The University of Oklahoma’s presence on the internet is essential to its mission of teaching, research, creative work and public service. Webpages are the preferred source of information for many individuals. Therefore, the University’s webpages will be, for many, their first and only view of the University of Oklahoma community. Our webpages need to reflect our values including respect for intellectual property, respect for individual’s privacy, the need to make our information available to everyone without regard to disability, the need to support open public dialogue and respect for the law. Thus, the University's web policy seeks to establish standards and guidelines that will:
- support the vision, mission, goals and 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 enable appropriate online transactions.
This document applies to:
- webpages located on servers within the ou.edu domain or using OU internet protocol ranges;
- university sites outside ou.edu using OU trademarks in their domain names;
- webpages prepared for any organization or activity receiving university funds, or with funds maintained in the University of Oklahoma financial system, excluding agency affiliates; and
- faculty, staff and student pages on servers connected to the Campus network.
- material placed on a website, including graphics, is subject to the same copyright laws and standards of academic honesty as any print-based publication.
Computer Use Policy
The Interim Policy on Acceptable Use of Computer Systems and Interim Policy on Information System Security govern campus computing and networking activities, including use of the World Wide Web.
All electronic publications must follow university and legal standards regarding copyright. In general, web publishers must secure permission from the owner of the copyright when including copyrighted or trademarked material, such as text, photographs, audio, video, graphics, maps or logos, and include a permission statement or disclaimer as required by the owner of the copyright or trademark. Provisions of fair use can allow restricted use of copyrighted materials without permission of the copyright holder. The TEACH Act provides some extensions of fair use for distance education. For more information on copyright, see the U.S. Copyright Office website.
Use of University Name, Seal and Marks
The University's name, its seal, and the interlocking OU are among the words and symbols that are trademarked by the University and protected by law. Consult Public Affairs on the use of trademarked items. The OU Office of Licensing Programs also regulates use of University trademarks, including use on websites. The OU Licensing Trademark Program website provides information on use of these trademarks by faculty, staff, students and alumni of the University of Oklahoma. The licensing website includes policies and applications for the use of OU names and marks on merchandise and when promoting products or services. Also, the OU Style Guide provides helpful information on editorial style related to trademarks and other topics.
Student Information Disclosure
The disclosure of information about students is governed by the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Faculty and staff are advised not to post student information on websites.
Websites that collect individually identifiable information including, but not limited to, photos must provide a privacy statement. Read more about Privacy and Security at the Federal Trade Commission's website. Websites that collect individually identifiable information and provide services to children 12 and under may also be required to comply with provisions of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Websites conducting online research with human subjects are required to follow the provisions of the University's Institutional Review Board. Anyone who collects personal or financial information should consult with the IT Security team.
University web sites may be subject to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and University non-discrimination policies. All electronic publications, to the extent feasible, should be made accessible to people with disabilities. If accessibility is not feasible, the information should be available by alternative means.
Links to and from Non-University Web Sites
Links from a University of Oklahoma page to any non-university site must not imply University endorsement of the site's products or services. A disclaimer must be included unless it is clear from the context that the University does not endorse the product or service. The disclaimer is:
Links on these pages to non-university sites do not represent endorsement by the University of Oklahoma or its affiliates.
The University welcomes links to its website for educational or informational purposes. However, the link must not imply affiliation with or endorsement by the University of Oklahoma.
Personal Web Pages
Personal web pages created by faculty, staff, or students on University systems are the sole responsibility of their authors. Comments on the contents of those pages should be directed to the page author. As a service and for informational purposes only, the University may provide links to personal webpages. The University does not routinely monitor the content of these pages.
However, the University investigates complaints and may remove or limit access to web pages that violate local, state, or federal law or university policy.
Personal pages 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. This disclaimer will be included:
The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position of or endorsement by the University of Oklahoma.
Websites covered by this policy are prohibited from hosting pages on behalf of individuals and organizations that are not affiliated with the University. Personal websites may not host pages for individuals other than the owner. Students' personal sites may not host pages for organizations other than official OU student organizations. It is a violation of state law to run a private business on a university computer system.
Exemptions to this policy may be considered when hosting a webpage will serve the University's mission of teaching, research, creative work and public service. These exemptions will be approved by a department or by Student Affairs. This policy is not meant to prohibit official units of the University from providing information on conferences and other professional and scholarly activities in which University members are engaged.
Advertising, Sponsorships, and Partnerships
Advertising: To protect the educational nature of OU websites and to preserve their primary role in support of the mission of the University, commercial advertising is prohibited on the ou.edu domain or using OU internet protocol ranges.
Co-branding, hyperlinked logos, link exchanges and associate, affiliate and referral programs are among the items that will be considered commercial advertising. Text links provided for informational purposes or as part of a comprehensive list of sources will not be considered commercial advertising unless the purpose is to promote a product or service.
This policy is not meant to prohibit auxiliary-funded departments from providing appropriate information on their products and services.
Sponsorships: Sponsors may be acknowledged on official University sites related to University-sponsored artistic or cultural programs, conferences or special events. These acknowledgments must be supported by a written agreement between the sponsor and the University entity that specifies a limited term, typically concluding with the end of an event or series.
Acknowledgements may include the sponsor's corporate name or logo but may not include a street address, telephone number, e-mail address, product name or service information, call to action or comparison. The acknowledgement must include a disclosure such as, "The Artist Series acknowledges the support of these sponsors" and may not imply endorsement by the University.
Sponsors are not entitled to display University marks on their websites without prior written consent from the OU Licensing Trademark Program.
Partnerships: Official University sites covered by this policy may acknowledge business partnerships for services provided at no cost that assist the University in achieving its mission; for example, access to an online research service or a search engine. Otherwise, all the provisions for sponsorships apply to partnerships, except that logos may be hyperlinked to the service provided.
The OU Foundation and activities authorized by the President, such as the Campus Campaign, are the sole entities authorized to conduct fundraising via pledge forms or direct contributions on the University of Oklahoma website. Faculty, staff and students may not conduct fundraising campaigns on their personal pages or link to a fundraising page other than that of the OU Foundation or a group authorized by the President.
Fraternities, sororities and other service organizations may describe philanthropic efforts on their websites and provide a street address and phone number for contributions.