Policies & Procedures

Responsible Use of Computing Resources

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Policy Revised: June 14, 2013

What is the purpose of this policy?

The purpose of this policy is to outline guidance, rules, and acceptable practices for the use of computing resources at the University of the Incarnate Word. Guidance included in the Administrators’ Handbook, the Faculty Handbook, and the Student Handbook are incorporated by reference in this policy. All users of computing resources at UIW are also responsible for adherence to any State or Federal regulations regarding computer use at the University.

To whom does this policy apply?

This policy applies to all users of University network, e‐mail, and computing resources, including any and all technical systems and services provided or owned by the University. This also includes University network, web, e‐mail accounts and records provided to or in the possession of University faculty, staff, administrators, students, or other users of University technical services.


Access to computing resources at the University of the Incarnate Word is a privilege, not a right. This access is granted with restrictions and responsibilities for use. Violations of the rules governing the use of UIW computing resources may subject the violator to loss of access privileges, disciplinary action, and/or other action as deemed appropriate by the University. UIW’s computing resources, including Internet access and email accounts, are provided to support the University’s education, business, and research missions. Routine personal usage of these resources may be permissible if, in the determination of the University, such use does not interfere with the University’s mission or preempt normal business/educational activity, does not impede employee productivity, does not interfere with or negatively impact any other person’s or entity’s rights and work/learning environment, does not conflict with any rule or law, and does not consume more than a trivial amount of resources.

General Rules

Account sharing is prohibited

You are responsible for all activity conducted within your account. Do not share your account information or password with anyone else. If you fail to safeguard your account information and/or engage in unauthorized account‐sharing, you may be subject to disciplinary action.

Use of University computing resources must be in accordance with University policies and codes of conduct

Files controlled by individual users are considered private. The ability to read, alter, or copy a file does not imply permission is granted to others to do so. The University reserves the right to access and/or remove any files in violation of University policies. The ability to connect to or make use of other systems through the network does not imply the right to do so unless properly authorized by the owners of these systems. To do so without proper authorization will result in disciplinary action.

Commercial use prohibited

Computing accounts are provided for University operational and academic use only. Commercial use of UIW computing resources is strictly prohibited. Accounts found being used for commercial and/or personal gain will be turned off. Electronic advertising using University computing resources is prohibited.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act Violations. The University of the Incarnate Word will comply in all respects with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

If you use your Internet connection to share copyrighted materials (files, programs, songs, videos/movies, etc.) without permission of the copyright owner(s), you are in violation of the DMCA. When we (UIW) discover or are informed by the copyright holder of a potential copyright violation, we are required by Federal Law to remove the copyrighted materials from the system in question. If we are unable to remove these materials for any reason, then we will terminate network access for the system in question until we are able to verify the removal of the infringed materials.

Guidance and Rules Regarding the UIW network The network is a shared resource

The University reserves the right to limit the use of individual computing resources at any time when necessary to the maintenance of overall network operation. Network use or applications which inhibit or interfere with the use of the network by others are not permitted. (For example, using an IP address not registered to you, or running applications which use an unusually high portion of the bandwidth for extended periods of time, thus inhibiting the use of the network by others). Use of the network must comply with all University policies.

Network Quarantine

In order to provide a reliable and secure network environment for all users, Infrastructure Support Services uses various technologies to detect and control any machine on the UIW network that exhibits potentially malicious or disruptive activity, or appears to be exceptionally vulnerable to external threats such as viruses or malware. In the event that such a machine is so detected, the machine will be isolated from the broader network and placed into a quarantine network where the owner will be provided with links to resources that enable correction of the problem. Once the machine is cleaned, and has remained clean for a period of three hours from the last time that malicious activity was detected (not including time when the machine was turned off or unplugged/removed from the network), full network services will be restored.

Identity theft or forgery

Theft, forgery or other misrepresentation of your identity via electronic or any other form of communication is prohibited. Prosecution under State and Federal laws may also apply.

Physical modification to network resources

Do not modify or extend network services and wiring beyond the area of their intended use. This applies to all network wiring, hardware, and jacks. Any unauthorized modification or extension of network services may be subject to charges to the student’s account or employee’s department.

No redirection of services

The UIW network may not be used to provide Internet access to anyone outside of the University community for any purposes. UIW‐specific or commercially obtained network resources may not be retransmitted outside of the University community. 

