World Wide Web Policy

Introduction and Purpose

Binghamton University's World Wide Web presence promotes the University, its activities and opportunities by providing timely and effective interactive communication and services to diverse audiences with the goal of building and advancing broad-based support for the University's strategic plan.

The decentralized nature of the World Wide Web and the diverse purposes and constituencies served by University websites require that as much freedom as possible be granted to those creating and maintaining websites. However, content of all webpages under University jurisdiction (i.e., provided or transmitted by University servers, by other servers funded by University budgets, and transmitted via University network infrastructure) must comply with local, state and federal laws and with Binghamton's policies, rules and regulations. Further, the reputation and image of Binghamton University is determined, in part, not only by the quality of information published electronically by its students, faculty, staff and affiliates, but also by the degree to which our constituents have excellent interactions with the University via its web presence.

Therefore, the purpose of Binghamton's World Wide Web Policy is to ensure accuracy, consistency, integrity, quality of interactive experience, and protection of the identity and image of the University by providing a set of minimum standards and guidelines for the websites of Binghamton's departments, schools, facilities, organizations and affiliates.

General oversight of the University's websites and webpages, and policies governing the use of these resources, is the responsibility of the Office of University Communications and Marketing through its web director.

Related Policy and Guideline Sources

Binghamton University Policies

External Policies and Guidelines

Personal Webpages

Personal webpages are individual webpages sponsored and maintained solely by students or by University faculty or staff. These webpages are not directly connected with the University's mission, and Binghamton University is not responsible for personal pages. The University reserves the right, however, to remove from any Binghamton web server any page or link in violation of the law or University policies. The following disclaimer must appear on all personal webpages:

The views and opinions expressed in these pages are strictly those of [the page author]. The content of these pages has not been reviewed or approved by Binghamton University.

Instructional Webpages

Web resources are available for faculty, staff and students for legitimate University business and scholarly activity. For information on computing resources for webpages, see the Information Technology Services website for information concerning instructional and personal webpages. These pages are governed by related policies and guidelines.

Official Webpages

Official webpages include both academic and administrative pages; these pages are produced and edited using the University's content management system (CMS). Special cases or needs should be brought to the attention of the University web director.

Department chairs and unit administrators are responsible for the content of departmental pages. Departmental pages should not attempt to duplicate official information, functions or services (such as Bulletin information, descriptions of the University, directions, maps, etc.) and should link to the correct pages for official information.

The page administrator of official pages must be a departmental employee who has received training in the use of the CMS. While students may edit department pages, they cannot serve as administrators of official pages. Pages should be reviewed regularly for accuracy.

All official pages should follow the University's editorial style guide to maintain consistency in the use of punctuation, capitalization, titles and more. Questions should be addressed to the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Communications and Marketing staff may edit webpages displaying information that is inaccurate, out-of-date or otherwise noncompliant with these guidelines or state or federal requirements. This editing may be done without prior notice to page administrators.

Accessibility

Binghamton University strives to make its pages compliant with New York State Accessibility Guidelines and federal laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. Several sites offer guidelines and insights regarding page flexibility and layout considerations to ensure accessibility. The following sites offer helpful information:

Advertising

Binghamton University webpages may not contain advertising for, or link to, commercial sites without advance written approval by the Web director. Approval will be considered only if:

  • the purpose of the advertising or link is consistent with the University mission,
  • the advertising or link is essential to the purpose of the site, and
  • the advertising or link does not imply University endorsement of the product or service.

Fundraising

Non-University-related fundraising may not be conducted on any webpage operated and administered by the University or hosted on the University's network. This includes University-mission-related and personal pages. For information on fundraising, contact the Binghamton University Foundation.

Copyright

Binghamton University retains the copyright on all video, animation, text, photos and graphical images used on its official website and on its third-party sites (e.g., Facebook), whether contributed by end-users or the University, unless otherwise noted. These are considered assets of the University and may not be used by others for any purpose without the prior express written permission of Binghamton.

The name Binghamton University and its trademarks, symbols and logos are trademarked and owned by the University and should not be used without the prior express written permission of Binghamton University.

Note that Binghamton University has no control over personal pages or off-campus websites and internet resources linked to our servers, and Binghamton is not responsible for their accuracy or content.

Provision of Binghamton University's web services is a joint project of the University's Communications and Marketing Office and the Office of Information Technology Services.

A copyright statement looks like this: "©[current year] Binghamton University"

Web Servers

Any department or individual with a computer connected to the campus network is able to install web server software independent of University central server resources. However, any need to duplicate University-provided and supported WWW infrastructure should be supported with specific justification and in consultation with the web director and ITS staff.

Web servers not maintained by ITS may request a virtual hostname (your_server.binghamton.edu). However, the University provides host name services at its sole discretion. All web service providers are responsible for the currency, legitimacy, legality and appearance of their pages.

Web service providers must adhere to Binghamton's web policies and are responsible not only for the content and appearance of their pages, but also for those linked personal pages that branch from their pages. Web service providers should be able to guarantee a stable, responsive system that is always available and be sure that the server has it own domain name service (DNS).

Privacy

When you use the Binghamton University website the University uses common web technologies to automatically gather and store the following non-personally identifiable information about your visit, including:

  • User client hostname. The hostname or Internet Protocol address of the  user requesting access to the University at Buffalo website.
  • HTTP header, "user agent." The  user agent information includes the type of browser, its version, and the operating system on which that the browser is running.
  • HTTP header, "referrer." The referrer specifies the web page from which the  user accessed the current web page.
  • System date. The date and time of the  user’s  request.
  • Full request. The exact request the  user made.
  • Status. The status code the server returned to the  user.
  • Content length. The content length, in bytes, of any document sent to the  user.
  • Method. The request method used.
  • Universal Resource Identifier (URI). The location of a resource on the server. Query string of the URI. Anything after the question mark in a URI.
  • Protocol. The transport protocol and the version used.
  • The  user identifier from the computer accessing this website if that computer voluntarily responds to a UNIX IDENT query issued on UDP port 113.

None of the foregoing information is deemed to constitute personal information.

The information that is collected automatically is used to improve this website's content and to help Binghamton University understand how users are interacting with the website. This information is collected for statistical analysis, to determine what information is of most and least interest to our users, and to improve the utility of the material available on the website.

Cookies and Pixel Tags

Cookies are simple text files stored on your web browser to provide a means of distinguishing among users of this website. The use of cookies is a standard practice among Internet websites. To better serve you, we occasionally use "session cookies" to enhance or customize your visit to this website. Session cookies that can be created automatically on the device you use to access this website, do not contain personal information, and do not compromise your privacy or security. We may use the cookie feature to store a randomly generated identifying tag on the device you use to access this website. A session cookie is erased during operation of your browser or when your browser is closed.

Occasionally a "persistent cookie" may be stored on your computer's hard drive. This persistent cookie will allow the website to recognize you when you visit again and tailor the information presented to you based on your needs and interests. 

The software and hardware you use to access this website allows you to refuse new cookies or delete existing cookies. Refusing or deleting these cookies may limit your ability to take advantage of some features of this website.

In special cases pixel tags may be used to help customize content to your interests based upon your browsing history. Personally identifiable information is not involved in pixel tag use.

For information on how to opt out of mobile browser tracking, visit the Network Advertising Initiative http://www.networkadvertising.org/mobile-choice. For information about opting out, visit the Digital Advertising Alliance http://optout.aboutads.info/#/.

Approved by Greg Delviscio, AVP University Office of Communications & Marketing, 05/03/2017.