Chapter 4: Business & Administration04:69:00 Northeast State Website Policy and Guide
A. Roles of Web-enabled Technology/Statement of Purpose
Support of Northeast State’s Vision, Mission, and Guiding Beliefs
The Northeast State website Policy and Guide establishes standards for the Northeast State Community College (NeSCC) website that support the College’s mission, ensure a unified web presence, contribute to the institutional brand and image, and provide guidelines for complying with state and federal law. The Northeast State website is one of the most visible representations of the College and one of its most important recruitment tools. As such, each public Northeast State web page is considered a college publication in that it contributes to the user’s perception of the College. While individual units, departments, clubs, or offices have their own specific purpose and goals, they are also part of Northeast State as a whole and, therefore, need to be clearly identified with the College brand. The following policy and guidelines will help ensure that the College’s website not only supports the College’s mission but also presents an institutional image that complements the quality of our faculty, staff, students and supporters.
Northeast State Homepage
The Northeast State homepage will welcome visitors and serve as a directional tool for divisional and departmental Web pages. It is intended to provide information that addresses our constituents and their needs and interests. Selected college operations will have Web pages that will be considered core to the Northeast State homepage. Such Web pages must meet particular standards of design and organization.
B. Web Page Standards
Web Changes and Updates
The College’s Communications and Marketing Office is responsible for the content, design, navigation, and structure of the Northeast State website. Northeast State web pages that are open to the general public are subject to approval by the Communications and Marketing Office. Web updates or changes should be submitted via email to the web designer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include in the request the corresponding URL(s). Please allow a minimum two-week turnaround time for content change requests. More time may be required depending on the size and scope of the changes and the preceding job requests. The web designer will monitor the website for outdated information; however, it is the responsibility of individual departments and offices to ensure that the information on their respective pages is current.
Full permissions to make changes and administer the site are limited and will be designated by the Communications and Marketing Office and Information Technology (IT) as necessary to maintain the site. The Communications and Marketing and IT staff will be the only employees with full website permissions.
Limited permissions to author on the public site will be designated by Communications and Marketing and IT, with approval from respective senior leaders or vice presidents, as needed to keep content current and up to date.
The quality of information published by Northeast State plays an important role in maintaining a strong reputation and image for the College. This policy sets a minimum standard to ensure that electronic information is visually appealing, well written, and of the same high standards as other forms of published information.
All Northeast State Web pages are considered official published documents of the College and must be consistent with Northeast State's policies and local, state, and federal laws. Web pages inconsistent with such policies and/or laws will not be permitted.
Before a division or department implements or expands a Web page, the unit should consider the staff and resources necessary to establish and maintain Web pages on a continual basis. Participation in Northeast State’s website requires a commitment to maintaining accurate and current information. Pages with inaccurate or time-sensitive information that is not maintained must be corrected or removed from the website.
In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and college non]discrimination policies, the College will make every effort to ensure that web pages are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Web users with visual or motor skill impairments utilize screen readers and text]only browsers. Therefore, Northeast State’s web pages should be constructed to meet web content accessibility guidelines and policies. Individuals may obtain specific Web accessibility requirements, as specified in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, at www.webaim.org or by contacting the coordinator of the Coordinator of Access Services.
Logos on Web Pages
The use of Northeast State’s logos must remain consistent to provide the College with a strong identity across the Internet. The College’s logos may not be redrawn, re-proportioned, or modified in any way. No new design element may be added to any official Northeast State logo.
To maintain consistency throughout the site, please reference the NeSCC Website Style Guide. This will include fonts, colors, etc.
Images on the Northeast State website must be proportional, have a high visual resolution so that they are not blurry or grainy, and be small in graphic size to reduce download time. The Northeast State brand emphasizes pictures of actual Northeast State students, faculty, and staff on the website and in publications. Stock photography is discouraged and only acceptable in special circumstances.
The organization of a website is as important as its appearance. With an institution as large as Northeast State, it is important that the website have a strong hierarchical architecture. The navigation should make sense for the end user and the site’s primary audiences.
Links to Non-College Websites
Links to non-college websites must be related to the subject matter of the referring page.
