Policy - Web

The usage and policy information for our website. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to ITS or communications.

UW-Platteville Information Technology Services

POLICY: Web Policy
AUTHOR: Bryan Mulligan

This policy outlines the usage terms and policies regarding the university website.




The Web Steering Committee, with executive sponsorship from Vice Chancellor Rob Cramer and Assistant Chancellor Dennis Cooley, and under the auspices of University Information and Communications and Office of Information Technology, will be responsible for setting policies governing the nature, content, format, maintenance, timeliness and ownership of information contained on the official pages of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville website within the domains of or related to UW-Platteville.

The university website is an invaluable tool that offers many new opportunities for communicating information about UW-Platteville to a worldwide audience. It is a large, complex, all-encompassing site, and a virtual reflection of our university community. The university's Web Steering Committee expects this medium to represent UW-Platteville, its mission, and its character, just as other UW-Platteville publications strive to do. Because of its potential importance in building UW-Platteville's future and its importance as a means for communicating with the public, guidelines that will help achieve these aims have been developed and will continue to be developed as necessary.

University of Wisconsin-Platteville Website Policy

1. General Provisions
Web pages will be consistent with existing state and federal laws, as well as other governing policies.
2. Ownership
Pages within the www.uwplatt.edu domain is stewarded by departments and divisions.
2.1. University Pages
Policies governing official pages that directly represent the university and its offices, divisions and departments.
2.1.1. University oversight
Continued oversight is important as the web grows in functionality and ability.
2.1.2. Policies of revision and approval within divisions
Ensure accurate, moderated, positive presentation on the web.
2.1.3. Standards for University Pages
The standards of appropriateness by which pages must comply.
2.1.3.a. Images and Video
2.1.3.b. Text
2.1.3.c. Advertising non-university programs
2.1.3.d. Social Media
2.1.3.e. Links to other websites
2.1.4. Minimum required pages and information
Departments and faculty must have a minimum amount of information available on the web.
2.1.5. Content managed by invested individuals
Because web content is so visible and valuable, it's going to take an investment of time on the part of many.
2.1.6. External auditing process
OIT and UIC will conduct regular post-publishing audits.
2.2. Personal Pages
Policies governing /~[username] pages.
2.3. Student organizations
2.4. Subdomains


All Web pages published on the UW-Platteville web server(s) must comply with the criteria identified below for each category of user. In addition to these criteria, web pages will be consistent with the following existing laws and policies (non-inclusive):

Web accounts are provided for the purpose of academic, administrative, and personal use. University computing resources are property of the state of Wisconsin and, as such, commercial use outside the mission of the university is prohibited.

Web developers should design pages that are compliant with the W3C Accessibility standards, including preparing pages that are compatible with screen readers. Developers are also encouraged to create pages that are low bandwidth sites, to allow users without the latest technology and low bandwidth to use the site. For information regarding W3C Accessibility standards, please visit the W3C web site on Accessibility. The Web Style Guide is also available for reference.

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Any content within the www.uwplatt.edu domain is representative of the university, and therefore must follow standards of appropriateness. There are two primary levels in which content may be published: University Pages, and Personal Pages.

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2.1. University Pages
Official pages directly represent the university and its offices, divisions, and departments to the university's various audiences—potential students, current students, employees, friends, visitors and casual visitors—are considered University Pages. University Pages are not owned by departments or units; rather, they are stewarded by them as content experts. Therefore, these pages must conform to the design styles adopted by the university to give the site unity, coherence, functionality, and readability. They must also conform to specific levels of professionalism and appropriateness.

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2.1.1. University oversight
Continued oversight is important as the web grows in functionality and ability. To help manage the changing needs of the university’s website, a Website Advisory Committee shall be established to manage, advise, and oversee the overall appearance and functionality if the web.

The Website Advisory Committee shall be made up of individuals from UIC; OIT; the Faculty, Academic Staff, and Student Senates; and administration.

This committee, after the final implementation of the Website Transition Project which began in 2012, shall meet as needed to evaluate the current state of our website and address requests and needs of university constituents.

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2.1.2. Policies of revision and approval within divisions
The primary purpose in establishing divisional editing, publishing, and auditing policies is to ensure an accurate, moderated, positive presentation on the web. We strongly encourage each division and college to enact some simple yet effective procedures to internally curate and manage online content while following university standards. As a marketing and educational tool, the web is our best way to communicate the achievements and positive aspects of the university in a consistent and appropriate fashion. As such, standards are necessary in providing a structured and consistent voice and message.

For those uncomfortable or uncertain about writing content for the web or are looking for pointers, refer to Writing for the Web: Making it Simple and Personal.

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2.1.3. Standards for University Pages

2.1.3.a. Images and Video
Whether manipulated or original, images and video should portray a positive image of the university and its intended actions, of its programs and activities, and of the faculty, staff, and students, and promote appropriate and tolerant behavior. Images should not be suggestive of discrimination (as defined in the university discrimination and harassment policy) or illegal activities; nor should they promote, endorse, or construe sexual or drug-related behavior by the campus population or alcohol-related behavior by students.

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2.1.3.b. Text
Like images and video, text content should portray the university and its constituents in a positive manner. Similarly, content stewards should be mindful to avoid innuendo, double meanings, and other potential accidents that could be harmful to the image of the university.

It is recommended that when writing, departments follow the rules set forth in the Pubs Style Sheet. This is not to hamper creativity; instead, it is to help departments make thoughtful and consistent decisions about how to format their content and support the university brand.

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2.1.3.c. Advertising Non-University Programs
Non-University Programs should be associated, in partnership, or in collaboration with a related program at UW-Platteville. Non-university program content should be appropriately weighted against UW-Platteville content on the same page. Educational domains (.edu) are not permitted to sell advertising space.

