Web Management Policy

Background

Due to the increasing size and complexity of the Skidmore College Web site, it is useful to clarify roles and responsibilities for the creation and maintenance of College Web pages.

Skidmore’s Web site continues to grow at a remarkable rate, with current page totals in excess of 30,000. Departments and programs, as well as students, faculty and staff throughout the College, have developed Web presences on Skidmore servers.  As this presence grows, so does the amount of residual data left behind along with out-of-date and unkempt pages.

Usage statistics show a substantial increase in the number of users accessing Skidmore’s Web  site. Given this growth and activity, it is important that the College have a policy to guide Web development and use and to help eliminate excess files and ensure that pages are kept up to date.

In response to this need, the following Web policy has been prepared and endorsed by the Office of College Relations and CITS. Anyone having questions related to the policy and/or its implementation should contact Skidmore’s Webmaster (webmaster@skidmore.edu).

Policy Implementation

The College Relations Web Team is responsible for implementing and administering this policy in consultation with the IRC Web Working Group. The Web Team will review the policy as new technologies evolve.

Definitions

College Web Pages are those pages acknowledged by a College office or academic department as official information about that unit of the College. Typical pages include descriptions of a major, office procedures, staff lists, forms associated with that unit, and similar material.

Course Web Pages support a specific academic course. These may include the syllabus, assigned readings, online exercises, and related materials.

Scholarship Pages are those pages containing faculty/staff research, writing, and creative works relating to their roles at the College.   

Personal Pages are all other pages. They include, for example, pages relating to hobbies, personal interests, and opinions. 

Guidelines for College Web Pages

Skidmore College owns all College Web pages and their components.  Individuals or external consultants may create the pages, but the College retains the copyright and may use or modify the pages as needed.

Each office or department is responsible for maintaining the accuracy and timeliness of the College Web pages associated with that unit. Each office or department will designate an individual to serve as the primary contact responsible for the College Web pages associated with that unit. This person will approve all information pertaining to that unit and has the primary responsibility for updating page contents. This person may delegate work to others but retains responsibility for the accuracy and timeliness of page content.

The department chair or office director will inform the Web Team of the designated contact for that unit and adjust that designation on a timely basis to accommodate personnel changes, sabbaticals, and other workload modifications.

College Web pages are encouraged to adopt a page layout consistent with the prevailing College design standards or templates.  The Web Team, in consultation with College officials, has the right to review, update, or remove College Web pages that are obsolete, inaccurate or otherwise misrepresent the College and its mission. Wherever possible, the Web Team will assist units in developing effective designs and will inform the appropriate offices and individuals of all actions taken in their behalf.

College Web pages must always be stored within the /www directory tree. They may never be stored in the Web sites of individual users or stored on off-campus servers without prior consultation with the Web Team.

Guidelines for Course Pages and Scholarship Pages

Course and scholarship Web pages are normally owned by the scholars whose work they present. If page development is delegated to a student assistant or employee, ownership of the information remains with the instructor or principal scholar.  Academic departments are encouraged to maintain an archive of the pages in order to document their academic activities and course offerings. 

These pages should adopt a design that is distinctly different from the College Web pages. Similarly, the authors must obtain permission from the College Relations Office before using the official College wordmark, seal, logo, or other College trademarks on the pages. These pages should include links back to the Skidmore home page and the department home page, if applicable.  The Web Team generally does not normally review or edit course and scholarship pages except as requested by the individual owners or in response to specific complaints.

Guidelines for Personal Web Pages

Personal Web pages are always owned by their individual authors.  The College does not review their content or presentation except as needed to implement this policy.  Individual owners are responsible for assuring that their pages conform to current law, including copyright restrictions, as well as campus rules and conduct standards. 

Personal pages may never use the College logo or wordmarks in their design, and they must avoid any layout that can be confused with the other classes of Web pages. CITS may impose restrictions on personal sites that are unusually large, create unusual resource demands, or otherwise compromise the integrity of the College’s technology services.

Special Situations

Professional groups:  The College Web site may be used to host nonprofit professional associations whose activities are consistent with the overall College mission. Hosting can take either of two forms:

Personal: An individual can host the professional group’s pages within his or her personal Web space. No special authorization or notification is needed.

Departmental: The department chair or office director may sponsor the group’s pages within the Web space for that unit. 

In either case, there must always be a Skidmore employee who maintains these pages and who assumes responsibility for assuring that the pages remain timely and conform to current legal and technical standards.

Since Skidmore provides free hosting to these professional group pages, the group should include links from their site back to the Skidmore home page and any appropriate academic departments or offices.

The College Web site may never be used for political solicitations, commercial businesses, or to host professional groups who activities are unrelated to the College’s mission. In case of dispute, the appropriate dean or vice-president will decide on the appropriateness of the hosting.

Student Organizations:  Student organizations’ Web pages will be treated like personal  pages, with the sole exception that their files may be stored within the main server directories (e.g. /www/studentorgs). In cases of dispute, the dean of student affairs will have the final decision on whether a group of individuals constitutes a student organization.  The student organization pages are owned by the current officers of that group. The officers are responsible for the accuracy and currency of the organization’s pages.

Student organizations must adopt a Web page design that is distinctly different from the College Web pages. The Web Team plays no role in defining the content for these pages, nor is it responsible for maintaining them.


Provenance:
  • Drafted and adopted by IRC Web Working Group (4/2002)
  • Revised and approved by IRC (5/2002)