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Policy No: 2040
Responsible Office: Computer Services Center
Last Review Date: 06/04/2020
Next Required Review: 06/04/2023

Web Policies


1. Purpose

This policy outlines the guidelines used to govern the management of electronic documents posted on the website of the University of South Alabama as well as content and presentation of materials on any page within the website. Content must abide by all applicable laws and USA policies and standards regarding nondiscrimination, libel and copyright, offensive material and visual identity.

2. Applicability

The policy applies to all individuals posting content to the University website. Typically, these individuals are considered "webmasters" for designated sites.  They  may be employees of Web Services, or other faculty and staff members responsible for posting and updating content.  This policy is not in general applicable to Athletics and USA Health Divisions because they operate separate websites, but any content they may have on the main University web server is subject to this policy. 

3. Definitions

Domain: A web domain identifies the presence of an organization on the Internet and is considered the name of a site. The domain name replaces the IP address and makes it easier for users to find the site. The domain name is what comes after the "www" in the web address.

Website: The term website may refer to the overall content maintained under a domain name such as www.southalabama.edu or it can refer to a site specific to a college, department, center, or organization such as https://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/ceps/ or https://www.southalabama.edu/centers/cshi/.

Home Page: The first page of a group of related web pages.

Official Pages: Official pages are those publicly accessible electronic documents that represent the University, colleges, departments, offices, services or other units as well as officially registered student, faculty or staff organizations. All official pages are linked to the USA Home Page.

Personal Pages: Personal pages are those pages stored on University-owned computers or using an address in the University's Internet domain (southalabama.edu) or (usouthal.edu) that are created by and represent only an individual, not USA. Personal pages will not be directly linked to the USA Home Page. They may be indirectly linked to the USA Home Page via a USA unit's web page.

USA Home Page: The collective group of Web pages that constitute the top-level pages for the USA World Wide Web site. This includes the home page and all subsequent related official pages. The USA Home Page contains a link to all official pages regardless of which web server they reside on.

USA Unit: Official colleges, departments, offices, services or other organizations as well as officially registered student, faculty or staff organizations related to the University.

Web Page: A document presented on the World Wide Web; the document may consist of either a single home page or several related pages linked to the home page.

Copyright: The USA Home Page is an official publication of the University of South Alabama. Unless otherwise indicated, all text, photographs and graphics appearing on the USA Home Page are copyrighted and must not be reproduced by an unauthorized individual or organization without written permission from the appropriate University official.

4. Policy Guidelines

The policy outlines formatting requirements for the USA homepage as well as individual college and departmental pages throughout the site. Rules for use of copyright content are states. Appropriate use of domain names is outlined.

4.1  Introduction

These policies govern the management of those electronic documents accessible on the World Wide Web that represent the University of South Alabama (USA). USA encourages contributions to its World Wide Website, and these policies are intended to guide the preparation and management of such contributions.

For many people, the USA Home Page (www.southalabama.edu) and its associated web pages are the first point of contact with the University. The quality of electronic information published by USA is important in maintaining the strong reputation and image of the University. Thus, information on the USA Homepage is subject to the same policies and standards as print publications. These policies set minimal standards that are meant to ensure that information published electronically is accurate, visually appealing, clearly presented and follows the same high standards as other forms of published information.

The development of the USA Home Page and official pages (see definitions) are governed by the University Brand Guidelines published by the Office of Marketing Communications.

The USA Homepage is maintained by the USA Computer Services Center (CSC) Web Services group. The USA Home Page includes the top-level pages that provide general information about the University, a site index, directories, search engines and menu pages with links to departmental or organizational unit pages. While certain faculty and staff will be responsible for editing, adding or removing content from departmental and organizational unit pages, the entire site remains the property of the University.

The Internet/Website Advisory Committee is charged with the development and enforcement of Web Policies provisions. Questions concerning the application of Web Policies should be referred to this committee.

4.2  Official Pages

Official pages must abide by all applicable laws and USA policies and standards regarding nondiscrimination, libel and copyright, offensive material and visual identity. A page may be considered offensive simply by containing a direct link to another page that may be maintained by other individuals or organizations that presents offensive material.

Do not publish the work of others in web pages without their express permission. And do not use trademarked logos, musical selections, images or graphics belonging to another organization or individual without permission.

Musical backgrounds or selections on official pages are discouraged unless they are directly related to and identifiable with the USA unit. In any event, proper copyright clearinghouse permission must be obtained before the music can be used.

The USA web server (www.southalabama.edu) is intended for use as a web server only. The server is not to be used for storage of data that would otherwise be stored offline or on a departmental LAN server or a workstation. Very large files (those over 1MB) should be not be stored on the USA web server unless they are an integral part of the website itself. Very large files will be deleted by the USA Web Services staff if the organizations webmaster does not voluntarily remove these files. Any files not accessed in 24 months are subject to being archived after notification. Official organizations are limited to a total of 50MB of disk space without the express permission of the USA Webmaster.

Official organizations may purchase and use a domain name other than southalabama.edu if it is in the best interest of the University. All domain names will be approved in advance by USA Web Services before they are registered. It is the desire of the University to utilize the southalabama.edu domain name wherever it is practical and in the best interest of the University. Domain names such as library.southalabama.edu and admissions.southalabama.edu are encouraged instead of names such as www.usalibrary.com and www.southalabamaadmissions.org.

Except where it would be inappropriate, all official pages of the University will include:

Applies to All pages (CMS and Non CMS)

    • Official University of South Alabama logo and/or watermark;
    • Name and E-mail link to the person or USA unit responsible for maintaining the page.

Applies to Non CMS pages

    • A link to the USA Home Page selectable from the USA logo or watermark graphic; 
    • Date of last update, recommended format: MM/DD/YYYY;
    • URL address of the page;
    • Link at the bottom of the USA unit's home page to the University of South Alabama Home Page at https://www.southalabama.edu.

5. Procedures

Not Applicable.

6. Enforcement

If content is not found to be in compliance with formatting and branding standards, Web Services may edit or remove it from a site. Any offensive or inappropriate content may be removed and the webmaster for the site notified. PDFs or other documents uploaded to a site may be removed if they do not meet accessibility guidelines. Obsolete content may be removed if it is not updated upon request to the departmental webmaster.

7. Related Documents

Not Applicable.