Electronic Communication Usage Policy
The purpose of this document is to express the University of Central Oklahoma's policy regarding the public nature of digital records created by, received by, under the authority of, or coming into the custody, control or possession of UCO staff and faculty in connection with the conduct of University business and UCO's retention policy associated with such records.
Public Record Notice
Electronic forms of communication transmitted or received by UCO staff and faculty, regardless of technology used, and other data stored electronically on UCO equipment are considered records that may be subject to public inspection and copying under the Oklahoma Open Records Act and the federal Freedom of Information Act and production under lawful subpoena. As such, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy associated with communications sent or received via UCO services, equipment and facilities, subject to limited exceptions under state or federal law. In addition, such records are subject to state record retention laws which impose strict schedules governing the length of time such records must be retained by the University. In accordance with these laws, the University of Central Oklahoma intercepts and records all electronic communications originated or received on devices used to conduct University business and retains all information stored on its information systems.
This Policy applies to:
- All electronic communications sent or received via resources owned or managed by the University;
- All electronic communications sent or received via resources provided by the University through contracts and other agreements with the University;
- All users and uses of University electronic communications resources; and
- All University electronic communications records in the possession of University employees or of other users of electronic communications resources provided by the University.
- The contents of electronic communications, including the electronic attachments and transactional information associated with such communications.
Electronic communication is defined as a function whereby a communique is initiated, delivered to a recipient(s), and may elicit response for university business using a generally accepted digital medium. Electronic communication may occur using the following and additional methods.
- Campus Phones
- UCO.edu Email Addresses
- Application Communication (Support communications, D2L, Central Alert, CRM, etc.)
- Email Blast System
- Instant Messaging
- Web Conferencing
- Text Messaging
- Social media
Students, faculty, staff, and other members of the university (contractors, temporary employees, etc.) are permitted to use electronic communication in order to facilitate communications between two or more parties. Use of all electronic communications must abide by the university Data Classifications Guide and comply with the University of Central Oklahoma Information Security Policy and the state of Oklahoma Records Disposition Schedule for Colleges and Universities.
Students, faculty, and staff are not permitted at any time, to carry out communications via electronic communication that involves any of the following:
- Unencrypted Communications consisting of HIPAA or FERPA protected information;
- Unencrypted Communications consisting of Personally Identifiable Information (PII);
- Communications which may constitute intimidating, hostile or offensive material on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, alienage or national origin, genetic information, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability or handicap, gender, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected status under applicable federal, state or local laws;
- Communications in support of partisan political purposes including, but not limited to statements, opinions, or solicitations;
- Communications supporting any business function that is not directly in support of University of Central Oklahoma's mission and operations; or
- Communications utilized in such a manner as to qualify as excessive personal use and that interfere with the normal employment responsibilities of a faculty, staff, or other employed member of University of Central Oklahoma (contractor, temporary employee, etc.).
The University of Central Oklahoma retains electronic communications in accordance with the state records retention policy.
Abuse of the Electronic Communication Usage Policy, through misuse as defined above, or use in violation of law or other university policies, will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment and/or enrollment. All persons to whom these guidelines are applicable, as stated above, are responsible for adhering to these rules. All supervisory personnel are responsible for ensuring that these guidelines are adhered to within their respective areas of responsibility. Any user may report university policy or law violations to their immediate supervisor, representative faculty of school personnel or using EthicsPoint.
Approved: November 19, 2019
Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar, President