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Employee Usage

1. Introduction

MICA provides computer hardware, software and network services for use by faculty, administrators, staff, students and student workers, contractors, and consultants in order to accomplish the educational and business missions of the College. Use of MICA computer hardware and software is governed by the Network Use Policy, the policies in the Employee Handbook, and this policy and is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws as well as the rules and regulations of the College.

2. Access to Computers and User Privacy

By using MICA computer hardware and software, members of the campus community are granting permission for authorized computer technicians working for the Office of Technology Systems and Services to access this equipment and software via electronic or manual means.

The College respects the right to privacy of information stored on campus computers. However, there may be times when technicians will need to gain access to files stored on users’ computers to accomplish maintenance or do upgrades. When there is reason to believe that a user may be violating the network use policy, the College retains the right to access files stored on college-owned computers as well. Such access is allowed under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.

Personal/Confidential Material
If a user has personal, confidential, or private material that they do not wish Office of Technology technicians to see while they are performing needed maintenance on the user’s computer, the user may wish to save this information to external media (CD, floppy, Zip disk) or place in a separate folder which they can create on their hard drive . Such a folder can be password protected if the user has reason to do so. User’s should take caution in doing this however to make certain that they do not forget the password which will render the information inaccessible.

3. Software Copyrights

Computer software users must respect all copyrights. Commercial software licensed to MICA may be installed only on machines expressly covered by the licenses.

4. Responsibilities of Hardware/Software Users

Hardware Use
Quality computer hardware is provided to the campus community by the College’s Office of Technology. Although normal wear and tear is expected, that office makes every attempt to maximize the usable life of equipment through its practices of routine maintenance. Users are also responsible for helping the College maintain the quality of its computer hardware equipment by taking reasonable precautions with the equipment and avoiding situations in which equipment could be damaged, lost or stolen. Examples of such situations include but are not limited to the following: opening the hardware case and removing parts; leaving the equipment exposed to weather conditions, placing plants, food, or drinks on top of computer components, risking spills and electrical damage.

Software Use
When College computer equipment is deployed to an office, it arrives with the standard supported software and optional software on a case-by-case basis. It is important that the Office of Technology maintain a standard and predictable computing environment on all campus machines if it is to efficiently support and maintain those machines. Any software that an administrative staff member wishes to use on their College-owned computer that is not part of the standard, supported software set must be approved by the Office of Technology. In general, the standard software package for staff consists of the following:

  1. Windows or Mac Operating system with programs that come standard with the OS
  2. Microsoft Office which includes Word, Excel, Office, Powerpoint, Access, 
  3. Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader
  4. Web browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome)

Additionally, many offices have specific needs related to their business functions. Some of the software and applications that they might used are:

  1. Peoplesoft
  2. Crystal Reports for Peoplesoft data reporting
  3. Adobe Photoshop
  4. Resource 25 Scheduling software
  5. Ingeniux Content Management System for MICA Web updating

There are many other specific programs used by staff that are related to the business needs of those offices and staff functions. If a staff member needs to use an application that is not presently on his/her computer, the user should contact the Help Desk indicating why the software is important and describing the business function it provides.  

The College retains the right to remove any software from a user’s machine that has not been approved by TSS. In circumstances where software must be loaded due to emergency or other extraordinary circumstances, the Office of Technology should be notified of the situation as soon as possible.

Use of BitTorrent and Similar Software Programs
A number of applications are used to search for and share MP3 music, video and image files-such as BitTorrent. This software scans the Web for other computers using these software programs and then exchanges files automatically. The nature of this software and the way it works presents MICA with a number of problems:

  • Sending and receiving MP3 and other media files consumes large amounts of the campus' limited and expensive network bandwidth.
  • Many of the files in question are copyrighted material. It is illegal under Federal law (Title 17 of the US Code, and more recently the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 105 PL 304) to distribute copyrighted material in this fashion.
  • Workstations with Napster or Napster-like software may function as public file servers and allow people to browse private or confidential information stored on the user’s machine.
  • Some of these applications are known to install "spyware" programs that periodically "phone home" information about the computer and the computer user's patterns of network use.

Users shall refrain from installing or running BiTorrent, or other software programs with similar functions on computers owned by MICA or installed on MICA network. If a faculty or staff member has a need to use one of these software products for an academic or instructional purpose, he or she should inform The Office of Technology by sending an e-mail to help@mica.edu.

File Backup
The computer equipment provided by the College is equipped with a device (CD Writer and USB port.) that enables the user to perform a backup of the information that is on the computer’s hard drive, usually referred to as drive C. It is the responsibility of each user to perform a regular backup of information stored on their local drive(s) according to an individually designated schedule. The media that will be used is either compact disk (CD) or USB Thumb Drive, depending on the available hardware in the computer. The software that will be used is standard software that is provided with each computer. The Office of Technology technicians can provide assistance with the steps needed to implement file backup procedure. The Office of Technology Training Coordinator can provide more in depth assistance and help you build a regular procedure for backing up your data and email files. File backup should be a regular routine for all campus computer users.

