|Durham Technical Community College provides a variety of computing resources to faculty, staff, students, and (in limited cases) community residents. The appropriate use of these resources, including personal computers, servers, networks, data sets, printers, Internet and Intranet access, and software is the subject of this policy. Restrictions or limits placed on use of college computing resources are intended to protect the resources as well as the integrity of the networks and to comply with appropriate policies, laws, and regulations. Individual users of college computing resources must acknowledge consent to abide by this policy in order to use the college’s computing resources.
The College’s Rights
The college owns or leases the computers and owns the internal computer networks used on campus. The college has rights to the software and information residing on, developed on, or licensed for these computers and networks. The college exercises its rights to and does continuously administer, protect, support, and monitor this collection of computers, software, and networks. The college also exercises its rights to and does continuously establish and uphold rigorous standards for ensuring the security, privacy, bandwidth integrity, and data integrity on its computing systems as it deems appropriate. Furthermore, the college reserves as well as exercises its rights to determine the nature and extent of access to computer resources; deny access to computer systems and networks; limit access to certain sites, materials, and programs; and determine who may connect a device to college computer systems as well as designate the specifications for such a device.
The Individual’s Responsibilities
- Use college computing resources for instruction,
research, learning, and administrative purposes only. Durham Tech’s computers and networks are for uses consistent with the college’s mission. They may not be used for outside business projects or personal activities. This policy also expressly prohibits the use of college computing resources for the intentional accessing, viewing, browsing, downloading, posting, or sending of pornographic or sexually explicit material or images.
- Respect licensing and copyright laws. All software installed on or used on Durham Tech computers must be legally licensed for use on the college premises. Copyrighted software should not be copied from computers on campus or installed on campus computers not legally licensed for their use. Licenses for college-purchased software will be kept on file in the Information Technology Services Department (ITSD). All other software licenses that faculty and staff obtain must be maintained by that user and produced upon request for verification. This includes licenses for all software including but not limited to freeware, shareware, and complimentary software provided to college employees. Students are not allowed to load software on college computers unless they are under the direction of a faculty or staff member.
- Maintain secure passwords. Account passwords must not be shared with anyone, unless directed by faculty for instructional needs. Employees and students should use valid passwords that include at least one non-letter character and should change passwords at least every four months.
- Protect college computer facilities. Users must abide by all federal and state laws governing computer use. Users must not attempt to evade, disable, or “crack” passwords or other security provisions. Also, users must not knowingly install any virus or destructive computer program onto campus computers.
- Use computer resources in an acceptable manner. Durham Technical Community College computing resources must not be used for any purpose which is not consistent with the mission of the college; which is illegal, dishonest, or potentially damaging to the reputation of the college; or which may subject the college to liability. Unacceptable uses of college computing resources include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging
to Durham Technical Community College or to other individuals or
- Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications
and electronically stored information;
- Disabling or overloading (or attempting to disable or overload)
any system or network;
- Infringement of copyright or trademark laws or rights of others
(e.g. downloading or distributing pirated software, video, music,
- Violation of computer system security, including but not limited to the unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes, or network identification numbers and email addresses assigned to others;
- Unauthorized access to Durham Technical Community College’s
information systems, Intranet, or networked computers;
- Use of computer communications facilities in ways that unnecessarily
impede or disrupt the computing activities of other college users;
- Intentional downloading or propagating the distribution of computer
viruses, trojan horses, timebombs, worms, or other forms of destructive
- Posting, sending, storing, or intentionally accessing pornographic,
obscene, or sexually explicit material or images;
- Posting personal messages or sending mass electronic messages
for such purposes as selling, making solicitations to sell, communicating
about partisan political activities, or distributing “junk”
email such as chain letters or spam;
- Academic or intellectual dishonesty;
- Violation of software license agreements or copyright laws;
- Recreational use such as peer-to-peer .mpg file sharing (e.g.
music or video downloads);
- Violation of network usage policies and regulations;
- Posting, sending, or intentionally accessing material that is
inconsistent with or inappropriate to the mission of the college;
- Violation of privacy;
- Libel or slander;
- Fraud or misrepresentation; and
- Use of Durham Technical Community College’s logo without
Other Limitations and Warnings
- Various limits may be imposed on college computing
resources and systems. Users must abide by any limits set.