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2.1.3.d. Social media
Social media links must direct to university-affiliated accounts. Those accounts must have an active presence, and must maintain the above content standards to present the university in a positive light.

For a full list of approved social media policies, please reference the approved Social Media Policy governing UW-Platteville social media.

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2.1.3.e. Links to Other Websites
Links are considered a type of content. Therefore, links must be in some way related to the purpose of the office or department and in no way for promotion. Linking to an off-site page is in essence a way of vouching for another page’s content. Consider carefully what you are “vouching” for, and review links regularly in case off-site content changes.

In the event a webpage has a considerable amount of links, like a list of related sites for instance, a disclaimer is necessary. “The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is not responsible for the content of linked pages.”

Consider fair representation when listing products, groups, or businesses.

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2.1.4. Minimum Required Pages and Information
Departments must have a minimum amount of information available on the web.

Departments, academic and non-academic, must list:

  1. Hours of operation
  2. Staff directory with contact information
  3. An “about” or “home” page with general information about the department.

Within their department website, faculty must list:

  1. Contact information (phone, e-mail, office location)
  2. Office hours

It is recommended that faculty also use a professional homepage (not a Personal Page) directly linked to their staff listing to post current course syllabi, previous course syllabi, and research interests. The professional homepage is also the preferred place to post supplemental materials that are not appropriate for the instructor's Learn@UW course management account.

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2.1.5. Content Managed by Invested Individuals
Because web content is so visible and valuable, it is strongly suggested that each department invest time and energy into its representative content.

The Steering Committee strongly encourages each area to have a content steward. Such individuals recognize the value of a web presence and can dedicate sufficient time in making that presence meaningful.

If a department doesn’t have the necessary resources or skill sets, the Web Development team and UIC will work closely with content stewards to ensure minimum content and design standards are met.

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2.1.6. External Auditing Process
OIT and UIC will conduct regular post-publishing audits to ensure such standards are being met. Failure to update necessary pages at a minimum will result in additional communication and potentially the removal of content.

If standards defined in this policy are found to be lax, the content manager will contact the appointed content steward or department and suggest possible alternatives to current content. If standards are grossly abandoned, OIT, UIC, and the content manager have the authority to remove such content without first communicating with the content steward or department.

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2.2. Personal Pages
Space on this resource is a privilege, and all users are expected to follow established website policies.

The purpose of personal pages is to freely express ideas, share educational information, etc. Creating content on the uwplatt.edu domain constitutes paid work, just as any use of the university property constitutes work. As such, content is subject to university standards. While these pages are personal in content, they do reside on the university web server(s) and reflect an image of the university, and therefore can be audited for inappropriate content.

  • Personal web pages must include the following footer information: full name and e-mail address of page author.
  • If faculty or staff have information on their personal pages that is for instructional use, then that material must be available upon request in a compliant format according to the W3C Accessibility guidelines. It is recommended however that course-specific instructional material be placed in the instructor's Learn@UW course management account.
  • Board of Regents Policy on Copyrightable Instructions Materials Ownership, Use and Control (G27):

“UW System institutions are often directly involved in the development of copyrightable instructional materials, because they provide substantial public resources to support the creation and production of these materials. Institutional involvement is likely to expand substantially with the increased use of information technology in the creation of multimedia instructional materials and distance education course offerings.

“The UW System does not assert a property interest in materials which result from the author’s pursuit of traditional teaching, research, and scholarly activities. The creation of materials such as theses, scholarly articles, journal articles, research bulletins, monographs, and books occurs, in most circumstances, as an integral part of the author’s position as a UW System employee. In those cases where substantial institutional resources are provided to support the development of instructional materials, however, the UW System may assert ownership or other property interests that should be addressed through specific agreements with the authors and producers of the materials.”

For the full policy, go online at http://www.uwsa.edu/fadmin/gapp/gapp27.htm.

  • The posting of intellectual property on a personal page does not void copyright.
  • Content of a political or religious nature, either positive or negative, is prohibited unless for use in documented, curriculum-based instruction. In such instances, it is recommended that this material be posted on the instructor’s Learn@UW course management account.

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2.3 Student Organizations
Official student organizations that wish to have a web presence will do so preferably through PioneerLink under the general stewardship of the Pioneer Involvement Center, which oversees all student organizations. As such, web standards for student organizations are identical to standards for general university pages (see 4.1.3. Standards for University Pages).

Any student organization may establish its own web presence outside of the UW-Platteville domain, but as an official student organization, the off-site web presence must adhere to the same university standards as on-site pages.

(Approved by Classified Senate in Spring 2013 and Academic, Student and Faculty Senates in Fall 2013.)

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2.4 Subdomains for uwplatt.edu

Because of certain underlying principles supporting subdomains, subdomains may only be implemented if the web site meets the following criteria.
The subdomain is permitted under one of the following instances:

  • The web site resides on a physical server other than the primary web server, contains content or applications that cannot be hosted on the primary web server, and the content must be made available to the University community.
  • The subdomain name is for one of the University's audiences. Because of the challenge and expense involved in managing large numbers of individual subdomains for every department, Individual departments or programs should not have their own.
  • All subdomains must be approved by the CIO.
  • Subdomain names should be reviewed annually by the Office of Information Technology Services. Subdomains no longer in use should be retired each year.
  • All subdomains must use the *.uwplatt.edu domain name.

Keywords:web policy, website usage   Doc ID:71963
Owner:Bryan M.Group:UW Platteville
Created:2017-03-23 07:52 CSTUpdated:2020-03-15 13:46 CST
Sites:UW Platteville
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