Eastern Connecticut State University: Connecticut's Public Liberal Arts University
ECSU Web Policy

I. Introduction

The World Wide Web site at Eastern Connecticut State University continues to expand and become an essential part of the University’s information systems network. This Internet service supports the educational mission of the University and represents the richness and diversity of the Eastern community. It also increases access to the extensive knowledge base of the World Wide Web. This policy may be updated as the need arises. 

Three groups play key roles in the Web site’s overall development and oversight. Information Technology Services (ITS) and University Relations manage day-to-day operations. The Web Policy and Review Committee (WPRC) advises the University President or designee on the site design and is charged with oversight of policy-related issues.  Departments and individuals also play a key role in developing and maintaining Web pages.

II. Mission Statement and Responsibilities

The Web Policy and Review Committee’s role is to recommend policy regarding all Web pages stored on any University-owned or leased machine, sites linked to the University’s Web site, and to resolve disputes regarding Web related issues and Web page content. The Committee also recommends standards, ensures that there is an ongoing process of review of Web content and adherence to the standards, hears grievances and makes recommendations regarding action to the appropriate person(s) regarding policy deviation. 

III. Committee Membership

The Web Policy and Review Committee consists of at least nine members representing faculty, students and administration and additional ex-officio members as appointed below.  These members serve until they are replaced. 

·         The University Senate will appoint one faculty member each from the Library, School of Arts and Sciences and School of Education and Professional Studies.

·         The Chief Information Officer (CIO), Directors of the Office of Planning and Institutional Research and University Relations will appoint one representative each.

·         The Student Government Association will appoint one student representative.

·         Web Facilitator and System Administrator are members.

·         Additional ex-officio members as appointed by the University President or designee. 

IV. Reporting

The Committee reports to the University President or designee, who will also appoint a chair. The business of the committee is committed to writing and expressed by minutes

V. Scope of Authority

The Committee, acting as a review group, will (1) recommend policies related to the ongoing evolution of the University’s Web presence and (2) evaluate disputes on Web use and content. On the official pages, University Relations is responsible for content and image and ITS is responsible for technical issues and access. 

VI. Levels of Content and Responsibility

Web pages are classified as official or unofficial (disclaimed) pages. 

1.    Official Web pages contain official university information and are in direct support of the University’s mission. These pages are owned by the University and maintained by the Web Facilitator in collaboration with University Relations. The design of these pages is recommended by the Web Policy and Review Committee and approved by the University President or designee.

Regardless of author, the University retains all rights to unlimited use and revision of Official pages.

2.    Unofficial Web pages are served through the University network but are owned and maintained by members of the University community. Content of these pages is the responsibility of the Web author. Authors are required to conform to University Web policy with special attention given to Article VII. These pages must not resemble or be construed to be Official Web pages.

Unofficial Web pages are the creative, intellectual, and personal property of the author(s).

Authors must maintain backup files. The University may remove Web pages if the author(s) are no longer affiliated with the University.

VII. Acceptable Use of University Web Resources

The University Web servers may not be used for any activity prohibited by law or disallowed by licenses or contracts. 

Any person or group authoring Web pages must be aware of and follow University policies regarding publications, confidentiality, harassment and computer usage.

·        University Web authors cannot use copyrighted images, text, or software without permission.

·        Individuals shall not use the Web pages for personal financial gain.

·        Images of individuals published on the University Web servers must be released by those individuals through a signed model release form provided by University Relations. 

·        Official pages are intended to communicate information about the University and must not represent the personal views of an individual.

·        Web pages must not present obscene or threatening messages or harass individuals or groups.

Use of web pages for illegal and/or commercial purposes is prohibited. Authors are expected to comply with relevant university policies, state and federal law, and any relevant licensing agreements. 

Material is inappropriate for inclusion on any pages if it: 

·         is in violation of federal or state law;

·         is derogatory or libelous to groups or individuals;

·         is of a confidential nature;

·         infringes upon the rights of another person;

·         is abusive, profane, or sexually offensive or otherwise inappropriate in the opinions of the majority of the Web Policy and Review Committee;

·         includes information which may injure someone else and/or lead to a lawsuit or criminal charges including pirated software, destructive software, pornographic materials, libelous statements or terrorist restrictions;

·         includes advertisements for commercial products, enterprises or services. 

VIII. Links from Web Pages

The University reserves the right to disable and/or remove the web page publishing capability and privileges on the university network of anyone who violates university policy, to conduct or promote activities which are illegal or violate university contractual obligations. These privileges may be re-established following a review process. Disputes involving the application shall be reviewed by the Web Policy and Review Committee with a resolution submitted to the University President or designee. 

1.    Official Pages
Links from these official pages are the responsibility of and are approved by the Web Facilitator in collaboration with University Relations.

2.    Unofficial Pages
Suitably disclaimed links to unofficial pages are maintained within official Web pages. Unofficial Home Pages must display the University Disclaimer in full text at the top and, at the bottom, must contain a link to the University’s Official Home Page and a mail-to address link for the owner of the unofficial page. The bottom of all other unofficial web pages must contain the following three links: (1) to the University Disclaimer located at http://www.easternct.edu/disclaimer, (2) to the corresponding unofficial Home Page, and (3) a mail-to address for the owner of the corresponding unofficial page. 

