Op12.02-11 Web

Missouri State University is committed to providing current and accurate information to its students, faculty and staff; and to the citizens of the global community. The university recognizes the use of the internet and the World Wide Web as effective avenues for promoting interactive communications with its constituencies.

Taxpayers, students and others providing funding for Missouri State technology resources expect that these assets will be used and offered equitably. Further, they expect use of these resources to support the university's purpose of developing educated persons and mission of public affairs.

To ensure compliance with these expectations, the university requires users of its information technology resources to follow the web policies. Additionally, this policy is subject to all other information technology policies.

This policy applies to any website that is hosted through university resources or that represents the university or the professional persona of its employees. A website is any collection of content offered through the web, including, but not limited to, traditional sites, blogs and social networking sites.


The director of web strategy and development oversees the organization, design and functionality of the university's website.

Each website has a supervisor, as defined in the following sections. These website supervisors are responsible for all aspects of their websites' development, including the accessibility, maintenance and accuracy of the information. Ultimately, the website supervisors are responsible for ensuring compliance of their websites with this and all other applicable university policies and license agreements.

Except as otherwise provided in applicable university policies or state or federal laws, the university owns the content residing on any university web server or within any official website.

Definition of official websites

Official websites are those sponsored by Missouri State University. This category includes sites stored on the university's central or distributed web servers, sites outsourced to other providers or official university presences through external resources.

Official websites may contain only official Missouri State web content, which helps ensure that the Missouri State search results do not include personal content.

Official websites are divided into four types:

Type Eligibility Supervisor Description
Central Web strategy and development or computer services Director of web strategy and development or chief information officer Top-level websites, such as the university homepage or My Missouri State, that consolidate information from several departments
University unit Divisions, colleges, departments and other units Administrator of the unit May include general information about the unit, such as programs and services offered, contact information and faculty/staff names
Course Missouri State instructors Instructor May include information related to the course or instructor's role at the university, such as course syllabi, assignments, instructor biographies and research
Sponsored organization Organizations sponsored by the university President of organization May include information about the organization's role at Missouri State University, such as membership, meeting times and links to external affiliations

Definition of unofficial websites

Unofficial websites are those hosted but not sponsored by Missouri State University. Unofficial pages do not constitute official university business or statements, and the university does not endorse or actively monitor the content of these websites. The views expressed on these pages are strictly those of the individual authors or groups. The supervisor bears sole responsibility for the content and maintenance of the website.

Missouri State University does not regulate the contents of these sites except for the guidelines for all websites included below; however, the university will investigate all complaints involving unofficial websites and reserves the right to remove or block material that violates federal or state law or university policy.

Unofficial websites may not be used—explicitly or implicitly—for course delivery or for the delivery of any official Missouri State information. Developers of unofficial websites are encouraged, but not required, to follow the guidelines for official websites.

Unofficial websites are divided into four types:

Type Eligibility Supervisor Description
Personal Faculty, staff, students and guests Individual faculty, staff, student or guest May include research, interests and other content from the individual
Recognized/bona fide organization Recognized student organizations or bona fide university organizations President of organization May include information about the organization's role at Missouri State University, such as membership, meeting times and links to external affiliations
External organization Non-profit, professional or academic organization/committee that's appropriate to the university's overall mission A current Missouri State staff or faculty member, who is also a current member of the external organization May include information about the organization for the public. If an external organization fails to meet eligibility or does not have a valid supervisor, Missouri State will remove the external organization's website from Missouri State equipment.
Staging All Missouri State websites, except personal and external organization sites Supervisor of companion website Allow web developers to create and test content on a non-production server. Staging sites may not be used as production sites, for course delivery or referenced within any websites or other publications.

Guidelines for all websites

All official and unofficial university websites must adhere to the following content guidelines:


Website supervisors are responsible for ensuring all comments to their websites are monitored and removed as needed. Review the comment guidelines for guidance.

Commercial activity

It is not acceptable to use any official or unofficial university website for commercial activities without an approved exemption from the Chief Information Officer, in consultation with the Vice President for Marketing and Communication. Review the commercial activity policy for details.

Credit card processing

When collecting online payments, university websites must use one of the following approved methods:

  • Direct links to storefronts
  • Vendor-supplied integrations approved by financial services and computer services
  • Custom applications developed and maintained by computer services or web strategy and development

Intellectual property, including works subject to copyright

The university reserves the right to identify copyrightable materials on university-owned resources. The university also investigates reported copyright violations.

Intellectual property, including works subject to copyright, require written consent prior to publication on the web. Providing notice and obtaining consent are the responsibilities of the website supervisor requesting publication. A record of the consent must be maintained as long as the content is online. Consent obtained by electronic means will be considered adequate. Review the web guidelines and use of copyrighted materials for educational and research purposes policies for more information.


University websites must comply with the Privacy Policy to protect accounts and personal information.

Usage of Missouri State seal and logos

Web developers must follow the guidelines set forth in the university brand.

Guidelines for official Websites

All official websites must also comply with these guidelines:


In accordance with the accessibility policy, Missouri State University strives to ensure all users, regardless of disability, can access official university websites. As such, all official university websites must comply with the web accessibility guidelines.

Appropriate use of web space

The university's computing and networking resources are limited, thus official websites may only contain current web content that supports university functions or programs. University web developers may not store personal web pages or non-web files, such as backups, in any space designated for official websites.

Domain names

Official websites must be in the university's official domain: missouristate.edu. Missouri State will not host outside domains, such as those ending in .com or .org, without an approved exemption from the director of web strategy and development.

Supervisors of official websites may request a unique host name, or prefix, for use within the missouristate.edu domain. The resulting addresses would provide a concise method for accessing and publicizing official websites. Examples of addresses using unique host names include ozarkswatch.missouristate.edu and news.missouristate.edu.


Before outsourcing all or part of an official website to an external provider, website supervisors must contact the director of web strategy and development for approval. The director will review design, accessibility, hosting and linking requirements with the website supervisor to develop an appropriate plan of action.


University websites must comply with the Image, Voice or Likeness Release Policy for photography, video and similar content.

Style requirements

Official websites must include the standard university masthead and footer on all pages, unless an exemption is approved by the director of web strategy and development.