Ball State University has recently uploaded its Social Media Policy to the Knowledge Network, in which it spells out the institutional attitude toward all online behavior, whether personal or on behalf of the university:
Both in professional and institutional roles, employees need to follow the same behavioral standards online as they would in real life. The same laws, professional expectations, and guidelines for interacting with students, parents, alumni, donors, media, and other university constituents apply online as in the real world. Employees are liable for anything they post to social media sites.
Ball State joins a small-but-growing list of academic institutions that have contributed social media and other IT-related policies to our wiki. These sample policies and policy templates are great resources for IT managers and other professionals looking to craft clear, comprehensive guidelines for using social-networking tools, whether within academic institutions, businesses or other organizations. While the policies address some issues specific to the institutions at hand, most contain general-purpose rules that can be applied to any person in any context (such as common-sense suggestions such as "be polite").
IT managers shouldn't labor to create an institutional policy from scratch. There are many solid resources at hand for getting a handle on the techie specifics and institutional implications of social media tools and services. Take a look at related tools, excerpts, articles and slideshows available, courtesy of our editors and contributors.
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