The UK text as a link to the UK homepage.
The Public Relations text as a link to the PR homepage

Web Policy

UK publications

February 19, 2004 (most recent revisions are currently in March 30, 2007).

This policy is the official version. Should it need to be updated a new version with a date specifying its effectiveness will be produced and posted with links back to this prior version. Although other printed or electronic copies of this document may exist, the user is advised to refer to and rely upon this official version of this material when making significant decisions or judgments.

For the convenience of the user, versions of this policy are now available for downloading in MS-Word and PDF formats. Please note that these are for convenience only, and this copy remains the official version.

I. Introduction

Creation and maintenance of Web pages and other Web materials at the University of Kentucky is governed by this policy, the Policy Governing Access to and Use of University of Kentucky Computing Resources (PDF), the Graphic Standards Manual (PDF), and the UK Hospital Policy on Management of Hospital Personal Computer Resources (PDF) as well as relevant laws and regulations. Adoption of and authority for this policy is through the University's Web Advisory Committee (WAC).

People maintaining Web pages at UK should also be familiar with the Web Standards and Guidelines and the University of Kentucky Style Guide.

The University of Kentucky has the greatest respect for academic freedom and intellectual creativity. This policy statement is intended to support the academic freedom of the members of the University community, while protecting the interests of the University and all of its students, faculty and staff. It is designed to provide guidance to those who use University resources to publish materials electronically via the Internet and the World Wide Web. Individual units of the University that wish to create more detailed guidelines for Web materials may do so, as long as they do not conflict with this university-wide policy.

This policy is a revision to the previous Web Policy issued in January 1999. This new policy incorporates a number of policy changes issued through other means since that time as well as long-standing practices. This policy also replaces the 1998 UKCMC Web policy. UKCMC units are still required to use white backgrounds, no frames, the Master Navigation Bar on all pages, and the UKCMC footer on all pages as part of the design formats referenced in this policy. The WAC reserves the right to revise this policy in the future.

II. Scope

This policy governs any electronic documents made available via standard Web protocols which represent an official unit or activity of the University, are hosted on University resources, or bear marks, logos, or symbols that might imply endorsement by the University regardless of where they are hosted.

III. Definitions

The following terms are defined with specific meanings for the purposes of this policy.

A. Accessibility

The ease of presentation and utility to all users particularly understood to include those with disabilities. With regard to the University Web site, disabilities of note include blindness or limited vision, colorblindness, a wide range of disabilities which limit the use of a mouse or keyboard, hearing impairment, and others.

B. Logo

A name, symbol or trademark officially registered or adopted for identifying an organization and/or its products.

C. Primary Unit

A unit which reports to the President, the Provost, a vice president, a dean or a director.

D. Site Review

A specific series of evaluations conducted by University Public Relations to check that a Web site conforms to University policy and standards, does not violate copyright or other legal proscriptions, presents a professional and consistent appearance, functions properly, and is properly supported.

E. Web Materials

Electronic documents created for the purpose of displaying either on the World Wide Web or in a Web browser. These documents may be static or dynamically assembled at the time of request.

  1. Official Web Materials - Web Materials created by or for a unit or employee of the University carrying out the University's mission in teaching, research, service to the community, or administrative operations.
  2. Public Web Materials - Official Web Materials which are available to any segment of the general public (i.e., not internal Web materials).
  3. Internal Web Materials - Official Web Materials which are restricted by password or network/server security from being accessed by anyone outside of the campus community.
  4. Off Site Web Materials - Official Web Materials which are served from computers that do not belong to the University of Kentucky or its units.
  5. Hosted Web Materials - Web Materials created for an entity other than the University of Kentucky which are served from computers belonging to the University or its units.
  6. All Web Materials - All Official Web Materials as well as any other Web materials even if of a personal nature served from computers belonging to the University of Kentucky or its units.

