Home of Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Conditions of Use for Computer Services Policy

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is responsible for the centrally managed information technology activities of Philadelphia University. It develops and provides services to benefit other segments of the University and to facilitate the success of decentralized information technology activities. OIT serves a large number and variety of users including faculty, staff, students, and outside clients.

As members of the Philadelphia University community and in accordance with the overall policy in this area, (see Information Technology policy) all types of users have the responsibility to use the Center's services in an effective, efficient, ethical, and legal manner. Ethical and legal standards that apply to information technology resources derive directly from standards of common sense and common decency that apply to the use of any shared resource.

The Office of Information Resources depends first upon the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation that has been fostered at Philadelphia University to resolve differences and ameliorate problems that arise from time to time. This statement on conditions of use is published in that spirit. The purpose of the statement is to promote the responsible, ethical, legal, and secure use of OIR resources for the protection of all users.

When using OIR's services, users agree to the following conditions: To respect the privacy of other users; for example, users shall not intentionally seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, tapes, or passwords belonging to other users or the University, or represent others (i.e., log on as someone else), unless explicitly authorized to do so by those users.

To respect the legal protection provided by copyright and licensing of programs and data; for example, users shall not make copies of a licensed computer program to avoid paying additional license fees or to share with other users. To respect the intended usage of accounts; for example, users shall use assigned accounts, transactions, data, and processes authorized by faculty, department heads, or project directors for the purposes specified, and shall not access or use other accounts, transactions, data, or processes unless explicitly authorized to do so by the authorizing personnel.

To respect the integrity of the system or network; for example, users shall not intentionally develop or use programs, transactions, data, or processes that harass other users or infiltrate the system or damage or alter the software or data components of a system. Alterations to any system or network software or data component shall be made only under specific instructions from authorized faculty, department heads, project directors, or management staff.

To respect the rights of other users; for example, users shall comply with all University policies regarding sexual, racial, and other forms of harassment, and you shall not divulge sensitive personal data concerning faculty, staff, or students to which you have access without explicit authorization to do so. To adhere to all General University Policies and Procedures including, but not limited to, policies on proper use of information resources, information technology, and networks; acquisition, use, and disposal of University-owned computer equipment; use of telecommunications equipment; ethical and legal use of software; and ethical and legal use of administrative data.

In addition, other external networks to which Philadelphia University maintains connections (e.g., Internet) have established acceptable use standards. It is your responsibility to adhere to the standards of such networks. The University cannot and will not extend any protection to users should users violate the policies of an external network. Users should be aware that although the Computer Center provides and preserves security of files, account numbers, authorization codes, and passwords, security can be breached through actions or causes beyond the reasonable control of the Computer Center. Users are urged, therefore, to safeguard their data, authorization codes, and passwords; to take full advantage of file security mechanisms built into the computing systems; to change their account password frequently; and to follow the security policies and procedures established to control access to and use of administrative data.

Violations of Conditions of Use Violations of any of the above conditions are certainly unethical and may be violations of University policy or criminal offenses. Users are expected to report to the Computer Center instances in which the above conditions have been or are being violated. When the Center becomes aware of possible violations of these conditions, it will initiate an investigation. At the same time, in order to prevent further possible unauthorized activity, the Center may suspend the authorization of computing services to the individual or account in question. In accordance with established University practices, policies and procedures, confirmation of unauthorized use of the center's resources may result in disciplinary review, expulsion from the University, termination of employment, legal action, or other disciplinary action.

Appropriate and Responsible Use Computing resources shall be used in a manner consistent with the instruction, public service, research, and administrative objectives of the University, in general, and consistent with the specific objectives of the project or task for which such use was authorized, in particular. All uses inconsistent with these objectives, even if authorized, are considered to be inappropriate use and may jeopardize further authorization. Users are expected to use computing resources in a responsible and efficient manner. OIT will provide guidance to help users use these resources efficiently and productively. If users use large amounts of computing and data processing resources, users are expected to refrain from engaging in deliberately wasteful practices--for example, printing large amounts of unnecessary listings, maintaining large numbers of unused files, or playing games for purely recreational purposes. The pertinent consideration is the recognition that computing resources are finite. Therefore, users are expected to cooperate to the greatest extent possible in making these resources available to others.

The Office of Information Resource's resources include systems for human interaction, such as messaging and conferencing. OIT supports both freedom of expression in these media and the University's policies against racial, sexual, and other forms of harassment. Philadelphia University is committed to being a racially, ethnically, and religiously heterogeneous community. Computer conferences in particular provide a vehicle through which the University's commitment can be realized, because they convene a very broad cross section of the community to discuss a wide range of issues, including those of bigotry, racism, and sexism. While using various media for electronic communication, you should be mindful of the impact of your contributions on the campus community. Users should abide by the standards set for participant behavior in each conference users are in, as well as by standards of good citizenship and those described in University codes of conduct. Be mindful that you represent Philadelphia University in outside conferences and that outside users will judge Philadelphia University by your conduct.

Use of administrative data carries with it particular responsibilities for the security of data, userIDs, and passwords made available to access such data. As an administrative data user, users are responsible for properly safeguarding any administrative data which may be accessed by a terminal, personal computer, or any other distributed workstation. Users should store data on storage media, such as floppy disks, in a secure environment consistent with the security classification of the data. An administrative userID defines the access authorization level appropriate for the user's job function, and users are considered responsible for all activity that occurs under the administrative userIDs and passwords. For this reason, users should not store userIDs and passwords in a microcomputer system, nor should users share their userIDs and passwords with others. Users are also considered responsible for being aware of security policies and procedures relating to access and use of administrative data.

Office of Information Resources Responsibilities OIR has a responsibility to provide service in the most efficient manner while considering the needs of the total user community. At certain times, the process of carrying out these responsibilities may require special actions or intervention by the staff. At all other times, OIR staff have no special rights above and beyond those of other users. OIT shall make every effort to ensure that persons in positions of trust do not misuse computing resources or data or take advantage of their positions to access information not required in the performance of their duties. The Office of Information Resources prefers not to act as a disciplinary agency or to police activities. However, in cases of unauthorized, inappropriate, or irresponsible behavior, the Center does reserve the right to take remedial action, commencing with an investigation of the possible abuse. In this connection, OIT, with all due regard for the rights of privacy, shall have the authority to examine files, passwords, accounting information, printouts, tapes, or other material that may aid the investigation. Examination of the user's files must be authorized by the appropriate Office of Information Technology senior manager or designee. When requested users are expected to cooperate in such investigations. Failure to do so may be grounds for cancellation of access privileges.



For further assistance, please contact the Technology Help Desk at 215-951-4648 or by Email at HelpDesk@PhilaU.edu