Purpose: Delta State University's computing and network facilities service a large number of faculty, students, staff, and others. In light of the legal resp onsibilities inherent in operation of such a system, the university has a number of areas of potential liabilities. This policy addresses the responsibilities of the users and t he University. POLICY

All users have the responsibility to use the University computing systems in an effective, efficient, ethical, and lawful manner. Use of Delta State University's computer res ources and computer network is not a matter of right, nor is it provided as a public forum, but rather all use of Delta State University's computer resources and network must be consistent with the mission of the University in support of public education, research, and public service. GUIDELINES

Security: The user is responsible for correct and sufficient use of the tools each computer system provides for maintaining the security of stored informatio n. A summary of the security procedures relevant to the end users of computing resources is given below:

  1. Computer accounts, passwords, and other types of authorization are assigned to individual users and should not be shared with others.
  2. The user should select an obscure password and change it frequently.
  3. The user should understand the level of protection each computer system automatically applies to files and supplement that protection, if necessary, for sensitive informatio n.
  4. The computer user should be aware of computer viruses and other destructive computer programs, and take steps to avoid being either their victim or propagator.

Academic Freedom: Free expression of ideas is central to the academic process. However, Delta State University computer system administrators may remove any information from individual accounts or from electronic bulletin boards maintained in individual accounts if it is determined that:

  1. The presence of the information in the account, web site or on the bulletin board involves illegality (e.g., copyrighted material, software used in violation of a license ag reement).
  2. The information in some way endangers computing, network resources, or the information of other users (e.g., a computer worm, virus, or other destructive program).
  3. The information is inappropriate, because it is inconsistent with the mission of the University, or is otherwise not in compliance with the legal and ethical usage governed by Federal or State law or regulation, or with University or Institutions of Higher Learning policies.
  4. The cost of maintaining the information is deemed prohibitive by the responsible administrative unit.
  5. The user is no longer authorized for access.

Removal of such information will be with approval of the Delta State University Office of Technical Director or Chief Information Officer.

Inappropriate Usage: Computing and networking resources should be used only in accord with the guidelines defined in this policy and procedure. Examples of i nappropriate and unacceptable use of computing and networking resources include, but are not limited to:

  1. Harassment of others.
  2. Destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to Delta State University or others.
  3. Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications.
  4. Violations of security.
  5. Unauthorized use of accounts, access codes, passwords, or other network identification information assigned to others.
  6. Use of computer and/or network facilities in ways that impede the computing activities of others, including randomly initiating interactive electronic communications or e-ma il exchanges, overuse of interactive network utilities, overuse of network accessible bulletin boards or conferences, and the "off topic" posting of materials to bulletin boards or conferences.
  7. Use of computing facilities for business purposes not authorized by Delta State University.
  8. Use of dormitory network access to conduct business for any purpose is strictly prohibited. Violators will be subject to loss of network services to their residence while a student at Delta State University
  9. Violations of trademarks, patents, or copyrights and violation of software license agreements. (Refer to policies of the university.)
  10. Violation of the usage policies and regulations of any partner/associate of Delta State University.
  11. Violation of privacy.
  12. Academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism or cheating).
  13. Commercial advertising or political campaigning.
  14. Violation of applicable laws, regulations, or policies.
  15. Persons may not obtain or use -- or attempt to obtain or use -- passwords, IP addresses or any other information that has not been assigned to them as individuals or authori zed for their use as University employees. Persons may not obtain -- or attempt to obtain -- unauthorized access to computer accounts, software, files, or any other technology r esources
  16. Persons may not alter or intentionally damage software or data or interfere with authorized access to technology resources. Users may not intentionally disrupt or damage Uni versity computers or networks in any way.
  17. Users of University technology resources may not send electronic messages with the sender's identity forged or send anonymous messages unless the recipient has agreed to rec eive anonymous messages.
  18. Persons may not use technology resources to sell or solicit sales for any goods, services, or contributions unless such use conforms to Delta State University rules and regu lations governing the use of resources, and has been approved, in writing, by the President.
  19. University employees and students may not use these resources to support the nomination of any person for political office or to influence a vote in any election or referend um. No one may use University technology resources to represent the interests of any non-University group or organization unless authorized by an appropriate University departme nt, and approved by the President.


Violation of the policies described herein for use of computing and network resources are dealt with seriously. Violators who are University faculty, students, or staff are s ubject to the disciplinary procedures of the University and, in addition, may lose computing privileges, including dorm and computer lab access, if applicable. Illegal acts invo lving Delta State University computing and networking facilities may also be subject to prosecution by state and federal officials. If applicable, violators may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of State and Federal laws.


This policy and procedure will be reviewed, as needed, by the Delta State University Office of Information Technology with recommendations for revisions presented to the Pres ident.