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Policy 4-003: World Wide Web Resources Policy

Effective date: July 1, 2019

  1. Purpose and Scope

    1. Purpose. Academic freedom, the decentralized nature of the World Wide Web, and the diverse purposes served by University Web sites require that as much freedom as possible be granted to those creating and maintaining Web sites. The University of Utah supports and encourages freedom of expression and an open environment for the pursuit of knowledge; however, the contents of all Web pages under University jurisdiction must comply with local, state and federal laws and University of Utah policies, rules, and regulations. The service to students and community of the University of Utah is determined, in part, by the quality of information it publishes electronically. A set of minimum standards and guidelines for Web sites of University of Utah units and affiliates is necessary to maintain the accuracy, consistency and integrity of such sites. The purpose of the World Wide Web Resources Policy is:

      1. To establish the University’s Policy for students, faculty and staff creating and maintaining Web Sites and pages served to students and the community of the University of Utah, ensuring that the collection of Web properties enhances the online information and services provided by the University.

      2. To safeguard the broad discretion and responsibilities that Organizational Units have in establishing additional reasonable and appropriate "conditions of use" for Web information resources under their control.

        1. To allow as much freedom as possible for those creating and maintaining University Web Sites while complying with local, state, and federal laws, applicable international laws, and University of Utah policies, rules and regulations.

        2. To ensure that Policies and guidelines created at the Organizational Unit level are consistent with this Policy although Organizational Units may provide more detail, guidelines, and/or restrictions. Such policies and guidelines supplement this Policy but do not supersede or replace it.

        3. To outline the University’s minimum requirements to maintain accuracy, consistency, security and integrity of Web Sites, enhancing the quality of information the University publishes electronically and the reputation of the University. To ensure compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and statutes, the Policy covers the following areas:

          1. Accessibility

          2. Academic freedom

          3. Copyright

          4. Web Site registration

          5. Domain name governance

          6. Security and privacy

          7. Design standards (including disclaimers, U trademarks and logos, branding guidelines)

          8. Commercial use

          9. Web E-commerce

          10. Resources for Web Site owners

    2. Scope. Compliance with the Policy, and all its related Rules and Procedures, is required for all members of the University of Utah community, and governs all World Wide Web (the Web) information and communication systems utilizing University information resources, regardless of ownership, whether stewardship is individually controlled or shared. The use and management of University information resources is governed by the University Information Resources Policy 4-002. Appropriate handling of restrictive and sensitive data on web pages is governed by Information Security Policy 4-004, Rule C, Data Classification and Encryption in collecting and handling restrictive, sensitive and public data. The policies presented herein govern a specific subset of those information resources, including Portals, Web Sites and Web Pages. The scope of this policy does not include Web Applications.

  2. Definitions

    The definitions provided for this Policy.

    1. “Commercial Speech” (as defined in Policy 1-007) means “all spoken, written and symbolic speech intended in whole or in part for the personal profit of the person, organization or institution engaged in the speech.” For the purposes of this document, Commercial Speech includes advertisement or promotion of any third party’s products or services (even if such third party is a donor to the University), but does not include references to a donor solely in connection with the donor’s gift to the University.

    2. "Domain Name” is a unique name registered in the internet’s hierarchical domain name system (DNS), such as A third-level domain name consists of three labels, such as or

    3. “Institutional Web Site” is any Web Site or Web Page published by any person or Organizational Unit that presents or represents the University's official academic, research and/or administrative programs, centers, institutes, plans, and/or policies; Web Sites or Web Pages include Web Sites created by individual faculty members to present or support the teaching, research or professional activities of that individual; and Web Sites or Web pages created by a Recognized Student Organization classified as Sponsored (as per Rule 6- 401A.). Such Web Sites or Web Pages are sponsored or sanctioned by the appropriate Organizational Unit. The physical location or ownership of the Web server(s) from which such pages are served does not alter their status as an Institutional Web Site.

    4. “Non-Institutional Web Site” is any Web Site or Web Page hosted on a Web server owned or contracted by the University but outside the defined scope of Institutional Web Site. Such Non-Institutional Web Sites include but are not limited to personal Web Pages of University faculty, staff, and students; Web Sites or Web Pages of Recognized Student Organizations classified as Affiliated or Registered (as per Rule 6-401A); Web Sites of non-University organizations hosted by the University as a courtesy or service.

    5. “Official University Portal” or “Portal” is a Web Page or Web Site that serves as an authenticated and personalized or customized gateway to Institutional Web Sites or to a combination of Institutional Web Sites and Non-Institutional sites.

