Web Communications Policy

Policy Approval Authority President
Responsible Division Division of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications
Responsible University Office University Marketing
Responsible Officer(s) Director of Digital Strategy
Contact Person Rachel Xidis, rachelx@niu.edu
Primary Audience Faculty
Date Submitted to Policy Library 07-15-2019
Status Active
Adoption Date 08-15-2019
Policy Category/Categories Information Technology
Marketing & Communication

Policy Narrative

NIU.edu is the official web presence for Northern Illinois University. NIU’s web presence supports the university’s mission, values and Strategic Enrollment Management Plan through:

  • Innovation (consistently making improvements to performance, functionality and design)
  • Inclusion (ensuring the website is accessible to persons with disabilities and is user-friendly for all audiences and devices)
  • Strengthening our brand identity
  • Supporting student engagement

Web standards and best practice guidelines have been put in place to ensure a consistent and unified user experience for niu.edu visitors and reinforce the university’s brand. The standards were collaboratively written by members of the university’s central Office of Web and Internal Communications (Web Team) in the Division of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications and approved by the Web Steering Committee and president of the university.

Colleges, schools, divisions, departments, labs, clinics and official services of the university that have a web presence on niu.edu must host their sites within the official university content management system (CMS) on servers maintained by the Division of Information Technology and follow the web standards and best practice guidelines. These sites must also comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, the Rehabilitation Act Sections 504 and 508, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and applicable copyright laws.

Content Ownership, User Access Rights

All subdomains and sub-sites within the niu.edu domain belong to, and are representative of, the university. Colleges and divisions serve as caretakers of their websites, experts in their content and stewards of NIU’s brand.

The Web Team has access to all areas of the niu.edu website and, to ensure quality control, will edit/alter content as needed to comply with web and brand standards. The university reserves the right to revise or delete content housed either on university IT resources or external resources that does not meet acceptable use guidelines or web and brand standards.

Access to the university’s web content management system is detailed in the web standards. All university stakeholders who have access to the content management system are responsible for knowing and upholding the web and brand standards when creating and publishing web content.

Governance and Collaboration

At NIU, web governance is facilitated through the Web Steering Committee. The committee’s objective is to provide collaborative centralized governance for the ongoing development, deployment, delivery and maintenance of the niu.edu domain and to consistently represent the Northern Illinois University brand online through standard processes, roles, responsibilities and practices.

Primary support for niu.edu and associated sites is led by the Web Team. The Web Team also provides training for page managers, support for all niu.edu web pages, maintains the Web Standards document and provides administrative support for the Web Steering Committee.


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