Web Philosophy and Governance
Dickinson’s web presence reflects the College’s core values, including intellectual rigor, creativity, diversity, engagement, and integrity. These core values and Dickinson’s distinctive revolutionary character should guide all digital thinking and presentation.
The website and broader presence serves many purposes and constituencies. It provides information, facilitates the exchange of ideas, and documents the dynamic life of the campus for current and future members of the Dickinson community.
Recognizing these core values and broad goals, we offer the following principles:
- Dickinson’s website must support and showcase the diversity of programs and opportunities at Dickinson. It should emphasize our belief in the liberal arts and our commitment to interdisciplinary thinking.
- The success of the website depends on content generated by Dickinson community members (faculty, staff, students).
- The site will promote the best content produced by the community. Diverse forms of media will be welcome (i.e., blogs, podcasts, videos, slide shows, etc.).
- The website includes and encourages communication between all major components of the College. There will be a presumption of openness, but the website will also provide privacy when necessary, for example, for a specific course’s work.
- Dickinson expects all members of its community to be good digital citizens, demonstrating civility and respect for others.
To this point, information that appears on Dickinson’s website will adhere to College policies, including: Non-discrimination policy; Academic Freedom; the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); Fair use/Copyright Policy; Policy for Responsible Use of Electronic Communications and Network Services; Community Standards and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- Dickinson’s website will be designed to be accessible to all audiences and will meet best practices for the Web as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Any user should be able to navigate through the site easily and effectively.
- Dickinson’s website should work well on current platforms and will evolve to accommodate future platforms.
- The College is committed to a transparent approach to implementing major changes to the site (whether navigational, visual, or content).
- Those community members charged with maintaining or enhancing webpages will be provided with adequate training and support.
- Because any page could be a first landing page, every page should represent Dickinson, as well as the division, department or group’s unique place in it.
That said, in encouraging diversity, even though every page must be identifiable as a Dickinson page, not all pages need to look exactly the same.
- The website will always be evolving and will require ongoing review and upgrade. It will have to if it is going to accurately reflect Dickinson’s bold, distinctive approach.
Guidelines for www.dickinson.edu
The Office of Marketing and Communications (MarComm) is eager to work with all users to create a web presence that meets their needs. Flexible templates for department pages and student groups have been developed to assist members of campus. To ensure the site is consistent with the values, goals and principles outlined by Dickinson’s Web Philosophy, it is important for all content producers to adhere to the style guidelines that have been established. Pages under the www.dickinson.edu domain use specific colors, fonts and navigation that meet standards for accessibility and responsive design and cannot be changed.
In order to have access to Jadu, the content management system (CMS) for www.dickinson.edu, individuals must complete training through Library and Information Services (LIS). These training sessions, open to students, faculty and staff, will also remind content editors of the applicable compliance regulations. Only those who have had training will be granted access to the Jadu CMS as a Content Editor.
MarComm is happy to provide additional training as needed and individuals with questions or desiring advanced training should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any good Web site will change and evolve over time. In order to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of the site map, pages added to the site should be coordinated with MarComm. It is important that Content Editors do not duplicate information found elsewhere on the site. Instead, Content Editors should provide a link to the page with the existing information. Duplication increases the possibility of contradictory information, adds to Content Editors’ workloads, causes confusion for the user and reduces the effectiveness of the site.
Original content from students and other members of the Dickinson community is valued and showcased throughout the site. Academic departments are encouraged to highlight student work on their pages and to notify MarComm of notable work to be considered for inclusion on other pages of the site. Anyone wishing to publish student work on the site must get e-mail permission from the student. The e-mail must include permission to use the specified work, the length of time the work will be displayed and acknowledgement that the student is not receiving compensation. The Content Editor should keep a copy of that e-mail, and also send a copy to MarComm via email@example.com.
Linking or embedding external content
When a department or campus group includes a link to external content, the individual who visits the page and clicks on the link leaves the www.dickinson.edu site. The content editor does not need permission from the owner of that outside page to include a link.
When a department or campus group chooses to embed content (as for example from a blog or Twitter account) on a page in the www.dickinson.edu domain, the content from that feed is immediately visible on the web page with a www.dickinson.edu address. As a result, embedding information carries with it additional responsibilities. The department is responsible to ensure that the external owner of that feed gives permission (implicitly or explicitly) for the material to be embedded on pages in the www.dickinson.edu domain. In addition, a designated representative from the department or campus group embedding the external content is responsible for regularly reviewing the feed. If the embedded feed is found to be not in compliance with applicable Dickisnon policies or not to adhere to Dickinson’s Web Philosophy the designated representative is responsible for ensuring that it is removed.
