Report of the Senate Ctee on Information Technology and Services

Senate Agenda - EXHIBIT III - February 20, 1998


1. Code of Behavior for Use of Computing Resources and Corporate Data

Recommended: That Senate approve and recommend to the Board of Governors that Policy 1.13: Code of Conduct re University Data and Physical Resources, be withdrawn and replaced by the following Code of Behavior for Use of Computing Resources and Corporate Data.



1.00	The University's computing resources have been acquired, 
	and are allocated to individuals and groups, for specific 
	academic and administrative purposes which advance the
	University's mission.  This Code of  Behavior applies to 
	all users of the University's computing resources.  Computing
	resources shall be understood to include corporate data.


2.00	All users must ensure that the University's computing 
	resources are used in an effective, ethical and lawful manner.
	The University expects all users to conduct themselves 
	according to the high standards of professional ethics and
	behavior appropriate in an institution of higher learning. 

3.00	As a condition of access to computing resources, a user agrees 
	to use the computing resources solely for authorized academic
	and/or administrative purposes and agrees to assume 
	responsibility for any unauthorized use, misuse or illegal
	use of these computing resources.

	The Unit responsible for allocating computing resources or 
	access to corporate data to individuals and groups has a
	responsibility to inform users about this Policy.  The Unit 
	shall ensure that all users receive instruction on what
	constitutes appropriate and inappropriate use of the 
	facilities, and on what to do if confronted by or notified of
	inappropriate usage.

	[Footnote:  The unit immediately responsible for allocating 
	such resources or access to data, e.g., an administrative work
	unit, Information Technology Services, Office of the Dean or
	Social Science Computing Laboratory.]

4.00	Use of the computing resources for any purpose other than 
	academic or administrative, will be considered to be 

5.00	Without limiting the generality of the above, some examples
	of unauthorized use or misuse of computing resources are:

	(a)	Using computing resources for purposes other than 
		those for which they were allocated;

	(b)	Using a computer account without authorization or 
		providing computing resources to individuals or 
		groups without the specific authorization of the 
		relevant Unit Head or designate;

	(c)	Inspecting, altering, deleting, obtaining copies of, 
		publishing, or otherwise tampering with files, 
		programs or passwords that the individual is not
		authorized to access; 

	(d)	Using computing resources, particularly electronic 
		mail and bulletin boards, to send fraudulent, 
		harassing or obscene messages;

	(e)	Developing or using programs that harass other users 
		or that damage the software or hardware components of 
		the computing resources and/or placing any destructive
		or nuisance programs, such as viruses, in the 
		computing resources;

	(f)	Attempting to circumvent security systems on any 
		computing resource;

	(g)	Compromising or attempting to compromise the integrity
		of the computing resources by accessing or attempting
		access or alteration of system control programs or 

	(h)	Using unlicensed or unauthorized copies of computer 

	(i)	Breaching the terms and conditions of a software 
		licensing agreement to which the University is a

    	(j)	Theft or misappropriation of computing resources, 
		such as equipment, data, programs or time;

	(k)	Engaging in any action which unfairly denies or 
		restricts the use of computer facilities to
		authorized users. 

6.00	The Unit Head shall ensure that a user who has been found to 
	have been in breach of this Policy is made aware of appeal or
	grievance procedures available to that user.

	[Footnote:  The Dean of an academic unit (or designate) or the 
	Budget head of an administrative unit (or delegate).

7.00	Users found to have breached this Policy are subject to the 
	full range of University disciplinary procedures, including	
	temporary or permanent loss of access privileges, and/or legal
	sanctions.  Responsibility for dealing with allegations of 
	misconduct may be assumed by any or all of ITS, an academic
	official or the Head of a local computing facility.  Faculty 
	or staff have access to grievance procedures which are 
	initiated with the Unit Head.  Decisions regarding subsequent
	findings or sanctions imposed against students are 
	appealable to the Dean of their faculty of registration.

This policy has been approved by SCITS with a view to recommending it to the Board of Governors in March to replace the current policy (1.13) on the Code of Conduct re University Data and Physical Resources which, in part, it overlaps. The new policy addresses the need seen by SCITS and its Campus Computing Security Subcommittee to clarify the responsibilities of users who have access to the University's computing resources or corporate data, as well as establishing processes by which abuse of the system can be addressed and appeals of disciplinary sanctions can be heard.


