Information Technology, Documents, & Records

Responsible Use of Technology

Policy Statement

Carleton College makes available to its community members information technology resources for the purpose of teaching, learning, research, and the business of the college. Users are expected to consume these services in a manner that respects reliability, security, and privacy, and is consistent with College policy and all applicable laws.

Who Is Affected By This Policy

The policy applies to all members of the College community, including faculty, students, staff, affiliates, authorized visitors, guests, and others for whom College information technology resources are made available by the College.

What Is Covered By This Policy

This policy applies to College-owned devices and systems and to College-contracted systems and services, as well as privately-owned devices using the College’s networks and resources. It applies to technology administered on the College network by individual departments or members of the faculty or staff or by campus organizations; to information services hosted by residential students or by authorized visitors on their own hardware connected to the campus network; to the resources administered by central administrative departments; to personally-owned devices connected by wire or wirelessly to the campus network. It applies to College-affiliated cloud-based websites and services.


1. Acceptable Use

a. Institutional Use

Use of all College information technology resources should be for purposes that are consistent with the non-profit educational mission and the policies and legal requirements (including license agreements and terms of service) of the College, and not for commercial purposes.

b. Personal Use

Faculty and staff personal use of the College’s information technology resources, should be incidental and kept to a minimum. The time spent on personal uses of technology should not interfere with or distract from one’s job responsibilities. Any personal materials stored on these systems will be deleted without review at the time of separation from the college (resignation, termination or death) unless prior arrangements have been made.  Users should understand that use of College resources for personal reasons makes all such information accessible to the College.  Users should not have any expectation of privacy when using College resources for personal use.

c. Prohibited Use

Use of the College’s information technology resources must not violate applicable federal, state, or local law, including U.S. copyright law, or applicable College policies, and, if international travel is involved, the laws of the relevant nation or state. From any location, College resources may not be used to transmit fraudulent, malicious, harassing, or defamatory content or other activities that would create a hostile learning or work environment.

d. Political Use

As a 501(c)(3) organization, the College is prohibited from participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate for public office, and no substantial part of the College’s activities may be directed to influencing legislation (i.e. lobbying). Individuals may not use College information technology resources for political purposes in a manner that results in or suggests the College itself is participating in campaign or political activity or fundraising, or for influencing legislation. Any other use with respect to political activity must be permitted by applicable College policy and consistent with applicable laws.

2. Access and Privacy

The College has the legal right to access, preserve, and review all information stored on or transmitted through its network, equipment, and systems. The College endeavors to respect individual users’ confidentiality; however, when the College determines that it has a legitimate operational need to access information created or stored by individual users on College systems, it reserves the right to do so. Users should not attempt to gain access to systems or data for which they do not have explicit authorization to access. They should not engage in activities that might damage or degrade network or systems performance, or launch any attack against an internal or external entity.

3. Protection of College Resources

Users of College information technology resources are responsible for protecting College data, including its confidentiality, integrity, access, retention and disposal, in accordance with the College’s privacy, record retention policy, and other applicable College policies. Individuals with College accounts or administrative responsibility over any College resources should take reasonable measures to protect these accounts and resources. Shared College technology resources should be used for institutional purposes and to carry out the legitimate business of the College, and should not be used in a way that disrupts or otherwise interferes with any College activities or damages resources or that is inconsistent with the College’s policies or goals.

4. Respect of Intellectual Property Rights

The College supports the following statement on software and intellectual rights:

Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment [sic], right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution. Because electronic information is volatile and easily repro­duced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unau­thorized access, and trade secret and copyright violations may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community.[1]

5. Violations and Penalties

Violations of the policy may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal from employment, expulsion from further study, and suspension of computing or network privileges.




Last Revised: September 1, 2020

For: Faculty, Staff

Last Reviewed: November 17, 2020

Maintained by: Human Resources