Holy Cross Web Policy

College of the Holy Cross
Web Communications
Office of Public Affairs
Revised: September 22, 2009

1.0 Introduction

  1. The College of the Holy Cross Web site is the electronic embodiment of the institution and, as such, should reflect the College's purpose and standards with coherence, precision and grace. Maintenance of the highest quality Web content, including consistent design and factual information, is essential in order to present a positive, uniform image of the College.
  2. The College home page and the associated Web pages, including those of academic and administrative departments or affiliated organizations, are considered official publications of the College. These upper level pages are often the first point of contact visitors have with the College and should reflect a consistent and progressive image of Holy Cross.
  3. As detailed by the established IT Use Policy (http://www.holycross.edu/its/it_policies/it_use_policy), all members of the Holy Cross Community must comply with this Web Policy.

2.0 Definitions 

  • College Web page -  any official or unofficial Web page residing at holycross.edu
  • assistant director, Office of Public Affairs for Web Communications: individual responsible for innovative development and maintenance of the College's Web site (www.holycross.edu). Reports to the Director of Public Affairs.
  • home page: The initial page of a Web site, intended to greet visitors and provide information about the site. The home page for the College Web site is located at www.holycross.edu and is managed by Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs.
  • official College Web page(s): All Web content residing at *.holycross.edu, excluding those at college.holycross.edu, is considered official College Web pages. 
    Examples of official College Web pages include: the College's home page, academic and administrative department pages, index, search and site navigation pages on Holy Cross Web servers (i.e. all pages in the College Web site, except those considered unofficial College Web pages).
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) – The practice of improving the ability of search engines to discover and index a specific page or set of pages.
  • unofficial College Web page(s): All Web content  residing at college.holycross.edu . While unofficial pages are not the responsibility of the College, Web editors who publish to unofficial sites are still bound by certain regulations as described herein.
    Examples of unofficial College Web pages include: personal pages, student organization pages, course pages, workshop pages, and any other pages not intended to be part of the main Holy Cross Web site.
  • Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs – Office responsible for the College’s Web site (holycross.edu).
  • Web content: Information — textual, graphical, multimedia — present in any given Web page.
  • Webmaster: An individual whose duties include designing, developing, or maintaining the College’s Web site and associated Web communications. The assistant director, Office of Public Affairs for Web Communication is the College Webmaster.
  • Web editor – An individual responsible for designing, developing, or maintaining content on designated Web page(s). All Web editors must be approved by Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs before gaining access to any College Web server.
  • Web page template: HTML or content management system files having a preset format—including required design elements to create consistent look and feel throughout a Web site.
  • Web page: A document on the World Wide Web, usually consisting of an HTML file and any related files for scripts and graphics, and often hyperlinked to other documents on the Web.
  • Web site: A set of interconnected Web pages, usually including a home page, generally located on the same server, and prepared and maintained as a collection of information by a person, group, or organization.

3.0 College Servers

  1. www.holycross.edu, academics.holycross.edu, offices.holycross.edu - hosts official College Web pages including academic and administrative department pages

    a.) *.holycross.edu – While a number of other Web servers host content, those Web pages that are publicly accessible or available to those outside the Holy Cross Community via authentication are considered official College Web pages.
  2. college.holycross.edu - hosts unofficial College Web pages including faculty, student, special project, course and student organization pages

4.0 Web Addresses/URLs

  1. Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs maintains the College’s Web organizational structure including the assignment of all public Web addresses to help promote visibility and for search engine optimization.

    a) Requests for address changes or redirects must be directed to Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs for consideration.
  2. Any and all Web pages representing Holy Cross must be hosted on a server owned by the College (holycross.edu). No department or entity affiliated with Holy Cross is permitted to construct a site on, or move an existing site to, a server not owned by Holy Cross.

    a) Rare exceptions may made be made in cases where Holy Cross is unable to provide a specific Web service (e.g. athletics, human resources employment).

