Troy University recognizes that the Web is an important electronic publication medium that facilitates its mission. It is in the interest of the University that all Web sites are maintained in a consistent manner so that they provide high quality information about the University’s educational offerings, mission, programs and events to the community, prospective students, and the general public. The Web sites serve as a gateway to college services, teaching and learning resources.
This policy sets minimal standards that are meant to ensure that information published electronically is visually appealing, well-written and follows the same high standards as other forms of published information.
The World Wide Web is one of the primary ways in which TROY presents itself and communicates to various audiences. Therefore, it is essential that Web sites of the University present an image that is unified, of a high quality and favorably represents the University. The TROY Web Guide is intended to serve in this regard as a valuable resource for those who contribute in any way to the Web presence of Troy University.
Please direct any questions or comments to members of the Web Team whose names are located on the last page of this Web Guide.
801.1 Review of Policy
TROY recognizes that electronic publication technology is evolving rapidly and this policy is expected to evolve along with it. The policy will be reviewed as needed by the Web Team and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communication. This policy does not address all servers, such as Spectrum or Prism servers, or faculty Web pages.
801.2 Site Life Cycle
Information on Web pages should be updated as regularly as necessary, whether that is daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. The date the page was last updated should be indicated somewhere on the page. If a page does not need to be updated more than once a year, the “this page is updated” should be changed at least every six months to let visitors know that the information is relatively accurate. Every office is encouraged to update or refresh the content and design of their pages twice a year, preferably every fall and spring or more frequently if needed.
As new templates are developed, they will be available online at www.troy.edu
801.3 Design Quality
Graphic design is the first and last part of the site observed by online visitors. Effectively designed Web sites grab viewer attention and offer clear, consistent navigation. The Web team will provide templates to help design sites that are consistent with the look and feel of the University’s homepage and interior pages. Templates may be viewed at www.troy.edu
801.4 Content Quality
For recommended style standards, refer to the TROY Style and Graphic Standards Manual. For Web-related words, keep in mind the following: homepage is one word, Web is uppercase when it stands alone; lowercase when combined with another word (e.g. Web site; World Wide Web; webmaster), download and upload are spelled as one word and online is one word, no hyphen.
801.5 Use of University Marks and Branding
TROY logos and word marks may be used on official University Web sites such as University departments, approved student groups and schools, as long as the logos are used correctly. For correct logo usage, consult the TROY Style and Graphic Standards Manual (www.troy.edu/marketing-communication/style-a-graphics-standards.html
A clear, easy navigation through every page of the TROY Web site is a necessity. A site and its pages should not be a maze where visitors must guess their next move or try the “Back” button to get out. Every page should, at a minimum, include (a) a link to the TROY homepage and (b) the homepage footer menu bar. Pages should also include a link to the appropriate department/division/school/etc. from where the page originates. URL links should be tested routinely to ensure that they are still correct.
The TROY templates include navigation to frequently used sites within TROY and quick links to the University’s interior pages.
Troy University requires Web pages to look consistent, including certain common design elements. To simplify this process, University-approved templates are available for use at www.troy.edu.
801.8 World Wide Web Guidelines
This policy governs documents (Web pages) appearing on the World Wide Web from Troy University servers. Both official and unofficial University Web sites, as defined below, must comply with all copyright laws of the United States, all other applicable local, state and federal laws and applicable policies, rules and guidelines of Troy University, including those defined herein. The dominant theme of any Web site, whether an official or unofficial University Web site, must not appeal to prurient interest to the average person applying contemporary community standards. This policy will be periodically revised in response to pertinent legal and/or technological issues in consultation with the appropriate entities. Any questions, comments or suggestions concerning this policy should be addressed to the Troy University Web Team.
801.8.2 Official University Web Sites
- Official University Web sites are defined as Web sites or Web pages created by Troy University entities including, but not limited to, its colleges, schools, departments and administrative offices stating they represent TROY.
- All official University Web sites must be approved by the Web coordinator who has administrative oversight over the area represented by the Web site or by the TROY Web team. The associate vice chancellor for marketing and communication will be the final approving authority for all official Web sites.