    6. “Organizational Unit” is a University Unit organized to provide University products and services. An Organization Unit is defined broadly to include administrative organizations and departments, academic schools, colleges and departments, offices, centers, institutes, auxiliary organizations, hospitals and clinics, Sponsored Student Organizations, etc.

    7. “Publisher” is any person or Organizational Unit responsible for posting or publishing a given electronic resource and which exercises editorial control over the finished form of the resource and its content.

    8. “Recognized Student Organization Classification” is specified in Rule 6-401A as part of the student code. A Student Organization may apply for recognition and be classified as one of three categories (Sponsored, Affiliated, Registered) based on the level of support and supervision provided by the University. Only Sponsored student organizations are Organizational Units of the University.

    9. “Search Engine” is a software system designed to search for and retrieve information from a Web site, collection of Web sites, or the World Wide Web.

    10. “Social Media” or “Social Networking Service” is a type of Web Site used to build social networks or social relationships among people who share similar interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections.

    11. “University Webmaster and Web Site Resources Team” is an individual or group who serves as the primary provider or publisher of the University’s main site, The University Webmaster and Web Site Resources Team administers the site and is responsible for content and design of the site. They coordinate selection and manage various tools for administration of Web Sites and provide consultation on technical issues such as accessibility, programming, human factors, and integrations. The University Webmaster also procures, maintains and enhances enterprise templates and tools available to University Web Site owners.

    12. “The University Web Site” or home page is the primary web page and collection of secondary web pages hosted on the domain.

    13. “Web Application” is a computer program that utilizes a Web browser or other Web technology to perform tasks over the Internet.

    14. “Web-based Electronic Commerce (Web e-commerce)” is the provision of Web Pages for transactions (exchanging money or secure information) for the ordering and payment of University goods and services. Such transactions include those between Organizational Units of the University and businesses or other organizations, or between Organizational Units of the University and individuals.

    15. “Web Content” is the text and media that a visitor encounters as they visit a Web Site or Web Page. Web Content typically includes text, images, graphics, photos, sounds, video and animations.

    16. “Web Content Management System (CMS)” is any software system, application, or service designed to deliver or publish Web Sites and pages.

    17. “Web CMS Service Provider” is any Organizational Unit, or external company or consultant, which provides and maintains a Web site publishing system and/or service used by an Organizational Unit.

    18. “Web Home Page” is any Web Page that serves as the primary Portal, table of contents, root URL, or designated entry point for a Web Site.

    19. “Web Page” is a collection of information, consisting of one or more Web resources intended to be rendered simultaneously, displayed in a Web browser or Web appliance.

    20. “Web Site” is a collection of related Web Pages, residing at the same network location, which can be accessed by following one or more hyperlink references.

    21. “Web Site Owner” is any person or Organizational Unit serving as the primary provider or publisher of a Web Site. The Web Site Owner of any University Organizational Unit’s Institutional Web Site is the Administrative head of that Organizational Unit unless otherwise indicated during Web Site registration.

    22. “Webmaster” is any individual or group serving as the primary administrator of a Web Site. A Webmaster is responsible for the creation and maintenance of a Web Site, regardless of whether the Webmaster is responsible for content authoring and editing.

  3. Policy

    The University is committed to ensuring that its Web Sites and pages provide a convenient and beneficial experience for Web visitors across the University’s many Web property offerings. The following policies outline the minimum requirements for all Web Pages, Portals and Sites associated to the University, both Institutional, and Non-Institutional.

    1. Accessibility

      1. The University of Utah is committed to the principle of universal access to official information and encourages Content and Web Page design for accessibility to audiences using alternate communication channels (e.g., assistive technologies including text-to-speech or text-to-Braille browsers). Web Site Owners must ensure that Web Pages and resources are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II and the Federal Rehabilitation Act, Section 504. See Guideline 4-003A Implementing Web Site Accessibility for specific standards and details for compliance. Resources for designing and assessing accessible Web Pages are available through links on the University Web Resources Web Site.

      2. In certain instances, a Web Site visitor may request an accommodation beyond the level of accessibility available in a given Web Site. Web Sites must contain a link to the University’s “Nondiscrimination & Accessibility Statement” which contains information on how to request an accommodation. Upon request, the University Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action or the Center for Disability and Access Services will then engage the University’s ADA interactive process to create a suitable accommodation in accordance with Policy 5-117 “ADA Policy: Reasonable Accommodation and Access.”

    2. Academic Freedom

      1. Web Site Owners must comply with multiple policies and guidelines for Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech on both Institutional and Non- institutional Web Pages. Links to those policies and guidelines are found in Section V, References, of this policy and online in the University Regulation Library listed under Academics.

