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UW-Madison Responsible Use of Information Technology Policy

The Responsible Use Policy states that "access to University of Wisconsin-Madison information technology (IT) resources is essential to the mission of the University (to create, integrate, transfer and apply knowledge). Use of IT resources must be consistent with the Universitys mission and with its role as a public agency. Access to University IT resources is a privilege granted to members of the University community which carries with it the responsibility to use University IT resources for University-related activities, exercising common sense and civility. Regulations that govern personal conduct and use of University facilities(ii) also apply to the use of IT resources." The policy is published at PDF version

The Responsible Use Policy can be referenced at:

The review and revision history is at:

The development history of the policy is documented below.





08/11/2015 (info) Rev C. Modified for Minor fixes in metadata, footnote punctuation, links. No significant change in meaning. Did not update revision date. 
Added audiences, topics, activities and keywords to website metadata. Rev B is on Rev C is on
Exceptions to standard IT policy practices: No link to history – large majority in audience are not interested, and it could be more confusing than helpful.

(info) Rev B. Minor fixes in metadata, footnote marks, punctuation. No significant change to text or meaning. Did not update revision date. CIO website will soon transition to a new CMS. Found minor difference between Rev A official text and Rev A web text. New Rev B resolves these, accepting the web version when it was an improvement. Added "review by" and "reviewed" fields to metadata. Re-arranged metadata. RUP is unique in that it does not include a link to the history. See comment from 08/12/2011 below. Rev B not yet published. Will do this after transition to new CMS is complete.


Began process of finding the old text on UW-Madison web pages...


PDF version added to CIO web site. The PDF is formatted to print on two pages. The "official published version" is the PDF, although most people will read the html file. Updated wiki page, history, etc.


CIO/DoIT Communications begins process of finding and changing links, references and text on the CIO and DoIT web sites. There are many.


(info) RevA. Policy published on CIO web site. Minor fixes in metadata, so now it is RevA. Did not update revision date.  Note historical link to appropriate use policy is The intent is to assure this link continues to work for a very long time.


CIO website was transitioning to a new CMS and the links were changing. To avoid disrupting the transition and to assure continuity, delayed publishing until transition was complete.


Policy endorsed by the Information Technology Committe (ITC). Began Rollout process.


(tick) Final Draft. Began Endorsement process. 2011-08-16 version summary of changes... TBD. We want to be very careful to send a consistent message. The description of changes will come from news articles and other published material as it become available. For exact changes, see: RUP Policy to compare texts.



Met with Legal Services.


Updated history of the policy (and the earlier guidelines.) Reconstructed the 1997 version from old web pages.


Updated revision, following input from PPT meeting.


Minor changes to RUP Description.


Renamed initiative from AUP to RUP. Make sure the old link still works but contains the revised policy.


Discussed at PPT meeting.


Created wiki page. Note: AUP Description taken from preamble of the policy.


Policy was revised to add a numbered section on copyright, in order to further emphsize the importance.


Guidelines were converted to a policy. Language was added to emphasize the importance of following copyright law.


Guidelines were revised. See RUP Policy Archive for probable text. The date was found in a DoIT news article and a University Communications news article. The text was reconstucted from an old web page last updated in 2004.


Estimated date the policy was originally created. It is possible that the creation of the policy corresponded roughly with the creation of WiscWorld version 1. Original text is lost in antiquity, unless perhaps it can be found in paper copies of meeting minutes or WiscWorld or other documentation. Not sure if the guidelines were reviewed by the ITC, University Committee or Faculty Senate. The Web did not yet exist, so the original guidelines addressed issues in terms of posting to usenet and sending email.