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History of SIU University Web Standards

The SIU Web Standards Committee was established in August of 2009 in order to develop collaborative Web standards for the University based upon the needs of the wide range of University colleges, departments and units. The SIU Web Standards Committee is comprised of a representative from all University colleges and major units on campus.

Goals of University Web Standards

  1. To provide clear and informative regulations regarding Web Standards and Accessibility Standards set by the W3C, the United States Federal Government, and the State of Illinois.
  2. To provide guidelines to the University community that will ensure that Web sites representing Southern Illinois University Carbondale do so consistently and reflect the mission and goals of the University.


Why web standards? WaSP InterAct’s website (n.d.) states:

“In general, standards exist to make things simpler and easier. Isn’t it convenient that most electrical devices in your country use the same electricity supply, and there is a common language for business and daily interactions?”

The same concept applies to the World Wide Web. Web users have certain expectations of Web sites, as do software and hardware developers. It is the job of Web site developers to maintain consistency and standards so that the cyber-livesof Web users are conducted with ease. Fortunately, general Web standards have already been set by an organization called the W3C ( Unfortunately, many everyday Web users and site creators are not aware of these standards.


Why specific University Web standards?

Websites provide the University with a direct way to communicate with students, parents, faculty, staff, visitors, and community members. The information that is communicated across the University covers a wide range of topics and therefore creates very different needs from department to department. Even so, it is important that readers of web pages understand that the information they are receiving is conveyed on behalf of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Additionally, it is important that SIU websites reflect the excellence and quality that are critical in maintaining the foundations and mission of the University. This quality goes beyond simply the look of the website, into compliance with accessibility laws and assurance of an easy-to-navigate interface for all readers. It is required by Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA) that all public university sites are accessible to people with disabilities. Further, standards have been developed that specifically address the needs of SIU in keeping with the mission and goals of the University.