HU Official Website Policy

I. Purpose of Policy

This document is an extension to the General Web Policy. This policy should not be considered as a separate policy from the General Web Policy.

This document describes the requirements and responsibilities for Official Howard University Web sites.

II. Definitions

See the General Web Policy for definitions.

III. Requirements and Responsibilities

1. Design

  1. The names, initials, seals, mascots, and logos associated with Howard University are trademarks owned by the University. Any representation of these university marks (art work or graphics) design and usage must be approved by the Office of University Communications.
  2. All Official Howard University Web Pages for must clearly identify the title of the Web Site it belongs to in the top 250 pixels on every page. The title of the Web Page may be the name of the school, department, organization, etc. Academic departments must at least identify the college or school it belongs to on the Home Page of the department Web Site. However, it is recommend to identify the college or school on every Web Page.
  3. For items A and B, acronyms may not be used when identifying the Web Page or Howard University (ex: "HU").
  4. All Web Pages must link to the Home Page for the Web Site it belongs to. An exception to this rule is that the Home Page itself, which should not contain a link to itself.
  5. For any navigation that uses images, a text version must be provided somewhere on the body of the page.

2. Content

  1. All information on Official Howard University Web Sites must be accurate and up-to-date. Inaccuracies must be avoided which compromise meaning (e.g., missing text, misarranged table cells, etc.). The electronic version of the printed document must reflect the same general style, but since HTML does not precisely mimic the printed page, the document may be formatted differently as long as it faithfully conveys the information. All time-sensitive information (e.g., press releases, announcements, etc) must be removed, updated or archived if it becomes out-of-date.
  2. Computers and network systems offer powerful tools for communication among members of the Howard community and of communities outside of the university. When used appropriately, these tools can enhance dialog and communications. Unlawful or inappropriate use of these tools, however, can infringe on the rights of others. The University expects all members of its community to use electronic communications in a responsible manner. Having open access to network-based services implies some risk. In a community of diverse cultures, values, and sensitivities, the University cannot protect all individuals against the existence or receipt of material that may be offensive to them.
  3. Respect the copyrights of text, sound, and graphic material, remembering that the appearance of material in print does not indicate that the University holds permission for use beyond that appearance.
  4. Official Howard Web Information should be contained on Web Sites that have authority to publish that information, and all other Web Sites must refer to that information rather than create their own duplicates.
  5. Official Howard Web Sites may contain links to external web sites. These links are provided as a courtesy, and are to be used at the discretion of the individual visitor.
  6. Every Web Page must have a footer in the HTML body that contains the following:
    1. The following text: © Howard University, all rights reserved.
    2. Title of the Web Site (if applicable)
    3. A link to the Howard University WWW Disclaimer at http://www.howard.edu/disclaimer.asp
    4. At least one of the following contact information:
      1. (Recommended) Link to a contact page. It is recommended that you create a page with contact information, so you will only have to update that one page if the contact information changes.
      2. E-mail of a permanent staff member or a custom contact e-mail address. The e-mail address must be typed out and linked (e.g. bsmith@howard.edu)
    5. Direct phone number for the college, school, division, department, office, center, program, project, organization, or committee that the Web Site represents. Avoid using the main Howard University switchboard.
    6. Address of your the building and/or office your college, school, division, department, office, center, program, project, organization, or committee resides in. If this is not applicable, then use the Main Howard University address: "2400 Sixth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20059".

3. Technical

  1. The HTML head tags of every Web Page must include the following:
    1. A descriptive title of your Web Site that includes "Howard University". The title appears in the bar across the top of your browser -- it doesn't appear on the Web Page itself when viewed within a browser. Microsoft FrontPage users can see the http://www.howard.edu/web/guidelines/frontpage.htm for help setting this title.

      An example of the HTML code looks like this:

      <head>
        <title>Student Life - Howard University</title>
      </head>
    2. The metatags with the name "Keywords" and "Description". The Keywords metatag is a coma-delimited list of descriptor words about the Web Site. The Description metatag is a sentence or two describing the Web Site (keep it as short as possible). Microsoft FrontPage users can see the http://www.howard.edu/web/guidelines/frontpage.htm for help setting these metatags.

      These tags are placed within the <head></head> tags at the top of the HTML page.
      An example of the HTML code looks like this:

      <head>
      <title>Student Life - Howard University</title>
      <meta name="keywords" content="howard university student life activities information schedules forms events organizations">
      <meta name="description" content="Howard University student life & activities information, including schedules, and application forms.">
      </head>
  2. All Howard University official Web pages must have alternatives for any plug-in Web technologies that provide a critical service or provide critical information on a Web Page. Examples of this are navigation and important or time-sensitive information. The following are the most common Web technologies that should not be used for such situations:
    • Apple Quicktime
    • Windows Media Player
    • Macromedia Flash/Shockwave
    • Java Applets
    • Real RealPlayer
  3. All pages must be viewable on a computer with a 800x600 resolution without having to scroll horizontally. This resolution was selected after extensive testing of visitor resolutions.
  4. All images must have the ALT text defined. The ALT text describes the image, or in the case of navigation, gives a text version of what the button says. Place holders and images used as spacers must have an blank ALT text (alt="").
  5. For impaired users, captioning for audio and video must be provided.

IV. Revisions

  • Revised by Main Howard University Webmaster(s) - November, 2004
  • Original - August, 2004

V. Appeals

Appeals regarding any of the guidelines in this policy may be made to the Main Howard University Webmaster(s) at webmaster@howard.edu or to the Office of University Communications at ouc@howard.edu.