1. Purpose of this policy

To protect individual privacy rights in accordance with state and federal laws, this policy is adopted to formalize procedures for the installation of security cameras on campus and the handling, viewing, retention, dissemination, and destruction of recordings. The purpose of this policy is to regulate the use of camera systems used to observe and record public areas for the purposes of safety and security. The existence of this policy does not imply or guarantee that cameras will be monitored in real time 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This policy applies to all Arkansas Tech University campuses, both Russellville and Ozark, herein referred to as Arkansas Tech.

2. Policy

All existing security camera systems on c a m pus will be required to comply with the policy. Nonconforming camera systems will be removed if they don’t meet compliance 6 months after this policy is adopted.

2.1 Responsibilities

The Department of Public Safety (DPS), in conjunction with the Office of Information Systems (OIS), is responsible for implementation of this policy. Additionally, OIS and the DPS are responsible for advising departments on appropriate applications of surveillance technologies and for providing technical assistance to departments preparing proposals for the purchase and installation of security cameras.

DPS and OIS will review proposals and recommendations for camera installations and review existing camera locations to determine that the perimeter of view of fixed location cameras conforms to this policy. Proposals for the installation of cameras shall be reviewed by the Chief of Police or designee. Recommendations shall be forwarded to the Campus Security Committee.

An annual evaluation of the existing camera locations will be done by the Department of Public Safety at the request of the CSC.

2.1.1 Responsibilities of the Campus Security Committee (CSC)

The CSC will be responsible for reviewing and approving or denying all proposals for security camera equipment recommended by the Chief of Police and the Director of OIS or designee. The CSC shall be responsible for the review and approval of any requested exceptions to this policy.

The CSC shall be comprised of eight members; 

  • The Chief of Police 
  • Director of Information Services 
  • Vice President for Student Affairs or designee 
  • Staff Senate member 
  • Faculty Senate member 
  • Director or Assistant Director of FAMA 
  • Student Government member 
  • Ozark Public Safety Officer

2.2 Scope

This policy applies to all personnel, departments, and colleges of Arkansas Tech in the use of security cameras and their video monitoring and recording systems. Cameras will be limited to uses that do not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy as defined by law including entrances to the counseling center and health center. In no instance will cameras be used under this policy to evaluate faculty in the course of their normal duties. Where appropriate, the cameras may be placed campus-wide, inside and outside buildings. Although the physical cameras may be identical, the functions of these cameras fall into four main categories:

A. Property Protection: Where the main intent is to capture video and store it on a remote device so that if property is reported stolen or damaged, the video may show the perpetrator. Examples: an unstaffed computer lab, an unstaffed science lab, or a parking lot.

B. Personal Safety: Where the main intent is to capture video and store it on a remote device so that if a person is harmed, the video may show the perpetrator. Examples: building entrances, entrance to campus on a public roadway, a public walkway, or a parking lot.

C. Extended Responsibility: Where the main intent is to have the live video stream in one area monitored by a staff member in close proximity. In this case video may or may not be recorded. Example: a computer lab with multiple rooms and only one staff.

D. Student Misconduct: cameras may be used to evaluate misconduct such as cheating on exams, vandalism, making false calls at security phones etc...

2.3 General Principles

Information obtained from the cameras shall be used for safety and security purposes and for law and policy enforcement, including, where appropriate, student discipline or other misconduct matters. 

Departments requesting security cameras will be required to follow the procedures outlined in this policy.

2.3.1 PlacementofCameras

The use of audio will be decided on a case by case basis as determined by the CSC. 

Placement of security cameras in the following locations is prohibited: 

  • Student dormitory rooms in the residence halls 
  • Counseling Services 
  • Health Services 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Locker rooms 
  • Private faculty and staff offices, unless requested by the occupant(s) of the office 
  • Classrooms not used as a lab
  • Faculty Lounges

Video camera installations should be visible. The installation of “dummy” cameras that do not operate on a regular basis is prohibited. 

2.3.2 Appropriate Use and Confidentiality

Personnel are prohibited from using or disseminating information acquired from university security cameras, except for official security purposes, as permitted by this policy, or as otherwise required by law. All information and/or observations made in the use of security cameras are considered confidential and can only be used for official university and law enforcement purposes. In no case will camera systems covered by or video recordings created in accord with this policy be used to evaluate faculty performance. 

2.3.3 Exceptions

This policy does not apply to: 

  • Cameras used for academic purposes;
  • The use of video equipment for the recording of public performances or events, interviews, or other use for broadcast or educational purposes. Examples of such excluded activities would include videotaping of athletic events for broadcast or post-game review, videotaping of concerts, plays, and lectures, or videotaped interviews of persons; 
  • Automated teller machines (ATMs), which utilize cameras;
  • University Emergency Call Stations are also exempt from this policy. 
  • The University Testing Center/Testing Services and proctoring locations. 

3. Procedures

Departments requesting security cameras will be required to follow the procedures outlined in this policy. Departments requesting security cameras will also be required to give all faculty and staff members in the department at least 30 days to comment to the Campus Security Committee on the proposed camera system before said proposal is adopted. If there is an identified security risk to the safety and health of the University, placement of camera will not need prior approval by the CSC. The CSC will be notified at next meeting of the placement, and will then review the placement of the camera.

3.1 Installation

Individual colleges, departments, programs, or campus organizations installing video surveillance equipment shall submit a written request to their appropriate dean or vice president describing the proposed location of surveillance devices, justifying the proposed installation, and identifying the funding source or sources for purchase and ongoing maintenance. 

  • The vice president, dean or designee will review the request and, if appropriate, recommend it to the Chief of Police and the Director of Information Services. 
  • The Chief of Police or designee and the Director of Information Services or designee will review all proposals from deans and vice presidents. Upon completion of review of the project, the Chief of Police and Director of Information Services will forward the proposal to the CSC with a recommendation. 
  • The CSC will be responsible for reviewing and approving or denying all proposals for security camera equipment recommended by the Chief of Police and the Director of Information Services.

3.2 Storage and Retention of Recordings

No attempt shall be made to alter any part of any surveillance recording. Surveillance centers and monitors will be configured to prevent camera operators from tampering with or duplicating recorded information. All violations of this section will be enforced by the appropriate campus office following state law and/or University policy and procedure. 

Surveillance records shall not be stored by individual departments. All surveillance records shall be stored in a secure university centralized location for a period of time determined by current retention policies based on local, state, and federal laws. It will then promptly be erased or written over, unless retained as part of a criminal investigation, employee grievance, student discipline proceedings, Affirmative Action investigations, pending or anticipated court proceedings (criminal or civil), or other bona fide use as approved by the Chief of Police or designee.

A log shall be maintained of all instances of access to or use of surveillance records. The log shall include the date and identification of the person or persons to whom access was granted. University employees will be notified of video requests in conjunction with local, state, and federal laws and/or University policy.

Approved by Executive Council on May 16, 2018