Privacy & Appropriate Use of Resources Policy


Although University personnel (faculty, staff, and student staff) may expect a certain degree of privacy with respect to their desks, offices, lockers, machines, etc., all faculty, staff, and student staff should be aware of the limitations on the expectation of privacy. The university reserves the right to access university property such as lockers, desks, offices, cabinets, etc. All desk and filing cabinet keys, locker keys and combinations, etc., must be available to the university upon authorized request. The university may, for example, need to access information in an individual’s desk when he or she is away. The university may access information at any time for business purposes. The university should inform university personnel if and when such access will be, or has been, required. Personal information that university personnel want to be truly private should not be stored in university property (office, desk, locker, etc.).  

Unauthorized university personnel should not request or use another individual’s keys under any circumstances, nor should they attempt to gain access to another individual’s office, desk, locker, etc., without permission. The unauthorized attempt to gain access to another’s office, desk, locker, etc., is a serious breach of ethical conduct and will result in appropriate corrective action.  

In cases of suspected possession of illegal or unauthorized drugs, alcoholic beverages, firearms, weapons or stolen property, the university reserves the right to search personal belongings on university property, including but not limited to articles of clothing, purses, briefcases, bags and vehicles. The search will normally be conducted in private by an appropriate supervisor, department head, or Security Services representative with a third person normally present. Although an individual, or an individual’s personal property, will not be searched without consent under the circumstances described above, that individual’s consent to such a search is required as a condition of employment, and refusal to consent will result in corrective action up to and including termination of employment under procedures specified by the Staff Policies and Procedures Manual and the Faculty Code. All such searches must be approved in advance by Human Resources in the case of staff, or the academic Vice President in the case of faculty.

Appropriate Use

University personnel use university facilities, equipment, materials, and other resources to facilitate university business. Individuals are urged to exercise common sense and to use university resources in a manner consistent with the university’s standards of conduct in the workplace. In general, university personnel should use university resources for university business only. In addition, the university’s resources must not be used for activities that are illegal or contrary to university policy (see the university’s Information Use and Security Policy). Appropriate corrective action will be taken if an individual uses university resources in a manner inconsistent with the university’s standards of conduct or other policies.

Origination Date: 8/2002