Introduction

This document describes all policies governing the use and administration of the computer facilities within the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at The Ohio State University. These policies reflect the current official positions of the Department. The Department's Computer Committee is responsible for making all policy decisions related to CSE Computing Services (CS).

Because technology and roles change, specific information about the computing facility and the individuals involved is contained in the Department's web pages.

General Principles

The Department's computer facilities are limited, and we have a relatively large user population. We rely on our users to recognize this and be considerate of other users. This document describes both general guidelines and specific rules, and is designed to help users make mature and rational decisions in regard to their use of CSE Facilities.

The following principles guide these policies:

Academic Integrity
As an institution of higher learning, CSE must maintain the integrity of all activities related to this important purpose. Electronic acts that threaten this integrity will be handled in accordance with OSU policies related to Academic Misconduct.
Reasonable Use
All usage of CSE computing resources is expected to be resonable in the sense that no one user's activities should impact those of other users. Commercial use of the CSE computing environment, using excessive amounts of CPU time or disk space, and generating excessive amounts of network traffic are all examples of unreasonable use.
Fair Allocation of Resources
The Department will establish guidelines for allocating computing resources to ensure fair and equitable access by all users.
Social Responsibility
Computing Services strive to provide to the CSE community computing facilities that are both safe and professional. Moreover, because the CSE network is part of a larger international network, the Department assumes certain responsibilities as a member of a growing electronic community. This has consequences both in terms of the services of the Department provides as well as in in terms of the types of security measures the Department will implement to ensure we meet these responsibilities.
Right to Privacy
Computer files are a form of property separable from the media on which they are recorded. The contents of a file will be treated as analogous to physical property. The computer files of an account may not be inspected, copied, changed, or otherwise altered unless access is provided by the owner. The only exceptions made will be for purposes relevant to the administration of the computer system or to investigate misuse.

Requesting Policy Changes

Computing Services, the CSE Computer Committee, and CSE Chair all have a role in the management of CSE facilities. Computing Services is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the facilities, and will frequently be the source of recommendations for new projects and changes to the facilities. The Computer Committee is responsible for policies governing the use of the facilities, and for recommending to the faculty and/or the Chair significant changes affecting Computing Services. The CSE Computer Committee is also responsible for prioritizing projects having major impact on resources. The CSE Chair is reponsible overall for department resources, both personnel and financial.

Handling Violations

Any user who violates CSE policies should be aware that such transgressions will be taken very seriously.

Privacy violations may result in criminal prosecution if appropriate.

Violating reasonable use of computer resources may result in permanent termination of the user's account.

For violations related to academic integrity, academic misconduct proceedings are a typical recourse.

Volations can also result in termination of employment and denial of future employment by the Department. This policy pertains to staff as well as to students and faculty. Staff are expected to access only such information as is necessary for the performance of their job, and to inspect that information only to the degree necessary for carrying out activities related to their job description. When a possible violation has been detected, all evidence will be taken to the Chair of the Computer Committee or the Chair of the Department.