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Northern Illinois University
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Publications Policies & Procedures
Procedure No. 28-1
Issued 7/2001
  1. Introduction
  2. The Office of Publications provides a complete publications service to university departments, offering expert help beginning with the planning stage through finished product. These procedures establish a central control for the production of printed materials which represent Northern Illinois University to its various publics, while at the same time allows individual university units to produce some publications independently under certain circumstances. According to these procedures, "publications franchises" may be created allowing individual university units increased control and efficiency in communicating with their particular audiences.

  3. Definitions

    1. A "university publication" is anything set in type or composed for electronic distribution which either uses the university logo, represents the university to a broad and largely off-campus audience (including alumni), or invites participation in a university program or event that commits the university to perform an action or provide a service.
    2. "Cost center" means any program, office or department which is part of NIU either permanently or temporarily.
    3. "University funds" means any funds, either appropriated, grants, bond revenue funds, local funds or fees, which must be handled through the university accounting system.
    4. "Publications services" includes consultation (marketing and financial), editorial, design and production, and print specification work for university publications.
    5. "Informational publications" describe university programs and policies; "promotional publications" invite participation in university programs or events or encourage requests for university services.
    6. A "university program or event" is one sponsored by the university as a whole or any of its academic or support units. Programs or events clearly identified as being sponsored by the club, association or student group are not included in this definition.

  4. Principles
  5. University publications represent the university to its many and varied audiences. They must present university programs accurately and provide clear and correct information about institutional policies. University publications are initiated at the cost center level. It is expected that cost centers will make the necessary effort to ensure that the information they convey is correct and up-to-date. University publications are produced through the Office of Publications which has the primary responsibility to ensure the accuracy of information they contain concerning the university as a whole. The publications office produces all university publications unless they are exempt from this policy.

    1. The following are exempt:
      1. University Press publications;
      2. Publications produced by student organizations with money generated by student fees;
      3. Research publications, including professional journals, research proposals and reports, newsletters, and other materials intended for a professional or scholarly audience as long as they do not invite participation in a university program or event or commit the university to perform an action or provide a service;
      4. Professional and technical newsletters, brochures, reports and other publications intended for audiences of professionals and practitioners as long as they do not invite participation in a university program or event or commit the university to perform an action or provide a service.

      While the aforementioned are not required to use the services available through the Office of Publications, they may elect to do so.

    2. Cost centers may request an exemption for publications they initiate. The request will be considered by the Vice President for Development and University Relations staff. The decision will be based on the resources available to the requesting cost center, the frequency of the publication the requesting cost center intends to do, the audience it intends to reach, and whether the purpose of the publication it wishes to produce is informational or promotional. The decision may be appealed to the Vice President for Development and University Relations and the appropriate vice president representing the requesting cost center.
    3. Specific exemptions to produce a single university publication outside the Office of Publications may be granted by the Director of Publications under special circumstances.

  6. Control and Approval
  7. Accuracy of content in university publications, especially those which commit the university to perform an action or provide a service, is essential. Responsibility for reviewing and approving university publications for the accuracy of specific information concerning the particular program, event, or offering described in the publication resides in the office of the appropriate dean or vice president to which the initiating unit reports.

  8. Budget and Purchasing

    1. Specifications for the purchase of off-campus printing, typesetting and design services are prepared by the Office of Publications.
    2. The use of off-campus printing services must be approved by the Office of Publications and/or Document Services office and follow appropriate purchasing procedures.

  9. Priorities

    1. Priority guidelines for completion of publications are:
    2. First -- Publications essential to the instructional mission of the university (e.g. catalogs)

      Second -- Publications representing the university as a whole (e.g. university-wide recruitment brochures, informational brochures, newsletters, and department communications)

      Third -- Publications representing departments and cost centers (e.g. department recruitment brochures, office informational brochures, department newsletters)

      Fourth -- Publications for individuals

    3. In certain situations, the Office of Publications may alter these priorities to produce special publications which are both time critical and important to the mission of the university.

  10. Deadlines


    1. The Office of Publications, working with clients, will establish required delivery dates for all publications.
    2. The Office of Publications will establish a firm delivery date only after the client has provided all information and materials.
    3. It is the responsibility of the Office of Publications to notify requesting cost centers of anticipated delays.

  11. Editorial Style


    1. The Office of Publications uses the University of Chicago Manual of Style for all publications. A supplementary editorial guide discusses editorial issues peculiar to the university. An overall guide to University Relations is available to all faculty and staff.
    2. Copy submitted to the Office of Publications is reviewed for accuracy of information concerning the university as a whole, consistency of style, appropriateness of language to the intended audience, clarity, and compliance with government regulations. Editorial suggestions made by the Office of Publications are approved by the appropriate cost center. Accuracy of content specific to the program, event, or offering is presumed to have been reviewed by the office of the appropriate dean or vice president.

  12. Graphic Design


    1. The Office of Publications offers a creative design service through which it consults with the client to arrive at an appropriate graphic design.
    2. A graphic standards guide is used by the Office of Publications to establish a visual identity for NlU and to achieve consistent graphic quality.
    3. The use of the university logo must be approved by the Office of Publications.
      1. The university logo is the only symbol used to represent NIU.
      2. The university logo always appear as a single graphic unit. Elements of the logo are never used alone as decorative elements.
      3. The university seal is used only for diplomas, official documents, and publications representing the president.
    4. The Office of Publications does not produce art work for instructional materials. These services are provided by the Imaging department of the Media Services Division.

  13. Stationery

    1. The university stationery policy is established for the purpose of (1) maintaining a consistent institutional image, (2) eliminating the many different styles of stationery, and (3) reducing the cost of stationery. University stationery is to be used by all cost centers.
    2. Exceptions may be made in cases where an NlU program is offered in conjunction with an organization outside the university and/or there exists a compelling reason for separate identification.
    3. University business cards are to be used for identification and communication in official actions related to university matters. They are intended for those who regularly interact with off-campus individuals and groups. University business cards follow a standard format and may include the following information: university logo, individualís name, official university department(s) and title(s), campus address, office/home phone number(s), or electronic communications (e-mail) addresses.

  14. Signage

The Office of Publications in conjunction with the Division of Finance and Facilities is responsible for maintaining the graphic design system for signage at NIU. All signage must be in compliance with mandates contained within the legislation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.