Social Media Policy - NIU - Communications and Marketing

Social Media

Northern Illinois University
Division of University Relations – Department of Communications and Marketing

Social Media Policy
Approved by Cabinet August 15, 2011
Effective August 22, 2011 

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Mission of Northern Illinois University Social Media:

  • To build community among prospective students, current students, alumni, faculty & staff, and community members by informing, listening, responding, and engaging.
  • To promote community through engagement and coordination across multiple social media platforms

Application of this Policy:

This policy applies to all employees and units of the University. Student postings that may be a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct will be referred to the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct for appropriate review and discipline.

Northern Illinois University’s presence on social media:

Contact Information for the Department of Communications and Marketing:

Brad Hoey

Holly Nicholson
Social Media Specialist


  • Social media sites will hold individuals liable for any content or material posted to their sites. Social media site users should be familiar with the Terms of Service and respect general copyright and Fair Use policies.
  • Do not post confidential information. Adhere to state and federal laws and regulations related to the security and privacy of information (e.g. FERPA and HIPAA) and NCAA and Mid-American Conference (MAC) guidelines, as well as to university privacy policies. Do not share unpublished experimental methods and confidential research results or reveal protected intellectual property.
  • The NIU Foundation is the only agency authorized to seek gift support using the university's name. Consistent with university policy regarding fundraising, all solicitations, by any method, including through any social media sites, must be coordinated with and approved by the NIU Foundation through the NIU development office.


  • Divisions, colleges or departments launching social media profiles or developing mobile applications must notify the university's Social Media Specialist in advance of finalization/deployment of any new social media profile or mobile application. The Department of Communications & Marketing has posted additional guidelines for university-related social media profiles and applications on its website at The Department of Communications & Marketing maintains a comprehensive database and inventory of all university-related social media profiles and mobile applications.
  • Develop a strategic plan for each social media profile/page. Contact the Social Media Specialist in Communications and Marketing if assistance is needed.
  • Adhere to NIU’s Graphic Standards when designing profile or background graphics.
    • Please remember that the Huskie logo is specifically reserved for media directly related to the NIU Athletics program; the Presidential Seal is reserved for use on media related to the Office of the President, Board of Trustees, or formal university documents.
  • Remember that departmental sites do not represent the university as a whole, but do reflect on the university. Use good judgment and be professional.
  • Post contact information for the profile/page administrators when possible. It is important to have more than one administrator per page.


  • When discussing matters related to NIU, be honest about your affiliation with the university, and clarify you are not an authorized representative of NIU.
  • When discussing matters related to NIU on a non-institutional or personal social media site, the University encourages utilizing the following disclaimer: 
    • The views expressed on this ____ (blog, facebook page, etc.) are mine alone and are not endorsed by NIU nor do they constitute any official communication from NIU. 
  • Use of NIU logos on personal sites is prohibited. Do not use NIU or its logo to promote products, causes, or political candidates. NIU and its logo are trademarked and cannot be used without permission.
  • It is encouraged and appropriate to provide a link to or any of the official NIU social media sites.
  • The University does not monitor personal social media sites, however the University reserves the right to review for compliance purposes any site or activity brought to its attention as potentially violating the guidelines established in this policy.
  • University departments, divisions, and colleges are not permitted to partner with or sponsor external social media profiles, mobile applications and/or websites unless pre-approved by the Department of Communications and Marketing.