Terms of use: UCSC WordPress

The following terms apply to the use of the University of California, Santa Cruz websites (the Site), the UCSC WordPress website publishing platform (the Tools), and the web services (the Service) available to the UC Santa Cruz community.

These terms summarize the rules for using the UCSC WordPress website service, what support Information Technology Services (ITS) will provide, and what your responsibilities are as an employee of the University using this University service.

1. Who can use the UCSC WordPress service

The UCSC WordPress service is intended for the UC Santa Cruz main website, academic and administrative divisions, departments, labs, programs, colleges, and units. 

Registered student organizations may use this service if they have a faculty or staff member who will sponsor the use and act as the website owner.  

Only current and active UC Santa Cruz faculty, staff, and Graduate Student Instructors with a faculty sponsor can maintain and create University websites. When asking for a website, make sure it fits with your Division/Department/Unit’s web plan and talk to your Division Website Liaison for coordination.

To maintain web standards, each website needs an employee who is the owner. The website owner must be a current and active UCSC staff or faculty at UC Santa Cruz. Usually this is the person who requests the website, and will be the main point of contact.

Students, vendors, consultants, and others not employed by UC Santa Cruz cannot be website owners. They may be eligible for access through temporary Sundry accounts. The website owner needs to ask for, and manage their temporary Sundry accounts.

New website requests will not be approved less than three months before the website owner’s employment ends.

2. What’s included with UCSC WordPress service

UCSC WordPress is a content management system that facilitates the creation of University websites using the UCSC WordPress theme. It includes:

  • A single website, using the WordPress content management system, including the official UCSC WordPress theme (look and feel) that is accessibility-ready and securely maintained.
  • Built-in official UCSC web branding and identity. 
  • A core set of approved plugins.
  • Shared authoritative content from other official campus sources, such as:
    • Course catalog, directory, class schedules, news, events
  • Support services including: help, guidance, consultation, training, and 24/7 end-user support through CampusPress (our vendor partner). Academic units may have more web support options through Divisional Liaisons and supporting ITS staff.  
  • Ongoing updates and improvements to the UCSC WordPress theme.
  • Centralized vendor management and negotiations of the contract with CampusPress.
  • Pre-website launch quality assurance testing for accessibility and usability. 
  • Website standards and a Service Level Agreement.
  • The ability to request new features to deliver desired functionality.

3. What’s not included with a UCSC WordPress service

  • Design assistance, troubleshooting, and/or support of websites not using the UCSC WordPress service, not using the UCSC WordPress theme, and/or custom design, development, and plugins outside the approved list of plugins.
  • Ability to install additional themes and unapproved plugins.
  • Creating the content for your website.
  • Developing your content strategy.
  • Migrating content to WordPress.

Custom design of the UCSC WordPress theme 

The University does not guarantee support or functionality of unapproved or unique design or code customizations designed by yourself or vendors such as the following:

  • Inserting custom code, including custom Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) into the UCSC WordPress theme.
  • Using unapproved plugins.
  • Embedded third-party content such as iframes or script tags (such as social media feeds.)

It is strongly recommended that University websites are designed using these and other internal University services. To the extent you utilize an external service or vendor for website customization, design, maintenance or other website function, note that you must still comply with all University institutional information, data integrity and privacy policies and you must procure such services through University Procurement and Business Contracts processes.

Information Technology Services may not be able to support issues caused by custom designs or other services that you procured through an external supplier / vendor.  Your unit will be responsible for handling any such issues that arise, including costs and liabilities.   

4. Roles 

What Information Technology Services does:

  • ITS offers a centrally-managed content management system that uses the WordPress platform. It comes with the UCSC WordPress theme and plugins, which give our websites their appearance, features, and overall functionality.
  • ITS will intake, manage, and deploy change requests to enterprise UCSC WordPress theme and plugins. 
  • We provide website and content strategy training and guidance provided via the ITS Experience Strategy and Design Team.
  • ITS includes standardized centrally-managed integrations; e.g. campus directory, class schedule, and course catalog applications.
  • ITS will notify all website owners of major changes or planned outages.
  • Academic units may have more web support options through Divisional Liaisons and supporting ITS staff.  

What website owners do: 

  • Coordinate with your Divisional Liaison. 
  • As the website owner, it’s your job to plan out what content goes on the University website you maintain, and create or update that content. Content includes any information that appears on the website, like the copy and images. 
  • Updating the website as needed when WordPress functionality changes.
  • User management of the website including adding and removing users and assigning website roles. 
  • You are also responsible for handling and overseeing all content created by the people you bring in to help build the website. 
  • If you leave your position, or UC Santa Cruz, you will need to pass on website ownership to another UCSC staff or faculty member. Otherwise the website can be subject to removal.
  • Following UC Santa Cruz policies, processes, and procedures regarding the use of electronic data. UCSC Policies
  • Meeting UC Santa Cruz information security, accessibility, and identity/brand standards, defined in Web Standards and Procedures
  • Continuity of Operations: If a website owner develops customizations with the enterprise tools, or custom websites not using the enterprise tools the website owner should provide a plan detailing how the website will be maintained and managed.
    • For example, an outside agency provides custom CSS code to design your website home page, that custom code is the responsibility of the website owner. 
  • A continuity of operations plan should also explain how the website will continue to operate after the site is launched.

