Policies and Procedures
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PERSONAL USE AND MISUSE OF UNIVERSITY PROPERTY

State law, specifically Section 721.2 of Iowa Code, prohibits any state employee from using, or permitting any other person to use, property owned by the state or any subdivision or agency of the state for any private purpose or for personal gain. Violation of this statute is a serious misdemeanor.

This regulation is intended to cover all types of University property and services, including cars, supplies, telephones, typewriters and computer hardware and software, equipment, campus mail, electronic mail and copying facilities, products from University farms, and food, drugs or chemicals available from University activities. No one shall be permitted to remove for personal use from the buildings or grounds any property belonging to the University, even though it may seem to be of no value. This includes use of University equipment such as farm machinery, trucks, or other equipment during off-hours when it is not needed for University operations. Telephone service and electronic mail is provided for the purpose of conducting University business. Personal use of telephones, personal computers and electronic mail should be restricted to incidental and emergency use. Employees should review all long distance charges and should pay any charges related to personal calls to the appropriate departmental administrator. Reimbursement of personal charges is required.

Departmental offices should review operating procedures and remind staff that University facilities are not to be used for personal activities. Departmental offices are also responsible for strict supervision of stamps and other office supplies. Office supplies and stamps purchased with University funds are for use for University purposes only, and are not for resale or for use for private purposes. They should not be used in payment of minor bills. The proper use of University property should be the subject of careful judgment.

Office, laboratories, work areas, files and materials, either in written or electronic form maintained or stored on University premises or in University computers or servers may be entered, opened or reviewed without prior notice by authorized University personnel either as part of maintenance or servicing procedures or when their is a question about the use or misuse of University property.

It is expected that due care shall be taken of University property so that full expected use is obtained. With the increasing use of electronic communications, staff members should keep in mind that these messages and materials may be accessed or public records if located in University facilities or equipment. In a number of cases, electronic mail written with the intent to be humorous, personal or a private conversation has become public leading to subsequent disciplinary action and causing embarrassment to the individual and organization. All communication should be done in a professional and non-discriminatory fashion.


Iowa State University Policy 2.18
Policies and Procedures Section 2: General University Policies and Procedures
Responsible University Officer: President
Responsible Office: University Legal Services
Original Effective Date:
Revised:

Questions, suggestions and comments about this policy should be directed to University Legal Services, ptanaka@iastate.edu.
Copyright 1999, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.