Skip to main content

Policies and Guidelines

All policies for NKU are housed on the technology section of the policy website. Descriptions of existing policies are listed here. 

Technology Policies

Acceptable Use Policy

Each member of the NKU community has an obligation to exercise safe, responsible, ethical behavior when using the University's computers, information, networks or resources, and must abide by University policies, local, state, and federal laws.

Account Lifecycle Maintenance

This policy outlines account creation and cessation for all new hires, transfers, retirees, terminated employees, graduates, and students entering or leaving NKU.

Antivirus Policy

All computers which connect to the NKU network are required to have up-to-date antivirus software, along with regularly timed scans.

Data Governance & Security

The purpose of this policy is to protect NKU's information resources from accidental or intentional unauthorized access, modification, or damage, while also preserving the open information sharing requirements of its academic culture.

Electronic Signature

To increase the efficiency of internal transactions that require authorization, the University may require that members of the University community use electronic signatures to conduct certain transactions that previously required handwritten signatures and approvals on paper documents.

IT Incident Response

This policy establishes how NKU will respond in the event of a security breach in compliance with KRS 61.931 to 61.934. It outlines an action plan to be used to investigate a potential security breach, and mitigate damage if a security breach occurs.

Information Security

NKU recognizes the obligation to protect confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information for all people affiliated with NKU, and to provide safeguards to protect university information.

Listserv and Mass Email Policy

Faculty and staff are required to follow proper policy and procedures when sending campus-wide communications. In most cases, approval will be required from the area Vice President prior to release of any such communication.

Security Policy

Each member of the NKU campus community is responsible for the security and protection of electronic information resources over which he or she has access and control. 

Web Privacy

This policy addresses the collection and use of both provided information and anonymously collected information from NKU’s websites to maintain effective privacy practices.


Technology Guidelines and Notices

Accessibility Charter

This charter is a means to share the vision with others to achieve consensus between all key players regarding accessibility. Read the charter.

Online/Distance Education Student Authentication

In compliance with the United States Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 concerning the verification of student identity in distance learning, Northern Kentucky University has processes in place to affirm that the person who is enrolled at the University and registered for an online course is the same student participating, completing requirements, and receiving credit for that course. See full document.


In addition to the Security Policy, NKU adheres to the federal guidelines concerning student privacy. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights to privacy with respect to educational records. NKU adheres to this guideline and prohibits inappropriate use of student information. For more information about NKU's guideline, click here or see the official government site for information regarding FERPA.

Copyright, Plagiarism, and use of Peer-to-Peer 

All copyrighted information, such as text, recordings, and images, retrieved from electronic resources or stored, transmitted or maintained with electronic resources, must be used in compliance with applicable copyright and other laws. Copied material, used legally, must be properly attributed in compliance with applicable legal and professional standards. 

While peer-to-peer usage can provide a beneficial file sharing service, it also provides an opportunity for abuse, infringements and virus transmission, as there is no filtering of this sort of data transmission. NKU strictly prohibits any form of copyright infringements, including illegal media downloads, plagiarism, bootlegging or any other illegal use of materials.  

Illegal downloads are often detected and reported by the movie and recording industries, and the appropriate school officials are notified so these incidents can be managed appropriately, including disciplinary and/or legal actions. 

NKU is required by Federal Law to respond to notifications of copyright violations on its networks. Offenses such as illegal use of peer-to-peer will result in consultations with University officials, and may result in disciplinary actions, up to and including suspension or termination of network privileges, expulsion, or dismissal. In addition, the names of the violators will be referred to the appropriate authorities for criminal or civil prosecution.

Per the NKU Acceptable Use Policy and Federal Laws regarding copyright infringements, all copyrighted information retrieved via electronic sources within NKU networks must be used in conformance with applicable copyright protection laws. See U.S. Copyright laws. See the NKU Compliance site regarding copyright infringements.


Individuals are required to change network passwords at least every 90 days. Choosing a complex password is enforced systematically. Sharing passwords is not permitted in any circumstance and can be grounds for disciplinary actions. For specific information regarding password requirements, see the password page.

Web Accessibility

In an effort to make the University's website information accessible to everyone, NKU has established standards and guidelines that serve as a framework to help the individuals who are responsible for publishing any content on the University website to be in compliance with the 1998 Section 508 amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.