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General Description
Policy Provisions
Subject Experts
IT Resource Access Policy

Document Number: INFOTECH--100 Revision #:
Document Owner: Date Last Updated: 01/28/2016
Primary Author: Director of Information Technology Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 01/28/2016

General Description

This Policy constitutes an agreement between Cumberland University (“University”) and its employees, students and guests (“Users”). This Policy applies to the use of Cumberland University computing resources (“Resources”), including computer data and telephone networks and the resources they make available, as well as stand­alone computers, printers, scanners, and/or other computer related devices that are owned and/or administered by the University.


By turning on a University owned and/or administered stand­alone computer, connecting an individually owned device to the University’s network, logging onto the University computer network from any location, or otherwise accessing or utilizing University computer related resources, users agree to be bound by the terms of this policy.


All faculty, staff, students, and administrators

Responsibility: Human Resources
Information Technology

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Policy Provisions

Scope of Resource Usage

Resource access is granted with the understanding that Resources will be used for University purposes. Faculty members, staff members, and students may access and use these Resources only for purposes related to their studies, their responsibilities for providing instruction, the discharge of their duties as employees, their official business within the University, and other University­sanctioned activities.


The University’s computer Resources are maintained solely for educational and administrative purposes. Use of the University’s Resources is a privilege, not a right, and misuse will result in temporary or permanent revocation of this privilege, at the University’s discretion.


Acceptable Use

The University’s Resources shall be used in a manner that is protective of the use, access and property rights of others. Users must therefore:


1. Abide by all local, state, and federal laws, including copyright laws;


2. Abide by all applicable software license agreements;


3. Use only the accounts, access codes or network identification numbers assigned to them;


4. Access only those files or data they are authorized to use;


5. Refrain from using computing resources in ways that unnecessarily impede the activities of others; and


6. Refrain from using computing resources in ways that are unlawfully harassing to others.


Computer gaming activities are allowed in residence halls and areas of campus that may be approved by IT and the University’s administration from time to time. No network restrictions will be made that specifically target gaming or gaming devices; however IT will not make configuration changes on the network to improve gaming performance that will limit its ability to secure and manage network Resources.


Cooperative Use

The University expects that Users are willing to cooperate so that all users may make optimal use of Resources in a shared environment. Users are expected to:


1. Regularly delete unneeded files from accounts on shared computing resources;


2. Refrain from excessive use of bandwidth, information storage space, printing facilities or processing capacity; and


3. Refrain from using sounds or visuals that are disruptive to others.

Any uses of University Resources other than those that are within this scope must have prior written approval of the President or a member of his Cabinet, and the Director of Information Technology.


Banned Devices

Non­IT Users are banned from connecting the following devices to the University’s network. Any devices found to be connected to the network in violation of this policy are subject to immediate seizure. By connecting any device to the University’s Resources users agree to the forfeiture of any property found to be in violation of the “Banned Devices” section of this Policy.


Banned Devices List


1. Network Routers;

2. Network Switches;

3. Wireless Access Points;

4. Any device used to circumvent firewalls, proxies and other security/content control technology on the network;

5. Any device configured or used to monitor, log or alter other users’ network traffic;

6. Any device configured or used to provide core network services such as DNS or DHCP; and

7. Any device that has been intentionally configured to violate or assist in violating any part of this Policy.


Unacceptable Use

It is the responsibility of each User to ensure that usage falls within the scope outlined in the Scope of Resource Usage section of this document. Some examples of unacceptable uses are, but are not limited to, the following:


1. Resources may not be used for personal business ventures. This means users may not offer, provide or purchase personal products or services for commercial purposes through the University’s Resources. Commercial or personal advertisements are strictly prohibited on the University’s Resources.

2. Users may not use the University’s Resources for political lobbying. However, users may use the Resources to communicate with elected officials and may express to them their opinion on political issues, provided, however, in such instances, users expressly state that their opinions are personal, and do not represent the opinions of Cumberland.  This provision does not apply to administrators acting pursuant to authorization of the University’s President.

3. Plagiarism of other’s work is unacceptable and those who use the expressions of others as their own will be subject to disciplinary action. Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital.  Because electronic information is easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is critical. Violations including copying and using the work of another person as a user’s own are prohibited.  If a user is unsure whether or not he or she can use a work, the user should request permission from the copyright owner or contact IT.

4. Users will not reproduce or allow others to reproduce copyrighted material in any form without proper authorization, or not in keeping with the University’s copyright regulations or federal and state laws.

5. Users will not use software that allows for the direct sharing of music, movies, games, and software over the Internet when such peer­to­peer file sharing contains copyrighted works without the permission of the copyright holder.  

6. Users will not attempt to gain unauthorized access to the Resources or to any other computer system through this network. This includes attempting to log in through another person’s account or access another person’s file. These actions are illegal, even if only for the purpose of browsing.

