5.4. Rights and Responsibilities to and from the University

5.4.1 Performance Assessment

5.4.2 Official Personnel Files Contents of Personnel Files Departmental Personnel File

5.4.3 Conflict of Interest, Outside Employment Disclosure Responsibilities Definitions Examples Consulting and Other Paid Activities Sponsored Research Preamble (Faculty Senate revised option 1) Definitions Release or Buyout of Time for Research Time and Effort Certification and Procedures Acceptable Use of University Resources Procedures for Disclosing Conflict or Potential Conflict of Interest

5.4.4 Political Office

5.4.5 Intellectual Property and Shared Royalties Purpose Objectives General Provisions Rights to Ownership Rights and Limitations on Use Organization/Management/Administration Proceeds Distribution Definitions Ownership of Works Created by Non-Employees Sale of Created Materials to University Students

5.4.5 Invitation of Outside Speakers Procedures (General —not class–related) Academic (class–related) SGA Free–Speech Alley Podium

5.4.6 University Identification Card

Faculty and administrative staff are expected to be guided by the applicable and appropriate polices and procedures of the State of Louisiana, the governing boards, and the administration of the University.

All faculty and administrative staff have the right and responsibility to

  • receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or sexual orientation;
  • carry out duties without regard of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or sexual orientation;
  • due process as required by law and promotion of its optimum attainment on campus;
  • have regular and formal evaluation of job performance, participate in the evaluation process, and receive timely knowledge of the results of such evaluation;
  • keep lines of communication open and give consideration to group and individual recommendations in any area;
  • voice concerns and make suggestions through proper channels about any aspect of the operation of the University;
  • improve professional and personal performance by attendance at appropriate meetings and by participation in the regular developmental programs of the institution, subject to administrative approval;
  • make clear when speaking or writing on campus or non campus issues that one is speaking as a private person and not as a representative of the institution.
  • respect the right of privacy of others;
  • participate in the formulation and implementation of institutional policy;
  • participate in associations or other organizations as private persons;
  • maintain independence and impartiality and refuse to accept any compensation or gift that might result in the preferential treatment of persons, businesses, or organizations;
  • avoid any private business relationship or ownership that will conflict with University duties (see Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics La. R.S. 42:1101 et. seq.);
  • be considered for career advancement within the institution;
  • one official personnel record that follows the guidelines of the personnel policy delineated in Section 5.4.2 and that is used as the official personnel record as a basis for consideration in requests for promotion, transfers, leaves, or other changes of status.

5.4.1 Performance Assessment

Chapter IV, Section IX of the Board Rules calls for yearly evaluation of each faculty member and administrator. The Board also requires that these evaluations be filed in appropriate personnel files.

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5.4.2 Official Personnel Files

The records necessary to support personnel management are of paramount importance, and must be thoroughly maintained. This maintenance includes systematic and timely placement of the necessary records into the file, exclusion of extraneous records from the file, and constant monitoring of necessary changes to keep all files current.

At Nicholls State University, personnel files for employees consist of official personnel file(s) and departmental personnel file(s). The official personnel file(s) for each employee are kept in a secure area in the Human Resources Office. Departmental personnel files for each employee will be maintained in the office of the employee’s supervisor.

Documents contained in the official personnel file are separated into public files and confidential files. The public file is accessible by the public under applicable public records law; the confidential file is not accessible by the public. Should a request be made to inspect or copy any document in the public file, the employee has the right to request that his/her address and phone number not be disclosed. Furthermore, an employee’s Social Security Number and date of birth are not subject to the Public Records Act (R.S. 44:1-427).

The use of personnel files generally is restricted to formal institutional meetings, normal administrative requirements, or cases otherwise required by law. Employees shall be notified prior to the release of information to an outside individual or agency unless the employee has previously signed an authorization to release the information requested.

Back to Top Contents of Personnel Files

Each document concerning an employee shall be placed in the employee’s official personnel file within a reasonable amount of time.

The official personnel file for an employee may contain the following documents:

  • Public Record:

o    SF-10 Application form, Unclassified Employment Application and/or resume

o    Employee Name, Job Title, Pay

o    Appointment Affidavits

o    Records related to appointments

o    Changes in status or position (promotion, reassignment, resignation, dismissal etc)

o    Letters reporting dismissals

o    Copy of the current position description

o    Drug-Free Workplace acknowledgement statements

o    Copies of Employee Notification Forms (Personnel Action Forms)

o    Records of completed training courses

o    Certifications and licenses

o    Letters of commendation

o    Acknowledgement forms regarding University policies

o    Death Certificates

o    Original leave requests for employees who are requesting leave in order to accept a paid appointment during his/her regular assigned work hours (Ex: teaching and adjunct course, serving as a camp counselor, performing work on a grant, etc.)

  • Confidential Information:

o    Employee Social Security Number

o    Employee Address and phone number when the employee has requested confidentiality.

o    High School and college transcripts; Civil Service Grades

o    Tax withholding information

o    Bank information

o    Scores and notes of interview panel members

o    Performance appraisal forms and overall ratings

o    Paycheck deductions

o    Insurance documents such as claim forms, application forms, requests for payment of insurance benefits.

o    Beneficiary information for insurance, retirement, etc.

