Computer Systems Acceptable Use Policy

Policy Type: 

I. Policy Title: Computer Systems Acceptable Use Policy

II. Who Does This Policy Affect:

All Board of Trustees, HFC faculty, staff, employees, students, vendors/contractors and visitors to our campus.

III. Purpose

This policy is enacted to ensure the use of technology and social media adheres to applicable government regulations and laws, as well as the College’s mission and business practices, including but not limited to, policies, procedures, and standards relating to ethics, confidentiality, and professional conduct.

IV. Policy Statement

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. The College provides all employees and students with a HFC e-mail address for all official college communication. It is not the intent or purpose of this policy to dampen or restrict freedom of inquiry or freedom of criticism.

HFC assumes no responsibility for any direct or indirect damages arising from the user’s connection to the Internet. HFC is not responsible for the accuracy of information found on the Internet. HFC merely facilitates the access and dissemination of information though its systems. Unless HFC expressly authors content, it has no editorial control over the content distributed or disseminated on the Network, and users are solely responsible for any material they access and disseminate.

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:

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

  • Viewing, sending, accessing or receiving material of a profane, pornographic, or threatening nature. For example, uploading or downloading child pornography is a federal offense. See 18 USC section 2252.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • Any illegal/prohibited activity/content.

  • Theft of intellectual or other property, including copyright infringement. To help prevent copyright violations, minimize the risk to College PCs and network from malware such as spyware, viruses, adware or other privacy-invasive software, and to protect against excessive bandwidth use, the use of Peer to Peer (P2P) file sharing software is prohibited on any device using the College network.

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

  • 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.

  • Electronic communication that is repeated and unwanted may constitute harassment. If you received unwanted e-mail or other form of communication, consider notifying the sender that it is unwanted. If the sender continues to communicate after being placed on notice, or if you feel uncomfortable confronting the sender, the incident should be reported to the College’s IT Director.

  • Except as otherwise permitted by law, employees and others acting for the College are prohibited from using the College computers or network resources to support or oppose a political party, candidate or ballot proposal, including e-mail communications.

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

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

  • 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.)

  • 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.

  • Students, faculty, and staff should not use HFC's System to store personal messages and files because it would place an undue burden on limited system resources. Only business related files should be stored on HFC’s System.

HFC students and employees are to use HFC provided e-mail for all official College communication. Only official College communication may be used over the College provided e-mail. E-mail users will not add slogans, quotes, special backgrounds, special stationeries, digital images, unusual fonts, etc., to the body of their electronic messages. 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.

Any user connecting a personal computing device, data storage device or image recording device to any College-owned computer or network resources assumes all risks associated with such connection and accepts responsibility for any damages or loss (to the user, the College or any third party) resulting from such connection.

HFC is not responsible for repair or replacement of non-HFC hardware.

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. Anyone downloading or posting to College computers, or transporting across College networks, materials that are illegal, proprietary, in violation of College contracts or policies or otherwise are damaging to the institution will be disciplined accordingly.

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.

As a condition and result of using any HFC computing system or computer resources, each user agrees to indemnify and hold Henry Ford College, its officers, Board of Trustees, individual trustees, in their personal and professional capacities, employees and agents harmless for any claim, action, loss, damage, expense or liability (including attorney’s fees) arising out of or related to the user’s use of such system or resources. Such claims shall include, without limitation, those based on trademark or service mark infringement, trade name infringement, copyright infringement, dilution, tortuous interference with contract or prospective business advantage, unfair competition, defamation, unlawful discrimination or harassment, rights of publicity, invasion of privacy and all other wrongful conduct.

V. Definitions

  1. Illegal Content. Content not approved by the College as content used for educational purposes, including, but not limited to, pornography, content that promotes terrorism or encourages terrorist acts, human trafficking, hate messages or speech, etc.

VI. Responsible Party for Policy Interpretation/Review

Vice President of Financial Services

VII. Related Documents

• Acceptance Declaration to Computer Systems Use Policy

• Social Media and Cell Phone Use Policy

• Standards of Conduct and Civility

• Public Records Policy (FOIA)

• Henry Ford College Student Code of Conduct

VIII. Policy History

a. Adopted by Board: July 28, 1997
b. Previous Policy Section: Property; Previous Policy No.: 6800


September 15, 2021 - Reviewed with no changes
August 13, 2018
January, 2015

This Policy supersedes and replaces any and all policies related to this subject

Adopted Date: 
Monday, July 28, 1997
Revised Date: 
Friday, January 16, 2015
Monday, August 13, 2018
Board Approved