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Technology Use Policy

Owner: ITS

Pertains to: Faculty, Staff, Students, Visitors

Description: ITS has adopted the following policy to convey the responsibilities pertaining to the use of technology on campus, to outline the appropriate use of technologies, to communicate security procedures and information, and to convey the ways in which Hamline University will enforce the policy.


Introduction and General Information
Appropriate Use of Technology
Compliance with Applicable Law
Security of Computer Systems
Related Policies
Enforcement of Policies
Email Guidelines
Network Connection Policy
Web Policy

Introduction and General Information

Hamline University recognizes the growing importance of technology as a means to support its missions of education, research and service, and therefore provides faculty, students and staff with access to technology, which includes a high-speed local area network, access to shared network software and storage space, public computing facilities, support services, on-line library databases and access to the Internet. In return users of Hamline's technology must be committed to complying with university policies and applicable law on appropriate use of these systems. All users of Hamline's technology are expected to observe the highest standards of responsibility and ethics. In general this means that an individual's use of technology should not infringe on the rights of other users, utilize an unfair share of system resources, or interfere with the normal operation of the computer system.

Because we are an academic community, the faculty, students and staff of Hamline University honor intellectual property, respect the privacy of data, and respect the rights of others. As a carrier of information, Hamline University does not subject users' files to prior review. However, the University does make its best effort to educate the community in responsible use and respond when violations are pointed out.

Each information technology resource--those existing on campus as well as external ones to which we are connected--has an owner. Attempts, even unsuccessful ones, to use or access any resource without the permission of the owner are a violation of this policy. All assessors must respect conditions of access and use stipulated by the owner. Although individuals are not the owners of accounts assigned to them (Hamline University is the owner), they are the owners of the files they create, and have rights to privacy and responsibilities to control access by others. You must respect others' rights when you communicate with them over networks.
Anything less than adherence to the letter and spirit of copyright laws and regulations is unethical and possibly illegal. Users must obtain permission of the creator or publisher to copy software written by others. Users must abide by license agreements controlling copying and use of software and data files of all kinds (text, audio, graphics, video, etc.)

University resources are provided solely for the education and research mission of Hamline University and may not be used for commercial or for-profit purposes. Users who express opinions and positions through the university's IT resources must make clear that these opinions and positions are those of the individual who posts them, not of the university. Because Hamline University is the owner of all IT resources granted to users, the university reserves the right to deny use to those who have used them in an irresponsible manner. Offenders may also be subject to disciplinary action through existing structures for faculty, students and staff, as described in relevant handbooks.

People who use both on-campus and external network media (including any communication performed on the network for any purpose) must do so responsibly and in a manner that constitutes respectful behavior as defined in the faculty, staff, and student handbooks. It is unethical not to adhere to this type of behavior, even when communicating with people outside the Hamline community. For example, no form of harassment, as defined in the student, faculty and staff Handbooks, will be tolerated within any media. In addition, all communications must include the sender's complete network address, unless the service explicitly invites anonymous communication. If someone requests you stop communicating electronically with him/her, you are required to do so immediately.

Questions concerning this policy should be directed to the Chief Information Officer, 651-523-2630.

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Appropriate Use of Technology

A. Use of Computers is a Privilege
Hamline University maintains a variety of computing and network resources for use by students, faculty, staff, and guests in support of the university's mission of education, research, and service. Access to these resources is a privilege, and the university can revoke that privilege if university policies are not followed.

B. Only Appropriate Uses are Permitted
Hamline's technology may be used by students, faculty, staff, and guests for appropriate uses only, as defined in the policies.

1. Appropriate uses of Hamline's computer systems include primary uses and secondary uses. Technology can be used for the following primary uses:

    • Learning; 
    • Research;
    • Teaching;
    • Internal and external communication/collaboration; 
    • University administrative functions; 
    • Authorized extra-curricular activities; 
    • Access to the internet for appropriate uses defined in this policy; 
    • Other uses supported in the current version of the Hamline University student/faculty/staff handbooks, or in other university policies; 
    • Other uses that support the professional activities of the faculty and staff.

2. Hamline's technology may also be used for secondary uses, as long as such uses do not interfere with staff and faculty work duties. At times, however, it may be necessary to restrict secondary uses if they interfere with primary uses. Secondary uses include:

    • Personal communication;
    • Personal projects;
    • Recreational activities.

C. Prohibited Uses
Prohibited uses are those uses, which interfere with or are contrary to appropriate uses of the computer systems or network, furtherance of the university's mission, or compliance with the university's policies or applicable law. Prohibited uses of the university's technology include:

1. Interference with the operation of any university computer systems or network;
2. Interference with the security of any university computer systems or network;
3. Unauthorized attempts to alter files or systems;
4. Making unauthorized changes to the configuration or wiring of equipment;
5. Intentionally damaging software or hardware;
6. Intentionally disrupting the university's network, website, or e-mail systems;
7. Removing software or hardware from Hamline's computer systems without authorization;
8. Use of Hamline computer systems for personal or private commercial gain without appropriate authorization from a Hamline University cabinet member;
9. Use of university technology to access or change non-public information about any individual, or to access, without authorization, any e-mail, voice mail, or other communications intended for another individual.

