Technology Usage Policy

I. Introduction

The Lynchburg College computing and electronic communication facilities and services are owned by the College and are primarily intended for teaching, educational, research and administrative purposes. Access to these facilities is a privilege granted to the College's faculty, staff, students and guests of the College. Fundamental to the use of these facilities is the respect for the rights and privacy of all users. By using the College's computing and electronic communications facilities and services, College faculty, staff, students and guests agree that they will comply with this policy, and will cooperate with the College in implementing this policy.

Certain responsibilities and possible liabilities accompany this privilege, and understanding them is important for all computer users. This policy strives to balance the user's ability to benefit from these computing resources and the College's responsibility to maintain the computing and electronic communications facilities and to assure that its institutional policies are in compliance.

The purpose of the Technology Usage Policy is to promote the efficient, ethical, and lawful use of the Lynchburg College computer and network resources.

II. Scope

This policy applies to all users of Lynchburg College computing and network resources, whether initiated from a computer and/or network device located on or off campus.

III. Policy Statement

Individuals using computer resources belonging to Lynchburg College must act in a responsible manner, in compliance with law and College policies, and with respect for the rights of others using a shared resource. The right of free expression and academic inquiry is tempered by the rights of others to privacy, freedom from intimidation or harassment, protection of intellectual property, ownership of data, and security of information.

IV. Guidelines for Responsible Use

A. In General

The specific usage guidelines that follow are not intended to be comprehensive, but rather to establish and clarify the intent of this policy. Situations not enumerated here will inevitably arise, and they should be interpreted according to the spirit of this policy.

Some constraints are necessary for the efficient and appropriate use of shared computer resources. Since network capacity is limited, academic and administrative needs must take precedence for use of the network. All users must act responsibly and use the facilities in an ethical, professional, and legal manner. This means that users agree to abide by the following standards of responsible use to ensure the integrity of all systems is respected and not intentionally abused:

  • The privacy of users must be respected.
  • Users must recognize that certain data are confidential and must limit access to such data for use in direct performance of their duties. 
  • No one - faculty, staff, or student - shall obtain or provide unauthorized access to one's own or other users' accounts and files. Users shall keep their own access ID(s) confidential. 
  • The use of all accounts for research, instruction, or administrative purposes must be consistent with the College's mission. 
  • All users must respect the rights of others to remain free from harassment.

B. Network Registration

Network registration is required for all computers connecting to the College network in College residential facilities, wireless access areas, and public areas with network access. Such registration is necessary to ensure network security.  Authentication by the network registration software will be required on a regular basis.

C. Personal Use and Use by Third Parties

Students, faculty, and staff have the privilege of reasonable use of the College's computing and electronic communications facilities and services for personal activities related to teaching, scholarship, research, professional development, and public service, as well as other incidental personal use. Incidental personal use is an accepted and appropriate benefit of being associated with Lynchburg College’s rich technology environment. Appropriate incidental personal use of technology resources does not result in any measurable cost to the College, and benefits the College by allowing personnel to avoid needless inconvenience. Incidental personal use must adhere to all applicable College policies. Under no circumstances may incidental personal use involve violations of the law, interfere with the fulfillment of an employee's work responsibilities, or adversely impact or conflict with activities supporting the mission of the College. Examples include, but are not limited to, use of email to send personal messages to friends, family, or colleagues, including messages relating to one-time minimal sales or purchase transactions. All direct costs (for example, printer or copier paper and other supplies) attributed to personal incidental use must be considered by the user.

Use of the facilities and services for commercial purposes not under the auspices of the College is not permitted. Commercial purpose is 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 College responsibilities.

The use of College facilities and services by individuals and organizations that are not part of the College community is not permitted unless approved by the president, vice president and dean for academic affairs, or vice president for business and finance. Such approval will generally be granted only when the use is in connection with:

  • a College-sponsored event or activity;
  • a public service activity for which comparable equipment is not otherwise reasonably available to the user;
  • use by a guest of the College for an otherwise appropriate use; and/or
  • a contractual agreement between the College and a governmental agency, private business, educational institution, or other entity.

D. Plagiarism and Protection of Intellectual Rights

The Lynchburg College Honor Code regarding plagiarism and other violations of academic integrity applies to coursework completed with use of electronic devices just as it does to other coursework.

The College endorses the following statement on software and intellectual rights:

Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to work of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgement, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution. Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environment and subject to the College Intellectual Property Policy. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access and trade secret and copyright violations may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community. (Educause and ADAPSO)

Lynchburg College purchases and licenses the use of various computer software for business purposes and does not own the copyright to this software or its related documentation. Unless authorized by the software developer, Lynchburg College does not have the right to reproduce such software for use on more than one computer.  Users may only use software on local area networks or on multiple machines according to the software license agreement.  Lynchburg College prohibits the illegal duplication of software and its related documentation.

