Social Media Policy

USAO Faculty Social Media Policy

Social media accounts that represent The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma as a whole are maintained through the Office of Communications and Marketing. However, a number of faculty within the university have established accounts as a way to support their division, department, and individual efforts at marketing and communication. C&M does not discourage the creation of separate accounts, but asks that potential account owners consider carefully the responsibility inherent in delivering communication via social media. USAO respects an individual’s right to freedom of speech, does not monitor or review employee’s personal social media posts, and is therefore not responsible for the content contained in their posts or on their social media sites.


Social media refers to all forms of electronic communication (such as Web sites for social networking and blogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as pictures and videos). More specifically, social media sites are internet-based applications that contain user-generated content. Individuals create user-specific profiles for a specific site or app.1


Follow all applicable state, federal, and university laws, the faculty handbook, and policies such as FERPA, HIPAA, and NAIA regulations. Any content and/or online activity created by a poster or site moderator that violates these ordinances, or contains/leads to the release of a student’s private personal information, is strictly prohibited and should be removed.

Protect confidential information with privacy laws, especially FERPA: "The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education."

If you are an employee of USAO or provide work for USAO, do not engage in any conversations or post any information regarding student records. Some examples of student records include names, admission status, GPA, Social Security number, Student ID number, and any/all other information that would be covered by FERPA. If students request help, you can direct them to a secure discussion platform, such as phone, email, or an in-person meeting.

Protect confidential medical records, as specified by HIPAA: “The Privacy Rule protects all ‘individually identifiable health information’ held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral.” Examples of protected information include: “…the individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health or condition, the provision of health care to the individual, or, the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual, and that identifies the individual or for which there is a reasonable basis to believe can be used to identify the individual.”

The university does not endorse or use any social network Internet communication service or media sharing service as a secure means of communication for online business transactions or matters involving personal information. The university will not ask for, nor should an individual send, credit card or payment information, classified information, privileged information, private information, or information subject to non-disclosure agreements via any social network internet communication service.

Do not engage in personal affairs under the guise of your USAO entity’s social site.

If there is a filter option for comments, disable it or set it to the lowest possible setting.

If there is an option to add information on your site, please add this disclaimer: “All content posted here does not necessarily reflect the views/opinions of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.”

Respect copyright law. "Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed."

Fair use allows portions of certain works to be used without consent under specific situations however, "The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material."

Utilize available graphics to reinforce the university brand. Do not abuse logos.

USAO employees who have authority to update USAO social media sites should not post personal information or personal updates to USAO social media sites.

Employees must adhere to faculty policies and standards of conduct as published in the faculty handbook.

Obey the terms of use for your social media platform. These rules are constantly changing so it is your duty to stay up to date.

USAO social media sites should be accessible in some form to those with disabilities.

Please understand that by posting content to third party applications such as social media sites, you are almost always releasing ownership rights to and control of that content. For this reason we ask that you do not share any restricted-use photos to which you may have access.

If you are a faculty member using social media as a means of communicating information to your students, it is best to only use it as a supplementary form of communication and not the primary form of communication.

Good Practices:

Alert C&M when you create a new social media site for you USAO class, club, program, etc.

You are encouraged to link to your source material ANY TIME you are able. This will help reduce the possibility of misinformation and it will also drive traffic.

Protect your own privacy online by adjusting your privacy settings and publishing your updates only to the audiences with whom you wish to share your status.

If you manage a forum that allows users access to comment and post (i.e. Facebook wall, LinkedIn Group, etc.), you must adhere to the specific social media platform's terms of service.

Think twice about the content you are about to post and double check EVERYTHING, with special attention to accuracy, spelling, and grammar. Think about the value of the content and consider whether or not it may potentially malign or polarize any person or group.

Be respectful. If an audience member posts a comment to your site that upsets you, give yourself some time to cool down before responding. Display good sportsmanship; do not malign your rivals. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

It is recommended that you regularly review your site's metrics. This will help you understand how you can improve your communications and provide your audience with desirable content.
Cross-promote with other USAO social media sites whenever possible.

Maintain your site:

Somewhere on your site, it is encouraged that your audience should have a way to privately contact the site administrator. If this is not a built-in feature of the site you are maintaining, then you are encouraged to list or embed email contact information somewhere on your site.

Drive traffic and include source material so that your audience can check the validity of the information you are sharing.

Reinforce the university voice and mission. Help us build our reputation as Oklahoma’s only public liberal arts institution.

Ownership rights for official university sites should only be assigned to university employees (not students).

All sites should have at least two administrators, to ensure that there is a fail-safe in case the primary administrator becomes unavailable in an emergency situation. Change passwords as turnover occurs in site administrators.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License