o    Health and life insurance enrollment forms, including beneficiary designation forms

o    Internal grievance documents

o    Criminal Background Checks

o    Retirement membership forms

o    Documents concerning garnishments, child support and tax levies

o    Biographical data sheets that contain such information as address, phone number, date of birth, race, sex, and marital status

o    Board of Supervisors Justification and Certification form (if applicable)

o    Original letters of counseling and letters of reprimand for the employee

o    Originals of disclaimers the employee chooses to make relative to performance improvement notices, letters of counseling, letters of reprimand or any other material in the file

o    Reports of Internal Investigations

o    Performance Improvement notices: i.e. letters of reprimand, employee performance notice form, various supporting documentation

o    Letters supporting formal disciplinary actions: suspension without pay, reductions in pay, involuntary demotion, dismissals, reassignments

o    Letters of recommendation or Reference Check Form(s)

o    Birth Certificates

o    Drivers License

Back to Top Departmental Personnel File

Unless otherwise noted, only copies of documents should be kept in site files. The originals shall be forwarded to Human Resources for inclusion in the employee’s official file. The following may be placed in an employee’s site-based personnel file without notification of the employee:

  • Copies of work assignments (including Faculty Workload Surveys if applicable)
  • Copies of records related to appointments
  • Copies of changes in status or position (promotion, reassignment, etc)
  • Copies of Employee Notification Forms (Personnel Action Forms)
  • Copies of Letters of commendation
  • Copies of records of completed training courses
  • Employee campus wide identification number
  • Employee Address and phone number when the employee has requested confidentiality
  • Copies of scores and notes of interview panel members
  • Copies of Performance appraisal forms and overall ratings
  • Copies of internal grievance documents
  • Copies of employee performance improvement notices if no disciplinary action resulted
  • Copies of letters of counseling and letters of reprimand for the employee
  • Copies of disclaimers the employee chooses to make relative to performance improvement notices, letters of counseling and letters of reprimand
  • Original leave requests for sick, annual and compensatory leave
  • Original supervisory documents including the Employee Chronological Record form used for commendations, notations and performance improvement

Medical records of any type and I-9 forms are maintained entirely separate from the official personnel file.

If applicable, a worker’s compensation file is maintained in the Human Resources Office for each employee who files an accident/incident report under the worker’s compensation program.

If applicable, a FMLA file is maintained in the Human Resources Office for each employee who files for FMLA benefits. This file includes the original leave request, medical statements, and other pertinent documentation.

An employee may examine his/her official personnel file during normal working hours in the presence of a Human Resources Office staff member. The employee may obtain copies of any materials in his/her official personnel file for the standard cost for copying as outlined by the Louisiana Administrative Code.

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5.4.3 Conflict of Interest, Outside Employment

Public employment is a public trust, and any effort to realize personal gain through official conduct, other than as compensation set through established processes, is a violation of that trust. All decisions of the University, and individual faculty and staff members in their role as faculty/staff are to be made solely on the basis of a desire to promote the best interests of the institution.

The University recognizes that the faculty and staff are composed of persons whose competence in certain fields is such that their services will be sought in a professional capacity outside the University. Consultative services are to be rendered by such faculty and staff members in their capacity as private individuals. Such services and/or other professional employment shall not interfere with regularly assigned duties during the University work week. University facilities, materials, and equipment shall not be used to subsidize private consultative services unless the University is remunerated.

The Board of Supervisors policy for outside employment of college and University employees, as stated in Chapter III, Section VII of the Rules, relates to employment directly undertaken by employees of System institutions with outside employers or to self–employment (including consulting) and does not relate to employment in which arrangements are made officially through the institution by contract with or grants to the institution. The Board’s statement of policy on outside employment is as follows:

“1. A member of the faculty or staff may engage in outside activities, paid or unpaid, which do not conflict, delay or in any manner interfere with instructional, scholarly, and/or other services he must render in the nature of his college or university employment.

“2. A full–time member of the faculty or staff who is presently engaged, or who plans to engage, in such activities outside of his broad institutional responsibilities, during any period of full–time employment by the institution, shall report to the chairman or head of his department in writing the nature and extent of such activities, and the amount of time the work will require In all such instances, the department head or chairman shall forward the report to the employee’s administrative superior who will make a complete disclosure of these facts to the campus head or his designee. A similar procedure shall be followed by deans in reporting to their vice–presidents and by vice–presidents in reporting to their president.

“3. No full–time member of the faculty or staff shall engage in such outside employment (or continue such employment if already so engaged) without the written approval of the department head and dean. In the event that either the department head or the dean believes that such outside employment involves, or may involve, a matter of public interest or interfere with duties to the institution, the matter shall be referred through the appropriate channels to the president of the college or university or his designee for approval.

“4. It is the responsibility of the employee to make clear to any outside employer that in accepting such employment he does so as an individual independent of his capacity as a member of the staff of the college or university. This might best be accomplished by providing with oral testimony or written reports a statement to the effect that the views expressed are those of the employee and do not necessarily reflect the views of the institution. In no case should the individual concerned use the name of the institution or his college or university title officially, or in any way, in support of any position he may take.

“5. The institution recognizes the fact that a person qualifies as an expert because of his training and experience. Therefore, biographical data, including a statement of employment by the college or university, may be included as introductory material to written reports (but not incorporated in the body of the written report) by the outside employer, or orally in the case of expert witness, by way of establishing the writer as a qualified expert.

“6. Institutional resources shall not be used for personal gain. No college or university personnel, laboratories, services or equipment are to be used without administrative authorization in connection with outside employment of college or university employees.”

The Board of Supervisors also requires that faculty and staff enter into no contractual relationships or other agreements that are contrary to the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics (La.R.S. 42:1101 et. seq.).

Consulting or related services performed by Nicholls State University staff without remuneration is considered to be a public service and as such is a regular function of the University.

Back to Top Disclosure Responsibilities

In the event the employee shall be called upon to consider a transaction involving the University and an organization with which that employee is “affiliated,” such employee upon receiving knowledge of the transaction shall do the following:

  • disclose fully the precise nature of interest or involvement in such transaction and/or such organization; and
  • refrain from consideration of the proposed transaction if it is determined that a conflict of interest exists.

