15.81 – Use of NMSU and NMSU-Hosted Personal Websites

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 15 | Information Management and Data Security

Rule Administrator:

Last Updated: 06/21/2016



RPM 3.63 – Freedom of Expression

ARP 15.80 – Use of NMSU Logo; University Communications

Revision History:

2017 Recompilation, formerly Rule 2.30 Parts 3–7
06/21/2016 Major revision approved by Chancellor
10/21/2015 former Policies 2.80 and 2.85 replicated by Board of Regents as initial Rules 2.80 and 2.85
Prior Revision History as Policies 2.80 and 2.85 not available


  1. Roles and Responsibilities: UCOMM is responsible, working in collaboration with ICT, for establishing consistent guidelines for Official NMSU Websites. Personal Websites are not subject to these guidelines, unless used by faculty for instructional purposes, which is discouraged.  UCOMM will collaborate and coordinate with NMSU units throughout the system regarding the content and design of official NMSU web pages.
    1. UCOMM will format and maintain and the “institution’s home pages” and will provide templates to ensure the online identity for the university follows consistent branding and design standards. Official NMSU Websites must use the approved web templates and themes provided by UCOMM. UCOMM will provide the documentation for the use of official NMSU templates and will issue periodic guidance to NMSU units regarding content and design specifications.
    2. The Associate Vice President of UCOMM, or designee, may convene an advisory web governance board, on an ad hoc basis, to assist with further development or amendment of web standards, resolution of complaints or other issues relating to the administration of this Rule. The web governance board shall consist of management representatives from UCOMM and ICT, and others from the university or local community as appropriate for the topic(s) to be discussed.
    3. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) will provide standard web site space and grant access for NMSU Entities upon request and maintain the servers and systems in which these sites are located. ICT will provide the technical support to the NMSU Entities and web content managers to assist with the issues relating to creation, access and maintenance of their Official NMSU Websites. NMSU Entities that operate their own web servers are subject to administrative rules relating to NMSU Server Administration and Operation.
    4. NMSU Entities that publish a Web page must designate a regular staff or faculty employee to serve as a steward and point of contact for the website. The staff or faculty member designated to steward for the website shall also serve as liaison to UCOMM and ICT and ensure that the website stays in compliance with these website guidelines and other applicable university policies and rules.
    5. NMSU Entities are responsible for preparing the content, maintaining their own web pages and ensuring the content remains accurate and current to the university community or to the public, as appropriate.
  2. Accessibility: All university web pages shall comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  NMSU Entities may consult with the Office of Institutional Equity and ICT for assistance with compliance with this requirement.
  3. Use of Copyrighted Material: Web page publishers and content managers are responsible for ensuring that the legal right to use any non-original content is obtained from the copyright owner. Non-original work (photographs, artwork or written content) is generally protected by U.S. copyright law and should be included on web pages only with written permission from the copyright owner. For use of electronic materials found on the internet, please contact the owner of the web page that is the source of the desired material to obtain permission.
  4. Advertising and Sponsorship: NMSU official and Instructional Websites shall not contain an endorsement of, nor solicitation for, any commercial enterprise, product or political affiliation. NMSU Entities may acknowledge contributors, donors or sponsors on web pages, including specially designated sponsors’ pages. Recognition of sponsors may include names, a brief phrase describing the business, and a link to sponsor’s Web sites. Sponsor’s logos or trademarks may only be included with the written permission of the sponsor.



NMSU grants individual students, faculty, staff, and recognized student organizations and clubs the privilege and opportunity to maintain a personal website, for personal enrichment and use. These websites will be referred to as “Personal Websites”. Personal Websites, although hosted by NMSU, are not official NMSU sponsored websites and therefore shall not be entitled to web support from NMSU Information and Communication Technologies.  Personal Websites are considered “limited public forums” (See RPM 3.63 – Freedom of Expression) and are subject to the following rules:

