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Website Linking and Privacy Policy

State Website Linking and Privacy Policy

The University of Houston-Clear is an institution of higher education in the state of Texas. As a result all web site owners must abide by the State Website Linking and Privacy Policy (http://www2.dir.state.tx.us/pubs/Pages/weblink-privacy.aspx).

Policy No. LRCC.2003.001

8.13 ELECTRONIC INFORMATION POLICY

Approved by University Council, October 9, 2003
1. Purpose
This is the University of Houston-Clear Lake (the University) policy regarding the privacy of, the access to, and the use of Electronic Information sent or received by the Users (faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other authorized individuals affiliated with the University who may choose to make use) of University-provided equipment, electronic services, or supplies.
2. Policy
2.1 The University respects the individual privacy of the Users.  The University is committed to protecting the personal privacy of members of the university community.  However, privacy of these individuals does not extend to their use of University-provided resources in violation of University policies.
 
2.2 If the University discovers a User misusing an electronic information system (as described in section 6), the individual may be subject to disciplinary action.
3. Privacy of Institutional Electronic Information
3.1 The University maintains Electronic Information about individual students, faculty, and staff (as well as former students, faculty, and staff) in order to support its mission.  University operations require the collection, storage, and lawful use of Electronic Information for appropriate, necessary, and defined purposes.  Access to Electronic Information will be controlled and reasonably safeguarded to ensure privacy.
 
3.2 When University personnel design, upgrade, or integrate systems, they will consider the issues of privacy, confidentiality, and the need for informed consent regarding the release of personal information.  Inadequate attention to the issues of privacy of personal information may be subject to sanctions.

3.3 To the extent consistent with state and federal law, University policies on privacy and confidentiality of student and employee records should allow the particular named student or employee the means to inspect and obtain copies of University electronic records related to that student or employee.
 
3.4 Persons responsible for electronic records containing personal information should exercise diligence to ensure accuracy and completeness.  Safeguards must be provided to protect personal information against accidental or intentional misuse or improper disclosure within or outside the University.  Misuses or improper disclosure of electronic information may lead to disciplinary action.

3.5 When electronic personnel records become dated, the records should be reviewed to determine whether they should be destroyed or archived with appropriate protection of privacy and confidentiality under the University policies for record retention.
 
3.6 The University strives to protect the academic freedom and privacy of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other authorized individuals affiliated with the University. The University may find it necessary to access private information subject to restrictions specified in section 5.
4. Computer Files and Electronic Mail
4.1 While the University has no interest in reading or monitoring the content of electronic communications, it cannot guarantee the privacy or confidentiality of these communications.
 
4.2 Users of networked computer systems are forewarned that they might encounter material that is offensive, indecent, obscene, or defamatory.  The University does not verify, endorse, screen, approve, edit or otherwise regulate the content of electronic mail, bulletin board postings or other non-official information on its computer system, the Internet or any other system to which access may be gained.  These systems are neither secure nor private modes of communication.
 
4.3 University computer systems are vital to the institution.  Administrators of these systems endeavor to maintain the integrity and proper functioning of the systems for the benefit of the University community.  In the execution of their responsibilities, designated systems administrators may need to access or monitor parts of the system.  All system administrators will respect the privacy of personal communications encountered on the systems.  However, systems administrators are required to report the existence and source of information suggesting a violation of the law or University policies to the proper University authorities.

4.4 The University reserves the right to access email as necessary for maintenance and service of such email services.

5. University's Right to Access Electronic Information
5.1 The electronic mail and file systems exist  to facilitate University-related communications and is owned by the University.  The Users are issued individual passwords to access this system, but the contents of e-mail communications are accessible by University management when given appropriate authorization from the University president.
 
5.2 If the University feels that privacy needs to be breached by allowing for the disclosure and access of alumni, faculty, staff, or student’s email or other electronic information then the University president must authorize both the access and disclosure of such e-mail messages.  Also, a written report of such authorization must be made within 24 hours of such authorization to the University, alumnus, student, faculty, or staff, whose University email account is to be accessed and/or disclosed.
 
5.3 These electronic mail systems are subject to review as stated above and should be treated the same as other electronic filing systems.
6. Personal Use of E-Mail
6.1 Because the University provides the electronic mail system to support job performance, the Users should primarily employ it for official business.  Incidental and other occasional personal use of e-mail is permitted by the University.
 
6.2 The Users should not employ these systems for such purposes as soliciting or proselytizing for commercial ventures, religious, political, or personal causes, outside organizations, or other similar, non-University-related solicitations.  

6.3 The Users may not use the University’s e-mail system in any way intended to violate the policies of the University.    
 
 
 
Approval Date: October 9, 2003
 
Sunset Date: October 9, 2013
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