Policy for Departmental and Organizational Websites

Information Technology maintains web servers that may be used by departments, programs, institutes, and other entities, for publishing information and creating applications on the web. Departmental web managers are responsible for creating content that meets web usability and accessibility standards, ensuring the accuracy and timeliness of the information presented, publishing pages that represent professional design and quality, ensuring that web materials comply with College policy and copyright, privacy, intellectual property, and libel laws, and responding to inquiries and comments directed at the published material.

Anyone maintaining websites must be aware of web standards which support usability and accessibility. Departmental web editors are responsible for making certain types of adaptations in the design of their web content.

W&M departments have a responsibility to create websites that positively represent the College while safeguarding the privacy of any data they collect via web forms. In certain instances, secure connections (https:) are required. Please contact IT if your department is unsure about the acceptability of particular web applications, or to consult about the most secure way to collect and maintain data on the web. If directed, IT may delete or make inaccessible files that contain material that is in violation of state and federal law or W&M policy.

The following are not permissible uses of W&M web space:

  • Departments are responsible for safeguarding personal information that is collected via web forms, and must not collect Social Security Numbers without authorization from the Deputy Chief Information Officer, [[bmkenn, Bernadette Kenney]]. Also, certain types of data should not be collected on departmental web forms because the data is private and/or sensitive. For example, departments should not collect birth date, gender, citizenship, marital status, ethnicity/race, religion, political party, ideology, ancestry, or sexual orientation via a web page.
  • Departmental web pages may not be used for commercial, non-College purposes. They cannot be for the personal or private gain of an individual or group of individuals promoting a private or commercial cause.
  • Credit card transactions are not permitted on any web servers maintained by Information Technology. Specifically, departments are not permitted to collect credit card numbers for payments via a web page. The current W&M web environment cannot securely store and protect credit card customers and companies. Departments should contract with third-party vendors if online credit card transactions are essential for departmental business.
  • Advertising space cannot be sold at any level of the website. "Advertising" refers to any instance in which the College or one of its units receives payment or in-kind gifts in exchange for a link or brand placement on a College web page. Although advertising cannot be sold at any level, links to commercial vendors may be made in the following specific situations:
    • A logo or graphic for licensed software required for web viewing (e.g., Adobe Acrobat Reader, RealAudio, VeriSign)
    • A logo or link to a separately contracted vendor who provides services to the College (e.g., TIAA, Aramark)
    • A link provided for educational or other mission-related purposes and the College has received no consideration for incorporating that link.