Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources
About This Policy
- Effective Date:
- Date of Last Review/Update:
- Responsible University Office:
- Information Policy Office
- Responsible University Administrator:
- Office of the Vice President for Information Technology & Chief Information Officer
- Policy Contact:
University Information Policy Office, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Policy Feedback:
- If you have comments or questions about this policy, let us know with the policy feedback form.
- Print or view a PDF of this policy
- Many policies are quite lengthy. Please check the page count before deciding whether to print.
This policy applies to all users of Indiana University information technology resources regardless of affiliation, and irrespective of whether those resources are accessed from on-campus or off-campus locations.
Unless otherwise specified in this policy or other university policies, use of Indiana University information technology resources is restricted to purposes related to the university's mission of research and creative activity, teaching and learning, and civic engagement. Eligible individuals are provided access in order to support their studies, instruction, duties as employees, official business with the university, and other university-sanctioned activities. Individuals may not share with or transfer to others their university accounts including network IDs, passwords, or other access codes that allow them to gain access to university information technology resources.
Indiana University technology resources may not be used in a manner that violates the law, for private commercial activities that are not approved by the university, for personal private gain, or for political campaigning and similar activities that are inconsistent with the university's tax-exempt status.
Campuses, schools, colleges, departments, and other administrative units have considerable latitude in developing complementary technology use policies and procedures, as long as they are consistent with this policy and any other applicable technology use policies of the university. Such policies may be more restrictive than university policy, but must not be more permissive.
Incidental personal use is an accepted and appropriate benefit of being associated with Indiana University's rich technology environment. Appropriate incidental personal use of technology resources does not result in any measurable cost to the university, and benefits the university by allowing personnel to avoid needless inconvenience. Incidental personal use must adhere to all applicable university policies. Under no circumstances may incidental personal use involve violations of the law, interfere with the fulfillment of an employee's university responsibilities, or adversely impact or conflict with activities supporting the mission of the university.
Reason for Policy
Computers, network systems, and other technologies offer powerful tools for creating, communicating, and managing data, and for a host of other activities. Taxpayers, students, and other groups providing sources of funding that support information technology resources at Indiana University expect that these assets will be used in support of the university's mission of research and creative activity, teaching and learning, and civic engagement. In addition, the university and its constituents expect that information technology resources at Indiana University will be used in a lawful manner.
- Determination of relation to mission
- If the relationship of a use of information technology resources to the university's mission is unclear, the University Information Policy Office (UIPO) or regional campus Chief Information Officers (CIOs) will coordinate with campus administration and the unit involved. These groups will determine whether the activity is an appropriate use of university information technology resources and supports the mission of the university.
- Determination of incidental personal use
- The senior management of each university department or other administrative unit is authorized to define and publish the acceptable level and nature of incidental personal use by members of the unit. An employee's supervisor may require the employee to cease or limit any incidental personal use that hampers job performance or violates university policy. University technology service providers will always place a higher priority on support of university-related activities over any form of incidental personal use.
- The University Information Policy Office (UIPO) and/or regional Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are available to provide consultation or advice related to technology use or misuse to any university, campus, or unit administrators or individual personnel.
- Commercial activities
- are defined as economic activities geared toward a mass or specialized market and ordinarily intended to result in a profit, and that are not part of one's university responsibilities. Commercial activities do not include the use of information technology resources for one-time, minimal transactions, such as students using their Indiana University email accounts to communicate with potential buyers for used textbooks or with potential sub-lessees. This type of transaction is considered incidental personal use.
- Incidental personal use
- is the use of information technology resources by members of the Indiana University community in support of activities that do not relate to their university employment or studies or to other activities involving and approved by the university. Examples include use of email to send personal messages to friends, family, or colleagues, including messages relating to one-time minimal sales or purchase transactions, and use of the personal home page service to provide information about personal hobbies or interests. If personal use adversely affects or conflicts with university operations or activities, the user will be asked to cease those activities. All direct costs (for example, printer or copier paper and other supplies) attributed to personal incidental use must be assumed by the user.
- Information technology resources
- includes all university-owned computers, peripherals, and related equipment and software; voice communications infrastructure, peripherals, and related equipment and software; data communications infrastructure, peripherals, and related equipment and software; all other associated tools, instruments, and facilities; and the services that make use of any of these technology resources. The components may be individually controlled (i.e., assigned to an employee) or shared in a single-user or multi-user manner; they may be stand-alone or networked; and they may be stationary or mobile.
- Personal private gain
- is defined as securing profit or reward for an individual in his or her personal capacity, that is not otherwise permitted by this policy.
- Political campaigning and similar activities that are inconsistent with the university's tax-exempt status
- include campaign purposes that would further the interests of the candidate or candidates of any one political party.
- Regional campus Chief Information Officer
- The primary responsibility of a regional campus Chief Information Officer is the development and use of information technology in support of the campus's vision for excellence in research, teaching, outreach, and lifelong learning. He or she also is responsible for disseminating information to the campus, coordinating activities that involve more than one campus, fostering cooperation in areas such as sharing technical expertise and training, and coordinating response and resolution of problems on their own campus involving information technology issues.
- University Chief Information Officer
- The primary responsibility of the University Chief Information Officer is the development and use of information technology in support of the university's vision for excellence in research, teaching, outreach, and lifelong learning. The University Information Policy Office (UIPO) represents the University Chief Information Officer (CIO) with respect to policy issues related to the IU Bloomington and IUPUI campuses.
Indiana University will handle reports of misuse and abuse of information and information technology resources in accordance with existing policies and procedures issued by appropriate authorities. Depending on the individual and circumstances involved this could include the offices of Human Resources, Vice Provost or Vice Chancellor of Faculties (or campus equivalent), Dean of Students (or campus equivalent), Office of the General Counsel, and/or appropriate law enforcement agencies. See policy IT-02, Misuse and Abuse of Information Technology Resources for more detail.
Failure to comply with Indiana University information technology policies may result in sanctions relating to the individual's use of information technology resources (such as suspension or termination of access, or removal of online material); the individual's employment (up to and including immediate termination of employment in accordance with applicable university policy); the individual's studies within the university (such as student discipline in accordance with applicable university policy); civil or criminal liability; or any combination of these.
- Reviewed December 2011.
- Revised August 17, 2011: changed titles in Sanctions section to more accurately reflect current usage.
- Revised March 4, 2010: enhancing language in Sanctions section
- Approved: May 23, 2006
- Interim: September 5, 2000