5.0 Access & Publishing

  1. Only current members of the Holy Cross Community (faculty, staff or student) may request publishing access to any College Web server/content management system.
  1. Members of the Holy Cross Community wishing to gain Web publishing permissions, must first gain approval by Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs before receiving access to any official or unofficial Web site.
  2. Publishing requests must be directed through Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs http://holycross.edu/web/ and will be completed by Information Technology Services within 10 business days.
    1. Requests for access to student organization Web pages will be directed to the Office of Student Programs and Involvement by Web Communications for verification before processing.

6.0 Style & Usability

  1. 1. Official Web pages - To promote consistency and compliance with standard Web usability practices, it is required that all official College Web sites use the most current Web identity standards which correspond to the College’s visual identity system. The College’s current Web standards can be found online at: http://www.holycross.edu/web/

    a) In the event that that an official College Web site is not using the College’s most recent Web identity standards, Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs will assist departments in bringing their site into compliance with the above policy.
  2. Unofficial Web pages- While exempt from design restrictions contained herein, unofficial pages must provide a text link to the College’s home page. (http://www.holycross.edu).

7.0 Content Guidelines

  1. Official Web pages must contain factual and up-to-date content that is regularly maintained and be organized in a logical manner.

    a) Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs will work with all departments and Web editors to ensure this requirement is met.
  2. The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law is the primary style guide for the College Web site. This reference book is available for consultation in the College Library or in the Web Communications office.
  3. The College publishes unique editorial guidelines online at: http://holycross.edu/publicaffairs/identity/editorial/
  4. All College Web sites must comply with the College’s IT Use Policy (http://holycross.edu/its/it_policies/it_use_policy/), as well as other College policies intended for the College Community.
  5. No Web site may contain inappropriate or illegal material. Examples of such material include, but are not limited to: abusive, defamatory, profane, or sexually offensive content, personal or sensitive information not intended for the general public or other material that violates other College policy or local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

8.0 Copyright

  1. Copyrighted Material - Posting of copyrighted material(s) without prior permission of the copyright holder is prohibited on all College Web pages.
  2. Copyright of College Web site - Unless otherwise indicated, content on all Holy Cross Web pages (holycross.edu) is the intellectual property of College of the Holy Cross and/or the copyright holder and are protected under U.S. Copyright Act 17 U.S.C. 101-810. Please see: http://offices.holycross.edu/generalcounsel/legal-information/copyright

9.0 Advertising & Commercial Activity

  1. 1. College Web pages may not contain advertising for, or link to any commercial site or business. Exceptions include text links to commercial sites if the site provides a required service to community members (e.g., links to usps.com from the Post Office site; links to hotels or restaurant as a courtesy to visitors or community members).
  2. Graphical links or logos of commercial businesses or sites are prohibited unless prior consent has been issued by Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs.
  3. No College Web site, including unofficial personal pages, may be used to conduct commercial business that is not sponsored by a College office or department.
  4. Requests for exemptions to the above policies should be directed to Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs for consideration.

10.0 Future Updates

  1. Given the rapidly changing nature of the Web, additional information not contained in this policy can be found at http://holycross.edu/web/, the official Web resource for Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs.

11.0 Functional Responsibility

  1. The Director of Public Affairs has the responsibility to ensure that all use of the College Web site conforms to this policy.

12.0 Noncompliance

  1. The College Web site is routinely reviewed by members of Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs for Web policy compliance and accuracy.
  2. Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs may add, change, delete or update materials on official Web pages without prior notice to keep compliant with this policy and ensure accurate information is being delivered to the College Web audience. The Web Communications office will be responsible for contacting department Web editors regarding any changes.

13.0 Policy Revisions and Approval

  1. Revised by Web Communications, Office of Public Affairs – August 17, 2009
  2. Approved by Information Technology Policy Committee – September 22, 2009
  3. Approved by the President after consultation with the administration – September 25, 2009
  4. Originally published June 5, 2002