1.1 Representation

Websites must represent VCU and not the VCU Health System.

VCU Health Hosting

Content describing patient or clinical services must be hosted on vcuhealth.org.

1.2 Copyright

Websites must comply with the Intellectual Property policy.

1.3 Commercial Activity

Websites must not promote commercial activity outside of official university business. 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.

Websites may place an image of a commercial organization's logo on their pages but are not allowed to link directly to the commercial organization's website.


This requirement is outlined in the Organizational Websites, Management and Hosting policy.


Bad: “Come see the Richmond Squirrels play baseball on March 1st.”

Acceptable: “The Division of Community Engagement will be at the Richmond Squirrels game on March 1st providing information about upcoming engagement opportunities.”.

1.4 Sexually Explicit Content

Websites containing sexually explicit content must provide a written warning statement and be accessible only through a password mechanism.


This requirement is outlined in the Organizational Websites, Management and Hosting policy.

Written Warning Statements

Written warning statements before sexually explicit content need to inform a visitor as to what content they are about to view, giving them the opportunity to view the content at their discretion.

Using CAS to Restrict Access

Restricting access to sexually explicit content through a password mechanism can be accomplished using CAS (Central Authentication Service). For more technical information, check out the Using CAS on a VCU Website guide.

1.5 Blogs

Websites acting as the primary web presence for a unit must not be a blog.

Blog Components & Links

While a unit’s website may incorporate blog components or link to a blog, sites that only function as a blog cannot be a unit’s primary website or only form of web presence.

Blog Definition

The definition of a blog is defined in the FAQ section of the Organizational Websites, Management and Hosting policy.

1.6 Visibility & Ownership

Websites must be listed in the VCU A-Z Index with at least one site owner or technical contact provided.

Non-Public Websites

For accountability and auditability purposes, websites with a primary audience that is internal (e.g. intranets) also need to be in the A-Z Index. These listings can be marked as “Hidden” so they do not show up on the public facing view.

What is the A-Z Index?

The VCU A-Z Index can be found under the three-dot menu at the top-right of the VCU homepage. The listing provides high visibility for large or small websites by featuring them on the VCU homepage, allowing users to quickly and efficiently navigate to them. The listing is also filterable and searchable, providing a much faster way for users to find or discover websites.

The Importance of Site Owners or Technical Contacts

Including a site owner or technical contact for a website in the VCU A-Z Index provides a single point of contact should a visitor have difficulty finding information or identifying a technical issue.

1.7 Archival & Removal

Websites left out-of-date for 12 or more months must be moved to the VCU Website Archive or taken offline.


If a decision is made to archive the website by moving it to the VCU Website Archive, the site owner will incur an archival cost of $1,000. This cost guarantees the site will remain archived for 5 years. The archival fee is waived for websites regarding university-level (non-unit/non-school specific) resources.


If a decision is made to take the website offline, a IT Support ticket must be opened with Technology Services to properly handle the decommission and records management process.

1.8 Data Integrity

Websites showcasing stats, metrics, or data must cite sources and/or have a record of source information on file, as well as be reviewed on a regular basis.


One way to ensure data integrity is to accompany stats, metrics, and data with a citation, usually linking back to the source when possible.

Example of Compliance

  • VCUarts ranks #4 in best fine arts graduate programs according to U.S. News & World Report (2020).
  • VCU is 47th in best online MBA programs nationally.1
  • We offer the #1 Nursing-Anesthesia graduate program in the country, U.S. News & World Report 2016.

1 According to Fortune's "Best Online MBA Programs in 2023."


If stats, metrics, or data cannot easily be accompanied by a citation, or the information is likely to change or be lost within a 12-month period, the source information must be kept on file and accessible to anyone who requests them.


All stats, metrics, or data showcased on a website must be reviewed prior to being made public as well as every 12 months to ensure the information is up-to-date and accurate. This relates to our Content, Last Updated Date (5.4) requirement regarding website content being updated and/or reviewed annually.

The Importance of Data Integrity

Being honest and transparent with visitors of a website is paramount to establishing user trust and ensuring our websites are as accurate as possible. Prospective students, parents, and the general public need to be able to know where stats, metrics, or data come from and trust their accuracy to substantiate claims and make informed decisions.