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Policy for Responsible Computing

Memorandum #306 Policy for Responsible Computing

Original Date of Issue: June 4, 1996

  • In support of its mission of teaching, research and public service, Community College of Philadelphia provides access to computing and information resources for students, faculty and staff, within institutional priorities and financial capabilities. All members of the College community who use the College's computing and information resources are responsible for the integrity of these resources.
  • All users of College-owned or College-leased computing systems must respect the rights of other computing users, respect the integrity of the physical facilities and controls, and abide by all pertinent license and contractual agreements. It is the policy of Community College of Philadelphia that all members of its community act in accordance with these responsibilities, relevant laws and contractual obligations and the highest standard of ethics.
  • Access to the College's computing facilities is a privilege granted to College students, faculty and staff. Access to College information resources may be granted by the designated administrators of the information based on that administrator's judgment of the following factors: relevant laws and contractual obligations, the requestor's need to know, the information's sensitivity and the risk of damage to or loss by the College.
  • The College reserves the right to limit, restrict or extend computing privileges and access to its information resources. Designated data owners--whether departments, units, faculty, students or staff--may allow individuals other than College faculty, staff and students access to information for which they are responsible, so long as such does not violate any license or contractual agreement, College policy or any federal, state, county or local law or ordinance. If there are any questions about potential violations, contact the CIO, or in their absence the Director, Information Technology Support.
  • College computing facilities and accounts are to be used for College- related activities for which they are assigned. College computing resources are not to be used for commercial purposes or non-College-related activities without written authorization from the College. In these cases, the College may require payment of appropriate fees. This policy applies equally to all College-owned or College-leased computers.
  • Users and system administrators must all guard against abuses that disrupt or threaten the viability of all systems, including those at the College and those on networks to which the College systems are connected. Access to information resources without proper authorization from the data owner, unauthorized use of College computing facilities, and intentional corruption or misuse of information resources are direct violations of this Policy and may subject the violator to disciplinary action.


Appropriate College administrators should adopt guidelines for the implementation of this policy within each unit and regularly revise these guidelines as circumstances warrant. The Vice President of Academic and Student Success  in conjunction with the CIO shall, from time to time, issue recommended guidelines to assist departments and units with this effort. The Director of Information Technology serves as the back-up support in the absence of the CIO.

User Responsibilities

Users of the College's computing resources or facilities have the following responsibilities

  1. To use the College computing facilities, and information resources, including hardware, software, networks and computer accounts, responsibly and appropriately, respecting the rights of other computing users and respecting all contractual and license agreements.
  2. To use only those computers and computer accounts for which authorization has been granted.
  3. To use College assigned user accounts only for the purpose(s) for which they have been issued, and to use College-owned computers/devices for College related projects only.
  4. To refuse to share their computer accounts and to take reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality of each account's password, changing it when required and/or once security has been breached.
  5. To report unauthorized use of their accounts to the appropriate college authority (e.g., project director, instructor, supervisor, system administrator).
  6. To cooperate with system administrator requests for information about computing activities. Under certain unusual circumstances, a system administrator is authorized, and reserves the right, to access individual computer files when it is the administrator's opinion that such action is necessary.
  7. To take reasonable and appropriate steps to see that all hardware and software license agreements are faithfully executed on any system, network or server operated.
  8. To take responsibility seriously for their own work performed on a computer. For example, Ensure data is saved on a network drive to ensure that backup has occurred and to provide security of their data.


Access and use violations of computing facilities, equipment, software, information resources, networks or privileges may result in the loss of privileges, disciplinary action and prosecution under appropriate laws. Policies and Procedures Memorandum #305 entitled "Policy Concerning the Use and Duplication of Software" is incorporated in this Policy statement.