Acceptable Use of Information Systems

Access to computer systems and networks owned or operated by Pennsylvania Highlands Community College imposes certain responsibilities and obligations and is granted subject to college policies, and local, state and federal laws. Acceptable use is always ethical, reflects academic honesty, and shows restraint in the consumption of shared resources. It demonstrates respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, and individuals' rights to privacy and freedom from intimidation, harassment, and unwarranted annoyance unless covered by legal statues.

The Chief Information Officer is responsible for the enforcement of these guidelines. Any request for use of information systems other than those identified must receive prior written approval.

  1. Users of IT resources must comply with all applicable legal requirements.
  2. Users are responsible for any activity originating from their accounts. Users shall not share their accounts and passwords
  3. Users shall not use IT resources to gain unauthorized access to anything.
  4. Disruptive use of college IT resources is not permitted.
  5. IT resources shall not be used for commercial purposes without prior approval.
  6. Occasional personal use of IT resources by employees is permitted when it does not consume a significant amount of those resources, is otherwise in compliance with this policy, and meets with the approval of the supervisor.
  7. The College may monitor the activity, accounts, and devices of any users of IT resources.
  8. Users must not augment the college network infrastructure without prior approval.
  9. Users must not misuse computing and printing resources, for example, using school's bandwidth (WIFI and/or wired network) for excessive streaming, intentionally modifying College maintained hardware and/or software, or printing documents or web pages that are not solely for classroom and/or business purposes.
  10. With the exception of those devices managed by IT, devices are not allowed to be connected directly to the internal corporate network.

Users who violate this policy may be subject to penalties and disciplinary action, including expulsion, dismissal, or revocation of user access. Any violations of the acceptable use of information systems must be reported to the Chief Information Officer.

The Chief Information Officer will investigate the allegations and may disallow network connections by certain computers (including departmental and personal connections); require adequate identification of computers and users on the network; undertake audits of software or information on shared systems where policy violations are possible; take steps to secure compromised computers that are connected to the network; or deny access to computers, the network, and institutional software and databases. The College reserves the right to copy and examine any files or information resident on College systems allegedly related to the unacceptable use. Users are expected to cooperate with the investigations either of technical problems or of possible unauthorized or irresponsible use as defined in these guidelines; failure to do so may be grounds for suspension, termination of employment, or termination of access privileges.

If the infringement is not settled through discussion, the matter involving students will be referred to the Vice President of Student Services; a matter involving faculty will be referred to the Vice President of Student Services, and a matter involving staff will be referred to the immediate supervisor. Violators are subject to disciplinary action as prescribed by College policies. In addition, certain kinds of abuse may result in a civil or criminal action.