7. Any unauthorized, deliberate action that damages or disrupts a Resource, alters the normal performance of said Resource, or causes it to malfunction is a violation of policy regardless of system location or time duration. User will be financially responsible for such damage. This includes, but is not limited to the spread of computer viruses and worms. These actions are illegal. This also includes the unintentional spread of a virus when doing other activities which are prohibited in this policy.

8. Users may not send spam or create or retransmit chains in e­mail messages.

9. Users may not send e­mail from another user’s account.

10. Users may not alter the header of an e­mail message to prevent the recipient from determining the actual sender of the e­mail.

11. Users may not log into or use any computer account or access, modify or create any files without the account owner’s permission.

12. Users may not transmit, without authorization, information proprietary to Cumberland or information that could be construed as a statement of official University policy, position, or attitude.

13. Users may not intercept network traffic without authorization.

14. Any attempts to violate the security of the University’s computer Resources are prohibited. Any user identified by IT as a security risk or as having a history of problems with the University’s computer Resources may be denied user privileges.

15. The copying of system files is prohibited. The copying of copyrighted materials, such as third party software, without the express written permission of the owner or without the proper license, is prohibited.

16. Decoding or attempting to decode system or user passwords is prohibited. Users are also prohibited from sharing their password with other people or allowing anyone to use a computer logged in under their login; doing so will result in the loss of network privileges.

17. Intentional attempts to “crash” Resources are prohibited.

18. Attempts to secure a higher level of privilege on the University’s Resources are prohibited. Users are prohibited from using any type of “hacker” tools to try to break into the system, either on campus or from a remote site. Any attempt to circumvent firewall filtering is prohibited.

19. Users of the University’s Resources will not use obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, disrespectful or otherwise objectionable language.

20. Users may not visit nor download materials from any site that contains offensive, obscene or immoral pictures (i.e., pornography and nude photos), profane language, or any other material inappropriate for an educational setting. Neither shall users access material that advocates illegal acts, violence or discrimination towards other people (i.e., hate literature).

21. Users will not use any method to bypass the University’s selected filtering process.

22. The University’s Resources will not be used in any immoral or unethical manner.

23. Users will not engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks.  Harassment is not permitted. Harassment is defined as persistently acting in a manner that causes distress or annoys another person.

24. Users will not knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person or group.

25. Users will not re­post material that was sent to him or her privately without permission of the person who sent the material.

26. Users will not post private information or details about another person.

27. Deletion, examination, copying or modification of files and/or data belonging to others is prohibited.

28. Disk space usage is controlled on the network. User storage is limited. Users should not use their assigned space for long­term storage of information or programs. Files that are not a part of the operating system or utility software may be routinely removed from the drive without warning. Student files may be deleted at the end of each academic year. E­mail mailboxes that are above the University’s storage limit may be permanently deleted at any time during the semester.

29. Cumberland University IT can and will delete any files that appear suspicious or inappropriate such as questionable pictures, cartoons or movie clips.


Privacy and User Rights

The University reserves the right to monitor all aspects of Resource usage. No expectation of privacy should be assumed while using any of the University’s computing Resources.


The University’s internal network is considered a closed, private network therefore, the Office of Information Technology will exercise its right to filter, limit and block network traffic, including traffic bound for the public Internet, at the University’s discretion. All Internet related activity will be subjected to content and application filtering. The University reserves the right to block any site, service or network traffic type and to classify and rate limit all types of network traffic at its discretion. All inappropriate sites may not be blocked by the filter; it is the user’s responsibility to determine whether a site is within the limits of University policy.


Routine maintenance and monitoring of Resources may lead to discovery that a user has violated this Policy or the law.


An individual search will be conducted if there is reasonable suspicion that a user has violated this Policy or the law. The investigation will be reasonable and related to the suspected violation.


The University will cooperate fully with local, state or federal officials in any investigation related to any illegal activities conducted through these Resources.



Violations of this Policy may be grounds for discipline. Discipline may include loss of access to Resources, loss of privileges, or other sanctions up to and including restitution, monetary fines, prosecution under statutes, and/or loss of employment or expulsion from the University.


In addition, Tennessee and federal law provides for civil and criminal penalties for violations of the law by means of computer use. Examples of unlawful actions include defamatory remarks, destruction of data or equipment belonging to the University or to others, unauthorized copying of copyrighted material and the transportation of obscene materials across state lines.


Changes and Revisions

This Policy is subject to change at any time. Changes made to this Policy will be reflected in this document. Notification of changes will also be communicated, at the discretion of the University, to the campus community via email and/or other communication channels.


OIT may publish more specific or restrictive policies respecting the use of specific Resources not specifically mentioned in this policy. These additional policies will be made visible at the point of entry into a specific system or network. Users must abide by all policies approved by the University executive committees with authority related to specific Resources where applicable.

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Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Director of Information Technology

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