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Computer Use Policy

August 1, 2006

Academic freedom in teaching and research and the right of freedom of speech for faculty, staff and students are fundamental principles of the UNLV Libraries.  The Libraries support of the First Amendment also extends to endorsement of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, which supports access to information and opposes censorship and/or restricting access to information.  This computer resources policy is created in accordance with Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) policy which states:

Nothing in this policy limits or removes the right of free speech or the academic freedom of faculty, staff, and students engaged in the learning process, nor relaxes their responsibilities as members of the NSHE community. This policy seeks to achieve objectives necessary for the legitimate and proper use of computing resources. It is intended that these ends should be achieved in ways that maximally respectthe legitimate interests and rights of all NSHE users.  In accordance with NSHE policy, the UNLV Libraries acknowledges its responsibilities to respect and advance free academic inquiry, free expression, reasonable expectations of privacy, due process, equal protection of the law, and legitimate claims of ownership of intellectual property.

UNLV Libraries’ computers are intended to support the University's programs of teaching, research, and scholarly/creative production.  This includes both formal assignments and informal, supplemental learning and research.  Electronic information, services, software and networks provided directly or indirectly by the University Libraries shall be accessible, in accordance with licensing or contractual obligations and in accordance with existing UNLV and NSHE computing services policies.

The UNLV Libraries provide, to authorized users, open access to the Internet for academic and educational purposes.    This policy upholds the individual’s right to privacy, and at the same time bears responsibility for providing individuals an environment free of sexual and other forms of harassment, in which to work and study.  Staff do not monitor content or censor access to material that others may find offensive.  University policy prohibits conduct that interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning employment or educational environment.

Such conduct involves more than merely viewing material that others find offensive. Academic research and study often deals with such controversial material. Behavior that is not academically justified and is targeted toward an individual or individuals, particularly repeated behavior, may be viewed as harassing.  While accessing and viewing controversial material is protected speech, conduct aimed at targeting other people is not. Users should strive to be sensitive to the diverse population accessing university computers, and all should treat others with dignity and respect.

Users of University Libraries computers are responsible for appropriate and legal use. Appropriate use of computing resources means: respecting the rights of other computer users; protecting the integrity of the physical and software facilities; complying with all pertinent license and contractual agreements; and obeying all NSHE regulations and state and federal laws.  

Users are not permitted to:

  1. Copy any copyrighted software provided by UNLV.  It is a criminal offense to copy any software that is protected by copyright, and UNLV will treat it as such.
  2. Use licensed software in a manner inconsistent with the licensing arrangement.
  3. Copy, rename, alter, examine, or delete the files or programs of another person or UNLV without permission of that person or UNLV.
  4. Create, disseminate or run a self-replicating program ("virus"), whether destructive in nature or not.
  5. Tamper with switch settings, moving, reconfiguring or doing anything that could damage computers, printers or other equipment.
  6. Collect, read, or destroy output other than your own work without the permission of the owner.
  7. Use the computer account of another person unless it is designated for group work.
  8. Access or attempt to access a host computer, either at UNLV or through a network, without the owners permission, and/or through use of log-in information belonging to another person.

This list is by no means exhaustive but it provides the user an overview of inappropriate computer use.

All federal and state laws, NSHE Code and regulations, and individual institutional policies are applicable to Libraries’ computer use.  The University Libraries and their staff reserve the right to remove any user(s) from a computer if they are in violation of any part of this policy and may deny further access to library computers and/or other library resources for repeat offenders.  The Libraries will pursue infractions or misconduct through campus disciplinary channels and/or law enforcement as appropriate. 

Violation of NSHE Code provisions may result in disciplinary action and/or the loss of computing privileges.  Violation of applicable laws may result in civil damages and criminal sanctions under state and federal law.  Applicable statutes are summarized and can be found on the NSHE homepage on the World Wide Web.  This list is by no means exhaustive but it provides the user an overview of the provisions of these and other statutes as they relate to computer use.  The University will not defend any individual for violations of federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations.

Key:
Italic = NSHE Policy