Computing Facilities User Guidelines

The following is a summary excerpt from the Computing Facilities User Guidelines. Complete copies of the policy can be obtained online at


The University of Houston computing facilities exist to provide computing services to the university community in support of instructional, research, and university business activities. These guidelines are intended to improve the computing services offered and provide these services in a cost-effective manner. University computing facilities are a public resource and may not be used for personal or corporate profit.

The university computing facilities service a large number of students, faculty, and staff. All users have the responsibility to use the university computing systems in an effective, efficient, ethical, and lawful manner. The ethical and legal standards that are to be maintained are derived directly from standards of common sense and common decency that apply to the use of any public resource.

Conditions of Use

As a condition of use of any computing facility, the user agrees:

1. To respect the privacy of other users; for example, users shall not intentionally seek or reveal information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, tapes, or passwords belonging to other users, or misrepresent others, unless explicitly authorized to do so by those users.

2. To respect the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data; for example, users shall not make copies of a licensed computer program to avoid paying additional license fees or to share with other users.

3. To respect the intended usage for which access to computing resources was granted; for example, users shall use computing resources authorized for their use by the individuals responsible for these resources only for the purpose specified by that individual. Examples of inappropriate use may include the use of computing resources for purely recreational purposes, the production of output that is unrelated to the objectives of the project, and, in general, the use of computers simply to use computing resources.

4. To respect the integrity of computing systems; for example, users shall not intentionally develop or use programs that harass other users or infiltrate a computer or computing system and/or damage or alter the software components of a computer or computing system. Any defects discovered in system accounting or system security should be reported to the appropriate system administrator so that steps can be taken to investigate and solve the problem.

5. To respect the financial structure of a computing system; for example, users shall not intentionally develop or use any unauthorized mechanisms to alter or avoid charges levied by the University for computing services.

6. To respect the shared nature of the computing resources; for example, users shall not engage in deliberately wasteful practices such as printing large amounts of unnecessary listings, performing endless unnecessary computations, simultaneously queuing numerous batch jobs, or unnecessarily holding public workstations, magnetic tape drives, or dial-up telephone lines for long periods of time when other users are waiting for these devices.

7. To respect the rights of other users; for example, users shall not engage in private or public behavior that creates an unlawfully intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for other users.

In addition to the above, each facility may have additional guidelines for the use of particular types of accounts (e.g., student instructional accounts), and it is the user's responsibility to read and adhere to these additional guidelines.

Violations of Conditions of Use

In accordance with established university practices, allegations or unauthorized use of the computing facilities may also result in being charged with violations of the student disciplinary code, which could lead to expulsion from the University, termination of employment and/or legal action.