Acceptable Use Policy
GEN 1.3.(1). Acceptable Use of Computing Resources Policy. (Effective February 20, 2007)
The University values openness and promotes access to a wide range of information. Campus
information systems have been designed to be as open as possible, and as such the University
insists on responsible use of these systems.
The use of computers, electronic information and computer networks is essential for research,
instruction and administration within the academic community. Because the electronic
environment is easily disrupted and electronic information is readily reproduced, respect for the
work and rights of others is especially important.
Users of the University's facilities are expected to adhere to this policy and, by accessing the
system, the user agrees to comply with and be subject to this policy. These policy statements are
intended to augment, not supersede, any additional contractual agreements of conduct or
confidentiality to which a user may be subject. The University reserves the right to amend this
policy at any time with or without notice. Questions or comments regarding this document
should be addressed to the Director of Information Systems and Technologies.
Access to University computing and networking resources is a privilege which is available to all
members of the academic community. Certain responsibilities accompany that privilege.
Understanding them is important for all computer users. The framework of responsible,
considerate, and ethical behavior expected by the University extends to coverage of the use of all
campus computers, campus network resources, and networks throughout the world to which the
University provides computer access. The user is responsible for the correct use of the tools each
computer system provides for maintaining the security of stored information. A summary of the
security procedures relevant to this end is given below:
- Computer accounts, passwords, lab access cards, and other types of authorization
are assigned to individual users and should not be shared with others unless
specifically authorized by proper University officials. The person to whom an
authorization is assigned will be held accountable for any activity originating
from that account.
- The user should select an obscure password and change it frequently.
- The user should seek to understand the level of protection each computer system
automatically applies to files and supplement that protection, if necessary, for
- It is incumbent upon every user to adhere to security policies and procedures and
to call to the attention of Information Systems and Technologies those whom they
feel are violating these procedures. Every effort will be made to ensure total
- If a user should encounter or observe a flaw in system or network security, this
discrepancy must be reported to Information Systems and Technologies.
Individuals must refrain from exploiting any such lapse in security.
- The computer user should be aware of computer viruses and other destructive
computer programs, and take steps to avoid being either their victim or
In general, information stored on computers is considered confidential, whether protected by the
computer system or not,unless the owner intentionally makes that information available to other
groups or individuals. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh takes the position that computer
users wish the information they store on central and campus shared computing resources to
Users should be aware that data (including e-mail) may, due to software or hardware failure,
become accessible to those who are not explicitly authorized for that access. Systems
management personnel may also on occasion have access to such data while performing routine
operations or pursuing apparent systems or user problems. Systems personnel are required to
report apparent improper or illegal activities so discovered. No guarantee of complete privacy is
made or implied by this policy.
Requests for the disclosure of confidential information will be governed by the provisions of the
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and the Wisconsin Open Records
Statutes (Chapter 19, ss. 19.31 - 19.39, Laws of 1992). All such requests will be honored only
when approved by University officials who are the legal custodians of the information requested,
or when required by state or federal law, or court order. Users found to be copying, modifying,
or otherwise accessing information for which they have not been granted permission will be
liable to disciplinary action.
The University also reserves the right to access, monitor, and/or appropriate an individual’s
workstation or user account(s) for content when there are urgent and compelling circumstances
such as the following:
- a court order
- a request for discovery in the course of litigation
- a public record request for files which are deemed public records under public records laws
- investigating University policy violations or illegal activities
- sudden death or incapacity of the employee
Supervisors must report urgent/compelling circumstances that warrant exceptional actions
through their Director, Assistant/Associate Vice Chancellor, or Dean to their Division Vice
Chancellor. The Division Vice Chancellor will consult with the Director of Human Resources
and the Chief Information Officer to determine an appropriate and feasible course of action. If
the course of action involves accessing, monitoring, or appropriating an individual’s workstation
or use account(s), a good faith effort will be made to inform the individual unless the University
is bound by legal authority not to inform the individual.
Users must be sensitive to the public nature of shared facilities. Behavior reflects both upon the
individual and the University. Computing and networking resources should be used only in
accordance with this policy. Any intentional behavior with respect to the electronic environment
that interferes with the missions or activities of the University or members of the University
community will be regarded as unethical and may lead to disciplinary action under standard
University rules for misconduct and existing judicial, disciplinary or personnel processes. The
University complies with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998). The University may
terminate network access or take other disciplinary measures deemed appropriate against those
who repeatedly infringe the copyright of others. Examples of inappropriate and unacceptable use
of computing and networking resources include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Destruction of, unauthorized removal of, or damage to equipment, software, or
data belonging to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh or other users.
- Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications. Tampering,
modification, or additions to network software, hardware, or wiring.
