LU Policy Number: HR.014
Effective Date: 8/11/2017
Approval Date: 8/11/2017
Revised Date: N/A
Purpose: This policy is intended to provide guidance and governance for use of social media and other internet activities that: (a) associates or identifies a Life University faculty or staff member with the university, (b) uses Life University email addresses, or (c) discusses and or makes references to Life University
This policy is not intended to govern online communications when employees do not associate or identify themselves with Life University, and when no connection or association to Life University and/or its community exist.
This policy is not intended to restrict the academic freedom of members of the Life University community, nor to limit their pursuit and discussion of any and all subject matter in a curious but responsible manner. Consistent with the Faculty Handbook, Life University faculty are entitled to full academic freedom with respect to both teaching and research.
This policy is not intended to and does not preclude employees from exercising their rights to discuss terms and conditions of employment, and to engage in protected concerted activity, as granted under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA )
Additional Authority: N/A
Scope: All Employees(Faculties and Staff) of Life University
Approval Authority: Provost/EVPAA
Responsible Authority: Human Resources
Social Media Policy
The following principles apply both to professional use of social media on behalf of Life University, and to personal use of social media when referencing Life University and/or members of the university community. “Social media” refers generally to outside electronic communication systems that are accessible to others, including weblogs (blogs), internet chat rooms, electronic newsletters, online forums, wikis, message or bulletin boards, or social networking sites, and other sites and services that permit users to share information with others in a contemporaneous manner.
Employees should know and adhere to the university’s Code of Conduct, Employee Handbook, and other university policies when using social media in reference to Life University.
The information that employees post or publish may be public information for a long time. Employees should be aware that Life University may observe content and information made available by employees through social media.
Whenever you do identify yourself as a Life University employee, either through a bio, comments or by using your Life University email address, the following disclaimer should be added wherever you identify yourself as part of the Life University Community, while not officially acting on behalf of the university:
“The views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Life University, and cannot be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.”
For example, if you list Life University as your employer on your personal Facebook profile, you’ll need to add the above disclaimer. If you do not identify yourself as being affiliated with Life University, this stipulation does not apply.
Although not an exhaustive list, the following are specific examples of prohibited social media conduct:
Using a Life University email address in conjunction with unofficial or personal social media accounts and profiles. (See the university’s Computer Usage policy for further details).
Simultaneously identifying oneself as a Life University employee and disseminating, soliciting, or displaying materials that are patently offensive, including sexually-oriented material, graphic depictions of violence, or material that offends or harasses on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. In addition, you may not post any material that is obscene, defamatory, profane, libelous, threatening, harassing, abusive, or hateful to another person or any other person or entity within the LIFE community.
Acting as a representative of Life University or acting in a way that would lead others to infer that one is a university representative when not authorized to do so.
Sending, receiving, printing or otherwise disseminating proprietary data, trade secrets or other confidential information of Life University in violation of university policy, proprietary agreements or other contractual terms, or using Life-owned data or work products for personal gain. Consult the university’s marketing department prior to using any Life University logos or other trademarks.
Inappropriately sharing confidential information related to Life University business, such as information with respect to personnel actions, internal investigations, research material, or student information. This prohibition applies even when names of employees or students are not used.
Any activity in violation of local, state, or federal law as it relates to the faculty and staff’s employment at Life, including but not limited to defamatory and libelous remarks; destruction of Life data or equipment; or accessing or sharing information in violation of HIPAA or FERPA. This includes any activity that would cause the university to be noncompliant with state or federal law.
Engaging in any negative and/or threatening behavior that could reasonably be perceived as retaliation against other employees. Employees who feel that they have been the target of retaliation or threatening by another employee in any social media, should report their concerns to Human Resources.
Best practices when sharing information through social media systems and devices
Be prudent and use common sense. Remember, everything that you contribute online stays forever and that everything you do, often on a personal basis, reflects on Life University as an organization when you identify yourself as a member of Life’s community.
Ask yourself, “Would this public expression impair my ability to work with my colleagues on a collegial and friendly basis? Would it make my colleagues uncomfortable? Would it damage the reputation of the university?”
Respect copyright and fair use laws. When citing the work of another person or organization, professional bloggers, journalists, etc., use proper attribution as well as a link (if applicable). Trademarks such as logos, slogans and various digital content (art, music, photos, etc.) may require permission from the copyright owner. It is your responsibility to seek that permission if you intend to use any such trademarked content.