University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Has someone on your campus developed a formal social media policy or guidelines as many corporations have for their employees?

I know WSU Vancouver has developed guidelines for Facebook and Twitter, but I'm wondering if other campuses have developed a non-tool-specific comprehensive social media policy you'd be willing to share and point us to?

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Many great ideas here. I think there are three documents that need to be weaved together or perhaps presented as one unit.

1) Policy - what is the official policy on the use of social media and how to represent your university online
2) Guidelines - how to use social media - tutorials - official university pages etc
3) Strategy - what is the strategy of the university (i guess this is more of an internal doc)

I wrote a post on the policy document today

and I very much agree with using the University's Conduct or Responsible Use Guidelines as Stephen Mangat stated.
I would suggest that we need a fourth document - Participation Guidelines - We have all heard stories of how quickly bad press can be generated by businesses having problems handling negative comments. I, for one, feel that negative comments are "opportunities for engagement" but there are times when a comment goes too far such as hate speech, ranting, and so on. We need a published guideline as to what is acceptable and what will be deleted. This also applies to spam. Without a published guideline we are open to criticism that we are just arbitrarily censoring negative comments.
Agreed. Although they are guidelines :) so perhaps they might still fit under number 2
We are working on draft Policies and Guidelines and are struggling with a question.

As many here have said, we need something in place to help define what is acceptable and not acceptable in social media, especially in a higher education situation but in our institution, the word "Policy" has a very formal connotation involving many levels of approval including that of the Board of Trustees. I am reluctant to take it that road as it will delay the implimetation as well as make it almost impossible to update in the future. Has anyone else had to deal with this issue and what was your resolution?
I see that Erik Hagen posted a related question in June, but hasnt received any responses, so thought I would post it here.

Has anyone considered (or included it in their official Social Media policy on) how to deal with NCAA rules/violations in relation to Social Media? I ask because we recently had a situation where an official twitter account RT'ed a news article that covered a high school student who had made a verbal commitment to our school to play football after he graduates; a clear NCAA rule violation. However, the department behind the twitter account in question doesn't have anything to do with sports (just RT'ed because it was Mizzou-related) and doesnt/wouldnt know anything about NCAA rules.

On the flip side, we also have the situation of things like this page, which has a link to the same story. The difference is that this is a fan-controlled page, and not an "official" page. However, how would the NCAA know that this isn't an official page if they were to see it?

I did receive some clarification on the DIII rules a while back. Here is the new policy: Exception – Public Release of General Athletics Information Sent Through Electronic Transmission. Electronically transmitted correspondence in forms other than electronic mail and facsimiles may be sent to a prospective student-athlete by an institution’s athletics department, or a campus department acting on behalf of athletics, provided the following criteria are satisfied:

(a) Any member of the general public may become a member of the group to which the electronic transmission is sent;

(b) A prospective student-athlete who chooses to receive electronic transmissions through the electronic service must retain the ability to decline receipt of the communications at any time or may unsubscribe from the electronic service at any time; and

(c) The content of any electronic transmission that is sent to a public group that may include prospective student-athletes must be the same for all members of the group (e.g., news alerts, admissions and alumni information, scores) and of a general nature.


So basically, they were worried about use of social media that violated existing guidelines stating an institution, athletics department, or coach cannot actively recruit a student through any electronic means other than email or fax. The above exception that was recently added now allows for other electronic channels, including facebook and twitter, so long as the info is sent to the general public, and anyone can opt in or out of the communication.

Again, this only applies to DIII so far as I know.
We are working on two documents one is a social media guideline (proper etiquette, terms, best practices etc.) the other is an official legal policy. Like other's I'll share once its complete but we've been using the University of Kansas facebook guidelines as a springboard for discussion
Ken Burbary wrote a thoughtful blog post today called "Why marketers need to create social media guidelines," that I thought would be useful to those following this thread.
Thanks for all this great info. We have a committee working on guidelines and this will be very helpful.
The University of Florida recently released a "Strategic Communications Online and Electronic Communications Subcommittee" report which discusses the use of social media, including guidelines and suggestions.
Southeast Missouri State's draft social media policy is here:

We have a generic "Code of Conduct" and then some specific information about Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs.



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