- Generation of excessive network traffic exceeding levels which create errors or
performance problems for all users. Applications or computer hardware found to
cause such problems may be moved to a different location or removed from the
network, at the discretion of the network management staff.
- Willful violations of computer system security.
- Use of e-mail or messaging services to harass, intimidate, or otherwise annoy
another person, for example, by broadcasting unsolicited messages or sending
unwanted mail. Some mass mailings may be authorized by appropriate University
authority. This would also apply to material originating from this campus but sent
to other sites or persons on the Internet.
- Use of computer accounts, access codes, or network identification numbers other
than those assigned to you. Disguising or falsifying sources of electronic mail and
other electronic communications with the intent of misleading, defrauding, or
- Use of computer and/or network facilities in ways that impede the computing
activities of others (for example, randomly initiating interactive electronic
communications or e-mail exchanges, overuse of interactive network utilities,
playing games on shared resources, or the overuse of network-accessible
discussion lists or file-transfer sites).
- Setting up network servers or network services (such as naming and/or address
servers, Web servers, dial-in access, file servers, etc.) without the prior
authorization of the network management staff. Unauthorized activity of this type
may be detrimental to the overall operation of the network and is not allowed.
- Intentionally creating, displaying, printing or transmitting information which
violates the University's sexual harassment policy.
- Use of computing facilities for financial gain or commercial purposes unrelated to
the mission of the University.
- Violation of software copyrights and usage licensing agreements. Violation of
other copyrighted items such as icons, images, music, programs, text, etc.
- Failure to properly attribute legitimately copied material.
- Violation of the usage policies and regulations of the networks of which the
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is a member or has authority to use.
- Academic dishonesty (for example, plagiarism or cheating).(4)
Sanction and Appeal Process
Violation of the policies described herein for use of computing resources will be dealt with
seriously. Violators are subject to disciplinary procedures of the University, may lose computing
privileges or account and network access, and may also be subject to prosecution by state and
federal authorities under laws including, but not limited to: The Privacy and Protection Act of
1974; Wisconsin Statutes 1992-93, (41st Edition) (Chapter 19, Public Records and Property, ss.
19.31 -19.39; Chapter 939, Crimes - General Provisions, ss. 939.32(2), 939.50(3), 939.51(3),
939.66(4), 939.72(3); Chapter 943,Crimes Against Property, ss. 943.70); The Wisconsin
Computer Crimes Act; The 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act; The Computer Fraud
and Abuse Act of 1989. The sanction and appeal process will vary, depending upon the
classification of the offender within the University community. Suggested courses of action are
described by, but are not limited to:
- Student - Wisconsin Administrative Code, Section UWS 14 and UWS 17. These
regulations are also maintained in a separate document entitled Student Discipline
Code, which is available in the Dean of Student's Office.
- Classified Staff - Administered by the Human Resources Office, pursuant to the
current University of Wisconsin System Classified Employees Work Rules;
Chapter 230.34(1) of Wisconsin Statutes; Section Pers 24 of Wisconsin
Administrative Code; and existing collective bargaining agreements.
- Academic Staff / Faculty - The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Faculty and
Academic Staff Handbook and specific departmental procedures, as warranted.
- Other - Subject to the procedures of the organization or group with which they are
affiliated, revocation of computing privileges, and possible state and federal
Web Policy and Procedures
What is the World Wide Web? The Web or World Wide Web (WWW) is an information system
running over the Internet. It provides information electronically through the use of hypertext. A
variety of multimedia techniques make it easy to roam, browse, and contribute to the Web.
- Information placed on the Web is formatted using Hyper Text Markup Language
(HTML). The approved UW Oshkosh standard is HTML 3.2 or greater, defined in
http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html32.html HTML documents have an extension of
.html or .htm.
- Graphics included in Web pages are usually in a Graphics Image Format (.gif) or
Joint Photographic Experts Group(.jpg).
- HTML documents will look different depending on what browser is used to
access the Web. Browsers are the software programs that allow people to view
Web documents. Common browsers are Netscape, Internet Explorer, and Lynx (a
- Universal Resource Locators (URLs) are the detailed names used to access
information. For example, http://www.uwosh.edu/ is the URL for the University
of Wisconsin Oshkosh home page.
Types of Browsers
The University recognizes that external Web users seeking to access the University’s Web pages
may be using other browsers. Web page authors are urged to keep this fact in mind when
creating Web pages. Likewise, users creating PDF (Portable Document Format) files should
consider creating duplicate versions in a Web standard format (such as .txt,.html, or .htm) for
readers who are incapable of reading PDF files.
Acceptable Use Policy
Access to University computing and networking resources is a privilege available to all members
of the University community. Certain responsibilities accompany that privilege.
Official Page - An official page speaks for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
and its programs and departments. Official pages represent colleges, departments
and other University offices and programs. They include information such as
University and department policies, forms, course information, institutional
statistics, financial aid information, and recruitment information.
