Policy Title

Web Policy


It is the intent of this policy to support faculty, staff and students in the electronic publication of information. In order to enhance the mission of Winthrop University, many academic and administrative units - including their departments and organizations - publish web pages. In addition, individual faculty, staff, students, and student organizations may publish unofficial and/or personal web pages. Such pages must not be used for business or personal gain, nor should they express or imply institutional stance on issues.


The provisions set for below apply to all official web pages that make use of the Winthrop University computing and network facilities for access to the internet, whether or not these pages are linked to the Winthrop University homepage or other upper-level pages.

Policy Number:10.1.3
Effective Date:11/09/2022
Date Reviewed: 11/09/2022
Last Review Date: 10/12/2016; 09/17/2019
Responsible Official:
Responsible Office: University Communications and Marketing; Computing and Information Technology
Contact Information:

Communications & Marketing

200 Tillman Hall

Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA


803/328-2855 (fax)


1.0 Specific meanings of bold terms seen throughout this policy can be found within the University's policy definition glossary by following the link below.

1.1 http://www.winthrop.edu/policy-definitions-glossary

2.1 Official web pages are those university-sanctioned, publicly accessible electronic documents on official university servers which represent the university, and its colleges, departments, offices, services, or other units of the university. Official web pages are produced using the university content management system (CMS) and the templates provided.

2.2 Unofficial web pages are those pages stored on university computers and networks that are created by and represent an individual student, a student organization, faculty, or staff member. Unofficial pages may include but are not limited to faculty members' course syllabi, reading lists, and other research and instructional materials. Faculty pages are not covered by the CMS or the CMS templates.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Office of University Communications and Marketing is responsible for the consistent graphic and editorial presentation of Winthrop University, its programs, and services on the official web site. The Director of Web Development provides education and tools to help all departments on campus acquire an online presence that reflects well on the department and the university.

Web authors are expected to maintain functionality of their pages by not introducing foreign code or styles from other sources that may prevent their pages from functioning properly.

Web authors MAY NOT share their username and password for others to log on to the university’s CMS.

Department heads and web authors are responsible for the content of their official web pages. This includes:

  • complying with this policy and other university policies;
  • maintaining the currency and accuracy of information;
  • hyperlink checking to prevent broken links;
  • proofreading for spelling and grammar.

Department heads should designate a person to periodically review, update, and enhance the department's web site as well as to serve as a departmental contact person for the Director of Web Development. Minimally, before the beginning of an academic year, department heads should ensure a thorough review of material on their pages and deletion of any outdated or incorrect material.

Department heads, along with the Director of Web Development, are authorized to disable pages that do not adhere to this or any other university policy. See Enforcement below for the procedure the university will follow if noncompliance necessitates disabling an official web page. 

Department heads are responsible for ensuring deletion of personal web sites located on official servers when the individual author of the site is no longer affiliated with the university. Department heads will need to contact Computing & Information Technology to remove personal web sites.

Page Contents

Contents of all web pages - official or unofficial - must be consistent with the policies of Winthrop University, including the Winthrop University Policy on the Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources, and with local, state, and federal laws. Guidelines regarding individual and distribution list email content stated in the Winthrop University Policy on the Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources also apply to web content located on any Winthrop University-hosted web server.

Web authors must not contract with external organizations to place banner advertising or promotional copy on official web pages. Links to external sites are permissible. (see below, Style and Format VI).

Official web pages are expected to follow the same professional and graphic standards that apply to official publications in any other medium. Official web pages must meet certain minimum criteria in terms of technical style and format. Authors of new and existing official pages should consult and work closely with the director of web development to assure that official pages are consistent with the university's goals and aesthetics.

Official web pages are required to be compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Winthrop’s CMS enforces these accessibility guidelines when an author publishes a web page. A more detailed explanation regarding accessibility can be found below.

Web authors are forbidden from adding any external source code or styles from sources that impede the functionality of an official web page.

Style and Format

The required components for style and format of official web sites are delineated below.

Web page format: Should be constructed using the university CMS utilizing the templates provided within the CMS.

  1. Page Title: To enhance web page functionality with internal and external search engines and to promote university identification, all pages within a site should contain a meaningful, unique <title> tag that also includes the text "Winthrop University: YOUR DEPARTMENT"
  2. Contact Information: Every home page must list a contact for those seeking additional information. The contact might be a specific individual, a generic "yourdepartment," or a link to a page of contacts for the unit. Any contact information should minimally include a mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number.
  3. Disclaimer: All sites using the CMS templates are linked to the disclaimer statement in the official footer.
  4. Image Tags: To enhance the accessibility of university web pages by as wide an audience as possible, all graphic images used must include appropriate text descriptions in the "ALT" attribute.
  5. Logo Link: The official university logo type appears in the header of all web pages and links to the Winthrop home page.
  6. External Links: Any links to external sites must be appropriate, accessible, and open in a new window or tab (target="_blank"). Decisions to link to commercial sites, search engines that may include advertising, etc., will be made by department heads in consultation with deans or vice presidents as appropriate. A more detailed explanation of utilizing external links can be found below.
  7. Winthrop Affiliate Links: Faculty, staff, student, and student organization web sites will not be linked from official university pages unless approved. Department heads will determine whether such links will be provided. 


All new or revised Winthrop University web sites and pages must meet Section 508 web accessibility compliance. This requirement is mandated by the state of South Carolina to ensure that all web sites are designed to be accessible, so people with disabilities have access to online information, data and services comparable to that accorded to individuals who do not have disabilities.

The Director of Web Development offers assistance to Web authors across campus as needed for compliance. The university's CMS enforces WCAG compliance.

For more information, please refer to the “Guides” section.

Links to External Web Sites

Web pages within the winthrop.edu domain may contain hypertext links to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. Winthrop University does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of external web sites. Links from an official web site to an external site not affiliated with Winthrop must not express or imply the university's endorsement of the site's products, services, or statements. Exceptions are links to officially approved vendor contracts, e.g. food service provider, etc.

External web sites utilizing the Winthrop University name, logos or graphics on the web must obtain permission from the Office of University Communications and Marketing and must adhere to the guidelines set forth in Winthrop’s Visual Identity Manual.

These external links and their resulting content might change or be removed without Winthrop’s knowledge. At the time links are created on winthrop.edu, the information accessed by the link is considered valuable, relevant and supportive of Winthrop University content. Department heads and web authors are responsible for removing external links that are no longer valuable or appropriate.


The Director of Web Development is responsible for administering and enforcing this policy. Questions concerning this policy should be directed to the Director of Web Development.

If an official web page does not conform to the minimum criteria for accessibility, functionality, style and format, or to university policies, the Director of Web Development will discuss the noncompliance with the contact person who is responsible for the official page and others (department heads, deans, or vice presidents) as appropriate. If the problem cannot be resolved, the Director of Web Development may modify or, if necessary as a last resort, disable the official page. Notice of such action will be promptly communicated to parties involved. The Director of Web Development and the Assistant Vice President for Computing and Information Technology reserve the right to immediately disable an official page if page contents could cause immediate, irrevocable harm to the university. Failing to comply with this policy may also result in an official page being disabled.


Reminder: It is a misdemeanor to use the name of Winthrop University in any way that expresses or implies the university endorses, supports, or is affiliated with any product, service or other organization, without advance permission from appropriate Winthrop officials.


Adopted April 10, 2000

Revised August 19, 2002

Revised January 27, 2003

Revised July 1, 2009

Revised October 12, 2016

Revised September 17, 2019

Revised January 7, 2022

Revises November 9, 2022

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