Misuse of University Resources

University resources include, but are not limited to, cash, property, name and trademarks, patents, personnel, time due to UC Berkeley by employees, equipment, electronic information resources, and other items of value owned by or entrusted to the University. Resources which should have rightfully become assets of UC Berkeley but did not are also included.

Misuse of University resources occurs when there is:

  • Inappropriate use of University resources for non-University purposes;
  • Unauthorized use of University resources which results in a loss to the University or a gain to the individual;
  • Fraud;
  • Other financial irregularities;
  • Inappropriate and/or unauthorized use of UC Berkeley's internet domain (berkeley.edu) and/or campus electronic information resources.

Examples of misuse are embezzlement, performing or directing University personnel to perform non-University work on University time, using University facilities or property for non-University business, conflict of interest situations which benefit an employee, person or entity affiliated with the employee, illegal acts, and inappropriate financial transactions or web-based activities.

Incidental personal use of electronic communications services (such as telephones, internet, and e-mail) is permitted, provided that the use does not interfere with others' use of those services, interfere with the work of University employees (including the person using the service), and incur noticeable, incremental costs to the University. More information can be found on the Office of the President's web site.

Procedures for investigating misuse of University resources are documented in the UC Policy on Reporting and Investigating Allegations of Suspected Improper Governmental Activities (Whistleblower Policy). Guidelines on Administering Appropriate Use of Computing and Network Resources are also available.

Audit and Advisory Services is responsible for conducting preliminary evaluations and investigations of known or suspected misuse of resources. They are also responsible for taking the necessary steps to secure and protect all potential evidence and records from loss, destruction or alteration. 

The UC Berkeley Police Department is responsible for conducting the criminal portion of the investigation if it appears that a crime may have been committed.

The Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is responsible for investigating the misuse of computing and network resources. They can be contacted via e-mail at abuse@security.berkeley.edu.

Administrative officials are responsible for taking appropriate personnel actions, including administrative leave, corrective action, and dismissal, in accordance with personnel policies or other contractual provisions, if misuse occurs in their jurisdiction. They are also responsible for taking action to strengthen departmental controls to preclude further misuse.

All UC Berkeley employees involved in any aspect of a preliminary review or an investigation are responsible for keeping all information regarding the suspected misuse confidential.