In addition, staff have been provided with user directories of about 2GB where they can store their information to get backed up. Each department has also been provided with shared directories of about 20GB that is also backed up daily

Account Responsibility and Configuration Control
Windows XP  and Windows 7 computers are equipped with an administrator account that is used by The Office of Technology technicians in resolving problems. The user should not try to change the administrator account password or settings. Users should only attempt to change configuration settings if they are familiar with the implications of such changes. Display settings, mouse speed, desktop backgrounds and similar low level setting changes are generally not problematic. Changing network configuration, Internet security settings and similar higher level settings can all have unpredictable effects and should not be attempted without the assistance of someone from the Office of Technology.

Installing Additional Equipment
The College’s computer equipment is deployed to an office in working order with the standard supported hardware and software (and optional hardware and software on a case-by-case basis). If additional hardware is needed for the performance of the users’s job, the Office of Technology Help Desk should be notified. Technicians and staff will work with the user to determine the appropriate hardware, purchase the hardware from one of the College’s accepted vendors, and install the hardware and software to support the devices. If user training is needed, The Office of Technology can arrange such training with the user. Users should not attempt to install additional hardware or software without the permission of the Office of Technology.

5. Technology Equipment Acquisition and Replacement

Capital Budget
The College budgets to replace equipment as it ages. Capital equipment (over $2,000) needs to be requested through the Capital Equipment Budget Process. Vice- Presidents in each departmental area are responsible for organizing and submitting capital equipment requests at the beginning of each fiscal year for departments under their management. Those requests become part of the overall capital technology budget plan and are reviewed and approved by the President and Vice-Presidents as a group based on campus priorities. Once approved, capital equipment dealing with technology is generally purchased by the Office of Technology to ensure competitive pricing and consistency of brand or type.

Operating Budget
The College also maintains a budget for yearly replacement of computers. Computer workstations for office use are not generally considered capital and are usually purchased out of a budget fund maintained by The Office of Technology. This fund provides sufficient budget money to replace the most heavily used computers on campus every three years. Computer users requiring upgrades should make a request to their department head or Chair. That request should be forwarded to the Vice-President for Technology who will make recommendations for replacing or upgrading the computer.

Equipment Upgrades
When a College machine is approved for upgrade, the equipment is replaced. When this occurs, the user is responsible for returning to the TSS Technician all of the hardware components originally deployed to them. The technician will work with the user to determine what components will be attached to the user’s new equipment and what components will be returned to the inventory pool for possible reuse. Users will work with TSS technicians in backing up all data files and important information stored on their computer so that the data can be loaded onto their new machine.

Employee’s Responsibility in Preparation for an Upgrade
When the Office of Technology is preparing to upgrade or replaces a user’s computer, it is the responsibility of the user to ensure that all of the users data stored on the computer is organized in a manner that facilitates the transfer of that information to the new or upgraded computer. The Office of Technology will send to each user before the upgrade takes place, an information sheet giving them guidelines and instructions for preparing for the upgrades. In general, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • All unneeded data files should be deleted from the old computer before the upgrade begins.
  • Documents and data files that are designated to be moved to the new computer should be organized into the My Documents folder. Separate subfolders can be created within this folder to differentiate these files. If there are data files that cannot be moved to this folder, notes should be prepared for the technician to indicate which folders and why.
  • Email, calendar, and other information from Outlook or other email client software should be cleaned and organized as much as possible. Unneeded sent mail, saved mail or deleted mail should be cleaned out. In general, email should be reviewed so that only necessary email will get transferred to the new system.

Personal music and/or video files WILL NOT be moved from an old computer to a new one by the Office of Technology technicians. These files are very large and take an enormous amount of the technician’s time. If users have music that they want to move from one computer to another, it will be their responsibility to save the files off to a suitable medium BEFORE the technicians arrive and copy them back on to the new computer after the technicians have finished their work.

Equipment Inventory
An inventory of desktop and portable computers, monitors and printers is maintained The Office of Technology. When equipment is provided to a user or returned from a user, the location and responsible individual information is updated in the inventory system. The inventory protects the assets of the College in the case of a disaster such a fire, flood, or other incidents of loss by providing information for warranty and insurance claims. Users are responsible for reporting lost, stolen or relocated computer equipment to the Help Desk at help@mica.edu or extension 2201. If the equipment is lost, stolen, Campus Safety must be notified and a report made. Prompt reporting of equipment movement will insure the inventory is reliable and up-to-date. MICA bar code labels applied to the equipment are not to be removed, covered, or defaced.

Employee Changes
The Department is responsible for notifying the Help Desk when there is a permanent change in the employee(s) using a computer. This notification will result in the dispatching of a technician to work with the department to determine the disposition of the data and information stored on the computer. This might include, saving off important departmental information including user’s email, clearing and/or changing user accounts, cleaning the machine of unwanted information or software or reformatting the computer the machine altogether and reloading software.

Personal Machines
The Office of Technology technicians are hired by the College to work on College equipment. Users should not ask TSS Technicians to work on personal machines during college business hours.