UIW Social Media Directory

Social Media Policy

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Effective date: February 1, 2011; Updated: May 9, 2012

What is the purpose of this policy?

UIW encourages the use of social media by university administrators, faculty, and students to enhance our local, national and global reputation and our connection with current and future students, parents, alumni, donors, and other key constituencies. When used responsibly, social media sites provide an effective way to promote the university and to share information and perspective across a broad range of topics. The purpose of this policy is to provide standards for the responsible use of social media resources. These resources include, but are not limited to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flikr, Blogs, Wikis, MySpace and LinkedIn.

To whom does this policy apply?

This policy applies to all University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) students and employees who use social media in either a professional or a personal capacity. Employees include faculty, staff and administrators, including those employed in an adjunct, part-time or temporary capacity.  Professional use includes creating and/or contributing to UIW-sponsored or other social media sites while representing UIW in an official capacity. Personal use refers to employees or students who use social media as part of their personal life. Any social media site maintained or administered in a professional capacity for UIW must adhere to this policy and be recognized.

UIW-Recognized Social Media

To become a UIW-recognized social media site, please complete the Social Media Request Form. All UIW-recognized social media sites will be identified on the UIW Social Media Directory.

Standards for the Responsible Use of Social Media in a Professional Capacity

UIW students or employees who manage or post to UIW-sponsored social media sites should:

  • Exercise good judgment. Protect and enhance the value of UIW’s Mission by avoiding comments, photos, videos or images that could be interpreted or perceived as slurs, demeaning, inflammatory, unduly suggestive, inappropriate or otherwise contrary to the university’s Mission.
  • Protect confidential information and relationships. Do not post confidential, proprietary or controversial information about the university, its students, alumni or employees. Respect copyright and fair use laws by obtaining proper permissions and giving appropriate credit for work. Follow university policies and federal regulations, such as FERPA, HIPAA, and PHI.
  • If employed by UIW, use social media sites during working hours only if you have a business-related need to do so and your supervisor has approved.
  • Be authentic. State that you work at UIW, include your name and title. Transparency is critical in the social media environment.
  • Stick to your area of expertise and provide unique, individual perspectives on non-confidential activities at UIW. If you have a vested interest in what you are discussing, be the first to say so; it adds to your credibility.
  • Use official UIW logos only as specified in the university style guide.
  • Consider the public nature and longevity of comments before posting.
  • Keep sites current by refreshing content regularly, responding to questions in a timely manner, and updating information. Sites with prolonged inactivity may be removed from the UIW Social Media Directory.

Standards for the Responsible Use of Social Media in a Personal Capacity

When using social media sites in a personal capacity, employees and students should:

  • Maintain clear lines between professional and personal social media activities.
  • Avoid using the university’s name to promote or endorse any product, cause, religious view, political party, candidate, etc.
  • Avoid using the university’s name in connection with comments, photos, videos or images that could be interpreted or perceived as slurs, demeaning, inflammatory, illegal, unduly suggestive, sexual innuendo, inappropriate or otherwise contrary to the university’s Mission.
  • Remember that libel laws are in effect even when your social media accounts are set to “private.”
  • Refrain from posting content such as images or medical records that represent a breach of confidentiality.
  • Maintain appropriate boundaries. (For example, health professionals should not “friend” patients on their personal sites.)
  • Be advised that personal information can be used to perpetrate identity theft which can compromise the security of students, employees, and the institution.
  • When in doubt, don’t post.

Reporting Concerns

While UIW encourages open dialogue on university-recognized social media sites, occasionally, concerns may arise regarding posted content. Anyone wishing to report a concern regarding content may use the “report a concern” form found on the UIW Social Media Directory (and may choose to remain anonymous in doing so). Concerns may also be addressed via phone or e-mail to the director of web development at (210) 805-5818, or troyk@uiwtx.edu.  

Discipline for Violations

Any use of social media threatening the safety of members of the UIW, Incarnate Word High School, or St. Anthony Catholic High School communities, exhibiting a lack of moral character, or in violation of the law or UIW policy may result in disciplinary action, including termination (in the case of employees) or dismissal from the university or high schools (in the case of students).

UIW will investigate all reported concerns regarding inappropriate use or content, and users in violation of this policy or the law may also face personal legal liability, in addition to any university-imposed sanctions.