Use of College Hosted Individual Web Spaces Policy
|Chief Information Officer and/or Vice President for Information Technology Services|
|Chief Information Officer and/or Vice President for Information Technology Services|
|Information Security and Technology|
|08/08/2011, revised in 2020|
|individual webpages, personal webpages, individual homepages, employee webpages, web publishing|
The SUNY Empire State University Commons website and other individual Web space sponsored by Information Technology Services were created to complement the official university website by providing a place for SUNY Empire State University faculty, students and staff to explore individual and professional Web publishing. Its growing popularity and visibility as a recognized publishing environment and effective communications tool calls for increased clarity in purpose and use.
The purpose of this policy is to establish parameters for use of the SUNY Empire State University university-hosted individual webpages. The university recognizes the value and potential of individual web publishing, and this policy encourages SUNY Empire students, faculty, and staff to experiment and innovate. The availability of web spaces encourage individual creativity by providing a place to explore individual and professional web publishing related to an author’s role and affiliation with the university and to experiment with innovative applications of technology for publishing. The two main services covered within this policy as “individual university-hosted webpages” are File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and FacultySites. Background Information
FacultySites and other individual web space (FTP sites) sponsored by Information Technology Services (ITS) were created as a web space separate from the official university website by providing a place for the SUNY Empire community to explore individual web publishing. Its growing popularity and visibility as a recognized publishing environment and effective communications tool calls for increased clarity in purpose and use.
- University webpages: webpages under the direct control of SUNY Empire that represent the official voice of the university to all internal and external audiences, including prospective students, current students, alumni, faculty, staff, friends of the university and the general public. Examples include the main university webpages, learning resource sites such as the online library, web-based applications such as our ERP/Student Information System (SIS) and DP Planner, and other online sites and tools used to conduct official university business or convey official university information.
- University-affiliated webpages: webpages developed, maintained, or hosted by entities other than SUNY Empire. Yet, they are referenced or used by the university to conduct official business or represent the official voice of the university in accordance with the university’s mission. Examples may include, but are not limited to esclibrary.blogspot.com, facultysites.esc.edu, https://esc.giftplans.org/, and subjectguides.esc.edu.
- Individual university-hosted webpages: webpages developed and maintained by SUNY Empire students, faculty and staff for the purpose of education, communication or other individual uses related to the individual’s affiliation with the university and the university’s mission. These are pages on one of the two aforementioned hosted platforms.
- Personal webpages: webpages developed and maintained by individuals for the purpose of personal self-expression, communication, or other personal uses third-party web service provider (eg. WordPress) that does not have an affiliation with the university. SUNY Empire does not host, maintain, or provide support for personal webpages.
- University name space: domain names recognized as associated with the SUNY Empire (e.g., edu, learn.esc.edu, my.esc.edu, etc...).
- Electronic publications: content posted and available online or shared via network resources. Examples include and are not limited to: text files, HTML, PDF documents, audio, video, or other materials and documents available online.
- Branding: any feature of a webpage that conveys the identity of SUNY Empire through name, text, symbols, emblems, logos, colors, seal, or other audio and/or visual effects.
- Archive: to save content that is no longer current but may be required for historical purposes or reference.
- Delete: to erase content, entire webpages, and/or files from the server.
- Remove: to eliminate all links to content, entire webpages and/or files from the published website, and to change the access permissions to prevent access by users who may have bookmarked the content.
- File Transfer Protocol (FTP): an individual user account that enables the transfer of files from computer to computer.
FTP accounts are available and intended to provide a web publishing option for faculty, students, and staff who prefer to code their own webpages, or for students who are required to do so as part of their studies at the university. All policy statements specific to FTP are applicable to all user groups.
FacultySites are available and intended to provide a web publishing option for faculty and staff who seek a space to present and promote their scholarship and professional endeavors. FacultySites are not made available to students and cannot be requested students. All policy statements specific to FacultySites are applicable to all faculty and staff.
University hosted websites are intended to:
- Support and encourage the university community to explore new venues for authorship in a variety of disciplines, formats and genres.
- Expand communications both within and beyond the university.
- Explore the potential of web tools and functionality to support teaching and learning.
- Provide availability of a space for a content provider (ie. the employee) to engage their community of users.
- The Chief Information Officer (CIO) and/or Vice President (VP) for Information Technology Services has the responsibility for and authority over SUNY Empire Individual webpages and university FTP accounts. The CIO/VP may consult with the university provost, other SUNY Empire cabinet members or university leadership as appropriate.
- The rights of academic freedom and freedom of expression do apply to university-hosted websites . For the purposes of this policy, we will define academic freedom and freedom of expression under the definition stated in Article 9 on Academic Freedom in “The Agreement between the State of New York and United University Professions." Faculty, professionals, staff, and students are encouraged to create and post to individual web spaces within the regulations and expectations set forth by this definition. These works may not necessarily represent SUNY Empire and the views and opinions expressed are strictly those of page authors. SUNY Empire bears no responsibility for the content of individual webpages. Individual webpages will be hosted in university name space for faculty, students, professional, and staff for the term of employment, or as long as there is an official academic or professional relationship with the university. Once employment or the relationship with the university is terminated, responsibility for providing web services will end. It is the sole responsibility of the individual author approaching such termination to archive, move, or otherwise make arrangements for the contents authored. Orphaned individual webpages will be removed and/or deleted from university servers or university name space by a representative of Information Technology Services (ITS).
