I want to welcome each of you back this spring, as we plunge into another busy semester of activities, work, research, and scholarly achievement. I also want to acknowledge the many recent successes of our community and the excitement and energy we all share as 2014 commences. I am enthusiastic about the collaboration so integral to the efforts our community will be engaging in this year—but I also want to urge each of you (in your roles as teachers and mentors) to be vigilant in conveying security and policy information to the many students, friends, and colleagues you influence and inspire each day.
Penn State’s copyright policy
As many of you know, Penn State is a strong proponent of copyright law and related protections for intellectual property rights. Unfortunately, some students, faculty, and staff who illegally download or distribute music, movies, and other materials may not be aware they are violating laws or policies. It is vital we increase awareness that copyright violation can have serious implications for future employment opportunities, as well as an individual’s good standing at Penn State. To aid you in guiding your students (and colleagues) in understanding these concepts and choosing legal alternatives, I recommend the following websites:
Ensuring a safe computing environment
It is also essential that all Penn State community members take proactive steps to protect themselves from the ever-present threats to personal identity and computing—including identity theft, email hoaxes, phishing scams, malicious attacks, spyware technologies, malware, and much more. You can help the University provide a safer computing environment on campus by sharing the comprehensive security information available at Penn State’s Be Safe website at http://its.psu.edu/be-safe. You can also help increase our community’s overall computer security by encouraging the use of Penn State’s Downloads site at http://downloads.its.psu.edu/—a resource that offers downloadable antivirus and other protective software.
I invite you to join me in building a safer computing environment for everyone at Penn State by sharing these resources and ensuring community members follow the best practices outlined above.
Nicholas P. Jones
Executive Vice President and Provost