Technology/Social Media Policy

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Electronic Communications Policy

The AAC’s internet, voice mail and e-mail systems are provided to employees by the College and are intended primarily for business use. Access to the Internet through the AAC’s computer systems is also intended primarily for business use.

The College may access its computer and electronic communications systems and obtain communications and information within the systems, without notice to users of the systems, in the ordinary course of business when the school deems it appropriate to do so. The AAC also may inspect or monitor without advance notice any devices employees use to access the school’s computer and electronic communications systems, including but not limited to computers, laptops, notebooks, tablet computers, or mobile devices. As a result, employees should not expect that use of the College’s computer or electronic communications systems entitles them to any expectation of privacy in anything that they access, view, create, store, transmit, or receive on or through the AAC’s computer or electronic communications systems, including any Internet usage or personal messages.

The AAC’s policy prohibiting unlawful discrimination or harassment applies to the use of the College’s computer and electronic communications systems. Furthermore, since the AAC’s computer and electronic communications systems are intended primarily for business use, these systems may not be used to solicit for commercial activity unrelated to the business of the institution. Any personal use of the school’s computer or electronic communications systems must be limited to employees’ non-work time.

No employee may access, or attempt to obtain access, to another individual’s computer or electronic communications without appropriate authorization. Employees who violate this policy may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

Social Media Policy

This policy establishes a set of rules and guidelines for any activity and participation in “social media” by all Art Academy of Cincinnati “users.” These rules are intended to be adaptable to the changes in technology and norms of online communication and behavior and may be amended by the AAC at any time, for any reason, without notice to users.

For purposes of this policy: The term “social media” applies to any web-based and/or mobile technologies, in use now or developed in the future, that enable individuals or entities to disseminate or receive information, communicate, or otherwise interact, and includes, without limitation, e-mail, texting, messaging, social networking, blogging, micro-blogging, bulletin boards, and so on, through providers such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and/or others. The term “users” refers to employees, directors, volunteers, and interns.

Exercise Responsibility Online.

You are personally responsible for any and all of your social media activity conducted with an AAC e-mail address or on an AAC website or page, and/or which can be traced back to an AAC domain, and/or which uses the AAC’s Information Systems and/or which expressly or implicitly identifies you as an employee of the College.

If from your post in a blog or elsewhere in social media it is clear you are an AAC employee, or if you mention the College, or it is reasonably clear you are referring to the AAC or a position taken by the AAC, and you express a political opinion or an opinion regarding the College’s positions or actions, the post must specifically note that the opinion expressed is your personal opinion and not the AAC’s position. This is necessary to preserve the College’s good will in the marketplace.

Follow Existing Policies and Terms of Use.

Observe and follow (i) existing College policy and agreements, such as the Employee Handbook and your Employment Agreement(s) with the College, if applicable, (ii) the policies of the particular online/social networking venue, and (iii) applicable law. This means that you are prohibited from using social media to post or display comments about coworkers or supervisors or the AAC that are vulgar, obscene, threatening, intimidating, or a violation of the College’s workplace policies against discrimination, harassment, or hostility on account of age, race, religion, sex, ethnicity, nationality, disability, or other protected class, status, or characteristic. Thus, the rules in the AAC’s Employee Handbook, including its Electronic Communications Policy and Anti- Harassment and Ani-Discrimination Policy apply to employee behavior within social media and in public online spaces.

Most websites, including Facebook and others, have rules concerning the use and activity conducted on their sites. These are sometimes referred to as “Terms of Use.” You must follow the established terms and conditions of use that have been established by the venue and not do anything that would violate those rules.

Do not post any information or conduct any online activity that may violate applicable local, state, or federal laws or regulations. Any conduct which under the law is impermissible if expressed in any other form or forum is impermissible if expressed through social media.

Recognize Others’ Privacy.

Before sharing a comment, post, picture, or video about or from a friend or colleague through any type of social media, it is a good practice to be courteous and first obtain that person’s consent.

