6800 Computer Systems Use Policy

Policy Type: 

Henry Ford College's computers, peripherals, software, networks, supplies, e-mail systems, and Internet connections ("HFC's Systems") are intended to carry out the legitimate operational functions of HFC and not for purposes unrelated to college business. It is not the intent or purpose of this policy to dampen or restrict freedom of inquiry or freedom of criticism.

HFC prohibits the removal, relocation, or alteration of equipment or software without written authorization.

It is the policy of HFC to prohibit the use of HFC's Systems for purposes of:

  1. Harassment of persons or organizations on or off campus for any reason.

  2. Sending or receiving material of a profane, pornographic, or threatening nature.

  3. Sabotage, misuse, or abuse of equipment, software, or data on or off campus, including unauthorized alteration of HFC's Systems and computer files through the willful or negligent introduction of viruses or by mechanical or electronic tampering.

  4. Unauthorized production or reproduction of programs, or multiple copies of material in any form for the purpose of resale or redistribution in violation of the intellectual property rights of HFC or any other person.

  5. Plagiarizing, altering, or tampering with the work of others.

  6. Gaming, solicitation, or any activity deemed illegal or contrary to HFC policies.

  7. Theft of intellectual or other property, including copyright infringement.

  8. Intentionally preventing an electronic communication from being received by the intended recipient without authorization from the originating sender.

  9. Intentionally causing an electronic communication to be viewable or heard by persons other than the named recipient without authorization from the originating sender, or the named recipient, except where the recipient of electronic communications reports a violation of the Computer Systems Use Policy.

It is the desire of HFC to ensure that HFC Systems are put to the best and most efficient use. HFC therefore requires that:

  1. Students, faculty, and staff receive appropriate training in hardware, software and network use, or demonstrate acceptable levels of proficiency prior to access.

  2. Students, faculty, and staff be mindful of the time spent (as in "surfing the net" or "chatting") on HFC's Systems, or material consumed (such as having large or vague searches printed.)

  3. Students, faculty, and staff exercise reasonable care in protecting their log-on names and passwords, and not permit unauthorized persons to access HFC's Systems.

  4. Students, faculty, and staff should not use HFCs System to store messages and files because it would place an undue burden on limited system resources.

Users of HFC's Systems are reminded that e-mail is like any other form of written communication. It is subject to the same legal restrictions and potential liabilities as a paper document. E-mail may be subpoenaed, and is subject to the "Freedom of Information Act." In view of this, HFC's System should not be considered appropriate for transmission of confidential or proprietary information. From the standpoint of the creator of a message, the message should be viewed as "business correspondence" or as an academic paper which has a likelihood of becoming a published document. HFC does not monitor or permanently store messages. However, unlike a written document that can entirely be erased or destroyed by the writer, user deletion of messages renders electronic space in the system available for other messages, but does not immediately erase the messages from the system. Therefore, users of HFC's Systems should not expect privacy. Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon all users of HFC's Systems to treat misdirected e-mail communications with reasonable care to avoid undue disclosure of the messages of others.

Penalties for violation of this policy will vary depending on the nature and degree of the specific violation. Penalties range from reprimand through expulsion for students or termination for employees in accordance with the provisions of any College Collective Bargaining Agreement, to the extent such Agreement applies to the employees. If violations of law are involved, users may incur civil liability to HFC or third parties, and may also be subject to prosecution.

This policy incorporates, by reference, other HFC policies and/or procedures related to computers and intellectual property, including the written guidelines and materials that were provided at the time the privilege of access to HFC's Systems was granted to each user.

Adopted Date: 
Monday, July 28, 1997
Revised Date: 
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Board Approved
Rescinded Date: 
Monday, August 13, 2018
Rescinded Explanation: 
Replaced with updated policy