Use of the Commons and Individual Web Spaces Policy

Sponsor:

Office of Integrated Technologies

Contact:

Chief Information Officer and Vice President for the Office of Integrated Technologies

Category:

Computer and Integrated Technology Policies

Number:

700.005

Effective Date:

2011/08/08

Review Date:

2012/08/01

Implementation History:

New

Keywords:

individual webpages, personal webpages, individual homepages, employee webpages, web publishing, the Commons

Background Information:

The SUNY Empire State College Commons website and other individual Web space sponsored by the Office of Integrated Technologies were created to complement the official college website by providing a place for SUNY Empire State College 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.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish parameters for use of the SUNY Empire State College Commons website and other college-hosted Individual webpages. The college recognizes the value and potential of individual publishing on the World Wide Web, and by this policy encourages SUNY Empire State College students, faculty and staff to experiment and innovate. Web space in the Commons is intended to encourage individual creativity by providing a place to explore individual and professional Web publishing related to an author’s role and affiliation with the college and to experiment with innovative applications of technology for publishing.

The Commons website was created to:

  • support and encourage the college community to explore new venues for authorship in a variety of disciplines, formats and genres
  • expand communications both within and beyond the college
  • explore the potential  for using open-source tools to support teaching and learning
  • share the excitement and responsibility for innovating with technology by building a community of users willing to help each other
  • assess potential technologies for their applicability collegewide.

File Transport Protocol (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 college.

Definitions

  1. college webpages:  webpages under the direct control of SUNY Empire State College that represent the official voice of the college to all internal and external audiences, including prospective students, current students, alumni, faculty, staff,  friends of the college and the general public. Examples include the main college webpages, learning resource sites such as the online library, Web-based applications such as Web Advisor and DP Planner, and other online sites and tools used to conduct official college business or convey official college information. 
  2. college-affiliated webpages: webpages developed, maintained or hosted by entities other than SUNY Empire State College but referenced or used by the college to conduct official business or represent the official voice of the college in accordance with the college’s mission. Examples may include, but are not limited to www.esclibrary.blogspot.com, www.ed2go.com/esccwa, www.subjectguides.esc.edu/ home, 

    http://cml.esc.edu/, http://alumni.esc.edu/ and www.esc.edu/bookstore

  3. individual webpages: webpages developed and maintained by SUNY Empire State College students, faculty and staff for the purpose of self-expression, communication or other individual uses related to the individual’s affiliation with the college and the college’s mission
  4. personal webpages: webpages developed and maintained by individuals for the purpose of personal self-expression, communication or other personal uses. SUNY Empire State College does not host, maintain or provide support for personal webpages.
  5. college name space: domain names recognized as associated with the SUNY Empire State College, e.g., www.esc.edu, suny-empire.esc.edu, commons.esc.edu, etc.
  6. electronic publications: content posted and available online or shared via network resources. Examples include, but are not limited to, text files, HTML and PDF documents, audio and video flash files or other materials and documents available online
  7. branding: any feature of a webpage that conveys the identity of SUNY Empire State College through name, text, symbols, emblems, logos, colors, seal or other audio or visual effects
  8. archive: to save content that is no longer current but may be required for historical purposes or reference
  9.  delete: to erase content, entire webpages and/or files from the server
  10.  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
  11. Web Presence Advisory Committee: SUNY Empire State College working committee tasked with advising the vice president for communications and government relations and the vice president for integrated technology regarding the college’s presence on the Web.

