Terms of Reference

Statements of Purpose

Web and mobile technologies are essential to the business of universities today. In 2011, the Web Steering Committee (WSC) commissioned a study for recommendations to improve Web governance at the University of Ottawa. The resulting report, delivered in May 2012, recommended:

  • Streamlining the membership of the current WSC to improve agility;
  • Increasing the number of meetings a year; and
  • Establishing the WSC as the decision-making body for holistic strategic Web decisions.

The Administrative Committee (AC) approved these recommendations on June 20, 2012. These Terms of References reflect the recommendations put forth in that report and have been annually reviewed and updated in 2013, 2014 and 2015.


The Web Steering Committee (WSC) is a governing body that is accountable for the strategy of the University of Ottawa’s official holistic Web presence.

The committee is also responsible for:

  • Communicating clear Web leadership and accountability at uOttawa;
  • Championing a holistic uOttawa Web presence that is aligned to uOttawa’s overall vision and strategic plan; and
  • Assessing and determining the strategic direction for uOttawa’s holistic Web presence through approval of the holistic uOttawa Web strategy and corresponding action plan including performance outcomes.

The University Web presence refers to content and platforms on the World Wide Web and mobile technologies that are actively controlled by the University and considered to be official. This includes, but is not limited to, external and internal Web platforms, the University Internet, intranet, extranets, wikis and other collaborative tools, social media hosted by the University or third party platforms used by the University, mobile University sites and mobile applications.

Attributes of the Web Steering Committee

  • To ensure the effectiveness of this group, the WSC will be comprised of:
    1. Senior-level officials only;
    2. No more than ten (10) members to maintain agility.
    3. At least one representative from a cross of crucial Web functions and high-level clients; and
    4. Have enough members to discharge its duties in an effective manner.
  • The WSC will meet every two (2) months during the academic year. The Committee can decide if more meetings are necessary on an ad hoc basis.
  • The WSC will be authorized to strike working sub-groups to address issues of priority, as needed. Such sub-groups should be representative of the University but ideally have no more than five (5) core members to ensure efficiency. Sub-groups leads will report directly to the WSC and members of the University Web community will be encouraged to put forth volunteers for such working sub groups.
  • The Web communications director will report to the WSC by presenting:
    1. The holistic uOttawa Web strategy and recommended action plan for input and approval;
    2. Priorities for the upcoming fiscal year with any requests for funds to realize such projects; and
    3. An end-of-year report, which summarizes the activities related to those priorities.

    The WSC, or its representative, will then present these deliverables to the CA for approval (in the case of “a” and “b”) and information (“c”).

  • The WSC will ensure that proper consultation is done with the appropriate stakeholders.
  • These Terms of Reference as well as the RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed) Web Governance matrix for uOttawa will be reviewed every year by the Chair, co-chairs and Web communications director.


Members are chosen due to their position. Membership can be adjusted on an annual basis due to departures and new arrivals. Other key stakeholders can be invited to committee meetings as invited guests on an “as needs” basis but only WSC members are eligible for voting:

  • Chair: Vice-President External Relations (University Web champion and AC member accountable for Web governance)
  • Vice Chairs: (two major stakeholders in the Web; one representative for central, one representative for faculties)
    • Chief librarian (faculty stakeholder)
    • Chief Information Officer (central stakeholder)
  • Members:
    • Two representatives for deans and faculties
    • One representative for research
    • One representative for student services
    • One representative for central services/human resources
    • Web communications director
    • Executive director, Communications Directorate

For 2015, the members of the WSC will be the following:


  • One representative for research (Executive Assistant and Chief of Staff, Office of Vice-President, Research)
  • Two representatives for deans and faculties (Dean of Arts, Dean of Science)
  • One representative for central student services (Registrar)
  • One representative for a central service (Associate Vice-President, Human Resources)
  • Executive Director, Communications Directorate
  • Web Communications Director


Quorum corresponds to half the committee members plus one.

Approved on June 20, 2012
Revised on August 31, 2014
Amended on February 14, 2015