This procedure aims to ensure that the College’s Information Technology Systems (ITS)
are used to further the College’s mission. This procedure conforms to the HCCC Information
Technology Services Policy approved by the HCCC Board of Trustees.
This procedure applies to all individual users accessing and using computing, networking,
and information resources through any College facility. These users include all Hudson
County Community College staff, faculty, administrators, and other persons hired or
retained to perform College work.
This procedure covers all of the College’s Information Technology Systems, including
computing, networking, and other information technology resources owned or operated
by, procured through, or contracted by the College. Such resources include the College’s
computing and networking systems (including those connected to the College’s telecommunications
infrastructure, the College-wide backbones, local area networks, and the Internet),
public-access sites, shared computer systems, desktop computers, mobile devices, other
computer hardware, software, databases stored on or accessible through the network,
ITS/Enterprise Applications facilities, and communications systems and services.
The Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Directors/Managers of ITS/Enterprise Applications
shall implement this procedure. User reports of suspected abuse and other complaints
shall be directed to the CIO. The CIO shall report the incident to the Vice President
for Business and Finance/CFO. Specifics of the procedure are outlined below under
“Non-compliance and Sanctions.”
The College places a high value on privacy and recognizes its critical importance
in an academic setting. In limited circumstances, including but not limited to technical
issues or failures, law enforcement requests, or government regulations, the College
may determine that other interests outweigh the value of a user’s privacy expectation.
Only then will the College access relevant IT Systems without the consent of the user.
The College is committed to protecting user privacy as long as this does not compromise
institutional resources. Circumstances under which the College may need to gain access
are discussed below. Procedural safeguards have been established to ensure access
is attained only when appropriate.
Conditions – In accordance with state and federal law, the College may access all aspects of
IT Systems, without the consent of the user, in the following circumstances:
- When necessary to identify or diagnose systems or security vulnerabilities and problems,
or otherwise preserve the integrity of the College’s IT Systems;
- When required by federal, state, or local law or administrative rules;
- When there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of law or a significant
breach of College policy or procedure may have taken place, and access and inspection
or monitoring may produce evidence related to the misconduct;
- When such access to IT/Enterprise Applications Systems is required to carry out essential
business functions of the College; and,
- When required to preserve public health and safety.
Under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act, the College reserves the right to access
and disclose data. This disclosure may include messages, data, files, and email backup
or archives. Disclosure to law enforcement authorities and others shall be made as
required by law, to respond to legal processes, and to fulfill its obligations to
third parties. Even deleted email is subject to legal discovery during litigation
through message archives, backup tapes, and un-deleting messages.
Process – The College will access data without the consent of the user only with the approval
of the CIO and the Vice President for Business and Finance/CFO. This process will
be circumvented only when emergency data access is necessary to preserve facilities’
integrity and preserve public health and safety. The College, through the CIO, will
log all instances of access without consent. A user will be notified of College access
to relevant IT Systems without consent. Depending on the circumstances, such notification
will occur before, during, or after the access at the College’s discretion.
- Access to information technology is vital to the College’s mission of providing its
students with the highest quality educational services.
- The College owns its computing, networking, and other communications systems.
- The College also has various license-related rights to the software and information
residing on or developed on these computers and networks. The College has the responsibility
for the security, integrity, maintenance, and confidentiality of its communication
- The College’s IT Systems exist to support staff, faculty, administrators, consultants,
and students as they carry out the mission of the College. Toward these ends, the
College encourages and promotes the use of these resources by the College community
for their intended purposes. Access to and use of these resources outside of the College’s
mission is subject to regulation and restriction to ensure that they do not interfere
with legitimate work. Access and use of resources and services that interfere with
the College’s mission and goals are prohibited.
- When the demand for information technology resources exceeds available capacity, ITS
establishes priorities for allocating the resources. ITS gives a higher priority to
activities essential to the mission of the College. In conjunction with the Chief
Information Officer, the Vice Presidents shall recommend these priorities to the President.