Statements

  1. The vice president for integrated technologies has responsibility for and authority over SUNY Empire State College Commons, college Individual webpages and college FTP accounts. The vice president may consult with the college provost, other SUNY Empire State College cabinet members or the College Web Presence Advisory Committee as appropriate.
  2. The rights of academic freedom and freedom of expression as provided by the First Amendment apply to webpages and electronic publications. Faculty, students and staff are encouraged to create and post individual webpages and individual electronic publications on the Commons. These works may not necessarily represent SUNY Empire State College and the views and opinions expressed are strictly those of page authors. SUNY Empire State College bears no responsibility for the content of individual webpages and individual electronic publications.
  3. Individual webpages will be hosted in college name space for faculty, students and staff for the term of employment, or as long as there is an official academic or professional relationship with the college. Once employment or the relationship with the college 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 and individual electronic publications will be removed and/or deleted from college servers or college name space by the college Web manager after appropriate notice.
  4. The hosting of individual webpages in college name space is limited to SUNY Empire State College faculty, students and staff who are doing Web publishing associated with the mission of SUNY Empire State College.
    1. for students, this includes work in support of their studies
    2. for faculty, this includes work associated with their mentoring, teaching, research and other scholarly and professional activities associated with their role at SUNY Empire State College
    3. for staff, this includes work associated with their employment at SUNY Empire State College and related professional activities.
  5. Individual webpages hosted in college name space shall not be used for commercial purposes, personal benefit or to duplicate content or functionality already provided by official college and college-affiliated webpages and publications. Links from individual webpages to official college and college-affiliated webpages and electronic publications are permitted.
  6. Individual webpages hosted on a SUNY Empire State College server or in college name space: 
    1. are the sole responsibility of the individual creator or author
    2. do not represent the official voice of SUNY Empire State College
    3. will not be included in the search index for the college’s Web presence
    4. will only be linked from college webpages that exhibit disclaimers clearly indicating to those accessing such pages that they are leaving the college’s official Web space
    5. must comply with applicable college policies and local, state and federal laws and regulations.
  7. Individual webpages, hosted in the Commons, at the discretion of the creator or author, may exhibit SUNY Empire State College 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 State College and will be governed by the SUNY Empire State College policy SUNY Empire State College Web Presence and Publishing.
  8. SUNY Empire State College provides a page where individual webpages are listed and linked. Individuals will have the option of having their page(s) included in the list. This listing will contain a disclaimer absolving the college of all responsibility for the content of Individual webpages. No one, however, will be required to list their page here. With the individual’s permission, the college may create additional links to an author’s work. However, any additional link created from any official college webpage to an individual’s webpage will also contain the disclaimer. The college and an author may decide to make the author’s work part of the college's official Web spaces. At this time, page(s) may require revision to meet the guidelines of official college webpages.
  9. SUNY Empire State College webpages from which individual webpages are accessed shall reference the SUNY External Internet Disclaimer and post the following:
    "SUNY Empire State College encourages creativity and free expression by providing space for individual webpages on a college Web server. While all members of the college community are expected to follow college 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 State College. Questions and comments should be addressed to the owners of the individual webpages, who assume responsibility and liability for the content of their documents.
  10. SUNY Empire State College is not responsible for loss of data or service interference resulting from efforts to maintain Individual webpages.
  11. SUNY Empire State College will not screen individual webpages published in college name space but reserves the right to remove webpages or files that it believes to be in violation of SUNY Empire State College policy.
  12. Content appropriate for the Commons and/or FTP accounts includes, but is not limited to:
    1. individual websites for faculty, students, staff and work groups
    2. temporary or ad hoc websites connected with specific events, such sites are to be taken down no later than 30 days after the event
    3. temporary or ad hoc websites and pages connected to specific events; such sites or pages are to be taken down no later than 60 days after the event but may be moved to a generally available and searchable archive by request; forward requests for accessible archiving to the college Web manager
    4. college-related affinity groups and organizations that are not funded by the college
    5. academic resources compiled by faculty to support individual learning contracts and studies
    6. websites related to college studies or scholarly work created by students, faculty or staff.
  13. Content not appropriate for the Commons and intended for official college web space includes:
    1. areas of study websites
    2. college programs and administrative office websites
    3. college centers, units or other college organizational unit websites 
    4. permanent websites including college residency studies and programs
    5. organizations and groups connected with official college governance or student organizations that receive college funding
    6. collegewide resources and collections intended to be widely accessible by all members of the college community; e.g., MyESC, Online Library or Writing Resource Center.

Violations/Non-compliance

  1. Reports of Web content that is in alleged violation of this policy will be investigated and handled in accordance with the college’s Web Presence Standards and Practices.
  2. If Web content is found to be in violation of SUNY Empire State College’s Web policies or if traffic to a page has a negative impact on the operation of a SUNY Empire State College system, the college 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 integrated technologies in accordance with the SUNY Empire State College’s Web Presence Standards and Practices.
  3. SUNY Empire State College 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). Additional information is at http://www.esc.edu/disabilityservices. Interpretation of accessibility requirements, policies or related questions and concerns may be directed to the SUNY Empire State College Director of Collegewide Disability Services at Disability.Services@esc.edu, 800-847-3000, ext. 2201, or the New York State Relay Service at 800-421-1220.

Exceptions/Exemptions

Requests for exceptions/exemptions to this policy may be routed to the vice president for integrated technologies.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

  1. NYS Technology Law: Internet Security and Privacy Act http://www.cio.ny.gov/tables/Policy/OFTenablingLeg.htm#ArticleII
  2. New York State Laws and Regulations Relevant to State Government Records (www.archives.nysed.gov/a/records/mr_laws_state.shtml)
  3. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf)
  4. Executive Order No. 3: Promotion of  Access to Government Decision making (www.cio.ny.gov/eo3.htm)  

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

New York State Policies:

  1. Accessibility of Web Based Information and Applications (www.cio.ny.gov/Policy/NYS-P08-005.pdf)
  2. NYS Guidelines for Internet Privacy Policy (www.cio.ny.gov/policy/NYSGuidelineG02-001.pdf)
  3. Acceptable Use of Information Technology (IT) Assets (www.cio.ny.gov/policy/G09-001/NewYorkStateAcceptableUseBestPracticeGuideline.doc)

SUNY Empire State College Policies:

  1. College IT Policies (www.esc.edu/integrated-technologies/technology-policies/)
  2. Academic Freedom (Faculty Handbook) (login required - (http://www.esc.edu/facultyhandbook)

Procedures:

SUNY Empire State College faculty, students, and staff interested in creating and posting in the Commons may learn more at http://commons.esc.edu/helpandsupport/. Those interested in having their site listed in the Commons may contact the college Web manager.