COLORADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM
Social Media Accounts
APPROVED: April 20, 2011
EFFECTIVE: April 20, 2011
REVISED: February 1, 2023
RETITLED: February 1, 2023
RENUMBERED: February 1, 2023
REFERENCE(S): Board Policy (BP) 10-10, Official Communications
/ Joseph A. Garcia /
Joseph A. Garcia, Chancellor
This procedure applies to all employees and students in the Colorado Community College System, including its Colleges (CCCS or System).
The use of social media is increasingly common for CCCS to communicate to and with constituents, and to promote CCCS institutions, students, and employees. These communication tools have wide latitude to create significant impact on organizational/professional reputations, public affairs effectiveness, outreach to students, and relationship building with stakeholders.
This procedure ensures that any and all interactions on behalf of CCCS appropriately portray, promote, protect, and represent the System’s best interests and adhere to all applicable policies, procedures, and laws that govern the dissemination of public information.
This procedure requires each College and the System Office to adopt an institutional social media procedure that meets the parameters specified by this procedure. Prior to adoption and following any substantive modification, each procedure should be submitted to the CCCS Public Affairs Office for review.
“Intellectual Property”: Someone’s idea, invention, creation, etc., which can be protected by law from being copied by someone else.
“Poster or User”: A person submitting content to any social media site that is officially recognized by CCCS.
“Social Media”: Websites and applications that enable users to consume, share, and create content, or to participate in social networking. Social media networks are a source of communication, news, entertainment, and information. Types of social media include, but are not limited to, networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, and include blogs and podcasts.
“Social Media Accounts”: Accounts or profiles created on a social media network.
“Social Media Terms and Conditions”: The terms and conditions imposed by the social media website/application in which the user is participating.
College and System Office social media procedures should be written to address the following parameters:
Creating Social Media Sites:
- Officially recognized CCCS social media accounts and web pages, including profiles and initiatives bearing the CCCS or College name or brand, must be reviewed and approved by the Communications and Marketing Office, or its designee, through an application process, before accounts are established and used.
- All official social media accounts must have a developed strategy and implementation plan.
- Where applicable, social media accounts must be created using a department email address that can be accessed by the appropriate staff members.
- All officially recognized CCCS social media sites, including College department and program sites, must follow brand guidelines and standards for use of the CCCS or College’s name, logos, and colors.
- All official social media accounts must be documented and recorded, including account names/handles, list of account administrators, and any other pertinent credential information for the account.
- All official social media accounts must have more than one employee assigned to the role of administrator at all times.
- Should a CCCS administrator of an account leave CCCS for any reason or no longer wish to be an account administrator, it is their department’s/division’s responsibility to designate another employee to be an account administrator and remove the former employee’s administrative permission to the site.
- Account administrators are responsible for the maintenance of their social media account(s), which include:
- Complying with Board Policy, System Procedures, and related laws, regulations, and any applicable social media terms and conditions imposed by third-party social media accounts.
- Keeping the account(s) dynamic, with new and relevant content.
- Monitoring comments posted to the social media account and responding appropriately and in a timely manner.
- Inappropriate, offensive, injurious, and illegal content may be removed by CCCS employees identified as account administrators or at the direction of CCCS management.
- Social media accounts bearing the CCCS or College’s name that are dormant longer than three months may be removed and/or closed.
- If a social media account bearing the CCCS or College’s name or brand is not used in regular and direct support of CCCS objectives, the account should be removed.
State of Colorado Requirements:
- Facebook pages representing College departments or programs must prominently display the below statement, with the appropriate information filled in: “If you are looking for more information about [name of department/program], please visit [appropriate college website URL here].”
Privacy and Intellectual Property:
- Privacy and intellectual property laws and policies regarding privacy of student, employee, and user information, and fair use of copyrighted material, apply to all CCCS social media sites. Employee and student management of these official accounts must adhere to these laws and policies.
