The PSU Information Technology Policies Guide is also available as a PDF.
This guide is the definitive collection of policies that govern the use of Information Technology (IT) at Plymouth State University (PSU). All users of computing, voice and data systems owned and/or operated by PSU may use any system for which they have been authorized, subject to and within the parameters set forth in this guide.
PSU values the productive use of all IT systems. Usage is encouraged that promotes the positive image of the university, furthers professional and academic growth, facilitates the performance of employees’ duties and contributes to a beneficial quality of life for residents.
When required, what constitutes reasonable standards will be defined by the Chief Information Officer (CIO). The violation of any policy must be reported to the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and/or the CIO. The enforcement of any policy will be the responsibility of the supervisor, department head, Chief Security Officer, Chief Information Officer, Human Resources personnel or any combination thereof, depending on the circumstances of any given violation.
Violations or illegal activity may result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to termination of employment in addition to legal courses of action.
These policies are written to support and protect four vital interests:
- Quality of Life
- Academic Freedom
- Prevention and Forensics
Quality of Life
The lives of students, faculty, staff and residents are all affected by IT systems. Residents deserve an environment that enables them to pursue academic and personal interests. These are ensured by policies that prohibit activities that would hinder their productivity in the classroom and enjoyment in their residence halls and apartments, while balancing the needs of all students through the regulation of bandwidth and management of network traffic.
Faculty interests are maintained by implementing policies that shape the use of technologies in the classroom and ensure the issuance of new technologies on a regular basis.
For administrative staff, technology replacement cycles and methods provide state-of-the-art equipment for the performance of their duties.
Overall, these policies ensure all users of IT systems have access to available services while preventing undue impact to others, govern productive use of campus technologies and create adaptable guidelines for a changing environment.
PSU subscribes to the principals of academic freedom as defined in the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure (with revisions) and adopted by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). As defined by the AAUP and adopted by PSU, Academic Freedom is the latitude for faculty to:
- Perform research and publish results
- Freely discuss their subject in the classroom
- Speak or write as citizens free from institutional censorship
All Information Technology Services (ITS) policies serve to protect the interests of PSU, staff, faculty and students. Specific to academic freedom, these policies serve to further the knowledge, truth-finding pursuits, academic endeavors and research performed by members of the faculty. These policies are written to protect those freedoms, as well as the personal and confidential information of each faculty member, staff member and student. Some polices or portions thereof may conflict with the ideals of academic freedom. In such an instance, the following from the PSU Faculty Handbook (revised April 7, 2010), 2.10 Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, Paragraph E Professional Responsibilities of Faculty Members shall apply:
Adherence to reasonable rules and procedures contributes to professionalism among faculty members. It does not violate academic freedom. When in conflict, university- wide policies take precedence over those of individual faculty members.
In light of the Supreme Court ruling in the City of Ontario, CA v. Quon, users do not have the expectation of privacy when using any PSU-owned, operated, managed or supplied system or service. All traffic and the contents thereof which traverses the PSU computer and/or telecommunications network, all PSU- supplied computers, telephones and related technologies and all correspondence including but not limited to files, e-mail and respective attachments, instant messaging, text messaging, voice calls and video calls are subject to the rights reserved by PSU to the extent deemed necessary to manage any communication or the contents thereof.
PSU will protect the confidentiality of users and data insofar as user-specific information will only be shared with others for relevant professional purposes (for example, financial information is expected to be shared among staff in Financial Affairs for job-related reasons, but not among others.)
ITS staff reserves the right to monitor, access, log, intercept, read, prohibit, limit and manage to the extent deemed necessary any communication or the contents thereof that uses PSU IT systems (see Prevention and Forensics below).
For more information, see the Sensitive and Confidential Information policy and the Supreme Court ruling on the City of Ontario, CA v. Quon.
Prevention and Forensics
ITS is committed to preventing the use of IT systems for illegal activities and activities that violate the confidentiality of personal data. Since not all activities can be prevented, the need to gather and analyze forensic information is also required.
ITS will employ systems that gather and analyze data in the effort to support investigations, assist law enforcement efforts and protect confidential and valuable information. Such information will only be used for such purposes and will never be shared, disseminated or otherwise made available to others who are not directly involved in the investigation.
Internal investigations can be initiated by the President, any Principal Administrator or the Director of Human Resources. External investigations can be initiated by subpoena. All subpoenas must be directed to the President’s office prior to any action being taken.
Plymouth State University maintains policies to provide the general conditions for use and management of information technology by the campus community and the responsibilities of those users regarding computing technology.
- Acceptable Use of Computing Resources
- Sensitive and Confidential Information Policy
- E-mail Use Policy
- User Credentials Policy
- Departmental Server Policy
- Voice Mail Use Policy
Other ITS policies and practices
Cell Phone Policy
University System of New Hampshire Policy on the Use of Technological Resources
The USNH On-Line Policy Manual (USNH OLPM) explicitly defines specific policy components, and requires that each USNH institution further clarify those components by developing local campus policies.
All PSU IT service providers and service consumers should familiarize themselves with the information provided in the USNH OLPM, Section F with particular regard to Subsections 4. Policy on Use of Technological Resources, and 5.Information Technology Security Policy. As the USNH OLPM is a living document, users should regularly view the document for changes.
State of New Hampshire Computer Crimes Law
Access to and use of Plymouth State University’s technological resources is subject to applicable laws of the State of New Hampshire.
Digital Millenium Act
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides protections to and describes procedures for ISP providers, including higher education institutions, concerning copyright materials on the Internet.