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 (CIO) is responsible for the enforcement of these guidelines. Any request for use of information systems other than those identified must receive prior written approval.
The College considers any violation of acceptable use principles or guidelines to be a serious offense. Individuals or groups who act in a manner contrary to existing policy and accepted standards for computer use are subject to the sanctions and disciplinary measures normally applied to misconduct or law-breaking. Any violations of the acceptable use of information systems must be reported to the Assistant Vice President of Information Technology.
The CIO 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 in discussion a 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 Academic Affairs; 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 civil or criminal action.