Web Pages

POLICY STATEMENT

To ensure the integrity of the University’s image and reputation and that all information is published in a professional manner consistent with the University’s mission, Web page authors are required to adhere to the Web Page Standards and to use the DSU Web page templates as described herein. This policy governs the management of those documents accessible on the World Wide Web that represent Delta State University. Contents of all electronic pages must be consistent with Delta State University and Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning policies and all local, state, and federal laws. This includes links or automatic refreshes to other pages or computers; therefore, a page may be considered in violation if it contains links or automatic refreshes to a page that violates this policy. Violations will result in appropriate and immediate corrective action. Web pages may contain information about University programs or services, individual instructors or classes, or student clubs or organizations and may include textual content, photographic images, video, sound, animation, or any other media.  

DEFINITIONS

Delta State University Unit: any college, school, department, division, center, administrative unit, or official organization of Delta State University

Individual Web page:a Web page representing only the individual author, not Delta State University, although the page may have a “deltastate.edu” URL.

Information Provider: the designee of each unit responsible for maintaining the unit’s information on the Internet and acting as the contact point for the unit.

OIT: Office of Information Technology at Delta State University

Official Web page: a Web page presented on behalf of Delta State University, sanctioned by the appropriate Delta State University unit.

Prohibited Content: includes elements that must not be included on any Web page.

Required Content: includes elements that must be included on all Web pages.

Standard Elements: includes procedures that must be followed for all Web pages.

Suggested Content: includes elements that make Web sites more user friendly and should be considered for inclusion on most Web pages.

URL: uniform resource locator

Web page: a document presented on the World Wide Web. The document may consist of either a single “home page” or several related files (subsidiary pages) accessible from the “home page.” 

PROCEDURES and RESPONSIBILITIES
 
The DSU Web site will be divided into three separate classifications as follows:
 

Class I Official Pages are pages that represent the university as a whole and do not represent a particular unit, department, or college. These pages are updated and maintained by the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Class II Official Pages are sub-sites of the DSU Web site that represent individual departments, units, or colleges. These pages are developed and maintained by each department who is responsible for its content, timeliness, and adherence to these policies. Web pages that support the discipline of the individual faculty members who create and maintain them (i.e. course web pages, syllabi, etc.) are considered official pages of their respective department or division.

Unofficial pages are personal pages that do not represent DSU and belong to and are maintained by individual faculty, staff, or students. Their respective owners are responsible for their content, timeliness, and adherence to these policies. Delta State University is not responsible for the content of personal web pages.

 

All Web pages published on or linked from the Delta State University Web site in some manner reflect upon the image and reputation of the University. The University encourages contributions to its World Wide Web site, and this policy is intended to guide the preparation and management of such contributions and OIT will provide training materials and workshops on the use of the site creation software. The purpose of this policy is to define the scope of the Official Delta State University Web site and its appropriate use. It is also the purpose of this policy to ensure that everyone creating University unit Web pages, as well as personal pages, is working from the same assumptions and understands and complies with all policies and laws governing such endeavors.

The production of official DSU Web pages is limited to individuals who are
  1. Faculty and staff authorized to act for their departments or programs
  2. Faculty as individual scholars and teachers
  3. Representatives authorized to act for their administrative unit
  4. Representatives authorized to act for approved student organizations
  5. Students working under sponsorship of academic or administrative unit

All Web publishers are responsible for knowing DSU’s publishing policies. While the responsibility of preparing materials resides with each University unit, the Office of Communications and Marketing will provide workshops, documentation, and other resources, and OIT will provide training materials and workshops on the use of the site creation software to aid in the creation and maintenance of high-quality Web pages. Individuals publishing are strongly encouraged to attend the workshops.

World Wide Web servers, or the material contained within these servers, operating within Delta State University’s network infrastructure, may not be used in any manner prohibited by law or disallowed by licenses, contracts or University regulations. University units that create Web pages are accountable for the information they publish and should be aware of University policies regarding confidential records, nondiscrimination policies, harassment policies, use of University property policies, and intellectual property policies. The University reserves the right to refuse the use of the University’s telecommunications infrastructure for the dissemination of information that is inappropriate or which violates policies or laws. Should any of these guidelines or related regulations or laws be violated, the offending material may be removed from the network while the matter is referred to the appropriate authority or authorities. Violations will be subject to University rules and regulations.

