A downloadable PDF version of the handbook is available at College Employee Handbook.

Information Technology

This policy addresses the responsible use of information and technology resources at Rhodes. Rhodes provides and maintains the following forms of electronic communication, messaging agents and electronic facilities: internal and external electronic mail (email), telephone voice mail, internet access, videoconferencing, and computer hardware and software. As a condition of providing the previously identified communications access to its employees, the College places certain restrictions on workplace use. 

All electronic communication systems, as well as the equipment and data stored, are and remain at all times the property of the College. Therefore, employees have no right of privacy in regard to any activities conducted on Rhodes-provided technology. The College reserves the right to routinely monitor usage patterns for its email and internet communication systems. Accordingly, all messages and files created, sent, received or stored within the system, including personal, non-business messages and files, are and will remain the property of Rhodes. Personal use of email is permissible, provided such use does not interfere with the individual’s job duties, productivity or work performance. 

Definitions. The following definitions apply to the policies and guidelines for appropriate usage of technology at Rhodes College.

  • “Rhodes computers” refers to computing equipment purchased with institutional funds as well as to computing equipment purchased with personal funds but authorized for and placed on a mediate or immediate location on the Rhodes network.
  • “Authorized computers” refers to Rhodes computers that have been inspected by Rhodes Information Services division personnel and certified for connection to the Rhodes network in its configuration. Subsequent hardware, software, or operating system configurations of the same machine may require reauthorization. Authorized computers must conform to the standards as defined below. Requests for exceptions to the standard must be made to the appropriate dean or vice president before a machine maybe purchased or submitted for authorization for a network connection.
  • “Appropriate dean or vice president” refers to one’s corresponding representative at the level of dean or vice president. For example, students are to contact the Dean of Students, faculty the Dean of the Faculty, and staff their divisional head.
  • “Information Services” refers to the array of services provided by the division of Information Services and includes equipment procurement, equipment support, user support, and system and account administration.
  • “Authorized users” (hereafter also “users” unless specified as “unauthorized users”) refers to individuals who may exercise the privilege to use Rhodes computers or Rhodes information services. Use of the Rhodes computers is limited to those persons identified under the following item, User Privileges, and is subject to the following standards of use.

User Privileges. Any Rhodes faculty, staff, or student, full-time or part-time, may use the Rhodes computers for any academic purpose. No employee or student may use Rhodes computers for commercial ventures. No employee or student may use Rhodes computers on behalf of external organizations or persons unless such use is directly related to Rhodes courses or to faculty research and professional development and is approved by the appropriate dean or vice president.

User Responsibilities

Cooperative Use. Collegiality demands the practice of cooperative computing. In addition to following the intent of other policy statements on student conduct and employee conduct, it entails:

  • Regular deletion of unneeded files from one′s accounts on shared computing resources.
  • Refraining from overuse of connect time, and network services such as information storage space, printing facilities, processing capacity and bandwidth.
  • Refraining from use of sounds and visuals, which might be disruptive or offensive to others.
  • Refraining from use of any computing resource in an irresponsible manner.
  • Refraining from unauthorized use of departmental or individual computing resources.

Violations. Violation of any portion of the Computer Usage Policies will result in suspension of one’s privileges for use of Rhodes computers and information technology services until the appropriate dean or vice president approves reauthorization of access to equipment and services, in addition to any other penalty that maybe imposed under other College rules. Users must not conceal or help to conceal or “cover up” violations by any party. Users are expected to report any evidence of actual or suspected violation of these policies to the Chief Information Officer.

Rhodes College is authorized to investigate alleged or apparent violations of college policy or applicable law using whatever means appropriate. Rhodes reserves the right to monitor use of Rhodes computers and to access, inspect and/or download any and all information stored on Rhodes′ computers in the course of such investigation. Information Services is authorized by the college to investigate policy violations and apply reduction or elimination of access privileges while the matter is under review and/or as a penalty for violations. These sanctions may apply to computing accounts, networks, college-administered computing rooms, and other services or facilities. A college user accused of a violation will be notified of the charge and will have an opportunity to respond to the appropriate College authority before a final determination of any penalty.

Unauthorized Access. Users must not access or attempt to access data or services on a college system they are not authorized to access. Users must not defeat or attempt to defeat any college system’s security, for example, by ‘cracking’ or guessing user identifications or passwords. Additionally, users must not permit or assist any unauthorized person to access college systems. Unauthorized use includes giving a valid username and password to any unauthorized individual, business, or agency outside of the Rhodes community. Unauthorized use also includes giving an authorized user access to a service or equipment for which the user is not authorized by giving a valid username and password. Users are responsible for the security of their college system accounts and passwords. Accounts and passwords are not to be shared. Users are presumed to be responsible for any activity carried out under their college system accounts. Users must not conceal their identity when using college systems, except when anonymous access is explicitly provided. Users must not masquerade as or impersonate others.

