University Website (D-45)
Original Implementation: August 1, 2000
Last Revision: April 19, 2011
The university website is an important communication tool for the university and the source of vital information for prospective and current students, as well as faculty and staff, among other audiences. The quality of the university is evaluated in part by its online content.
The Office of Public Affairs provides online practice guidelines, which are updated from time to time. Current guidelines may be found on the university website
- Management of the website, led by the Office of Public Affairs, strives to ensure that information is accurate and easily accessible, while recognizing the contributions of university colleges, schools, departments and programs.
- The administrative head of each campus organizational unit maintaining a website is responsible for seeing that the site adheres to this and other university policies.
- The Office of Information Technology Services manages the university website server(s).
- Every organizational unit head shall designate an individual(s) to serve the following functions: pagemaster, webmaster, and, if applicable, server administrator. (The same person may serve in one or more of these capacities.) To ensure continuity of service, these individuals must be regular (non-student) university employees. However, the organizational unit head is responsible for the unit's website and its adherence to university Web policy and practices provided by the Office of Public Affairs. Careful thought must be given to the collection of site content and the ongoing responsibility of site maintenance.
- Each organizational unit head will keep the Office of Public Affairs apprised of the current designees and will assist the Office of Public Affairs in ensuring that all of the designees' responsibilities have been fulfilled.
- Technical Requirements
- Duplication. To facilitate revisions and prevent contradictory information from appearing on the university website, unit webmasters should not duplicate information already on the university website, but rather should link to information on the site of the office primarily responsible for the function or activity. Information should be entered into the university's content management system and used from the system when available.
- Identification. Each website associated with Stephen F. Austin State University must be clearly identified. The name of the organizational unit should be on every page it creates. The unit webmaster or pagemaster’s e-mail address must be displayed on the unit's main page. To preserve anonymity, generic e-mail addresses may be used.
- Required page links. Documents should be designed to minimize users’ reliance on navigational aids in browsers. Links must be provided on each page back to the homepage for that document or collection, and for the homepage, back to the sponsoring department or unit. Each department or unit homepage must include a link back to the university homepage. Other links may be required for different websites as directed by the Office of Public Affairs.
- Style and Format
- University websites should maintain a uniform and consistent appearance and therefore all university websites shall use the university’s Identity Standards that are posted on the Office of Public Affairs Web page. Individual faculty members designing personal Web pages and websites designed, hosted, and published pursuant to a properly executed written agreement with a third-party vendor that has been signed by the president are excluded from this provision.
- The university seal is reserved for use by the Office of the President and may be used by other departments with the permission of the Office of the President. The university “spirit” logo is to be used on university websites as per the university’s Identity Standards manual.
- The Identity Standards manual shall be developed by the Office of Public Affairs and approved by the president. It may be modified upon approval of the president.
An organizational unit that is considering contracting outside the university for Web development, paid or volunteer, should contact the Office of Public Affairs first. The Office of Public Affairs will work with units and their Web consultants to help ensure that the final product of outsourcing efforts complies with university policy and that the final site supports the mission and goals of the unit and the university effectively.
- Faculty Web pages must be approved by the relevant dean or designee.
- Unit Web pages must be approved by the relevant director/manager or designee.
- The university home page and top-level pages must be approved by the Office of Public Affairs.
- Administrative material, e.g. policies and minutes of meetings, are to be approved through appropriate administrative channels prior to posting.
- Obsolete or out-of-date material must be removed as soon as practical.
- The Office of Public Affairs will remove links on the university home page and index pages to material that is considered obsolete.
- E-commerce Activity
The university offers a secure method to support e-commerce activities, such as online payments for university courses and auxiliary programs like informal courses and summer camps. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about establishing e-commerce service on a university website.
- Copyright and Privacy
Copyright laws and university copyright policy must be followed. Information created by a government agency is largely considered to be in the public domain. "Found" graphics or outside information must not be used on websites without proper attribution.
- Commercial Activity
Commercial activity for personal gain is not permitted on any site operated with university resources, nor may readers be automatically re-directed from a university website to an external website that may result in personal financial income for any university employee.
- ADA Compliance
Pages must be accessible to persons with disabilities. Text files must be available for sound files containing substantive spoken content. Images and other visual files must include an ALT attribute and appropriate text. See the state of Texas website Rules and Regulations for additional information on meeting requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
All requests for exemptions from these standards must be submitted in writing to the Office of Public Affairs prior to a website launch.
Responsibility for accuracy of Web content is the responsibility of everyone in the university, especially the deans, directors, managers and their designees:
Cross Reference: 1 Tex. Admin. Code §§ 206.1-.2, .70-.75; Web Accessibility Page (http://www.sfasu.edu/web-dev/85.asp); Electronic Accessibility (F-44)
Responsible for Implementation: President
Contact for Revision: Executive Director of Marketing and Public Affairs
Board Committee Assignment: Academic and Student Affairs