Domain Names and Ownership Policy

Consistency is the most fundamental principal for improving ease of navigation and promoting institutional identity. This is particularly true with Web domains and addresses, which are an increasingly critical part of an organization's brand.

WMU has a legal interest in the use of its name and associated trademarks, including those contained or portrayed in domain names. This policy is intended to promote consistency in the ways in which the University, its programs and activities are portrayed on the Web, and to help assure that all sites and pages officially representing the University, its programs and activities meet established standards.

1. The standard for all WMU Web pages is www.wmich.edu. All pages and sites representing offices, departments and programs of the University will use www.wmich.edu/name or will, when necessary for technical reasons, have a www.wmich.edu/name alternate address or alias.

2. Only www.wmich.edu addresses will be publicized. Since all Web addresses will begin with same domain, inclusion of www in print, radio and television promotion will not be necessary, and offices should use wmich.edu/name.

Exempt from the publicity requirement are units that apply for and are granted permission to use a .com, .net, .org or other domain.

Exempt from the publicity requirement are Universitywide services including elearning.wmich.edu, gowmu.wmich.edu, homepages.wmich.edu and webmail.wmich.edu.

Purchase, use and ownership of domains

Purchase or use of .com, .net, .org or other Web domains to represent any part of the University requires approval of the Office of University Relations, and that office serves as sole agent of the University for ownership and maintenance of all domains representing the University or purchased with University funds. Contact Dan Lobelle, director of electronic communication, at daniel.lobelle@wmich.edu or (269) 387-8423.

Application and enforcement

The purpose of this policy is to have a set of standards for Web domains that can be applied equitably across all areas of the University and can assist department leaders, Web managers and others in planning future Web use. If absolutely necessary, the University, through various offices, has the physical ability to assign or reassign Web addresses and to deny payment on unapproved third-party Web services.

Approved May 28, 2009
Amended Nov. 3, 2010
Web Governance Council

The portion of this policy pertaining to the purchase, use and ownership of domains was endorsed Dec. 8, 2010, by the University's offices of Business and Finance, Information Technology, and Legal Affairs and General Counsel.