    3. Copyright

      1. Contents of all Web Pages are subject to University of Utah copyright standards covered in the University's Copyright Policy, Policy 7-013 (Copying of Copyrighted Works), Policy 7-014 (Performance or Display of Copyrighted Works) and Policy 7-003 (Ownership).

      2. Web Site Owners must comply with all federal and state copyright laws that govern the Web Content presented, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). See Rule 4-003B Digital Copyright Infringement, Protection and Remedies for more information.

      3. Digital media consumers are also responsible for complying with the DMCA.

    4. Web Site Registration

      1. Web Site Owners must register Institutional Web Sites with the University Webmaster.

      2. Owners of Non-Institutional Web Sites are not required to register their Web Sites. Because registration allows access to supplemental support services, owners of Non-Institutional Web Sites may also register their Web Sites with the University Webmaster to take advantage of these services.

      3. Registration information is available on the University Webmaster Resources page. See Rule 4-003C Responsibilities and Authority of University Webmaster.

      4. Owners of registered Web Sites are provided access to supplemental support services available from the University Webmaster and/or Enterprise Web Advisory Council. See Rule 4-003D Web Site Registration.

    5. Domain Name Governance

      1. Domain names, including administrative, research, health sciences, patient care and academic Organizational Units, must be registered with University Information Technology (University IT) which provides domain name services. Requests for domain names will be processed and granted by University IT to protect the University brand, mission and reputation; optimize search engine rankings; provide consistency to Web visitors; enable individual Organizational Units to have a global and local identity; and to comply with trademark agreements.

      2. Third level domain names are restricted (such as according to requirements set forth in Rule 4-003E Domain Name Registration.

      3. Exceptions to the rule may be granted in certain circumstances. See Rule 4- 003E for specifics and process for requesting an exception.

    6. Privacy

      1. The person or Organizational Unit which owns the Institutional Web Site is responsible for managing its Web Sites and data practices in a way that reflects the University’s commitment to privacy. Web Site owners may not require site visitors to provide personal information to visit a Non-Institutional Web Site or to download information. Institutional Web Sites may request personal information if complying with specific requirements outlined in Rule 4-003F.

      2. Institutional Web Sites requesting personal information must include the text or a link to the University’s Privacy Statement. See Rule 4-003F for more details.

      3. Owners of Institutional Web Sites must comply with Information Security Policy 4-004, Rule C, Data Classification and Encryption in collecting and handling restrictive, sensitive and public data.

      4. Organizational Units may impose more requirements in addition to those outlined in Rule 4-003F.

    7. Web Site and Web Page Design Requirements

      1. The University does not mandate a single "look and feel" for Institutional Web Sites. Web Site Owners have primary control of the appearance, content and navigation of their Institutional Web Sites. A set of minimum design standards is defined in Rule 4-003G Web Site and Web Page Design Requirements.

      2. Organizational Units may impose more requirements in addition to those outlined in Rule 4-003G.

    8. Commercial Use

      1. Non-Institutional Web Sites may not be used for commercial purposes or contain Commercial Speech. University of Utah resources may not be used to create Web Pages primarily for personal business or personal commercial gain.

      2. Institutional Websites are permitted to include Commercial Speech under the following conditions:

        1. Auxiliary Enterprises (identified in Policy 3-150, Board of Regents Policy R-550 and R-555) and Web publications governed by the Publications Council or Student Broadcast council (Policy 6-401) are authorized to use Web properties for commercial use, transactions and speech related to the Organizational Unit’s service mission, but must comply with related policies, rules and guidelines for appropriateness, security and privacy. See Rule 4-003H for more information.

        2. Institutional Web Sites for Organizational Units not designated as an Auxiliary Enterprise may contain commercial speech under certain conditions outlined in Rule 4-003H.

    9. Web E-Commerce

      Web e-commerce services provided by Institutional Web Sites must be in support of the University’s mission to develop and transfer new knowledge, promote student success to transform lives, engage communities to improve health and quality of life and ensure long-term viability of the University.

      1. Institutional Web Sites offering Web E-commerce must be registered with the University Webmaster and certified as secure by the University Information Security Office. Such Institutional Web Sites must also be certified as audited for financial and operating practices by the University Internal Audit Department (Policy 3-019) and comply with the Payment Card Acceptance Policy 3-070. See Rule 4-003I for specific requirements.