It is anticipated that all organizational units will exercise good faith and good practice in the utilization of Web-enabled technology. When notified, persons assigned responsibility for management of divisional or departmental Web pages (Web Page Managers) must remove pages and links containing material that violates local, state, or federal laws and regulations or college policies. Failure to comply with these Web Standards, Policies, and Guidelines will result in the loss of website privileges for the unit.
C. Web Page Policies and Guidelines
Northeast State encourages divisions and departments to publish documents on the Internet in support of the vision, mission, and guiding beliefs of the College and purpose of the unit. All information published on the unit’s Web pages must be approved through the appropriate processes as described below.
Web Document Author Responsibilities
All Web pages must comply with the College's Acceptable Use Policy, which requires, among other things, compliance with intellectual property law. Authors of Web documents cannot include any copyrighted or trademarked material without permission except as permitted by law. Photographs, drawings, video clips, or sound clips may not be included in the document without permission of the person who created them or who owns the rights except as permitted by law. In addition, Web Document Authors:
- Shall use an appropriate tone when presenting information and other features on the Web. (Although Northeast State encourages Web document publishing, official page represent the College, and, as such, Web page content should be in the best interest of Northeast State),
- Shall use the words “Northeast State” instead of “NSCC” in all documents to maintain a consistent image within the community,
- Shall remain committed to accuracy and shall carefully spell-check and proofread all documents,
- Shall use clickable icons for pictures, where appropriate,
- Shall not overload pages with large graphics that slow the downloading time and frustrate end users,
- Shall not include browser-specific terminology (e.g., “pull down the File menu and select Save”),
- Shall provide a readily-accessible reference link, where appropriate, (e.g., “For more information e-mail responsible-person@NortheastState.edu” instead of “For more information click here”),
- Shall maintain a consistent style from page-to-page (e.g., standard font types, content location, and design templates),
- Shall ensure that all clickable links work correctly,
- Shall not use Northeast State resources for commercial gain,
- Shall not use Web pages to advertise non-Northeast State-related functions, and
- Shall submit the final drafts of their Web documents to their respective Web Page Editor to begin the approval and implementation process. (When planning, ample time should be allowed for the approval, revision, and implementation process.)
Web Page Editor Responsibilities
Web Page Editors are responsible to their respective Web Page Manager for the content of the Web pages they maintain. In addition, Web Page Editors:
- Are expected to maintain the highest standards of quality possible that will enhance the image of Northeast State,
- Are required to comply with all Northeast State policies and procedures, as well as local, state, and federal laws concerning appropriate use of computers and computer networks,
- Shall remain committed to accuracy and shall carefully spell-check and proofread all documents,
- Shall review all proposed documents to ensure Web Document Authors have complied with all Web Page Standards, Policies, and Guidelines,
- Shall review all modifications to Web pages with a variety of browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer and Safari),
- Shall ensure printed publications have completed the approval process before electronic versions of the documents are released,
- Shall ensure information is posted promptly, particularly time-sensitive information such as announcements and press releases,
- Shall submit all proposed documents to the Web Page Manager for approval prior to including documents on the unit’s Web page, and
- Shall thoroughly review all Web pages within their area of responsibility at least once-a-month, more often for time-sensitive information. (If, through random checks of the system, a Web page is found to contain inaccurate information it will be removed from the system.).
Web Page Manager Responsibilities
The Web Page Manager is ultimately responsible for all content within his or her areas of responsibility, as described in Section F. Each Web Page Manager shall identify at least one Web Page Editor to oversee the implementation and routine update of the Web pages. The name of the Web Page Editor(s) shall be forwarded to the Vice President for Finance and Administration. The Web Page Manager shall ensure the appropriate approval process is followed prior to the implementation of changes to the Web pages under his or her area or responsibility. There are two distinct approval processes. One process is for major Web page changes or for content that may have policy implications, while the other process is for minor Web page changes.
Definition of Major Web Page Changes
- Redesign of a Web template,
- Significant or complete overhaul of a Web page, and
- Request for a new Web page.
Contact the Vice President of Finance and Administration for additional information.
Definition of Minor Web Page Changes
- Update of existing information,
- Addition of event information or departmental documents, and
- Any editing changes consistent with Section C of the Web Standards, Policies, and Guidelines document.
