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UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-6531

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Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 2570: Official University Webpages

Date Originally Issued: 03-27-2013

1. General

The University's presence on the Web is an essential tool for fulfilling its mission of teaching, research, and service.  Administrative and academic units, faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to take full advantage of Web technology as a medium for providing access to official information and fostering the free exchange of ideas.

Due to the diverse purposes and constituencies served by University websites, as much freedom as possible should be granted to those creating and maintaining websites.  However, the contents of official University webpages on University servers, or on other servers funded by University budgets, must comply with local, state, and federal laws and with University policies. As the reputation and image of the University is determined, in part, by the quality of the information published on its websites, the information should be accurate, accessible, and consistent.

Though "websites" are a collection of "webpages," for the purpose of this policy these two distinct terms are used interchangeably.

2. Applicability

2.1. Official University Webpages

The requirements of this policy apply to all of the University's official webpages, which are public-facing pages written in hypertext markup language (HTML).  Official webpages generally reside on the University's servers, but in some instances may reside on non-University servers.

Staff, faculty, students, and contractors authorized to develop official webpages for any administrative or academic unit of the University, including webpages of the Health Sciences Center and branch campuses, should comply with the requirements of this policy.

2.2. Unofficial University Webpages

Unofficial webpages residing on the University's servers are outside the scope of this policy.  Examples of unofficial webpages include:

  • personal webpages of staff, faculty, and students
  • webpages for consortia, professional journals, or internal University use
  • instructional webpages and Web applications, such as LoboMail, MyUNM, Blackboard Learn, and Starfish
  • webpages of student organizations

3. Web Content Management System

In order to help administrative and academic units comply with this policy, the University has obtained a site license for a Web Content Management System (WCMS), a free tool for use by the University community. Use of the WCMS simplifies the creation, maintenance, and control of Web content.  It allows administrative and academic units to create their own webpages without reliance on outside consultants for assistance, and without acquiring programming skills or dedicated software. Use of the WCMS is not required.

4. Requirements of the Web Standards

To help promote accurate content and an accessible and consistent experience, the University has developed a set of Web Standards for official University websites. Though the Web Standards are primarily guidelines, the Standards do contain several required elements.  Administrative and academic units are expected to come into compliance with the requirements within three (3) years of the effective date of this policy, or at the time that they are developing a new website or refreshing an existing one. The required elements of the Web Standards are described below in Sections 4.1 through 4.3.

4.1. Logo, References, and Contact Information

An approved UNM logo must appear at the top of every official University webpage. The words "The University of New Mexico" must appear in the HTML title tag and on the website's homepage.  A link back to the UNM homepage must be included on the pages of the site. A link to contact information for the department must appear on the home page, including an email address, phone number, and mailing address.

4.2. Accessibility

All websites are required to make reasonable efforts to comply with the standards for accessibility in Section 508, an amendment to the United States Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Information about these standards can be found at: http://webmaster.unm.edu/web-policy/web- standards/accessibility.html.

4.3. Domain Names

All administrative and academic websites on the University's servers should use unm.edu domain names in the form of xxxx.unm.edu or xxxx.yyyy.unm.edu. Domain names should accurately reflect the department, program, or activities to which they refer.

4.3.1. Exceptions

Administrative and academic units wishing to use a non-unm.edu domain name should seek permission from the Web Advisory Committee through the exception process discussed in Section 7.

5. Web Governance

5.1. Web Advisory Committee

The Web Advisory Committee (WAC) works to improve communication and cooperation among the various University entities charged with Web-related responsibilities. With broad representation from several units of the University, the WAC is charged with:

  • maintaining the integrity of the University's websites
  • creating and recommending policies pertaining to the University's presence on the Web
  • overseeing compliance with and reviewing requests for exceptions to the required elements of the Web Standards

5.2. Manager of University Web Communications

The Manager of University Web Communications and the associated team:

  • help to implement the WAC's decisions
  • provide guidance and support for policy and standard implementation
  • assist campus entities in interpreting and adhering to standards

5.3. Chief University Marketing & Communication Officer

The Chief University Marketing & Communication Officer or designee:

  • establishes identity standards for the University's websites
  • advises the WAC on marketing issues related to the University's websites

5.4. Office of the Chief Information Officer

The Chief Information Officer or designee:

  • advises the WAC on the tools and infrastructure appropriate to support the University's Web efforts and may also provide that infrastructure
  • advises the WAC on security and confidentiality issues related to Web content

6. Compliance with UNM Web Standards

Consistent with Section 4 of this policy, the WAC is authorized to require that administrative and academic units bring websites under their control into compliance with the required elements of the Web Standards. Continued failure to comply with the required elements of the Web Standards shall be reported to the cognizant Vice President or Dean. Serious breaches involving security and legal issues may result in an immediate shutdown of a noncompliant site.

Administrative and academic units may have Web policies and standards specific to their websites that are more restrictive than the University's Web Standards.

7. Exceptions

The University understands that in some cases a technical or business need may arise that does not fit into the defined policies and standards. With this in mind a process exists for cases where an administrative or academic unit wishes to request an exception. The WAC considers all requests for exceptions, which should be submitted on a Web Policy Standard Exception Request Form.

Exception requests can be submitted via email to webadv@unm.edu.  Requests received by the first Friday of the month will be placed on the agenda for that month's meeting.  A representative of the unit may attend the meeting to discuss the exception.

Exception requests must include the following:

  • the specific section of the Web Standards for which an exception is requested
  • a business or technical reason for needing the exception
  • approval by the appropriate Dean or Director

8. References

UAP 1010 ("University External Graphic Identification Standards")

UAP 2500 ("Acceptable Computer Use")

UAP 2520 ("Computer Security Controls and Access to Sensitive and Protected Information")

UAP 2550 ("Information Security")