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RSCC Policy GA-18-01; Information Technology Acceptable Use

Roane State Community College
Policy Number: GA-18-01
Subject: Information Technology Acceptable Use
  1. Purpose
    1. The objectives of this policy include: 1) to articulate the rights and responsibilities of persons using information technology (IT) resources owned, leased, or administered by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and all Roane State Community College (RSCC) faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors; 2) to protect the interests of users; and 3) to facilitate the efficient operation of RSCC’s IT systems. This policy applies to all academic, administrative, networking and computer resources leased or installed at all RSCC locations.
    2. All users are subject to existing state and federal laws and regulations concerning the use of computers, email and the Internet.
  2. Definitions
    1. Information Technology resources or IT resources - include computers and computer time, data processing, storage functions, computer systems and services, desktop and laptop computers, printers, servers, networks, and other input/output and connecting devices, and related computer records, programs software, and documentation.
    2. Personal or private for-profit use shall mean a use college IT resources which has as a primary objective of financial gain for the user. Activities by a student which are typical of the student job search process (e.g. use of campus e-mail to contact potential employers or posting of one’s resume on the Roane States’ website) are not to be considered personal or private for-profit uses.
    3. Public record means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, microfilms, electronic data processing files and output, films, sound recordings, or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristics made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any governmental agency. T.C.A. § 10-7-301(6) I.
  3. Compliance with TBR Policies
    To the extent a discrepancy exists between this policy and related TBR or state policy or law, TBR and state policy shall take precedence.
  4. Policy
    1. User Responsibilities
      1. Access
        1. Users shall obtain proper authorization from Information Technology or designee before using RSCC computer resources.
        2. Users shall not use RSCC IT resources for purposes beyond those for which they are authorized.
        3. Users shall not share access credentials.
        4. Users shall not use college IT resources in an attempt to access any information technology resources external to the college when that access is not authorized by the system’s owner.
      2. Respect for others
        1. A user shall not attempt to obstruct usage or deny access to other users.
        2. Users shall not transmit or distribute material that would be in violation of existing TBR or RSCC policies or guidelines using college IT resources.
        3. Users shall respect the privacy of other users, and specifically shall not read, delete, copy, or modify another user’s data, information, files, email or programs (collectively, “electronic files”) without prior authorization.
        4. Users should note that there should be no expectation of privacy or data retention for electronic files stored on a computer available for general public access.
        5. Users shall not intentionally introduce any program or data intended to disrupt normal operations into college information technology resources.
        6. Forgery or attempted forgery of email messages is prohibited.
        7. Sending or attempts to send unsolicited junk mail or chain letters is prohibited.
        8. Flooding or attempts to flood a user’s mailbox is prohibited.
      3. Respect for college owned property
        1. A user shall not intentionally, recklessly, or negligently misuse, damage or vandalize college IT resources.
        2. A user shall not attempt to modify college IT resources without authorization.
        3. A user shall not circumvent or attempt to circumvent normal resource limits, logon procedures, or security regulations.
        4. A user shall not use college IT resources for purposes other than those for which they were intended or authorized.
        5. A user shall not use college IT resources for any private or personal for-profit activity.
        6. Except for those not-for-profit business activities which are directly related to an employee’s job responsibilities or which are directly related to an organization which is affiliated with the college, a user shall not use college IT resources for any not-for-profit business activities, unless authorized by the college president or designee.
        7. Users shall at all times endeavor to use college IT resources in an efficient and productive manner, and shall specifically avoid excessive game playing, printing excessive copies of documents, files, data, or programs, or attempting to crash or tie-up computer resources.
      4. User Responsibility - The following college rules and regulations are to define all users' limitations. These rules are separate and apart from the code of conduct as approved by the TBR. Any violations shall be termed "computer misuse," and the offender shall be referred to the appropriate college supervisor, or in the case of students, to the Dean of Students.
        1. Administrative Systems computer accounts and job numbers may not be used by anyone other than the applicant(s) and for any purpose other than that agreed upon with the RSCC Chief Information Officer (CIO).
        2. An individual may not access, copy or transmit the programs or data belonging to other individuals or to RSCC without permission unless required for the performance of that person’s duties at Roane State.
        3. A user may not attempt to learn the password of any other user and may not attempt to alter or destroy the files belonging to others.
        4. Programs and data files stored at RSCC may not be taken to other sites without authorization from the CIO, unless required for the performance of that person’s duties at Roane State.
        5. An individual may not tamper with or change any switch settings or software settings on any devices located in RSCC computer labs without approval from an instructor or Networking, Telecommunications and Technical Support staff.
      5. Additional Responsibilities of Employees and Independent Contractors
        1. Users who are employees or independent contractors shall not make use of Roane State IT resources for purposes which do not conform to the goals and mission of Roane State and to the user’s job duties and responsibilities.