      2. Non-Institutional Web Sites are prohibited from providing e-commerce.

    10. University Webmaster Roles and Responsibilities

      1. The University will establish a “University Webmaster,” an individual or group to serve as the primary publisher of the University’s main Web site, The University Webmaster is responsible for all site administration, content, and design. The University Webmaster shall provide and maintain enterprise tools available to University Web Site owners and Webmasters. The “University Webmaster” shall be advised by the standing, university-wide council, the Enterprise Web Advisory Council. See Rule 4-003C, University Webmaster Responsibilities and Authority.

    11. Web Site Owner’s Responsibilities

      1. Web Site Owners are responsible for the information presented on their Web Sites, for maintaining and securing their Web Sites, and for ensuring their Web Sites comply with all applicable University polices, rules and regulations. The Web Site Owner’s cognitive supervisor is responsible for ensuring Web Site Owner compliance with this policy.

      2. Web CMS Service Providers may offer services to provide and maintain system(s) used for the delivery and publishing of Web Sites. Web Site Owners and Web CMS Service Providers may, upon mutually agreeable terms, arrange for the Web CMS Service Providers to assist Web Site Owners in fulfilling some of responsibilities related to Web Site ownership.

      3. The Web Site Owner of any University Organizational Unit’s Institutional Web Site is the Administrative head of that Organizational Unit unless otherwise indicated during website registration.

      4. Web Site Owners of Institutional Web Sites are responsible for ensuring their Web Sites are registered with the University Webmaster.

      5. The Web Site Owner of any Non-Institutional Web Site is the person primarily responsible for publishing or providing the Web Site and is solely responsible for the content of Non-institutional Web Sites. Rule 4-003G Design Requirements has instructions for including the University’s disclaimer stating that the views, opinions and conclusions expressed on such pages are those of the site owner and not necessarily those of the university of Utah. However, as specified in the University Information Resources Policy (Policy 4-002), the University reserves the right to remove from any University Web server any page that is found to be in violation of the law or University policies.

      6. Web Site Owners of Non-Institutional Web Sites are responsible for ensuring their Web Sites are registered, if desired, with the University Webmaster.

    12. University Portals

      1. The University Webmaster is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of a primary, official University Web Portal. Such Portal can only be implemented under the review of the Enterprise Web Advisory Council and the approval of the Cognizant Senior Vice President and the Chief Information Officer.

      2. University Web Portals, other than the University's official Portal, may be created if the Portals serve the mission of the sponsoring Organizational Unit. If an intended Portal meets any one or more of the following criteria, the Organizational Unit desiring to establish the University Web Portal must receive prior approval to do so from the Enterprise Web Advisory Council and the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

        1. The Portal site is intended to serve members of the University community beyond the faculty, staff and/or students of the sponsoring Organizational Unit;

        2. The Portal site infrastructure requires access to University of Utah enterprise database resources;

        3. The Portal site contains Commercial Speech or advertisements; or

        4. The Portal site is funded wholly or in part by a commercial sponsor or partnership.

    13. Enforcement

      1. The policies and procedures for enforcement set forth in the University Information Resources Policy (Policy 4-002, Section V.D) and University Information Security Policy (Policy 4-004, Section III.Q) are incorporated herein by reference and shall apply in the event of any noncompliance with this policy. In addition to any other permitted enforcement actions, the University Webmaster may request suspension of any noncompliant Web Page or Web Site pending resolution of the compliance issue. As further detailed by relevant procedures implementing this policy, a Website Owner of a suspended Web Page or Web Site may appeal the suspension to the Enterprise Web Advisory Council or the Policy 4-003 Officer.

        [Note: Parts IV-VII of this Regulation (and all other University Regulations) are Regulations Resource Information – the contents of which are not approved by the Academic Senate or Board of Trustees, and are to be updated from time to time as determined appropriate by the cognizant Policy Officer and the Institutional Policy Committee, as per Policy 1-001 and Rule 1-001.]

  4. Rules, Procedures, Guidelines, Forms and other Related Resources

    1. Rules

      Rule 4-003A: [Reserved for Implementing Web Site Accessibility]

      Rule 4-003B: Online Copyright Infringements, Protection and Remedies

      Rule 4-003C: Responsibilities and Authority of University Webmaster

      Rule 4-003D: Web Site Registration

      Rule 4-003E: Domain Name Service Request

      Rule 4-003F: Privacy Statement and Responsibilities

      Rule 4-003G: Web Site and Web Page Design Requirements

      Rule 4-003H: Commercial Use of Websites and Pages

      Rule 4-003I: Web Electronic Commerce

    2. Procedures [Reserved]

    3. Guidelines

      Guideline: Best Practices for Implementing Web Site Accessibility

      Guideline: Implementing Best Practices in Web Site Design

      Guideline: Domain Naming Standards

      Guideline: Best Practices for Publishing Content on Social Network Services

    4. Forms

    5. Other Related Resources

      1. Website: University Webmaster Resources
      2. Website: Website Registration
  5. References

    1. University Policies addressing Academic Freedom include but are not limited to the following:

      1. Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Faculty Rights (6-002)