1. Policy on Official World Wide Web Sites (S.96-143)


The University of Western Ontario's space on the World Wide Web is composed of thousands of Web pages on many different Internet servers across campus. All University-based Web pages -- whether they be personal, instructional, or administrative -- should be of the highest quality of presentation and accuracy. All maintainers of Web-based materials on campus must adhere to current codes of behavior and acceptable use policies for University-based computing resources. This policy addresses the specific issue of Web resources that are to be deemed official web pages of The University of Western Ontario.

1.0 Definition and Terms of Reference

Official UWO Web sites provide information and services that advance the academic and institutional goals of The University of Western Ontario. Units that can publish Official Web sites include the following:

These groups or units can place their official web pages on Western's main web server ( Currently ITS offers 10 megabytes of space free of charge to units and groups for this purpose. All official sites will be included in any alphabetic listing or index that provides Web users with access to information and services at UWO.

1.1 Hosted Sites

The units and groups identified in 1.0 may also recognize a short term or special purpose site published by an individual or group on campus. Such officially recognized sites will also be included in alphabetic listings of University web sites under a special category.

Some examples of hosted sites include:

These sites are "hosted" in the sense that they are located at Western and are recognized by official authority as being important contributors to the institutional goals of teaching, research or service. The University is not obligated to provide these sites with Web space. They may be located on their own server or within the server space which has been allocated the unit or group which is providing official recognition.

2.0 Obligations of Official Site status

An official site of The University of Western Ontario is an authoritative publication of the University. As such the publishing unit or group is as accountable for the quality and accuracy of the online content as they are for any publication which carries the University's name. As with any official publication, ultimate responsibility and accountability for the site rests with head of the unit or group which is publishing the site (department chair, dean, director, senior administrator, or president of an association).

Official University Web sites should also have a clearly identified individual who has operational responsibility for the ongoing maintenance of the online content. This page maintainer should be the first point of contact for complaints and/or improvement suggestions relating to the Web site.

The maintainer of the official site will sign an Official UWO Web Site Agreement. This agreement more thoroughly spells out the obligations attached to official web site status. This agreement will also be signed by the head of the sponsoring unit or association. The agreement is attached as Appendix 1.

3.0 Achieving Official Status or Hosted Status

Since the "ultimate responsibility and accountability for the site rests with head of the unit or group which is publishing the site" the first step in having a site recognized as official is having it recognized by this individual (department chair, dean, director, senior director, or president of an association). This recognition is a necessary precondition to a site being considered an official site. In the case of a hosted site recognition from the head of the sponsoring unit or recognized group must also be sought in advance.

Signature of the unit or group head on the Official UWO Web Site Agreement constitutes official recognition of the site. The process of having a web site considered one of Western's official sites should work like this:

In the case of a special purpose temporary site (for example a site established to help promote and support a major conference), a site expiration date should also be included so that it will no longer be officially listed or linked after a certain date.

A head of an official unit or recognized group may delegate signing authority for recognizing official and sponsored sites that are published under the name of the unit or group. In this case the head of the official unit or group should note this delegation of authority to a specific individual with a signed memo to the UWO Web Manager.


The terms of reference of the Senate Committee on Information Technology and Services (SCITS) state that the Committee will advise Senate regarding all policies. The Policy on Official World Wide Web Sites was formulated by SCITS' Subcommittee on the World Wide Web (SUWWW) and approved by SCITS on February 10, 1998. The following rationale was put forward at that time.

If certain WWW resources are to be considered "Official" by Western, there should be a mechanism in place to 1) verify who is responsible for the page and 2) establish what the University considers the base requirements of an official page. The Policy on Official WWW Sites and the accompanying Web Site Agreement provides this mechanism. They also serve to clarify and update what has already been approved by Senate in Section 4.0 of the general Policy for the World Wide Web approved in 1996 (recommendations 3 - 9).

Among the items in the mandate of SUWWW, as defined by the general policy, is that the Subcommittee, "determine on an on-going basis what WWW sites are official UWO WWW sites." In meeting this particular part of its mandate, SUWWW has had to deal with two complicating factors: a) the ongoing growth and development of the Web at Western and b) difficult wording of the original policy. The proposed policy addresses both of these issues.