Approval Process for Major Web Page Changes or for Documents with Policy Implications
- Proposed Web documents that contain major changes or policy implications first require the approval of the Web Page Manager.
- The Web Document Author then must complete and route a Request for Publication form with a copy of the document in an electronic format
Refer to Section 04:23:00 of the Faculty and Staff Policy and Procedure Manual for additional information.
Approval Process for Minor Web Page Changes
- Proposed Web documents that only contain minor changes require the approval of the Web Page Manager.
In addition to the quality checks performed by the Web Page Editors, each Web Page Manager will receive a semiannual evaluation form for the Web pages under his or her supervision (during May and November). This self-evaluation form must be completed and returned to the Vice President for Finance and Administration. The evaluation form will include, but is not limited to, questions regarding purpose, content, and standards compliance.
D. Web Resources and Tools
Various resources and tools will be developed for use by the college community to assist in the implementation of this policy. The Computer Services department will provide leadership and coordinate resource information.
Web Document Author: The individual who originates a document to be placed on a Web page.
Web Page Editor: The individual who is responsible for the routine maintenance and update of assigned Web pages. These assignments shall be made by the Web Page Managers.
Web Page Manager: The individual who must approve, and is ultimately responsible for, all content on the Web pages within his or her specific area of responsibility. (Refer to Section F for a complete listing of Web Page Managers.)
Web Page: A document on the Internet. Every Web page is identified by a unique URL (Uniform Resource Locator).
Website: A site (location) on the Internet. Each website contains a homepage, which is the first document users see when they enter the site.
F. Privacy and Information Security
All web pages must comply with laws and college policies governing personal privacy and the confidentiality of users. On May 23, 2003, the Federal Trade Commission adopted the “Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information” Rule promulgated under the authority of the Gramm]Leach]Bliley Act (GLBA). The GLBA safeguarding rule requires all financial institutions, including institutions of higher education, to develop and draft a comprehensive, written Information Security Program that includes administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the confidentiality of customers’ nonpublic financial information that is held in the institution’s possession. According to Tennessee Board of Regents guidelines, nonpublic financial information means any information regarding a student or third party obtained in connection with providing a financial service to that person. Examples of nonpublic information include, but are not limited to, mailing addresses, phone numbers, bank and credit card account numbers, income tax records, credit histories, and Social Security numbers.
G. Copyright and Fair Use
Copyright laws that apply to print publishing also apply to electronic publishing. Publishers must have permission to publish any copyrighted information on the public institutional website. Copyright information includes not only text]based information but also graphics, sound clips, animations, and photographs. Electronic publications are subject to the same college policies and standards as print publications.
Regarding use of copyrighted music in videos or on public institutional web pages, publishers must have permission from the copyright holder. Faculty and staff are encouraged to avoid using copyrighted songs, or any copyrighted material, on the public institutional website.
Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act considers the use of copyrighted material for educational purposes. It lists four factors to be considered in determining fair use of copyrighted material:
1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
2. The nature of the copyrighted work
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.
The four fair]use factors listed above are only guidelines. Section 107 states that the “distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.”
The following website provides a fair use checklist:
http://copyright.columbia.edu/copyright/fair]use/fair]use]checklist/Copyright Law Section 110 (2)
Section 110 (2) of the U.S. Copyright Law, known as the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act, contains exemptions and limitations for use of copyrighted materials in distance education and other electronic uses.
The following websites provide information and checklists on section 110 (2):
More information on U.S. copyright laws and fair use can be found on the following websites: Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance; U.S. Copyright Office, North Carolina Public Schools Copyright in an Electronic Environment, and Stanford University Copyright and Fair Use websites.
H. Commercial Advertising
As a tax]funded, not]for]profit state institution of higher education, Northeast State does not endorse for]profit businesses or products. To protect the educational nature of the College and the integrity of the state’s purchasing and procurement policies, graphic or text links to commercial, for]profit sites are not allowed on Northeast State websites. This includes promotion or advertisement of or links to book publishers and electronic and software products. Furthermore, links from a Northeast State web page to any non]college site must not imply college endorsement of the site’s products and services. Corporate sponsorships may be acknowledged through procedures established by the College Advancement Office.
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Revision History: July 2015, August 2019