Back See this section in context: Criterion 4 Core Component 4D
4D.2: Responsible Use of Technology
Sauk maintains guidelines for the responsible use of technology in gaining, sharing, and disseminating information (). The Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), authorized by Board Policy 429.01 (), outlines for all college employees, students, and stakeholders which activities conducted using school technology violate ethical standards, as well as privacy, intellectual, and copyright laws. The policy includes clear examples of the types of actions or behaviors which violate these laws, as well as consequences.
The AUP clearly states that the technological services of the college are closely monitored and that users should expect no right to privacy when using resources provided by the college. Several specific areas of concern are addressed by the AUP:
- Limitations on use of technology: To maintain an ethical and safe learning environment for all stakeholders, “members are prohibited from accessing, submitting, publishing, displaying, or posting any defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually oriented or explicit, threatening, racially offensive, harassing, or illegal material.”
- Dissemination of the policy: A brief statement alerting computer users to their AUP accountability is posted on the login screen on all desktop computers. Users of the wireless network were required to authenticate, and accept the conditions of the AUP, to access the Sauk wireless network. The authentication protocol has been suspended as technology issues are addressed and resolved. In a sampling of course syllabi there was no mention of the AUP.
- Copyright: One major focus of the AUP is on published materials, indicating that "in the event of notification of alleged copyright infringement by any user,” Sauk will comply with the appropriate laws. The IS/IT Department has created web-based training material for faculty on the subject of copyright and fair use to clarify the unique copyright rules for academic institutions. In their web training “Introduction to Search Engines,” IS/IT outlines the four tests for educational fair use as described by Federal Copyright Law and provides examples that give faculty and staff a sense of the limitations of educational fair use.
Responsible use of technology relates to the privacy of individuals and the access which staff has to records and information. Several distinct policies address this area of concern:
- AUP: The AUP states as violation "breaching confidentiality provisions for institutional or individual information.” It also lists the responsibility of each staff member “to comply with College, federal, state, and local regulations regarding access and use of information resources.”
- FERPA: Federal regulations establish strict rules for maintaining privacy. Human Resources orients all new employees to FERPA. The college has also presented professional development sessions to faculty and staff which explained common situations in which technology can create privacy violations for educational records. In the past few years, training has been replaced by periodic emails which remind employees of specific technology issues pertaining to confidentiality. A very detailed explanation of the responsibility of faculty in maintaining privacy in information gathering and dissemination is given in the Faculty Handbook. This section defines educational records, explains what can and cannot be shared, gives tests for privacy, and houses a large frequently-asked-questions section which gives very concrete examples of violations and consequences. An electronic FERPA training program is being investigated with the goal of conducting campus-wide FERPA training and requiring all employees to pass a FERPA test, beginning in the fall 2011 semester.
- Identity theft prevention: After a Red Flagg analysis was conducted, Board Policy 430.01, Identity Theft Prevention (), was approved in 2009. The policy attempts to reduce the risk of college data loss and prevent student and employee identity theft.