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Web Standards and Usage

Recommended By: University Affairs Office
Ruben Armiñana, President
Date of Issue: August 15, 2000
Effective Date: August 15, 2000
Contact Office: University Affairs

Policy #2000-6

  1. Purpose and Scope
    The primary goal of Sonoma State University web pages is to provide information about the University's various programs, departments, curricula, people and services. A secondary purpose is to promote the reputation of the University, as well as its mission and niche: Sonoma State University is a relatively small, rural campus that prides itself on providing the highest quality undergraduate liberal arts education at an affordable cost, while embracing new technologies.
    1. This Web Standards and Usage Policy sets the standard for all "official" University web sites. Official pages represent:
      • The six Schools of the University
      • All University divisions
      • All University departments
      • All institutes or programs affiliated with SSU
      • All auxiliaries connected to SSU
      • All course pages
      • Chartered student organizations
    2. "Personal" web pages are not required to follow this Web Standards and Usage Policy. Personal web pages may include:
      1. Individual faculty or staff pages that are not course related
      2. Pages that feature family and friends
      3. Student pages
    3. Personal pages may not be created to resemble official University pages. Therefore, the use of the University's seal, logo(s), banner or other SSU-specific graphics may not be used.
      Since any page on an SSU server, whether personal or official, represents Sonoma State University, it is strongly recommended that personal pages include:
      1. An e-mail link (contact information)
      2. Frequent updates (minimally once a semester), including the date changes were last made
  2. Requirements for all Official Web Pages
    1. Contact Information
      The main page of each site must include contact information such as department name, mailing address, phone and fax numbers.
    2. Content
      1. Pages must be reviewed at least once a semester to eliminate dated material; a date showing when a last review took place must appear on the page.
      2. All pages must include an e-mail link to either contact University personnel for content questions or the site developer for technical questions.
      3. All main pages must link to the Sonoma State University home page, a department page, or some other main page as appropriate to avoid dead-end pages. For example, the main page for the School of Arts and Humanities must have a link back to SSU home. Secondary pages (in this case, the Department of English) would link to the School of Arts and Humanities' main page.
    3. Legal and Policy 
      1. SSU is a member institution of 4Cnet, an electronic information and support group for the Internet as it relates to the CSU and California community colleges. As such, users of SSU's web servers must adhere to 4CNet's Acceptable Use Policy. A current 4Cnet Acceptable Use Policy is maintained at
      2. All materials on the web, including text, images, and sound are covered by copyright laws unless explicitly stated otherwise. Copyrighted materials may not be distributed or posted without the express permission of the copyright owner. Refer to for guidance ( may answer specific questions).
      3. University servers may not be used for commercial ventures or solicitations-for-hire which are not part of University business or activities.
      4. Web page authors must adhere to all state and federal laws.
    4. Graphical Elements
      The SSU seal, logo and banners may in no way be altered. This includes stretching, adding elements or in any other way changing them, without the express approval of the University Affairs Office.
    5. Accessibility
      For those unfamiliar with accessibility issues pertaining to Web page design, consider that many users may be operating in very different contexts such as the ability to see, hear, or move. Some types of information may not be able to be processed at all. There might be difficulties in reading or having access to a keyboard or mouse. Slow Internet connections are still common and must be considered when creating pages. Different browsers and operating systems create another layer of possible difficulty.
      For accessibility guidelines, see the Web Content Access Guidelines at Use the Center for Applied Special Technology "Bobby" tool to check the accessibility of a web page (
    6. Design / Re-Design
      Any design or re-design of an official site must be reviewed by the University Affairs Office to ensure continuity and clarity of the University's image.
    7. Enforcement
      Upon notification, the University Affairs Office reserves the right to authorize the blocking of pages that do not meet the requirements of this Web Standards and Usage Policy.
    8. Questions and Technical Support
      Limited technicalsupport is available by contacting the Information Technology Service Center. Questions regarding elements of this policy may be directed to the University Affairs Office or the Web Office in Information Technology.
      All web authors are encouraged to make use of the attached style recommendations.
  3. Please see attached Style Guidelines

Updated August 30, 2000 by