        2. Users shall not use college IT resources for solicitation for religious or political causes.
        3. The purpose of this policy is to define responsible and ethical behavior of RSCC users in order to preserve the availability and integrity of RSCC computing and technology resources. All files, records, and email stored on RSCC computers and storage devices are the property of Roane State, the Tennessee Board of Regents and the State of Tennessee. This policy allows for the support of investigations of complaints under existing policies pertaining to harassment, honor code, and state and federal laws on privacy and computer abuse.
    2. A copy of this policy will be displayed on the Roane State Community College website.
  5. Digital/Electronic Signatures and Transactions
    Roane State Community College must comply with the Tennessee Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (T.C.A. § 47-10-101 et seq.). This Act permits the use of electronic signatures and electronic transactions under certain circumstances.
    1. In order to be legally enforceable, an electronic signature must meet the following two criteria:
      1. An electronic signature must be attributable (or traceable) to a person who has the intent to sign the record or contract with the use of adequate security and authentication measures that are contained in the method of capturing the electronic transaction (e.g., use of personal identification number or personal log-in identification username and password). (T.C.A. § 47-10-109.)
      2. The recipient of the transaction must be able to print or store the electronic record of the transaction at the time of receipt. (T.C.A. § 47-10-109.)
    2. The use of electronic/digital signatures in compliance with state and federal laws is permitted
  6. No Unlawful Uses Permitted
    1. Users shall not engage in unlawful uses of the information technology system resources of Roane State.
    2. Unlawful activities are violations of this policy. Persons engaging in these activities may be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties.
    3. This list of unlawful activities is illustrative and not intended to be exhaustive.
      1. Obscene Materials
        1. The distribution and display of obscene materials is prohibited by the laws of Tennessee (see T.C.A. § 39-17-902). Obscene materials are defined under TN law (see T.C.A. § 39-17-901(10)).
        2. Federal law (18U.S.C.2252) prohibits the distribution across state lines of child pornography.
      2. Defamation – a civil tort which occurs when one, without privilege, publishes a false and defamatory statement which damages the reputation of another.
    4. Violation of Copyright
      1. Federal law gives the holder of copyright five exclusive rights, including the right to exclude others from reproducing the copyrighted work.
      2. Sanctions for violation of copyright can be very substantial. Beyond the threat of legally imposed sanctions, violation of copyright is an unethical appropriation of the fruits of another’s labor.
      3. Pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, the college’s CIO or designee, is the agent for receipt of complaints of copyright infringement occurring with the use of TBR or college IT resources.
    5. Gambling
      Gambling, including that performed with the aid of the internet, is prohibited under TN state law (see T.C.A. § 39-17-502).
  7. World Wide Web Home Pages
    1. The principles of use articulated above in sections IV. & VI. are generally applicable to World Wide Web home pages.
      1. For example, use of RSCC IT resources to post a web page for personal or private for-profit use is prohibited under section IV.A.3.e. Illegal content in web pages stored on college IT resources is prohibited under section IV.A.2.b. Obscene content is prohibited under section VI.C.1. Incorporation of copyrighted material, without either permission of the copyright holder or under a lawful exemption, is prohibited under section VI. D.
      2. In addition to the principles of use outlined in sections IV. & VI., users may not incorporate into web pages or other electronic documents the trademarks or logos of others without express, written permission.
      3. Persons who are not employees of RSCC may not make use of college trademarks or logos without express, written permission.
    2. Regulations regarding use of college trademarks on the RSCC website by employees:
      1. The logo must not be altered. Please do not distort, skew, crop or change proportions (aspect ratio) in any way.
      2. You may reduce the size the logo(s) to fit your needs. If you require a larger logo, contact Marketing and Public Relations.
      3. Do not alter the logo colors. For black and white documents, use black and white logos. Contact Marketing and Public Relations if your particular design requires a color modification (e.g., if "community college" needs to be white because your background is dark).
      4. If an outside vendor is printing your publication, use a PDF or EPS version of the logo only. This will provide you with the best quality.
      5. Do not change file formats. If you need a different format, contact Marketing and Public Relations.
      6. Do not forward logos for others to use. Instead, provide a link to this web page: Official Roane State Logos and Templates.
      7. Please refrain from embellishing logos with stars, borders, "drop" shadows, etc.
      8. Do not use scanned, photocopied or other computer-generated versions of any logo.
    3. The Director of Marketing and Public Relations may approve a proposed use of the college’s trademarks and logos by employees on college web pages (web master(s)).
  8. Advertising
    1. Use of Roane State information technology resources to promote or advertise activities or entities which are not related to the institution is prohibited, unless such use is consistent with the mission of the college and results in substantial benefit to Roane State.
