What Are the Different Types of AUPs in Higher Education?
Although there aren’t necessarily different types of AUPs, the policies are often adjusted to fit different technologies, platforms and processes. For example, a college’s AUP for file sharing, copyright or mass email use might differ from the strict rules of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Common acceptable use policy statements contain “expectations for use, respect for data, equipment, email information, password and security information, acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, and violations for noncompliance,” Maley-Gaik says.
AUPs may include language about administrative standards, political regulation or behavioral regulation, explains Hall. Institutions might not want certain types of speech to proliferate on their networks; those stipulations would be in relevant AUPs.
“You can create many different variants of the acceptable use policy, but really the spirit of the policy and why we have them, especially in the public sector, is to maximize the investment on behalf of the mission you’re trying to attain,” Hall says. “We need to have our investments aligned to what is focused on our students and faculty, learning and teaching, our research and our mission.”
How to Create and Enforce an Effective Acceptable Use Policy
Hall recommends minimum enforcement and policy constructs: “Complexity is the enemy.”
He encourages schools to reduce the social, policy, regulatory and technical deployment complexity. “It’ll make for a happier community,” he says.
Universities and colleges are dedicated to furthering the minds, careers and research of their students and faculty. These are places of inspiration, ideation and innovation. If a policy hinders that, then it’s time to update.