Back to Top Definitions

A person covered by this conflict of interest policy is affiliated with an organization if he or she or a member of his or her immediate family meets the definition of any of the following:

  • is an officer, director, trustee, partner, agent or employee of such non–governmental organization; or
  • is either the actual or beneficial owner of more than 5% of the stock or controlling interest of such non–governmental organization; or
  • has any other direct or indirect dealings with such non–governmental organization from which he or she knowingly is materially benefited. For purposes of this subparagraph, it shall be presumed that a person is “materially benefited” if he or she receives, directly or indirectly, cash or other property (exclusive of dividends and interest) in excess of $1000 in any year in the aggregate; or
  • is considered an affiliate by a provision of state law.

Back to Top Examples

The University possesses both tangible assets, such as buildings and equipment, and intangible assets, such as its reputation and prestige. Examples of potential conflict of interest include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:

  • the initiation or orientation of a employee’s research with use of University resources to serve the needs of a private firm or public agency without approval of the University;
  • transmission to a private firm or use for personal gain of the information, records, results, materials, or products which have been acquired through University research or employment when such discoveries are not made generally available;
  • failure to inform the appropriate officer of the University about licensing agreements and inventions in which the University might have an equity;
  • the use of University resources (personnel, supplies, equipment, facilities) in sponsored research or in consulting by an employee without referring to the appropriate administrative office the question whether appropriate costs should be defrayed by the outside agency;
  • the use of students, without recompense from salary or academic credit, for work on behalf of an outside agency;
  • the use of the University’s name, facilities, or equipment for personal purposes, or for which the employee receives remuneration for private gain;
  • personal use of University resources to support political candidates or non–profit organizations even though not for remuneration;
  • the purchase of major equipment, instruments, or supplies for University teaching or research from a private firm with which the employee is affiliated;
  • negotiation or influence upon the negotiation of contracts between the University and outside organizations with which an employee has consulting or other significant relations of material benefit to the employee;
  • hiring of members of the immediate family by employees;
  • adoption of one’s own textbook or other teaching aids which would entail acceptance of royalties as personal income;
  • certain types of outside employment as offers of employment involving assignments that have the potential to compromise the institutional position of the employee;
  • performing work for clients for pay when the work in question falls within the regular assignment of the employee;
  • any outside relationships that conflict with the teaching, scholarly, and service responsibilities of the employee;
  • consulting relationships involving activities with the potential to compromise the institutional position of the employee;
  • financial interests in companies and other kinds of organizations doing business with the University; and
  • financial gain to the individual that results from involvement in University decisions.

Back to Top Consulting and Other Paid Activities

The University recognizes that consulting and conducting other paid outside activities including but not limited to seminars and presentations are proper and common features of academic employment and that the outside contacts provided through these activities by contracted faculty members and staff are aids in their professional advancement and/or service to the community. The amount of outside consulting work for remuneration in which a full–time faculty or staff member may engage shall be limited to an average of 12 hours per month in each semester of the academic year. These twelve hours are understood to be hours within the “working day.” The duration as well as the nature of the consultative services must be reviewed and approved by the Department Head, Dean, Administrative Vice President, or appropriate supervisor on a case–by–case basis to determine that participation in outside consulting activities will not conflict or impinge on the University duties and obligations of the faculty or staff member as set forth in this Manual. To verify compliance with this policy, faculty and staff must submit a completed Disclosure of Outside Employment Form before October 1 of each Academic year as specified in Section of this Manual.

Back to Top Sponsored Research

Back to Top Preamble (Faculty Senate revised option 1)

The following policy, Research and Sponsored Programs will take affect within the following constraints and considerations:

  1. The policy will become effective July 1, 2007
  2. The policy will affect all new and renewing grants and contracts from federal, state and local governmental agencies.
  3. The clause concerning extra compensation funding from private foundations, corporations, and non-profit organizations will remain in effect until July 1, 2009.
  4. See Executive Memorandum regarding Indirect Cost Distribution on V Drive [\\NICH-NSUNET\USERS\admins\POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL FORMS and MEMORANDUMS\Executive Memorandums\Indirect Cost Distribution Memorandum 5-11-07.doc] (Facilities and Administration a.k.a. F&A)

Back to Top Definitions
  • Sponsored projects shall be construed to include grants and contracts (research and other) funded by external agencies. Sponsors may be federal, state, and local governmental agencies, private foundations, corporations, and non-profit organizations.
  • The University encourages employees to seek financial support from external sources for augmentation of individual scholarly competence, enrichment of instructional programs to both graduate and undergraduate students and enhancement of public knowledge.

Back to Top Release or Buyout of Time for Research

The Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21 views research as a normal faculty responsibility undertaken as a part of a faculty member’s base salary. Sponsored programs should generally be undertaken on a release or buyout basis. For example, a faculty member with a full-teaching load which equates to the equivalent of 30 hours per academic year could request a 10% buyout equal to one 3-hour class per year with full buyout possible.

When an employee undertakes sponsored projects on a release or buyout basis, the grant shall be charged for the portion of time and effort devoted to the project based on the individual’s base salary rate plus any endowment, if applicable. Base salary refers to academic/fiscal year appointment contract amounts.

Summer Compensation through sponsored projects shall be restricted by the following provisions:

  • Nine month faculty or staff may receive summer compensation for work on externally sponsored projects during the summer period between the end of one AY and the start of the next; the total of such compensation from all sources (including summer school compensation) may not exceed 3 months of the individual’s base salary rate, plus any endowment if applicable.
  • Ten month contracted employees or staff may receive summer compensation for work on externally sponsored projects during the summer period between the end of one AY and the start of the next; the total of such compensation from all sources (including summer school compensation) may not exceed 2 months of the individual’s base salary rate, plus any endowment if applicable.
  • Eleven month contracted employees or staff may receive summer compensation for work on externally sponsored projects during the summer period between the end of one AY and the start of the next; the total of such compensation may not exceed 1 month of the individual’s base salary rate, plus any endowment if applicable.