- The College has the authority to control or refuse access to anyone who violates this
procedure. Threatening other users’ rights, the availability and integrity of the
systems, and information is a violation of this procedure. Consequences of procedure
violation include deactivating accounts, access codes or security clearances, stopping
processes, deleting affected files, and disabling access to information technology
Rights of Users
- Privacy and confidentiality: As described more fully in section IV (above), the College
will generally respect users’ rights to privacy and confidentiality. However, by their
technological nature, electronic communications, especially email connected to the
Internet, may not be secure from unauthorized access, viewing, or infringement. Although
the College employs technologies to secure electronic messages, the confidentiality
of email and other electronic documents cannot always be assured. Therefore, good
judgment dictates crafting electronic documents that may become public without embarrassment
- Safety: The use by College faculty, staff, or administrators of the College’s IT Systems
to transmit threatening, harassing, or offensive communication (or the display of
offensive images or materials) is a violation of College procedure and may subject
the violator to severe sanction. College personnel should report threatening, harassing,
or offensive communications received over the network to the CIO as soon as possible.
Responsibilities of Users
- Individuals with access to the College’s computing, networking, and information resources
are responsible for using them professionally, ethically, and legally and consistently
with all applicable College policies. Users must take reasonable and necessary measures
to safeguard the operational integrity and accessibility of the College’s systems.
Users should maintain an academic and work environment conducive to efficiently and
productively carrying out the College’s mission. Specifically, the responsibilities
of users include:
- Respecting the rights of others, including their rights to intellectual property,
privacy, and freedom from harassment;
- Safeguarding the confidentiality of sensitive College information and the privacy
of student information following FERPA and College policy and procedures;
- Using systems and resources so as not to interfere with or disrupt the College’s normal
- Protecting the security and the integrity of information stored on College IT/Enterprise
- Knowing and obeying College and unit-specific policies and procedures governing access
to, and use of, College IT Systems and information on those systems.
Specific Proscriptions on Network Use
- Individuals may not share passwords or log-in IDs or otherwise give others access
to any system for which they are not the individual responsible for the data or system.
Users are responsible for any activity conducted with their computer accounts and
their password security. Only authorized persons may use the College’s IT/Enterprise
- Individuals may not use another person’s network account or attempt to obtain passwords
or access codes to another’s network account to send or receive messages.
- Individuals must identify themselves and their affiliation accurately and appropriately
in electronic communications. They may not disguise the identity of the network account
assigned to them or represent themselves as someone else.
- Individuals may not use the College’s systems to harass, intimidate, threaten or insult
others; to interfere with another’s work or education; to create an intimidating,
hostile, or offensive working or learning environment; or to conduct illegal or unethical
activities, including plagiarism and invasion of privacy.
- Individuals may not use the College’s systems to gain or attempt to gain unauthorized
access to remote networks or computer systems.
- Individuals may not deliberately disrupt the normal operations of the College’s computers,
workstations, terminals, peripherals, or networks.
- Individuals may not run or install programs on any College computer system that may
damage the College’s data and systems (e.g., computer viruses, personal programs).
Users must not use the College’s network to disrupt external systems. If a user suspects
that a program they intend to install or use may cause such an effect, they must first
consult with ITS/Enterprise Applications.
- Individuals may not circumvent or avoid using authentication systems, data-protection
mechanisms, or other security safeguards.
- Individuals must not violate any applicable copyright laws and licenses, and they
must respect other intellectual property rights. Information and software accessible
on the Internet are subject to copyright or additional intellectual property-right
protection. College policy, procedures, and the law forbid the unauthorized copying
of software that has not been placed in the public domain and distributed as “freeware.”
Therefore, nothing should be downloaded or copied from the Internet without express
permission from the owner of the material. Users must observe the material owner’s
requirements or limitations on the material. The use of software on more than the
licensed number of computers and unauthorized installation of unlicensed software
are also prohibited.
“Shareware” users must abide by the requirements of the shareware agreement.
- Activities that waste or unfairly monopolize computing resources and do not promote
the College’s mission are prohibited. Examples of such activities include unauthorized
mass e-mailings; electronic chain letters, junk mail, and other types of broadcast
messages; unnecessary multiple processes, output, or traffic; exceeding network directory
space limitations; game-playing, “surfing” the Internet for recreational purposes,
or other non-work-related applications during business hours; and excessive printing.
- Reading, copying, changing, or deleting programs or files that belong to another person
or the College without permission is prohibited.
- Individuals must not use the College’s computing resources for commercial purposes
or personal financial gain.
- Use of the College’s IT Systems that violates local, state, or national laws or regulations
or College policies, standards of conduct, or guidelines is prohibited.
- Email Communications:
- The College’s email system exists to support the College’s work, and email use must
be related to College business. However, incidental personal, noncommercial use without
direct cost to the College that does not interfere with legitimate College business
is also permitted.
