Appropriate Use Policy for Information Technology

In accepting a user account, the user agrees to this policy. You are responsible for reviewing this Policy periodically to ensure your continued compliance with all Amarillo College IT guidelines. Amarillo College reserves the right to amend or otherwise revise this document as may be necessary to reflect future changes made to the Information Technology (IT) environment.

This document has been reviewed and endorsed by the Information Technology Services Division.


Guiding principles

This document establishes general guidelines that apply to all users of Information Technology resources owned or managed by Amarillo College, including but not limited to AC students, faculty, staff, external individuals (such as AC contractors) or organizations and individuals accessing external network services, such as the Internet, via AC's Information Technology facilities.

The policies described in this document apply to all information technology owned or managed by Amarillo College and represent the minimum appropriate use policies for IT. Individual departments may have additional (and more restrictive) policies regarding IT resources held in those departments. Users should contact the specific departments for questions about each department's specific Acceptable Use Policy.

These policies and guidelines have been designed with these principles in mind:

  1. Academic Freedom: Please refer to Academic Freedom in the Faculty Handbook and Academic Freedom for Students in the AC Catalog for more details. 

  2. Primary and Secondary Use: Information Technology resources are provided to support and enhance the mission of Amarillo College. Amarillo College encourages the use of information technology resources for this primary activity and supports such activity to the extent that resources permit. Other activities are considered to be secondary. As such they are not necessarily prohibited or even discouraged. However should such secondary activities in any way interfere with primary activities, they may be terminated, whether or not such activities are explicitly detailed in the information technology policy statements.

    Examples of primary uses:

    1. Communication with others in support of teaching, scholarly, service, and administrative activities (professional email and associated applications, web page management, social networking applications, etc.)

    2. Completion of coursework and course management activities

    3. Preparation of academic papers and projects and conducting scholarly activities

    4. Completion of job responsibilities

Examples of secondary uses:

  1. personal email

  2. social media

  3. streaming services

  4. other internet activities

  1. Individual Rights: Amarillo College respects and promotes individual rights to privacy, equitable and fair access to resources, intellectual property, real property, and civil rights. Activities which threaten these rights are prohibited and may be terminated, whether or not such activities are explicitly detailed in the information technology policy statements.

  2. Information Technology Resources at Amarillo College: Information Technology at Amarillo College encompasses the use of all campus computing, telecommunications, electronic educational media, and management information systems technologies. These IT resources support the instructional, research, and administrative activities of the College. Examples of these resources include, but are not limited to, the central administrative, academic and lab computing facilities; the campus-wide data, video and voice networks; electronic mail; video conferencing systems; access to the Internet; voice mail; fax machines; classroom audio-video; departmental and general use computing facilities and related services.

  3. Appropriate Use of IT Resources: Amarillo College campus computing facilities and network are provided as a service to students, faculty, staff, administration, and other members of the College community to support the mission of the College. The College strives to provide fair and distributed access to computing and network facilities for a large number of users. Proper use follows the same standards of common sense, courtesy, and restraint in the consumption of shared resources that govern the use of other campus facilities. Improper use violates those standards by preventing others from accessing shared facilities.


The following list, while not exhaustive, provides some specific guidelines for appropriate IT use:

  1. Authorization: Use only the Information Technology facilities for which you have specific authorization. Do not use another individual's account, or attempt to capture other users’ passwords. Users are individually responsible for all use of resources assigned to them; therefore, sharing of account information is prohibited.

  2. Facilities: Observe established guidelines for any information technology facilities used both inside and outside the College. For example, individuals using AC's computer resource centers must adhere to the policies established for those centers; individuals accessing off-campus computers via external networks must abide by the policies established by the owners of those systems as well as policies governing use of those networks. Visit the Information Technology Services website at for more information.

  3. Alter, Delete or Destroy: Do not attempt to inappropriately alter, delete or destroy any hardware or software on any AC IT system. This constitutes a violation of appropriate use of IT facilities.

  4. Plagiarism: Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access and trade secret and copyright violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community.

  5. Illegal Downloading: It is illegal to download or share copyrighted material for which you do not hold the copyright. In the event the College receives notification of illegal downloading activity, appropriate investigation and disciplinary action to address the violator will be taken.

