This policy is designed to guide students, faculty, and staff in the acceptable use of computer and information systems and networks provided by NICC. The policy is the application of the following NICC principles that are at the core of NICC's Community College identity:


Ethical and legal standards that apply to information technology resources derive directly from standards of common sense and common courtesy that apply to the use of any shared resource. The campus computing community depends first upon the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation that has been fostered at NICC to resolve differences and ameliorate problems that arise from time to time.


These guidelines are published in that spirit. Their purpose is to specify user responsibilities in accordance with the Proper Use policy and to promote the ethical, legal, and secure use of computing resources for the protection of all members of the NICC computing community. The college extends membership in this community to its students and employees with the stipulation that they be good citizens, and that they contribute to creating and maintaining an open community of responsible users.




Purpose of College Computing Resources: Northeast Iowa Community College computing facilities exist to provide computing services to the College community in support of instructional, research, and College business. The guidelines are intended to improve the computing services offered and provide these services in a cost-effective manner


Academic Freedom: Consistent with other College policies, this policy is intended to respect the rights and obligations of academic freedom. As with all College resources, the NICC community is encouraged to make innovative and creative use of information technologies in support of education and college services. Access to information representing a multitude of views on all issues should be allowed for the interest, information and enlightenment of the NICC community.


Copyright and Non-discrimination: The College policy recognizes that the purpose of copyright is to protect the rights of the creators of intellectual property and to prevent the unauthorized use or sale of works available in the private sector. Also consistent with other College policies, an individual's right of access to computer materials should not be denied or abridged because of race, creed, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.


Cautionary statement: The College cannot protect individuals against the existence or receipt of material that may be offensive to them. Those who make use of electronic communications are warned that they may come across or be recipients of material they find offensive. Those who use e-mail and/or make information about themselves available on the Internet should be forewarned that the College cannot protect them from invasions of privacy and other possible dangers that could result from the individual's distribution of personal information.


Consideration for others: The computing and network facilities of the College are limited and should be used wisely and carefully with consideration for the needs of others and the public nature of the College. Computers and network systems offer powerful tools for communications among members of the community and of communities outside the College. When used appropriately, these tools can enhance dialog and communications. When used inappropriately, however, these tools can infringe on the beliefs or rights of others, or the public purpose for which they were created.




The following examples, though not covering every situation, specify some of the responsibilities that accompany computer use at NICC and/or on networks to which NICC is connected. Use of NICC’s computer facilities implies consent with these policies.


1.      Access to computing resources shall be authorized at a level to perform the educational or job function required by an individual.


2.      NICC computing and network resources are to be used for College-related communication, instruction, services, enrichment, dissemination of academic information, and administrative activities.


3.      Users are expected to respect the rights of other users; for example, users shall not engage in private or public behavior that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for other users. Users shall not intentionally develop or use programs that harass other users, infiltrate a computer or system and/or damage or alter the hardware or software components of a computer or system.


4.      Users may not encroach on others' use of computer resources. Such activities would include, tying up computer resources for game playing or other trivial applications; sending frivolous or excessive messages, including chain letters, junk mail or unsolicited advertising, or other types of broadcast messages, locally or over the Internet; intentionally introducing any computer viruses or other rogue programs to the NICC system causing physical or functional damage to systems. To respect the shared nature of the computing resources users shall not engage in deliberately wasteful practices such as printing large amounts of unnecessary documents.


5.      Users are responsible for using software and electronic materials in accordance with copyright and licensing restrictions and applicable College policies. NICC equipment and software may not be used to violate copyright or the terms of any license agreement.


6.      Users may not attempt to modify or crash the College system or network facilities. Users may not attempt to break into the accounts of other users at NICC or on the Internet.

7.      Students of NICC and Guests of NICC may not install software on any college computer. Faculty and staff may not install software on the college network or it’s computers. Installations on the network and its computers are the responsibility of NICC Computer Information Systems.

8.      Users of NICC’s network may not connect non-NICC hardware to the network without prior written approval from Computer Information Systems personnel.

9.      User privileges on NICC computers are set to not allow hardware installation. Limited support for personal devices (such as USB mass storage devices) is built into the operating system and/or the system image. Since the combination of different types of personal devices and hardware ports is virtually unlimited, only specific brands and models of some devices may be attached to NICC computers. Information about these devices is available from Computer Information Systems.

10.  College computing facilities are a public resource and may not be used for personal profit.

11.  Users must remember that information distributed through the College's networking facilities is a form of publishing. For example, anything generated at NICC that is available on the Internet represents NICC and not just an individual. Even with disclaimers, the College is represented by its students, faculty and staff, and appropriate language, behavior and style is warranted.

12.  NICC does not agree to unconditionally deliver all mail addressed to its users. All inbound email destined for staff and student NICC email accounts is subject to automated filtering. The goal of this filtering is to prevent dissemination of spam – both pornographic and non-pornographic mass mailing – which clogs email systems. Filtering is performed automatically by a computer acting on rules set up to detect spam. It is therefore possible that some mail bound for NICC users will be rejected even if it does not qualify as spam, if it comes from a mail server known to be used by spammers.




Communication and projects carried on by NICC staff through College resources are assumed to be business and professional matters. The college respects users' confidentiality and privacy. However, the College reserves the right to examine all computer files if it becomes necessary for significant reasons such as the following:


The College may restrict the use of its computers and network systems for electronic communications when faced with evidence of violation of College policies, or federal, state, or local laws. The College reserves the right to limit access to its networks through College-owned or other computers, and to remove/limit access to material posted on NICC-owned computers.


All users are expected to conduct themselves consistent with these responsibilities and all other applicable College policies. Abuse of computing privileges will subject the user to disciplinary action, as established by the applicable operating policies and procedures of the College. When appropriate, temporary restrictive actions will be taken by system or network administrators pending further disciplinary action and the loss of computing privileges may result.


All user accounts who have not been logged in for a period of 2 years may have their network account removed at the discretion of the Computer Information Systems Department. This includes any and all data, files, folders, access permissions, and network rights affiliated with their network account(s). If a user partakes in a period of long-term leave (i.e. Sabbatical, Military Deployment, long-term illness, etc.) the user, the user’s supervisor, or Human Resources must inform the NICC Computer Information Systems Department to eliminate the possibility of an accidental account removal.


Members of the NICC Computer Information Systems Department have the right to possess or repossess any piece of technology within their realm of support at any time. This ensures that proper maintenance of campus technology is done in an orderly manner. This also helps the NICC Computer Information Systems department to combat technological threats on the network and its data.


NICC and users recognize that all members of the College community are bound by federal, state, and local laws relating to civil rights, harassment, copyright, security and other statutes relevant to electronic media. It should be understood that this policy does not preclude enforcement under the laws and regulations of the United States of America or the State of Iowa.