      2. Academic Freedom of Faculty-Dismissal or Forced Resignation, Discontinuation of Academic Program (6-307,6-313)

      3. Academic Freedom and Dismissals of Non-Faculty Academic Personnel (Academic Staff, Educational Trainees, Postdoctoral Fellows, Medical Housestaff) (6-309)

      4. Demonstrations, Designated Free Speech Areas, Flyers, Petitions, Reserving Facilities for Meetings (1-007)Student Publications & Academic Freedom (1-007)Freedom of Speech, Assembly, and Press-General Principles (1-007)

      5. Intellectual Freedom of Faculty--Code of Faculty Rights and Responsibilities (6-316, Section 1,6-316, Section 2)

      6. School Disruptions & Civil Disturbance on Campus (1-005)

      7. Student Freedom of Expression (Student Bill of Rights) (6-400)

      8. Student Press-Censorship, Student Broadcast Council, Publications Council (6-401)

    2. Copyright Policies and references

      1. Policy 7-002, Patents and Inventions

      2. Policy 7-003 Ownership of Copyrightable Works and Related Works

      3. Policy 7-013 Copyright Policy: Copying of Copyrighted Works

      4. Policy 7-014 Copyright Policy: Performance or Display of Copyrighted Works

      5. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (H.R. 2881)

      6. DMCA U.S. Copyright Office summary

      7. DMCA Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,17 U.S.C. § 512

    3. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) Title II

    4. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g)

    5. Federal Rehabilitation Act, Section 504

    6. Policy 1-006, Conflicts of Interest

    7. Policy 1-007, University Speech Policies

    8. Policy 3-019 , Internal Audit Policy

    9. Policy 3-150, Auxiliary Enterprises Operation

    10. Utah State Board of Regents Policy R550, Auxiliary Enterprises Operation and Accountability

    11. Utah State Board of Regents Policy R555, Providing Facilities, Goods and Services in Competition with Private Enterprise

    12. Policy 3-070: Payment Card Acceptance

    13. Policy 4-001, University Institutional Data Management Policy

    14. Policy 4-002 , Information Resources Policy

    15. Policy 4-004, IT Security Policy

    16. Policy 5-117, ADA Policy, Reasonable Accommodation and Access

    17. Policy 6-400, Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities

    18. Rule R6-401, Recognized Student Organization Classification 

    19. Policy 6-316, Code of Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

    20. WC3 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

  6. Contacts

    The designated contact officials for this Policy are

    1. Policy Owner (primary contact person for questions and advice): Deputy CIO as designated by the University of Utah Chief Information Officer.

    2. Policy Officers: University Chief Information Officer.

      These officials are designated by the University President or delegee, with assistance of the Institutional Policy Committee, to have the following roles and authority, as provide in University Rule 1-001:

      “A ‘Policy Officer’ will be assigned by the President for each University Policy, and will typically be someone at the executive level of the University (i.e., the President and his/her Cabinet Officers). The assigned Policy Officer is authorized to allow exceptions to the Policy in appropriate cases…”

      “The Policy Officer will identify an ‘Owner’ for each Policy. The Policy Owner is an expert on the Policy topic who may respond to questions about, and provide interpretation of the policy; and will typically be someone reporting to an executive level position (as defined above), but may be any other person to who the President or a Vice President has delegated such authority for a specified area of University operations. The Owner has primary responsibility for maintaining the relevant portions of the Regulations Library… [and] bears the responsibility for determining –requirements of particular Policies….” University Rule 1-001-III-B & E

  7. History

    1. Current version-- Revision 1.0.

      1. Approved by Academic Senate April 1, 2019

      2. Approved by Board of Trustees April 9, 2019

      3. Effective date July 1 2019

    2. Previous versions:

      1. Original Policy approved by Academic Senate March 5, 2001

      2. Original Policy approved by Board of Trustees May 14, 2001

      3. Original Policy effective dates May 14, 2001 to July 1, 2019

      4. Renumbered as Policy 4-003 effective 9/15/2008; formerly known as PPM 1- 16

Policy: 4-003 Rev:2
Date: July 1, 2019
Last Updated: 10/18/21