Full authority in all matters pertaining to Nichols College rests with the Board of Trustees. This policy-making body holds formal meetings three times per year. The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees meets eight times throughout the year.
The President is the chief administrative officer of the College, acting by vested authority from the Board of Trustees.
Enrollment at Nichols College implies full acceptance of all College policies and regulations, including those having to do with conduct.
The College, in order to safeguard its scholarship and its moral atmosphere, reserves the right to dismiss any student whose presence is deemed detrimental. In such instances, there will be no financial adjustments.
Insults, rudeness, or obscenities, either written or oral, directed at any member of the College community are specifically prohibited. Students or other College personnel engaging in such activity may expect to be separated from the College.
As an institution of higher learning committed to providing the most constructive atmosphere possible for academic and personal advancement, Nichols College is particularly concerned about conduct such as sexual misconduct. The College will not tolerate such conduct, either by students or by members of the faculty, administration, or staff; any person found to have engaged in such conduct will be subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including expulsion from the Nichols College community.
In keeping with standards of academic ethics, Nichols College requires students and employees to uphold the copyright privileges of software vendors and to honor license agreements supplied with each software package used. The appropriate procedures for copying software, when permitted, are covered under U.S. copyright law.
In this community of learning, willful disruption of the educational process, destruction of property, and interference with the rights of other members of the community will not be permitted. There will be prompt and appropriate action against the person or persons responsible. Students, faculty, administrators, and employees who are not in agreement with this basic philosophy are urged to sever their ties with the College.
Any motor vehicles that will be kept on campus MUST be registered with the Department of Public Safety according to Massachusetts General Laws. The Public Safety Department is charged with enforcing all rules and regulations pertaining to parking on College properties. Enforcement of these rules and regulations is managed through written violations, vehicle immobilization and/or towing of a vehicle. The parking rules and regulations are well publicized and we ask that you please become familiar with them so as to avoid parking infractions.
All student vehicles MUST be registered and have a valid Nichols College parking decal permanently affixed in a visible spot. Forms for registering vehicles may be picked up in the Public Safety office Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Each student is required to have an identification card made at the time of registration. Replacement of the I.D. card costs $25.00. Students are required to carry their identification cards when on campus and present them when requested by a College official. New cards can be obtained in the Student Life office in the Fels Student Center.
Code of Conduct
At Nichols College, it is expected that students will conduct their affairs with proper regard for the rights of others and of the College. All members of the College community share a responsibility for maintaining an environment where actions are guided by mutual respect, integrity and reason.
Students are encouraged to refer to the Student Life Handbook for details on policies and procedures of the Student Code of Conduct. NOTICE: The reader should take notice: Nichols College reserves the right to make changes at any time without prior notice.
In seeking to encourage and support responsible behavior, Nichols College places reliance upon self-discipline, counseling and advisement. In certain circumstances where these preferred means fail, Nichols College must rely upon the rules and procedures described in the Student Code of Conduct. In the enforcement of this Code, Nichols College functions in an administrative manner. Nichols College’s process affords fundamental fairness, but does not follow the traditional common law adversarial method of a court of law.
Individuals in violation of state and federal law are subject to prosecution by the appropriate state and federal authorities regardless of whether the activity occurs on or off campus. In addition, the student may be subject to disciplinary action by the College pursuant to the Student Code of Conduct. The severity of the imposed sanctions will be appropriate to the behavior.
Information Technology Regulations
Acceptable Use of Information
The purpose of this policy is to outline the acceptable uses of computing and information technology resources for the Nichols College student community. This policy outlines the standards for acceptable use of college computing and information technology resources that include, but are not limited to, equipment, software, networks, data, and telecommunications services, whether owned, leased, or otherwise provided by Nichols. This policy is intended to reflect the College’s commitment to the principles, goals, and ideals described in the Nichols College Mission Statement.
Coordination with Other Policies
Users of information technology resources at Nichols College are advised that other college policies, including those for Human Resources, the faculty and student handbooks, and notably those policies governing copyright and intellectual property compliance, may be related to the use of information technology resources, and that those policies must be observed in conjunction with this policy.
Additionally, laws (including, but not limited to FERPA, HIPAA, etc.) and college policies relating to disclosure of confidential information must be observed.
Access to and Expectations of Persons Using Information Technology Resources
It is the policy of Nichols to maintain access for its community to local, national and international sources of electronic information in order to provide an atmosphere that encourages the free exchange of ideas and sharing of information. Nichols maintains a variety of information technologies for use as resources for people, catalysts for learning, increased access to technology, and an enriched quality of learning. Access to this environment and the college’s information technology resources is a privilege and must be treated with high ethical and legal standards.
