University Website Purpose and Policies

The Heidelberg University website is an invaluable tool that offers a variety of opportunities for communicating information about Heidelberg to a worldwide audience; including but not limited to: prospective students and parents, alumni, faculty and staff, current students, friends, visitors and the local community. It is a large, complex, all-encompassing site, a virtual reflection of our University community and its mission. Because of its potential importance in building Heidelberg’s future and 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 website mission statement

The Heidelberg University website, hosted at http://www.heidelberg.edu, is an official publication of the University. Its mission is to promote the University and provide accurate, up-to-date information about the University at large, its programs and people in an accessible and attractive manner to audiences inside and outside the Heidelberg community.

Glossary and Definitions

  • Web Administrator (Associate Director for Web Services)
    Designs, develops and maintains the University’s website. Reports to the Director for Marketing and Communication Services and leads the Website Advisory Committee.
  • CNIT Administrator
    Oversees and maintains the server hardware cluster for University websites.
  • Content Administrator
    Oversees all content in the University’s website. Reports to the Web Administrator, in the context of the website, and is a member of the Website Advisory Committee.
  • Content Manager
    Creates, maintains, and/or oversees content in a section of the website (ex.: Admission, Athletics or an academic department or school). Ensures that content is accurate, remains current, is appropriate for online use, and complies with established policies. Reports to the Web Administrator, in the context of the website, and is a member of the Website Advisory Committee.
  • Content Author
    A person who maintains content in a section of the website. Reports to the appropriate Content Manager, in the context of the website.
  • Webform Author
    A person who has received additional training in the creation and maintenance of webforms. Reports to the Web Administrator, in the context of the website.
  • Website Advisory Committee
    Responsible for advising in the continued development of the website. The committee is composed of the Web Administrator, CNIT Administrator, Content Administrators, Content Managers and representatives from Computer, Network and Information Technology.
  • Website (site)
    A set of interconnected Web pages, generally located on the same server, and prepared and maintained as a collection of information by a person, group, or organization.
  • Web page (page)
    A document on the World Wide Web, usually consisting of HTML code and any related scripts and graphics, and often hyperlinked to other documents on the Web.
  • Berg Apps
    An online messaging and collaboration suite powered by Google Apps for Education. This includes Google Sites, a structured wiki and web page creation tool.
  • Web content
    Information (textual, graphical or multimedia) present in any given web page.

Governance

The Offices of Marketing and Communication Services (MCS) and Computer, Network and Information Technology (CNIT), will be responsible for setting policies governing the nature, content, format, maintenance, timeliness and ownership of information contained on the official pages of the Heidelberg University website.

Official University Web Pages

Official pages represent the University and its offices, divisions and departments, to the University's various audiences. Official pages must conform to the design styles adopted by the Office of Marketing and Communication Services to give the site unity, coherence, functionality and readability.

  • The contents of all official pages must reside on Heidelberg University servers.
  • All official pages will be built in the University endorsed Content Management System (CMS) provided and administered through the Web Administrator/Office of Marketing and Communication Services and will be maintained and regularly updated by the University offices or departments responsible for them.
  • The Office of Marketing and Communication Services will be responsible for all-University information such as campus maps, history, etc.
  • Text on official pages will conform to AP Style Guide and to the University's Style Guide.
  • Official pages will be accurate, well-written, concise, free of spelling and grammatical errors and will otherwise present the University, its mission and values in a positive light.
  • All official pages will be monitored by the Web Administrator to ascertain that material is current. Areas with outdated materials will be notified to update their pages or to remove the outdated material.

Personal Web Pages

Personal pages are the home pages of any faculty, staff or student and are housed in the Berg Apps suite. However, space in Berg Apps is a privilege, and all users are expected to follow established website policy.

  • Personal pages will carry navigational links to the University's home page, the author's name, how to contact them (either an email address, a telephone number or both) and the most recent date of the page's modification.
  • Personal pages will be governed by the Heidelberg University’s Acceptable Use Policy and all other applicable policies of the University. (Examples: University policies concerning sexual harassment and hate crimes/incidents). Anyone violating University policy on a web page will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary actions described in the relevant policy.
  • Personal web pages may not violate copyright, libel, obscenity or other local, state or federal laws.
  • Personal web pages may not be used for commercial uses, sales or money-making ventures except those authorized by the University administration.