- Privacy when using computing resources and systems
is not guaranteed. While technical and administrative policies
are in place for the protection of computer information, computer data
security is never perfect. Please be aware of the following:
- Unauthorized computer users may be able to breach security restrictions
and gain access to your files.
- Misdirected email is not uncommon. Your email messages may be
seen by unintended recipients at Durham Tech or elsewhere on the
Internet. If information contained in the email is considered confidential, it should
be communicated by other means.
- Systems administrators and other college employees may require
access to files on any Durham Tech computer to perform audits or
resolve technical problems.
- The college reserves the right to monitor email transmission
over its internal computer network. Legal mandates regarding confidentiality
will be observed by computer staff when accessing data files.
- Computer users are responsible for backing up their
own data files unless told that backup services are provided for their
system and their files are being backed up.
Anyone violating this appropriate use policy is subject to the college’s student code of conduct, the employees’ due process policy, and criminal complaint or civil action for damages. More specifically, any student, employee, or individual willfully engaging in any activity with intent to interfere with, degrade, monopolize, or compromise the campus network, network security, or any of its components shall be subject to disciplinary action to include suspension, expulsion, termination from employment, and/or prosecution.
1It is a violation of federal and/or state criminal statutes for a person to knowingly access, or attempt to access, a computer, computer system, computer network or any part thereof, for the purpose of (i) devising or executing any scheme or artifice to defraud; (ii) services by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises; (iii) obtaining unauthorized access; (iv) altering, damaging, or destroying either computer hardware, software, or data; (v) directing or causing without proper authorization the denial of computer system services to any authorized user of such computer system services; (vi) transmitting a computer virus with the intent to cause damage; (vii) transmitting without proper authorization a program, information, code, or command with reckless disregard of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the transmission will cause damage; or (viii) trafficking in passwords with the intent to defraud. In many cases such violations are felonies and carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison [18 U.S.C. 1030; N.C. General Statutes 14-453 to
Durham Technical Community College faculty and staff attempt, in good faith, to resolve complaints and problems as they arise. However, if a matter remains unresolved, the purpose of the student grievance procedure is to provide a process for resolving student complaints against faculty and staff. This procedure applies to all student complaints, including but not limited to academic issues, student services or administrative concerns, or matters involving any form of discrimination or harassment. Grievances involving academic issues are limited to final course grades and satisfactory completion of instructional program requirements.
Durham Technical Community College students have the right to pursue timely, legitimate grievances against other members of the college community. Therefore, the administration shall establish, publish, and follow a procedure that delineates the rights and responsibilities of the aggrieved party and the college employee or student against whom a grievance may be lodged. The procedure shall provide for adequate time to investigate allegations, for individuals to present information or evidence in support of their positions, and for any party directly involved in a grievance to pursue an appeal of an adverse decision. In the matter of all grievances involving students, the final decision rests with the president or his or her designee.
The Student Grievance Procedure involves three distinct levels. During Level One, the student is required to make the attempt to resolve the matter directly with those involved. During Level Two, the process includes the completion of the Student Grievance Form and a review and decision by the department head. During Level Three, the complaint is reviewed by the executive dean and, if found acceptable for continued grievance, is brought before a committee for a hearing. During the entire process, the burden of proof rests with the student making the complaint. Students are advised to keep written notes and maintain documentation to provide evidence of complying with each level of this process.
The process involves specific deadlines for pursuing a grievance. Complaints presented past the deadlines are not considered unless there are specific, extenuating circumstances which made pursuing the complaint by the deadline extremely difficult. Extenuating circumstances include but are not limited to medical illness, death of a family member, or work or family situations that have significantly interfered with normal life functions. Should these extenuating circumstances be present and documented, it is expected that the student would have initiated the grievance process as soon as possible after resolving the extenuating circumstances.
Reasonable accommodations are provided for students who may need additional assistance with alternate arrangements during the grievance process. Students requiring additional language facilitation or interpretation due to limited written or oral English proficiency skills may request additional assistance from the Center for the Global Learner located in the Nathaniel B. White Building, room 58, or call 919-536-7221 for more information. Students requiring accommodations due to a disability may request additional assistance from the Counseling, Student Development, and Activities office located in the Phail Wynn Jr. Student Services Center, room 1309, or call 919-536-7207, ext. 1413, for more information.
