General Regulations

The following standards apply to all websites on all VCU web servers and other domains that include VCU branding into their site.

Copyright

All pages must be in compliance with the appropriate VCU policies and applicable local, state, and federal laws, including copyright.

All VCU websites are copyrighted and may not be redistributed or reused without express written permission. When reusing copyrighted materials, please be sure to provide proper attribution. Some sites that may allow reuse or redistribution of materials include:

  • Sites with materials or content in the public domain
  • Sections of school or departmental websites that may be licensed under Creative Commons

The following sites are copyrighted to the individuals or organizations that they represent.

  • Personal sites, whether for faculty, staff, or students (except where content relates to paid work created for the university)
  • Student organization sites

If any content within your website will be licensed using Creative Commons, please notify the Director of VCU Web Services.

Commercial activity

Pages located on university servers may not be used to promote commercial activity, personal business, nonprofit organizations and/or religious groups (outside of student organizations) or to promote personal financial gain, except as may be permitted by other university policy or regulation. Sites on the university web servers may be revenue-producing as long as they are conducting university business.

Explicit content

Links that lead directly to materials with sexually explicit content must have warnings stating that fact.

  • "Sexually explicit content" means (i) any description of or (ii) any picture, photograph, drawing, motion picture film, digital image or similar visual representation depicting sexual bestiality; a lewd exhibition of nudity, as nudity is defined in Section 18.2-390 of the Code of Virginia; sexual excitement; sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse, as also defined in Section 18.2-390; coprophilia; urophilia; or fetishism.
  • VCU pages containing materials with sexually explicit content must be placed in directories that are restricted for access by a password mechanism.
  • Such materials may be placed on VCU systems only with written approval by the Office of the President.
  • The organization owning those pages will be responsible for the security, control and distribution of those passwords and ensuring that distribution of such materials conforms to applicable laws.

Privacy: FERPA & HIPAA

All pages must be in compliance with VCU's Web Privacy Statement.

VCU pages should not contain confidential university information or student information covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act unless adequate security measures are in place to restrict access to authorized persons.

VCU websites should not contain confidential patient or health information covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act unless adequate security measures are in place to restrict access to authorized persons. Web-based forms that request patient information covered by HIPAA must be secure and meet all HIPAA requirements.

Hosting

  1. All primary institutional websites must be hosted at VCU, except those granted permission by the Director of VCU Web Services. (Secondary content may be hosted outside of the university as appropriate, but the main homepage for a VCU organization should reside on the VCU network.)
  2. Technology Services provides hosting platforms for HTML, ASP, ASP.Net and PHP websites.
  3. Departments are strongly encouraged to use Technology Services web servers to host their websites; schools and departments that choose to host their website on their own web server may host only their own websites, and may not host websites for other departments or schools.
  4. If a department hosts their website on their own server, then they must adhere to all of VCU's regulations for supporting a Public Facing Web Server.
  5. The dedicated Google Search Appliance will not crawl sites hosted outside of VCU. It will crawl sites that are not subdomains of vcu.edu (such as .org sites) if they are hosted on VCU servers.