 
 
1.  OIT responsibilities
a. maintaining a central Web server for the DSU home page and for pages of other DSU units.
b. providing access to the designated Information Providers and Content Approvers of official DSU Web pages to
    appropriate directories, so that they may update and revise their pages.

OIT is not responsible for creating and/or maintaining Web pages on behalf of any unit of DSU.

2.  Office of Communications and Marketing Responsibilities

Overseeing the DSU Web site and requesting DSU Web authors to update or revise department Web pages when necessary.

The Office of Communications and Marketing is authorized to request that OIT remove from DSU central Web pages links to documents that are not consistent with this policy if the Information Provider of such a document is not available or not willing to maintain compliance.

The Office of Communications and Marketing is not responsible for creating and/or maintaining Web pages on behalf of any unit of DSU.

3.  Information Provider Responsibilities

Every DSU unit is entitled to a Web page and an appropriate link via the DSU home page. That unit must designate an Information Provider (manager) who will be responsible for maintaining standards of clarity, accuracy, and timeliness. When the management of an official Web page is passed on to a new individual, in order to maintain security, OIT must be notified.

4.  Content Approvers

a. responsible for reviewing web pages and changes submitted for their respective areas and serving as the final approval for those changes and additions.

b. responsible for reviewing their respective web pages regularly, and no less than quarterly.

The Content Approver role is typically that of Department Head, Director or Department Chair and may not be delegated.

5.  Information Technology Governance Committee

a.  authorized to request OIT to remove from DSU central Web pages links to documents that are not consistent with this policy, if the Information Provider of such a document is not available or willing to maintain compliance.

b.  make recommendations for revising this policy as necessary to best serve the DSU community

The official DSU home page supports the mission of the University by providing an online channel for distributing information about the University to the world. The page contains a wide range of information that may be of interest to members of the DSU community and to those seeking information about the University. It should serve as a means of fostering collegiality and communication. Because of its potentially vast global audience, it is important that Web pages associated with DSU present accurate information in ways that enhance the University’s mission.
 
Class II Official DSU Web Page Guidelines 
All academic and administrative departments and other University units are encouraged to publish information about themselves and to be linked to the Official Delta State University Home page, provided such information supports the mission of the University.  
 
 
Required Content
  1. The main index page for each unit must include a “Title” and use of the title tag: <title> Your Page Title</title>
  2. Pages must be easily accessible from and have a standard graphic link returning to the Official DSU Home page (/).
  3. Pages must include logical navigational links (i.e. navigational bar or menus) for easy navigation.
  4. The main index page (home page) for each unit must utilize an approved DSU Web page template. All templates contain the approved DSU logo for use on the Web and should not be altered in any way, nor should the University logo be downloaded and modified for use on any Web page. (The Information Provider can request a copy of the logo in electronic format from the Office of Communications and Marketing.)
  5. Special characters or spaces in file or directory names must not be used.
Suggested Content
  1. The area code should be included with all phone numbers.
  2. A link to return to the parent homepage should be included on all sub pages.

Prohibited Content includes, but is not limited to, the following items:

  1. Derogatory or libelous materials or materials that infringe on the rights of others
  2. Materials which violate federal, state, or local laws, the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning policies, and other University policies.
  3. Confidential materials including records protected by the Family Educational Rights and Protection Act, HIPPA, or the Graham-Leach Bliley Act
  4. Materials that are abusive, profane or sexually offensive
  5. Advertisements for commercial products or enterprises
  6. Examples of inappropriate materials:
    1. Use of pages to provide obscene, offensive, or threatening materials
    2. Use of pages for private financial gain or compensation not relevant to the mission of the University
    3. Use of pages to intimidate or single out individuals or groups for degradation or harassment in violation of federal, state, or local laws, the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning policies, and other University policies
    4. Use of pages to engage in any illegal activity

