Policies & Security : Faculty/Staff Computing Policies Handbook

The Office of Information Technology at The University of Virginia's College at Wise whole-heartedly endorses the "Statement of Mission" and the "Statement of Goals" found in the UVa-Wise Catalog and the UVa-Wise Student Handbook. The services, resources, and planning provided by this department directly (and indirectly) support the mission and goals of The University of Virginia's College at Wise and the University of Virginia.

As the only branch college of the University of Virginia, UVa-Wise enjoys close ties with the University of Virginia. Therefore, the policies and statements of The University of Virginia's College at Wise in regard to computer usage will parallel (to some degree) those of the University of Virginia.

The Learning and Technology Committee at UVa-Wise has been tasked to develop a set of formal policies concerning computer/network usage. Until the formal policies are approved and published, the statements in the side bar will serve as guidelines for computer/network usage at The University of Virginia's College at Wise.

Please become familiar with these guidelines.


It is your responsibility to know and follow them. Repeated violations, as determined by the Office of Information Technology, will result in revocation of access to College computing resources, and may be referred for disciplinary action.

Who "Owns" What?

We will use the possessive word "your" frequently in this booklet, but the term does not always mean ownership. In some cases, it means "exclusive use."  We also assign ownership of computers or files or data to the College when in reality some of these items may be officially the property of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a research sponsor, or some other entity.  If in doubt over the ownership of a particular item, ask your manager or department head, or call the Information Technology Help Desk.

You may own a personal computer or workstation. You will make the decisions about how that equipment will be used. You may own a software license -- word processing or spreadsheet software, perhaps -- that you purchased from a software vendor. Your license usually allows you to possess ONE copy of this software for your own use.

The College owns the central computers, departmental computer labs, the microcomputing sites, the computers it places on its employees' desks and all the software it has installed on them. The College determines who may use these resources and how they may use them.

The College owns the College network -- all the wires, cables, and routers that connect the central computers, computer labs, microcomputer sites, and perhaps your personal computer to each other and, beyond the Grounds, to the Internet. The College determines who is authorized to use its network, and can limit the nature of the use.

Academic Freedom


The University of Virginia's "Policy on Information Access through Computer Networks" states:

"It is the policy of the University of Virginia that the same standards and principles of intellectual and academic freedom used in university classrooms, libraries, and other aspects of university life be applied to access for the University community to resources available through computer networks. While the resources and discussions on such networks are not truly analogous to classrooms or libraries, the standards of academic freedom used in those settings should be applied. The University's overall principle is that information shall not be censored."

The Office of Information Technology at The University of Virginia's College at Wise agrees with the above statement and will not participate in censorship of information flowing through the network(s) on The University of Virginia's College at Wise. The department does, however, reserve the right to monitor use of limited resources. (An example would be monitoring modem usage or disk space usage.)

This will allow everyone at the College the opportunity to share the resources and be an active participant in a technological environment free from censorship.

Respect for Copyrights of Digital Materials and Software


(July 2001 Revision of the previous Software Copyright Policy approved October 1995)

It is the policy of the University to respect the copyright protections given by federal law to owners of digital materials and software. It is against University policy for faculty, staff, or students to use University equipment or services to access, use, copy or otherwise reproduce, or make available to others any copyright-protected digital materials or software except as permitted under copyright law (especially with respect to "fair use") or specific license.

The software provided through the University for use by faculty, staff, and students may be used only on computing equipment as specified in the various software licenses.

The University regards violation of this policy as a serious matter, and any such violation is without its consent and is subject to disciplinary action. Repeated violations will result in loss of computing privileges, among other sanctions.

Restrictions on "Sexually Explicit Content" for government owned computers

Producing, exchanging and retrieving information electronically by taking advantage of computer technology presents valuable opportunities for the College. While employees and students are encourage to use this technology, its use carries important responsibilities. The General Assembly of Virginia enacted an amendment to the Code of Virginia which places certain restrictions on the use of Government owned computers and College-owned networks. As required by the legislation we are providing you with a copy of the amended code section (click here for a copy).  Also, please refer to Virginia State Code 2.2-2827 for the Virginia State law on this matter.