Both the Nichols community as a whole and each individual user have an obligation to abide by the following standards of acceptable and ethical use:
• Use only those computing and information technology resources and data for which you have authorization and only in the manner and to the extent authorized.
• Use computing and information technology resources only for their intended purpose.
• Protect the access and integrity of computing and information technology resources.
• Abide by applicable laws and college policies and all applicable contracts and licenses; and respect the copyright and intellectual property rights of others, including the legal use of copyrighted material.
• Respect the privacy and personal rights of others.
• Connecting end-user equipment to the network that has appropriately maintained software; including (but not limited to) operating systems, browsers, plug-ins, anti-virus, and other software as appropriate.
Access to Nichols information technology and computing resources is a privilege granted to students, staff, and faculty at Nichols. The college extends access privileges to individual users of the college’s information technology and computing resources. The extension of these privileges is predicated on the user’s acceptance of and adherence to the corresponding user responsibilities detailed in this policy. The college reserves the rights to limit, restrict, or extend access to information technology resources as it deems appropriate.
Residence Hall Network Access Restrictions
No student shall turn on or connect student owned wireless access points, gateways, or routers in the residence halls or elsewhere on campus. These wireless routers are commonly sold in retail stores and provide home private use; however when brought on campus they cause Nichols College wireless interference, network congestion, and loss of network access to other students.
This policy applies to all users of Nichols computing and information technology resources, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, guests, external individuals or organizations and individuals accessing external network services, such as the Internet via college facilities. The Chief Information Officer will determine operational policies, networking standards and procedures to implement the principles outlined in this policy. The Information Technology department (IT) has the right to protect shared information technology resources.
Nichols College assumes and reserves ownership of all data, files, messages, and programs stored in its computer systems and cloud-based services. Users cannot claim ownership of any data stored in Nichols College computer systems. Users can, however, expect exclusive use of all e-mail messages stored in their user accounts. Cooperation with any system administrator requests regarding user computing activities is expected. Only under certain unusual circumstances involving issues of system integrity, sexual harassment, or suspicion of illegal use of computer resources, and at the direction of the President of the College, Chief Information Officer, Director of Human Resources, or Dean of Students, will the system administrator access email stored in user accounts.
In the event that any user is separated from the college, for any reason, and their access to technology resources is terminated, the college bears no responsibility to provide the user with copies of any personal data, files, messages, or programs from college resources. The only exception to this policy is for those employees that would like to retrieve academic materials developed and used in support of their teaching and academic leadership responsibilities. In this case, the employee’s manager, or their designee, would be responsible for reviewing all files/messages in the applicable folder(s) to ensure that there is no confidential information in the files/messages being copied for the employee.
Copying Copyrighted Materials (software, music, videos)
Respect for the intellectual work and property of others has traditionally been essential to the mission of academic institutions. As members of the academic community, Nichols College values the free exchange of ideas. Just as Nichols College does not tolerate plagiarism, it does not condone the unauthorized copying of any copyrighted materials. The copying of these types of materials without the permission of its owner is illegal and a criminal offense.
Storage/Copying of Confidential Information
Nichols maintains systems that store a significant amount of confidential information on faculty, staff, students, donors, prospects, vendors, etc. Access to this information is restricted based on a need to know. Under no circumstances is any of this information to be copied or exported off the server and stored on a laptop/portable computer, tablet, home computer, cloud-based storage, smart phone, or removable storage media, including, but not limited to, CD/DVD, USB key/thumb drive, or IPOD/MP3 players.
It should also be understood that e-mail messages, which have file attachments containing confidential information, run the same risk of exposure as files on removable storage media, laptops, tablets, or smart phones. Therefore confidential information must not be attached to any e-mail messages.
Use of College-Assigned Usernames and Passwords
Nichols College assigns usernames and passwords to individuals to provide users with access to specific information and system resources, based on the needs of their job function. Under no circumstances are users to share usernames and passwords with anyone else, unless requested to do so by a system administrator for the purpose of troubleshooting a system issue. Sharing of this information will be construed as circumventing the college’s security practices and procedures, and will expose that user to risk of disciplinary action. Any need for system access to data or resources must be processed as a request through the appropriate channels, so that appropriate authorizations can be obtained and documented.
