Social Media Policy - The University of Tulsa

Social Media Policy

The University of Tulsa (“TU” or “University”) welcomes the ability to network with and engage students, alumni, faculty, staff, prospective students, parents, contractors/business partners and TU friends and fans through Social Media.

TU utilizes a network of Social Media platforms, including: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat, YouTube, third party wikis, virtual worlds, department/organization blog hosting sites, TU listservs, etc. (“Social Media”), with the goal of establishing an ongoing positive conversation with the community and a dynamic and accessible web presence both internally and externally to TU. The term “Social Media” in this Policy is construed broadly to include any interactive communication technologies that may be used by TU students and employees, regardless of whether the Social Media platform is a TU hosted/sponsored Social Media account (“TU Social Media”) or an external (non-TU) Social Media account.

TU recognizes the importance of Social Media as a communication and educational tool and promotes the use of Social Media in accordance with this Policy, other applicable TU policies, procedures and guidelines and any agreements between TU and the student/employee.

Use of TU Hosted/Sponsored Social Media Platforms

TU strongly encourages the strategic integration of any digital media platform that can help achieve the objectives of TU and facilitate communication and educational objectives. TU’s goal is to connect positively with the TU community and provide information about the University. TU encourages the expression of opinions and discussion of those topics which surround our great University. Users should respect the views of others, even if they disagree.

The TU Office of Marketing and Communications oversees TU’s presence on TU Social Media platforms. TU reserves the right to monitor and moderate all content of TU Social Media accounts and users should have no expectation of privacy when using or interacting with such accounts. TU reserves the right to remove any posting that violates any University policies, procedures or guidelines or applicable laws/regulations.

The opinions expressed by visitors on TU Social Media accounts are those of the person making the post; they do not necessarily reflect the opinions, policies or position of TU.

Content and/or images will be removed from TU Social Media accounts when such posts violate TU policies, procedures or other guidelines such as the University’s Student Code of Conduct,  Non-Discrimination Policy, Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Policy on Harassment, guidelines regarding advertisements, political or fundraising solicitations, etc. or applicable laws/regulations, such as content/images that are:

  • Obscene, pornographic, defamatory, racist, excessively violent, threatening, bullying or otherwise objectionable or injurious
  • Personal attacks on other users, TU students/employees or the University
  • Harassing, threatening, insulting, defaming or bullying another person or entity
  • Containing illegal activity
  • Advertisements, political or fundraising solicitations, spam or copyright/trademark infringement
  • Off-topic posts inappropriate for the forum

TU reserves the right, at its discretion, to remove any post or to revoke a user’s privilege to post to TU’s Social Media platforms.

Student & Employee Use of TU Hosted/Sponsored Social Media Accounts OR Personal Social Media Accounts

In addition to the above, students and employees who use TU Social Media accounts OR personal Social Media accounts are expected to:

