St. Cloud State University Policies & Procedures

Web Standards Link☍

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Current Status: Approved

Policy Type: All University

Effective Date: 12/22/2014

Last Updated: 01/11/2022

Applies To: Students, Faculty, Staff

Responsible University Officer: Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management

Policy Owner: Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications, Director of IT Applications and Integration

Policy Contact: Office of Information Technology, Office of University Communication

Rationale

St. Cloud State University recognizes the importance of its website and associated websites as a mechanism for marketing the University and communicating with our community, alumni, fans, employees, current students, and prospective students. Official university websites and accounts should align with the University’s mission and vision, follow applicable laws and regulations, consistently apply university branding, and represent the University in a positive light.

Policy

This policy applies to all websites created for the purpose of conducting official business by departments and units at St. Cloud State University. Official St. Cloud State University websites include sites and pages within stcloudstate.edu as well as other domains and third-party websites that are created for the purpose of conducting official university business. All accounts must comply with the standards set out in the policy.

The laws, Minnesota State System and SCSU policies, ethics, and behavioral expectations that govern professional conduct apply equally when posting content on behalf of the University. Specifically, the Minnesota State Employee Code of Conduct and SCSU Student Code of Conduct are in force for website editors and web content contributors (see supporting URLs).

Websites must remain regularly active with up-to-date and relevant content. For the primary stcloudstate.edu website, each department or unit will have its own dedicated contributing editor with access to its associated websites and pages. Contributing web editors are expected to login and check or update content monthly to assure information is up-to-date and accurate. All web edits will go through the workflow process and be reviewed by University web team staff before being published. Care should be applied to word and photo choices when updating content as university websites are in the public domain and may be re-published and discussed in all forms of media. All websites must follow outlined branding and best-practice guidelines, which includes the use of University approved templates (see supporting URLs).

All web editors are prohibited from:

  • Posting content that violates city, state, or federal laws and regulations.
  • Posting anything related to legal matters or litigation without appropriate approval.
  • Using the University brand, name, or websites to endorse any view, product, private business, cause, or political candidate.
  • Posting commercial advertising messages on official university websites. Commercial advertising may be further restricted by contract that the university has with exclusive vendors. Exceptions will be considered by the University web team prior to signing a written agreement.
  • Posting personal opinions or perspectives in a manner that makes them appear to be the perspective of the University, or University-endorsed views or policies.
  • Posting private, non-public, restricted, or confidential information about St. Cloud State students, employees, or alumni. Relevant restrictions include HIPAAFERPA and NCAA regulations, among others.
  • Posting content that is offensive, including, but not limited to, content that discriminates against others based on race, color, creed, sex, age, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, mental, or physical disability.
  • Using copyrighted material, without permission or outside of a legal exception, is a violation of federal law. 

Procedure

All proposals to create a new official St. Cloud State University website, including departments and campus units (regardless of server), must be submitted to the University web team at universityweb@stcloudstate.edu for strategic review and assessment prior to approval/denial. This includes sites conducting official university work on stcloudstate.edu or on an external server.

All department or unit websites on stcloudstate.edu will have at least one (1) contributing web editor who is a University employee assigned by the department or unit. Website content edits made by contributing web editors will be reviewed, edited, approved, or denied by University web team staff.  The University web team will have administrative access to all sites conducting official university business.

Responsibilities

Contributing web editors

Contributing web editors are responsible for:

  • Ensuring website(s) accuracy and that content is kept up to date.
  • Following specifications for image optimization, document preparation and file naming by using guides provided by University communications for creating content for the web.
  • Editing content within limitations of access and requesting assistance from University web team for more complex needs in content writing or technology.
  • Following workflow process and planning for time needed to publish updates.
  • Scheduling Web Contact Management System (WCMS) training after requesting editing access and attending refresher training as needed.
  • Requesting Web Content Management System (WCMS) access for student employees and reviewing their submissions for publishing.
  • Remaining active in the Web Content Management System (WCMS). After six months of inactivity, user access will be removed.

University web team

The University web team members are responsible for:

  • Reviewing and assessment of requests for new websites.
  • Ensuring that university best-practices and guidelines for websites are communicated and followed.
  • Cataloging and retaining an official account inventory and contact information for corresponding administrators.
  • Ensuring that users of the website have a modern and positive experience across all web viewing platforms.
  • Providing strategic guidance on website usage, account creation and campaign implementation.
  • Participating in training opportunities, meetings, and regular communication on website usage and changes to the campus community.

University communications

University communications team members are responsible for:

  • First line of content review, editing, and approval or denial of all web content edits through workflow within 24 hours of submission during regular university hours.
  • Updating content on the homepage of stcloudstate.edu and the university’s top marketing pages.
  • Management of the University online news presence.
  • Establishing best practices, including Brand Guidelines and copywriting style.

ITS

ITS team members are responsible for:

  • Assuring websites are coded properly and that websites align with University brand guidelines.
  • Developing site components (elements/features) for integration in University websites.
  • Verifying that site components are optimized for viewing on any device.
  • Managing the Web Content Management System (WCMS) and WCMS user access.
  • WCMS user training including content editing, web design best practices, and information about Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for website content development (https://www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap5toolkit.htm).
  • Providing web analytics reporting and support.
  • Managing the website search component.
  • Working with other members of ITS to maintain the technology behind the website including server management and security.
  • Assisting with additional services pertaining to website workflow.

Guidelines

Contributing web editors – Guidelines for Web Contact Management System (Cascade):

After editing a page, it must be sent to workflow to be published.

  • If approved, user will get an email stating that the Workflow has been completed. The changes have been submitted to the system and published to the live page. No additional attention needed.
  • If administrator finds the changes unnecessary, they may delete the draft. User will receive a notification email including comments as to why it was deleted.
  • If administrator requests additional changes to be made before approval, user will get a notification email including comments about what changes are suggested.
  • Urgent: If you have an edit that cannot wait to be approved in the 24-hour window or needs immediate attention, please contact University Communications by phone 320-308-3151.
  • The primary audience must be considered in determining content, (see website best practices, tools, levels, content and success in supporting documents). 
  • The University web team will determine the tools and communications vehicles that will be made available at St. Cloud State University.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions or comments regarding web standards should be directed to the University Web Team at universityweb@stcloudstate.edu.

Keywords

webpage, web page, web site, 

Supporting Documents (Forms, Instructions)

Jul 7 2020 12:17PM

Related St. Cloud State University Policies

Supporting URLs

Websites, Related External Documents, Statutes

Definitions

Contributing Web Editor

Campus staff who have limited editing access to make changes and updates to specific websites or areas of the web.

University Web Team

A cross-departmental team consisting of University Communications and ITS staff, responsible for developing and enforcing web standards and overseeing the development of the St. Cloud State web environment.

 

Contacts

Responsible University Officer
   Woods, Jason L.
   Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management
 
jlwoods@stcloudstate.edu
320-308-5455
Owner
   Kloby, Kathryn
   Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications
 
kathryn.kloby@stcloudstate.edu
320-308-2104
Owner
   Simon, Amy J.
   Director of IT Applications and Integration
 
ajsimon@stcloudstate.edu
320-308-5509
Contact
   Kurth, Anna E.
   Office of University Communication
 
aekurth@stcloudstate.edu
320-308-3104
Contact
   Monn, Mark A.
   Office of Information Technology
 
mamonn@stcloudstate.edu
320-308-5508

To make a comment or suggest changes to this policy:

St. Cloud State University Users: Login
Non-St. Cloud State Users: Email comments to policy@stcloudstate.edu