Chapter 4

ARTICLE VII. Acceptable Use of Computing and Information Technology Resources*


The purpose of this policy is to outline the acceptable uses of computing and information technology resources for the Case Western Reserve University community. This policy outlines the standards for acceptable use of University computing and information technology resources that include, but are not limited to, equipment, software, networks, data, and telecommunications equipment whether owned, leased, or otherwise provided by Case Western Reserve. This policy is intended to reflect the University's commitment to the principles, goals, and ideals described in the Case Vision Statement and to its core values.

Coordination with Other Policies

Users of information technology resources at Case Western Reserve University are advised that other university policies, including those for Human Resources, and the faculty and student handbooks, and notably those policies governing copyright and intellectual property compliance, may be related to use of information technology resources, and that those policies must be observed in conjunction with this policy.

Access to and Expectations of Persons Using Information Technology Resources

It is the policy of Case Western Reserve University to maintain access for its community to local, national, and international sources of electronic information sources in order to provide an atmosphere that encourages the free exchange of ideas and sharing of information. The university maintains a variety of information technologies for use as resources for people, catalysts for learning, and increased access to technology and an enriched quality of learning. Access to this environment and the University's information technology resources is a privilege and must be treated with high ethical and legal standards.

Preserving the access to information resources is a community effort that requires each member to act responsibly and guard against abuses. Therefore, both the Case Western Reserve University community as a whole and each individual user have an obligation to abide by the following standards of acceptable and ethical use:

Access to university information technology and computing resources is a privilege granted to students, faculty, and staff of Case Western Reserve. The university extends access privileges to individual users of the university's information technology and computing resources. The extension of these privileges is predicated on the user's acceptance of and adherence to the corresponding user responsibilities detailed in this policy and addendum. The university reserves the rights to limit, restrict, or extend access to information technology resources.


This policy applies to all users of Case Western Reserve University computing and information technology resources including faculty, staff, students, alumni, guests, external individuals or organizations, and individuals accessing external network services, such as the Internet via University facilities.

The vice president for information technology services and chief information officer will determine operational policies, networking standards, and procedures to implement the principles outlined in this policy. ITS has the right to protect shared information technology services.


In general, the Case Western Reserve community shall use university information technology resources (which include privately-owned computers connected to the university network) in connection with the university's core teaching, research, and service missions. Uses that do not significantly consume resources or interfere with other users also are acceptable but may be restricted by Information Technology Services. Under no circumstances shall members of the university community or others use university information technology resources in ways that are illegal, that threaten the University's tax-exempt or other status, or that interfere with reasonable use by other members of the University community. Any use of university information technology resources, including network infrastructure, for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Sanctions for Violations

Failure to comply with the appropriate use of computing and information technology resources threatens the atmosphere for the sharing of information, the free exchange of ideas, and the secure environment for creating and maintaining information property and subjects one to disciplinary action. Any member of the Case Western Reserve community found using computing and information technology resources in violation of this policy is subject to existing disciplinary procedures including, without limitation, suspension of system privileges, expulsion from school, termination of employment, and/or legal action as may be appropriate.

Privacy and Security

There is no inherent expectation of privacy for information stored on Case Western Reserve information technology resources, except as provided by federal and state law and other university policy. Every effort will be made to maintain individual privacy, but the university will not be liable for the failure of these privacy efforts.

Review of the Policy

This policy may be assessed from time to time to reflect substantive change as a result of changes to the Case Western Reserve information technology resources and/or changes in legal statutes that impact information technology resources, copyright, or other intellectual property issues. The vice president for information technology services is responsible for determining when the policy needs to be reviewed and the process for review and revision.

*approved by the Faculty Senate 2/24/04