3.14 – Non-Work Related Use of University Resources

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 3 | Ethics, Equity and Equal Opportunity

Responsible Executive: Vice President Administration and Finance

Responsible Administrator:

Last Updated: 03/12/2020



BPM 9, Mobile Communication Device Usage

ARP 12.65 - Fleet Asset Management

ARP 12.66 - Vehicle Assignments

Revision History:

03/12/20 Amendment approved by Chancellor (also repealing ARP 15.18 – Telephone Equipment Use)
2017 Recompilation, formerly Rule 3.75
07/20/2010 Amendment approved by Board of Regents
07/29/2009 Amendment ratified by Board of Regents
04/14/2009 Amendment approved by Administrative Council



  1. Public Trust: This rule serves to remind the university’s employees that its resources are entrusted to them by the public, government entities, and private donors, and to be mindful of the public’s perception of how the university conducts its business.  As set forth in the university’s Business Ethics Handbook, employees should strive to conduct themselves consistent with the highest ethical principles, to avoid any action that may be viewed as a violation of the public trust in the use of these resources, and to act responsibly in order to preserve and safeguard university resources.  These resources include employee time, facilities, supplies, and equipment such as telephones, fax machines, and computers.
  2. No Expectation of Privacy: This rule also provides notice to employees that  internal or external audit or other needs may require examination of university resources or services and they should not expect such uses to be free from inspection. Employees do not have a right or expectation to privacy as it relates to information or data contained on or accessed through university equipment or resources.


The following guidelines will be applied taking into consideration factors such as the nature of the use, reasonableness, time, detriment or cost to the university, employment history and employee work habits. Employees should consult with their supervisors in advance if they are unsure of the propriety of a certain action or practice.  Violations of this policy may be reported through the university’s confidential reporting line at https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/en/default_reporter.asp   The use of the university’s resources and services for non-work related purposes is permissible in very limited circumstances:

  1. The cost to the university is negligible.
  2. The use does not interfere with an employee’s obligation to carry out university duties in a timely and effective manner. Time spent on non-work related use of university resources is not considered to be university work time.
  3. The use does not undermine the use of university resources and services for official purposes, nor violate any university policy, rule or procedure, nor violate state or federal law.
  4. The use neither expresses nor implies sponsorship or endorsement by the university.
  5. The use does not involve the viewing, displaying, downloading, printing, procuring, or transmitting of sexually explicit material or any other material that would violate university policies or rules/procedures, or the law, including but not limited to, those relating to sexual harassment, fraud, hostile workplace, obscenity, libel, defamation, or hate/violent misconduct.
  6. University resources are not to be used for non-university business, marketing or political activities.
  7. The NMSU internal mail delivery system is not for delivery of non-work related material. University accounts must not be charged for mailing personal or non-university business material.
  8. NMSU telephones and other communications equipment are to be used for NMSU business, defined as NMSU mission related activities. NMSU recognizes the occasional need to make or receive a personal call, and no direct payment for personal local telephone calls is expected. Because the administrative costs associated with reimbursement have not proven to be cost effective, individuals are expected to use their personal cell phones for long distance calls or to pay directly (e.g. through use of prepaid calling cards) for all personal long-distance calls made on university telephones.  In a personal situation requiring prompt action, the university expects the employees to use prudent judgment and in the event the individual does not have other means to charge a long distance telephone call, the unit manager should be notified so that the call may be identified on the monthly bill for the employee to reimburse the university.  Unit managers are expected to address patterns of unprofessional and inappropriate personal use of the phone or other university-owned communications equipment.
  9. NMSU vehicles must not be used for personal or non-university business purposes. See also ARP 12.66 – Vehicle Assignments; ARP 12.65 – Fleet Asset Management Program; and the Vehicle Use Procedures.