Extra compensation will be considered only when the additional duties will not interfere with regular University duties. Extra Compensation shall be restricted by the following provisions:

  • Total extra compensation (Category I (non-credit conference, short courses, workshops and similar activities) and Category II activities (Credit Courses)) earned during an employee’s appointment period may not exceed 25% of the individual’s base salary rate as stated in the appointment letter.
  • Twelve month unclassified employees must utilize approved leave to earn extra compensation (Category I and Category II activities).
  • Employees hired 95% (maximum allowed) through sponsored projects must obtain written approval by the appropriate vice president and all sponsoring agencies for extra compensation.
  • Extra compensation for classified personnel (overtime) on sponsored projects will be considered only when added duties are of the magnitude and duration which require additional work time. Overtime compensation must be shared by each funding source proportionally.
  • Extra compensation is considered to be an exception to normal practice, shall be justified on a case-by-case basis, and is to be approved by the appropriate vice president only under extraordinary circumstances and prior to the beginning of the assignment.

Back to Top Time and Effort Certification and Procedures

The purpose of an effort reporting system is to document the basis for distributing salary charges among direct activities (administrative duties, sponsored research, instruction, clinical activity, etc.) and between direct and indirect activities. Time and effort certification allows the University to retain eligibility for sponsored projects.

Faculty and staff must comply with all applicable federal laws and regulations regarding time and effort certification. Federal regulations applicable to sponsored research at colleges and universities (The Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, “Cost Principles for Educational Institutions”, Section J.8, entitled “Compensation for Personal Services”) require that each institution maintain an acceptable effort reporting system.

In addition, the University requires such certification for all agreements to effect the understanding that the faculty and staff who are being paid from externally funded sources are attesting that they have only included accurate information on their time sheets and other payment documents, as requested. The requirement applies to faculty and staff whose time or effort is charged in whole or in part to external funds. Certification is also required for faculty and staff who have cost-sharing commitments on sponsored projects.

The University requires this “after-the-fact” certification of effort of all individuals when all or a portion of their salaries are charged to a sponsored project. Because Time and Effort Certification Forms are documents that support salary charges to sponsored projects, it is essential that this information is based on reasonable estimates of actual effort expended in the various effort categories.

If the actual effort reported is significantly different from contractual agreements, payroll errors will result when charging costs to the project sponsor(s). Each individual with responsibility for Time and Effort Certification must therefore thoroughly understand the proper method of completing Time and Effort Certification forms and ensure that effort percentages reported on the forms reasonably reflect actual effort expended during the report period. Once signed, the information on the Time and Effort Certification form is subject to independent audit and review by federal examiners, other sponsors, and the University.

Accounting for Effort – The Time and Effort Certification Form (Appendix ZZ) must include all effort for which the individual receives compensation by and through University sources. It does not include effort for which compensation is received directly from sources other than the University, such as compensation from outside consulting work (Section XYZ). Effort certification must be based on total effort regardless of total hours expended.

Allocations of effort among different activities must be made on a reasonable, equitable, and consistent basis, recognizing that research, instruction, and clinical activity are often intertwined, and estimates will be necessary in most cases.

Effort Percentages Must Total 100% – All effort must be accounted for, and the sum of the individual effort categories must equal 100%. For example, if an individual participates in two activities – 30 hours a week on sponsored research and 30 hours a week on instruction – the effort should be reported as 50% for each activity, totaling 100% for the report period.

When cost share (in-cash match) has been pledged to a project, the funding sponsor must be identified and the cost share percentage indicated on the effort report and included in the 100% effort.

Responsibility for Accurate Time and Effort Certifications – To ensure that the Time and Effort Certification system reasonably reflects actual effort expended in the various categories during the report period, the Time and Effort Certification Form must be completed and confirmed by the individual whose effort is being reported or, in the case of students, by the principal investigator. An individual who has reason to believe that effort is not being accurately reported should bring the matter to the attention of personnel responsible for completing the Time and Effort Certification Forms.

Time and Effort Certification Process – Time and Effort Certification Forms must be completed and returned to the Controller’s Office no later than fifteen (15) days following the end of each summer, fall, and spring term. (See V Drive for Form – \\NICH-NSUNET\USERS\admins\POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL FORMS and MEMORANDUMS\Time and Effort Reporting Form – 8-29-07.doc)

Back to Top Acceptable Use of University Resources

The University allows use of its name, facilities, equipment, or resources in faculty and staff pursuit of teaching, scholarly activities, or service within the limits approved by the immediate supervisor or administrative Vice President (note: faculty must have approval from both Department Head or Dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs), but not with paid consultative services without specific approval from the administrative Vice President with an agreement that a fee based on a percentage of consultative charges be paid to the University.

