AS-8 Guidelines for Incidental Computer Usage for the Maricopa Community Colleges

The Maricopa Community Colleges are committed to the continuous improvement of its employees through training, tuition waivers and reimbursement as well as professional growth. Maricopa also supports a productive friendly work environment for employees. Since Maricopa has been updating computer usage policies, it is important to help clearly define and identify some acceptable, though incidental, uses of Maricopa technology in relation to these goals.

These guidelines have been written to specifically address two different but broad employee incidental usage scenarios. The first is the employee usage, outside their normal hours of accountability, of Maricopa technology resources to improve their educational experiences. The second is the practice of having inconsequential personal information, such as pictures or music on their local computer to promote a productive friendly work environment.

In relation to expanding one’s educational experience, whether the employee is working on professional growth activities or homework for an educational program, using Maricopa technology in support of these efforts has an inconsequential impact on Maricopa’s technical infrastructure. This type of usage, outside one’s hours of accountability, is considered acceptable incidental computer usage of Maricopa’s technology resources.

Another illustration of incidental computer usage is the placement of personal pictures or music, owned by the employee, on their local computer. In a normal work environment having a picture of ones family as a background image or screen saver or privately listening to music has no impact on Maricopa technical resources but helps promote a positive work environment.

The following are examples of incidental computer usage. These examples do not supersede any expanded local college guidelines that might prohibit such use:

  1. Employees that are working on a course for their bachelor’s degree stay after work to use their computer to do research for their course. They search the internet, local library resources, and other online resources to gather material for their research paper. They use their local computer word processing program to write and prepare their paper. When completed, the employees save their work on portable media (thumb drive, floppy, etc.) and take it home for printing and/or review.
  2. An employee places pictures of their family and uses one as their desktop background picture and saves the rest into a pictures folder used by the operating system screen saver program.
    1. At no time would the employee download any special screen saver application software and install it on their local computer.
  3. An employee plays personally owned music stored on a mobile device (example: CD, Thumb Drive, etc.) on their local computer at work. An employee shall not copy personally owned music to server disk space and will comply with applicable copyright law. It is important to note that while playing personally owned music is listed as an example of incidental computer usage, this activity is subject to the appropriateness of the work environment as well as a supervisor’s discretion.

Note: In all cases, local college and Maricopa policies and regulations supersede these guidelines.