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Board of Trustees
Board Policies
Section C
Use of Information Resources Including World Wide Web and Internet

C-21: Use of Information Resources Including World Wide Web and Internet

Adoption Date: 02/17/97  |  Revision Date: 01/21/03

Information Resources

In pursuit of its mission, Prairie State College shall provide access to information technology facilities and resources for students, faculty, staff and other authorized users consistent with institutional policies and within its financial resources. Information technology facilities and resources include all College computing resources and facilities, including the Internet and electronic mail. The College’s information resources are not a public forum for general use. Access to the College’s information technology facilities and resources shall be considered a privilege granted to PSC students, faculty, staff, and other authorized users. All users are responsible for using these resources in an effective, ethical and lawful manner. Abuse of this privilege and nonobservance of this policy will subject violators to appropriate disciplinary action.

The privilege of use of the College’s information resources is not transferrable and may not be extended by members of the College community to nonmembers, without prior authorization of the College President.

Authorized individuals may use the College’s information resources for activities related to the College’s curriculum and co-curricular organizations and activities sponsored by the College, for research consistent with the College’s educational objectives, and for administrative record keeping.

The College reserves the right to extend, limit, restrict or deny computing privileges and access to its information resources. As a condition to access to College information resources, Prairie State College reserves the right to oversee its computing resources, including E-mail and Internet use, to protect the integrity of its computing systems, workstations, and lab facilities.

Information resources shall not be used for any personal, commercial, or private business purposes, including personal financial or commercial gain, or non-College related activities, without written authorization from the President. Any use of information resources, including the network, for personal and private business is prohibited.

The College’s information resources shall not be used for any illegal activities, including but not limited to, copyright violations and unauthorized access to or unauthorized use of data bases.

Access to information technology resources without proper authorization, unauthorized use of College computing facilities, and intentional or negligent corruption or misuse of information technology resources shall be considered direct violations of the College’s standards of conduct.

Designated College officials are authorized to make determinations on whether specific uses of the network are authorized and/or consistent with acceptable use practice.

This policy does not preclude further action resulting from the application of pertinent laws and regulations, as a consequence of unauthorized and/or illegal or otherwise unacceptable use of the College’s information resources. By adopting this policy, the Board of Trustees recognizes that all members of the College are also bound by local, state and federal laws relating to copyrights, security, and other statutes regarding electronic media.

World Wide Web and Internet Use

Prairie State College recognizes that the World Wide Web (WWW) is an important electronic publication medium. This policy is adopted to promote appropriate use of this medium. The WWW allows the College to promote its programs and services to prospective students, businesses and agencies, alumni, and members of the public. The College’s presence on the WWW is intended to promote a positive image of the College.

Prairie State College recognizes the value and potential of publishing on the Internet and encourages the development of electronically published information. The College shall maintain an official WWW home page in order to connect visitors to pertinent information.

There shall be only one officially authorized and recognized Prairie State College WWW home page located at www.prairiestate.edu. Any other WWW home page shall be considered as counterfeit and subject to appropriate legal sanctions by the College. The home page may include references or links to pages created and supported by campus units but not to individual home pages.

The Prairie State College WWW web site and all pages within the College’s web site shall be recognized as official publications of the College, and thereby will be subject to the College’s established publication policies and guidelines.

Students, faculty and staff are not allowed to create individual home pages as part of the College’s home page and Website, and the College will not provide direct support for developing individual home pages. College resources shall not be used to create WWW home pages primarily used for personal, commercial, or private business, including personal, financial or commercial gain. Official college information may not be included on individual home pages.

Any recognized student organization may create its own home page. However, the organization’s home page will not be part of, or linked with, the College’s home page or Website. The following statement shall appear on all pages of the organization’s home page:

  1. “The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the author(s). The contents have not been reviewed or approved by Prairie State College.”

The College shall reserve the right to disable and/or remove, after appropriate review and warning, the web page links and publishing capability of college-managed servers of any person or unit which uses the Internet in violation of College policy; which conducts or promotes activities which are illegal or in violation of contractual obligations; or which negatively impacts the College or imposes excessive use of computing or network resources.

The College President shall cause standards and guidelines to be prepared for the development of the College’s WWW home pages.

Use of Electronic Mail Communication

Electronic mail communication shall not be used to create, communicate, repeat or otherwise convey or receive any message or information which is illegal, indecent, obscene, defamatory, likely to constitute harassment of a College student or staff member or any other individual, likely to cause disruption in the College, or is otherwise inconsistent with the College’s curriculum and educational mission.

Electronic mail users shall respect the privacy rights of others and shall not attempt to access any electronic mail communications not directed to them or intended to be received by them.

Consequences of Improper or Prohibited Use of Prairie State College Information Resources

Improper or prohibited use of the College’s information resources and/or nonobservance of this policy will result in disciplinary measures imposed. Criminal conduct will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

This policy is not intended, nor should it be used, to abridge academic freedom or constitutional guarantees of free speech.