- Electronic communications whose meaning, transmission, or distribution is illegal,
unethical, fraudulent, defamatory, harassing, or irresponsible are prohibited. College
email systems must not be used to communicate content that may be considered inappropriate,
offensive, or disrespectful to others.
- Individuals should observe appropriate professional standards of civility and decency
in all electronic communication.
- All email correspondence relating to College business (including that sent to students
and prospective students) should be sent with a plain white background and should
not use any decorative stationery.
- Broadcast emails to the College Community will relate to College policy and procedures,
College news, a College-sponsored event, or items affecting the College Community.
Items for sale, donation requests, and other non-College business matters are prohibited.
Individuals may not send emails requesting this type of information via the College’s
World Wide Web
- The Hudson County Community College Web site is an official publication of the College.
All information contained on the Web pages must be accurate and reflect the official
College policy and procedures.
- Official College Web pages conform to the same standards as any College print publication.
The CIO, Director of Marketing and College Relations, Web Services Manager and the
pertinent Vice President or their designee shall have the ultimate responsibility
for each page’s content and design.
- The Web Services Manager and College staff responsible for each division or department
will regularly review the currency and accuracy of official Hudson County Community
College web pages. Individual areas are responsible for communicating revisions and
updates, as they occur, to the Web Services Manager, who will review them and arrange
for their posting.
Non-compliance and Sanctions
Non-compliance with this procedure may result in denial or removal of access privileges
to the College’s electronic systems, disciplinary action under applicable College
policies and procedures, civil liability and litigation, and criminal prosecution
under appropriate state, federal, and local laws.
The process for an investigation into suspected abuses and non-compliance with this
procedure is as follows:
- Report suspected abuse to the CIO.
- If there is concurrence by the Vice President for Business and Finance/CFO, the CIO
shall investigate the report.
- CIO shall report any discovered abuse to the appropriate divisional Vice President,
who will determine appropriate disciplinary action.
Network, Email, and Internet Accounts Procedures
Eligible for Accounts are the following:
- All salaried Hudson County Community College full-time staff.
- All adjunct faculty and other consultants engaged by the College through letters of
agreement, memoranda of understanding, or contract.
- All members of the Board of Trustees.
- Hudson County Community College part-time staff who have a demonstrated need for computer
resources available from ITS/Enterprise Applications (other than general Internet
access), related to their work at the College, are eligible for temporary accounts.
- Employees of affiliated educational institutions that have relationships with Hudson
County Community College, and a demonstrated need for ITS/Enterprise Applications
computer resources (other than general Internet access), are eligible for temporary
- Affiliated organizations with an academic mission whose activities related to the
College require computing resources that the affiliate cannot reasonably supply on
its own are eligible for temporary accounts.
ITS removes accounts when:
- The account holder no longer meets the eligibility requirements.
- The account is temporary, and the expiration date passes without renewal.
- The account holder has not accessed the account in 18 consecutive months.
- Accounts are created with a pre-assigned password that account holders must change
upon logging in for the first time, and consistent with College procedures.
- It is strictly forbidden to share or divulge passwords.
Hudson County Community College Email Procedure
Individuals with access to the College’s IT Systems are responsible for using them
professionally, ethically, legally, and following applicable College policies and
procedures. Users should maintain an academic and work environment conducive to efficiently
and productively carrying out the College’s mission.
Electronic communications whose meaning, transmission, or distribution are illegal,
unethical, fraudulent, defamatory, harassing, irresponsible, or violate College policies
or procedures are prohibited. Electronic communications should not contain anything
that could not be posted on a bulletin board, seen by unintended viewers, or appear
in a College publication. Material that may be considered inappropriate, offensive,
or disrespectful to others should not be sent or received as electronic communications
using College facilities. The CIO will oversee the enforcement of this procedure.
A. Actions Considered Violations of this email procedure are as follows:
- Sending unauthorized bulk email messages (“junk mail” or “spam”).
- Using email for harassment, whether through language, frequency, content, or size
- Forwarding or otherwise propagating chain letters and pyramid schemes, whether or
not the recipient wishes to receive such mailings.
- Malicious emails, such as “mail-bombing” or flooding a user site with very large or
numerous pieces of email.
- Forging of sender information other than firstname.lastname@example.org or another preapproved
- Sending email for commercial purposes or personal financial gain.
The College has the right to remove access to accounts found in violation of this
B. Email Rules and Controls:
- The College does not archive email.
- The College does filter email for spam and malicious content.
- The College blocks email accounts that send spam and malicious content.
Approved by Cabinet: July 2021
Related Board Policy: ITS
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