Electronic Mail and Other Network Activity (Use of the Internet)

Delaware Technical Community College utilizes numerous measures to maintain the integrity, security and effective operations of its electronic mail systems. Users are advised, however, that in light of both these efforts and the College's intent to limit network use to the purposes stated in this Policy, the e-mail systems and network usage in general should in no way be regarded as a secure or private medium for the communication of confidential or sensitive information. Due to the nature of electronic communication, system users may not expect individual communications or activities on the College system nor the confidentiality of specific messages that may be created, sent, received, or stored in the system to be or remain private.

In addition, all users are advised that, while the College does not routinely monitor individual usage of computing resources, it reserves the right to monitor activity when: 1) the maintenance and standard operations of the system require the backup of data and communications, the logging of system activity, monitoring of general usage patterns, and 2) in circumstances where the College has reason to believe that network usage may be in violation of this Policy and other procedures required in the administration of the system. In addition, the College may also monitor the activity and accounts of specific users when: it appears to systems administrators necessary to do so to protect the security, integrity, and effectiveness of the systems; it is deemed necessary to protect the College from civil or criminal liability; there is reasonable cause to believe that violations of the College Electronic Networks Policy (including violations of State, local or federal law or applicable College policy) has occurred; an account displays an unusual amount of activity as indicated from general systems monitoring or specific usage patterns; or, it is permitted or required by law.

The College, when it deems necessary or proper may disclose the results of such monitoring activities to an appropriate College administrator or law enforcement agency and may use this information in relevant disciplinary proceedings. In addition, electronic mail may qualify in certain circumstances as a public record subject to public disclosure under applicable laws, including all Freedom of Information statutes. Only College administrators, faculty, staff, students, and other individuals, who have received permission under the appropriate systems administrator, are authorized users of the College electronic mail system or network. All authorized users must identify themselves accurately and clearly in communications. Concealing or misrepresenting one's identity or using the identity of another user or individual on the College system is prohibited and considered a violation of this policy.

The use of any College network resources must be related to College business. Incidental and occasional personal use of the network including the use of electronic mail may occur when such use does not create an unreasonable direct cost to the College and is not inconsistent or interfere with the user's primary function as student, staff, faculty or administrator. Such incidental and occasional communications are subject to the provisions of this policy.

Prohibited uses of the Delaware Tech electronic mail and network system include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

  1. using foul, profane, obscene, offensive or defamatory language
  2. sending copies of documents or using materials in violation of copyright laws
  3. using the system to harass, intimidate, or interfere with the employment duties or learning process of others
  4. attempting unauthorized access to the email system, attempting to breach security measures on any external email system, or attempting to intercept electronic mail communications
  5. attempting to access, disrupt, or destroy the College's or other computer systems or files malicious code attacks or other means
  6. using the system for personal financial gain, outside commercial venture, or illegal activity or for any activity that violates a State, local or federal law or regulation or constitutes a violation of this Policy or an other College policy
  7. forwarding chain letters and sending mass electronic mailings or using the system for open mail relay; individual users may request prior permission from the systems administrator to send electronic mailings to more than 100 recipients on a case by case basis
  8. excessive non-academic or non-work related use of the network for downloading, sharing or transferring large files

The individual systems administrators at the campuses and in the Office of the President will investigate and document apparent or alleged violations of the College Acceptable Use of Electronics Networks Policy. The systems administrators may temporarily suspend a user's access to the system pending the outcome of an investigation of misuse. Identified cases of alleged abuse of any system will be referred to the user's Dean or Director, who will consult with the campus Director of Human Resources regarding appropriate action and immediately notify the Vice President and Campus Director of the alleged violation. For alleged violations in the Office of the President, the administrator will consult with the Chief Legal Counsel and Associate Vice President for Human Resources for appropriate action and who will also notify the President. In the event the case involves a student, the matter will be referred to the campus Dean of Student Affairs for further investigation, appropriate action and who will immediately notify the Vice President and Campus Director.

For the purpose of enforcing this policy, the "systems administrators" are: the Assistant Vice President for Computer Services & Information Systems and the Assistant Vice President for Statewide Technical Services, or their official designees.

Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to: the Assistant Vice President for Computer Services & Information Systems, the Assistant Vice President for Statewide Technical Services, or the Chief Legal Counsel and Associate Vice President for Human Resources. (Added Board of Trustees 9/19/1998; Amended Board of Trustees, 4/16/2002)