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Review the Latest Policy Changes

In the past year more than two dozen university PRRs, short for policies, regulations and rules, have been enacted or revised and two regulations have been repealed, according to the general counsel’s office. In a memo widely distributed last week, Vice Chancellor and General Counsel Eileen Goldgeier reviewed the most significant changes.

All revisions can be tracked and viewed under the What’s New section of the PRR website as well as the Policies Recently Enacted website.

Bylaws of the Board of Trustees – As a result of self-evaluation, on July 10, 2013, the Board of Trustees approved revisions to the committee functions of the bylaws (POL 01.05.01) for the committees on audit and risk management (section I), executive committee (section III), university advancement (section IV) and university affairs (section V).

Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure Policy – On September 20, 2013, the Board of Trustees approved revisions to the policy on Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure (POL 05.20.01) to document compliance with the SACS guidelines for faculty credentials.

Interpersonal Relationships Policy – On September 20, 2013, the Board of Trustees approved revisions to the policy on Interpersonal Relationships (POL 04.20.06). The revisions are intended to 1) remove superfluous language for clarity; 2) include a prohibition on abusing one’s authority for nonacademic and nonemployment related requests, and 3) introduce the requirement of a “conflict management plan.”

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy – On September 20, 2013, the Board of Trustees approved revisions to the policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination (POL 04.25.05). The revisions 1) reflect recent changes in federal and state law, specifically incorporating recent guidance on Title IX and changes to NC General Statutes; 2) incorporate the language of NC State’s Affirmative Action Policy Statement (REG05.55.01) eliminating the need for a separate regulation; and 3) enhance clarity.

Sustainability Policy On February 26, 2014, the Board of Trustees approved a new policy on Sustainability (POL 04.00.09). The policy will advance an institutional commitment to the teaching, research, outreach and engagement, demonstration and practice of sustainability.

Faculty Teaching Workload Regulation – On January 28, 2014, a new regulation on Faculty Teaching Workload (REG 05.20.37) was established to comply with UNC policies on Monitoring Teaching Faculty and Workloads (UNC POL 400.3.4), Regulations Related to Monitoring Faculty Teaching Workloads (UNC POL 400.4.4[R]), and Academic Integrity Regulations (UNC POL 700.6.1[R]).

Additional Compensation Regulation – On January 14, 2014, a new regulation on Additional Compensation Paid through the University (REG 05.58.01) was established to repeal and combine existing regulations, Supplemental Pay for EPA Employees (REG 05.20.14) and Summer Salary and Supplemental Pay for Nine Month Faculty (REG 05.20.35).  This new regulation also clarifies procedures regarding additional compensation for university employees, including Faculty (nine- and 12-month) and EPA non-faculty professionals, as well as SPA employees and County Operations Support Staff (COSS) as appropriate. This new regulation further identifies supplements that are included in base pay and the types of compensation in addition to base pay. The regulation also eliminates restriction on payment of summer salary to 11.11 percent per month for nine-month faculty if the work is completed in one month.

Substantive Change Regulation – On July 9, 2013, a new regulation on Substantive Change (REG 01.25.16) was established to comply with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ (SACSCOC) Standard 3.12.1 requiring member institutions to have an internal policy and procedures for notification of substantive changes in institutional practices. Substantive changes would include such items as changes in the mission statement of NC State, establishment of off-campus sites or developing a dual or joint degree program.

The following highlights several of the most significant revisions made to academic regulations addressing teaching, distinguish professorships, dossiers and non-tenure track faculty appointments:

Professorships of Distinction Regulation – On October 1, 2013, the regulation on Professorships of Distinction (REG 05.20.17) was revised to incorporate the July 2013 Board of Trustees approval that distinguished professorships partially funded by the Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund would no longer require their approval, thus giving the chancellor final approval for these professorships (sections 4.7 and 4.8).

RPT Dossier Format Requirements Regulation – In response to recommendations from the University RPT Committee, the regulation on RPT Dossier Format Requirements (REG 05.20.20) was revised to require that the signed and dated SME from the personnel file must be scanned and inserted in section 1 of the dossier. The revisions also require that the department head use the template letter to request external review letters and that annotated listing of evaluators must dictate who proposed each reviewer (section VII).

Non-Tenure Track Faculty Ranks and Appointments Regulation – On December 17, 2013, the regulation on Non-Tenure Track Faculty Ranks and Appointments (REG 05.20.34) was revised to describe the procedures for initial and subsequent contracts for non-tenure track faculty members in joint or interdisciplinary appointments (section 3.4). The revisions also added a statement that in addition to qualifications for rank, faculty need to meet guidelines for credentials linked to the subject and level of the courses they teach (section 5).

Consultation and Written Assessments Regulation – On December 17, 2013, the regulation on Consultation and Written Assessments, Recommendations and Responses in RPT Review (REG 05.20.05) was revised to clarify the basis and procedures for recusal from voting on RPT cases (sections 1.5 and 1.6); and to reflect options for joint and interdisciplinary reviews (section 1.7).

Delegation of Authority to Sign Contracts Regulation – On August 13, 2013, the regulation on Delegation of Authority to Sign Contracts (REG 01.20.02) was revised to increase sub-delegation limits within the vice chancellor for finance and business’ current authority for settling workers compensation claims from $15,000 to $30,000 (section 4.6.6). The revisions also remove contract authority for 403(b) plans at the campus level, which are now administered at the UNC-GA level (section 4.7.2.14).

Misuse of State Property Regulation – On October 29, 2013, the regulation on the Reporting Misuse of State Property (REG 07.40.02) was revised to clarify the reporting process (section 1.1), describe what constitutes university/state property as well as an interpretation of misuse (section 1.2). A new section was added for misuse allegations involving students reported to the SBI will also be sent to the vice chancellor for academic and student affairs for handling in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct (section 3.3).

Copyright Regulation – On September 10, 2013, the regulation on Copyright Implementation Pursuant to Copyright Use and Ownership of the UNC (REG 01.25.03) was revised at the request of the University Copyright Committee and the provost. The revised regulation now provides a definition section and a breakdown of the “Ownership” section (Section 5) by university affiliation, rather than the type of work as in the previous policy.  The disclosure section (section 6.1) was revised to require disclosure for all works which were created with sponsored or external funds administered by the university, works involving software per OTT’s recommendation, works owned by the university that will be distributed for use outside the university, and any works intended to be commercialized. However, it excludes the need for disclosure for works where the creator does not make use of any university resources in creating the work and complies with other applicable policies, including Conflict of Interest and Commitment (section 6.1.1.3).  Under the revised regulation, disclosures shall initially be made to the department head, who then should forward to the director of Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center, who will then make a determination as to ownership (section 6.1.2). The director makes the initial determination on ownership of the work, rather than the Copyright Committee as is now done (section 6.2).  If the creator, dean, or OTT disagrees with the director’s decision, he or she can appeal to the provost, who will then have the Copyright Committee hold the hearing and make a recommendation.  This mirrors the appeal procedure now instituted in the university’s patent policy. Under the revisions there is a new framework for distribution for income from such commercialization of a work.  Now direct costs will be recouped first, and the remaining revenue will be distributed:  40 percent to creator, 5 percent to college, 5 percent to department/unit, and 50 percent to university. This framework mirrors the income distribution in the university’s patent policy.

NC State’s PRRs should be reviewed on a periodic basis by the responsible senior officer to ensure relevancy, compliance with current laws, effectiveness, clarification and consistency, the counsel’s office said.

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