Back to Top Procedures for Disclosing Conflict or Potential Conflict of Interest

Faculty and staff members shall do the following to disclose conflict of interest or the possibility of conflict of interest:

  1. On or before October 1 of each academic year, each faculty and staff member shall submit a disclosure form describing the particulars of potential conflicts of interest. The form shall indicate any and all activities or projects currently in progress or planned, which have the potential for interpretation as a conflict of interest.
  2. The Department Head or appropriate supervisor shall review the form for completeness and accuracy and may request supplemental information if necessary. The Department Head or supervisor shall render, on the form, an opinion indicating no conflict of interest exists or recommending further consideration. If the Department Head or supervisor judges that a potential conflict exists, a memorandum to that effect shall be attached to the disclosure statement and will include recommended action which will eliminate that potential. The Department Head or supervisor shall submit disclosure statements and attachments to the Dean or Director on or before October 15 for concurrence and/or modification of recommended action.
  3. The Dean or Director shall review the submitted materials and render on the form, an opinion. If necessary the Dean or Director will discuss the activity with the faculty or staff member to arrive at an agreement that will eliminate and avoid any conflict. Such agreement shall be in writing and shall be signed by the Dean or Director and the involved person. If agreement cannot be reached the issue will be referred to the employee’s administrative Vice president.
  4. The administrative Vice President shall review the submitted materials and may consult University Council (disbanded Fall 2004) regarding any perceived problem case(s). The administrative Vice President shall issue a written decision in instances where agreement has not been reached.
  5. Faculty and staff members who disagree with the written decision of the Administrative Vice President may submit a grievance.
  6. Disclosure forms shall be permanently maintained in the official personnel files.
  7. If a known conflict of interest occurs, faculty members shall be governed in their responsibilities for disclosure by statute (Section 0).

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5.4.4 Political Office

Every employee has the constitutional right to seek and hold public office. In so doing the employee must

  • prior to the date of qualification, notify the institutional president of the intention to seek and hold public office;
  • continue normal workload including teaching and all other duties and office hours required by the institution.

If employees are unable to meet condition (b) above, annual leave or leave without pay may be requested for the appropriate period of time in accordance with the leave rules of the Board of Supervisors. Additionally employees should be accurate in their statements and make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution.

After appointment or election, it is the responsibility of employees to certify that they are in compliance with all statutes concerning ethics and dual appointment. Evidence of this compliance shall be provided by a written opinion from the Attorney General’s Office. This written evidence shall be placed in the employee’s official personnel file.

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5.4.5 Intellectual Property and Shared Royalties

Back to Top Purpose

Scholarship should be encouraged without regard to potential gain from licensing fees, royalties, or other income; however, Intellectual Properties and discoveries may arise from the activities of faculty, staff, and students in the course of their institutional activities and duties or through the use, by any person, of institutional resources such as facilities, equipment, or funds.

The policies governing the administration of such Intellectual Properties should provide adequate recognition and incentive to Creators and, at the same time, ensure that the institution will share in the rights pertaining to Intellectual Properties in which they have equity. The University of Louisiana System has adopted the following policies regarding copyright and patents:

Back to Top Objectives

The University will adhere to the following Intellectual Property objectives as expressed in the University of Louisiana System’s PPM policy number: FS.III.VI.-1a:

    A. Encourage research and scholarship as creative academic endeavors while recognizing that commercially valuable Intellectual Properties may result from such endeavors;
    B. Delineate procedures to encourage Creators to report discoveries with broad commercial potential and public benefit and to assist them, while at the same time safeguarding the interests of all concerned parties;
    C. Make Intellectual Property developed in the course of academic research available to the public under conditions that will promote its effective and timely use and development;
    D. Optimize the environment and incentives for research and scholarly activity and for the creation of new knowledge in UL System institutions
    E. Ensure that the educational mission of the UL System and its institutions is reinforced.


Back to Top General Provisions

A.    Applicability

This policy shall apply to all persons employed by System institutions, to anyone using institutional facilities and or resources under the supervision of institutional personnel, to undergraduates, and to graduate students.

B.    Scope of Application

This policy shall be a part of the conditions of institution employment. Personnel must notify the institution of any copyright or patent interests for any Intellectual Property which are currently registered or patented or which are in the process of being registered or patented with the U.S. Copyright Office or U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. For materials which may be in development, notice shall be given at the time the application for registration is  submitted.    The  institution  shall  review  such  interests  and  determine whether they are owned solely by the employee, co-owned or restricted in use by others.

C. Acquisition

The institution may acquire ownership or use of Intellectual Property by assignment, license, gift, bequest or other legal means.

D. Disclosure

1)    All Intellectual Property in which the institution has an ownership interest under the provisions of this policy and that has the potential to be brought into practical use for public benefit or for which disclosure is required by law or agreements shall be reported promptly in writing by the Creator to the designated institution officer or representative. The disclosure shall constitute a full and complete disclosure of the subject matter of the discovery or development and identify all persons participating therein.
2)    The Creator shall furnish such additional information and execute such documents from time to time as may be reasonably requested. Furthermore, the Creator shall report annually to the institution any and all proceeds and/or units distributed for all copyrightable works and other Intellectual Property, regardless of the institution’s ownership interests.
3)    In the event there is a question as to whether the institution has a valid ownership claim in Intellectual Property, such Intellectual Property should be disclosed in writing to the institution by the Creator. Such disclosure is without prejudice to the Creator’s ownership claim. The institution will provide the Creator with a written statement as to the institution’s ownership interest. (See also VII.B.(1))

E.    Institutional Interests

Personnel and students may not sign agreements or take action on behalf of the institution unless they have been designated, in writing, as authorized agents of the institution. Further they shall not make unauthorized use of the institution’s name.

Back to Top Rights to Ownership

A.  Institutional Ownership

1)  Institutions may assert ownership in Intellectual Property of all types (including, but not limited to, any invention, discovery, trade secret, technology, scientific or technological development, computer software, and Course Materials) regardless of whether the property is subject to protection under patent, trademark, copyright, or other laws, except as stipulated in Section V. B.

2)  Institutions may assert their ownership in Intellectual Property related to the Creator’s academic or professional field, regardless of the medium of expression.