- All official University Web sites must adhere to the minimum standards described below. These minimum standards are presented in conjunction with associated recommendations in this Web Guide.
- Display clear identification of Troy University on the top-level pages of each Web site. The preferred means of identification is to display a Troy University word mark. The official TROY templates are required for University offices.
- Display a clearly labeled link on each Web page to the TROY homepage (http://www.troy.edu).
- Display clearly labeled ownership information on each Web page in the form of a contact e-mail address, which may be supplemented by a contact name and/or telephone number. In unusual cases, a contact name and telephone number may be substituted for a contact e-mail address.
- Display a clearly labeled disclaimer (example: http://www.troy.edu/disclaimer): “Although the authors of this Web site have made every reasonable effort to be factually accurate, no responsibility is assumed for editorial or clerical errors or error occasioned by honest mistake. All information contained on this Web site is subject to change by the appropriate officials of Troy University without prior notice. Material on this Web site does not serve as a contract between TROY and any other party.”
- The appropriate administrative unit(s) that publishes information on an official University Web site is fully responsible for factually accurate content and currency of information. Web sites that contain out-of-date information may be requested by the Web team or a member of that team to make necessary corrections. Web sites failing to comply following such requests may be unlinked from the University page until the necessary corrections have been made.
- All official University Web sites must present information using the highest editorial standards (spelling, punctuation, grammar, style, etc.). Web sites that contain editorial errors may be requested to make the necessary corrections by any member of the Web Team. Web sites failing to comply following such requests may be unlinked from the University page until the necessary corrections have been made.
- Any official University Web site desiring to conduct commercial activity, including receipt of online credit card payments, must take appropriate steps to ensure secured transactions. These type transactions must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Finance prior to placing this type of information or capability on the University Web site.
- Links to commercial entities must be related to the University’s mission and must not imply endorsement by the University.
- All names used to represent the University must be official names recognized by Troy University, e.g., “ Troy University,” “ TROY,” “TROY-Dothan campus,” etc. Except when referring to Troy University athletics, the use of Trojans” is discouraged.
801.8.3 Unofficial University Web Sites
- Unofficial University Web sites are defined as Web sites or Web pages created and maintained by anyone other than Troy University campuses, Web coordinators or site masters.
- All unofficial University Web sites must carry the following disclaimer: “The views, opinions and conclusions expressed in this page are those of the author or organization and not necessarily those of Troy University or its officers and trustees. The content of this page has not been reviewed or approved by Troy University and the author or organization is solely responsible for its content.”
- Troy University will not undertake to pre-approve or review the content of unofficial University Web sites. However, any pages discovered in violation of this policy are subject to immediate removal from Troy University Web servers.
- Unofficial University Web sites may not be used for commercial purposes or for personal financial gain or benefit. Troy University is not responsible for any liability resulting from any such activities prior to their discovery and appropriate remedy.
801.9 Site Ownership
801.9.1 Web Team
The Web team will be coordinated by the Information Technology (IT) department of the university. Its responsibilities are assisting with the development of templates, approving templates and making them available to departments in the realm of the Web. Members of the Web Team will be responsible for assisting content providers and site masters and in monitoring the various sites to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the published information. In addition, the Web team will seek the advice of document and design experts when necessary.
801.10 Content Providers
Administrative departments, academic units, individual faculty and staff, and student and college organizations may contribute content to the various Web sites. Content providers, in effect, own the content of a given page and are responsible for accuracy. Content providers should have firsthand knowledge of a particular page’s content. Though they need not have specialized Web publishing knowledge, familiarity with Web-writing guidelines is very useful because text online is read differently than printed text and thus needs to be written differently. All pages should include the content provider’s e-mail address on the bottom of the page, along with the date that the page was last updated so that interested readers can get in touch with the content expert.