    2. The president is authorized to determine whether a given use is consistent with the mission of RSCC and results in substantial benefit to the institution, consistent with other RSCC policies and guidelines, in particular RSCC policy GA-06-02, Access to and Use of Campus Property and Facilities. (Access the complete RSCC policy GA-06-02, Access to and Use of Campus Property and Facilities, at
    3. Sale of advertising in web-based versions of college affiliated student publications is specifically permitted.
  9. RSCC Monitoring and Inspection of Electronic Records
    1. Electronic records sent, received, or stored on computers owned, leased, or administered by RSCC is the property of the Tennessee Board of Regents.
    2. As the property of RSCC, the content of such records, including electronic mail, is subject to inspection by RSCC personnel.
    3. While RSCC does not routinely do so, the college reserves the right to monitor and/or log all network activity of users without notice, including all email and internet communications.
    4. Users should have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the use of these resources.
  10. Disclosure of Electronic Records
    1. Pursuant to T.C.A § 10-7-101 et seq., and subject to exemptions contained therein, electronic files (including email correspondence) may be subject to public inspection upon request by a citizen of the state of Tennessee, if they are:
      1. Generated or received by RSCC employees, and
      2. Either owned or controlled by the State, or
      3. Maintained using RSCC IT resources.
    2. Roane State personnel receiving such a request for public inspection should refer the request to the college’s CIO.
    3. The college may charge reasonable fees for making copies of such records, pursuant to T.C.A. § 10-7-506.
    4. While disclosure under T.C.A § 10-7-101 et seq. applies to employees, disclosure of the electronic records of all users which are maintained using RSCC IT resources may be made pursuant to a valid subpoena or court order, when otherwise required by federal, state or local law, or when authorized by the college president.
  11. Retention of Electronic Records
    1. Electronic records needed to support college functions must be retained, managed, and made accessible in record-keeping or filing systems in accordance with established records disposition authorization approved by the Public Records Commission and in accordance with TBR policy Records Retention and Disposal. (Access the complete TBR policy at
    2. Each college employee, with the assistance of his or her supervisor as needed, is responsible for ascertaining the disposition requirements for those electronic records in his or her custody.
    3. Roane State’s Information Technology is not responsible for meeting the record retention requirements established under T.C.A § 10-7-101 et seq., and Roane State, as owner of electronic records stored on college computers, reserves the right to periodically purge electronic records, including email messages.
    4. Users who are either required to retain an electronic record, or who otherwise wish to maintain an electronic record should either:
      1. Print and store a paper copy of the record in the relevant subject matter file; or
      2. Electronically store the record on a storage medium or in an electronic storage location not subject to unannounced deletion.
  12. Violation of Policy
    1. Reporting Allegation of Violations
      Persons who have reason to suspect a violation of this policy, or who have direct knowledge of behavior in violation of this policy should report that allegation of violation to the appropriate designee:
      1. The Dean of Students will be responsible for student violations. In the case of threatening or offensive communications the Dean of Students will notify security to ensure student safety.
      2. The Director of Human Resources in conjunction with the president and/or applicable vice president will be responsible for staff and faculty violations.
      3. The Chief Information Officer will assist the Dean of Students or Director of Human Resources in collecting evidence of violations.
    2. Disciplinary Procedures
      1. Allegations of violation of this policy shall be referred by the president or designee to the appropriate person(s) for disciplinary action (see section XII. A. above).
      2. If there is a policy violation, which the designee believes rises to the level of a serious violation of this or any other college or TBR policy, the designee is authorized to temporarily revoke access privileges. In those cases, the revocation of access must be reviewed by the appropriate disciplinary authority for review and final determination of access privileges. In such cases the authorization of the designee carriers with it the authorization to make subjective judgements, such as whether material or statements violate TBR policy/guideline or RSCC policy/guideline.
    3. Sanctions
      1. Persons violating this policy are subject to revocation or suspension of access privileges to Roane State IT resources.
      2. Additionally other penalties, as outlined in RSCC policy SA-06-01 Student Discipline, may be imposed upon student users. (Access the complete RSCC policy SA-06-01, Student Discipline, at
      3. Sanctions for violations of this policy by employees may extend to termination of employment. Violations of law may be referred for criminal or civil action.
  13. Appeals
    1. Student appeals may be directed through the Dean of Students to the president.
    2. Employee appeals should be initiated through Human Resources
  14. Responsible Party
    The Chief Information Officer shall be responsible for development and maintenance of this policy for issuance by the Vice President for Business & Finance.

Previous policy title: Ethical and Responsible Use of Computer Resources.

Revision History: 07/11/1990, 12/11/1997, 02/18/2000, 08/25/2003, 11/20/2006, 02/09/2009, 05/06/2013, 11/11/2014, 06/06/2017
TBR Policy Reference:,
Revision Date Effective: 05/02/2023
Revision Approval By: Christopher L. Whaley, President
Original Date Effective: 01/11/1988
Original Approval By: Cuyler A. Dunbar, President
Office Responsible: Vice President for Business & Finance
Reviewed: 04/03/2023

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