Jul 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog & Student Handbook 
2023-2024 Catalog & Student Handbook Archived Catalog

Acceptable Use of Technology Resources

Faculty, students, and staff at MSCC routinely use college-owned computers, software, networks, and computerized information. This technology is used to further college-related educational activities. In addition, some individuals may have special administrative or technical responsibility for a computer, network, or database.

This section serves as an introduction and condensed version of MSCC Policy 1:08:00:00 to the issues and responsibilities of legitimate use, information security, and privacy that arise in the use of computers, software, and electronic information. The responsibilities noted in this section strive to balance the individual’s ability to benefit fully from these resources and the College’s responsibility to maintain a secure and reasonably allocated computing, information technology, and networked environment.


The College owns most of the computers and all internal computer networks used on campus. The College also has various rights to the software and information residing on, developed on, or licensed for these computers and networks. The College has the responsibility to administer, protect, and monitor this aggregation of computers, software, and networks. Specifically, the purposes of the College’s information technology are:

  1. To establish and support reasonable standards of security for electronic information that College members produce, use, or distribute, and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of administrative information that the College maintains;

  2. To protect College computers, networks, and information from destruction, tampering, and unauthorized inspection and use;

  3. To ensure that information technology resources are used to support activities connected with instruction and administration;

  4. To delineate the limits of privacy that can be expected in the use of networked computer resources and to preserve freedom of expression over this medium without countenancing abuse or unlawful activities;

  5. To ensure that College computer systems do not lose important information because of hardware, software, or administrative failures or breakdowns (To achieve this objective, authorized systems or technical managers may occasionally need to examine the contents of particular files to diagnose or solve problems.);

  6. To communicate College policies and individuals’ responsibilities systematically and regularly in a variety of formats to all parts of the College community;

  7. To monitor policies and propose changes in policy as events or technology warrant;

  8. To manage computing resources so that members of the College community benefit equitably from their use (To achieve this, authorized staff may occasionally need to restrict inequitable use of shared systems or the network. For example, the College reserves the right to require users to refrain from using any program that is unduly resource-intensive.);

  9. To enforce policies by restricting access in case of serious violations (For example, in appropriate circumstances, the Director of Technical Operations may find it necessary to lock a user’s account. In such circumstances, if a student’s account is involved, the student must meet with the Vice President for Student Affairs before his/her account can be accessed again.)


MSCC supports networked information resources to further its mission of instruction and to foster a community of shared inquiry. All members of the College community must be cognizant of the rules and conventions that make these resources secure and efficient. The following list of user responsibilities is intended to be illustrative and not exhaustive. Subject to conformance with Federal and State of Tennessee law and with State of Tennessee and Tennessee Board of Regents policies, MSCC is authorized to supplement the user responsibilities contained herein:

  1. To respect the right of others to be free from harassment or intimidation to the same extent that this right is recognized in the use of other communication media;

  2. To respect copyright and other intellectual property rights (Unauthorized copying of files or passwords belonging to others or to the College may constitute plagiarism or theft. Modifying files without authorization (including altering information, introducing viruses or “Trojan horses,” or damaging files) is unethical, may be illegal, and may lead to sanctions);

  3. To maintain secure passwords (Users should establish appropriate passwords, change them occasionally, and not share them with others);

  4. To use resources efficiently and to accept limitations or restrictions on computing resources—such as storage space, time limits, or amount of resources consumed—when asked to do so by system administrators (Additionally, students must receive specific permission from the Director of Technical Operations prior to loading any software on any computer owned by MSCC);

  5. To recognize the limitations to privacy afforded by electronic services (Users have a right to expect that what they create, store, and send will be seen only by those to whom permission is given. Users must know, however, that the security of electronic files on shared systems and networks is not inviolable—most people respect the security and privacy protocols, but a determined person can breach them. Users must also know that systems or technical managers, as part of their responsibilities, may occasionally need to diagnose or solve problems by examining the contents of particular files);

  6. To learn to use software and information correctly (Users should maintain and archive backup copies of important work. Users are responsible for backing up their own files.);

  7. To abide by security restrictions on all systems and information to which access is permitted (Users should not attempt to evade, disable, or “crack” passwords of other security provisions; these activities threaten the work of others and are grounds for immediate suspension or termination of privileges and possible further sanctions.)

MSCC extends these principles and guidelines to systems outside the College that are accessed via the College’s facilities (e.g., electronic mail or remote logins using the College’s Internet connections). Network or computing providers outside MSCC may impose their own additional condition of appropriate use for which users at this College are responsible.


Individuals or groups who act in a manner contrary to existing policy and accepted standards for computer use are subject to the sanctions and disciplinary measures normally applied to misconduct or law-breaking. Computing policy violations are handled by established College procedures.

Whenever it becomes necessary to enforce College rules or policies involving students, the Vice President for Student Affairs with the assistance of the Director of Technical Operations may disallow network connections by certain computers (even departmental); require adequate identification of computers and users on the network; undertake audits of software or information on shared systems where policy violations are possible; take steps to secure compromised computers that are connected to the network; or deny access to computers, the network, and institutional software and databases. Users are expected to cooperate with investigations either of technical problems or of possible unauthorized or irresponsible use as defined in these guidelines; failure to do so may be grounds for suspension or termination of access privileges.

All infringement matters involving students will be referred to the Dean of Students; matters involving faculty will be referred to the appropriate deans; matters involving staff will be referred to the immediate supervisor or the director of the unit. In addition, certain kinds of abuse may entail civil or criminal action.


To obtain more information about individual responsibilities, users should contact the Director of Technical Operations, Marcum Technology Center, 931-393-1510.