3)  Institutions shall have ownership of all Intellectual Property created by persons under the conditions stated below:

a)  if Intellectual Property is created with the significant use of institution resources; or
b)  if Intellectual Property is commissioned by the institution pursuant to a signed contract; or
c)  if Intellectual Property is created by a person who was hired specifically, or is required as part of his or her job responsibilities, to produce it; or
d)  if Intellectual Property fits within one of the categories of works considered “works for hire” under copyright law1; or
e)  if Intellectual Property is created under the terms of a sponsored project where the terms of the sponsored project require that the Intellectual Property be in the name of the institution.

B.  Individual Ownership

1)  Traditional Academic Copyrightable Works shall be owned by their creators, not the institution, subject to the rights and limitations of use pursuant to Section VI and to the right of the institution to recover the value of any significant institutional resource contributions to such works.

2)  In addition to Traditional Academic Copyrightable Work created by professional, faculty, researcher, or student creators in their field of expertise, a Creator shall own Intellectual Property under the following conditions:

a)  if it is unrelated to the Creator’s job responsibilities and the Creator made no more than incidental use of institution resources; or
b)  if it is Intellectual Property that has been released to the Creator in accordance with institution policy.

3)  Institution facilities or resources shall NOT be used:

a)  to create, develop, or commercialize Intellectual Properties unrelated to an individual’s employment responsibilities; or
b)  to develop or commercialize Intellectual Properties further that have been released to a Creator except when approved by the institution and when the institution retains an interest under the terms of the release.

C)  Joint Ownership

1)  Joint ownership may occur under certain circumstances such as when the creation of Intellectual Property involves the services of other institutional employees (e.g. development of multi-media courseware).
2)  The institution and faculty member may be joint owners of the final product if a faculty member works independently but incorporates work done as work for hire by institution employees and/or contractors.
3)  In the case of Traditional Academic Copyrightable Work that involves significant institutional resource contributions, the institution shall reserve the right to secure rights (including but not limited to joint ownership), for example, to use the work and to recover its investment, in a written contract with the Creator. If a project involves the use of significant institutional resources, the Creator and the institution shall agree before the project begins on the use of facilities, allocation of rights to use the work, and recovery of expenses and/or sharing of benefits from Commercialization of the work.

Back to Top Rights and Limitations on Use

A.  Fair Use

In accordance with §107 of the U.S. Copyright Law, the fair use of a copyright work for the purposes of teaching, scholarship or research is not an infringement of copyright. As such, the institution and its faculty shall have limited rights to use copyrighted works. Fair use shall be determined by factors including the purpose of the usage, whether commercial or educational; the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion used relative to the work as a whole; and the effect of the usage on the potential market value of the work.

B.  Additional Rights

If the institution wishes to secure additional rights it shall so specify in writing at the time it provides resources beyond those customarily provided or other consideration.

C.  Continuity of Institution Rights

1)  With respect to Intellectual Property arising in connection with all courses created within the institution, regardless of delivery format, the institution shall retain a permanent non-exclusive, royalty-free license to make all traditional, customary or reasonable educational uses of the content of such courses.
2)  This license shall be presumed to come into existence automatically by virtue of the approval of a course to be taught at any institution within the System.
3)  This license shall include the right of the institution to offer the course, or to develop and offer derivative courses of instruction in both conventional and non-conventional settings (including courses intended for use in internet distance education projects), whether at the institution or elsewhere.
4)  This license shall continue to be available to the institution even if the faculty member should leave the institution.

D.  Recognition of Creator’s Interests

In recognition of the Creator’s desire to ensure the intellectual integrity of his or her work, the institution will give consideration to the views of the Creator as to the use and disposition of Intellectual Property rights when it takes title to the Creator’s Intellectual Property under this policy. When the institution owns a copyright under this policy, the Creator will be permitted to use the work for his or her own non-commercial purpose.

Back to Top Organization/Management/Administration

A.  Institutional Administration

1)  The President of each institution has ultimate authority for the stewardship of Intellectual Property developed at the institution.
2)  The University’s Copyrights and Patents Committee is responsible for establishing operational guidelines and procedures for the administration of Intellectual Property consistent with this policy and including, but not limited to, determination of ownership, assignment, protection, licensing, marketing, maintenance of records, oversight of revenue or equity collection and distribution, and resolution of disputes among Creators and/or unit executive officers.
3)  The University’s Copyrights and Patents Committee has responsibility for administering institution policies regarding Intellectual Property as defined herein. This office, committee, or individual will serve as the institution’s Intellectual Property Advocate (IPA).
4)  The IPA shall encourage research and scholarly activity, review and recommend to the President or a designated entity changes in procedures, resolve questions of Intellectual Property ownership, and make such recommendations as are deemed appropriate to ensure timely disclosures and prompt and effective handling, evaluation, and prosecution of Intellectual Property opportunities and to protect the interests of the institution, the System, and the public.

B.  Institutional Management

1)  Disclosure
All Intellectual Property in which the institution may have an actual or potential ownership interest under the provisions of this policy shall be disclosed promptly in writing by the Creator to the designated institution officer in accordance with applicable institutional procedures.
If a Creator is uncertain whether the institution would claim ownership to any intellectual property, the Creator shall disclose the Intellectual Property to the institution. The institution will provide the Creator with a determination as to the institution’s ownership interest, if any. (See also IV.D)

2)  Decision-Making Timeline
Within 120 days of receipt of a written disclosure or other such reasonable period of time as may be agreed upon by the parties, the institution will inform the principal Creator of its substantive decisions regarding protection, commercialization, and/or disposition of Intellectual Property that he or she has disclosed. The institution shall be bound by any confidentiality agreement made with any external parties.