In addition, electronically using, distributing, or posting copyrighted material in violation of license or other legal restrictions or contractual agreements is prohibited. (See "Sharing Music, Movies, and Software over the Lynchburg College Network" at http://lconline.lynchburg.edu/filesharing.html)

V. Privacy, Enforcement, and Sanctions

A. Privacy of Users

While not legally required to do so, the College respects the privacy of the users of its computing and electronic communications facilities. While the College's intent is to respect privacy, users should not expect complete privacy of electronic files. Users must be aware that the security of electronic files on shared systems is not inviolable. Except when legally required to do otherwise, private information obtained unintentionally will be treated confidentially.

 All College-owned property and the work, correspondence, data and other material therein, whether stored electronically, on paper, or in any other form, are subject to review for legitimate business reasons.  Portions of the IT infrastructure include automatic and manual monitoring and recording systems that are used for reasons that include, but are not limited to, security, performance, backup, and troubleshooting. The College reserves the right at any time to monitor and access any data, including the contents of any College computer or College communications, for any legitimate business reason.

Users must adhere to all of the College’s policies and procedures when using college equipment.  This includes, but is not limited to: Lynchburg College’s Code(s) of Conduct as well as Lynchburg College’s discrimination and harassment policies.  This also includes Lynchburg College's Confidentiality and The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) policies.  Users may not use Lynchburg College's computers or other equipment in a manner that violates another's rights under FERPA, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or any other applicable law pertaining to privacy or confidentiality.

B. Investigation of Violations and Revocation of Access

Monitoring users' accounts or conducting spot checks of users' activities is prohibited except as set forth below. Computer programs, e-mail, voice mail, phone logs, network traffic logs, web site cache, and electronic files can be accessed by ITR personnel, and other College personnel to whom such authority has been delegated to:

  • Investigate suspected violations of this policy, or other College policy and rules;
  • Probe possible disruption to the network or other shared services;
  • Monitor the volume of system activity and track work flow;
  • Restore system integrity in the event of a crash;
  • Reestablish or protect the security of the system; and/or
  • Cooperate with law enforcement officials.

Except in emergency cases, such access must be authorized by the President of the College

The officials listed below have the authority, in an emergency situation and based on the results of an authorized investigation, to immediately revoke or limit any user’s access to College computing and electronic communication facilities and services.

  • Vice President and Dean, Academic Affairs (faculty)
  • Vice President for Business and Finance (staff)
  • Vice President and Dean for Student Development (students)
  • Chief Information Officer

In emergency cases, such as an occurrence of threatened system integrity and when the appropriate administrator is not available, access to systems as cited above may be authorized by any of the administrators listed above. If none of those officials is available, designated ITR personnel have the authority to lock or search accounts or log sessions. Any emergency entry will be recorded in writing and forwarded to the appropriate College authority and its appropriateness reviewed after the fact. Where a user's electronic files or other electronic material listed above is accessed by the College as part of an investigation into a suspected violation of this policy or other College policy or rules, the College will usually notify the individual of this access within five business days. This notice requirement shall not apply where the notice would, in the judgment of the College, interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation.

C. Other Sanctions for Misuse and Reporting Misuse

If abuse of Lynchburg College computing facilities occurs from campus or external network access, persons responsible for such abuse will be held accountable and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from employment or the College. Moreover, individuals or groups who take actions that may have legal implications are subject to further sanctions by relevant law enforcement authorities.

Abuses of computer resources are direct violations of the College's standards of conduct as outlined in faculty, staff, and student handbooks. Alleged violations of this policy will be processed according to the procedures outlined in these handbooks. Also, unauthorized downloading and file-sharing of copyrighted materials, such as music and movies, by students is addressed through a three-tier response system detailed at /copyrightcomplaints.xml.

Users are expected to cooperate with authorized investigations of technical problems or use of technology facilities that may be unauthorized, illegal, or in violation of this policy. Except as noted in Section IV.B above, an explanation of any revocation of access will be provided to the user, and an appeal may be made in accordance with existing College procedures.

Any user who is the victim of harassment or other abuse involving the College's computing or electronic communication facilities or any user who becomes aware of a possible violation of this policy should report the harassment or abuse to his/her supervisor or to the appropriate administrator listed above.  Anonymous reporting will be accepted through the Campus Conduct Hotline at 866-943-5787.

Lynchburg College has established a human rights policy and procedures for dealing with complaints of human rights violations. This documentation can be accessed at http://internal.lynchburg.edu/?page_id=431 .

Revised  4/4/2013