Web Policy

Recommended By
SSU Web Advisory Committee
Ruben Armiñana, President
Issue Date
Wednesday, August 16, 2000
Current Issue Date
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Effective Date
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Contact Office
University Affairs
Policy number

Purpose and Scope

The primary goal of Sonoma State University’s web presence is to communicate information about the University's various programs, departments, curricula, and services. A secondary purpose is to promote the reputation of the University, as well as its mission. SSU’s website serves a broad audience, and thousands visit it every day for a wide variety of reasons. Finally, the University’s website plays a critical role in providing tools that support the various services SSU provides. As the website reflects the caliber and quality of education at the University, it is essential that it provide current, clear and consistent information, is easy to navigate, and is accurate and informative as well as attractive and inviting. It is the intent of this document to define a web policy that all campus websites and web designers will follow to ensure that compliance with web standards, accessibility, and maintenance are met.

This policy is intended to provide guidelines for web usage while recognizing the creativity and uniqueness that exist within the different departments and programs within the University and applies to all administrative websites representing University divisions, departments and programs; all campus auxiliaries and affiliates such as centers and institutes, Alumni Relations, clubs and Greek organizations. Administrative websites have a primary function of governance, commerce, or navigation to University resources or publication of University information.

Content on employee web pages on University websites are limited to work-related material, such as teaching, research or other University business but may provide links to pages maintained on outside servers (i.e., Facebook).

  1. Web Oversight
    The SSU Web Advisory Committee (WAC) created by, and reporting to the President is composed of faculty, staff, and students, and meets periodically to review SSU website for compliance issues, and to make recommendations to the President’s Cabinet regarding web policy. The WAC also provides policy guidance to the SSU Web Team, a group of key web developers with responsibility for implementation of SSU’s Web Standards.

    The WAC ultimately has responsibility for enforcement of this policy.
  2. Requirements for all Administrative Web Pages
    1. Conformity 
      All administrative web pages must conform to the SSU Web Standards, which defines accessibility, required information, organization and navigation, and site content. Standard templates are required; requests for exceptions must be presented to the WAC. Standardized elements for web pages are summarized below, and are described in full detail in SSU’s Web Standards.
      1. Accessibility: Web pages are required to conform to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, CSU Executive Order 926 and the California State University Accessible Technology Initiative.
      2. Required Information: All web pages must contain the following information: meaningful title, contact email link, last edit date, and additional information as further defined in SSU’s Web Standards.
      3. Content and Maintenance: Material should be kept current and exhibit a high level of editorial standards. Pages must be reviewed no less than annually to eliminate dated material. Content must be related to the mission of the University.
      4. No web pages may link to commercial business pages intended to solicit funds or purchases. Links may be made to other more general commercial business pages, such as to highlight sponsorships.
      5. Organization and Navigation: The organization of information must be clear and easy to understand, and the navigation must be logical and free of broken links. All pages must link back to a main page and the main page must link to the Sonoma State University home page, a department page, or some other main page as appropriate to avoid dead-end pages.
      6. Identity Standards: All web pages must meet the requirements of SSU’s Identity Standards, including official seal, logos, required graphics, colors, and links. Exceptions to SSU’s Identity Standards must be approved by the University Affairs Division prior to implementation.
    2. Legal Considerations
      1. All materials on the web, including text, images, and media are covered by copyright laws unless explicitly stated otherwise. Copyrighted materials may not be distributed or posted without the express permission of the copyright owner.
      2. University web pages may not be used for commercialization of state resources. Contact the University Affairs Division directly with specific situations or questions regarding commercialization, as the interpretation of the appropriateness of such advertisements or links is not always clear.
      3. Web authors must adhere to all state and federal laws, and CSU and SSU policies.
      4. Posting of private or confidential information (e.g. directory information without permission or student records/addresses) is not allowed. Further information on this topic may be found in SSU's Personal and Confidential Information Policy.
    3. Design/Re-Design 
      Any plan for design or re-design of an administrative site must be reviewed and approved by the Web Advisory Committee prior to beginning work. This is to ensure continuity and clarity of the University’s Web Standards.
  3. Compliance
    The SSU WAC will meet to review SSU web sites for policy compliance. Non-compliant websites, in collaboration with the WAC and Web Team, must be brought into compliance in order to remain on University web servers.
  4. Questions and Technical Support 
    For more information about publishing to the web, visit the Information Technology Web Office for technical support, or the SSU Web Standards. Questions regarding elements of this policy may be directed to the SSU WAC or the University Affairs Division.

Updated December 14, 2012 by SSU.policies@sonoma.edu