Students who are enrolled in online courses or distance education programs may request that meetings be conducted by alternate arrangement. Grievance procedure meetings may be held with students or employees attending in person at the specified meeting location, with students or employees attending the meeting by electronic means such as a conference telephone call to the specified meeting location, or by a combination of students or employees attending in person and students or employees attending by electronic means such as a conference telephone call to the specified meeting location.
Level One: Instructor, Staff Member, and Supervisor Review
The first level of the procedure involves an initial meeting with the faculty or staff member and a second meeting with the appropriate administrative supervisor of the employee with whom the student has a complaint. During these meetings, the student bears the responsibility of clearly explaining the concern and providing evidence that the complaint is justified.
Although not required at this level, students may elect to meet with a counselor from the Counseling, Student Development, and Activities office prior to meeting with the faculty or staff for guidance in identifying the issues involved in the complaint, strategies for preparing for the meetings, and information about alternative mediation strategies. If a student elects to receive counseling assistance or pursue alternative mediation strategies during this time period, the timeframe required to complete Level One of this procedure is still in effect. Counselors are located in the Counseling, Student Development, and Activities office located in the Phail Wynn, Jr. Student Services Center, room 1309. Students may call 919-536-7207, ext. 1413, for more information.
The specific steps within Level One are as follows:
- The student meets with the faculty or staff member. The student must first attempt to resolve the matter by meeting with the person with whom the student has a grievance, specifically the instructor or staff member. This first attempt at a resolution must be held within five working days after the occurrence of the incident being grieved.
- The student meets with the faculty or staff member’s supervisor. If the matter is not resolved with the faculty or staff member, the student must meet with the appropriate discipline chair, program director, or direct supervisor within five working days after the initial meeting with the faculty or staff member.
If the student complaint involves clear claims of discrimination or harassment, the student may elect to begin the grievance process at Level Two.
Level Two: Department Head’s Review
If the matter is not resolved at the first level or if the complaint involves clear claims of discrimination or harassment, the next level of the procedure involves a meeting with a counselor, the completion of the Student Grievance Form, and the review by the department head. The Student Grievance Form must be filed within 20 working days after the occurrence of the incident being grieved. The specific steps of Level Two are as follows:
- The student meets with a counselor. To initiate Level Two, the student must meet with a counselor in the Counseling, Student Development, and Activities office located in the Phail Wynn, Jr. Student Services Center, room 1309. Students may call 919-536-7207, ext. 1413, for more information. Counselors will provide a copy of the Student Grievance Form and will assist students by providing the following:
- Guidance in completing the Student Grievance Form;
- Help in clearly identifying the specific issues involved in the complaint;
- Counseling on the steps of the process and strategies for preparing for each level;
- Assistance in developing verbal and written approaches in the spirit and intent of the Student Grievance Procedure; and
- Options for receiving immediate support and other assistance, especially if the matter involves claims of discrimination or sexual harassment.
- The student completes the Student Grievance Form. The Student Grievance Form must be signed by the student and filed with the department head responsible for supervision of the faculty or staff member against whom the grievance has been made within 20 working days after the occurrence of the incident being grieved.
- The student must clearly document the dates of the meetings and summarize the discussions held in Level One of the process unless this level was not required due to claims of discrimination or harassment.
- The student must provide copies of the completed Student Grievance Form to the counselor, faculty or staff member, appropriate direct supervisor, and department head.
- If the student requests an extension of the filing period, the department head may require evidence justifying the delay as a condition for continuing the grievance procedure. Examples include but are not limited to medical illness, death of a family member, or extenuating work or family circumstances.
- The faculty or staff member submits a response. Upon receipt of the Student Grievance Form, the faculty or staff member has 10 working days to complete, sign, and deliver a written response to the grievance to his or her department head. Copies of the written response must be made available by the faculty or staff member to the student, counselor, direct supervisor, and department head. The faculty or staff member may request an extension of the response time for extenuating circumstances, including but not limited to medical illness, death of a family member, or extenuating work or family circumstances.
- The department head reviews and communicates a decision. The department head will consider the student’s grievance and the faculty or staff member’s response and render a written decision within five working days of the receipt of the faculty or staff member’s response. Copies of the written decision will be provided to the student, counselor, faculty or staff member, and direct supervisor. The department head may request an extension of the response time for extenuating circumstances, including but not limited to medical illness, death of a family member, or extenuating work or family circumstances.
