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Holy Cross Web Policy

College of the Holy Cross
College Web Communications, College Marketing and Communications
Revised: September 22, 2009

1.0 Introduction

  1. The College of the Holy Cross website 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 homepage and the associated webpages, 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, all members of the Holy Cross Community must comply with this web policy.

2.0 Definitions 

  • College webpage -  any official or unofficial webpage residing at holycross.edu
  • associate director, College Marketing and Communications for web Communications: individual responsible for innovative development and maintenance of the College's website (www.holycross.edu). Reports to the Director of the Office of College Marketing and Communications.
  • homepage: The initial page of a website, intended to greet visitors and provide information about the site. The homepage for the College website is located at www.holycross.edu and is managed by Web Communications, Office of College Marketing and Communications.
  • official College webpage(s): All web content residing at *.holycross.edu, excluding those at college.holycross.edu, is considered official College webpages. 
    Examples of official College webpages include: the College's homepage, academic and administrative department pages, index, search and site navigation pages on Holy Cross web servers (i.e. all pages in the College website, except those considered unofficial College webpages).
  • 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 webpage(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 webpages include: personal pages, student organization pages, course pages, workshop pages, and any other pages not intended to be part of the main Holy Cross website.
  • Web Communications, Office of College Marketing and Communications – Office responsible for the College’s website (holycross.edu).
  • web content: Information — textual, graphical, multimedia — present in any given webpage.
  • Webmaster: An individual whose duties include designing, developing, or maintaining the College’s website and associated web communications. The associate director, Office of College Marketing and Communications for Web Communications is the College Webmaster.
  • web editor – An individual responsible for designing, developing, or maintaining content on designated webpage(s). All web editors must be approved by Web Communications, Office of College Marketing and Communications before gaining access to any College web server.
  • webpage template: HTML or content management system files having a preset format—including required design elements to create a consistent look and feel throughout a website.
  • webpage: 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.
  • website: A set of interconnected webpages, usually including a homepage, 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 - hosts official College webpages including academic and administrative department pages

    a.) *.holycross.edu – While a number of other web servers host content, those webpages that are publicly accessible or available to those outside the Holy Cross Community via authentication are considered official College webpages.

  2. college.holycross.edu - hosts unofficial College webpages including faculty, student, special project, course and student organization pages

4.0 web Addresses/URLs

  1. Web Communications, Office of College Marketing and Communications 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 College Marketing and Communications for consideration.

  2. Any and all webpages 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 be 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 College Marketing and Communications before receiving access to any official or unofficial website.
  2. Publishing requests must be directed through web Communications, College Marketing and Communications and will be completed by Information Technology Services within 10 business days.
    1. Requests for access to student organization webpages 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 webpages - To promote consistency and compliance with standard web usability practices, it is required that all official College websites 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 here.

    a) In the event that an official College website is not using the College’s most recent web identity standards, Web Communications, Office of College Marketing and Communications will assist departments in bringing their site into compliance with the above policy.

  2. Unofficial webpages- While exempt from design restrictions contained herein, unofficial pages must provide a text link to the College’s homepage. (http://www.holycross.edu).

7.0 Content Guidelines

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

    a) Web Communications, Office of College Marketing and Communications 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 website. 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 here.
  4. All College websites must comply with the College’s IT Use Policy, as well as other College policies intended for the College Community.
  5. No website 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 webpages.
  2. Copyright of College website - Unless otherwise indicated, content on all Holy Cross webpages (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://holycross.edu/general-counsel/copyright

9.0 Advertising & Commercial Activity

  1. 1. College webpages 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 College Marketing and Communications.
  3. No College website, 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 College Marketing and Communications 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 here, the official web resource for Web Communications, Office of College Marketing and Communications.

11.0 Functional Responsibility

  1. The Director of the Office of College Marketing and Communications and has the responsibility to ensure that all uses of the College website conform to this policy.

12.0 Noncompliance

  1. The College website is routinely reviewed by members of Web Communications, Office of College Marketing and Communications for web policy compliance and accuracy.
  2. Web Communications, Office of College Marketing and Communications may add, change, delete or update materials on official webpages 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 College Marketing and Communications – 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