- The hosting of individual webpages in university name space is limited to SUNY Empire faculty, students, professionals, and staff who are doing web publishing associated with the mission of SUNY Empire.
- for students, this includes work in support of their studies.
- for faculty, this includes work associated with their mentoring, teaching, research, and other scholarly and professional activities associated with their role at SUNY Empire.
- for professionals and staff, this includes work associated with their employment at SUNY Empire and related professional activities.
- Individual webpages hosted in university name space shall not be used for commercial purposes, personal benefit, or to duplicate content or functionality already provided by official university and university-affiliated webpages and publications. Links from individual webpages to official university and university-affiliated webpages and electronic publications are permitted.
- Individual webpages hosted on a SUNY Empire server or in university name space:
- are the sole responsibility of the individual creator or author.
- do not represent the official voice of SUNY Empire.
- will not be included in the search index for the university’s web presence.
- will only be linked from university webpages that exhibit disclaimers clearly indicating to those accessing such pages that they are leaving the university’s official web space.
- must comply with applicable university policies and local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
- Individual webpages, hosted by the university, at the discretion of the creator or author, may exhibit SUNY Empire branding (e.g., templates, name, symbols, emblems, logos, colors, or seal). However, in so doing, such pages will be deemed as expressing the official voice of SUNY Empire and will be governed by the SUNY Empire policy SUNY Empire Web Presence and Publishing.
- SUNY Empire webpages from which individual webpages are accessed shall reference the SUNY External Internet Disclaimer and post the following:
- "SUNY Empire encourages creativity and free expression by providing space for individual webpages on a university Web server. While all members of the university community are expected to follow university policies, local, state, and federal laws and regulations, the comments and viewpoints expressed on individual Web pages represent those of the page authors and not necessarily SUNY Empire. Questions and comments should be addressed to the owners of the individual webpages, who assume responsibility and liability for the content of their documents.”
- SUNY Empire is not responsible for loss of data or service interference resulting from efforts to maintain individual webpages.
- SUNY Empire reserves the right to remove webpages or files that it believes to be in violation of SUNY Empire policy.
- Content appropriate for individual university-hosted webpages and/or FTP accounts includes, but is not limited to:
- individual websites for faculty, students, staff and work groups.
- individual websites related to specific events are to be taken down no later than 30 days after the event.
- university-related affinity groups and organizations that are not funded by the university.
- academic resources compiled by faculty to support individual learning contracts and studies.
- websites related to university studies or scholarly work created by students, faculty or staff.
- Content not appropriate for individual university-hosted webpages includes:
- areas of study websites.
- university programs and administrative office websites.
- university centers, units, or other university organizational unit websites.
- permanent websites including university residency studies and programs.
- organizations and groups connected with official university governance or student organizations that receive university funding.
- university-wide resources and collections intended to be widely accessible by all members of the university community (e.g., MyESC, Online Library, or Writing Resource Center).
- Content that is at risk of FERPA violation. For additional guidance on FERPA compliance, please see the policy “Adherence to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 Policy."
- Student produced content out of the FTP.
- Graded student content and/or feedback.
- Reports of web content that is in alleged violation of this policy will be investigated and handled in accordance with the university’s “Web Presence Standards and Practices.”
- If web content is found to be in violation of SUNY Empire’s Web policies or if traffic to a page has a negative impact on the operation of a SUNY Empire system, the university has the authority to remove the page without prior notice and/or refer the complaint for appropriate action. Page creators or authors who have their pages removed may appeal the decision to the vice president for information technology services in accordance with the SUNY Empire’s “Web Presence Standards and Practices.”
- SUNY Empire complies with all New York state and federal disability regulations (including the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended in 2008, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and follows industry-standard Web accessibility guidelines (such as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and World Wide Web Consortium guidelines). Pages that are flagged and identified as not in compliance by any end user will be referred to the Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) officer/committee for follow up to remedy the compliance concern. The EIT officer/committee can be reached at EITAccessibility@esc.edu.
Requests for exceptions/exemptions to this policy may be routed to the assistant vice president for information technology services and/or chief information officer.
Applicable Legislation and Regulations
- NYS Technology Law: Internet Security and Privacy Act
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act
- Executive Order No. 3: Promotion of Access to Government Decision making
- American with Disabilities Act
- Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sections 504 and 508)
Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices
New York State Policies:
- Accessibility of Web Based Information and Applications
- Acceptable Use of Information Technology (IT) Assets
- Article 9 of The Agreement between the State of New York and United University Professions
- College IT Policies
- Web Presence Standards and Practices
- Academic Freedom (Faculty Handbook) (login required)
- Adherence to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 Policy