2.7

Faculty Responsibilities

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:

Teaching Courses for Academic Credit
This policy defines expectations related to a faculty member’s teaching responsibilities, including grading practices, office hours, and course syllabi. It also provides guidance for a series of issues related to instruction, including the rules governing when and under what conditions students are allowed to record classroom lectures and distribute course materials, accommodating students whose religious observances conflict with the academic calendar, retaining and disposing of students’ graded work, managing instructor absences from the classroom, and scheduling additional mandatory course sessions for 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, the "Conflict of Interest” site from the Office of the Vice President for Research, 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.

Research Misconduct
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 (information technology) resources and facilities in an ethical, professional, and legal manner. University Information Security (InfoSec) maintains policies related to data security, protection, and acceptable use of computing and information technology resources.

In 2018, Information Security established an Information Policy Library, which serves as a central repository for all UVA information technology (IT) resource policies, standards, and procedures. The creation of a single location that consolidates the 4 information policy areas and their associated standards, procedures, and guidelines should facilitate compliance initiatives across the UVA community. These policies address the management of IT resources and University information to provide the framework for minimizing risk to these valuable assets.

  1. Acceptable Use - All users of University information technology (IT) resources are required to use them in an ethical, professional, and legal manner.

  2. Data Protection - Users must comply with all University policies and standards for the data to which they have been granted the ability to view, copy, generate, transmit, store, download, or otherwise acquire, access, remove, or destroy. Users must also meet any additional compliance requirements for data protection stipulated by various governmental, legal, or contractual entities.

  3. Information Security - Owners and overseers of the University’s information technology (IT) resources must take reasonable care to eliminate security vulnerabilities from those resources.

  4. Privacy & Confidentiality - The University is committed to the privacy of individuals and to safeguarding information about individuals subject to limitations imposed by local, state, and federal law and other provisions described in the policies, standards, and procedures listed below. The University, as steward of public resources and electronic information, shall respond to requests for electronic information in an orderly manner consistent with state and federal law and the policies, standards, and procedures listed below.

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.

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:

Research

Instruction and Students

External Relations