Standard Elements

  • Page information must be accurate, current and appropriate for online use.
  • One Information Provider (manager) must be responsible for the content and timeliness of the page.
  • Pages must comply with style guidelines established by the Office of Communications and Marketing in conjunction with the Information Technology Governance Committee.    
  • Pages must avoid unnecessary duplication of information and effort as well as contradictory or erroneous information.
  • Pages must comply with all federal, state, or local laws, the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning policies, and other University policies
  • Written permission must be obtained for use of copyrighted materials, with the clear understanding on the part of the copyright holder that these materials will be used on the Web rather than in a printed publication. This applies to the use of text, logos, photographs, drawings, video clips, sound clips or other copyrighted visual images.
  • Official pages are the only documents allowed to display the official DSU logo and should be denoted by that logo. This logo is subject to the graphic policies as set forth by the Office of Communications and Marketing.
  • Large graphics, backgrounds, image maps, and other features that degrade speed without adding content are discouraged. The Office of Communications and Marketing shall determine whether these standards are met.
  • Pages may be in any digital form including audio, video, graphics, and text. Audio and video materials displayed on the Web page must also contain a link to the site containing the associated software.
  • Official pages must be updated as necessary or at least once a semester. This should include checks of the validity of all hypertext links. 
  • The DSU Appropriate Use Policy for use of DSU computational facilities applies to all DSU Web pages. This includes those policies regarding commercial use, copyright, and harassment.
  • Links to related off-campus resources should be clearly distinguished from links to local sources, and should be checked periodically to ensure viability and appropriate content.
  • Links to individual Web pages of faculty, staff, and students may be included at the discretion of the Information Provider, in consultation with the dean, chair, or director of the unit. If such links are provided, they should be accessed from a menu that clearly designates the status of the individuals and includes a disclaimer that DSU is not responsible for their content.
  • Examples of appropriate material:
    • Policy statements, reports, and procedures
    • Course descriptions and schedules
    • Instructional materials including syllabi, lecture notes, tutorials, etc. (all copyrighted materials must be used with permission)
    • Campus calendars and guides
    • Announcement of events
    • Descriptions of units, their services, resources, and locations
    • Research project descriptions
    • Faculty information and publications

Procedural/Technical Requirements:

  1. OIT must receive a completed Account Request Form with all necessary signatures before a web editing account can be created. The form designates the unit’s Web representative who is authorized to maintain the unit’s pages and will be kept on file in OIT.
  2. A plan for revisions and cleanup.
  3. Test all links before publishing.
  4. Spell-check and proofread all documents.
  5. Locate all graphics files in a directory called IMAGES directly beneath the unit’s main directory.

Inclusion of these elements is also recommended on subsidiary pages.

Unofficial home pages are personal pages that are created and maintained by individual faculty, staff, and students. The University expects and, in an effort to foster creativity and individuality, encourages unofficial Web pages. The following are guidelines for such pages linked from the Official Delta State University Home Page:
  • All unofficial pages must spawn a new window upon opening.
  • The following disclaimer must appear on all unofficial personal Web sites on the entry page and on all student organization Web sites on the entry page: 

“The views and opinions expressed in this document are strictly those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Delta State University or any recognized Delta State University organization. Comments on the contents of this document should be directed to the author(s).”

 
The use of Delta State University electronic resources is a privilege, not a right, which may be revoked at any time for misuse. Delta State University reserves the right to limit access to its electronic resources when applicable University policies, state and/or federal laws or contractual obligations are violated. 
 
Appropriate privacy and copyright procedures should be followed for all graphics and photos used on the DSU Web site.
 
Delta State University protects the privacy of student information via the Buckley/Family Educational Rights and Protection Act. For specific questions, contact the Registrar’s Office (662-846-4040).
 
Links to any internal page on the DSU Web server may be used. Also, links to external pages that provide useful information to DSU faculty, staff, and students and other site visitors can be used. Links must be checked on a regular basis to ensure they are functioning properly.
 
