Web Development Guidelines

A. Introduction

The University of Colorado at Boulder's presence on the World Wide Web is essential to its mission of teaching, research, creative work, and public service. Thus, the university's web guidelines seeks to establish standards that will:

  • support the vision, mission, goals, and traditional academic values of the university;
  • assist web publishers in developing sites that comply with university policies, rules, and regulations, and local, state, and federal laws; and
  • facilitate the official business of the university and appropriate online transactions.

This applies to:

  • websites located on www.colorado.edu, the official website of the University of Colorado at Boulder;
  • faculty, staff, and student pages on servers connected to the campus network;
  • websites conducting university business; and
  • web pages located on servers within the colorado.edu domain.

B. Policies Applicable to All Websites

Use of University Computing and Network Resources

All organizations and individuals creating and maintaining websites and web-based activities must comply with the policy, "Acceptable Use of CU-Boulder’s IT Resources" and all relevant university policies, procedures, and standards, and state and federal laws.

Websites located on CU-Boulder computing and network resources are limited to official, course, organization, and personal sites. These websites are prohibited from hosting pages on behalf of individuals and organizations that are not affiliated with the university. Exemptions to this policy may be considered when hosting a website will serve the university's mission of teaching, research, creative work, and public service.

Copyright and Trademarks

All electronic publications must follow university and legal standards regarding copyright and trademarks. Web publishers must secure permission when including copyrighted or trademarked material such as text, photographs, audio, video, graphics, or company names or logos, and include a permission statement or disclaimer as required by the owner. Trademarked names, terms, and symbols may not be used in ways that may create consumer confusion or suggest that the trademark is endorsing a website. For more information on copyright and trademarks, see Copyright on the CU-Boulder website, and the U.S. Copyright Office website.

Use of University Name, Seal, and Marks

The university's name, its seal, the interlocking CU, the wordmark, and the CU buffalo logo are among the words and symbols that are trademarked by the university and protected by law. Use of trademarks must comply with the CU-Boulder Brand Standards for Websites and the CU Licensing Policy and Student Guide for Using the Trademarks.

Accessibility

In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and university non-discrimination policies, all websites to the extent feasible, must be made accessible to people with disabilities. If it is not feasible, alternative methods must be made available to complete the same tasks. See Creating Accessible Pages and the Brand Standards for Websites for campus guidelines concerning accessibility.

Implied Endorsement

Links from a University of Colorado at Boulder page to any non-university site must not imply university endorsement of the site's products or services.

C. Web Development Policies Applicable to Official, Course, and Organization Websites

Web Identity Standards

Official websites must comply with the Brand Standards for Websites.

Student Information Disclosure

The disclosure of information about students must comply with Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines. The registrar's website describes guidelines for release of student information under FERPA.

Privacy

All websites must comply with all applicable laws and university policies governing personal privacy and the confidentiality of information, to protect both on- and off-campus users. Service agreements that outsource data processing activities to third-party vendors must ensure compliance with appropriate privacy and confidentiality regulations. Sites collecting personally identifiable information must link to the Privacy Statement.

Security

Servers and applications must meet campus security standards and protect the privacy and security of personally identifiable and sensitive information. See the CU-Boulder IT Security - Policy & Minimum Security Standards for policies and additional information.

Commercial Activities

Commercial activities on the web must comply with all university policies, including those on security, privacy, and financial business practices. Sites collecting personally identifiable information must link to the Privacy Statement. The Treasurer's Office, in conjunction with each of the University's campuses, has drawn up requirements and guidelines for University departments and units to be able to accept credit and debit cards in payment for the sale of goods and services. Refer to Office of Information Technology policies for information on IT Security.

 

Advertising and Corporate Support

To protect the educational nature of CU-Boulder websites, and to preserve their primary role in support of the mission of the university, advertising and promotion of non-university goods and services are prohibited. Corporate support may be acknowledged on official university sites.

D. Web Development Policies Applicable to Personal Websites

The policy, "Acceptable Use of CU-Boulder’s IT Resources" clarifies the requirements, prohibitions, and procedures applicable to the use of CU-Boulder's computing and network resources. Its provisions, including "Guidelines for Computer Users" and all relevant university policies, procedures, and standards, and state and federal laws, govern personal websites.

Personal websites are the responsibility of their authors. They must not convey the impression that the author is representing, giving opinions, or otherwise making statements on behalf of the university or any unit of the university. A disclaimer must be included unless it is clear from the context that an author is not representing views of the university.

E. Enforcement

Any person who uses CU-Boulder's computing and network resources in violation of federal, state, or university law or policy is subject to loss of privileges, disciplinary action, personal liability, and/or criminal prosecution.

The university may block access to or remove a network connection that is endangering computing and/or network resources, or that is being used for inappropriate or illegal use.

University Communications, ITS, and The Office of Academic and Campus Technology will, when appropriate, work with other university offices such as the Office of Judicial Affairs (in cases involving students), the CU Police Department, deans and directors, and others to enforce this policy.

F. Definitions

  • Official Website: Websites created and maintained to represent the university and conduct university business.
  • Course Website: Websites created and maintained to provide course materials online.
  • Organization Website: Websites for registered student groups.
  • Personal Website: Websites created and maintained by faculty, staff, and students that are not used for university-related purposes.
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