Lawsuit-free since 9/14/05

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

New Sullivan Memo to Faculty and Staff

For Fun, Get Out Your Red Pen and Mark the Grammatical Mistakes

[Editor's Note: For extra fun, note Sullivan's hypocrisy as he charges that Take Back Our Campus "chills the climate for teaching and learning on campus"-- an accusation of which his recent draconian repeal of privacy and academic freedom, as well as his Soviet-style restriction of information access are apparently free of guilt.]


TO: St. Lawrence University Faculty and Staff

FROM: President Daniel F. Sullivan

RE: Acceptable Use Policy

DATE: January 11, 2005

Now that many faculty who were away for the holidays are back on campus I write to say that, on the advice of University legal counsel, I have made several revisions to the Acceptable Use Policy which is posted now, in its revised form, on the University web site. I informed the chairs of Faculty Council and ITAC of these changes on December 22 and urged them to share this information with their committee members. I also told them that this memo to all faculty and staff would be forthcoming at a time when it would not likely be overlooked.

The revisions to the Acceptable Use Policy most important to call
to your attention have to do with clarifying necessary rights the University must retain as the owner of our computing resources; giving greater weight than in our former policy to the right of others to be free from intimidation, harassment and unwarranted annoyance; including among prohibited uses those "which violate University policy;" and permitting the President to authorize access to personal files not only in response to a judicial order or other action required by law, but "when access is considered necessary to protect and/or promote the legitimate interests of the University."

In addition, I want you to know that we have blocked access to a web site that was persistently harassing and intimidating specific members of the St. Lawrence community.

We have done this because all resources owned and managed by the University exist to support the academic mission. We have the right to deny access to the campus those influences that harass, intimidate or threaten individuals who study, teach and administer programs here. The external web site to which we have blocked access has been, for several months, an active instrument of anonymous harassment against targeted individuals, interfering with the right of those individuals to pursue their academic goals in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

I am sure there will be much discussion about these changes and actions as we reconvene for the second semester. As in so many difficult situations, this one involves important institutional values that are in tension--we value and have a duty as a free and open university to facilitate access to any and all resources faculty, staff and students believe will be useful for valid research and educational purposes; and we also value and have a duty to protect members of the university community from anonymous outside harassment against targeted individuals of a kind that creates a hostile environment for them and chills the climate for teaching and learning on campus. Neither value is absolute. We must use our judgment to find an appropriate balance. I have sought to do so in the policy changes and actions announced in this memo.


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