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Public Web Standards Policy

Purpose

LMU's public Web presence, which is accessible at http://www.lmu.edu, is an important vehicle for educating and recruiting students, faculty, and staff, communicating the university's vibrant academic environment, building community, and informing the external target audiences about the life of the university. As such, it is essential that the public web conveys a cohesive visual identity, provides accurate information, and encourages diversity of style and content for academic departments, individual faculty, and various other stakeholder communities.

The organization and functionality of the public web is built upon a tightly integrated navigation structure that offers ease of movement from one site to another. This navigation structure utilizes design elements and technology enhancements in order to promote extranet-wide consistency.

The framework that unifies the university's public web is defined through two complimentary standards: the Global Standard and the Template Standard. These standards define minimum requirements that apply to the creation and development of public websites at LMU. Since every public website at LMU contributes to the image and perception of the institution, the goal of these standards is to ensure that the university's web presence is consistent with the university's mission and goals and reflects best practices in web design and technology.

Global Standards for the Public Web

Global standards are defined as minimum requirements that apply to all university public webs. Global standards apply to a public web regardless of whether or not it utilizes the university's template. The specific requirements of the global standard are revised periodically by Web, New Media and Design to reflect best practices, marketplace trends and competitive positioning of university websites. For a checklist format of the latest requirements, click here.

1. All public webs that function as a home page for a division, college/school, department, program, or other unit must contain the words 'Loyola Marymount University' in the header, body, or footer. This text or graphic must link back to the university home page at http://www.lmu.edu.

2. In addition to the above requirement, the home page must also contain a copyright statement that links to the same copyright information that is contained on the university home page at http://www.lmu.edu. All copyrights are held in the university’s name, not in the name of an individual college, school and/or department.

3. Web authors do not have the authority to post university seals, crests, shields, or other related logo graphics without express written permission from Web, New Media + Design.

(a) If a web author is permitted use of any university logo, mark or identification, it must be the university's official logo, mark or identification in accordance with all university rules pertaining thereto as defined by Web, New Media and Design. For more information about how to obtain permission and the use of university logos, marks or identifications, visit the Visual Identity Web site fore more information.

(b) All Web sites defined under the "university schema" are required to use same university logo displayed on the university home page.  All Web sites defined under the "microsite schema" may utilize the university's logo or the logo of the microsite area.  Individual departments are not permitted to utilize their own version of the logo (also referred to as "second tier logos" on their website.  Instead, the Web page title header is the official identifier of a specific page, making a specific departmental logo both unneccessary and repetitive.

4. All public webs are required to contain a navigation system as determined by the web author.

5. All public webs are required to be maintained on a defined update schedule. The web author, maintainer, or manager of a public web must take reasonable steps to ensure that information is accurate and updated on a defined schedule.

6. All webs are required to be accessible to persons with disabilities in accordance with Section 508 of the United States Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

a. The university maintains a dynamic text transcoding system that generates a real-time text-only version of university websites. This system is available at http://www.lmu.edu/access and is also available from the footer of all content management system-based websites. For placement of this functionality on non-CMS websites, contact Web, New Media + Design for assistance.

b. The university requires the use of “alt tags” for all imagery and digital asset documents placed on university websites.

Template Standards for the Public Web

Template standards are defined as the web requirements that apply to university departments, programs, and/or other units listed below. The template standards include the following general guidelines:

1. All areas are required to utilize the university's officially supported content management system (currently Active IronPoint CMS) to publish web pages.

2. All areas are required to publish content (text, imagery, new media) that is relevant and useful to the university's identified external target audiences. The university periodically audits and assists departments in migrating internally focused content to the university's intranet portal, MYLMU.

3. All areas are required to comply with the design standards/templates and visual identities defined by Web, New Media and Design and approved by the university administration.

Design Standards

Within the Template Standard, the university has established two design schemas: the university Design Schema and the External Area Design Schema.

Microsite Schema or External Area Design Schema
The External Area Design Schema was created in order to provide extended flexibility to strategically targeted areas that have a significant role in the external marketing, public relations, or recruitment efforts of the university. These designs are developed, reviewed and approved with the target area in conjunction with Web, New Media + Design and its consultants. The approved designs must comply and integrate with the university's Design Schema and are customized to accomplish the specific marketing and communications goals of the identified area.  To be considered for the microsite design schema, departments must demonstrate that the intended outcomes and external target audience of their site significantly differs from the rest of the university.

Areas that qualify for the External Area Design Schema include: Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, College of Business Administration, College of Communication and Fine Arts, Loyola Law School, School of Education, School of Film and Television, Seaver College of Science and Engineering, the University Library, Conference Services, Undergraduate Admission, Graduate Admission, University Relations and special-purpose microsites (under 20 pages) approved by Web, New Media and Design.

University Design Schema
The University Design Schema includes all departments/programs/units that are not explicitly defined in the External Area Design Schema. The University Design Schema is an integrated visual design that originates from the university home page and extends to all levels of the public web below it. Examples of areas that are included in the University Design Schema include, but are not limited to: units within the Business Affairs Division, units within the Administration Division, units within the Student Affairs division, units within the Academic Affairs division not explicitly mentioned in the External Area Design Schema (such as the colleges and schools), and units within the President's Division.


Permitted Non-Conforming Sites

The university recognizes that the public Web is a medium that is dynamic and serves a variety of needs and purposes. Also, the public Web is intended to balance the need for certain standards while still encouraging greater differentiation of design and content. Therefore, the following sites have been approved as exceptions from the Template Standard but are still subject to the Global Standard:

(1) Loyola Law School (http://www.lls.edu)

(2) Athletics (http://www.lmulions.com)

(3) Academic department and programs that have received special exemption the college/school dean on a case-by-case basis

(4) Personal Web pages of faculty, staff, and students

(5) Student-sponsored websites
a. ASLMU (http://aslmu.lmu.edu)
b. Student clubs and organizations
c. Student Media (Los Angeles Loyolan newspaper, Tower Yearbook, KXLU Radio)

(6) Specially Approved External Organizations Hosted at LMU