The University of Houston-Clear Lake is an institution of higher education in the
Policy No. LRCC.2003.001
8.13 ELECTRONIC INFORMATION POLICY
Approved by University Council, October 9, 2003
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.
2.1 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