  1. Link to Author Contact Information: Each page of a Personal Website must contain a link to the current contact information of the website author.
  2. Account Maintenance: Personal Websites will be provided 5 GB of space. Accounts that have not been active for more than 180 days will be deactivated. Accounts inactive for more than 365 days will be purged. Website owners will be notified in advance of deactivation.
  3. Required Disclaimer: In a conspicuous location on each Personal Website homepage, either the university or the author, or both, shall post the following disclaimer: “This website is created and maintained by the website author and does not represent the views of NMSU.”
  4. Use as an Instructional Tool: Faculty members should not use a Personal Website for supplemental instructional purposes; rather, they should use NMSU’s course management software or the instructional web space provided by ICT. Faculty members who choose to use a Personal Website for instructional purposes will be subject to all NMSU policies and rules applicable in the workplace.
  5. Chartered Student Organizations and Clubs: Official chartered student organizations and clubs may use the student organization web space provided by ICT for their organization website upon approval through Campus Activities.  Official student organization and clubs are permitted to use the NMSU templates and are not required to include the disclaimer.
  6. Complaints or Concerns Regarding Personal Websites: The university does not monitor or maintain the personal and student organization websites.  Comments or concerns should be directed to the page authors, or may also be routed through the university’s confidential reporting system, EthicsPoint (https://auditservices.nmsu.edu/reporting-line/). Concerns and complaints will be reviewed and addressed in accordance with RPM 3.63 and in consultation with the Web Governance Board and other appropriate NMSU officials, including but not limited to the Director of Campus Activities.



NMSU encourages faculty to use NMSU’s course management software for online instructional content or the web space provided for instructional use by ICT.  NMSU will provide faculty the privilege and opportunity to maintain websites for supplemental instructional content or as an instructional tool. These websites will be referred to as “Instructional Websites”.  Instructional Websites are distinct from Official NMSU Websites, and are subject to the following rules:

  1. Use for Supplemental Instructional Content: ICT will provide faculty will web space on teach.nmsu.edu for supplemental instructional content.
  2. Use as an Instructional Tool: ICT will provide faculty and students web space on study.nmsu.edu for instructional use. Websites on study.nmsu.edu will be reset on a semester basis.
  3. Account Maintenance: Web space provided for instructional purposes pursuant to this Part shall be provided 5 GB of space. Accounts that have not been active for more than 180 days will be deactivated. Accounts inactive for more than 365 days will be purged. Website owners will be notified in advance of deactivation.
  4. Security: Account maintenance should be in accordance with all university purge policies and procedures. Web pages that are used as supplemental instructional content or as an instructional tool shall:
    1. Only be available to users with NMSU accounts;
    2. Be accessed on campus or by VPN only;
    3. Not be crawled or indexed by search engines; and
    4. With the exception of branding guidelines, stay in compliance with NMSU website guidelines and other applicable university policies and rules.
  5. Temporary Access: In cases when faculty need provide access to non NMSU Entities, they can request assistance from ICT to provide guest accounts.



  1. “NMSU Entity”: An NMSU Entity, sometimes also referred to simply as a “unit”, is the term used to refer to a college, a department or any other individual administrative unit within the NMSU System. Private not-for-profit corporate entities recognized to be affiliated with NMSU for fundraising, research, public service, or student activity purposes, while subject to certain NMSU policies, rules and procedures are not considered “NMSU Entities”.
  2. “Personal Website”: A Personal Website is a personal web page published and maintained by individual faculty, staff, student, or student club or organization hosted by NMSU.
  3. “Official NMSU Website”: An official NMSU website is one that represents the university, its offices, divisions and departments, for the benefit of the university’s various audiences: students, employees and visitors.
  4. “Instructional Website”: An Instructional Website is a web page that is published, maintained, and created by faculty to contain supplemental instructional content; or a website that is provided for students to use as instructional tool that is hosted by NMSU.
  5. “Institutional Homepages”: The following websites are NMSU’s institutional homepages: nmsu.edu and inside.nmsu.edu.



Consistent with ARP 15.80 and ARP 15.81, Rule Administrator may amend or issue supplemental design standards, or forms and checklists to facilitate the implementation, application, and enforcement of Rules ARP 15.80 and ARP 15.81. Such supplemental information will be posted at: http://brand.nmsu.edu.