Faculty members engage in a wide range of activities and, depending on the type of appointment they hold, may have responsibility for teaching, conducting research, producing scholarly publications, advising and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, serving on committees in their departments and schools, or otherwise contributing to the life of the University and their professional disciplines. For more information about the various responsibilities of faculty members, see the following policies:
Academic Faculty Roles and Responsibilities
This policy provides information related primarily to a faculty member’s teaching responsibilities, including the requirement that faculty members with teaching responsibilities must publish a syllabus for each course they teach. It also explains what faculty members should do when they anticipate being absent from the classroom for more than one week and provides guidance for faculty members who need to schedule additional mandatory course sessions for their undergraduate classes outside the regular class meeting time.
Faculty Conflicts of Interest
This policy provides guidance regarding possible conflicts of interest that may be most relevant to faculty members, but for complete details regarding University policy and state law regarding conflicts of interest, faculty members should also consult the University’s Conflict of Interests Policy, as well as “Financial Conflicts of Interest for Research Investigators.”
Consulting and Internal Overload
The University permits faculty members to consult for agencies and organizations outside of the University and, under exceptional circumstances, to receive supplemental compensation for responsibilities assumed on an overload basis within the University. This policy defines the limits of these consulting privileges.
The University takes any allegations of research misconduct seriously. This policy explains how allegations of observed, apparent, or suspected allegations of misconduct are reported, investigated, and, if substantiated, handled.
Information Policy (Computing Policies)
Faculty members, like all members of the University community, are responsible for using the University’s computing and communication facilities in an ethical, professional, and legal manner. The Information Security, Policy, and Record Office (ISPRO) maintains policies related to data security and protection and responsible use of computing and communication resources. ISPRO also maintains policies that explain:
- how the University responds to copyright complaints;
- how the University protects the copyright of official University websites, digital materials, and copyright-protected software;
- the circumstances that may lead the University to monitor a faculty member’s electronic communications or files;
- the situations in which the University will release electronic communications or files stored on University systems by faculty members;
- the University’s expectations regarding the use of email as a means of official communication with students; and
- what the University does with information it collects from its official University of Virginia websites.
Ownership Rights in Copyrightable Material
Although the “work-for-hire” rule in the U.S. Copyright Act gives the University ownership of the copyrights to works produced by its employees within the scope of their employment, in the case of most scholarly and academic works produced by academic and research faculty, the University cedes copyright ownership to the author(s). This policy explains how the University manages the ownership rights of copyrightable material and the circumstances in which the University may elect to assert its rights to work produced by faculty members in the course of their employment.
Agreements/Contracts with Outside Entities
Faculty members are not authorized to sign any document, contract, or agreement on behalf of the University. Faculty members who receive a request from an outside agency asking for their signature on behalf of the University should contact their dean’s office for guidance as to identifying the appropriate authorized signatory at the University and routing the request through appropriate internal review processes.
One of the agreements that faculty members are likely to encounter is an academic program agreement, which is any agreement with an external agency, organization, or institution of higher education that impacts the academic mission of the University. This can include both education programs and unusual research collaborations that fall outside the normal boundaries of sponsored research activities (which are managed by the Office of Sponsored Programs, see chapter 4). The policy, “Academic Approval and Signatory Authority for Academic Program Agreements,” provides more detail on these types of agreements and explains the review processes required for each type of agreement. Faculty members may also wish to consult “Guidelines for Developing Some Common Types of Academic Program Agreements.”
Courses Involving Outside Entities or Vendors
Faculty members who wish to involve outside entities in their courses (for example, to ask professionals in the field to serve as project mentors for projects involving “real-world” problems, or to require students to subscribe to an on-line service provided by a third-party vendor as part of their course) need to be conscious of a number of possible issues. Professionals in the field who work with students on classroom projects (capstone projects, for example), may ask that students sign agreements related to intellectual property or confidentiality before working on particular materials. Such requests must be made in advance of the course and approved by the dean’s office and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost (EVPP). For more information, faculty should refer to the student intellectual property policy published in the Undergraduate and Graduate Records.
As for requiring students to purchase on-line services from a third-party vendor as part of a course, because such activities may expose students and their personal information to risk in ways that the purchase of a textbook does not, faculty members should seek guidance from their dean’s office and EVPP prior to establishing such a requirement in any course.
Other policies related to faculty members’ responsibilities:
Use of Alcoholic Beverages and Prohibition of Other Drugs
Copying Copyrighted Material
Federal Classified Research
Faculty Exchanges with Other Institutions
Payment or Reimbursement of Travel Expenses
Research Policies and Procedures
Solicitation of Grants and Contracts
University Information Technology Accessibility
Use of University Equipment, Facilities, and Space
Use of Working Time and University Equipment for Personal or Commercial Purposes
Use of University’s Federally Registered Trademark
Instruction and Students
Confidentiality of Student Information (Student Privacy Rights/FERPA) (see also 3.4)
Copying Copyrighted Material for Academic Purposes (Course Readings)
Determination and Assignation of Academic Credit
Honor System and the Faculty (see also 3.2)
Reporting Sexual Misconduct Disclosures Made by Students
Safety and Oversight of Students Working in Laboratories, Shops, and Studios
More Information Regarding Shop and Studio Safety
Student Academic Grievances
Recording of Classroom Lectures and Distribution of Course Materials by Students
Travel Abroad Warning for Students
Campaigning For and Serving in an Elected Public Office
Communicating with Government Officials
Communicating with the Media and External Constituencies
Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts to the University