Appropriate Use Guidelines

Appropriate Use Guidelines

Guidelines for Appropriate Use of University of Wisconsin-Superior Information Technology Resources

Access to electronic mail, the Internet, databases, computers and other information technology (IT) resources is essential to the mission of UW-Superior, and the achievement of excellence requires their effective use by all faculty, staff and students.

Use of information technology must be consistent with the University's mission and with its role as a public agency. Each member of the University community is expected to protect the integrity of these resources and to know and adhere to University rules, regulations and guidelines for their appropriate use.

Regulations that govern personal conduct and use of University facilities* also apply to the use of information technology resources. In addition, the following guidelines apply more specifically to use of IT resources.

General Guidelines

Access to University IT resources is a privilege granted to members of the University community. This access privilege carries with it the responsibility to use IT resources for University related activities, exercising common sense and civility. Individuals using UW-Superior information technology resources agree to follow all applicable policies, rules, and laws. The primary governing policy is the Board of Regents Policy on Use of University Information Technology Resources. UW-Superior maintains it's own Information Technology Policies.

Individual Responsibility

Authorization for use of IT facilities is provided to each individual for his or her own use. No person may use an authorization belonging to someone else. In many cases the University has obtained access to resources exclusively for the use of members of the University community.


The protection of University IT resources depends heavily on each user's careful handling of "keys" to these resources, since any account can serve as an entry point for theft, damage or unauthorized use. Users must protect the confidentiality of their personal identification codes and passwords and are expected to exercise reasonable care to insure that others cannot use their accounts.

Unauthorized Access

Individuals may not obtain or use - or attempt to obtain or use--passwords, IP addresses or other network codes that have not been assigned to them as individuals or authorized for their use as University employees. Individuals may not obtain--or attempt to obtain - unauthorized access to computer accounts, network resources, software, files, or any other University IT resources.

Malicious Activity

Individuals may not alter or intentionally damage software or data belonging to someone else or interfere with another person's authorized access to IT resources. Users may not intentionally disrupt or damage University computers or networks in any way.

Impersonation and Anonymity

Users of University IT resources may not send electronic messages or post web sites with the sender's identity forged, or send anonymous messages unless the recipient has agreed to receive anonymous messages.

Use of Intellectual Property

Creation of intellectual property is central to the purpose of the university. Respect for and proper use of creative works demonstrates understanding of this process. Users of University IT resources are expected to understand and comply with applicable copyright laws. Users should assume that any information not created by them is the property of others. Examples of prohibited activities include electronic publishing of documents or peer-to-peer file sharing without permission of the copyright holder, or unlicensed use of software. This statement is not intended to limit "fair use" as permitted under the Copyright Act, or other permitted educational uses of creative works.

Confidentiality of Student Data

Faculty and staff need to be aware of the legal issues relating to confidentiality of student data. Only "directory" information can be disclosed without the student's written permission. Directory information includes: name, address, telephone number, date of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended. A student may request that the above data also be restricted. If the student's address indicates the data is restricted, NO information about that student can be released without the student's written permission. Members of the university faculty and staff have a right to access certain student information based on the need to know and provided it is for legitimate educational purposes. Information about a student's GPA, placement test scores, current schedule, courses taken, grades and all other academic and biographical data cannot be released without the student's written permission. With access to computerized student data, staff have the responsibility to serve as a custodian of that data. As a part of that responsibility they must insure the security of access to the data and must not discuss the information with other staff except for educational purposes. Students should not have access to staff computers or be able to view information about other students. There must be a balance between access and security of information. When staff access student information to teach and advise students, they should understand and respect the student's rights to privacy.

Commercial, Political and Non-University Activities

Individuals may not use University IT resources to sell or solicit sales for any goods, services or contributions unless such use conforms to UW-Superior rules and regulations governing the use of University resources. University employees may not use these resources to support the nomination of any person for political office or to influence a vote in any election or referendum. No one may use University IT resources to represent the interests of any non-University group or organization unless authorized by an appropriate University department.

Personal Use of Information Technology Resources

In the interest of making the use of IT resources a natural part of the day-to-day learning and work of all members of the University community, incidental personal use is tolerated. However, one should use non-University sources of e-mail, Internet access, and other IT services for activities of an extensive nature that are not related to University purposes. Messages sent on University equipment are considered to be public records.

Campus Email

Campus email is an official means of communication that students are encouraged to use. Some of its useful features include distribution lists, public folders and public calendars. If students elect to use another email address, they should reroute their campus email to this address. The campus will delete unread email that is 90 days old.

Local, State and Federal Laws

Persons may not use University IT resources to violate local, State or federal laws.

* as published in the University of Wisconsin System Administrative Code and UW-Superior policies. For example, disruption of University activities, damage to facilities, physical threat, theft or harassment as described in UWS 17 and 18; student academic misconduct in UWS 14; selling, peddling and soliciting in UWS 18; and ethical standards for use of facilities by faculty and staff in UWS 8.

Violation of University rules governing appropriate use of IT resources may result in loss of access privileges, University disciplinary action, and/or criminal prosecution.