DSU World Wide Web Policy

OFFICE OF RECORD: Office of Academic Vice President of Academic Affairs
ISSUED BY: Vice President of Academic Affairs
EFFECTIVE DATE: 8/6/96 (Last Revised 5/6/13)
APPROVED BY: David B. Borofsky, Pres                  Policy No. 01-90-00


Mission of the DSU Web

The Dakota State University web provides access to university information and resources that support administration, marketing, learning, teaching, and research.

DSU Web Administration

  • DSU Computing Services will provide and maintain the hardware and software necessary for DSU's servers.
  • The Office of Web Services will have day-to-day responsibility for DSU's official website.
  • The Web Services staff will provide assistance and training in creating web content and managing websites.
  • Allocation of club, faculty, staff, and student web space shall be the responsibility of the DSU Computing Services Staff (contact via email at CompSvsWebSite@dsu.edu).
  • The DSU CIO will recommend disciplinary actions when this policy is violated. (See also DSU Policy 03-61-00 Computing Privileges.

Official Web Content

  • The DSU homepage is at www.dsu.edu. No other website shall portray itself as representing the University as a whole.  The design and structure of the DSU homepage and the links it contains to other sites and pages shall be the responsibility of the Office of Web Services.  
  • All content within the dsu.edu domain (such as site.dsu.edu or dsu.edu/site) will be considered "official" unless designated as personal in the sections below.  Requests for an official web site must be approved by the DSU Computing Services and the Office of Web Services.  References to these sites will be integrated as appropriate locations within the dsu.edu website.
  • Web content created by students or by faculty and staff members, and posted on personal homepages, is not considered official.
  • Any online content outside of the www.dsu.edu domain and subdomains that is intended to be "official" must be approved by the Office of Web Services and the CIO.
    • Prior to configuring or purchasing a domain name, the site must be approved and a hosting plan must be in place.  The maintenance responsibilities for the site have the same expectations as the www.dsu.edu domain noted below.  An individual or unit should not purchase a domain without first consulting with Computing Services staff members.

Content Management System

  • Official sites will generally be integrated into the official DSU content management system. Within this CMS, the Office of Web Services will provide top level supervision for the sites.
  • Campus users will be assigned to web management roles based on the needs of the department and with the guidance of staff from the Office of Web Services.  The assigned role will correspond to a processing step in the overall web content life cycle.  For example, a relatively large group of users will be able to add or edit content on specific pages.  A smaller group will have the ability to approve changes made to pages.  A very exclusive group of users will have the level of privilege necessary to publish a page to the live website.
  • The Office of Web Services will regularly review requests to change group membership and web management roles.  The goal is to increase the efficiency of updating the website while at the same time maintaining the necessary level of content oversight and approval as would be expected on the official University site.  The CIO will provide guidance to the Web Services staff when needed to determine appropriate action.

Department and Unit Web Content

  • All DSU departments and offices are expected to have a web presence.
  • All web content posted on department and office websites is considered official.
  • These official sites must be under the administration and supervision of the University president or the appropriate vice president, dean, director, or department chair of each respective unit.

Content Responsibility

The DSU web relies on a distributed system of information ownership, with the following characteristics:

  • Each department or office that publishes information on the website has full responsibility for content accuracy and currency of the information.
  • As described in the DSU Web Authoring Style Guide, all official documents published on the DSU Web should provide clear ownership information.   Feedback and response to those documents should be directed to the appropriate contact person.
  • The University exercises no overall editorial control over documents published on each department or office website, beyond the guidelines described in the DSU Web Authoring Style Guide.
  • When a department or office does not have web authoring expertise but needs to maintain a web presence, the Web Services Office and staff will provide development assistance, and help train the staff of the respective department or office in web content maintenance.
  • Web content should be kept current and updated in a timely manner.  All content should be reviewed annually. Content owners will be contacted and a schedule for reviewing the content will be determined. If no review or update can be scheduled in a timely manner, the page or related site could be temporarily taken down from the DSU website at the discretion of the editorial review group of the CRAC Committee.

Personal Web Content

  • Postings to the personal homepages by individual staff members, students, and student organizations reflect the opinions of the site creators. The postings do not implicitly or explicitly represent official positions and policies of Dakota State University. By posting information on their personal homepages, individuals and organizations assume responsibility and liability for the content of their pages.
  • Individuals and organizations are solely responsible for obtaining appropriate permission to include copyrighted material or images on their pages. Dakota State University assumes no responsibility for individual failure to fulfill this responsibility.
  • Any comments and feedback about content on personal sites should be addressed to the owner of the page. For further assistance, contact CompSvsWebSite@dsu.edu.
  • Personal use of the DSU network must not cause excessive usage of DSU computer network resources and must not absorb excessive bandwidth. Space quotas will be set and enforced on the campus web servers. Content owners of personal web space must observe the related policies set by Dakota State University. The intention is to limit high-bandwidth content from being hosted on the DSU servers.  
  • See DSU Policy 03-61-00 Computing Privileges for a more detailed explanation of copyright and acceptable use guidelines.

