The Administrative Policies



This policy applies to all University employees and to all social media and networking sites currently in existence as well as those that are developed and made available in the future. The policy applies to any employee at all levels of employment, including part-time and hourly, who creates, contributes to or otherwise engages with social networks, blogs, wikis, virtual worlds or any other kind of social media.


The purpose of this policy is to provide University employees with general guidelines on personal use of social media and to assist employees with making appropriate decisions when managing and/or developing social media initiatives on behalf of the University.

As with all other University work, hourly non-exempt employees may not perform University work, including posting to social media sites, outside of the workplace or during non-work hours without the express authorization from their supervisors.

Nothing herein is designed to be so far reaching that it might foreclose any legal rights of an employee, including but not limited to, an employee's right to discuss terms and conditions of employment.

I. Personal Activity on Social Media

All employees are expected to exercise good judgment and to observe high standards of business and personal ethics when engaging in social media sites, especially when interacting with those engaged with the Duquesne community on social media. Employees who disclaim on their personal social media sites that their opinions are their own are still expected to comply with this Policy.

Employees must understand and follow the University's Policies to ensure social media postings are appropriate and consistent with the TAPs. Do not create, transmit, repost, intentionally receive or otherwise direct social media communications including, but not limited to, documents, pictures, videos, audio files, or any other information in any other format which are discriminatory, intimidating, threatening, or harassing in nature to your fellow coworkers, students of the university, and/or other people who work for or on behalf of the University. Do not direct threats of violence, as referred to in TAP No. 48 to your fellow coworkers, students, and/or other people who work for or on behalf of the University. Be ethical, respectful and professional as described in TAP No. 55. In addition, employees may not:

A. Simultaneously identify oneself as a Duquesne University employee and send, solicit, or display materials that are offensive, sexually explicit, 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 violation of Duquesne's policies.

B. Create, transmit, repost, or otherwise direct messages that could negatively interfere with Duquesne's core mission or unprofessional/inappropriate communications regarding members of the Duquesne University community. Examples include, but are not limited to, communications that contain content that is defamatory, harassing, sexually explicit, threatening or intimidating in violation of Duquesne‘s policies.

C. Act as a representative of the University or in a way that would imply that one is a Duquesne representative, or act for and on behalf of Duquesne or conduct Duquesne business on a personal social media site. Do not make statements that a reasonable person would construe as speaking for Duquesne or authorized by Duquesne. Do not speak for Duquesne without prior authorization, or link your personal social media account to University accounts unless required by the social media account and approved by the University.

D. Send, receive, print, disseminate, display, or communicate in any fashion proprietary data, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, student information, or other confidential information of Duquesne in violation of policy, practice, proprietary agreements or other contractual terms. Use Duquesne-owned data or work product for personal gain.

E. Engage in any activity in violation of local, state, or federal law as it relates to the employee's employment at Duquesne, including but not limited to defamatory remarks; destruction of Duquesne data or equipment; or accessing, sharing, or communicating in any fashion information in violation of HIPAA or FERPA. This includes any activity that would cause Duquesne to not be in compliance with state or federal law.

II. University-affiliated Social Media Account Management

Duquesne University uses social media to connect and engage with a variety of key audiences including but not limited to: prospective students and their families, current students, employees, alumni, donors and the public. The University utilizes several social media channels to build community and promote Duquesne's news, research, events and other information of interest.

Duquesne encourages campus units to use social media to promote Duquesne. However, if not managed properly, social media sites can have adverse effects that create lasting, unintended reputational consequences.

The following protocols are to help ensure Duquesne University's social media presence makes a positive impact. This section of policy applies only to social media accounts created and managed by faculty, staff and students to represent Duquesne University schools, departments, programs, etc. and do not apply to private individual accounts.

A. The Office of Marketing and Communications oversees the University's official social media presence.

B. Schools, departments, programs and offices must assign an administrator and a back-up administrator for all social media channels.

C. Schools, departments and programs that choose to participate in social media must notify the Office of Marketing and Communications before launch to review guidelines and best practices.

D. While postings are encouraged from the community, the University reserves the right to block individual accounts and/or remove comments, links, photos or other content from its social media sites for any reason, including but not limited to, harassment and personal attacks, derogatory or defamatory comments, vulgarity and profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), sexually explicit material, commercial promotion, off-topic posts, improper use of intellectual property or copyrighted material, or otherwise inappropriate content. All school/department/program social media sites must adhere to these requirements.

E. All Duquesne-affiliated social media sites should follow current social media best practices, including ensuring each channel is managed with timely and engaging posts. Social media administrators should review Social Media Best Practices (link and location).

F. Duquesne's social media sites will be monitored regularly by the Office of Marketing and Communications. Social media sites with inappropriate content, or content that has not been updated for more than 30 days will be removed from the University's official social media directory ( and the administrator will be told to deactivate the site(s).

G. Social media channels must align with University Brand Guidelines, including proper logos and colors. All official social media channels must state in the profile description that it is an official account and must align with University Brand Guidelines, including proper logos and colors. Social media profile icons must be approved by the Office of Marketing and Communications.

H. Posted content must be consistent with the University's Mission and Identity.

I. Social media administrators should not post personal opinions on University social media sites.

J. School, departments and programs are responsible for ensuring that individuals are assigned the appropriate level of security access to systems. This includes removing access and updating passwords when employees are assigned to job roles that no longer require that access. Upon transfer or termination of employment, supervisors should immediately initiate requests to remove or transfer access to information technology resources. Schools, departments and programs should also follow-up with the Office of Marketing and Communications to confirm access has been removed or changed.

K. Administrators of University-affiliated social media sites must adhere to all University policies when posting to social media, including but not limited to:

The Administrative Policies

Faculty Handbook


Logo Usage Guidelines

University Brand Guidelines

NCAA Guidelines (check with athletics)

III. Related Information

TAP No. 26, Computing Ethics and Guidelines

TAP No. 48, Weapons and Violence - Campus and Workplace

TAP No. 55, Ethical, Respectful and Professional Conduct

IV. Violations

Violations of this policy will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are subject to formal disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

V. History

Date of most recent revision: January 2019.

VI. Ownership of Policy

Office of Human Resources

Office of Marketing and Communications