Web Policy

All official Web pages must comply with this Web Policy and the UC Branding Standards (PDF). Official Web pages provide official information about the to the public, regardless of the server on which they are located. The dean, department or organization head is ultimately responsible for the content of his/her area’s official UC site.

All university websites, including personal Web pages/sites, must comply with Section 8 (Advertising) of this policy.

All/any websites housed on UC Web servers must comply with all local, state and federal laws as well as with UC’s General Policy on the Use of Information Technology. Web pages that contain protected or sensitive data may be displayed only if the page is 1) secured by industry-standard encryption/protection techniques, 2) behind password protection, and 3) the application architecture has been reviewed and approved by Information Security in accordance with Policy 9.1.27 (PDF). For questions regarding information security, contact infosec@uc.edu (513-558-4732).

Failure to comply with this policy may result in enforcement as outlined in the General Policy on the Use of Information Technology item #7.


A. Branding, Design and Content Standards.

  1. Design of websites must comply with UC’s Branding Standards (PDF), including, but not limited to the following:
    1. every page of the site must contain the UC logo in a prominent location at the top of the page;
    2. the UC logo must be at least 125 pixels wide from edge to edge of the words “University” and “Cincinnati”;
    3. the UC logo must contain appropriate safe space;
    4. the UC logo must be a link to UC’s home page (www.uc.edu);
    5. the primary colors of the site must be red (#E00122), black (#000000) and white (#ffffff);
    6. the pages must contain branding “architecture” in addition to the UC logo. Consult the UC Branding Standards (PDF) for additional details.
  2. All sites within a major unit’s (e.g. a college) website must maintain a consistent look as directed by the dean, vice president or director/manager of the unit.
  3. Sites should be designed with a width of 960 pixels to provide consistency across UC sites.
  4. Sites should be designed to enable content to adjust to varied output devices (e.g., mobile devices) and print-ready formats.
  5. Content for sites must comply with guidelines outlined in the UC Stylebook.
  6. Any UC website designed by any person or vendor other than the university’s Governmental Relations & University Communications division, must be submitted to the Brand Review Committee for adherence to the documented brand standards.


B. Accessibility.

  1. At minimum, seek to make essential information and functions available to all users.
  2. Follow current Web accessibility guidelines explained at http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/1194.22.htm for all official university Web pages. Additional accessibility information, provided by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), is available at http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/.
  3. Use a validator such as the W3C Validator to check for conformance to standards.


C. Links and Campus-Wide Information.

  1. The unit name within the top graphic banner must link to your home page.
  2. All sites within the Communique (CQ) Web content management system will include the “UC Emergency” component, which will display emergency notifications when deemed appropriate by the UC Public Safety director. The information will display above the content and top banner of the website. Other major university sites (e.g. college sites) not in CQ should incorporate a similar solution.
  3. All official UC pages must contain “UC Global Navigation,” which includes a link to “UC Home” as the first link from the left-hand side of the horizontal navigation and a search function at the right-hand side of the navigation. The Global Navigation must be located in the top area of the site’s pages.
    1. The search box should offer site-wide (if available) search, “Search UC Web” and “Search People” (Directory Services information). See example below.
    2. Additional UC Global Navigation “standard” links “Visit UC,” “Support UC,” “Directories,” “UC Tools,” should be included to provide consistency across UC sites. Links must occur in this order (including the same links and order within the "UC Tools" dropdown list), although all links do not have to be included (provide links that are applicable to your site's audience). See examples below.
    3. If links other than the standard links are included in a global navigation area, they must be uniquely named (not “Visit UC,” “A-Z Index” or “UC Tools”) to minimize confusion for Web visitors.
    4. The global navigation area may be a standard black bar placed above the page, or it may be incorporated into the design of the top portion of the page.


D. Functionality.

  1. Pages must function and display properly in Internet Explorer 7.x, Firefox 3.x, Safari 525.x and above.
  2. Pages must function (display may vary from intended design) in Internet Explorer 6.x, Google Chrome and pre-525.x versions of Safari. 
  3. Pages must function in both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.
  4. Pages should function satisfactorily if accessed with slower connections, e.g., mobile or dial-up modem.


E. PDF files, media and plug-ins.

  1. All links that go to media requiring a plug-in must identify the file format as part of, or beside, the link in parentheses and uppercase letters. Examples: UC Branding Standards (PDF); UC Fight Song (MP3) (To listen to audio files, you need a free player such as Windows Media Player.).
    • If using the UC Download component within CQ, the file format icon can take the place of the text identifier many file types, including PDF, DOC and PPT.
  2. Provide a link for user to download any required plug-ins.


F. Contact Information.

  1. Identify the unit and department in the top banner area of every page.
  2. All pages of the website must provide building location, mailing address, zip code, phone number, e-mail address/link and, optionally, office hours in the footer, or bottom, area. Format should follow that outlined in “Addresses for post office use and tabular material” in the UC Stylebook – http://www.uc.edu/stylebook/.


G. Copyright.

  1. Federal copyright and trademark rules and regulations (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/) must be observed.
  2. Adhere to university policy regarding copyright: http://www.uc.edu/Trustees/Rules/RuleDetail.asp?ID=84.
  3. Include this copyright designation on your pages:
    Copyright Information © University of Cincinnati, Year
    1. Year is that of the latest revision.
    2. Link the words "Copyright Information" to this Web address, which provides information about filing copyright complaints:
    3. Link the words "University of Cincinnati" to UC's home page: http://www.uc.edu.
    4. Note: the University of Cincinnati is the copyright holder and not the individual department, college, etc.


H. Advertising and Responsible Use.

  1. Without specific authorization from the Electronic Communications Planning Committee or its designated agent, UC Web servers and/or websites may not be used for advertising.
    1. As used in this policy, an advertisement is anything placed on a website, including links, logos or other identifiers, that promotes, induces or encourages, directly or indirectly, commercial activity of any sort with or for the benefit of any person or entity other than the university, or that endorses or recommends directly or indirectly the products, facilities or services of any person or entity.
    2. This definition does not include an endorsement or recommendation placed on a personal Web page, provided there is no suggestion whatsoever that such endorsement or recommendation is that of the university and that the person or entity making the endorsement or recommendation receives no payment, goods, services, discounts or anything else of value in exchange.
  2. Members of the faculty, administration, student body, volunteer workers, and staff are responsible for the appropriate use of university resources. Refer to University Rule 10-17-04, Conduct and Ethics: Use of University Resources (http://www.uc.edu/trustees/rules/RuleDetail.asp?ID=90) for specific information.
  3. University Web pages or server space may not be used to request contributions to and/or advertisements for political campaigns. Refer to University Rule 10-17-01, Conduct and Ethics: Statement on Political Policy (http://www.uc.edu/Trustees/Rules/RuleDetail.asp?ID=80) for specific information.


I. Links to Commercial Web Sites.

  1. UC official Web pages may provide a text link to a commercial site if the university has a contractual relationship with the business (e.g. Dell).
  2. UC official Web pages can provide a text link to a commercial site if the site provides a service to the university's primary community (existing or prospective faculty, staff, students) that is consistent with the university’s mission (e.g., links to http://www.act.org/ or http://www.fastweb.com/ from the Admissions site; links to lending institutions from the Student Financial Aid Office website).


J. Social Media

  1. Guidelines and recommendations regarding social media usage.

To view PDF documents, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free download.