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Guidelines, Policies & Standards

The Web Operations Department strives to adhere to all guidelines, policies and standards that govern the institution and community of Saginaw Valley State University on local, state and federal levels. It is our goal to strive towards making all of our documentation on guidelines, policies and standards available to the faculty, staff, student body and community at large to ensure that it is accessible to everyone. 


Web Operations is tasked with ensuring that all web communications are easily accessible to all members of the SVSU community. Achieving this goal assures that SVSU meets or exceeds Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and other laws protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities.

SVSU strives to provide an online and campus experience that is accessible to all people. If you are a person with a disability or know of someone with a disability experiencing access difficulties, please complete the Report an Accessibility Issue link or contact Web Operations at (989) 964-7303;

Laws, Policies & Mandates

SVSU is committed to providing a safe and functional online environment that is accessible to everyone. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals with auditory, cognitive, motor and visual disabilities. The Web Operations team strives to assist all individuals by adhering to the standards set by the American Disabilities Act, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1.

American Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA was passed in 1990 and is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, ensuring that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

Department of Justice (DOJ)

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was amended in 1998 by Congress to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. Under Section 508, agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information comparable to the access available to others.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Guidelines for web accessibility were originally published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as a recommendation in 1999 as a set of standards to make the internet more accessible. The WCAG have undergone several revisions and updates since they were first established in 2008 – it's most recent being introduced as WCAG 2.1 in 2018. At the heart of the WCAG standards are four areas of focus that keep websites accessible and usable for users of all abilities – accessible websites need to feature content that is perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

Web Domains

A web domain is the name of a website or URL, otherwise known as a specific internet or intranet address, that is used to locate specific online information. Two examples are or SVSU specific web domain names are unique to the SVSU community and convey the university’s image and reputation to the public.  

Laws, Policies & Mandates

Any domain name for a website representing SVSU, including internal and external domain names, must adhere to all SVSU web standards and policies. This includes but is not limited to accessibility laws, the SVSU Internet and Network Resources Acceptable Use Policy 4.6-1, and other rules and regulations. The Operations Manual may be found by clicking here.

Personal SVSU Web Space

All members of the SVSU community are provided with personal web space under the SVSU domain. Users may access this by typing in and follow it with their SVSU user account identity. For example, John James Smith may appear as and may theoretically access his account by typing in this URL. A user is solely responsible for content found on these user-specific sub domains. These online environments are to be representative of the SVSU brand and reputation, are legally considered property of SVSU, and are subject to all SVSU policies.  SVSU reserves the right to remove any site that is deemed inappropriate in any way under the Internet and Network Resources Acceptable Use Policy 4.6-1.

External Domains

SVSU does not support any domains outside

Third-Party Products and the Web

Web Operations understand that there are times that partnerships with third party software and products are necessary to maintain workflows and business processes in combination with In cases where this is necessary, the same branding and standards rules apply to third party products. One example is the SVSU Academic Catalog, which is outside of the Content Management System (TerminalFour). Branding standards are applied to the catalog so that the look and feel of the catalog maintains the look and feel of The catalog is managed by the Office of The Provost in collaboration with Web Operations. The catalog is a third-party software that SVSU contracts with to deliver the online catalog.

Please contact the Office of Web Operations if you have questions about third-party products and their relationship to


SVSU implements house-style design standards across all web platforms to relay our all-encompassing pride and passion as Cardinals, while also projecting a consistently strong impression to our audiences. This design persistence across all SVSU-affiliated websites incorporates everything from our logo-ed web banner to our navigation menu to font sizes.

  • Photography
  • Templates
  • Cohesive Design
  • Etc.

SVSU Brand

The SVSU identity and brand is achieved using the same visual elements on a consistent basis. To learn more about SVSU identity and brand standards, please contact the University Communications Department. Visit the Brand Standards page by clicking here.


The Web Operations Department is entrusted with the important task of sharing SVSU’s presence with the outside community through use of the World Wide Web. Therefore, all content intended for SVSU websites is vetted using a procured content management system (TerminalFour) and via authorized personnel referencing collegiate web standards, Associated Press style and house-style guidelines, and other credible resources at the university’s disposal.

  • ADA Standards
  • Writing for the Web
  • Tagging Images
  • Descriptions for Content
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Etc.

Web Content Interview Guidelines

Web Operations believes that “less is more’ when it comes to web content. Any content on or should have a high level of value and be communicated in a simple, concise and efficient manner. All content should have a specific audience in mind.

  • Who is the audience?
  • What is the purpose of the content?
  • Where should the content live?
  • Why is it important?
  • When should it be evaluated?
  • Who should evaluate it?




Security & Privacy

Due to the enormous popularity of web browsers as the most distinct internet application, it’s important that the SVSU community remains hyper vigilant of web security best practices, as well as the risks associated with not using them. Therefore, Web Operations strives to ensure that all users of web addresses residing under the SVSU domain stay knowledgeable of web security dos and don'ts and are provided the appropriate information regarding the collection, maintenance and use of their personal information.

Personal Information

Although SVSU websites have security measures in place to protect personal information provided by users, users should also take steps to protect personal information by closing all web browsers after using the website. Information disclosed in chat rooms, news groups, forums, message boards and similar contexts may become public. Users should, therefore, exercise caution before disclosing personal information in such contexts.

User Access & Permissions

SVSU requires a regularly updated username and password that is manufactured by the pre-authorized user so that it is unique and personal for all university related web portals. Specifically, and serve the interests of the entire SVSU community and are protected by security measures to ensure their continued success. The security measures range from not sharing your unique ID and password with anyone, to access rules and regulations.


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