Adopted April 10, 2000
Revised August 19, 2002
Revised January 27, 2003
Revised July 1, 2009
Revised October 12, 2016
Winthrop University recognizes the educational value and societal significance of the World Wide Web, and so supports faculty, staff, and students in the electronic publication of information. In order to enhance the mission of Winthrop University, many academic and administrative units - including their departments, organizations, and societies - publish Web pages. In addition, individual faculty, staff, students, and student organizations may publish unofficial and/or personal Web pages. Such pages must not be used for business or personal gain.
Scope of Policy
This policy applies to all official Web pages that make use of the Winthrop University computing and network facilities for access to the Internet, whether or not these pages are linked to the Winthrop University homepage.
Official Web pages are those university-sanctioned, publicly accessible electronic documents on official university servers which represent the university, and its colleges, departments, offices, services, or other units of the university.
Unofficial Web pages are those pages stored on university computers and networks that are created by and represent an individual student, faculty or staff member, or a student organization. Unofficial pages include but are not limited to faculty members' course syllabi, reading lists, and other research and instructional materials; as well as organization and student websites hosted on birdnest.org.
Contents of all Web pages - official or unofficial - must be consistent with the policies of Winthrop University, including the Winthrop University Policy on the Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources, and with local, state, and federal laws. Guidelines regarding individual and distribution list email content stated in the Winthrop University Policy on the Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources also apply to Web content located on any Winthrop University hosted Web server.
Web authors must not contract with external organizations to place banner advertising or promotional copy on official Web pages. Links to external sites are permissible but must be approved by department heads in consultation with deans or vice presidents as appropriate (see below, Style and Format VI).
Links from an official Web site to an external site not affiliated with Winthrop must not express or imply the University’s endorsement of the site’s products, services, or statements. Exceptions are links to officially approved vendor contracts, e.g. ARAMARK, etc.
Official Web pages are expected to follow the same professional and graphic standards that apply to official publications in any other medium. Official Web pages must meet certain minimum criteria in terms of technical style and format. Authors of new and existing official pages should consult and work closely with the university Web developer to assure that official pages are consistent with the university’s goals and aesthetics.
Style and Format
The required components for style and format of official Web sites are delineated below.
- Page Title: To enhance Web page functionality with internal and external search engines and to promote university identification, all pages within a site should contain a meaningful, unique <title> tag that also includes the text "Winthrop University". Example: YOUR DEPARTMENT at Winthrop University.
- Contact Information: Every home page must list a contact for those seeking additional information. The contact might be a specific individual, a generic "yourdepartment," or a link to a page of contacts for the unit. Any contact information should minimally include a mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number.
- Disclaimer: Every page should contain a link to the Winthrop University disclaimer statement. All sites using the CMS templates are linked to the disclaimer statement in the official footer.
- Image Tags: To enhance the accessibility of university Web pages by as wide an audience as possible, all graphic images used must include appropriate text descriptions in the "ALT" attribute.
- Logo Link: The official university logo type will appear in the header of all Web pages and should be linked to the Winthrop home page.
- External Links: Any links to external sites must be appropriate, accessible, and open in a new window or tab (target="_blank"). Decisions to link to commercial sites, search engines that may include advertising, etc., will be made by department heads in consultation with deans or vice presidents as appropriate. When periodically requested by the Web developer, department heads must provide a list of all external links currently appearing on their pages.
- Winthrop Affiliate Links: Faculty, staff, student, and student organization Web sites will not be linked from official university pages unless approved. Department heads will determine whether such links will be provided.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Winthrop University Web developer, a member of the University Communications and Marketing staff, serves as the coordinator of electronic publications. The University Communications and Marketing office is responsible for the consistent graphic and editorial presentation of Winthrop University, its programs, and services on the official Web site. The Web developer provides education and tools to help all departments on campus acquire an online presence that reflects well on the department and the university.
Department heads are responsible for the content of their official Web sites. This includes:
- complying with this policy and other university policies;
- maintaining the currency and accuracy of information;
- hyperlink checking to prevent broken links;
- proofreading for spelling and grammar.
Department heads should designate a person to periodically review, update, and enhance the department’s Web site as well as to serve as a departmental contact person for the Web developer. Minimally, before the beginning of an academic year, department heads should ensure a thorough review of material on their pages and deletion of any outdated or incorrect material.
Department heads, along with the Web developer, are authorized to disable pages that do not adhere to this or any other university policy. See Enforcement below for the procedure the university Web developer will follow if noncompliance necessitates disabling an official Web page.
Department heads are responsible for ensuring deletion of personal Web sites located on official servers when the individual author of the Web site is no longer affiliated with the university. Department heads may continue to allow personal Web sites beyond the separation date for a period not to exceed three months.
The university Web developer is responsible for administering and enforcing this policy. Questions concerning this policy should be directed to the university Web developer.
If an official Web page does not conform to the minimum criteria for style and format or to university policies, the Web developer will discuss the noncompliance with the contact person who is responsible for the official page and others (department heads, deans, or vice presidents) as appropriate. If the problem cannot be resolved, the Web developer may modify or, if necessary as a last resort, disable the official page. Notice of such action will be promptly communicated to parties involved. The Director of Web Development and the Assistant Vice President for computing and information technology reserve the right to immediately disable an official page if page contents could cause immediate, irrevocable harm to the university.
Policy for Appropriate Use of Winthrop University Name, Logos, and Graphics on the Web
This policy applies to all Web sites that contain neither official nor unofficial Winthrop University Web pages (see Definitions above). For purposes of this addendum, such Web sites will be referred to as “external Web sites”.
External Web sites may include text links to an official Winthrop Web page. External Web sites may not include – as links or non-linked graphics – the university’s copyrighted and trademarked official logos and logotypes. Exceptions are external Web sites of officially approved vendor contracts (e.g. ARAMARK), organizations to which Winthrop is an institutional member (e.g. Big South Conference), or entities with which the university shares sponsorship, has partnered with, or otherwise is officially affiliated.
In ALL cases, permission to use the university’s copyrighted and trademarked official logos and logotypes must be sought and obtained in writing from University Communications and Marketing.
External Web sites may not use Web graphics, icons, video or audio clips, photographs, drawings, or other copyrighted or trademarked materials residing on official or non-official Web pages of Winthrop University without the permission of the creator/owner of the rights to such material.
Violators of this policy will be subject to laws pertaining to copyright/trademark infringement.
Reminder: It is a misdemeanor to use the name of Winthrop University in any way that expresses or implies the university endorses, supports, or is affiliated with any product, service or other organization, without advance permission from appropriate Winthrop officials.