- Personal Page - A personal page is one created by individual faculty, staff and
students. Personal pages can be linked from departmental and program pages, but
only with the approval of those in charge of those pages.
Standards for Web Pages
- All web publishers, whether they are publishing official or personal (see
definitions above) pages, are responsible for the contents of their pages. They
must adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy. University resources may not be used
to distribute Web pages for personal business or gain.
- UW Oshkosh will not edit or review personal home pages. The University does
not accept responsibility for the contents of these pages; page-authors are
responsible for the contents. However, if a violation of University policies on
personal pages linked from the UW Oshkosh Web is discovered, the University
will remove the link. Those responsible for department and program home pages
on the UW Oshkosh Web must make sure that personal and other pages they link
to do not violate University policies and local, state and federal laws.
- The Acceptable Use Policy and laws regarding publishing and copyright apply to
- All official pages must be approved by University Relations or an individual
designated by that division.
- There will be no effort to curtail the creative and experimental efforts of
departments and programs that publish an official Web page. Any review is
intended to ensure that all official information is accurate, is consistent with
University policies and local, state and federal laws, and supports the University's
goals in education, research and community service. This includes links to other
pages. An official page may be considered in violation if it contains links to a
page that violates this policy.
- Institutional departments and offices are encouraged to develop distinctive and
creative Web pages. The image and reputation of UW Oshkosh will in part be
determined by our presence on the Web, and that presence should embody the
elements of our University. Review of official pages by University Relations will
seek to ensure that factual information is presented in a way that is easily
accessible. University Relations will encourage publishers to develop UW
Oshkosh pages that are visually appealing and well written.
Minimum Standards for Web Pages
The following minimum standards apply to all pages:
- Documents and graphics should be clear. Page designs should emphasize brevity
and judicious use of graphics in order to encourage the use of UW Oshkosh web
pages and help people find the information they are seeking.
- Loading of the page should be completed in a reasonable amount of time. A delay
can discourage viewing of the page.
- Large graphics delay viewing and should be avoided.
- Each page should be written so that it can be understood out of context.
- All documents must be accurate. Departments and offices displaying official
information on such things as enrollments and courses must link to data provided
by offices that are responsible for keeping such information. They should not
create new documents with the same information.
- All documents should have correct grammar and punctuation.
- Acronyms should not be used as a first reference.
- All references to institutional units, departments, buildings should use the names
found in the University phone book.
- The name of the department/program must appear at the top of each page.
- Each page must provide a way of contacting the person responsible for
maintaining the page (for example, phone number or e-mail address) and the date
of the last revision. All files should be updated regularly, where appropriate.
- Outdated information should be replaced or removed. Page publishers must obtain
the express written permission of those owning an image or photo, and all those
pictured in an image or photo, used in a page. Publishers must obtain the express
written permission of the person or organization that owns a trademark that is
used on a page. Publishers must also obtain the express written permission of
persons or organizations owning the copyright of any material that is used on a
- Each page must have a link back to the UW Oshkosh Home Page
(http://www.uwosh.edu/). All pages must meet the W3C (World Wide Web
Consortium) Content Accessibility Guidelines, Priority 1
CGI (Common Gateway Interface) scripts allow the author of a web page to receive input from a
viewer of the page, manipulate the data passed in, and pass back a customized response.
Examples of some applications driven by CGI scripts are counters, feedback forms, guestbooks,
database queries, clickable image maps, and mail list maintenance.
CGI scripts must be approved and will be installed in a system directory. Departmental, personal,
and organizational directories will not be allowed to act as CGI directories. To add a new script
to the server, source code must be provided, and the technical and/or security administrator will
evaluate the source, compile and install the script.
All official University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Web pages must be reviewed and approved by
University Relations or someone designated by that division. Specific information that is
published on Web pages must be reviewed and approved by the department responsible for that
data. For example, financial aid information must be reviewed by the Financial Aid office and
registration information would need to be reviewed by the Registrar’s office.
Steps for Submitting
- Submitter must have the page already loaded on the server.
- Submitter should follow instructions to scan their Web page.
- Once the page adheres to this policy, submitter should send an e-mail message to
email@example.com requesting that a link be made to the page.
- University Relations will review the page. The submitter will then receive
notification that the link has been made or an explanation of what needs to be
changed before a link will be made.
Approval from the Information Technology Division is required for departments to set up their
own Web servers. Those departments interested in setting up departmental Web servers should
contact the Director of Academic Computing. The UW Oshkosh home page will maintain links
to official pages only.
Standard amounts of disk space will be allocated to official pages and personal pages.
Departments requiring large amounts of disk space may be required to purchase their own Web
Revised April 5, 1999
Revised May 23, 2001
Revised Fall 2006
Revised Spring 2014 (MIO)