- Social media users acting on behalf of CCCS or their College must adhere to all Board Policies, System Procedures, and College procedures, including, but not limited to, those pertaining to: acceptable use, copyright information, Information Technology security, personal records privacy and security, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and relevant privacy laws, faculty/staff/student codes of conduct, and procurement rules.
Personal and Political Endorsements:
- CCCS, including its Colleges, does not endorse any personal opinion, product, private business cause, or political candidate.
Professional and Student Conduct:
- CCCS employees are expected to adhere to the same standards of conduct online as they would in the workplace. Laws and procedures respecting contracting and conflict of interest, as well as applicable policies and guidelines for interacting with students, parents, alumni, donors, media, and all other CCCS constituents apply online and in the social media context just as they do in personal interactions. Employees are fully responsible for what they post to social media sites.
- CCCS employees are expected to use good judgment about content and respect privacy laws. They should not:
- Include confidential information about CCCS institutions, their employees, or students.
- Post content that is threatening, obscene, a violation of intellectual property rights or privacy laws, or otherwise injurious or illegal.
- Represent personal opinions as being endorsed by CCCS, the College, or any of their organizations; this is strictly prohibited. CCCS and College names or marks may not be used to endorse any opinion, product, private business, cause, or political candidate.
- CCCS employees should refrain from using information and conducting activities that may violate local, state, or federal laws and regulations. If employees are unsure whether certain content is protected by privacy or intellectual property laws, they may contact the CCCS legal department.
- CCCS employees wishing to establish a social media destination (e.g., Facebook page, You Tube channel, etc.) that is tied to CCCS-related endeavors of themselves, or others affiliated with CCCS, shall be subject to the College’s or System Office application process and procedures governing social media.
- Faculty and Instructors should be encouraged to consider the ethical ramifications of their interactions with students on social media sites.
- CCCS does not authorize employees, outside of the System Office or College marketing office (or their authorized vendors), to enter into advertising agreements with social media sites.
- If one maintains their own personal social media account(s), they should avoid creating confusion over whether or not the account is associated with CCCS or their College. This includes using personal accounts to act in an official capacity on a non-CCCS approved site. If employees identify themselves as a College or System employee online, it should be clear that the views expressed on their site are not those of the College or System and they are not acting in their capacity as an employee. While not a requirement, CCCS employees may consider adding the following disclaimer to personal social media accounts. “While I am an employee at [COLLEGE/SYSTEM], comments made on this account are my own and not that of CCCS or the College.”
- Students are expected to adhere to the Student Code of Behavioral Expectations/Code of Conduct.
- By posting content to any social media site, the poster represents that the poster owns or otherwise has all the rights necessary to lawfully use that content or that the use of the content is permitted by fair use. Posters also agree that they will not knowingly provide misleading or false information, and that they will indemnify and hold CCCS and the College harmless for any claims resulting from the content.
Application of Each College-Specific Procedure
Each College and System Office procedure will apply to social media accounts created by CCCS employees for the official business purposes of CCCS, including College faculty, groups, departments, programs, entities, etc. It will therefore impact students, faculty, and staff who utilize various social media applications for communication in conjunction with representing their institution.
Nothing in this procedure shall be intended or construed to create or enforce rules applicable to private social media accounts, except as specifically permitted by applicable law.
Consequences for Violation
Violations of this procedure may result in disciplinary action in accordance with applicable employee/student conduct policies and may include any appropriate legal action.
System and College administrators, and their authorized employees, may monitor the operation of CCCS-authorized social media accounts and the conduct of employees/students in using them, to help ensure conformance with this procedure. Employee and student administrators of official social media accounts shall have no expectation of privacy in those accounts. Administrators reserve the right to examine, use, and disclose any content found on official social media websites in order to further the health, safety, discipline, or security of any student or other person, or to protect property.
Revising this Procedure
CCCS reserves the right to change any provision or requirement of this procedure at any time and the change shall become effective immediately.
CCCS Media and Social Media Guidelines
View the CCCS Media and Social Media Guidelines on the CCCS website (cccs.edu), under Public and Legislative Affairs, or click here.