While it is recognized that Web pages are dynamic in nature and are thus subject to change, initial publication of a page shall be deferred until it contains sufficient information to make it useful. Use of the words “under construction” or similar words are prohibited.
 
DSU Web pages may link to commercial sites only when the links do not imply University endorsement of the product or service and when the purpose of the link is consistent with the University’s mission. Valid business relationships between the University and commercial entities may be noted, in text only, with links to the commercial Web site, but Delta State University must not be placed in a position of endorsing or selling any private enterprise, goods or services. The use of logos and trademarks implying advertising for private corporations is not permitted.   
 
Every effort should be made to produce Web sites that are in compliance with the ADA and use features that make Web pages accessible to disabled users. Information Providers should consult the resources made available by the Web Accessibility Initiative (http://www.w3.org/WAI/) and others:
  • World Wide Federal Consortium’s World Wide Web Home Page Guidelines and Best Practices, Appendix B.3
  • Center on Information Technology Accommodation
  • Unified Web Site Accessibility Guidelines          
Consideration should be given to the fact that many different browsers will be used to display DSU Web pages. Web page designs should accommodate the common screen resolution of 1024×768 pixels. Images that require scrolling because they are larger than the display screen are inconvenient and should be avoided. The same is true with scrolling left to right to see an entire graphic. Because many users will access Web pages over slower internet connections, Web page developers are strongly urged to optimize all graphics as much as possible. A good target for graphics and text load should be no more than 50K to 60K. Alternative text should be used for graphics that contain essential information for individuals loading pages over a slower connection to make sure that information is accessible to the broadest possible audience.
 
Size Limitations
The University reserves the right to limit a Web file’s size in order to facilitate the most efficient use of the Web on campus and to facilitate the efficient browsing of the DSU Web site.
 
The University will provide links, through the “Student Services” page, to student organizations registered with the Student Affairs Division. Each organization must identify a personal Web liaison (i.e. Information Provider) who will be responsible for the content of material published on the Web. To obtain a publishing account, the Web liaison must complete an Account Request form available from OIT.
 
Each academic and administrative office must appoint a person who will serve as that office’s Information Provider. The primary responsibility of provider is to maintain and update existing page content as necessary. To obtain a publishing account, an Account Request Form must be completed and the signature of the person in charge of the department or unit must be obtained. Official student groups must obtain the signature of the Coordinator of Student Activities before submitting the form to OIT.
 
Notification
If pages are found not to comply with guidelines, the Office of Communications and Marketing or other authorized personnel will contact the Information Provider of the account under which the offending page resides to request that changes be made to conform to these policies. The Information Provider must make these changes within 24 hours and provide notification that they have been made.  Serious violations may require immediate disconnection with notification and authority of the appropriate Vice President or President, and notification of the offending party.
 
Corrective Action
If compliance has not been achieved in the specified time period, the appropriate Vice President will be notified by the Office of Communications and Marketing and, with his/her authority, corrective action will be taken. This may include, but is not limited to, removal of the link to the offending personal page(s) and notification of OIT personnel for assessment of adherence to the Appropriate Use Policy. Serious violations may require immediate disconnection with notification and authority of the appropriate Vice President or President, and notification of the offending party.
 
Appellate Process
Any student, staff, or faculty member who feels that he or she has been wrongly accused of violating these policies may appeal the decision by filing an appeal with the Information Technology Governance Committee. Written requests to appear before the Information Technology Governance Committee must contain the following information and be sent to the Chief Information and Officer:
  • Name
  • Telephone number, e-mail address, or other means of contact during business hours (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
  • URL of offending Web page(s)
  • Reason for appeal
  • Signature

A hearing will be scheduled with the Information Technology Governance Committee and the accused party may present his or her argument. The Information Technology Governance Committee will make a written recommendation to the President’s Cabinet, who will then render a final decision.  All violations and actions taken will be reported to the Information Technology Governance Committee.

RELATED DOCUMENTS
 
  • DSU Appropriate Use Policy

 

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