UMKC Website Policy and Requirements

Legal requirements

1.1 - Official University websites/pages

All websites/pages are considered official unless they belong to one of the following groups: faculty and staff personal pages, student organizations, affiliate organizations, constituent organizations and government funded programs.

All official pages must adhere to the Website Policy as well as all content and technical requirements.

1.2 - Unofficial University websites/pages

Any websites/pages belonging to one of the following groups: faculty and staff personal pages, student organizations, affiliate organizations, constituent organizations and government funded programs.

All unofficial pages still must adhere to the Website Policy.

The university does not edit or censor unofficial pages; however, unofficial pages that by design or content appear to present official information about the university may be purged from the university's servers.

Official home pages may not link directly to personal or unofficial pages. If approved by the head of the publishing unit, official pages below homepage level may contain links to faculty, staff or student personal pages.

Publishers of unofficial pages are encouraged to identify their connection to UMKC, and are allowed to use the official university logo. Publishers using the logo must present it in its normal form; no editing, changing, or modifying the logo will be allowed. Unofficial pages which use an edited or changed logo may be purged from the university servers.

Again, all page publishers, official or unofficial, are required to follow UMKC policies as well as all applicable federal, state and local laws including copyright laws.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City does not edit, screen, monitor or censor unofficial information and does not accept liability for information on unofficial sites/pages. Unofficial publishers are solely responsible for the content of information they post, even if such information is accessed through UMKC servers. The University of Missouri-Kansas City retains the right to purge unofficial pages that do not adhere to this policy or that violate any local, state or federal laws. For more information, see the UMKC website disclaimer.

1.3 - Restrictions (see Section 2.0 – Legal and Liability)

All content must be consistent with UMKC policies and local, state, and federal laws.

No advertising of any sort for products or services outside of the University can appear on any official University page.

Copyright laws apply to electronic publications as well as to printed publications. Official and unofficial page publishers must have permission to publish the text or graphic matter on their pages if the publisher is not the author or creator.

1.4  Disclaimer

University of Missouri-Kansas City website pages are provided for information purposes only and do not constitute a legal contract between the University and any person or entity unless otherwise specified. Information on official University websites is subject to change without prior notice. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, UMKC does not guarantee this.

UMKC websites may contain information that is created and maintained by a variety of sources, both internal and external to the university. Some sites are unmoderated forums containing the personal opinions and expressions of the persons who post the materials. UMKC does not control, monitor or guarantee the information contained in these sites or information contained in links to external websites, and does not endorse any views expressed or products or services offered therein. In no event shall UMKC be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any such content, goods, or services available on or through any such site. However, when UMKC receives notification of an alleged violation of privacy, policy or law, the university will investigate and address violations accordingly.  To notify the university of suspected violations, contact us at

Any links to external websites and/or non-UMKC information provided on university pages or returned from university website search engines are provided as a courtesy. They should not be construed as an endorsement by UMKC of the content products services, organizations or views of the linked materials.

UMKC makes every reasonable effort to ensure that information you may choose to submit is protected. However, in the event that a UMKC computer system is compromised or otherwise illegally accessed, UMKC will not be held responsible or liable for any information that is abused as a result of such an attack. 

Section 2.0 - Legal and Liability

These recommendations do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information only. For specific legal questions, please contact the University of Missouri System Office of the General Counsel at 573-882-3211.

2.1Acceptable Use:

The University of Missouri’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for information technology applies to all UMKC websites. The AUP makes reference to federal and state laws, university regulations, intellectual property rights, software licensing requirements, and prohibitions against plagiarism and obscenity. The policy includes sanctions for violations.

a. UMKC website editors are responsible for understanding and complying with the AUP and other laws, rules, policies, contracts, and licenses that might be applicable to their particular sites.

b. UMKC websites shall not be used for personal commercial purposes or for personal financial or other gain. Websites shall not state or imply that they represent the University, or use University trademarks or logos, unless so authorized.

2.2 — Accessibility:

Official UMKC websites shall be accessible to people with disabilities. It is the responsibility of each UMKC unit and its website page developers to become familiar with the guidelines for achieving accessibility and to apply these guidelines in designing any official UMKC site.

a. The Guidelines of the World Wide website Consortium (W3C) shall be the standard for website accessibility and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. See the W3C Website Content Accessibility Guidelines. Also applicable is a Missouri law (RSMo Section 191.863) regarding information technology: "When developing, procuring, maintaining, or using information technology, each state department or agency, shall ensure, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the department or agency, that the information technology allows employees, program participants, and members of the general public access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access by individuals without disabilities."

b. Priority shall be given to accessibility of website pages with core institutional information such as admission, registration, advising, course information, and student services information. Units with sites containing this information should establish priorities for ensuring access to their pages beginning with the pages being used or requested most often.

c. Each official website must contain an accessible link or a person to contact if users have trouble accessing content within the site.

d. In a few instances, it may not be feasible to make a website fully accessible. In such instances, units must provide accessible information on the site about alternative and equivalent means of obtaining the otherwise inaccessible materials (for example, e-mailing or phoning).

e. The UMKC Website Advisory Group and Information Services staff will conduct periodic accessibility audits of UMKC sites, and will notify site owners if they are non-compliant with these requirements. Site owners, so notified, will be expected to become compliant within 60 days thereafter, or incur sanctions, which may include removal or relocation of the site.

