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Handbook of Operating Procedures

University Brand Standards

Policy Number: 116


Public image, reputation, representation, and promotion of the University


Employees and trainees (including students, residents and fellows)

Date Reviewed:
July 2020
Responsible Office:
Office of Public Affairs
Responsible Executive:
Vice President of Development and Public Affairs


Appropriate promotion and public representation of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“University”) is critical to the effective communication of the University’s image to both internal and external audiences. When the University’s identity is unclear or confused with that of other institutions, the University is deprived of opportunities to promote and celebrate the accomplishments and breadth and scope of the activities of its employees and trainees.

This policy applies to all employees and trainees as they carry out various roles, activities and responsibilities associated with the University. See also HOOP 20, Conflict of Interest, Conflict of Commitment and Outside ActivitiesHOOP 38, Political Activity and HOOP 109, Standards of Conduct.

This policy applies to all communications, marketing, and advertising materials and activities, including, but not limited to: all presentations and printed materials, websites, digital, and social media content; photography; video; digital and physical signage; vehicular signs and wraps; uniforms and apparel; and promotional items. See HOOP 8, Use of the University Name, Logo, or Seal.

This policy also applies to statements and/or interviews by employees or trainees that include representation of their roles or work within the University, which should be approved by the Office of Public Affairs, Media Relations in accordance with HOOP 5, Communications with the Media.

This policy further applies to communications by related external organizations (including clinics and other organizations affiliated with the University) that refer to University employees or trainees, or University resources or property (including intellectual property). Regardless of whether the related external organization’s communications are directed toward its internal or external constituencies, any employees and trainees involved in those third-party communications must ensure that any references to the University comply with this policy, to the extent possible.


Brand Standards: A set of standards established by the Office of Public Affairs governing representation of, or reference to, the University and its name and graphic imagery (including its logo, seal, or similar mark), as well as representation of, or reference to, the University in photography, video, and other media. See UTHealth Brand Standards.


All uses of the University’s name and graphic imagery must comply with the University’s Brand Standards and with this policy. Exceptions may be granted with written approval of the Office of Public Affairs and/or the Office of the President.

The name, logo, and seal of the University are registered trademarks and cannot be used on merchandise without proper authorization. See HOOP 8, Use of the University Name, Logo, or Seal.

Independent logos or images may not be used to represent parts of the University (including schools, programs, institutes, centers, departments, clinics, and official, recognized student governance or employee organizations) or other University affiliates without prior written approval from the Office of Public Affairs.  This does not apply to UT Physicians clinics.

All employees and trainees are responsible for ensuring that communications that they create or send (including stationery, business cards, web pages, web applications, signage, and any collateral or other graphic representation of University activities) comply with Brand Standards.

It is each employee or trainee’s responsibility to provide full and accurate attribution information (i.e., correct name of the University, correct titles, etc.) and to urge proper use in any external publications or communications. Employees and trainees must also assure that this information is: 1) communicated accurately to any representative of the media (see HOOP 5, Communications with the Media); 2) included in author information and credit lines (including image credits) appended to any paper submitted to a scientific or medical publication; 3) included in author information and credit lines (including image credits) on materials presented in abstract form or referring to his or her identification as a University employee or trainee; and 4) included in any promotional or presentation material disseminated at a local, national, or international meeting.

All University news releases (including news releases related to employees, trainees, University resources, or University property, including intellectual property) must comply with the terms of this policy and must be produced or approved by the Office of Public Affairs and disseminated to the media by the Office of Public Affairs, Media Relations. See HOOP 5, Communications with the Media.

Any representation of the University as part of a joint sponsorship, partnership, or co-branded relationship, including through its name, logo, or trademark, must have written approval from the Office of Public Affairs and the Office of Legal Affairs, as well as from other participating institutions.

The University recognizes the need to adhere to the copyright laws that may apply to any outside material incorporated into any print or digital medium. See HOOP 6, Photographic, Audio, and Visual Recordings; HOOP 47, Classroom and Research Use of Copyrighted Materials.


    • Office of Public Affairs
    • 713-500-3050