining whether the questionable activity is work related, and prescribing corrective action as appropriate. University Legal Counsel and/or the Human Resources Director should be consulted regarding rights and responsibilities for investigations. Corrective action would include:
    1. deleting inappropriate files,
    2. ceasing engagement in inappropriate communication,
    3. acquiring legal rights to copyrighted material, and
    4. other actions to ensure compliance with the Acceptable Use Policies.
  5. The supervisor and/or appropriate line administrator* will inform the IT Security Officer regarding the outcome of the investigation. The IT Security Officer is obliged to conduct a follow-up review with the individual and supervisor to ensure that Acceptable Use Policies are followed.

* appropriate line administrator = Chancellor, Athletics Director, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Planning and Budget, Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance, Provost, Deans of Liberal Arts and Professional Programs, Associate Provosts for Student Affairs and Information Services, and Director of Outreach and Adult Education.

Except as otherwise indicated below, all policies and prohibitions regarding users of the network also apply to users of individual UW-Green Bay computers.

  1. The network may not be used to download, copy, or store any copyrighted software, publications, music, video, or other content without permission from the copyright holder.
  2. Any software that is installed must be properly licensed from the copyright owner thereof, and any modifications must comply with the terms of the applicable license(s). For a complete listing of campus-wide licenses see the IS web site
  3. The network may not be used for commercial purposes or personal gain. Departments may be authorized by the Provost, in consultation with the Technology Council, to engage in e-commerce as appropriate to their mission.
  4. Restrictions on advertising and sponsorships on UW web sites are discussed in the UW System Policy Paper, “Advertising, Sponsorship and Links on the Internet” available at
  5. The network may not be used for any activity, or to transmit any material, that violates United States, Wisconsin or local laws. This includes, but is not limited to, fraudulent acts, violations of copyright laws, and any threat or act of intimidation or harassment against another person.
  6. UW-Green Bay is a place of tolerance and good manners. Use of the network or any UW-Green Bay computer facilities for hate mail, defamatory statements, vulgar, derogatory, or obscene language statements intended to injure or humiliate others by disclosure of personal information (whether true or false), personal attacks on others, and statements expressing animus towards any person or group by reason of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability is not acceptable.
  7. Network users may not post anonymous messages or attempt to impersonate another person by forging e-mail, web pages or other electronic media.
  8. Network users may not log on to someone else’s account, IP address, or other network codes, attempt to access another user’s files, or permit anyone else to log on to their own accounts. Users may not try to gain unauthorized access (“hacking”) to the files or computer systems of any other person or organization.
  9. Network users may not intentionally create, store, display, print or transmit information which violates the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy.
  10. Network users may not access Web sites, newsgroups, or chat areas that contain material that is prohibited under child pornography laws, or that promotes illegal acts.
  11. The primary use of the campus network and Internet is for university related work. While some incidental personal use of university facilities are permitted, such incidental use will not be deemed a waiver of UW-Green Bay’s right to prohibit all such use, either on an individually-applicable or on a generally-applicable basis.
  12. Users may not engage in "spamming" (sending unofficial electronic communication to large groups of people) or participate in chain letters.
  13. Users who maliciously access, alter, delete, damage or destroy any computer system, computer network, computer program, or data may be subject to disciplinary action by UW-Green Bay, and criminal prosecution as well. This includes, but is not limited to, changing or deleting another user's account; changing the password of another user; using an unauthorized account; damaging or deleting University files; altering the system; using the system to make money illegally; destroying, modifying, vandalizing, defacing or abusing hardware, software, furniture or any UW-Green Bay property.
  14. Users may not intentionally disrupt information network traffic or crash the network and connected systems; they must not degrade or disrupt equipment or system performance. See the IS web page for recommended practice,
  15. Users must comply with the “fair use” provisions of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. The Cofrin Library professionals can assist employees with fair use issues.
  16. Users may not copy any copyrighted or licensed software from the Internet or from the network without the express permission of the copyright holder: software must be purchased or licensed before it can legally be used.
  17. Users may not take data, equipment, software or supplies (paper, toner cartridges, disks, etc.) for their own personal use. Such taking will be treated as theft. Employees may take computer equipment from campus with permission of their supervisor or Department Chair and the Associate Provost for Information Services for University related purposes.
  18. Software installed on University computers must be related to the campus mission and/or the individual’s University work. Software such as radioplayer, MP3, radiostation, and even screen savers that cause the workstation to become unstable or consume excessive network resources may be removed by the CIT staff.

Sanctions and Appeal Process

Violation of the policies described herein for use of computing resources will be dealt with seriously. Violators are subject to disciplinary procedures of the University, may lose computing privileges or account and network access, and may also be subject to prosecution by state and federal authorities under laws including, but not limited to: the Privacy and Protection Act of 1974; Wisconsin Statutes (Chapter 19, Public Records and Property, ss. 19.31-19.39; Chapter 939, Crimes- General Provisions, ss. 939.32.(2), 939.50(3), 939.51(3), 939.66(4), 939.72(3); Chapter 943, Crimes Against Property, ss.943.70); The Wisconsin Computer Crimes Act; the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act; the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1989. The sanction and appeal process will vary, depending upon the classification of the offender within the University community.

Information technology resources include computers, software, e-mail accounts, internet access and similar computing tools.

“University” is used in this document to refer to the University of Wisconsin System and its institutions.

Official university documents are those which purport to speak for the university and its official programs and departments, such as policy documents, official forms, curriculum information, institutional statistics, and departmental home pages on the world wide web.

The electronic records of university employees are subject to disclosure in accordance with the Wisconsin Public Records Law. Student records, including electronic documents, are protected against disclosure by the Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which restricts access to personally identifiable information from students’ education records.

Keywords:Acceptable use policy, technology, internet   Doc ID:24243
Owner:Kevin B.Group:UW Green Bay
Created:2012-05-10 09:58 CSTUpdated:2016-05-12 11:05 CST
Sites:UW Green Bay
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