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University Web Policy (Policy 8040)

University Policy 8040

Download a Printable Version of Policy 8040 (PDF)

Effective Date

April 2005

Last Revision Date

February 29, 2024

Responsible Party

Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, (208) 426-1577
Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, (208) 426-3033
Executive Director, University Web Strategy, (208) 426-5625

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to public-facing websites that represent a University division, department, program, center, institute, or other unit including University-recognized student organizations.

Additional Authority

  • University Policy 1090 (Intellectual Property)
  • University Policy 1130 (Use of Copyrighted Works)
  • University Policy 8000 (Information Technology Resource Use)
  • University Policy 8020 (Server Administration)
  • University Policy 8140 (Information Technology Accessibility)
  • University Policy 9180 (University Sponsorships)

1. Policy Purpose

To outline the rules and procedures for the use of public-facing websites, to properly portray and promote the University and protect the University’s brand and reputation, and to assist in developing and managing websites that comply with federal, state, and local laws.

2. Policy Statement

Boise State University recognizes the importance of using web-enabled technology to support its mission of teaching, research, creative work, and service to the community. Employees and students are encouraged to utilize such technology to assist the University in accomplishing its mission by creating accessible websites that support and promote University divisions, departments, programs, centers, institutes, and other units as well as their initiatives, research, and projects.

3. Responsibilities

3.1 Executive Director, University Web Strategy

The Executive Director, University Web Strategy, in consultation with the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, is responsible for implementing and overseeing the University’s web strategy, providing access and training in the University’s official enterprise content management system, and providing oversight for all University websites in compliance with this policy.

3.2 Site Administrators

Site administrators are responsible for maintaining web content that is accurate and timely. Site administrators should ensure proper maintenance and follow all published University standards for form and content (see the Boise State University Webguide).

4. University Web Templates

a. Site administrators must create and publish public-facing web pages using the university’s supported content management system, event management system, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and/or other hosted web platforms. Site administrators must use the university’s web templates and styles and must not override, circumvent, or otherwise customize official web templates or styles.

b. All templates, features, and content management system functionality must be approved in advance by the Executive Director, University Web Strategy.

c. Use of other web templates, platforms (including Google Sites), or content management systems for public-facing web pages representing a University division, department, program, center, institute, or other units, including University-recognized student organizations, is not allowed unless an exception is approved in writing by the Executive Director, University Web Strategy.

5. Web Page Standards

5.1 Responsible Use

The content of all web pages, including links to external websites not maintained or controlled by the University, must be consistent with University policies and any applicable local, state, and/or federal law.

5.2 Privacy

All University web pages must contain the University’s privacy statement which is contained in the University web template.

5.3 Accessibility

All web content, including documents and media, must comply with the web accessibility requirements detailed in University Policy 8140 (Information Technology Accessibility).

5.4 Website Hosting for Non-University Units, Affiliates, and Organizations

Websites for entities such as professional associations, consortiums, journals, and University affiliates may be hosted on University servers upon written approval in advance by the Executive Director, University Web Strategy. The Executive Director, University Web Strategy, may grant such approval only if the entity has a relationship with the University that supports the University’s mission.

5.5 Fundraising

Non-University fundraising must not be conducted or placed on any web page owned or hosted by the University. Faculty, staff, and students may not conduct fundraising campaigns on behalf of the University on their personal web pages or website.

5.6 Paid Advertising and Sponsorships

5.6.1 Paid Advertising

a. Paid advertising by external, unaffiliated organizations on University websites must be pursuant to a Sponsorship Agreement with the University or Bronco Sports Properties, or be approved by the Office of Communications and Marketing. Paid advertising is defined as banner ads or any other promotional messages displayed on a University website in exchange for direct compensation (monetary or otherwise) for their delivery.

b. University auxiliary-funded departments are not considered external organizations.

5.6.2 Sponsorships

Sponsors may be acknowledged on University websites for the programs supported by their contributions.

a. The location of the acknowledgement (web page URL and the location within the proposed page) must be approved in advance by Trademark Licensing and Enforcement.

b. Acknowledgments must be supported by a Sponsorship Agreement between the sponsor and the University or Bronco Sports Properties, which specifies a limited term.

c. All creative content for sponsor advertisements on University websites and sponsor advertisements, including the use of University logos or trademarks on sponsor websites, must be approved in advance by Trademark Licensing and Enforcement.

6. Third-Party Web Services

a. Third-party web services (tools, apps, websites, etc.) are allowed under certain circumstances to provide necessary functions that the university’s current systems and platforms are unable to provide. All third-party web services require written approval in advance by the Executive Director, University Web Strategy, and if approved, will be subject to this policy.

b. Any web content hosted by a third-party must not convey the impression that the author is representing, giving opinions, or otherwise making statements on behalf of the University. Such content is the sole responsibility of the site owner and questions should be directed to the site owner. The University does not routinely monitor third-party web content.

7. Personal Web Pages and Websites

a. Personal web pages or sites created, managed, or used by University employees that are not hosted by the University are not official University web pages. Additional information on personal websites and guidance for faculty and staff who want to promote their research and creative activities or create websites devoted to their individual research/work is available on Boise State University Webguide.

b. University employees should avoid creating confusion over whether a web page is associated with the University or is a personal web page of the employee.

c. University employees have the right to speak on matters of public concern using their personal web pages. However, matters related to their official job duties and employment are not usually matters of public concern.

8. Non-Compliance

a. The University reserves the right, with or without notification, to edit, hide, or temporarily or permanently delete a University web page or website, or any content on a University web page or website for noncompliance with this policy or any other applicable University policy or violation of federal, state, or local law.

b. Violations of this policy will be referred to the appropriate vice president and may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from employment.

9. Related Information

Boise State University Privacy Statement

Boise State University Webguide

Trademark and Licensing Enforcement

University Domain Name Guidelines

Revision History

February 2017; October 21, 2021; May 8, 2023; February 29, 2024