Right to Monitor and Access
The campus computer systems linked together on a common fiber-optic network are owned by Nichols College, or, in some cases, are privately owned as personal computers brought to campus by faculty, staff, or students. Regardless of ownership, every computer attached to the campus network for any reason (e.g., Internet connectivity, e-mail accessibility, etc.) is subject to monitoring by the IT staff.
Devices and information stored on the Nichols College network are not private. Thus, any information users input or transmit on the Nichols College network can and may be reviewed by the college without prior notice to them, even if that information is protected by an individual password. Nichols College explicitly reserves the right to access, monitor, review, copy or delete any information stored or transmitted on any device on the college network at any time as the college deems appropriate. This may include random, unannounced audits to ensure that the college’s information systems are being used in accordance with this policy.
In general, the Nichols academic community shall use college information technology resources (which include privately-owned computers connected to the college network) in connection with the college’s core teaching, research, and service missions. Uses that do not significantly consume resources or interfere with other users also are acceptable, but may be restricted by IT. Under no circumstances shall members of the college community or others use college information technology resources in ways that are illegal, that threaten the College’s tax-exempt or other status, or that interfere with reasonable use by other members of the college community. Any use of college information technology resources, including network infrastructure, for commercial purposes is prohibited.
Sanctions for Violations
Failure to comply with the appropriate use of computing and information technology resources threatens the atmosphere for the sharing of information, the free exchange of ideas and the secure environment for creating and maintaining information properly, and subjects one to disciplinary action. Any member of the Nichols community found using computing and information technology resources in violation of this policy is subject to existing disciplinary procedures including, without limitation, suspension of system privileges, expulsion from school, termination of employment and/or legal action as may be appropriate. Nichols College also reserves the right to confiscate any privately-owned equipment that is used in the violation of this Acceptable Use Policy.
Review of the Policy
This policy may be assessed from time to time to reflect substantive change as a result of changes to the Nichols information technology resources and/or changes in legal statutes that impact information technology resources, copyright, or other intellectual property issues. The Chief Information Officer is responsible for determining when the policy needs to be reviewed and the process for review and revision.
(This policy was adapted from a policy created by Case Western Reserve University.)
File Sharing and Copyright Policy
All members of the Nichols College community are expected to comply with Title 17 of the United States Code also known as the “Copyright Act of 1976’” and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998) in their use of the College’s Internet connection. All users of Nichols College network resources are also expected to abide by the rules in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 with regard to peer-to-peer file sharing. www.campusdownloading.com is an example of a site that helps ensure legal downloads of protected materials.
• Make a backup copy of a CD, or a DVD, or software purchased for personal use
• Copy purchased music or movies to purchaser’s own computer
• Copy purchased music or movies to purchaser’s own PDA, iPod, or MP3 music device
• Make a CD for personal use of music purchased for personal use from appropriate sites on the Internet
• Share, for others to download, music, or movies, or software via a network (including the Internet)
• Make copies of a CD, or a DVD, or software borrowed from a friend or to give to a friend
• Distribute for personal gain music purchased or downloaded
• Download music, or movies, or software without purchasing them (unless they are legally “free”)
Consequences of Violations
Violations of copyright law can have serious consequences in the area of:
• Civil Liability: Persons found to have infringed may be held liable for substantial damages and attorneys’ fees. The law entitles a plaintiff to seek statutory damages up to $150,000 for each act of willful infringement.
• Criminal Liability: Copyright infringement also carries criminal penalties under the No Electronic Theft Act. Depending on the number and value of the products exchanged, penalties for a first offense may be as high as ten years in prison.
• College Sanctions: Students are responsible for their compliance with copyright law. The College cannot take responsibility for student compliance, and cannot defend students against a claim by a copyright owner. Upon receipt of a complaint about a student’s behavior, College officials are required to take action. This action could range from terminating a student’s Internet connection and/or providing the student’s name to the copyright owner, to suspension or expulsion from the College, depending on the severity of the infringement.
(This policy was adapted with permission from Bates, Goucher and Lynchburg Colleges.)
Use of Nichols-Assigned Student Email Accounts for College Notices
Each student is assigned a Nichols College email account/address. This address is the one the College will use to send important correspondence. Some examples of college correspondence include weather-related college closures, registration updates, responses to support requests sent to the Information Technology Help Desk, and class-related messages from faculty. Students are expected to check their Nichols email accounts regularly. Communication to faculty or staff must be via students’ Nichols email accounts as well. For security reasons, the faculty and staff will only provide confidential information about student status at the College through students’ Nichols email address.