Level Three: Executive Dean and Division Head Review
If the student wishes to appeal the decision rendered by the department head, the third level of the procedure involves a determination by the executive dean as to whether the dispute may continue to be grieved. If so, a grievance committee is formed to hear the grievance or an investigator is appointed to review the complaint.
- The student files an appeal with the executive dean. To continue the grievance process, the student provides copies of the original Student Grievance Form, the faculty or staff member’s response, and the written decision rendered by the department head to the executive dean within 10 working days of the decision rendered by the department head. Upon receipt of this documentation, the executive dean reviews the complaint in view of the college's mission, goals, policies, rules, and procedures as stated in the college Catalog and Student Handbook and in other institutional and program documents to determine if the complaint or dispute is eligible to continue to be grieved.
- If, in view of these provisions, the executive dean determines that the complaint is not eligible for continued grievance, the executive dean provides the student and all other involved parties with a letter explaining this conclusion within five working days of receiving the appeal documentation. A decision by the executive dean concerning whether the matter is eligible for continued grievance cannot be appealed further.
- If, in view of these provisions, the executive dean determines that the complaint is eligible for continued grievance, the executive dean refers the matter to a hearing by the grievance committee within five working days of receiving the appeal documentation.
- If, in view of these provisions, the executive dean determines that the complaint is eligible for continued grievance and the dispute involves claims of discrimination or harassment, the executive dean refers the matter to the college’s affirmative action officer or the president’s designee for a full investigation within five working days of receiving the appeal documentation. Complaints or disputes involving claims of discrimination or harassment are not presented to a grievance committee. The investigation of the complaint is conducted by the college’s affirmative action officer and the president’s designee and completed within 15 working days after the referral from the executive dean. Upon conclusion of the investigation, a written report is completed and provided within five working days following the investigation to the division head responsible for the supervision of the faculty or staff member against whom the grievance has been filed. The written report is confidential and is not shared with the student, staff or faculty member, program director, or department head. For the next step, see step 4 of Level Three.
- The student presents the grievance to the grievance committee. If the complaint or dispute is determined to be eligible for continued grievance and proceeds to the hearing phase, the division head who is responsible for the supervision of the faculty or staff member against whom the grievance has been filed appoints a grievance committee of not more than nine persons and composed of faculty, student services and administrative staff, and at least one student.
- The purpose of the grievance committee is to hear the grievance within 15 working days after the review of the executive dean. The “Guidelines for Student Grievance Hearings,” which are the procedural guidelines for the hearing as established by the Academic Standards, Policies, and Curriculum Committee, are provided to all parties prior to the hearing by the executive dean.
- One of the members of this committee is appointed as chair by the division head. The chair schedules all committee hearing meetings.
- Faculty and instructional support staff serving on the grievance committee are selected from a pool of persons identified for this purpose. The Student Senate identifies a list of three students available to sit on grievance committees. A separate committee is appointed for each grievance.
- The executive dean and a counselor from the Counseling, Student Development, and Activities office remains present during the hearing to respond to inquiries concerning procedural guidelines.
- The grievance committee makes a written recommendation. After the hearing, the committee deliberates in executive session. The committee makes a written recommendation to the division head within five working days after the conclusion of the hearing. The written recommendation is confidential and is not shared with the student, faculty or staff member, program director, or department head.
- The division head renders a decision. The division head responsible for the supervision of the faculty or staff member against whom the grievance has been filed considers the committee's or investigator’s recommendation and makes a decision that is fair to all parties and consistent with the mission and relevant objectives of the college and its instructional programs. The division head makes a final decision and responds in writing to all parties explaining the decision within five working days of receiving the written recommendation from the investigator or the grievance committee.
If the student, faculty member, or staff member believes that exceptional circumstances justify reconsideration of the decision made by the division head, the student, faculty member, or staff member may request that the president review the matter. The president does not review the matter if either the student or the faculty or staff member simply disagrees with the decisions made at each level of the process. Examples of exceptional circumstances must include serious claims of bias or discrimination at some level of the student grievance process.
The request for the president’s review must be presented in letter form to the president within five working days after receipt of the division head’s decision. The letter to the president must explain clearly the nature of the exceptional circumstances.
If the president finds exceptional circumstances present, the president or his or her designee investigates and reviews the decision of the division head. No further appeal is available after the president has rendered a final decision.