IX. University Disclaimer

All disclaimers and links to the University Disclaimer must be readable by a text-only browser. 

1.    Official Web pages do not require a disclaimer. Official Web pages will contain a logo or other marking to indicate their official status. 

2.    All unofficial pages are disclaimed by the following:

It is the policy of the University to abide by and follow federal and state laws. The following departmental and individual pages are provided for your information but do not necessarily reflect the policies of the University. The University is not responsible for the content of these pages or any links that you may follow from this server beyond this point. 

X. Web Servers for Unofficial Pages

Departments and individuals may elect to run Web servers. The server manager may request a link be established from the official server to their remote, on-campus server. 

To qualify for such a link, all applicable content and design standards must be followed.  Also, the server should be up and running 24 hours a day. It must have a permanent IP address assigned to it. In addition, the individual or department must maintain backups so that the service can be restored if necessary. Links from the official server are subject to removal if the department or individual server is unstable, out of service or not in compliance with university policy. Links from the official server will not be established to servers in the residence halls or to student Web pages on servers located off campus.  Links to student Web pages from official University Web pages will only be established for pages on university-maintained servers.

Web services on all remote, on-campus servers must adhere to all applicable content and design standards. Appropriate disclaimers as specified in this policy must be included. The University reserves the right to disconnect remote, on-campus services that do not comply with these standards. 


XI. University Web Review Policy

The official disclaimer page must contain an email link to the Chair of the Web Policy and Review Committee. 

Comments questioning the content of unofficial Web pages must be addressed to the chair of the Web Policy and Review Committee. If the complaint indicates that there is a likely violation of the acceptable use policy, the chair will direct Information Technology Services (ITS) to sever the connection to the pages in question. If warranted in extreme situations, immediate action to temporarily discontinue network services prior to the review process may be taken by ITS. 

If the author disputes this action, the chair of the Web Policy and Review Committee will convene an ad-hoc meeting between the author of the Web page in question, a representative from her/his constituency, and the department chair or designee. At this meeting, the participants will strive to resolve the issue by either deciding that the content does not warrant a change in the Web page, modifying the Web page, removing university links to the Web page, or removing the Web page from university servers. 

If there is no unanimous resolution from this meeting, the chair of the Web Policy and Review Committee will call a meeting of the committee for deliberation. Action on Web page review shall be determined by majority vote in the Web Policy and Review Committee.   

XII. Procedure for Requesting Publishing Access

Each individual seeking to publish content using Eastern’s resources must complete an authorization form and submit it to the Web facilitator who retains the original copy on file.  The steps for gaining access to a server and publishing Web pages are delineated in the Addendum to this policy.  The only purpose of the authorization form is to verify that the proposing department chair/designee or author has read and is aware of the policies set forth by the Web Policy and Review Committee. University Relations will retain the completed authorization form for record-keeping purposes only. Overall policy for access to the university servers is developed and updated by the Web Policy and Review Committee. 



Home page

Initial, entry, or identifying page of a collection of pages for the University, individual departments, or individuals. 

Official server

Any server maintained by the University that contains official university information. 

On-campus, remote servers

All Web servers on campus, other than official servers. 

System Administrator 

Person(s) responsible for technical management of Web server(s).

University Disclaimer

Departmental and Individual Web pages must contain a link or the full text of the University Disclaimer as specified in the Web Policy. Official Web pages do not contain a disclaimer. University pages are claimed by their look and feel (i.e., content manager driven or template compliant). Only pages (constituting non-University pages) that do not have look and feel (i.e., University branding) are disclaimed. We can encourage use of templates that include a common navigation scheme but are disclaimed as non-University page. The official disclaimer page must contain an email link to the Chair of the Web Policy and Review Committee.  

Official Web Pages

Official Web pages contain official university information and are in direct support of the University’s mission. These pages are owned by the University and maintained by the Web Facilitator in collaboration with University Relations. The design of these pages is recommended by the Web Policy and Review Committee and approved by the University President or designee.

Regardless of author, the University retains all rights to unlimited use and revision of Official pages.

ADA Compliance

Accessibility standards for Web pages as outlined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential. W3C can be reached at http://www.w3.org Additional information is available at www.cmac.state.ct.us/access/resources.html , Connecticut’s Web site accessibility committee.

Web Facilitator

Full-time University Relations staff position that works closely with the Web Policy and Review Committee and Information Technology Services to assist individuals to identify Web uses and material for inclusion among the university Web pages. This person also has overall responsibility for implementing directory and access privileges on the official server and changes in official pages. 

Web Pages

Pages developed by university students, staff, and faculty and linked directly or indirectly to a home page.

Requests for Off-Site Web Services

"Requests to purchase, rent, lease, or enter into other contractual arrangements for the use of off-site web services/servers by individual departments will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The approval process will include the Director of University Relations in consultation with the Chief Information Officer and other University officers as appropriate. Off-site vendors and services will be selected, and agreements entered into, when it is determined to be in the best interests of the University."

Amended December 5, 2012



revised 12/05/12