This social media policy is in effect for faculty, staff and students who participate
in social media for and on behalf of the university. A revised policy will be issued
Social media are powerful communications and marketing tools that may have a significant
impact on organizational and professional reputations. Because there is not always
a clear distinction between personal voice and institutional voice, the University
of Dallas has crafted the following policy to help clarify how best to enhance and
protect personal and professional reputations when participating in social media.
Social media from the University of Dallas is intended to supplement, not replace,
the channels currently in place for press, news, events, announcements and student
Social media are defined as media designed to be disseminated through social interaction,
created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Examples include
but are not limited to Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.
Both in professional and institutional roles, employees should follow the same behavioral
standards online as they would elsewhere. The same laws, professional expectations
and guidelines for interacting with students, parents, alumni, donors, media and other
university constituents apply online and offline. Employees and student-representatives
of the school are personally liable for anything they post to social media sites.
Policies for Social Media Sites, Including Personal Sites
- Protect confidential and proprietary information: Do not post confidential or proprietary
information about the University of Dallas, students, employees or alumni. Employees
must still follow the applicable federal requirements such as FERPA, PCI-DSS and HIPAA,
as well as NCAA regulations and must also adhere to all applicable university privacy
and confidentiality policies. Employees who share confidential information do so at
the risk of disciplinary action or termination.
- Respect copyright and fair use: When posting, be mindful of the copyright and intellectual
property rights of others and of the university.
- Don’t use University of Dallas logos for endorsements: Do not use the University of
Dallas logo or any other university images or iconography on personal social media
sites. Do not use University of Dallas’ name to promote a product, cause or political
party or candidate.
- Terms of service: Obey the terms of service of any social media platform employed.
This section applies to those posting on behalf of an official university unit, though
the guidelines may be helpful for anyone posting on social media in any capacity.
- Think twice before posting: Privacy does not exist in the world of social media. Consider
what could happen if a post becomes widely known and how that may reflect on the poster
and the university. Search engines can turn up posts years after they are created,
and comments can be forwarded or copied. If you wouldn’t say it at a conference or
to a member of the media, consider whether you should post it online. If you are unsure
about posting something or responding to a comment, ask your supervisor for input
or contact the Office of Marketing and Communication at (972) 721-5194.
- Strive for accuracy: Get the facts straight before posting them on social media. Review
content for grammatical and spelling errors. This is especially important if posting
on behalf of the university in any capacity. (See “Institutional Social Media” section
- Be respectful: Understand that content contributed to a social media site could encourage
comments or discussion of opposing ideas. Responses should be considered carefully
in light of how they would reflect on the poster and/or the university and its institutional
- Remember your audience: Be aware that a presence in the social media world is or easily
can be made available to the public at large. This includes prospective students,
current students, current employers and colleagues, and peers. Consider this before
publishing to ensure the post will not alienate, harm or provoke any of these groups.
- On personal sites, identify your views as your own. If you identify yourself as a
University of Dallas faculty or staff member online, it should be clear that the views
expressed are not necessarily those of the institution.
- Photography: Photographs posted on social media sites easily can be appropriated by
visitors. Consider adding a watermark and/or posting images at 72 dpi and approximately
800x600 resolution to protect your intellectual property. Images at that size are
sufficient for viewing on the Web, but not suitable for printing.
Institutional Social Media
If you post on behalf of an official university unit, the following policies must
be followed, in addition to all of the policies and best practices listed above:
- Notify the university: Departments or university units that have a social media page
or would like to start one should contact the Office of Marketing and Communication
at (972) 721-5194 to ensure all institutional social media sites coordinate with other
University of Dallas sites and their content. All institutional pages must have a
full-time employee (not a part-time employee, intern or graduate assistant) who is
identified as being responsible for content and at least one full-time employee as
a backup. We will verify your employment and that you are authorized by the department
to run the social media profile. Ideally, this should be the unit head of the department.
The university will provide a common page on which all official institutional pages
- Acknowledge who you are: If you are representing the University of Dallas when posting
on a social media platform, acknowledge this.
- Have a plan: Departments should consider their messages, audiences and goals, as well
as a strategy for keeping information on social media sites up-to-date. The Office
of Marketing and Communication can assist and advise you with your social media planning.
- Link back to the university: Whenever possible, link back to University of Dallas
sites. Ideally, posts should be very brief; redirecting a visitor to content that
resides within the University of Dallas web environment. When linking to a news article
about the University of Dallas, check first to see whether you can link to a release
directly from www.udallas.edu.
- Protect the institutional voice: Posts on social media sites should protect the university’s
institutional voice by remaining professional in tone and in good taste. No individual
University of Dallas unit should construe its social media site as representing the
university as a whole. Consider this when naming pages or accounts, selecting a profile
picture or icon, and selecting content to post—names, profile images and posts should
all be clearly linked to the particular department or unit rather than to the institution
as a whole.
Institutional Social Media Comment Policy
The university expects conversations to follow the rules of polite discourse and asks
that participants treat each other with respect. University employees will not post
or approve post comments that include:
- Profanity and vulgar or abusive language
- Threats of physical or bodily harm
- Sensitive information (for example, information that could compromise public safety
or intellectual property)
- Offensive terms
- Vendor/commercial promotions that are not officially sanctioned by in the University
Social Media Policy Notification
Social media sites each have their own terms and conditions and/or policies, all university
employees must adhere to these policies if they choose to use social media platforms.
Not following these policies/terms may lead to the removal of your social media account
and may adversely affect or reflect poorly upon other areas of the university. Please
keep up to date on social media platform policies/terms.
Social Media Public Use Policy
To ensure exchanges that are productive, informative, respectful of diverse viewpoints
and lawful, we will review all comments and we will not post comments that are, or
Off Topic - We will exclude comments not related to the subject of the conversation. If you
have an idea for a subject, would like to provide feedback, or would like a university
representative to follow-up with you, you may email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org;
Spam - Comments focused on selling a product or service, or comments posted for a purpose
of driving traffic to a particular website for personal, political, or monetary gain
will be excluded;
Personal Attacks - If you disagree with the content, we would like to hear from you, but ask that
you refrain from personal attacks or being disrespectful to others. Malicious intent
and/or participation not in the spirit of civil conversation will be excluded;
Illegal - Posts must not violate laws that govern use of copyrights, trade secrets, etc;
Offensive Language - Comments including, but not limited to, profane or provocative language will be
excluded. Comments that contain threatening, hateful, offensive, derogatory, obscene
or sexually explicit language will not be tolerated;
Private or Confidential Information - Please do not provide any personal information when posting comments;
Posts in HTML Format (or URLs) - Please only use plain text when submitting your comments;
Posts from Individuals, Under the Age of 13 - These will not be accepted;
Posts Containing Photos - These will not be accepted unless specifically requested by an authorized representative
of the university for a contest or other business-related purpose. In these instances,
pictures will be reviewed and will not be posted if deemed inappropriate.
All comments are reviewed, monitored and approved by the university to our social
media sites. At our sole discretion, the university reserves the right to deny the
posting of any comment we deem inappropriate.