2.3 — Copyright:

Copyright protection is granted by law to authors of published and unpublished materials. UMKC websites must respect and abide by copyright law, as well as maintain copyright ownership of the University's materials and resources.

a. Website editors shall become familiar with copyright and fair-use requirements and obtain releases for copyrighted materials. UM System has a website page with resources and information about copyright requirements. This site includes information about policies on using campus logos and trademarks.

b. UMKC website pages shall be copyrighted in a standard format.
© 2009 Curators of the University of Missouri. University of Missouri-Kansas City.

2.4 — Privacy:

Missouri courts recognize tort actions relating to invasion of privacy, including 1) publication of private embarrassing facts; 2) appropriation of name or likeness; and 3) publicly placing one in a false light. In addition, there are federal statutes governing the release or publication of personal information. Website editors shall be aware of, in particular, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

2.4.1 — Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA):

UMKC website editors posting any information about students or "educational records" must understand and comply with FERPA. FERPA protects the privacy of the "educational records" of current and former students.

This law requires that most information about individual UMKC students not be disclosed without express written consent from the student. This includes:

  • Sex
  • Grades
  • Student number
  • Race / ethnicity / nationality
  • Social Security Number

Disclosure of "directory information" is generally permissible, although students have the option to prevent this disclosure as well. Directory information includes:

  • Sex
  • Name
  • Address
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Telephone listing
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • E-mail address
  • Enrollment status in any past or present semester
  • Dates of attendance
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Most recent education agency or institution attended
  • Major field of study

Before posting such information on a website, UMKC website editors must check with the UMKC Registrar's Office at to be certain that the student has not exercised his or her right to restrict disclosure of this information.

2.4.2 — Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA):

UMKC website editors posting any individual health-related information must understand and comply with provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Before posting any such information, website editors must check with the UMKC Social Sciences or Adult Health Sciences Institutional Review Board (IRB).

a. HIPAA regulates the use and disclosure of individually identifiable health information. The law applies to health care plans, health care providers, and research at UMKC.

b. UMKC websites must not divulge an individual's mental or physical past, present or future health information, health care or payment for health care without permission from that individual. This prohibition includes all personal health information created or gathered through research activities. Faculty, staff, students, fellows and anyone (paid or unpaid, student or non-student) who has access to personal health information must abide by HIPAA regulations.

2.4.3 — UMKC website editors must also use sound judgment by:

a. Not posting information about others that could be embarrassing or otherwise the subject of potential litigation (please also see "Defamation" below).

b. Being cautious about requesting personal information on website forms.

c. Obtaining release forms (or documenting the attempt) from subjects of photographs before posting photographs online of people that UMKC or an agent of UMKC has taken. Download the official release form.

2.5 — Plagiarism:

Plagiarism is the act of passing someone else's work or ideas as one's own.

a. UMKC website editors shall not plagiarize or publish plagiarized content.

b. UMKC website editors shall develop mechanisms to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of site content, consistently working with content contributors to properly cite the work of others and give credit for original work.

c. When unsure about the potential risk of content, consult the UM System General Counsel's Office for assistance.

2.6 — Reuse of materials:

Members of the campus community are welcome to reuse institutional public relations material developed by departments within the University. These departments include University Communications, Public Relations and Marketing Communications. Please check with the originating department by phone or e-mail to request permission and to obtain any instructions as to proper credit. These permissions are routinely granted.

a. Permissions: Some materials, such as donor profiles, should be handled with care. In many instances, a donor may give permission for his/her story and/or photo to be used in print or on a specific website, but may not be comfortable with unlimited use of the information. That is why donors must be re-contacted by their development officer regarding permission for additional use.

2.6 — Defamation & Libel:

Defamation and libel focus on statements that intentionally and fallaciously attack a person's character. Special care must be taken when publishing defamatory or libelous content. Certain circumstances provide "privilege" to publishers, leaving little or no risk. However, those circumstances vary by situation and courses of action are best determined by legal counsel.

a. UMKC website editors must be cautious to avoid publishing materials that might be considered defamatory or libelous. A good rule of thumb is to consider how you would feel if what you posted was about you.

b. When unsure about the potential risk of content, consult the UM System General Counsel's Office for assistance.

2.7 — Harassment:

Harassment is behavior (word or action) directed at a specific individual with the intent to disturb or cause distress. Numerous forms of harassment can result in litigation and criminal prosecution.

a. UMKC website editors must be cautious to avoid posting any content that an individual might perceive as specifically intended to harass him or her.

b. When unsure about the potential risk of content, consult the UM System General Counsel's Office for assistance.








For the most current version of the legal requirements, consult the University of Missouri System website.



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