D. Internet Activities
Use of the Internet must be in compliance with all applicable laws and university policies. The following guidelines should be observed:

Software may be downloaded from the Internet only when the owner of the software has granted permission for doing so.
Users should scan all downloaded software for viruses. Copyrighted materials (including text, graphics, video and audio) downloaded from the Internet, should only be used with the permission of the copyright holder, or to the extent allowed by fair use.
All personal and organizational web pages published by users of the Hamline computer system should clearly indicate who has created them. No one may create a presence on the Internet, such as a home page, which purports to be an official publication of Hamline University, without the written approval of the Hamline University Vice President for University Relations. See the Hamline University Web Policy for more information.
Confidential information from personnel files or student records cannot be placed on or transmitted through the Internet, unless it is appropriately encrypted or secured.

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Compliance with Applicable Law

A. Various Laws Apply to Use of Technology
The privilege of using Hamline's technology is conditioned upon the technology user complying with all applicable law. Applicable law includes the law relating to defamation, pornography, trade secrets, theft, copyright, criminal actions, and sexual harassment.

B. Compliance with Copyright Laws for Software
Nearly all computer software is protected by the copyright laws. The exceptions to this rule are so few that users of Hamline's technology should assume that all software on Hamline's computer system, on third party systems, or available through the Internet is protected by copyright, unless there is clear information to the contrary. Simply stated, the copyright laws allow a user of software to use the software, load it onto the hard drive of a computer, and retain the original disk as an archive copy. The copyright laws do not allow a user to modify the software, make more copies of it, store copies on both a home and a university computer, or distribute the software through the Internet, unless the license agreement permits those activities. Unless a user of Hamline's computer systems knows that any of those activities is permitted by the applicable license agreement, users of Hamline's computer systems shall not copy any software, modify any software, load copies of it onto a network or on multiple hard drives, or distribute the software in any way, including through the Internet.

C. Licensing of Computer Software
All users of Hamline's technology must cooperate with Hamline in ensuring that the university properly obtains all software included for use within Hamline's technology. Users should refer to Hamline University policies on Information Technology software purchases. Obtaining copies of software without appropriate licenses or using software in a manner beyond the rights granted in any license are violations of this and other university policies, and can subject the individuals involved to discipline.

D. Use of Unlicensed Software
All software installed on the university's computer systems must be properly licensed, either by the university, or by the individual user. The university will monitor its computer systems to ensure that unlicensed software is not installed on its computers. Individuals who install software on their office computers must keep records to show that this software is properly licensed, and they must inform the network manager that the software has been installed.

E. Compliance with Copyright Laws for Text, Audio and Video
Nearly all written, audio, and pictorial (including graphics and video) material is protected by the copyright laws, regardless of whether it is in a hard copy, an electronic copy, or on the Internet. The exceptions to this rule are so few that users of Hamline's technology should assume that all such materials in hard copy or available in electronic form or through the Internet are protected by copyright, unless there is clear information to the contrary. Simply stated, the copyright laws allow a user to read, listen to, or view the copyrighted material. The copyright laws do not allow a user to modify a copyrighted work, make copies of it (beyond those allowed by fair use), distribute copies of a work through the Internet, or broadcast a copy of a work (such as in the case of video or audio) on any channel or network. As with materials from a library or other sources, the user is responsible for using materials obtained off the Internet in compliance with the copyright laws and the Hamline University Information Technology Responsible Use Policy for Copying:

Responsible Use Policy for Copying 

Because we are an academic community, the faculty, students and staff of Hamline University honor intellectual property, respect the privacy of data and recognize the rights of others. In turn, each individual has a responsibility to use copying and reproduction technologies in a responsible manner, consistent with the overall Technology Use Policy. Anything less than adherence to the letter and spirit of copyright laws and regulations is irresponsible, unethical, and possibly illegal.

Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in the media. It encompasses respect for the right of acknowledgement, the right to privacy and right to determine the form, manner and terms of publication and distribution.

Because printed, recorded, and digitized information is easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is critical. All assessors must respect conditions of access and use stipulated by the owner of a given resource. Violations of authorial integrity-- including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access and copyright violations-- may be grounds for sanctions against members of the Hamline community. The University does not exercise prior review of copied materials. However, the University does make its best effort to educate the community in responsible use and respond when violations are pointed out.

Protected Works Include Eight Categories:

  • Literary works
  • Musical works, including any accompanying words
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • Pictorial, graphic and sculptural works
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • Sound recordings
  • Architectural works, including drawings, blueprints and the final structure

All Hamline faculty, students, and staff are held accountable to the Hamline University Information Technology Responsible Use Policy for Copying.

Individuals, not Hamline University, will be held accountable for liability for willful infringement of copyright laws.