Authoring and Management of Official Pages

  1. Content Administrators must be members of the Office of Marketing and Communication Services staff. Content Administrators will be able to edit all pages in the website. Content Administrators will serve as Content Managers for academic or administrative units that do not have or require a Content Manager.
  2. One person will be designated by each academic or staff unit to be ultimately responsible for the pages pertaining to it. This person will be designated as a "Content Manager." Other employees within the academic or staff unit may help add to, maintain and/or update that unit's web pages, but the content manager will be responsible for checking materials for their accuracy and conformance with web standards and for working with the Web Administrator to publish materials on the site.
  3. At a minimum, Content Managers should be assigned by SLT members in the following areas:
    1. Office of Admission
    2. Athletics - Director of Athletics Marketing and Information
    3. Student Affairs
    4. Institutional Advancement
  4. Academic or administrative units may wish to establish their own Content Managers, but are not required to. If unit wishes to establish a Content Manager, they may work with the Web Administrator to determine if there is an appropriate level of need.
  5. All Content Managers must be employed by the University as members of the faculty or staff. Content managers may not be members of SLT, students, alumni, volunteers or hired professionals, although people in any of these categories may help the content manager with his or her task. Employees that are also alumni may serve as Content Managers.
  6. Content Managers will be provided with the appropriate training and hardware, as well as individual assistance from the Web and Content Administrators in mastering software and style for the website. Content Managers will be able to create new pages and edit all pages in their assigned section.
  7. Content Authors may be faculty members, staff, students, alumni, volunteers or hired professionals. They will be provided with the appropriate training to maintain and update the website. They will work with the Content Manager for the appropriate section to make changes to the site. Content Authors will be able to edit all pages in their assigned section.
  8. Webform Authors may be faculty members, staff, students, alumni, volunteers or hired professionals. They must have proven themselves as competent Content Managers for a period of at least 3 months and attend additional training. Given the complex nature of webforms and to ensure quality, a limited number of user will be given this level of access. Webforms will be submitted to a workflow that is managed by the Web Administrator.

Training of Content Managers, Content Authors and Webform Authors

  1. Training will be offered 3 times a year. At the beginning of Fall and Spring semesters and summer.
  2. Training may be offered if at least 3 people have requested training.
  3. Webform training may be requested if a person has already completed content manager training.

Graphic Elements and Photographs on Official Pages

Official pages within the University's website have been designed with several factors in mind, the chief ones being building/maintaining the University's mission/image, keeping the site easy to maintain/repair, making the site accessible to those viewers without state-of-the-art Internet access and striving to make the site accessible to persons with disabilities. With these factors in mind, the following graphic standards have been developed:

  1. No moving, blinking or flashing graphic objects will be used on the official pages without prior approval by the Office of Marketing and Communication Services. This excludes embedded video.
  2. The official Heidelberg University logo/logotype will be used only on official University pages and is not to be changed in any way.
  3. Graphics and photographs will be chosen to enhance the informational content of the page.
  4. All graphics and photographs will be given appropriate Alternative Text (Alt Text) to assure accessibility and search engine optimization of content.

Content Guidelines

  1. Official web pages must contain factual and up-to-date content that is regularly maintained and organized in a logical manner.
  2. Photos of Heidelberg students may be included on the web page without prior written consent unless the student has notified the Office of the Registrar in writing during the first week of the academic year of his or her objection to the release of directory information. It is expected that any photos will be appropriate for viewing by visitors to the site. The University reserves the right to remove a photo judged to be inappropriate.
  3. Links are often an integral part of a website. Links should be to quality and appropriate content. Links to content deemed inappropriate will be removed. In addition, the Office of Marketing & Communication Services will routinely scan links within the Heidelberg website and will remove broken or dysfunctional links.
  4. All websites must comply with the University’s Acceptable Use Policy (Computer & Network Use) http://www.heidelberg.edu/offices/technology/policies/aup
  5. No website may contain inappropriate or illegal material. Examples of such material include, but are not limited to: abusive, defamatory, profane or sexually offensive content, personal or sensitive information not intended for the general public or other material that violates other University policy or local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

Copyright

  1. Copyrighted Material - Posting of copyrighted material(s) without prior permission of the copyright holder is prohibited on all University web pages.
  2. Copyright of University Website - Unless otherwise indicated, content on all Heidelberg web pages (heidelberg.edu) is the intellectual property of Heidelberg University and/or the copyright holder and are protected under U.S. Copyright Act 17 U.S.C. 101-810.