IV. Policy

A. Official Web Materials

1. Public Web materials

The University, through its various sectors, colleges, departments, and other units and programs, creates and maintains official Web materials for the purposes of teaching, research, service to the community, and administrative operations.  Official Web materials must be broadcast on servers belonging to the University of Kentucky unless specific exception is granted by University Public Relations in consultation with University Counsel. The following requirements apply to such official materials:

  1. The appropriate university official (i.e., Vice President, Dean, Department Chair, Committee Chair, Director, etc.) shall formally designate a specific individual or committee to administer Web materials that represent an official University unit. That official also shall provide for appropriate mechanisms and procedures to ensure that the official materials are accurate, up to date, and in conformance with all applicable University policies and regulations.  The University official is responsible for keeping University Public Relations informed of these designees.
  2. All official Web materials developed after July 1, 2003 must comply with Section 508 accessibility standards of the federal government. All official Web materials developed after October 1, 2005 must also comply with state statute KRS 61.980-61.988, the Governor’s ADA Taskforce for Postsecondary Institutions Guidelines for the Accessibility of Electronically Delivered Instruction and Services (PDF), and the Americans with Disabilities Act. All UK Web materials must comply with any additional legal or regulatory mandates with regard to accessibility in force at the time of the creation of those Web materials in accordance with University standards and guidelines provided by the Office of Public Relations. In situations of apparent conflict between or among these regulations, the Office of Public Relations will provide determination of appropriate action for the University. These accessibility standards supersede all other obligations including University requirements and code validation.
  3. Primary units must develop a design format for layout and navigation of their pages which conforms to the standards of the University. As University Public Relations is responsible for the overall appearance and usability of the University Web presence, the design format must be on file with University Public Relations.  Each design format must be accompanied by a project plan specifying dates when it will be adopted and criteria for which pages are or are not covered (e.g., all pages within five links of the home page).

    A primary unit may require the use of a common format across all of its units. Alternatively, a primary unit may permit the development by subordinate units of distinct formats which conform with University standards and any additional standards set forward by that primary unit. Such permissions may cascade down for several levels. Units that do not establish a format must use the format of the nearest organizationally superior unit that does have a format. University Public Relations will maintain a universal design format which must be used when no other format applies.
  4. All official Web materials (pages) are required to include:
    1. The date of the last page update.
    2. Contact information for the individual(s) or group(s) responsible for the content and production of the pages.  Note in cases where the content is managed by one entity and the actual page produced by another, separate contact info should be presented and delineated as such.
    3. A device or mechanism to associate the material as with the University of Kentucky (e.g., text "University of Kentucky," UK logo or wordmark, etc.)
    4. Any use of the UK logo or wordmark as a link (<A> tag) needs to link to the UK homepage.
    5. A link to a higher-level page or the unit/sub-unit home page.
  5. Unit home pages should include:
    1. A link back to the UK home page.
    2. The UK logo and/or wordmark or a unit signature (which includes the UK logo) in a prominent position.
    3. A link back to any higher-level unit.
  6. Search systems/boxes:
    1. Use of sub-site searches should be clearly identified as such and, whenever technically possible, offer the option of searching "all of UK." Sub-site or other searches should be facilitated by use of the UK Google Appliance.
  7. External versus Internal sites:
    1. Externally focused sites should include the University wordmark or a variant to clearly indicate to users that they are visiting the University of Kentucky.
    2. Internally focused sites may choose to use the UK logo, the letters UK, or other informal UK references.
  8. EO Statement:
    1. All unit and sub-unit pages are encouraged to include the words "An Equal Opportunity University" linked to the Official equal opportunity statement.  The words and link are required if the site relates to employment or acceptance to a program. If you are unsure if your site needs this link, please contact Public Relations & Marketing.
  9. Official Web materials which include statements that represent University policy must state explicitly whether the version on the Web is the official version or, if an official version exists elsewhere, where and how to find that version.

