The purpose of this "Electronic Mail Acceptable Use Policy" is to establish guidelines and minimum requirements governing the acceptable use of University-provided electronic mail (e-mail) services. By establishing and maintaining compliance with this policy, risks and costs can be mitigated while the valuable potential of this communication tool is realized. The objectives of this policy are to assure that:
This policy applies to all University employees, students, retirees, and holders of specially-granted accounts (hereinafter referred to as "users") whose access to or use of e-mail services is funded by the University and the State of Tennessee or is available through equipment owned or leased by the University.
As with any state-provided resource, the use of e-mail services should be dedicated
to legitimate University activities and is governed by rules of conduct similar to
those applicable to the use of other information technology resources. The use of
e-mail services is a privilege which imposes certain responsibilities and obligations
on State users and is subject to State policies and local, State, and Federal laws.
Acceptable use must be legal, ethical, reflect honesty, and show restraint in the
consumption of shared resources. It demonstrates respect for intellectual property,
ownership of information, system security mechanisms, and the individual's rights
to privacy and freedom from intimidation, harassment, and unwarranted annoyance.
All e-mail users should:
Acceptable e-mail activities are those that conform to the purpose, goals, and mission of the university and to each user's job duties and/or responsibilities. The following list, although not inclusive, provides some examples of acceptable uses:
The use of any University resources for e-mail must be related to University business, including academic pursuits. Incidental and occasional personal use of e-mail may occur when such use does not generate costs to the University. Any such incidental and occasional use of University e-mail resources for personal purposes is subject to the provisions of this policy.
Unacceptable use can be defined generally as activities that do not conform to the purpose, goals, and mission of the University and to each user's job duties and responsibilities. Any e-mail usage in which acceptable use is questionable should be avoided. In other words, when in doubt seek policy clarification prior to pursuing the activity. The following list, although not all-inclusive, provides some examples of unacceptable uses:
In an operational sense, files in users accounts and data on the network are regarded as personal: that is, employees of the University do not routinely monitor this information. However, the University reserves the right to view or scan any file or software stored on University systems or transmitted over University networks, and may do so periodically to verify that software and hardware are working correctly, to look for particular kinds of data or software (such as computer viruses), or to audit the use of University resources. Violations of policy that come to the University's attention during these and other activities will be acted upon.
The University will make reasonable efforts to maintain the integrity and effective operation of its e-mail systems, but users are advised that those systems should in no way be regarded as a secure medium for the communication of sensitive or confidential information. Because of the nature and technology of electronic communication, the University can assure neither the privacy of an individual user's use of the University's e-mail resources nor the confidentiality of particular messages that may be created, transmitted, received, or stored thereby.
Violations of this Policy may result in the immediate suspension of the User's account, followed by timely review of the charges by the appropriate person or persons.
Violations of this Policy may subject users to the regular disciplinary processes and procedures of the University for students, staff, administrators, and faculty and may result in loss of their computing privileges.
Illegal acts involving University computing resources may also subject violators to prosecution by local, state, and/or federal authorities. Suspected law violations may be referred to police agencies.
If a user is found to have violated this Policy, the user's computing privileges at MTSU may be permanently and totally removed. There will be no refund of any technology access fees.
Student users in violation of this Policy may be recommended for suspension or dismissal from MTSU. Employees in violation of this Policy may be recommended for termination from MTSU employment.
For additional information and explanations go to the MTSU Electronic Mail Procedures & Guidelines