  6. Appropriate Standards: Use appropriate standards of civility and common sense when using IT systems to communicate with other individuals. Use extreme caution when transmitting confidential information relative to personnel matters, internal investigations and litigation. When sending personal messages to other users, participating in a chat room discussion, posting on bulletin boards or leaving a voice mail message, identify yourself as the sender. Using AC's IT resources to harass, threaten, slur, embarrass, libel, slander, or demean other individuals is explicitly prohibited.

  7. Volume/Bandwidth Management: AC reserves the right to limit network usage to preserve core functionality.


  1. Access to Information Technology (IT) Resources

Central IT Resources

Information Technology Services is responsible for planning, budgeting and purchasing for IT services and equipment.

Students, faculty, administrators, staff and recognized student organizations may obtain IDs for use with the central IT activities related to instruction, research or College administration.

In the event that any student, faculty, administrator or staff person leaves, resigns or in any way concludes his or her relationship with Amarillo College for whatever reason:

  1. Access to all IT resources, including voice mail and email services, will be revoked on their last day of employment.
  2. All electronic storage will be deleted.

Other IT Resources

Amarillo College's IT facilities and services are available only to members of the College community and authorized guests. For more detailed information about access to any facility or service, visit the ITS home page at, email or visit the Technology Information Center on the Washington Street Campus (Russell Hall, room 121).


Departmental IT Resources

For information concerning access to departmental IT resources, contact the appropriate department chair.


Remote Access to IT Resources

Amarillo College does not provide remote access to AC internal resources. 


  1. Data Security and Integrity

ITS Maintained Equipment

All servers and network drives are backup up on a regular basis.  In the event of a catastrophic failure information will be restored from the most recent accessible backup.  ITS provides reasonable security against intrusion and damage to files stored on the central IT facilities. Neither the College nor any IT staff member can guarantee protection against media failure, fire, floods, etc. In the event of data loss ITS should be notified immediately. Every reasonable attempt will be made to restore files to their status prior to the event.

Departmental Servers

Servers for use by specific departments are maintained by that department. ITS does not provide backup/restoration services for these servers unless requested by the department. Therefore, each department should have a backup strategy and security plan for these servers. ITS will consult on those plans upon request.


  1. Privacy

Access by IT Staff on Behalf of the College

The College respects the privacy of all users. Members of the ITS organization are forbidden to log on to another user’s account or to access a user's files.  Exceptions to this privacy policy are made, however, under specific conditions. Such conditions include investigation of computer programs suspected of causing disruption to the network or other shared services; investigation of suspected violations of state or federal law or College policies; and investigations to avoid liability or in connection with internal hearings or litigation. In these instances, the Chief Information Officer (CIO), upon consultation with College Administration and/or Counsel, must be convinced that there is sufficient cause to review files before those files can be searched without the user's permission.


Administrators of Departmental Systems

Individual departments must have guidelines consistent with College policy, state and federal laws which deal with access issues of their departmental resources.


ITS Confidentiality

In the process of ITS job functions, any information seen or retrieved by ITS staff will remain confidential unless it specifically retrieved due to College investigation. Confidentiality is then extended to the investigating party.


  1. Ownership of Copyright for Materials Developed with AC's Resources

Amarillo College has established guidelines related to ownership of copyright property. The exact policies and procedures relating to copyrights may be obtained from Section DBD of the Board Policy Manual.


  1. Changes in the AC IT Environment

When significant changes in hardware, software or procedures are planned, Information Technology Services will notify the affected departments/business units. The affected departments/business units will then notify their departmental user community through email and other media to ensure that all users have enough time to prepare for the changes and to voice any concerns that they might have.


  1. Comments, Suggestions, Corrections, etc.

Questions concerning this or any other Information Technology Policy can be directed to Information Technology Services at


  1. Revision History

  • Policy revised by Information Technology Services Leadership on June 20, 2018.

  • Final policy approved by Amarillo College’s Information Technology Council on April 22, 2010.

  • Interim policy approved by Amarillo College’s Information Technology Council on October 23, 2009.

  • Original policy created by Amarillo College’s Information Technology Council on September 21, 2009.