Unauthorized Services. Users must not run unauthorized servers, including but not limited to DNS, DHCP, email, file sharing, print, video or audio streaming, web, peer-to-peer, or other application services. Such services disrupt and in some cases disable central services. Authorization to run a service may be obtained upon approval from the Chief Information Officer.

Denial or Disruption of Service. Users must not deny or disrupt or attempt to deny or disrupt service to other users by means of excessive consumption of resources, distribution of computer “worms” or viruses, excessive computing load or deliberately causing the failure of any system resource, including email, bandwidth, or web services. Knowing or reckless distribution of unwanted mail or other messages is prohibited. Uses of computer resources that may cause excessive network traffic are prohibited. Equipment causing service disruptions will be removed from the network immediately, the user notified of the removal, and then arrangements made for repairing the equipment to avoid further disruption upon reconnection to the network.

Data Networks. Users publish information in electronic forms on Rhodes equipment and/or over Rhodes′s networks. Rhodes has no intention or opportunity to screen such private material and thus cannot assure its accuracy or assume any responsibility for this material. Users must observe all applicable policies and laws when using such networks. Users must not download or post material that is illegal, such as child pornography or proprietary, such as copyrighted music, software, video, text or other intellectual property. Discovery of such material will result in its immediate removal and possible disciplinary action.

Modification of Data or Equipment. Without specific authorization, users of college systems must not cause, permit, or attempt any destruction or modification of data or computing or communications equipment, including but not limited to alteration of data, reconfiguration of control switches or parameters, or changes in firmware. Users must not make or attempt to make any deliberate, unauthorized changes to data on a college system. Users must not intercept or attempt to intercept data communications not intended for that user’s access, for example, by ‘promiscuous’ bus monitoring, network “sniffing,” port scanning, wiretapping, or using an unprotected system that has been logged on. Without specific authorization by the Chief Information Officer, users must not remove any College-owned or -administered equipment or documents from a college system. This rule protects data, computing and communications equipment owned by Rhodes College, or any other person or entity authorized as part of the Rhodes computing community.

Privacy of Personal Records. The College observes the requirements of the following regulations:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
  • Gramm-Leach-Blilely Act of 1999 (GLBA)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

Every individual who, in the course of performing their duties, has access to personal data is charged with maintaining the highest standards of conduct with regard to those data. Accordingly, the College requires everyone with access to these data to take whatever actions are warranted to protect the privacy of individuals covered by these regulations and abstain from any activity that might compromise that privacy. Violations of these principles will be handled in a manner consistent with the procedures outlined above in “User Responsibilities” and elsewhere in the Handbook.

Purchasing. Purchasing of all computing software and hardware (e.g., programs, computers, monitors, printers, network and storage devices) must be coordinated through Information Services. All purchases of Rhodes computers must conform to the standards for authorized computers unless the appropriate dean or vice president has issued approval for nonstandard hardware or software. Deans/VPs should consult with the Chief Information Officer to determine the risks, liabilities, and conditions for use of nonstandard equipment prior to consideration for approval.

Information Technology Support

Information Services is located in Barret Library. The division establishes and maintains the technological infrastructure, services, and products required for the students and employees of Rhodes College to make the institution the best residential, liberal arts college it can be. The vision of Information Services is to provide a standard of support that enables the students and employees of the College to explore technological solutions to old and new problems in liberal arts education with eagerness and confidence.

Help Desk. The Help Desk is the central place from which technical problems are solved. The technician who receives your call will attempt to resolve the issue over the phone. If, however, the technician is unable to solve the problem in a few minutes, then they will assign your call to a staff member who will respond in a timely manner depending on the priority of the request. Call 843-3890 or email help@rhodes.edu.

Email. Email is available to facilitate the professional and business work of persons employed at the College. It provides a way to communicate on a one-to-one basis and to designated groups. The following guidelines are intended to establish reasonable usage of electronic mail.

  • Please do not post personal messages or requests using @facstaff, @faculty or @staff.
  • Announcements of College events should be limited to one per event; however, one brief reminder is permitted.
  • Please address your electronic mail to the appropriate group. Use @facstaff for all faculty and staff, @faculty for faculty only, and @staff for staff only.
  • Create distribution lists to send messages to specific groups rather than blanket the entire faculty and staff with a message that is of interest to only a few people.

Network services. Networked connections and services are maintained by Information Services. No device should be connected to the network without approval of Information Services. Unauthorized servers are not permitted. Please do not post personal messages or requests using @facstaff, @faculty or @staff.