Advertising and Commercial Activity

  1. University web pages may not contain advertising for, or link to any commercial site or business. Exceptions include text links to commercial sites if the site provides a required service to community members (e.x., links to usps.com from the Mail Room site; links to hotels or restaurants as a courtesy to visitors or community members).
  2. Graphical links or logos of commercial businesses or sites are prohibited unless prior consent has been issued by the Office of Marketing and Communication Services.
  3. No University website, including unofficial personal pages, may be used to conduct commercial business that is not sponsored by a University office or department.
  4. Requests for exemptions to the above policies should be directed to the Office of Marketing and Communication Services for consideration.

Use of Interactive Features, Video and Sound

  1. Interactive features will not be used on the website's official pages without prior approval from the Web Administrator and a plan for periodically updating the material contained in them.
  2. Video files may be embedded in official pages with the assistance of the Web Administrator. Audio files may be embedded in official pages with the assistance of the Web Administrator. No sound effects may be embedded on official pages without prior approval by the Office of Marketing and Communication Services.

Web Addresses/URLs

  1. The Office of Marketing and Communication Services maintains the University's web organizational structure including the assignment of all public web addresses to help promote visibility and for search engine optimization.
    1. Requests for address changes or redirects must be directed to the Web Administrator for consideration.
  2. Any and all official web pages representing Heidelberg must be hosted on a server owned or managed by the University (heidelberg.edu). No department or entity affiliated with Heidelberg is permitted to construct a website on, or move an existing site to, a server not owned or managed by Heidelberg.
    1. Rare exceptions may made be made in cases where Heidelberg is unable to provide a specific web service. Requests for exceptions should be directed to the Office of Marketing and Communication Services.

Styling of Elements and Standards

  1. With the exception of hyperlinks, all body text (text not used in graphic images) will be black.
  2. Tables will only be used for the display of tabular data or information and may not be used to create layouts on any official page.

Priorities of Audience

  1. Prospective Students and Parents
  2. Alumni
  3. Current Students
  4. Faculty and Staff
  5. Visitors and Friends

Priorities of Service

  1. Admission online materials will receive first priority.
  2. All-University materials will receive second priority.
  3. Materials for individual offices and academic departments will be third priority. Because of limited resources, content managers needing help with any phase of their work or pre-publication review will be helped by appointment, by audience priority.
  4. Help with personal web page development will be the fourth priority. Served first will be faculty, when course materials are involved, then faculty when course materials are not involved, then staff, then student groups and then students.

Website Access and Responsibility for Protecting Website Security

  1. A system of permissions will be adopted and used to protect the security of the University website.
  2. Those with full permissions to administer the site will be limited and will be designated by the web administrator and Computer, Network and Information Technology as necessary to maintain the site. The Web Administrator and members of Computer, Network and Information Technology staff may be the only employees with full permission to the official University website.
  3. Permissions for Content Managers and authors will be limited to their areas of responsibility on the website. Permissions to author on the site will be given by the Web Administrator.
  4. All employees with full or limited permissions to the University website are responsible for taking all reasonable precautions to protect both the public and developmental website areas from vandalism, hacking and accidental alteration. This includes not sharing computer and/or website account information or passwords with others at the University and carefully monitoring access to personal computers in shared work areas.
  5. Outside consultants must be approved by the the Web Administrator and the director of Information Technology. Each consultant must agree to the University's Acceptable Use Policy for computers.

Infrastructure, Platform and Capacity Governance

  1. The Web and CNIT Administrators will work together to assess and meet the infrastructure and capacity needs in an efficient and cost effective manner.
  2. The Web and CNIT Administrators will work with the Website Advisory Committee to determine the best platform(s) for the central website. The Web and CNIT Administrators will ultimately decide the best course of action.

Noncompliance

  1. The University website is routinely reviewed by members of the Office of Marketing and Communication Services for web policy compliance and accuracy.
  2. The Office of Marketing and Communication Services may add, change, delete or update materials on official web pages without prior notice to keep compliant with this policy and ensure accurate information is being delivered to the University web audience. The Office of Marketing and Communication Services will be responsible for contacting Content Managers regarding any changes.
  3. Content Managers or Authors that routinely fail to uphold the standards for content and or security will have their accounts revoked.

Approved by Senior Leadership Team, January, 2013.

If you have questions, please email webmaster@heidelberg.edu.