Other things content providers should remember in the design of Web sites include the following:
In the construction of your pages, avoid
- sexist and/or racist material
- offensive language
- defamatory, abusive or harassing material
- pornographic material
- commercial advertising
- Do nothing that might lead users of the TROY Web site into making improper use of our facilities,
for example, providing links to:
- archives that may contain pornographic material
- sites that distribute illegal software
- bulletin boards that contain dubious material
801.11 Site Master
Every site must be owned and maintained by a staff or faculty member—not a student or external company. Using an external vendor to create, and in some instances to help maintain a site, is acceptable; however, at least one faculty or staff member from the responsible office must own and be accountable for the site, including having a basic knowledge of how to update, remove or change information on the site. Student interns may help create or update sites; however, a student cannot be the owner of the site and cannot be the only person in the responsible office who knows how to update and manipulate the site.
Ownership by staff or faculty is essential in order to maintain continuity of a Web site. Student workers are a marvelous resource, but when the student leaves, the Web site still needs to be maintained, updated and even redesigned at some point in time. Without ownership by staff or faculty, material on the Web can easily become outdated. Outdated and inaccurate information on a Web site is often worse than no information at all.
The individual Web coordinators for each site will oversee and maintain the registry of site owners. The information gathered for the registry is used to not only delete old or non-maintained sites, but also to quickly identify who is responsible for each existing University site. Each owner of a newly created site must register with the Web coordinator for his/her particular campus or site. This can be done online at http://www.troy.edu
801.13 Departmental vs. Central Control
Every office, organization and school is responsible for the look and content presented on its site, as well as keeping the sited updated, fresh and consistent with the overall look of the Troy University homepage and interior pages. The Web team has overall oversight not only of the University’s homepage and interior pages, but also of all pages on the TROY Web site.
801.14 Shutting Down a Site
Every office, organization and school is responsible for the look and content of their site. When there are egregious errors or problems with a site, the Web team will contact the person responsible for the page and discuss ways to fix the problem. If the problem persists or if it is an emergency situation that requires immediate attention, the Web team maintains the right and responsibility to shut down a site either on a temporary or permanent basis.
801.15 External Vendors
Working with an external Web design vendor is an acceptable solution when developing a University Web site or page.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the following policies should be understood and shared when working with external vendors.
All code and images belong to Troy University. The created Web site must reside on an approved Web server.
801.16 Requested Changes in Web Area Structure
Requested changes to the structure of existing Web areas, such as moving existing areas to new locations, removing existing areas or redirecting areas, will need to be approved by the Web coordinator at the campus where the changes are requested and by any other department heads whose departments may be affected by the requested changes.
801.17 Correct HTML
All tags should conform to the guidelines and recommendations given by the World Wide Web Consortium.
The Consortium also offers a validation service
for your pages. So if you wish to test them, just type your URL into the appropriate box.
801.18 Checking for Errors
Always check your pages carefully, particularly if you have been using a word processor that translates text into html. When the text is translated, these programs often insert alien characters, such as accents and random letters, or shrink the text to an unreadable size. Such word processors include Microsoft Excel, SPSS Data Analysis Software, Microsoft Word and Corel WordPerfect, etc.
Troy University uses information technology to help students, faculty, and staff accomplish their goals.information technology also helps the Troy University reach its objectives. This worldwide reliance upon diverse technologies means increased responsibilities and opportunities for everyone throughout the University. The timely and appropriate use of these information technologies will help each person succeed.
Troy University’s information technology (computing, information technology, radio and television, telephone, and network resources) is provided to faculty, staff and students for the purposes of study, research, service, and related academic and administrative activities. University information technology facilities are valuable resources and must be used in a responsible manner. These resources are shared among many people. Each person should use technology resources in a manner that allows others to also use information technology.
Use of the Troy information technology is a privilege, not a right. This includes use of computer labs. All users of Troy’s information technology resources must agree to use the facilities legally, ethically, and in keeping with their intended purpose.
It is improper to take actions that will interfere with or alter the integrity of the University’s information technology systems. Such actions include unauthorized use of accounts, impersonation of other individuals, unauthorized access to or any attempt to alter, share or distribute restricted data bases, attempts to capture or crack passwords, attempts to break encryption protocols, compromising privacy; destruction or alterations of data or programs belonging to other users, experiments to demonstrate computer facility vulnerabilities, and attempts to steal or destroy software on campus computing facilities or computer hardware. These types of actions are improper and can result in a loss of the right to use information technology resources.
