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New Campus Information Technology Guidelines Approved

July 15, 1997

UW–Madison’s Information Technology Committee (ITC) and the Provost’s Office have approved guidelines for appropriate use of campus information technology resources. The policy includes nine guidelines in areas like computer security, hacking and impersonation and anonymity.

According to Tad Pinkerton, Deputy CIO at the Division of Information Technology, revisions to the policy began as the number of incidents of inappropriate email and network use steadily increased. “When abusers were contacted, they seemed unaware that their actions were inappropriate,” says Pinkerton. “That is when a small ad hoc administrative group drafted a policy on appropriate use, drawing heavily on prior policies and the work of other institutions.”

Pinkerton says the policy recognizes that information technology is a costly resource that, like other university resources, must be used prudently. “These resources provide an important medium for communication, which is encouraged,” he says. “We want to emphasize that all members of the university community use information technology resources responsibly.”

Roger Howard, associate dean of students, chaired the ad hoc committee that drafted the guidelines. “It is important to remember that we still are in the first generation of users in this technology,” he says. “We are all learning what the boundaries are in order to protect our own work, to avoid disrupting the work of others, and to maintain the integrity of the system.”

The appropriate use policy will be incorporated into the student non-academic misconduct rules for UW–Madison. According to Howard, violation of the code by students may result in disciplinary action including probation, suspension, and expulsion. Violation of the policy by faculty and staff may result in loss of access privileges, university disciplinary action, and/or criminal prosecution. Pinkerton adds that, “DoIT does not monitor people’s use of the network, the web or email, but all complaints will be investigated.”

The Guidelines for Appropriate Use of University Information Technology Resources are on the web.