Staff Web Sites

  • Each faculty and staff member is encouraged to create and maintain a personal homepage.
  • A personal web space under the homepages.dsu.edu domain will be made available for a new employee upon notification from the respective department.
  • When an employee leaves Dakota State University, Computing Services should be notified so that the web space of that person can be taken down from the DSU website. Upon request, the CIO/Director of Computing Services may allow an extension due to special circumstances.

Student Web Sites

  • Each student is encouraged to create and maintain a personal homepage under the students.dsu.edu domain.
  • A personal web space will be made available for each new student.
  • The web space will be set up when the new student is assigned a DSU user account.
  • For a non-DSU student in a course, the instructor must make a request for the creation of a website.
  • The continued availability of the personal web space is contingent upon the student's active enrollment status at Dakota State University.
  • The personal web space of a student will be disabled when the DSU user account is removed. Upon request, the CIO/Director of Computing Services may allow an extension due to special circumstances.  

Clubs and Organizations

  • Clubs and Organizations are expected, at a minimum, to have the information required by the Student Services (Student Activities Office) posted to a website.
  • If an organization maintains a more significant online presence, the site must adhere to DSU standards for oversight, maintenance, and content.

Social Media and Blogging


  • Dakota State University utilizes social media sites for marketing and communication purposes. Any such online content beyond the centrally administered accounts that is intended to be “official” must be approved by the Associate Director of Marketing and/or the Office of Web Services.
  • Content update and maintenance responsibilities for the sites have the same expectations as other official DSU content.


  •  DSU staff, faculty, students, and organizations are encouraged to use social media.
  • Any “official” presence should be coordinated with appropriate campus administration. With this in mind, any site that formally represents a campus unit should clearly indicate that it is official.
  • Personal sites should not be presented as being formally affiliated with the institution.

 Compliance with Laws and Policies

  • DSU web content, including personal homepage content, must comply with local, state, and federal laws, as well as the policies and procedures of Dakota State University, the South Dakota Board of Regents, and the Council of Higher Education (COHE), including, but not limited, to laws and policies regarding copyright, harassment, libel, violence, or obscenity. Although a complete list of relevant policies is not possible here, web content owners are responsible for complying with the following DSU policies: Use of United States Copyright Act (01-70-00), Logo Usage (01-63-00), Computing Privileges (03-61-00), and Sexual Harassment (02-81-00).
  • All official DSU web page content must be compliant with Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act and be accessible to people with disabilities, particularly those with visual impairments.
  • Web space, including personal web space, may not include any direct or indirect promotion of or reference to the use or distribution of tobacco products, alcohol or drugs.
  • Web space (hosted on the dsu.edu domain) provided by DSU must not be used for business advertising, solicitation, or business operations. For course-related projects that require the creation of pseudo-commercial advertising content, a disclaimer should be placed on the page stating the course-related nature of the page, along with reference to the relevant course.
  • It is University policy to prohibit commercial and political advertising on its web sites. Communications that further the University's educational mission or administrative roles are permitted; therefore, sponsorship references and links to DSU’s business partners are allowed. Sponsorship postings may contain only logos or slogans that are an established part of a sponsor’s identity.

DSU Web Authoring Style Guide

While acknowledging the value in its diversity, Dakota State University is also committed to its existence and image as "one university." It is important that University web pages, despite their diverse origins, clearly convey their relationship to the whole University. It is also important that such pages adhere to standards of quality and professionalism appropriate for an institution of higher education. Finally, attention to accessibility and user-friendliness is critical to effectively carry out the University's mission.

Please refer to The DSU Web Authoring Style Guide for requirements, recommendations, and resources that are intended to promote the goals described above. The Web Services Office and staff will provide assistance for department and office authors in following and implementing the DSU Web Authoring Style Guide.

Web Policy Governance

The Computing Resources Advisory Committee (CRAC) will consult with the Computing Services in drafting DSU web policy prior to CRAC consideration and approval, recommending strategic missions for DSU web, and encouraging contributions by all campus units and individuals. (See DSU Policy 04-55-00)

Last Updated: 6/4/13