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University Information Technology Policy Statement

The Information Technology ("IT") resources and services of Fordham University are provided for the advancement of the University's educational, research, and service objectives. They are offered primarily to facilitate the University's academic and business purposes. Any access or use of IT resources and services that interferes, interrupts, or conflicts with these purposes is not acceptable.

This Policy Statement provides notice of the University's expectations and guidelines to all who use and manage IT resources and services (including but not limited to computing, networking, communications and telecommunications systems, infrastructure, hardware, software, data, databases, personnel, procedures, and physical facilities).

APPLICABILITY

IT Policies are applicable to all students and employees (faculty, administrators, and staff) and any others who are extended the privilege of using IT resources and services for the purpose of achieving the educational objectives of Fordham University and its students. All such persons accessing and using IT resources and services are subject to the applicable provisions of the University Statutes, University Code of Conduct, Handbook for Administrators, Local 153 and Local 805 Collective Bargaining Agreements, Student Handbooks, and all other policies and procedures established by the schools and administrative offices of Fordham University.

USER RESPONSIBILITIES AND STATEMENT OF PROHIBITED USES

Only authorized members of the Fordham University community are extended the privilege to access and use IT resources and services. Access and use is limited to the purposes that are consistent with the instructional, research, and administrative goals of Fordham University and the user's relationship to those goals. Access or use that is not consistent with these goals may be prohibited and may result in sanctions imposed by the appropriate University authorities. Users are advised that they may also be subject to international, federal, state and local laws holding them personally responsible for their own actions in connection with IT access and use.

RESPONSIBILITIES

In consideration of the privilege of accessing and using IT resources and services, all persons are expected to comply fully with the standards and responsibilities of acceptable use as outlined in:

  • All applicable provisions of the University Code of Conduct, employee handbooks and agreements, student handbooks and other policies and procedures established by the undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools of Fordham University.
  • IT Policies and Procedures, including the Statement of Prohibited Uses.
  • All local, state, federal, and international laws, including but not limited to, copyright and intellectual property.
  • All software license agreements acquired by the University and its authorized units.
  • All applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to, sexual harassment, academic dishonesty, scientific misconduct, non-discrimination, copyright, intellectual property, and internet usage.
  • The legal and educational standards of software use as published in the EDUCOM Code.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Self-policing of passwords and access codes.
  • Changing passwords and access codes on an as-needed basis.
  • Respecting authorial integrity and the intellectual property rights of others.
  • Preventing and reporting viruses that infect computer systems.
  • Properly backing up appropriate systems, software and data.

STATEMENT OF PROHIBITED USES

IT resources and services cannot be accessed or used in the following manner:

  • Initiating or participating in unauthorized or personal mass mailings to news groups, mailing lists, or individuals (including but not limited to chain letters, spam, floods and bombs).
  • Giving others by password or other means unauthorized access to any user or network account.
  • Using or attempting to use an unauthorized user or network account.
  • Disguising or attempting to disguise the identity of the account or machine being used. This includes but is not limited to spoofing IP addresses, impersonating any other person or entity, or misrepresenting affiliation with any other person or entity.
  • Using the University network to gain or attempt to gain unauthorized access to remote networks, including remote computer systems.
  • Conduct constituting wasteful use of IT resources or which unfairly monopolizes them to the exclusion of others.
  • Interference or degradation of controls and system security.
  • Engaging in computer crimes or other prohibited acts.
  • Knowingly or negligently running or installing or giving to another user, a program which damages, exposes to unauthorized access, or places excessive load on any computer system, network, or other IT resource. These programs include, but are not limited to, computer viruses, Trojan Horses, and worms.
  • Using any IT resource or communication services, including e-mail or other means to intimidate, insult, embarrass and harass others; to interfere unreasonably with an individual's work, research or educational performance; or to create a hostile or offensive working or learning environment.

Periodically, the University will conduct information sessions and/or provide in official communications specific examples of inappropriate IT uses. In the interest of creating a well informed user community, the University also encourages questions about proper use. Direct inquiries to CIMS at (718) 817-3999 or the Office of Legal Counsel at (718) 817-3111

ENFORCEMENT AND SANCTIONS FOR NON-COMPLIANCE

In the event of a violation or failure to comply with IT policies, the University may initiate charges and impose appropriate sanctions by following the various processes and procedural safeguards that are applicable to the individual's employment or student status.

Complaints from individuals alleging the inappropriate use of IT resources and services should be referred to the Dean of Student Life if the alleged offender is an undergraduate student or a student in the Graduate School of Education, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences or Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education; to the Academic Dean (or delegate) in the School of Law, Graduate School of Business, and Graduate School of Social Service; to the Area Vice President, if the alleged offender is an administrator; to the appropriate Academic Dean or Vice President for Academic Affairs if the alleged offender is a faculty member; to the Executive Director of Human Resources for all other employees; to the Vice President for Lincoln Center/IT for all other alleged offenders.

In addition to liability and penalties that may be imposed under international, federal, state or local laws, IT users who fail to fulfill their responsibilities and engage in prohibited conduct are subject to sanctions imposed by the University. Sanctions against students are listed in the Student and Residential Life Handbooks. Faculty are subject to disciplinary action, including reprimand, suspension and dismissal as stipulated in Article IV of the University Statutes. Administrators and staff are subject to disciplinary action under their respective handbook and collective bargaining agreements. Depending on the nature and severity of the violation, sanctions can range from various levels of warnings to immediate termination of employment or enrollment.

The University will exercise good faith and proper discernment in its enforcement of all IT policies. It will respect the academic freedom to which users are entitled insofar as the legal rights and responsibilities of the individual IT user and Fordham University require. Failure to take action in any particular instance should not be construed as an alteration of the policy or a waiver of any right or remedy available to the University.

PRIVACY

Access to the Information Technology ("IT") resources and services of Fordham University is granted primarily for facilitating the work and objectives of Fordham University. All students and employees (faculty, administrators and staff) retain the right of privacy in their personal files and data, electronic mail, and voice-mail as long as they are using IT resources consistent with the purposes, objectives, and mission of Fordham University.

For the purpose of satisfying any law, regulation or government request, Fordham University reserves the right to monitor the use of IT resources and services and disclose any information necessary and appropriate. In the event the University has reasonable suspicion that a user of IT resources has violated any civil or criminal law, the University Code of Conduct, IT Policies or any other University policy, procedure, or regulation, the University reserves the right to access, inspect, monitor, remove, take possession of, or surrender to civil or criminal authorities the offending material, with or without notice and consent of the student or employee.

This limited exception to the general right of privacy in the context of acceptable use of IT resources can be authorized for reasonable cause only by a duly elected officer of Fordham University, namely, the President and Vice Presidents, and in the case of faculty, with notice to the President of the Faculty Senate. Any action taken by the University based on the information obtained will be subject to the procedural safeguards accorded under the University Statutes, Handbook for Administrators, Local 153 and Local 805 Collective Bargaining Agreements, the Student Handbooks, and all other student policies and procedures promulgated by the Student Affairs Division and the graduate and professional schools of Fordham University.

Moreover, users of IT resources should be aware that the University cannot guarantee security and privacy, as their uses may not always be completely private. For example, issuance of a password or other means of access is to assure appropriate confidentiality of University-related information and files. It does not guarantee privacy in all cases, especially for personal or unlawful use of IT resources.

EMERGENCIES

While the University will not routinely monitor individual usage of its computing resources, in order to restore normal operations and maintenance, in emergency situations, the University may require back up and caching of data and communications; logging of activity; monitoring of general usage; and other activities that are not directed against any individual user or user account, but are undertaken for the proper rendition of service.


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