  • Comply with TU University policies, procedures or other guidelines. For instance, students and employees:
    • May not use Social Media to make comments that are obscene, pornographic, defamatory, racist, excessively violent, threatening, bullying or otherwise objectionable or injurious when such comments are counter to TU’s Non-Discrimination Policy, Student Code of Conduct, Policy on Harassment or other applicable policy;
    • Wishing to use TU logos, trade names, trademarks and/or copyrighted material can find usage requirements set forth in TU’s Graphic Style Guidelines.
  • Comply with other applicable laws/regulations.
  • Students using TU hosted/sponsored Social Media OR personal Social Media accounts are also expected to:
    • Comply with the Student Code of Conduct and specific college, department, program, course, instructor, classroom or team/club/organization rules set forth on the TU website, in a course syllabus or in other materials distributed or communicated by TU employees and
    • Uphold the ethical and professional conduct standards of their prospective/current professions and/or affiliations.
  • Employees using TU hosted/sponsored Social Media OR personal Social Media accounts are also expected to:
    • Post on Social Media in their official capacity as a TU employee only when authorized to do so;
    • Be clear that they represent TU when using Social Media as an employee of the University and working in an official capacity;
    • Respect TU confidential/protected information, including student, personnel and business information that is confidential/personal in nature and comply with applicable privacy laws such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA);
    • Respect third party brands, trademarks and copyrighted and/or confidential material when using Social Media as an employee of TU;
    • Uphold the ethical and professional conduct standards of your profession; and
    • Not use Social Media for private/personal matters (unrelated to your job responsibilities) during hours in which employees are being compensated for their work for TU, unless it is on a limited basis, does not interfere with the employee’s job responsibilities, and otherwise complies with this Policy and University policies, procedures and guidelines.
  • Students or employees who use personal Social Media accounts in association with or in reference to TU courses, University activities/affairs or other University events are considered the owners of such accounts and are individually responsible for the content found in such personal Social Media accounts.
    • Keep personal Social Media accounts separate from TU Social Media accounts;
    • Avoid creating any impression that you are acting in an official capacity with TU or otherwise representing TU when using Social Media for private/personal matters and/or opinions; and
    • Consider using a disclaimer such as, “Views and opinions expressed are my own and do not reflect that of TU” when using Social Media for private/personal reasons and referencing TU matters.
  • Be aware that personal liability can be incurred for content posted or maintained by individuals on Social Media.

Managing TU Hosted/Sponsored Social Media Accounts

Anyone who formally communicates on behalf of TU, including any TU college, department, program, instructor or team/club/organization, is responsible for understanding and following these TU Social Media standards. TU Social Media accounts are reviewed regularly, and accounts that fail to meet these standards will be removed. It is important to recognize that TU content can have far-reaching consequences, potentially hurting the TU image and reputation, as well as those of your colleagues, peers and others affiliated with TU.

Working with the Department of Strategic Marketing and Communication:

  • To assist with social media management and business continuity, a representative of the TU Department of Strategic Marketing and Communication must have administrative rights to the account.
  • Content must adhere to TU brand guidelines, including, but not limited to, use of color, graphics and logos.
  • Content and images intended to endorse commercial products or services are not permitted under TU policy and will be removed.
  • Content and images that violate any TU policies, procedures and guidelines or applicable laws/regulations will be removed.
  • Content and images with profanity, offensive language or hate speech will be removed.
  • Content and images that attack or threaten TU employees or students will be removed.
  • TU must have the contact information of one of the TU Social Media account administrators. This ensures no content is published during a campus emergency.

We need your help to make TU’s Social Media exciting, engaging, inclusive and strategic. If you are interested in improving your content, please reach out to Marketing and Communications. Let us help you best target your audience and use up-to-date Social Media marketing strategies. We appreciate your cooperation. 

Enforcement: TU will act when it determines that Social Media use/postings violate TU policies, procedures and guidelines. Failure to comply with this Policy could put future participation on TU Social Media accounts at risk and/or may lead to disciplinary action pursuant to applicable TU policies, procedures and guidelines, up to and including student dismissal or termination of employment. This enforcement includes comments and images on both TU Social Media accounts and external Social Media accounts.

Establishing an official TU Social Media Account

TU representation on all social media platforms must be authorized through the Department of Strategic Marketing and Communications. Before a new TU account can be approved, these answers and items need to be provided in a report:

  • What is the purpose for the social media account?
  • Who is the audience?
  • Is there enough content to post daily?
  • Which social media platform(s) best suit the content and audience?
  • Would this content be better served on the main TU social media accounts?
  • Will there be enough people engaging with the content to maintain a social media account?
  • One month’s worth of editorial content needs to be included in the report. From event advertisements to news articles, provide the types of posts you expect to be publishing.

This Social Media Policy is subject to change at the discretion of TU. If you wish to report a concern, have any questions regarding this Policy or if you are interested in creating a TU hosted/sponsored Social Media account, contact lauren-combs@utulsa.edu.