Social media is an increasingly popular way to communicate at work and at home. Since we sometimes use the medium for both personal and professional communication, it is possible for the two arenas to overlap. It’s important to remember that personal use of social media can have an impact on professionalism and interfere with one’s professional roles and duties. 

Those seeking information about the University of Iowa and the people who work here commonly “Google” team members and read social media sites. In some instances this information is taken out of its intended context and could be damaging to the individual’s and/or the university’s reputation. 

The Office of Strategic Communication uses the policy below as a guide for internal team members to minimize institutional, personal, and legal risks. However, it can also be used as a resource by other units if desired.

Appropriate conduct

The Office of Strategic Communication trusts—and expects—team members to exercise personal responsibility in the use of social communication both for official tasks at work and while away from work. This includes not violating the trust of others. You should never communicate material that may violate the privacy and publicity rights of another party. You must also adhere to the Terms of Use of the site you are using.

You may not post any information that is confidential, proprietary, or not generally available to the public. Do not use University of Iowa logos in social media communication to imply that you are speaking on behalf of the university, or that university shares your views, unless you are approved to do so.  Approved uses of the UI logo and wordmark must follow the UI graphic identity guidelines.


The University of Iowa’s brand and public image are best represented by its people. Our communication reflect on that brand and impact our reputation. When posting as an identified employee of the University of Iowa:

  • Include this disclaimer in your profile or bio: ”The personal opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the University of Iowa” or “My opinions are mine, not the opinions of the University of Iowa.”
  • Remember that there are consequences to what you publish. If you're about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, review these guidelines about personal responsibility. Use your best judgment, but if you're still unsure, you may discuss it with your supervisor prior to posting.
  • Respect your audience. Remember that the University of Iowa is a higher education institution operating in all political atmospheres with faculty, staff, students and alumni who share a diverse set of customs, values, and points of view. Never use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, or engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable in the workplace.
  • When addressing misrepresentations made by others about the University of Iowa, always do so with respect and stick to the facts. Avoid participating in unnecessary or unproductive arguments or conflicts.
  • You are encouraged to have open and constructive communication that must not attack, demean, or disparage the University of Iowa, Office of Strategic Communication team members, or external parties. You may not post communications that could be viewed as bullying, harassing, malicious, obscene, threatening or intimidating. 
  • You must be respectful of all individuals and communities you interact with online and be polite and respectful of others' opinions, even in times of heated discussion and debate. 
  • You are legally responsible for your commentary. Exercise caution with regard to exaggeration, colorful language, guesswork or projections, characterizations, and humor or satire.
  • Speak in the first person and use your own "voice." While maintaining respect for the University of Iowa and other parties, it is acceptable to express information using your own personality while maintaining a professional response.

Consequences of noncompliance with policy

Misuse of UI social media accounts may result in removal of administrative access or disciplinary action.

Harassment guidelines

Visit the OSC guide to managing online harassment or contact us for more information.