This policy applies to:
1. all Thomas More University employees, vendor employees, and students who manage or contribute to official Thomas More University social media accounts
2. all Thomas More University employees and vendor employees who use personal social media accounts
Student personal use of social media is covered in the Saints Community Standards.
Thomas More University recognizes the importance and benefits of communicating through social media. Social media is a powerful way to engage and communicate with our community and various audiences, but there is potential for significant risk associated with inappropriate use. This policy is designed to safeguard the University’s reputation, comply with legal responsibilities, and uphold institutional policy, while also encouraging employees to responsibly engage in social media to share the University’s messages.
Social media – any online interactive communication tool. Common examples include blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat.
Official Thomas More University social media account – an account that represents or speaks on behalf of the University or University controlled entity. These include, but are not limited to, accounts for academic departments, student clubs and organizations, offices, and individual employees at Thomas More University.
I. Official Thomas More University Social Media Accounts
This section applies to all official Thomas More University social media accounts and the employees and students who manage or contribute to these accounts. Official Thomas More University social media accounts as defined above are owned by Thomas More University. One employee is designated as primarily responsible for the account. There may be additional employees or students granted access to administer the account. All are responsible for compliance with this policy. The individual designated as primarily responsible is ultimately responsible for all activities and administrators on the account, including but not limited to monitoring the account use and content posted to the account.
Before creating any official social media account or authorizing administrators, the Social Media Account Authorization Form must be completed with the Public Relations and Marketing Office. All official University social media accounts must:
Any changes to the account administrators require an updated Social Media Account Authorization Form. The Public Relations and Marketing Office must approve the removal of any official Thomas More University social media accounts.
When posting on such accounts, individuals are speaking as a representative of the University and therefore must have explicit authorization to do so. Users must follow established communication strategies and best practices for social media accounts. All content shared, as well as pages or accounts that these accounts like or follow, must reflect the mission and values of Thomas More University. Inappropriate communication includes, but is not limited to:
The University reserves the right to remove immediately, and without warning, any post that is contrary to the mission and values and it deems inappropriate, such as:
All final decisions about possible removal and future usage rests with the University’s Public Relations and Marketing office.
II. Employees’ Personal Use of Social Media
This section applies to employees using personal social media accounts, at work or off-site. Content posted on personal social media accounts must not conflict with the mission and values of Thomas More University.
Employees are also cautioned not to post information, photos, or other items online that could reflect negatively on the University’s mission.
In response to concerns or complaints or information provided by individuals, University administrators may look up profiles on social networking sites and may use the information in informal or formal disciplinary proceedings.
This Policy applies regardless of whether such social media posts are made at work or off-site. Note that when at work, employees may use Social Media sites for personal use during working hours only if they have a business-related need to do so and their supervisor has approved the use. See the Acceptable Use of University Information Technology Policy.
III. Policy Violations
Policy violations will be determined at the sole discretion and judgement of University administration. Violations traced to employees will be referred to the Human Resources Department and handled following established disciplinary procedures. Violations traced to students will be referred to the Dean of Students for implementation of the judicial process. Violations traced to vendor partners will be referred to the Vice President of Finance and Operations.
Please be aware that individuals violating this Policy may be held responsible for any personal legal liability imposed for any published content.
Copyright Infringement and File Sharing Policy
Acceptable Use of University Information Technology Policy
All employees will be notified of the policy. All current official Thomas More University social media accounts will be audited and individuals will be required to complete the Social Media Account Authorization Form by January 1, 2018.
The Public Relations and Marketing Office will develop best practice guidelines and offer training.
The Public Relations and Marketing Office will audit official Thomas More University social media accounts on an annual basis.
Faculty Policy Manual
Supplemented text in section II to clarify intent; added text in section I to add language regarding University’s authority to remove content; University change
October 30, 2017
Clarification of audience; addition of Section 1 introduction and purpose; clarification on removal of official accounts; modification to employee personal use section
Social Media Account Authorization Form
Signatures on file:
Ben Petracco, Digital Communications Manager
Kathleen Jagger, Acting President