7.0 Information Technology

7.0 Information Technology

7.01 Acceptable Use of Computers and Electronic Media

7.01 Acceptable Use of Computers and Electronic Media

Title: Acceptable Use of Computers and Electronic Media
Number: AP 7.01
Adopted: March 2004
Reviewed: June 2020
Revised: June 2020

Nicolet College assigns and provides access to computer equipment, computing resources, and other electronic media to support College business.  Use of computer equipment, computing resources, and other electronic media is limited to the purposes for which the access was provided.

Computer equipment, computer resources and other electronic media, employee accounts and transmissions, and all data stored on College systems are College property and subject to review and open records requests.  Security analysis and maintenance systems may be used to identify and monitor unauthorized use of College computing equipment, systems and resources.  With appropriate authorization, Information Technology staff may access data, accounts, and transmissions for troubleshooting, maintenance, or forensic purposes.

Ethical Use of Computers and Electronic Media

Employees hold a position of trust which imposes ethical obligations on the use of College computers, resources, and other electronic media.

  • Employees will act as trusted agents in accessing, generating, and/or storing printed and electronic records/documents.
  • Employees will use College computers and electronic media for College-related business.  Use of College computers and electronic media for commerce, lobbying, or personal monetary gain is not permitted.
  • Employees will not be a party to the misuse of computers, resources, or other electronic media.

Inappropriate Use of Computers and Electronic Media

Individuals using Nicolet computers and electronic media are prohibited from accessing/retrieving, saving, viewing, printing, disseminating, or displaying information including, but not limited to:

  • Discriminating, harassing, insulting, or attacking others based on race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, or any other legally protected status.
  • Derogatory, demeaning, or offensive comments to or about any individual or group.
  • Defamatory or threatening comments to or about any individual or group.
  • Obscene, sexually oriented, pornographic, offensive, lewd materials, comments, or jokes.  Any child pornography is a violation of law and will be reported to the appropriate authorities.
  • Interference with computer or electronic media use or operations.
  • Accessing or using College data that is available but not relevant to one’s current position, or manipulating College data for personal reasons.
  • Conducting or participating in solicitations or promotions related to commercial ventures, religious or political causes, or solicitations or promotions other than those specifically approved by the President or a Vice President.
  • Theft, accessing, copying, or saving electronic files without permission.
  • Downloading, saving, or sharing music, videos, pictures, etc.
  • Sending chain letters.
  • Engaging in communications for any purpose contrary to College policy or interests or communicating on behalf of the College without consent.
  • Use of another person’s password.
  • Use which incurs any unauthorized expense to College.

The list above is intended to provide examples of communications or activities which are contrary to this policy and purposes.  This list is not meant to be all-inclusive and may be modified at any time.

System Network Access and User IDs

Employees will be issued a User ID with network and system access and security appropriate to their duties.  System credentials control access to valuable information and should be protected accordingly.  System passwords should not be divulged to others.

Information Security

Incident Reporting

Any observed or suspected breach of this policy should be reported immediately to the supervisor, Employee Relations, or the Chief Information Officer. 

Disposal of Equipment

All College owned computer equipment disposals will be performed by the Information Technology department.  Contact the Help Desk for guidance.

Clear Desk Clear Screen

In order to protect information that has been entrusted to the College by employees, students and the community, the College promotes a clear desk and clear screen approach.  Unattended computers must be locked or logged out and any print materials or electronic media containing operational or confidential information which is not currently being used must be securely locked away.

Other Violations of Electronic Privacy

Access to electronic files, network communications, and related data is protected by various state and federal statutes.  Unauthorized access to an employee’s electronic data or transmissions is prohibited and may also subject the individual to civil or criminal penalties.  Examples of specifically prohibited behaviors include:

  • Unauthorized access, interception, monitoring, or diversion of electronic transmissions of another employee or third party.
  • Accessing clearly operational or confidential files unless specifically authorized to do so.
  • Accessing confidential information about a person (e.g., education records, personal e-mail) without their consent or other authorization.
  • Downloading or installing unauthorized software that does not support College business objectives.
  • Disabling College anti-virus, anti-spam, or other filters.
  • Breaching, testing, or monitoring computer or other electronic media security measures.

Data Storage

All public, operational, and confidential electronic data generated for College use must be stored on approved network locations or systems.  Data should not be stored on a person’s local computer (C: Drive, Desktop or My Documents), as this area is not covered under the Enterprise Backup procedure.

Recognition of Copyrights

Employees and students must follow copyright laws.  Copying proprietary software is theft and will not be tolerated.  Illegally copied software subjects the College to risk of litigation and denies software authors the compensation they deserve.

Similarly, an employee must follow copyright law when using or making materials available for others to retrieve or use.  In general, every document, image, or sound is covered by copyright upon creation and may only be used or redistributed with the permission of the copyright holder.

