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Policies and Procedures

9.54 Use of Computer Resources


Campus information systems have been designed to be as open as possible and, as such, the University insists on appropriate use of these systems.  Because disruption of the electronic environment has widespread consequences for many members of the University community and because electronic information is easily reproduced, respect for the work and rights of others is especially important.


University of Northern Iowa computing resources are for use by the students, faculty, staff and other authorized users of the University of Northern Iowa; and only for purposes consonant with the mission of the University. The University by its very nature values openness and promotes access to a wide range of information.

The University does not routinely monitor individual use of computing resources, however users should be aware that electronic mail and files stored on computers may not be private.  The University reserves the right to inspect or monitor systems under its control and responsibility when necessary for the normal operation and maintenance of the University’s computing resources or when there is cause to believe a user has violated the law or University policy.  In addition, users should be aware that electronic records may be subject to the Iowa Open Records law.

Policy on Ethical Behavior with Respect to the Electronic Information Environment

Unauthorized or inappropriate use of the University of Northern Iowa computing resources is prohibited and is grounds for sanctions which can include suspension or loss of computing privileges, disciplinary action or, in extreme cases, legal action. Users with access to University Computer Services may be held personally responsible for ANY use made of their authorization. "Authorization" refers to the computer account, transaction authorization, or any other means by which one gains access to any computer system.

UNI policy prohibiting sexual harassment covers all uses of electronic technology and communication on campus, including e-mail correspondences and news groups.

The following are a sample, but not exhaustive list of behaviors with respect to the electronic environment which are expressly prohibited.

  1. Accessing without authorization or attempting to access, alter, erase or intercept (such as by bus or network monitoring) computer data that are not one's own. Accessing, or attempting to access, equipment or networks at UNI or elsewhere via UNI resources, without permission. Using, or attempting to use, someone else's authorization.

  2. Permitting others (at UNI or elsewhere) to use one's own authorization.

  3. Modifying or extending network services and wiring beyond their intended use.

  4. Concealing or attempting to conceal one's identity when using University resources, except when anonymous access is explicitly provided.

  5. Forgery or misrepresentation of one's identity.

  6. Impairing, interrupting or inhibiting any other person's access to or use of resources except consequential to normal and acceptable use. (Examples include generating or spreading a virus, sending codes to lock another person's keyboard, making excessive noise, and inordinate consumption of resources, including network band-width).

  7. Sending anonymous, deceptive, fraudulent, or unwelcome electronic communications, such as chain letters.

  8. Violating license agreements, copyrights or intellectual property rights. Violating contractual obligations of the University. (See UNI Policy Copyright-Protected Computer Materials).

  9. Re-transmitting UNI-specific or commercially obtained network resources outside of the University community.

  10. Commercial use of information from University databases or University resources.


As reasonably possible under the circumstances, the associate vice president for information technology services or designee shall provide prior authorization for any inspection or monitoring related to violations of this policy on Use of Computer Resources.

Planning and Policy Committee for Information Technology, approved 12/02
President's Cabinet, approved 04/28/03