With regard to a) a policy on Official Web Sites cannot and should not be construed as a license to publish on the World Wide Web at Western. Over the past two years there has been a tremendous proliferation of web publishing on campus. ITS now maintains three different central Web servers (,, and In addition, there are a growing number of departmental and faculty servers, research and development servers, and personal servers running on individual workstations. As Web technology continues to become more mainstream, the proliferation of servers, and the uses for these resources in the course of the life of the university, will continue to grow.

This is not to say that there are no limitations on what can be published on Western's Web. SCITS has approved and recommended to Senate a Code of Behavior for Use of Computing Resources and Corporate Data which applies to "all users of the University's computing resources". All users of University computing equipment, as well as those under whose authority the equipment is being used, are responsible for abiding by the code.

If the official sites policy is not a license to publish on the Web then what is it? With the proliferation of Web sites, pages, and servers on campus, there are potentially positive benefits of having a site considered an official site of Western. Here are three examples:

a) it has been suggested that an alphabetical list of campus Web sites, limited to "Official Sites", would be a helpful navigational aid if it were available off the UWO Home Page.

b) for navigating Western's Web, it may be helpful if the user could choose to narrow a search to only official pages

c) if "new and improved sites" were to be more actively promoted on the Home Page and in other media like the Western News, this promotion should be limited to pages that officially represent the University.

With regard to b), it is the responsibility of Western's units and officially recognized groups to validate what Web pages should be official. It is not the responsibility of the World Wide Web committee of Senate to validate the "officialness" of Western's Units and Groups.

Section 4.0 of the general WWW policy begins with this statement: "The 'official UWO WWW sites' are units that are recognized by the University to be involved in research, teaching, the administration or academic student life of the University." This statement is incorrect in one respect. WWW sites are not units, although WWW sites can be published by units. A Web site is a collection of web pages and/or online services organized around a common theme.

Western's Web is not synonymous with a grand organizational chart of the University. To view it in this way unduly restricts what can be considered official. A single unit or group can publish multiple web sites each with its own reason for being considered among Western's official web sites. It also puts SUWWW in the odd position of having the authority to validate Western's units and groups. What should be happening is that Western's units and groups provide validation for a list of official sites. The need is to develop a list of official sites, not official units.


Senate Agenda - February 20, 1998: EXHIBIT III, Appendix 1 DRAFT Official UWO Web Site Agreement

This document must be signed by the person responsible for an Official UWO Web Site as defined in the Policy for the World Wide Web at The University of Western Ontario, section 4.0.

As an Information Provider:

  1. I agree that the content of my site relates to research, teaching, administrative work, or academic student life at The University of Western Ontario.

  2. I realize that I am responsible for the content and format of all information which I place on the UWO Web.

  3. I understand that the material I post on the UWO Web is visible to anyone on the Internet, and that the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of my documents reflect on myself, my unit, and the University. I agree to keep the information on my Web site up-to-date and accurate.

  4. I agree that it is important to keep my pages readable by as large a variety of browsers as possible.

  5. I agree that my Web pages will use only HTML tags approved by the UWO Webmasters.

  6. I agree to include the following information on each page in my Web page collection:

    An HTML Title tag that describes the page content

  7. I agree to read my electronic mail on a regular basis and promptly respond to any questions from or problems reported by, users of the UWO Web.

  8. I will not post copyrighted materials or personal or confidential information without permission. I will not post any illegal materials.

  9. I agree to comply with all UWO policies and guidelines established by the SCITS and its Subcommittees. I understand that failure to comply with these policies may result in my site no longer being listed among official sites of the University and links to my site removed.

  10. I agree to keep my information on a Web server that meets the following requirements:

    The central UWO server satisfies these requirements; but there may be additional rules and/or costs for things like exceeding the maximum free disk allocation, or to provide shared maintenance access to a site.

Please resubmit this form when the responsibility for this Web site or
Unit head changes.

    Official Site Name _________________________________

    URL _________________________________

    Information Provider Name _________________________________________

    E-mail Address ____________________________________________________

    Signature ______________________________   Date ___________________

    If NOT running on the central server (

    Technical Support Person's Name ___________________________________

    E-mail Address ____________________________________________________

    Telephone (day) ________________  (after hours) ___________________

    Sponsoring Unit Approval:

    Unit Name  ________________________________________________________

    Unit Head Name ____________________________________________________

    E-mail Address ____________________________________________________

    Signature ______________________________   Date ___________________

    Received by ____________________________ (ITS use only)

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