From: Martin Fettman, Associate Dean of PVM, ex-officio member
Date: February 21, 2006
Re: Concerning the increasing use of outside consultants for departmental web page design
I am all for promoting creativity and usefulness of our web pages, and if a unit has funds available to contract with an outside consultant to develop creative, new ideas for their web pages, that is outstanding. However, there are some important caveats so that we behave both creatively and responsibly. The CVMBS Webmaster Committee has discussed many of these issues before, but I thought it might be useful if I laid out some guiding principles from an administrative standpoint. You are welcome to suggest changes to "us" and/or to use these principles "as is" when approached by units seeking to deviate from them:
- We have certain standards for web page design that must be adhered to as closely as possible, and to facilitate that process, templates have been developed.
- Our standards are based on important issues such as Accessibility, Style, Security, and Consistency so that as a public institution, we reach the largest number of constituents with a legally-compliant and straightforward approach to navigation and presentation of verified information.
- We have responsibilities to maintain the security of our web sites, and especially the servers that support them.
- Only authorized College employees who currently maintain web pages, and who have been validated for their webmastering duties, should be allowed direct access to our web pages - both the development server pages and the production server pages.
- If an outside consultant is hired, we can share our templates, validate pages developed by the contractor, and load those pages to College servers, but the contractor should not directly conduct any of these activities on College servers.
- ACNS maintains a development server, and outside consultants should use that server - not our own College servers. College employees may contact Joe Voleski (13752) in ACNS to request development server access for consultants.
- If any units are found to have given access for outside consultants to College servers without Computing Resources Group approval, the CRG is authorized to rescind that access.
- If any units are found to have loaded non-confirming or non-validated web pages (especially regarding Accessibility, Style, or Security), CRG is authorized to remove those pages. Several individuals in the College, most notably Jill Lenz and Tom Harmon, are available to assist in validating new web pages for essential features.