    When the version on the Web is the official version of a document the following statement must be used:
  10. Notice: This material [specific reference may be made to the items intended, such as "this list of graduation requirements"] is the official version. Should it need to be updated a new version with a date specifying its effectiveness will be produced and posted with links back to this prior version. Although other printed or electronic copies of this document may exist, the user is advised to refer to and rely upon this official version of this material when making significant decisions or judgments.

    When documents repeat in whole or in part information whose official version is maintained elsewhere, such as advising materials that incorporate a list of requirements for graduation, a notice must be included on the Web page reminding the user that the official version of the requirements is maintained elsewhere, and the user should refer to that other version as the ultimate authority. When a document spans multiple Web pages, the statement must be included on the initial page or an introductory page, and each subsequent page of the document must contain the words "Not Official" hyperlinked back to the notice. The required notice is as follows:

    Notice: Although every effort is made to ensure that this material [specific reference may be made to the items intended, such as "this list of graduation requirements"] is accurate and up to date, it is provided for the convenience of the user and should not be considered the official version. The official version of this material is available at/in [insert the appropriate site or publication, such as "in the University of Kentucky Bulletin"]. The user is advised to refer to and rely upon the official version of this material when making significant decisions or judgments.

  11. Web sites having gone through major revisions or newly developed Web sites must be submitted to University Public Relations for a Site Review.
  12. Standards (PDF) pertaining to the visual appearance of official University materials are the responsibility of University Public Relations (859-257-3303) and must be followed for electronic publications (official Web materials) just as they would be for any other publication.
  13. NOTE: Use of the University of Kentucky institutional signature is not required on Web pages except as part of the University's universal navigation bar, although use of University Public Relations developed and approved unit signatures is encouraged.

  14. Guidelines for official Web materials together with instructions for their implementation are maintained by University Public Relations.
2. Internal Web Materials

Internal Web materials are official Web materials that are developed to target an internal audience and which are restricted by password or network/server security from being accessed by anyone outside of the campus community. Internal Web materials are exempted from University Public Relations review, from use of a design format, from use of standard elements other than the equal opportunity statement, and, when the target audience is known and fully accommodated, from requirements and guidelines related to accessibility that do not apply to that internal audience. Units are still free to abide by or to require their sites to abide by any of these items as they deem appropriate.

B. Off Site Web Materials

Web materials of the University of Kentucky which for technical or professional reasons are not hosted by the University of Kentucky must still comply fully with the specifications of this policy, including the proper use of domain names.

Web sites which are not official Web materials or not under the authority of the University of Kentucky may under no circumstances use any logos that would identify them directly with the University of Kentucky, unless specific permission is granted by University Public Relations or the Athletics Department.

C. Hosted Web Materials

The University of Kentucky benefits from and is proud to support the broader professional and academic efforts of its faculty and staff, which more than offsets the marginal costs of providing Web site support for the programs and organizations of those activities.

The University of Kentucky will provide Web site hosting for any professionally or institutionally relevant site for faculty, staff or students, resources permitting. In cases where resources are an issue, the WAC may be consulted to determine if the situation is of a nature that resources should be identified for the service.

All hosted Web materials must comply with relevant laws, regulations, and University policies and procedures at all times.

If the WAC determines a site does not conform to any of these requirements, it reserves the right to require the site owner to make corrections or adjustments.

D. All Web Materials

  1. In accordance with the basic right to privacy stated in the Policy Governing Access to and use of University of Kentucky Computing Resources (PDF), a Web site that is programmed to gather information about individual users must provide a clear statement to that effect. This statement is not required if the site collects and preserves only general information, such as the number of visitors, without capturing the identity of individuals or if the information is collected by means of an explicit, open request. The required statement must be worded as follows:

    "This site is programmed to collect information about individuals who visit it which may be collected and stored for future use. By proceeding further in this site, you are granting permission for the collection of this information."

    The data to be collected and the purpose of the data collection may be included in the warning, such as "Names and IP addresses will be used for a research project regarding patterns of Web browsing."
  2. All Web sites must comply with all appropriate laws and regulations including but not limited to HIPAA and FERPA.

