Policy 1308 - Online Social Media Usage Policy
Effective Date: 1/12/2015
Responsible Office: Office of the President
Louisiana Tech University unequivocally supports and endorses free speech and free expression amongst its students, faculty, and staff. While the University and its administration do not prohibit university personnel or student representatives from using social networking resources (including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, blogs/vlogs, RSS feeds, podcasts, and postings to message boards), such usage should be done according to standards set forth by Louisiana Tech University for those who are communicating specifically and intentionally on behalf of or in an official capacity for the University. In addition to university standards, coaches and student-athletes must also adhere to all NCAA and athletic conference policies.
This Online Social Media Usage Policy and associated guidelines are designed to both educate university personnel and student representatives, and to enable the university to guide online social media communications used by persons who clearly identify themselves as an employee, representative, or student-athlete of Louisiana Tech University, and who intend to communicate specifically from that standpoint. The policy does not pertain to personal social media sites and accounts, or to those who are not communicating in an official capacity or on behalf of Louisiana Tech University.
Louisiana Tech University’s Online Social Media Usage Policy seeks to protect the image, reputation, integrity and mission of Louisiana Tech University through ensuring proper usage and identifying possible rule, policy and/or compliance issues.
Personnel Subject to Policy
The Online Social Media Usage Policy applies to:
- Academic, administrative and/or research departments that establish a social media presence for the specific purpose of communicating on behalf of that entity and as a representative of the department or institution.
- Student groups and organizations that are directly supported and overseen by, and registered with Louisiana Tech.
- Student-athletes, SGA officers, student orientation leaders, and others identified as student representatives of Louisiana Tech, when acting or communicating as a representative of Louisiana Tech, either through a department or individually.
- Any other personnel or representatives whose communications and/or actions via social media could result in penalties, fines, and/or sanctions against the university (i.e. student-athletes and NCAA and/or athletic conference rules violations, violations of non-disclosure agreements by faculty or staff, violations of FERPA or HIPAA confidentiality rules, etc.)
The Online Social Media Usage Policy does not apply to:
- Individual students, faculty and/or staff who are communicating using their personal social media sites and accounts, or who are not communicating in an official capacity or on behalf of Louisiana Tech University.
- Alumni and professional networks and/or organizations not officially sponsored by or associated with the university (unless using official Louisiana Tech logos or visual marks.)
- Vendors and support organizations (unless using Louisiana Tech marks.)
Guidance and Compliance
All Louisiana Tech personnel and student representatives who clearly identify themselves as an employee, representative, student-athlete or student-leader of Louisiana Tech University, and who intend to communicate from that position and/or standpoint, should be aware that the institution reserves the right to monitor and guide all University-approved online social media sites that have been established for the expressed purpose of communication and providing information as official representatives of or source for the University.
- Louisiana Tech personnel and student representatives, as described above, must acknowledge they have read, understand and agree to the university’s Online Social Media Usage Policy, as published online.
- Louisiana Tech personnel and student representatives, as described above, will be required to provide user names, aliases or other identities on social networking sites where they have clearly identified themselves as an employee, department or student representative of Louisiana Tech with the intent of communicating as an official representative of or source for the University.
- Should the university discover materials or communications that are in violation of Louisiana Tech’s Online Social Media Usage Policy, the employee/department or student representative, as described above, will be required to immediately remove the material.
Establishing and Maintaining a Social Media Account/Site (For University Faculty/Staff, Students and Departments)
Prior to establishing any social media accounts that are to be directly associated with or representative of Louisiana Tech, its departments, and/or programs, written permission from the department/unit head, dean or vice president, or other appropriate administrator, and from the Department of University Communications must be obtained. The site/account must have someone specifically assigned to updating and monitoring it regularly, as directed by the department/unit head. As it pertains to these official and approved social media sites:
- Approved university, college or department logos must be used at all times.
- Louisiana Tech social media sites must not be used for the endorsement of unrelated or personal products, causes, or political affiliations.
- Do not post confidential information about Louisiana Tech students, employees, and other constituents. Employees must follow federal requirements such as FERPA, HIPAA, NCAA, and athletic conference regulations.
- Do not use official university social media sites or personnel to interact, either by initiating or responding to a post or other communications, with prospective student-athletes (per NCAA rules and regulations.)
- Do not use trademarked or copyrighted names, images, or content without written permission from the owner of the information/images or an authorized agent of the owner.
- Do not place images of minors on any social media site or electronic communications medium without written and signed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.
- Posting must follow University policy for conducting e-commerce and not disclose business transaction information such as credit card account numbers.
- Posting by students on University social media sites must adhere to the University’s code of conduct.
- Postings may not be used to conduct political campaigning (excluding campus SGA elections.)
Louisiana Tech University reserves the right to demand immediate removal from University-affiliated social media accounts/sites materials which is abusive, defamatory, embarrassing, exploitative, harassing, hateful, illegal, injurious, libelous, obscene, pornographic, profane, threatening, or vulgar language or images, irrelevant or off-topic content, as well as spam or illicit advertising.