3)  Evaluation and Utilization Decisions

a)  After evaluation of the Intellectual Property and review of applicable contractual commitments, the institution may develop the property through licensing, may release it to the sponsor of the research under which it was made (if contractually obligated to do so), may release it to the Creator if permitted by law, or may take such other actions as are determined to be in the public interest.
b)  Utilization by the institution may or may not involve statutory protection of the Intellectual Property rights, such as filing for patent protection, registering the copyright, or securing plant variety certification.
c)  In instances where the institution chooses not to retain ownership of the Intellectual Property, the Creator shall obtain permission from the institution’s President, or his or her designee, before associating the institution’s name, logo, etc., with the Intellectual Property.

4)  Abandonment of Intellectual Property

a)  Should the institution decide to abandon development or protection of institution-owned Intellectual Property, ownership may be assigned to the Creator as allowed by law subject to the rights of sponsors and to the retention of a license for institution purposes as set forth in Section VI above the minimum terms of such license shall grant the institution the right to use the Intellectual Property in its internally administered programs of teaching, research, other educational purposes and public service on a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive basis.
b)  The institution may retain more than the minimum license rights, and the assignment or license may be subject to additional terms and conditions, such as revenue sharing with the institution or reimbursement of the costs of statutory protection, when justified by the circumstances of development.

5)  Commercialization by Creator
The institution may, at its discretion and consistent with the public interest, license Intellectual Property to the Creator on an exclusive or nonexclusive basis. The Creator must demonstrate technical and business capability to commercialize the Intellectual Property. Agreements with Creators will be subject to review and approval of conflict-of-interest issues in accordance with applicable institution policy.

6)  Disputes Policy
Each System institution shall identify and include in its Intellectual Property policy a dispute resolution procedure. (For Dispute Policy see Policy and Procedures 3.9 Grievance Procedures.)

Back to Top Proceeds Distribution

In the event that revenues are generated by Intellectual Property rights assigned or licensed to the institution, an appropriate share of such revenues shall be paid to the Creator.

A.  The institution may recover its costs before the following conditions apply.
Net revenues on Intellectual Property available to institutions shall be used for research, development, and other scholarly activities and allocated one hundred percent to the institution where the Intellectual Property originated.

B.  The Creator’s share shall be determined by the following:

1)  In cases where the institution or Creator, as the case may be, assign such Intellectual Property rights to a research corporation under contract to an institution or to the System, the share of revenue to be paid to the Creator shall be governed by the terms of the contract between the institution or System and the research corporation.
2)  In cases where the Intellectual Property is covered by a contractual agreement with a sponsoring agency, the financial arrangements shall be in accordance with that contractual agreement as negotiated between the institution and the contracting agency.
3)  In cases of sponsorship by federal agencies, compliance with the appropriate federal regulations shall be effected in the ultimate agreement.
4)  In cases where the institution retains ownership of an Intellectual Property from a Creator or Creators, and/or expends funds to develop and market the Intellectual Property, any revenues generated will be used first to cover the expenses of protection (filing, procuring, and maintaining) and marketing the Intellectual Property. Normally, fifty percent (50%) of the net revenues will be paid to the Creator, and fifty percent (50%) will be retained by the institution from which the Intellectual Property originated.

Back to Top Definitions

A.  Creator/Author: the individual or group of individuals who make, conceive, reduce to practice, author, or otherwise make a substantive intellectual contribution to the creation of Intellectual Property. This includes, but is not limited to, faculty, professional staff, administrative and support staff, and students. It shall also include the definition of “inventor” as used in U.S. patent law and the definition of “author” as used in the U.S. Copyright law.

B.  Commercialization:    assignment, licensing, manufacturing or production of Intellectual Property as well as the protection of Intellectual Property including but not limited to, obtaining protection and copyright registration, with the goal of financial return.

C.  Computer Software: one or more computer programs existing in any form or any associated operational procedures, manuals, or other documentation, whether protectable or protected by patent or copyright.

D.  Course Materials: any educational material or course content used in the bona fide teaching or instruction of a regularly scheduled course for credit offered by the institution, including portions, subsets, drafts, revisions, updates, versions, and instructional components of such materials; whether printed, digital, Internet based, CD/DVD-based, audio or video based; or otherwise.

E.  Institution Resources Usually and Customarily Provided: include, but are not limited to, resources such as office space, library facilities, ordinary access to computers and networks, and salaries.

F.  Intellectual Property:    the result of intellectual or artistic activity created by an individual in a scholarly, professional or student capacity; including but not limited to inventions, discoveries, know-how, show-how, processes, unique materials,  original  works,  computer  software,  scientific  or  technological
developments and other creative or artistic works that have value; regardless of whether subject to protection under patents, copyrights, trademarks, service marks, trade secrets, mask works, and plant variety protection certificates. It also includes the physical embodiments of intellectual effort, for example, models, machines, devices, designs, apparatus, instrumentation, circuits, computer programs and visualizations, biological materials, chemicals, other compositions of matter, plants, and records of research.

G.  Scope   of   Employment:    activities    related    to    the    faculty member’s appointment, including teaching and research; or related to the activities which are assigned to non-faculty personnel by his or her supervisor for which compensation is received.

H.  Significant  Institution  Resources: “include resources (beyond those usually and customarily provided to and used by faculty in carrying out their scholarly functions), which significant resources include, but are not limited to, the use of students or employees as support staff to develop the work, substantial use of specialized or unique facilities and equipment or other special subventions provided by the institution unless approved as an exception.”

I.  Technical Works: include, but are not limited, to Intellectual Properties that are of a scientific, engineering, or technical nature.