You may NOT use your UIW network connection to:

  • Operate a separate business or organization for profit or non‐profit purposes.
  • Monitor data on the network using monitoring or “sniffing” software.
  • Provide a pass‐through site to other campus hosts or provide remote login (e.g. telnet access) on your computer for others than yourself.
  • Engage in any activities generally regarded or construed as “hacking.”
  • Harass, libel, or slander anyone or engage in fraudulent representations.
  • Copy or transmit copyrighted material unless you are legally authorized to do so.
  • Download, post, or transmit material contrary to UIW policies.

Prevent the spread of computer viruses

Computers using the UIW network must include operational anti‐virus software. Users should keep Virus Definition Files up to date. The University reserves the right to remove infected or vulnerable computers from the network.

Guidance and Rules Regarding UIW Email resources Overview

All employees and students at the University are issued a standard University email account. This is the University’s chief electronic avenue for communication with its students and employees. The use of e‐mail at UIW, like the use of other University computing resources, is a privilege, not a right. Use of email resources at UIW is subject to limitation and/or revocation. Guidance and rules regarding the use and content of UIW email applies equally to transactional information (such as e‐mail headers, summaries, and addresses) associated with e‐mail use and content.

Authorized Uses

Notwithstanding references made elsewhere in this policy to the personal use of UIW computing resources, employees are not permitted to use UIW’s e‐mail resources for personal commercial or business activities, personal charitable endeavors, illegal political or other activities, to send or forward chain mail, or for any other purpose or activity prohibited by UIW policies or civil law, unless authorized in advance by the University in writing.

User Identity

Misrepresenting, obscuring, suppressing, or replacing a user’s identity on an e‐mail system is forbidden. The user name, e‐mail address, organizational affiliation, and related information included with e‐mail or postings must reflect the actual originator of the mail or postings.

No Guarantee of Privacy

UIW respects the rights of its employees and students. However, UIW is also responsible for servicing and protecting its network and related systems, as well as complying with state and federal laws. We cannot and do not guarantee that users’ e‐mail or other network activity will be private and you should not have an expectation of privacy. E‐mail, for example, can be forwarded, intercepted, printed, and stored by others. Although network activities such as email usage are not routinely monitored, UIW may monitor or access your e‐mail or other network‐related activities if the University suspects or is advised of possible breaches of network security or violations of other University policies, rules, regulations, directives, or law. The University may also monitor or access your email if evidence exists which demonstrates that your e‐mail contains information, data, or other intellectual property that belongs to another person. Only the President, the Provost, the Vice‐President for Finance and Technology, or the UIW General Counsel may authorize such access to e‐mail under this policy. UIW network administrators and technical support staff members may have to access your e‐mail and other records of your network use for routine maintenance of systems and for specific system problems. System administrators and technical support staff accessing legally protected or confidential information or records shall not disclose, copy, or otherwise disseminate any other information or records unless specifically directed to do so by the Chief Information Officer or the Vice President for Administration. Other than as provided for in this policy, no employee shall access the e‐mail of another employee or student without the consent of the person whose e‐mail is being accessed. The improper access of the e‐mail of another shall be reported to the Chief Information Officer and may be subject to appropriate discipline by authorized University officials.

Email etiquette

Never say anything in e‐mail that shouldn’t or couldn’t be said publicly. Once a message has been sent, control over it is lost. It may be forwarded to others or displayed on an electronic bulletin board or in a newsgroup without the author’s knowledge or consent. Abusive or insensitive language in email is an inappropriate use of computing resources. Use of electronic means to send or post fraudulent, harassing, obscene, indecent, profane, intimidating, or unlawful messages is prohibited.

Contents of Email

E‐mail is treated as any other form of communication. State and federal laws, as well as all university policies regarding communications, apply to the content and use of UIW e‐mail systems. Stationary use, the use of personal “taglines” that quote a philosopher, religious text, use a “phrase of the day” or make any philosophical or political statement are prohibited, as are any image attachments as part of the sender’s signature, except the university’s logo, as outlined, below.

