Harvey Mudd College policy on incidental personal use of Information Technology.


The Claremont Colleges Appropriate Use of Campus Computing and Network Resources Policy (Appropriate Use Policy) does not explicitly permit incidental personal use of information technology (see http://www.cuc.claremont.edu/it/appropriateuse.asp ).  While the Appropriate Use Policy states that computing and network facilities resources “are provided for educational purposes and to carry out the [College’s] legitimate business,” the College allows brief and incidental personal use of information technology as described below. This policy clarifies the College’s expectations on incidental personal use and should be considered a Harvey Mudd College addendum to the Appropriate Use Policy.

Incidental Personal Use

Incidental personal use is defined as occasional use of the College’s information technology resources for personal, non-work related activities. Examples include use of email to send personal messages to friends, family, or colleagues, personal sales or purchase transactions, and use of social networking sites for personal purposes.

Incidental personal use is an accepted and appropriate benefit of having access to the College’s rich technology environment. Appropriate incidental personal use of technology resources does not result in any measurable cost to the College or the Consortium and benefits the College by allowing personnel to avoid needless inconvenience.


The following guidelines apply to incidental personal use of information technology, in addition to what is stated in the Appropriate Use policy.


  1. Incidental personal use should take a minimal amount of time and duration and not interfere with:
  1. the timely fulfillment of assigned job responsibilities and obligations
  2. the work and privacy of other users
  3. the College’s obligations and operations
  1. Users are responsible for the content of their personal communications and information sent or received through College resources.  The College accepts no responsibility or liability for any personal or unauthorized use of its resources by users.
  2. Users are responsible for informing themselves of College policies and procedures that govern the use of information technology resources and related policies such as the Staff Conflict of Interest Policy, Faculty Conflict of Interest Policy, and the Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  3. All direct and easily measurable costs (for example, printer or copier paper and other supplies) attributed to personal incidental use must be assumed by the user.
  4. Incidental personal use should not:
  1. Violate College policies or expose the College to unnecessary risk.
  2. Result in additional measurable cost to the College.
  3. Violate the College’s standards of conduct, integrity, trust, and professionalism.
  4. Mislead a recipient of a communication as to the source of the communication, including, without limitation, creating the appearance of an officially sanctioned communication from the College.
  5. Violate Federal, State and local laws that govern computer and telecommunications use.
  6. Constitute private commerce activities that is not approved by the College.
  7. Be related to political campaigning on behalf of candidates or other electioneering, lobbying of executive and legislative branches of Federal, State or local governments, and similar activities that are inconsistent with the College’s tax-exempt status.
  8. Adversely affect the security, availability, integrity or reliability of information technology resources.
  9. Adversely impact or conflict with activities that support the mission of the College.
  1. Students sometimes start or run businesses while students at Harvey Mudd, and it is not the intent of this policy to discourage such activity. If a student is concerned about the impact of a business activity on College resources, s/he should consult with the Chief Information Officer.



The Vice Presidents and Dean of the Faculty are responsible for responding to and resolving questions or concerns regarding the appropriate personal use of information technology.

  1. If personal use adversely affects or conflicts with College operations or activities, the user will be obligated to cease those activities upon request from the user’s supervisor, a Vice President or Dean. An employee's supervisor may require the employee to cease or limit any incidental personal use that the supervisor believes hampers job performance or violates College policy.
  2. College technology services (CIS and other College IT personnel) will always place a higher priority on support of College-related activities over any form of incidental personal use.



Responsible Office: Vice President for Computing and Information Services

Contact: Computing and Information Services  helpdesk@hmc.edu 


HMC President’s Cabinet








This policy is based on the University of Indiana Appropriate Use Policy http://policies.iu.edu/policies/categories/information-it/it/IT-01.shtml


09/19/2014:  Joseph Vaughan revised to reflect wording changes suggested by Campus Counsel; changes approved by President’s Cabinet.

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