J.  Traditional Academic Copyrightable Works:
“a subset of copyrightable works created independently and at the Creator’s initiative for traditional academic purposes. Examples include syllabi, class notes, and other course materials (in whatever form, e.g., handouts and internet postings); books, theses and dissertations; articles; non-fiction, fiction, and poems; musical works; dramatic works including any accompanying music; pantomimes and choreographic works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; or other works of artistic imagination that are created for academic purposes (e.g., those  of an artist-in-residence or writer-in-residence in the performance  their scholarly duties), rather than as an institutional initiative (e.g., a logo, an alma mater, or a publicity piece for and at the request of the University)” .

Back to Top Ownership of Works Created by Non-Employees

The institution claims ownership of Intellectual Property prepared for it by non- employees and requires that all non-employees retained to do work for it enter into a written agreement providing for ownership by the institution of any Intellectual Property created for it by such non-employees


Back to Top Sale of Created Materials to University Students

Faculty members often create materials in which they hold commercial interests and which might be used in courses or programs that they teach. Faculty who teach courses in which required textbooks or other materials generate royalties or economic benefits for the faculty member must establish a restricted account to deposit royalties received from books purchased by students in the course.  Approval level for these restricted accounts must be two supervisory levels above the instructor.  Funds should be used for faculty development.  Compliance with Louisiana code of Ethics must be evident.  Instructors may not collect fees from students and/or may not sell any books, or supplies, etc. directly to students.

Back to Top

5.4.5 Invitation of Outside Speakers

Nicholls State University recognizes and appreciates that the university is a marketplace of ideas. As such, Nicholls welcomes the free exchange of ideas among students, faculty and staff, and speakers from the external community. This freedom of ideas is limited only by certain practical constraints, necessitated by such considerations as securing the safety of person and property and the need to prevent disruption of the learning environment.

Back to Top Procedures (General —not class–related)

The following procedures must be followed for non–classroom speakers:

  • The sponsoring department, group or individual completes Outside Speaker Proposal form in the Office of Union Services and Facilities.
  • If target audience of speaker is primarily the Nicholls community, with no appreciable attendance from off campus anticipated, the Dean of Student Life must review the proposal.
  • If the speaker is expected to draw not only Nicholls, but also an appreciable number of off–campus attendees, the proposal must also be reviewed by the appropriate Vice President.
  • If it is anticipated that either a large number of off–campus individuals, or representatives of the media, or both, will be in attendance, the proposal will be routed to the President for review, with a copy to Public Relations and to Alumni Affairs.
  • If one of the purposes of the speaker’s visit is to solicit funds, either in the form of sales or donations, the sponsoring individual or group must follow the University’s “Regulations Governing the Use of Bulletin Board and Posting of Signs, and Solicitation on Campus,” issued by the Student Life Office.
  • Reserving Facilities:If the speaker is known at the time of reservation of university facilities, the completed and reviewed Outside Speaker Proposal form must be returned to the Office of Union Services and Facilities for the reservation of appropriate space. If the speaker is not yet known, space may nevertheless be reserved. However, all reservations are contingent upon university review of outside speakers at least two weeks prior to the event.
  • In reserving space, the staff of the Office of Union Services and Facilities will assess fees and costs associated with the event. The University will assign personnel and equipment as necessary to support the success of the event; the speaker and/or sponsoring organization is responsible for all such charges. Policies, procedures and fee schedules for reservation of facilities are published in the “Policy & Procedure Manual” available in the Office of Union Services and Facilities.
  • If the outside Speaker Proposal involves the use of the SGA Free Speech Alley podium, the SGA’s published policy and procedures must be consulted and followed.
  • Security: The use of University Police, city police or private security in connection with the event is at the sole discretion of the University, in determining both the need for, and the strength of, the security force. The sponsoring group or individual is responsible for the cost of security beyond that normally provided by the University.

Back to Top Academic (class–related)

For invited speakers who are not members of the Nicholls community to address a regularly scheduled class, faculty must give notification as follows:

If the audience of the speaker will primarily be the Nicholls community, with no appreciable attendance from off–campus anticipated, the faculty member’s department head must be notified, in writing, at least one week in advance, of the time, date and location of the lecture and the name of the speaker.

If the speaker is expected to draw not only Nicholls but also an appreciable number of off–campus attendees, the notice must also be forwarded to the dean of the college.

If it is anticipated that either a large number of off–campus individuals, or representatives of the media, or both, will be in attendance, the notice will be routed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President, with a copy to Public Relations, Alumni Affairs, and University Police.

If the size of the audience is anticipated to exceed the capacity of the classroom, and an auditorium, the Student Union Ballroom, or other large facility is required, the faculty member must reserve the space in accordance with the procedures outlined in “Reserving Facilities” (see section on “General” speaker.)

Back to Top SGA Free–Speech Alley Podium

The speaker or sponsor must go to the SGA Secretary to receive a Speaker Proposal Form providing information such as who and what will be discussed at the podium.

Within three days the application of the speaker will be reviewed by the SGA President and the Judiciary Committee Chairperson, to ascertain information about publicity and security for the speech, if any is needed.

Within two class days after SGA review the individual/organization requesting use of the podium will be notified of approval.

If the speaker provides his or her own sound equipment, the University reserves the right to limit its volume. Nicholls pep rally will be the rule of thumb.

Blanket approval is available for a series of speeches on the same or related topics.

Information concerning the subject matter will not be used to deny the speaker’s use of the SGA Free–Speech Alley Podium.

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5.4.6 University Identification Card

An official University identification card is required for use of certain University facilities and services. Identification cards are available from the Student Life Office.

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Changes to Section of Manual
Section Effective Date Origin Change Form
5.4.5  April 9, 2014 Debi Benoit Documentation Immediately Academic Affairs Documentation


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