KCTCS Social Media Procedures | KCTCS

Administrative Procedures

KCTCS Social Media Procedures

Procedure Number: 4.20-P

Current Effective Date: 07/26/2021

Original Effective Date: 07/26/2021

Revision Dates: 0

Revision Number: 0

Revision Summary: implementing new procedure

Responsible Official: KCTCS President

References: Administrative Policy 4.20

1. Purpose

This procedure governs the use of KCTCS (System Office and College) social media platforms.

2. Scope

This Procedure applies to all KCTCS employees, students, Colleges, offices and workplaces, regardless of location and to all KCTCS-related conduct, policies, decisions and actions.

3. Procedure

3.1 General

A. Using Social Media

Employees who use social media on behalf of the System Office and 16 colleges of KCTCS must know and understand the policy, procedures and best practices associated with it. This is essential when using the system’s computers, networks, and social media platforms.

KCTCS uses a variety of social media platforms to reach students, prospective students, business partners, legislators, and others. These platforms also allow KCTCS to provide the most accurate, timely information to the public in times of crisis.

The System Office and Colleges have designated administrators for their platforms. Administrators must follow all KCTCS branding guidelines and editorial style as appropriate and abide by all laws affecting the release of private information.

Administrators also will follow best practices for engagement, such as use of photos, videos, tagging, hashtags, etc.

B. Posting as an Official KCTCS Representative
  1. Be aware that official communications from KCTCS to outside audiences are governed by KCTCS policies. This includes the creation of social networking sites and profiles. Faculty, staff and students must submit a request to the College or System Office Marketing Department before creating a social networking site or profile in the name of KCTCS or its associated entities.
  2. If assigned to posting and monitoring KCTCS social media platforms, employees and students are representing KCTCS in an official capacity online. That means they have a responsibility to ensure all information is accurate, maintained in a timely fashion, and well written.
  3. Student or other organizations may not use the KCTCS logo or name without permission.
  4. Do not post confidential or proprietary information about KCTCS, students, employees, or alumni. In addition to KCTCS policies, those posting on behalf of KCTCS must follow all federal requirements, such as FERPA.
  5. All content published on KCTCS social media sites is owned by KCTCS.

Academic speech is protected in law and practice to the extent not superseded by applicable relevant policies or legal requirements.

C. Posting on Personal Platforms
  1. Employees are personally responsible for content they publish on personal social media sites.
  2. If employees post KCTCS-related content on a non-KCTCS site, follow these guidelines:
    1. Make sure the content is accurate. Intentionally misrepresenting about KCTCS, even on a non-KCTCS social media property, can lead to disciplinary action.
    2. Make sure the content is appropriate. Employees have an individual right to free speech, but that speech cannot defame or libel fellow employees, students or KCTCS. Additionally, it cannot create a threatening or harassing environment for a colleague or student. Speech that violates state or federal law or KCTCS policy or procedure may be subject to disciplinary action and may be referred to appropriate law enforcement.
    3. Proprietary KCTCS information is not appropriate to share. This includes student information (governed by FERPA), security, safety, or any other information that is confidential and proprietary to KCTCS. Information that is not publicly available but is subject to disclosure should be requested through a formal open records request to KCTCS. Employees (faculty/staff) do not have the authority to publish KCTCS proprietary information without permission.
  3. Employees should use a disclaimer on content published to any non-KCTCS site where reference is made to the employee's work or to subjects associated with KCTCS.  Make it clear the postings represent personal opinions and do not represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of KCTCS.
  4. Respect copyright laws.
  5. Do not cite or reference information from others without consent from that party.
  6. If an employee identifies their affiliation with KCTCS, the employee is encouraged to consider the message and information their profile and related content sends to colleagues and students.

3.2 KCTCS Social Media Site Approval

For social media sites that represent KCTCS, the colleges, programs and initiatives in an official capacity, the following approval procedure is applicable:

  1. Site Administrators must submit a completed Social Media Needs Assessment Form before creating the social media entity. This form is provided by the College or System Office Marketing Department.
  2. After completing the Social Media Needs Assessment Form, the social media page administrator must gain approval in writing from the College or System Office Marketing Department.
  3. Social media profile images must follow KCTCS brand guidelines for logo usage and any other applicable standards (i.e., color palette, fonts, etc.). This must be approved by the College or System Marketing Department before publishing.
  4. The Marketing Department has the right to shut down any site that does not conform to approved standards or is not kept current.

3.3 Procedures for Responding to Inappropriate Posts

KCTCS strives to create a safe and welcoming educational environment for all. However, KCTCS cannot control and is not responsible for the social media activity of students or other unaffiliated persons on their personal pages. As a state agency, KCTCS is subject to federal and state mandates regarding constitutional free speech.

If a post to official KCTCS social media sites contains foul language or any type of threatening or abusive speech, KCTCS can remove the offensive post. Posts that violate the law will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency for disposition. 

As a public institution, all KCTCS social media posts are public record and subject to state open records and records retention laws.