It also is inappropriate to use or disclose personal information (as explained below) about another individual or use or disclose the AAC’s confidential or proprietary information in any form of social media. For purposes of this Policy, personal information means an individual's Social Security number, financial account number, driver’s license number, medical information (including family medical history) and other highly sensitive information, as well as, if applicable, information covered by the AAC’s written information security program. College confidential or proprietary information includes but is not limited to internal information regarding the AAC’s finances, future business performance and business plans, business and brand strategies, and information that is or relates to institutional trade secrets. All College rules regarding AAC confidential or proprietary information and personal information, including, as applicable, the AAC’s written information security program, apply in full to social media, such as blogs, social networking sites, and related media. For example, any information that should not be disclosed through a conversation, a note, a letter or an e-mail should not be disclosed via a blog or similar format either. Sharing this type of information, even unintentionally, can potentially result in harm to an individual or group, harm to the College’s business, and ultimately could result in you and/or the AAC being sued by an individual, other businesses, or the government.

Before posting any online material, ensure that the material is not knowingly false; instead, try to be accurate and truthful. If you find that you have made a mistake, admit it, apologize, correct it, and move on. You should never post anything that is maliciously false.

Before posting a comment or responding to a blog, think before sending. If you are unsure about the effects of the post or other online action, you may wish to reach out to your supervisor or the Human Resources Officer for assistance, particularly when unsure about a response to another employee, a student, a parent, or a vendor.

Use Your True Identity.

When participating in any social media, we suggest that you be completely transparent and disclose your true identity for your personal protection. Additionally, when commenting on or promoting any AAC product or service on any form of social media, you must clearly and conspicuously disclose your relationship with the College to the members and readers of that social media.

Do not use your own personal online relationships or the AAC’s network to influence polls, rankings, or web traffic. This is called “astroturfing” or “sock- puppeting” and is highly unethical. You are not to use the size and breadth of the AAC network to unduly influence polls, rankings, or web traffic where said traffic is a measure of success or popularity of a particular political opinion.

Manage Your Expectation Of Privacy.

Consistent with the AAC’s Electronic Communications Policy, the College may access and monitor its Information Systems and obtain the communications within the systems, including e-mail, Internet usage, and the like, with or without notice to users of the system, in the ordinary course of business when we deem it appropriate to do so. As such, when using such systems, you should have no expectation of privacy with regard to time, frequency, content, or other aspects of your use, including the websites you visit and other Internet/Intranet activity. The reasons the College accesses and monitors these systems include, but are not limited to: maintaining the system; preventing or investigating allegations of system abuse or misuse; assuring compliance with software copyright laws; and complying with legal and regulatory requirements.

Interact On Your Time.

The College respects the right of any employee to participate in social media, such as maintaining a blog or participating in online forums. However, to protect the AAC’s interests and to ensure employees’ focus on their job duties, employees must avoid excessive use of social media during work time or at any time while using College equipment or property that adversely affects work performance.

Avoid Personal Attacks, Online Fights, And Hostile Personalities.

If a blogger or any other online influencer posts a statement you disagree with, you can voice your opinion, but we suggest that you do not escalate the conversation to a heated, personal argument. Speak reasonably, factually, and with good humor. Try to understand and credit the other person's point of view. Additionally, avoid communicating with hostile personalities in an effort to avoid personal, professional, or credibility attacks.

Identify Any Copyrighted Or Borrowed Material With Citations And Links.

When publishing any online material through social media that includes another’s direct or paraphrased quotes, thoughts, ideas, photos, or videos, always use citations and link to the original material where applicable.

Should you have any questions about this policy, please see HR Department.


It is the AAC’s policy that only the President, Chief Operating Officer, Director of Development, and/or Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment are authorized to speak with the media as spokesperson for and on behalf of the College. Media inquiries should be directed to them.

No part of this policy is intended to prevent or constrain an employee’s exercise of rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.