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Security of Computer Systems

A. Protection Against Unauthorized Access
Each individual desiring access to Hamline's computer systems must comply with the procedures administered by Hamline's Information Systems department for obtaining a password and systems access. Each individual is responsible for choosing and protecting an appropriate password for that person's access to the university computer systems. Each individual is responsible for all actions taken and uses of the computer systems made under that individual's password. Faculty, staff, students, and guests shall not share passwords, post them on computer terminals, or otherwise communicate a password to anyone, other than their supervisors at Hamline and Hamline technical systems personnel.

B. Unauthorized Internet Access
Each individual is responsible for proper and lawful use of the Internet when it is accessed using Hamline technology. The rules for use of the Internet are basically the same as for use of Hamline's computer systems and use of paper documents. Prohibited uses of the Internet include all the prohibited uses of the university's computer systems defined in this policy, as well as any other uses of the Internet which would be a violation of applicable law. For example, Hamline's technology cannot be used to access the Internet for the sending of harassing material, pornography, chain letters, or defamatory matter.

C. Privacy of Files
Respecting the privacy of others' work and communications is an important value in an academic community that promotes the free exchange of ideas and civil discourse. Computer files and e-mail messages stored on the Hamline computer system are considered private to the extent allowed by law and university policy. As indicated in Section II C of this policy, attempts to access stored files or communications of another user, without authorization, are prohibited. However, it is important for users of Hamline technology to realize that the privacy of computer files, e-mail, and voicemail cannot be guaranteed and should not be assumed. Since Hamline University owns and maintains the computer and communication technology used by its students, faculty, and staff, it has the responsibility to service and repair these systems and to ensure that all university policies and applicable laws are observed. Hamline technology users should be aware that:

  • Technology services staff has access to all computer files and e-mail stored on the Hamline network servers. In the course of their normal duties they may see the content of these files.
  • In order to resolve some types of problems with the computer system it may be necessary to examine the content of a file.
  • There are cases in which Hamline University has the obligation to reveal the content of files stored on its computer systems. Hamline will examine or reveal the contents of user files if it is required by law or by court order, or in cases where there is reason to suspect serious violations of federal or state regulations, or of university policies. In the case of an internal investigation, access to a user's files must be authorized in writing by two university vice presidents.

D. No Expectation of Security on Internet
Information and messages sent over the Internet can be intercepted in various ways. Users of Hamline technology to access the Internet cannot assume that information they send over the Internet will be or remain confidential and inaccessible to anyone other than the intended recipient.

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Related Policies

All Hamline University policies, including Freedom of Expression, Discrimination & Harassment, Academic Integrity, University Authority and Civil Penalties, Posting Policy, and the Judicial Code apply to use of any university technology. These policies can be used as guidelines to determine whether an individual is using the university’s computer systems in an appropriate or inappropriate manner.

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Enforcement of Policies

A. Notification of Violations
Hamline encourages individuals to report any suspected violations of Hamline policy regarding Hamline's technology and the proper uses of it to the Director of Information Systems or an appropriate Hamline cabinet member. The university shall be responsible for investigating any potential violations, and encourages individuals to cooperate in the investigations. Hamline considers violations of this policy to warrant serious review and action.

B. Discipline for Policy Violations
Use of Hamline University's technology in violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action. Alleged violations of this policy will receive the same due process as any other alleged violation of university policy.

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Email Guidelines

Email provides essential communication regarding teaching/learning/community and general operations of the university. All degree-seeking students, all full-time faculty, and all staff are required to use the official Hamline email account (Gmail or GroupWise) that has been provided for Hamline related correspondence. All university correspondence, including assignments, course materials, financial aid information, employment and benefits information, safety and security alerts, news and events, and other important information, will only be sent to official Hamline addresses, and many notices will only be sent via email. Individuals are responsible for any messages sent to Gmail or GroupWise accounts.

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Network Connection Policy

Hamline University is committed to the use of technology to further the education of its students. As part of this commitment, Hamline University has wired every residence hall room with network connection, providing every residence hall room with the ability to connect to Hamline's network and via this network, to the Internet/World Wide Web. Hamline University has also wired a number of classrooms on campus so that a student may connect from a laptop to Hamline's network via one of these classrooms or carrels. The following policy outlines the connection process, guidelines for network use, process for resolving network connection problems and hardware and operation system standards.

As a student user, you are expected to read and follow the policy as outlined in the software section of this website.

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Web Policy

The Hamline University website provides online access to university and external information sources that support teaching, learning, marketing, and administration of the university. Information on the website is provided by members of the community, including faculty, staff, and students, to enhance communication and informed decision-making by facilitating access to current information. The Hamline University web policy guides the development and publishing of that information.

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Users of Hamline's technology are encouraged to ask questions and seek information on the topics covered in this policy, in order to be better able to comply with this policy. Questions about the appropriate use of computer and technology resources should be directed to the Chief Information Officer (651-523-2630). Questions regarding disciplinary actions and procedures should be directed to the appropriate office: for students-the Dean of Students; for staff-the Director of Human Resources; and for faculty-the dean of the appropriate academic unit.

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