Computer accounts and passwords should be protected against unauthorized use. Accounts and passwords should never be shared with anyone. Each computer user has the specific responsibility to protect his/her password. Anyone suspecting his/her password may be compromised should immediately report this to an administrator of the computer facility. This helps protect the integrity of Troy’s information technology systems.
Changing another person’s password without authorization is considered a form of harassment and is improper behavior.
Users must not browse, access, copy, share, distribute, or change private or administrative files without authorization. Users must not change public files without authorization. Users must not attempt to modify the computer systems or software in any unauthorized manner.
The use of invasive software, such as worms, “crackers,” and viruses is unethical, improper, and illegal. No computer user should use his/her knowledge of a computer system to destroy or alter accounts, files, software, or hardware to obtain extra resources or to deprive others of information technology resources.
Users are responsible for damages caused by infected software they introduce into the system.
Hardware, software, network equipment, manuals, supplies and other information technology related equipment, must not be removed from their established site(s) without proper authorization. Abuse or misuse of any computer hardware, software, or other campus related technology including networking resources is illegal and/or unethical behavior.
All users of University-owned computers will abide by copyright laws and licensing agreements. No software should be loaded on any University computer in violation of licenses or laws. Copyrighted software must be used only in accordance with its license or purchase agreement. Users do not have the right to reprint, use unauthorized copies of software, or make or attempt to make unauthorized copies of software.
In addition to federal and state laws prohibiting the theft of software, Troy University prohibits copyright licensing infractions from or on any component of the University’s information technology systems. Troy University will not be liable for copyright or licensing infringements by any student, faculty or staff member.
Troy University respects every individual’s right to privacy in the electronic forum and prohibits use of University computers, including personally owned computers linked via University telecommunications equipment to other systems, from violating such rights. Attempts to read another person’s electronic mail, access another’s files, access electronic records containing information concerning another person, or use of another person’s password are examples of violations of privacy rights.
There are important University concerns that place some legitimate restrictions on the privacy of programs, data files and electronic mail on the University’s information technology systems. Instructors may monitor class accounts of students in their courses. Authorized technical personnel may access accounts for the purpose of maintaining computers or network systems. Authorized technical personnel may also monitor accounts and network activity to detect violations of this policy.
Computer accounts should be used for their assigned purposes. For example, an account assigned to a student for a specific course should be used for work related to that course.
All computer and network users engaged in activities not directly connected to study, research, or University related services should willingly yield their computer terminals to others ready to use University computers and networks for their University-related work.
Excessive use of paper, making electronic mass mailings, and using University owned computers and network resources for personal monetary gain are some examples of abuses of Troy information technology facilities.
Certain types of communications are expressly forbidden on Troy’s computer systems and networks. This includes the random mailing of messages, the sending of obscene, pornographic, harassing, nuisance, abusive, or threatening material, and the use of the facilities for commercial or political purposes.
University-owned public access computers will not be used for games unless specifically authorized by a faculty member for educational purposes.
The University may take disciplinary and/or legal action against any individual who violates any information technology usage policy. Violations of Troy University’s information technology usage policy are treated like any other violation of the Standards of Conduct as outlined in the Oracle, Troy’s student handbook, and applicable faculty and staff handbooks. Violators may also be billed for illegal use of the computer systems. Any changes caused by misuse may lead to the violator being temporally or permanently suspended from Troy Technology facilities. Those violating statutory requirements may be prosecuted.
Troy University hereby expressly and explicitly disclaims any liability and/or responsibility for violations of this policy.
Departments or units wishing to implement a new technology process (including applications software) or new technology infrastructure (equipment and/or networks) must submit a proposal to the Technology Coordinating Team (TCT) for review and approval. The TCT shall be composed of the Chief Technology Officer, the Director of Radio and Television, the Director of Technology for the Southeast Region of University College, and the Director of Technology for the eCampus. This process is designed to ensure continuity and compatibility of technology equipment and software used by the University. All technology infrastructure and multi-user software are to be vetted through the Technology Coordinating Team (TCT). The Chief Technology Officer should issue procedures for implementing this policy. Any disputes arising from decisions issued by the TCT will be mediated by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Administration.
Approved: Cabinet, August 8, 2007
OPR: SVC, Administration