Disciplinary Action

Exceptions to this policy must have prior authorization from the President or designee.  Any violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

7.02 Student E-mail

7.02 Student E-mail

Title: Student Email
Number: AP 7.02
Adopted: March 1995
Reviewed: June 2020
Revised: June 2017

E-mail is an official method for faculty, staff, and student communication. Students receive an official Nicolet College e-mail address during the application/registration process.  The College e-mail address is designated as the official communication vehicle to provide information to students regarding registration for classes, business transactions, advising, campus activities, and other information needed to enhance the college experience.

Guidelines for Student E-mail Accounts

  • A user guide will be provided for basic e-mail accounts.
  • E-mail message filtering support will be available, either automatically or user-selectable.
  • Accounts will automatically be removed after two consecutive terms of no class activity.
  • Account properties are as follows:
  1. E-mail addresses are generated using the following algorithm:
  • E-mail address cannot be less than three characters
  • First Name initial + Middle initial + Last name
  • In the event of a duplicate, an integer will be added to the username

Expectations Regarding Student Use of E-mail

E-mail messages sent by faculty and staff to students are considered official communication. Students are expected to check their Nicolet College official e-mail account frequently in order to remain informed of College-related communications.  Since faculty and instructional academic staff determine how e-mail is used in their classes, they can require students to check their e-mail on a specific schedule. 

Appropriate Use of Student E-mail

E-mail is not appropriate for transmitting sensitive or confidential information.  All use of e-mail will also be consistent with local, state, and federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Student e-mail use is subject to AP 7.01 Acceptable Use of Computers and Electronic Media and AP 1.06 Students Standards of Conduct.

7.03 Copyright Infringement

7.03 Copyright Infringement

Title: Copyright Infringement
Number: AP 7.03
Adopted: December 2017
Reviewed: March 2020
Revised: June 2018

It is the policy of Nicolet College to comply with the United States Copyright Law of 1976, as amended (Title 17, United States Code). Thus, all faculty, staff, and students of Nicolet College are required to respect the proprietary rights of owners of copyrights and refrain from actions that infringe the rights of copyright owners.

The penalties for violation of United States copyright law can be severe. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, access costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

Employees and students may be personally responsible for the defense of a civil action for copyright infringement. In addition, members of the college who willfully violate this Policy are subject to disciplinary action by the college up to and including termination/expulsion, consistent with established college disciplinary procedures.

Nicolet College believes very strongly in promoting compliance with United States copyright laws and protecting the intellectual property interests of copyright owners. We are committed to educating our students and employees as to the importance of copyright compliance and the penalties associated with committing copyright infringement. All students and employees of Nicolet College are responsible for reviewing, understanding and complying with United States copyright laws. Information on such laws is available from the U.S. Copyright Office at:


Nicolet College is also in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). The following policies and procedures have been adopted to ensure that Nicolet College remains in compliance with the DMCA:

  • We will promptly investigate any complaints properly made pursuant to the DMCA by copyright owners regarding allegedly infringing activity by any student or employee of Nicolet College.
  • We will notify the allegedly infringing user of the complaint by forwarding the complaint to the user and discussing the matter in person with the user. We will inform the user that such allegations, if true, constitute a violation of United States copyright laws.
  • If we believe that the activity violates any applicable law, we will expeditiously take down or block access to any infringing material and/or require the student or college employee to permanently delete any infringing material from his or her computer hard drive and any other place in which such infringing material resides, and confirm in writing that such deletion has occurred.
  • We will temporarily block the user's access to the college network.
    • Upon the second occurrence by a user of any activity or activities that Nicolet College believes violates any applicable law, we will permanently block such user's access to the college network.

In addition, in order for Nicolet College to remain in compliance with the DMCA, its faculty or adjunct faculty members may not require, recommend, or make available online course materials that infringe on a copyright owner's interest.

If an allegedly infringing user wishes to dispute the copyright owner's claim, the user must, within 72 hours, respond to Nicolet College with a statement containing the following information:

  • Name, address, and phone number of the allegedly infringing user
  • Identification of the material in dispute
    • Statement that the allegedly infringing user has a good faith belief that either (i) the material is not, and never was, in the user's possession or located on any property owned or used by the user, or (ii) the material was mistakenly identified as infringing on the copyright
    • A physical or electronic signature of the allegedly infringing user

Upon receiving this statement, we will immediately forward it to the copyright owner who submitted the complaint, and we will consider the matter resolved unless we hear otherwise from the copyright owner. We will attempt to resolve all disputes within 10 days after receiving the complaint.

Additional information regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act may be found at http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/circs/circ1a.html.

Information for Copyright Owners

If you are a copyright owner and are concerned that material viewed on our website may violate your rights under United States copyright law under the DMCA, please contact ("Nicolet College's Designated Agent to Receive Notification of Claimed Infringement"),  Nicolet College, 5364 College Drive, Box 518, Rhinelander WI, 54501; telephone number 715-365-4615. Please provide the following information:

  • Electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner       of the copyright interest;
  • Description of the copyrighted work that your claim has been infringed upon;
  • Description and web link of where the alleged infringing material is located on the college website;
  • Your address, telephone number and e-mail address;
  • Statement by you that you have a good-faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
  • Statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.