    All Web sites which collect information entered by a user must conform to all governing privacy laws.  In cases where no specific law applies, if personal identity information such as social security number is collected, the site must either encrypt the transmission or provide a notice that the information is being transmitted unencrypted.

    All Web sites displaying information that identifies or can be used to identify an individual must conform to all governing privacy laws. In cases where no specific law applies but personal identity information such as a social security number is displayed, the site must either encrypt the transmission or provide a notice in advance that the information will be transmitted unencrypted. Images or information for which the university does not own the copyright or has not obtained permission from the copyright holder, or images or information which cannot be shown with certainty to be in the public domain are prohibited on UK Web sites. In addition to any copyright considerations, written permission also must be obtained before displaying any personal information including photographs. When using photographs of any individual, including faculty, staff, students or visitors, or photographs of specific groups, written permission must be obtained by using the University's most recently approved photo release form (PDF). In addition, a signed HIPAA release form (PDF) must be obtained before taking photographs of patients. Each department or unit is responsible for keeping their signed forms on file for so long as they may use the image.

    All Web sites which collect and/or display credit card numbers must encrypt all transmissions.
  3. In the interest of security, all Web sites of the University of Kentucky must be broadcast on Web servers which have been approved by UK Information Technology.
  4. All departments and other units of the University must use the University's domain, uky.edu, for their Web sites.

    Programs which are formally joint activities with an outside entity (e.g., another university, state agency, local government) may be permitted to use a .org or .info address, subject to approval by the UK Manager of Web Services. Any affiliated corporation or other activity determined by the UK Manager of Web Services to be sufficiently independent of the University by the nature of its mission, such as WUKY, may also be permitted to obtain a .org or .info address. If a situation should arise where a site must be hosted by an outside entity, the UK Manager of Web Services may approve the acquisition of a .org or .info address which includes "UK" in its name. In any cases of disagreement with the UK Manager of Web Services's decision, the WAC may review and resolve the disagreement.

    Only activities of a commercial nature and approved in advance by the President's Cabinet or its designee after recommendation of the WAC may obtain a .com address.

    Personal Web sites for students, faculty, staff, and alumni, or organizations thereof, that are not actually part of the University are not restricted by this policy. However, any such site maintained by a member of the University community must not state or imply that it is an official site of the University of Kentucky and must include a disclaimer to that effect.
  5. No Web site may include advertising of any kind including corporate logos.
  6. Logos of state and federal agencies with which the University partners, logos of other institutions of higher education with which the University partners, and logos of prominent grant, fellowship and honor programs consistent with the mission of the University as determined by the WAC are permitted on University Web sites. Unobtrusive logos of software companies on Web pages provided by their software that the University would not otherwise customize are permitted. Logos, which upon review by the WAC are deemed appropriate to express cooperative endeavors in which the University engages, may be used on University Web sites.  Relevant text names and hyperlinks are permitted in all cases.

    Requests for use of corporate logos to be used in a non-advertising circumstance may be submitted to the WAC to approve on a case by case basis.

    NOTE: The WAC reserves the right to review and request changes to any use of outside logos even in cases otherwise permitted by this policy.
  7. University Web sites may be used to sell products or services which directly support the educational, clinical, research or outreach mission of that department. (Examples would be conference registration, continuing education credits, or maps sold by the Kentucky Geological Survey.) Commercial activities which indirectly support these efforts such as promotional items must follow the existing purchasing rules and are limited to off-campus sites with a proper disclaimer.

V. Exceptions and Applicability

This policy is generally applied to all web sites hosted by, funded by, or directly associated with the University of Kentucky.

If an individual or group feels that they are unable to meet the requirements of this policy for any reason, be it technical, legal, logistical or other, they may choose to request either an exemption to the policy or a change in the policy. Such requests should be sent to the Chair of the Web Advisory Committee and the Executive Director for Public Relations for review.

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