5. Website quality and accessibility

Websites that don’t meet accessibility standards will not be approved.

You are responsible for making sure the website you maintain is accessible, and updated periodically. Websites that are not updated for a period of greater than 12 months, or affirmed as current, are subject to removal.

Please review and be familiar with the UC Santa Cruz University Digital Accessibility Policy and use the tools, resources, and best practices as defined in UC Santa Cruz web standards on accessibility.  

6. Use limitations

The Tools, the Service and the Site are provided for the purpose of administrative, research and academic website building for UC Santa Cruz activities. It is at the sole discretion of the University to determine use of the Tools, Service and Site.  

The Tools, the Service and the Site, may not damage, disable, overburden or impair any UC Santa Cruz website or the computer equipment or networks connected to them.  They also may not disrupt or interfere with any user’s enjoyment of a UC Santa Cruz website; attempt to gain unauthorized access to a UC Santa Cruz website, accounts, computer equipment or networks through hacking, password mining or other means; obtain or attempt to obtain any materials or information on or via a UC Santa Cruz website not intentionally made available through the website; copy or use any portion of a UC Santa Cruz website other than as expressly allowed; or use any high volume, automated or electronic means to access a UC Santa Cruz website (including without limitation robots, spiders or scripts); or otherwise violate University policies or applicable law.

7. Policy compliance

Use of the Tools and the Service must comply with University policy, including, but not limited to:

  • UC Santa Cruz web standards.
  • UC Santa Cruz visual design standards (logo usage, typography, color, photography and videography.) 
  • University of California and UCSC policies including but not limited to the Information Technology Accessibility policy.
  • Use must also abide by trademark, copyright, and other applicable laws and must not infringe trademark, copyright, or any other rights. Access to the Tools, the Service and the Site will be denied to those who engage in these or similar practices.
  • Users of the Tools, the Service and the Site must not publish or store content that is classified as Level 3 or Level 4 based on the UC Santa Cruz University Electronic Information Security Policy / Data Classification Table. Because the Tools, the Service and the Site are primarily intended for collaboration and publication of information to users of the Internet, content defined as “high risk” or “confidential” is not appropriate for storage or publication in the Tools, the Service and the Site.
  • Although the Tools, the Service and the Site feature access control capabilities to restrict access to information on a given website, a certain degree of privacy risk exists any time information is shared over the Internet.
  • Users must take all possible precautions to ensure access settings are correctly configured.
  • Users agree to notify UC Santa Cruz Web Services immediately of any unauthorized use of the Tools, the Service or the Site, or any other known or suspected breach of security.

8. Changes and termination of tools or services

UC Santa Cruz reserves the right to discontinue any or all online Tools and Services at any time or to revise these Terms at any time in its sole discretion with or without notice. Changes to these Terms will be posted on this website. UC Santa Cruz reserves the right to remove content on a website and/or the whole website itself if it becomes aware of use that does not comply with these Terms, but it is under no obligation to do so.  

9. Limitation of liability

In no event shall the Regents of the University of California, the UC Santa Cruz campus, nor its employees, agents, partners, suppliers or content providers, be liable to any user of the tool, the service or the site under any legal theory for any losses or damages of any kind, including direct damages, lost profits, loss of data, loss due to errors or interruption in availability of the tools, the service or the site and special, indirect, incidental, punitive, or consequential damages (however arising), incurred as a result of your use of the tools, the service or the site.

10. No warranties

The Tools, the Service and the Site are provided to you “as is.” UC gives no warranty of any kind, express or implied, to any user, including, but not limited to, warranties of non-infringement, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. without limiting the foregoing, no warranty is given that: 

(a) the tools, service and site or any content transmitted, posted or uploaded through use of the tools, service and site, are up to date, accurate, complete, or reliable

(b) any defects or errors will be corrected; 

(c) the tools, site or service are error-free, secure, or free of bugs, viruses or other harmful components; or 

(d) the results of using the tools or the service will meet your requirements. your use of the tools, the service and the site is solely at your own risk.

11. Applicable law and privacy privacy obligations

Website maintainers are responsible for ensuring that the websites they maintain are compliant with all applicable law and University policy, including but not limited to University privacy obligations and applicable privacy law.

Review the UCSanta Cruz Privacy Best Practices

To report a privacy-related problem, email: privacy@ucsc.edu or you can find information regarding the GDPR guidelines for UC  Santa Cruz. 

Last modified: May 23, 2024