2.10 Electronic Communications Policy

Electronic communications (e.g., electronic mail (email)), social media, text messaging, instant messaging (IM), and listservs) are services provided by Central Piedmont Community College as aids in the transfer of information and may be used for a wide variety of on- and off-campus communication relating to college business. This policy addresses the expectations for and use of electronic communications. This policy applies to all electronic communication services established by the college for faculty, staff, students, and any other users of college electronic communication services ("Users").

I. Policy

A. Users of electronic communication services must respect the rights of others and conduct themselves in a lawful and ethical manner. Users of the College's electronic communication services are required to comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and all college policies and procedures.

Generally, a user's electronic communications will not be accessed except in one of the following situations:

  1. The user gives prior consent;
  2. For routine management or maintenance purposes;
  3. The College needs to ensure the security or operating performance of its systems or networks;
  4. The College has a reasonable concern that a violation of college policy or applicable law has occurred and is investigating the possible violation; or,
  5. The college is complying with a valid subpoena or search warrant issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

B. While general content review will not typically be undertaken, monitoring of electronic information may occur for these reasons and others as necessary. Notwithstanding the foregoing, all network, computing, and communication activities may be logged for e-discovery and forensic purposes. For these reasons, the College cannot guarantee the privacy of electronic communications.

C. Users of Central Piedmont electronic communications who are found to have engaged in the unacceptable uses of College electronic communications will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension of access to technology resources, discharge, dismissal, suspension, expulsion, and/or legal action.

D. Access to college electronic communication services is provided to support college business.

E. All electronic communications sent, received, or stored using the College’s electronic communications services are the property of Central Piedmont.

F. Users may expect reasonable access to electronic communication services; however, this cannot be guaranteed to be available at all times and in all circumstances.

G. Requests for distribution of messages to the entire College community will be managed by the office of the Vice President for Communications, Marketing, and Public Relations, and Central Piedmont shall approve or disapprove such distribution in its sole discretion.

H. Users are expected to manage their electronic communications storage space by following best practices and State data retention policies and guidelines.

I. Communications containing confidential material or material identified by FERPA, HIPAA, and other compliance mandates shall not be transferred over insecure channels, including via email or on portable storage devices, unless encrypted by a College-approved encryption technology.

J. Employees on extended leave from the college are expected to arrange to manage their electronic communication accounts during their absences.

K. The college will backup email messages solely for the purpose of disaster recovery. Deleted emails are retained in Users' inboxes for fourteen days. Central Piedmont Community College intends to follow the recommendation set with Governor’s Executive Order 12. Emails are retained in archive for five years.

L. Electronic communication service Users must accurately identify themselves in their electronic correspondence. It is useful to create and use a standard “signature block” when sending any communications in an official capacity as a staff or faculty member.

M. Upon dismissal or resignation, faculty and staff will make all email files related to College business available to the appropriate College administrator who will authorize termination of the account. Dismissal for cause or expulsion will result in immediate termination of the User’s access to email accounts.

III. Acceptable Uses

Central Piedmont Community College recognizes that electronic communication facilitates both college business and academic pursuits. Examples of acceptable use of electronic communication services include:

  1. Official College business
  2. Academic research
  3. Occasional non-commercial personal use
  4. Instruction
  5. Service on behalf of the College
  6. Professional development

IV. Unacceptable Uses

Examples of unacceptable uses of electronic communication services include:

  1. Commercial ventures, personal profit, and solicitations for contributions for non-college sponsored activities.
  2. Unsolicited non- work-related bulk emails, such as chain letters, pyramid schemes, and those containing jokes, commentary, and opinions.
  3. Any illegal activity or unlawful purpose.
  4. Harassment, intimidation, or libel of others.
  5. Breaking into another user's electronic mailbox or reading someone else's electronic mail without permission.
  6. Unsolicited mass mailings (spamming).
  7. Posting, sending, or intentionally accessing pornographic, sexually explicit, or offensive material.
  8. Posting, sending, or intentionally accessing material that is contrary to the mission of the college.
  9. Intentional distribution of computer viruses, Trojan horses, time bombs, worms, or other rogue programming.
  10. Impersonation of others.

V. Reporting Violations of the Policy

Users who receive electronic communications that violate this Policy should report the violation to the Chief Information Security Officer at abuse@cpcc.edu.


Changes approved by the Board of Trustees on May 6, 2020

Cabinet approved changes on August 3, 2009; June 9, 2014