Central Web Server Procedure

Policy Statement:

The central Web server (called "NUInfo") comprises highly available, high-performance Web sites containing important information of general interest about the University. The central Web server is the initial navigation point for information specific to the research and teaching missions of the University and the administrative offices that support that mission.

Community Participation on the Central Web Server

NUInfo may be used by University entities that use the University’s selected web content management system, which is administered by the Department of University Relations Office of Web Communications. NUInfo is available to host URL redirection for schools and departments that have a business need for maintaining a web address within the Northwestern domain.
The central Web server is not available to student groups, affiliates, or for personal Web pages. Student groups should consult with the Department of Student Affairs to explore available web hosting options.
Web Communications grants permission to qualified offices and departments to use the central Web server. Inappropriate content or non-supported technology on Web pages may cause a site to be disabled.

Required Participation by System Account Holders

An office or department requesting hosting on the central Web server must provide at least two contact names to allow effective maintenance and management communication. The following points outline various roles. A single person may fulfill all of these roles for a small academic or administrative unit, but in such cases a second contact must be named as backup.

  • Administrative Contact. This person will be contacted whenever there is a service concern, planned service interruption, or other need. Web Communications or NUIT will notify this person of any planned maintenance outages on the server that would affect the availability of the web presence. If problems occur with a department/office web site, the administrative contact must be prepared to direct others to remedy problems or to approve steps by Web Communications or NUIT to remedy problems.
  • Technical Contact. The technical contact is the person who is directly knowledgeable about the intended function, content, and structure of the Web site on the central Web server. NUIT and Web Communications will contact this person when technical issues arise about the Web site, or when a planned maintenance outage is being scheduled.

Content on the Central Web Server

Web content should provide effective communication about the office or department, its services, and its relevance to the wide audience of potential visitors. The central Web server is not to be used for personal content.

Web Communications publishes official Web standards and is available to assist University offices and departments in creating a suitable web presence. Web Communications will require conformance to the University’s standards for University Web sites. These guidelines are available at www.webstandards.northwestern.edu.

Issues of privacy, the confidentiality of sensitive information, and compliance with copyright law are considered and may be brought to the attention of Web Communications at any time by any member of the Northwestern community. In general, custodianship of sensitive records is the responsibility of University offices maintaining such records, and no such records will be published on NUInfo without specific permission of the custodians.

Web Communications will work with NUIT to disable sites on the central Web server for legal or performance concerns. Web Communications will attempt to locate the administrative contact prior to taking action.

Warning on Confidentiality

Information stored on the central Web server is purposely for access by others. Entities should not store sensitive or confidential information on the central Web server. Normal system maintenance, administration, and the distributed nature of account management leave open the possibility for any and all information on the central Web server to be seen by authorized persons within their normal job duties.

Temporary Web sites

The central University Web server is not intended for short-term projects such as conferences, seminars, etc. Administration of such sites is better placed at the school or division level. Web Communications is available to consult with the organizers of events to design sites, to link to them from appropriate central locations, and to assist with publicity.

Contacting Web Communications for Hosting

Departments interested in using the central Web server for hosting a Web site in the content management system or for URL redirection should fill out the Web Communications project request form on the Web Communications Web site or send an e-mail to webmaster@northwestern.edu.

Original Issue Date:

February 2012
Support Contact:

IT Support Center
Central service desk for students, faculty, and staff.
847-491-4357 (1-HELP)
Submit a Support Request