Each faculty member will have his or her own page on the www.dickinson.edu site, which will include a brief profile, a photograph and a tab listing the courses that faculty member is teaching during the academic year. These items are generated automatically, and faculty members do not need to create this page. Faculty members may also wish to add office hours, a link to an external faculty page, if they have one, and their CV. This information can only be added by the faculty member. MarComm and LIS will attempt to expand available features of these pages as requested by faculty. As with all areas of the site, MarComm periodically will review faculty pages to ensure content is up to date. Outdated information will be brought to the attention of the faculty member.
Student Organization pages
Dickinson-recognized student groups are encouraged to create a presence on the www.dickinson.edu site. To do so, the organization must designate a student to receive CMS training and become a Content Editor. That student must develop a plan to keep the page current. In addition, the organization must have a continuity plan addressing how the organization’s web presence will be maintained as members graduate from Dickinson. Before going live on the web site, the continuity plan must be approved by the director of Student Leadership & Campus Engagement (SLCE) or his or her designee. If a student organization wants to remove its page from the website, a representative of the organization must contact MarComm. As with all areas of the site, MarComm periodically will review pages to ensure content is up to date. Outdated information will be brought to the attention of the Content Editor.
Maintaining the Site
Out-of-date information on the Web site is not useful and is actually detrimental to Dickinson. While MarComm is responsible for working with the campus community to keep the site updated, Content Editors, representing all areas of the campus, are expected to keep their sections current.
MarComm will conduct periodic audits of all pages on the site. Any outdated, inaccurate or poor quality content on academic, administrative, or student group pages will first be brought to the attention of the Content Editor. In the case of outdated content on faculty pages, MarComm will contact the faculty member. If changes are not made to the material within a reasonable time, the matter will be brought to the department chair or supervisor, and ultimately to the attention of the Information Technology Services (ITS) committee, which will then determine whether it is appropriate for MarComm to remove the content.
There are some fundamental guidelines that should be followed by all who generate and approve content. All content generation and approval must be in accordance with and is subject to all applicable College policies. These policies include but are not limited to:
Responsible Use of Electronic Technology
The current policies with regard to electronic communications with which all employees and students must comply also apply to Web pages and their content:
If you have questions about responsible use, please contact the Director of LIS.
Those who generate and approve content are expected to comply with the College’s Copyright Policy:
Employees and students are expected to be familiar with the copyright policy. A reminder of copyright compliance will be included in ongoing Jadu training for Content Editors.
In addition, the library has prepared a guide to help people learn more about copyright. It includes not only the college policy, but also an FAQ and educational and informational links:
Additional questions regarding copyright may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those who generate and approve content are expected to comply with FERPA regulations protecting the privacy of student records, specifically with regard to student directory information:
Employees are expected to be familiar with FERPA policy. Training on FERPA compliance is offered each semester to all employees of the college. A reminder with regard to Web specific issues also will be included in ongoing Jadu training for additional questions regarding FERPA should be directed to email@example.com.
Objections to content appearing on www.dickinson.edu:
If individuals object to or have questions about content, they should first contact MarComm to have their questions addressed. If they are not satisfied by the response, they will be asked to explain their objections in writing and those objections will be forwarded to the ITS committee. ITS may choose to discuss such issues or objections as a full committee and will decide after serious consideration whether content must be removed from the website. To help it reach a decision, ITS will invite those who have a direct interest in the issue to weigh in. Alternatively, ITS may choose to appoint a subcommittee made up of faculty, students and staff (from its voting members) to examine specific issues and to make a decision. There may be a need for confidentiality in these discussions. A smaller group including the Vice President for LIS, the faculty chair of ITS and a representative of MarComm may need to address an objection in a timely fashion (eg, during the summer months) and will then report back to ITS. Depending on the issue, a student representative (such as the President of the Student Senate) may also be called on to help.
In most cases, content created for the website that does not violate College policy will remain on the site, even if challenged, until a decision from the ITS committee is made to remove it. In exceptional cases and when advised by College Senior Staff, MarComm may remove content immediately. In such cases, the ITS committee will be informed and will, as described above, make a determination if the material in question will be restored or be removed permanently.
The Information Technology Services Committee will review these Guidelines on an annual basis.
- Guidelines last reviewed on: April 28, 2015
- Guidelines last revised on: April 28, 2015