Web Content Standards Policy

Brooklyn College websites play an important role in how the college presents itself to its constituents and to the outside world. Information for faculty, staff and enrolled students is located on the WebCentral Portal. Information for prospective students and faculty, as well as for visitors and alumni, is located on sites that publicize the offerings of departments and programs and the research and accomplishments of faculty.

The college network will house websites and Web pages of academic departments, administrative offices, centers, institutes and other college-related entitles, with related pages for members of the faculty, student clubs and organizations, and student academic work.

The official Brooklyn College website, portal and Web pages are owned by the college and intended solely for college-related purposes. They may be used to post faculty scholarly activities and accomplishments via faculty profile and personal Web pages to convey course information, deliver instruction, and communicate with colleagues and students, and, mainly by administrative offices, to publicize services and to transact business.

The Office of Communications and Marketing is responsible for the contents of the Brooklyn College website and expedites Web pages for various college constituents. Additionally, the Office of Communications and Marketing maintains the college's content management system (CMS) and various approved standard Web templates, which are mandated for use on most administrative webpages. The office assists and supports designated Web content owners with consultations, design and publishing services, content maintenance, CMS training and creation of documentation.

All Web pages using the college's networks must comply with college policies and guidelines and those of the City University of New York. They must be consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including copyright laws, obscenity laws, laws relating to defamation and laws relating to piracy of software.

To ensure that the college's venues promote its goals, college-hosted websites are expected to conform to the following standards of appropriate use and best practices.

I. Required Page Features

Websites should be well organized, clear and up to date. Content must be reviewed regularly to ensure continued accuracy. A regular review by the owners is the best method to ensure timeliness and accuracy. The college will perform periodic audits and, if necessary, remove or modify content (see below, Violations of Website-Use Policies).

The main page of each site or subsite must have the following information readily accessible:

  • A prominent link to the referring webpage, whether from the portal or the external website.
  • The name and the means of contacting the person(s) responsible for maintaining page content.
  • The date of the last revision of the page.

II. Policy on Use of Websites

Websites on the college's network should not contain content solely for personal purposes or unrelated to professional responsibilities. They should not be used for private purposes, including non-college commercial or not-for-profit purposes. Nor should Web pages be used to support political candidates or political parties (with the exception of student organization clubs indentified with a college political party). They should not be used for illegal purposes.

Web page authors must ensure that required copyright and trademark permissions have been obtained prior to posting copied material. Without due care and attention, copyright and trademark rights can be violated by simply "borrowing" or copying content from other sources. Violations can lead to severe penalties, which fall on both the user publishing the content and the institution hosting the material. The Brooklyn College Library has several experts in this area, and you are advised to consult them about the legitimate use of third-party content.

III. Confidential Content

It is inappropriate and risky to store private or confidential data (e.g., confidential research information) on a standard website or Internet-accessible server. If you need to publish or store confidential information, please contact ITS at 718.951.5861 to learn how to implement authentication or nonpublic hosting for such applications.

IV. Security

Because of the universal availability of Web search engines, Web pages are more accessible than almost any other medium. It is standard practice to safeguard college Web pages with a username and password. Passwords should be changed frequently and not shared with anyone.

V. Links to Non–Brooklyn College Sites

Brooklyn College assumes no responsibility for content on non–Brooklyn College sites to which college sites may be linked. Web page authors should consider that such links, even when clearly labeled, can be misinterpreted as being associated with the college and the City University of New York. Users with links to pages in which they have a monetary interest should be aware of the risk of being in violation of policies regarding advertising and commercial use.

VI. Violations of Website-Use Policies

A Website Advisory Council, convened by the provost and composed of representatives of the faculty, the Division of Academic Affairs, the Division of Student Affairs and the college attorney, will review Web pages or links to determine whether they meet these guidelines and comply with applicable policies. If the advisory council determines that the content is not appropriate or violates policies, it may remove or modify the content. The content provider will be notified and may appeal, in writing, to the Website Advisory Council.

Please contact the Office of Communications and Marketing at 718.951.5882 or via e-mail for further information.

March 2009