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Policies and Procedures Manual
Department of Information Technology
SUBJECT: Web Publishing Policy
EFFECTIVE: February 1, 2007

Mercer University provides facilities and resources for web sites. However, these resources are available only for web sites that fall within the scope defined below. Specific limitations and requirements for the content of those web sites are defined below.

Related Polices and Legislation


Information Technology Help Desk – 478-301-2922


Web sites are a critical part of the life of the university. From communications to operations to the classroom and to scholarly and creative endeavors, the many web sites hosted by the university require significant resources, and they are a reflection of the mission and character of the University’s students, faculty, staff, alumni and others. In order to effectively manage available resources, work within various legal requirements, and to provide an environment where the University’s constituents are portrayed in a way that reflects our mission, this policy has been established.

Scope of Web Sites Allowed and Governed by this Policy

  1. Mercer may provide resources to host a web site for the following individuals and organizations:
    1. Colleges, schools, departments, centers, institutes and other entities that make up the university;
    2. Current faculty, staff, and emeriti faculty;
    3. Currently enrolled students;
    4. Student organizations recognized and in good standing with the university with the endorsement of the organization's advisor;
    5. Third party organizations directly affiliated with and sponsored by the university;
    6. Professional societies and other non-profit organizations which have a substantial relationship to Mercer's mission. Further, for these organizations, a current member of the Mercer faculty or staff will be responsible for working with the organization and managing its web site.
  2. Colleges, schools, departments, centers, institutes and other organizational entities within the university must receive approval from the Department of Information Technology before contracting with third parties for Mercer-related web sites. Web Management must be included in all planning, design, and development phases of the project. All Mercer-related web sites, including those hosted or created by third parties, are governed by this policy and the related policies listed above.
  3. All web sites must be actively sponsored and managed by a current faculty or staff member or current student. Web site owners are responsible for reviewing and ensuring that their web site(s) are kept current. Members of Web Management and Marketing Communications will occasionally review web site content to ensure accuracy, timeliness, and appropriateness.
  4. Approval of a web site may be denied based on the lack of necessary resources whether those resources are technical, personnel, or of another classification.


  1. All usage of web sites is to be in accordance with all applicable policies of Mercer University, including those listed above in the related policies and legislation section.
  2. Web sites may not contain or display fraudulent, harassing or obscene messages and/or materials. Further, materials of this type may not be stored on University web sites or other information technology systems, even if they are not displayed.
  3. Mercer University resources may be used to create web sites about an individual or an individual's interests but may not be used for personal business, personal gain, or partisan political purposes, except as permitted by other University policies.
  4. As a general rule commercial advertising is not permitted on web sites. This includes banner advertisements as well as graphic images that promote a commercial service or text links of a commercial nature. No graphic or text may imply Mercer University endorsement of commercial products or services. Any exceptions to this policy must be granted in writing by Marketing Communications and General Counsel.
  5. Copyright laws apply to electronic publishing as well as to print publishing. Web site owners are required to conform to the University's copyright and intellectual use policies. These policies are referenced above. (Note: For those who wish to learn more about Fair Use in the copyright area, please consider visiting the following web site - Stanford University Libraries Fair Use guidelines )
  6. Mercer graphics and images are owned by the University and may not be altered in any way. All use of Mercer graphics and images must conform to Graphic Standards.
  7. Mercer University reserves the right to add or require specific information to each web page or website including, but not limited to:
    1. a link to Mercer's home page;
    2. a page owner's e-mail address;
    3. legal information and disclaimers;
    4. the date of last update for that page; and
    5. the URL for that page.

Domain Names

The use of "Mercer" within a domain name such as in relation to the University is a trademark owned by the University. Therefore, the use of "mercer" within a domain name is specifically controlled. Anyone wanting to register "mercer" in a domain name must have permission from the Department of Information Technology.

Internet websites at Mercer generally will have the form (where xyz is a unique name or identifier for a department, organization, individual, event or other appropriate entity requiring a domain name). For technical reasons, Information Technology may establish additional servers and names such as www1, www2, etc. in place of www listed above, but for marketing purposes will be used when publicizing the site. There may be times when establishing a special name such as or is appropriate. Information Technology must approve these exceptions in advance.


Sanctions may include but are not limited to suspension of technology privileges, referral to Student Judicial Services, termination of employment, and/or criminal prosecution. For additional information, please reference the Information Technology Access and Use Policy.
(478) 301-7000