All email exchanges must contain one of three approved signature options in the email string. The following options are available as official university signatures:


UIW e-mail signature #1: standard version, with logo:

uiw logoname
college, school or department (if not evident from title) University of the Incarnate Word
4301 Broadway, CPO XXX
San Antonio, Texas 78209
210‐XXX‐XXXX (office phone)
XXX-XXX-XXXX (mobile phone, optional; may be used in lieu of office number)
Fax 210‐XXX‐XXXX (if used)
Departmental Web Address (if desired)

UIW e-mail signature #2: standard version, without logo:

college, school or department (if not evident from title)
University of the Incarnate Word
4301 Broadway, CPO XXX
San Antonio, Texas 78209
XXX-XXX-XXXX (mobile phone, optional; may be used in lieu of office number)
Fax 210‐XXX‐XXXX (if used)
Departmental Web Address (if desired)

UIW e-mail signature #3: short version:

college, school or department (if not evident from title)
XXX-XXX-XXXX (mobile phone, optional; may be used in lieu of office number)


Purging Email

E‐mail systems are not intended for archival storage, and network email archives are purged on a rolling sixty‐day basis. Employees are responsible for periodically purging e‐mail from their personal storage areas on the network. The University reserves its right to limit capacity on individual accounts for archival storage and other University purposes.

Web Publishing Rules

The UIW community has access to a variety of Web publishing options including personal and/or professional Web pages, weblogs or “blogs”, course content pages, and departmental Web sites. Information on UIW’s web site can be read worldwide. The quality, accuracy, and legality of this information are of the utmost concern to the University. The distributed and open nature of the Web renders traditional means of control impractical and transfers much of the responsibility to the individual. Students, faculty, and staff are responsible for the content of the documents they publish. They are also required to abide by all University policies regarding appropriate use of information and computing resources, including the following:                        

  • Information, graphics, and other materials are covered by and subject to all current copyright laws. If permission to display text, graphics, sound, video, etc. that are owned by someone else has not been granted, do not publish it.
  • If information about the University (e.g., total enrollment, number of faculty, etc) is to be used, please confirm its accuracy. For assistance, please contact the Office of Institutional Research.
  • Information representing a point of view differing from an established University policy or position must comply with university publishing policies.
  • All information must be free of inflammatory, derogatory, or offensive text, images, or sounds that exceed the bounds of academic freedom of faculty.
  • Flaming behavior, as often seen in newsgroups, could be interpreted as libel, and should be avoided.
  • The content of web pages, UIW discussion forums, blogs, and wikis are subject to all UIW policies.
  • Every effort should be made to keep documents free of typographical and grammatical errors.
  • Use of any UIW‐sponsored web site for commercial and/or personal gain is prohibited.
  • A phone number and/or e‐mail address of the student, faculty, or staff member is to be included on the home page.   The University of the Incarnate Word will not routinely monitor Web page content but we reserve the right to both monitor content and remove pages if they are in violation of these rules or relevant UIW policies.

Enforcement of this policy: Sanctions

Failure to comply with any of the above guidance or rules may result in termination of network services, loss of computing resource privileges, prosecution by the University, other disciplinary procedures, and/or civil and/or criminal prosecution. The Technology Department reserves the right to terminate any network connection without notice should it be determined that network traffic generated from said connection drastically inhibits or interferes with the use of the network by others. Depending on the circumstances, the University reserves the right not to indemnify you in the event of a claim or lawsuit by a third party related to the matters described in this policy.

Enforcement provisions

Violations of these rules are subject to the investigative and disciplinary procedures of the University with the appropriate representatives of the University’s Technology Department acting in an advisory role. Complaints against students are usually forwarded to and handled by the Campus Life Office. Complaints against faculty and other employees are forwarded to and handled by supervisors and/or the appropriate Vice President.

Limitations of privileges pending administrative or judicial process

In some cases the University must act more immediately to protect its interests and resources, or the rights and safety of others. The Chief Information Officer (or his/her appointed representative) has the authority to suspend or limit account privileges and access to resources in those situations. When services have been suspended in this way, Chief Information Officer shall notify the appropriate office, which will handle the complaint and attempt to notify the account or computer owner. Account suspension, or removal from the network is typically temporary while the complaint is handled through the normal investigative and disciplinary procedures of the University.

Discipline for Violations

Failture to abide by this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination or being asked to leave the institution. The University investigates and responds to all reported concerns about the responsible use of computing resources.