Faculty Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities
A. Rights and Privileges
1. Academic Freedom and Tenure
The university exists to serve the public interest through the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge. To that end, the university must be governed in such a way as to ensure that individual teacher/researchers are free to exercise their professional judgment without fear of reprisal. Academic freedom is essential to the university as a place where new ideas can be developed, evaluated, and expressed, to see if they provide opportunities for societal progress.
Academic freedom is the freedom to discuss all relevant matters in the classroom, to explore all avenues of scholarship, research, and creative expression, and to speak or write without institutional discipline or restraint on matters of public concern as well as on matters related to professional duties and the functioning of the university.
Academic responsibility implies the faithful performance of professional duties and obligations, the recognition of the demands of the scholarly enterprise, and the candor to make it clear that when teacher/researchers speak on matters of public interest, they are not speaking for the institution.
In general, Columbus State University subscribes to the “1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure” issued by the American Association of University Professors:
The purpose of this statement is to promote public understanding and support of academic freedom and tenure and agreement upon procedures to ensure them in colleges and universities. Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition.
Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to both teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in its teaching aspect is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and of the student to freedom in learning. It carries with it duties correlative with rights.
Tenure is a means to certain ends, specifically: (1) freedom of teaching and research and of extramural activities, and (2) a sufficient degree of economic security to make the profession attractive to men and women of ability. Freedom and economic security, hence, tenure, are indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students and to society.
Tenure provides the protection for the individual faculty from intimidation from other interests that may try to end an idea prematurely as well as the changing fads of the moment. Teacher/researchers must be free to follow investigation wherever it leads. They should be free to pursue the projects that they think are the most promising. The pursuit of truth requires that ideas and their expression be evaluated on their own merit. Academic freedom provides teacher/researcher/artists with the right to exercise their best judgment about what to explore, while tenure protects teacher/researcher/artists in the exercise of that right.
Academic tenure protects faculty members from being dismissed for teaching, researching, or inquiring into areas that might be politically or commercially controversial. The process of exploring and expanding the frontiers of knowledge often challenges the established order. Tenure is valuable not merely as a protection for individual faculty members but also as an assurance to society that the pursuit of truth and knowledge commands the faculty's first priority. The privileges of tenure include: (a) continued employment as an assistant professor, associate professor, or professor until voluntary retirement or resignation, with the possible exception of dismissal for cause or termination due to the discontinuation or reduction of a program, (b) equitable compensation and benefits, (c) continued institutional support for teaching and scholarship, and (d) continued involvement in the academic mission of the university. The Promotion and Tenure section of this Handbook provides more information about tenure at CSU.
Because tenure is a privilege with the purpose of protecting academic freedom, it is offered after extremely careful deliberation and only to those faculty members who have demonstrated an unusual capacity for a lifetime of scholarship, teaching, and service. Tenure does not protect demonstrated incompetence in teaching and research, substantial and manifest neglect of duty, or serious misconduct. A tenured faculty member who faces such charges may be dismissed for cause through proceedings carefully crafted to assure academic due process, as described in please see Section IV.A3 below. A tenured faculty member may also be dismissed because the university has in good faith decided to discontinue or reduce a program, department, or other segment of the university. The decision to discontinue or reduce a program will be implemented only after consideration of the educational, economic, and other aspects of the decision, and review by the Board of Regents. An effort will be made to ease any dislocation experienced by the faculty members involved.
Tenure does not mean not having to be reviewed. The university reviews all faculty members annually to consider salary adjustments. In addition, department chairs hold periodic performance reviews with all departmental faculty members to evaluate and encourage their professional growth according to a schedule and a procedure described in the Annual Review policy. These routine professional reviews are distinct and separate from individualized disciplinary procedures that might lead to dismissal for cause.
A grievance is a formal complaint filed by any faculty member—including both full- and part-time faculty—about a specific issue, to include complaints reasonably related to the terms and conditions of a petitioner's employment, complaints concerning violations of academic freedom, procedural and policy matters, including insufficient consideration, related to salary, or promotion, or tenure, or the job performance evaluation of a petitioner, discrimination against a petitioner based on race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, handicap, or sexual orientation (Note: discrimination claims must involve the university’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) officer, who will either make a recommendation to the Faculty Hearing Committee or respond to one from it. If the EEO officer finds that the claim is not attributable to discrimination, the claimant may file a further grievance with the Committee.), any matter referred to the Faculty Hearing Committee by the president or by the Board of Regents.
Faculty members who feel they have a grievance must make timely and good-faith efforts to resolve the issue through the university hierarchy before resorting to the faculty grievance process. The university encourages faculty members contemplating a grievance to discuss the issue with colleagues who can offer advice or guidance such as current or past executive officers of the Faculty Senate, campus AAUP officers, or other knowledgeable persons.
A claimant may appeal the decision of the provost, a chair, or dean to the Faculty Hearing Committee. Claimants may not appeal decisions of the president. Thus, faculty members wishing to have the Faculty Hearing Committee make a recommendation must appeal to it prior to appealing to the president.
The university encourages parties to a grievance to allow an outside mediator to attempt to resolve the issue. Such mediation does not preclude the Grievance Process, thus time spent on mediation does not count against the 60-day window for filing a formal grievance as described below.
3. Separation from Service
a) Dismissal. The president may at any time remove any faculty member for cause, which includes willful or intentional violation of the policies of the Board of Regents or Columbus State University’s own approved statutes. Both the Board of Regents’ tenure regulations and CSU’s statutes set forth further Grounds for Dismissal, as well as both Preliminary and Final Procedures for Dismissal.
Dismissal of Temporary, Limited Term, or Part-Time Instructional Personnel
Temporary or part-time personnel serving without a written contract hold their employment at the pleasure of the president, chief academic officer, or their immediate supervisor, any of whom may discontinue the employment of such employees without cause or advance notice.
b) Nonrenewal. All non-tenured faculty with academic rank employed under contract and serving for the entire previous year have the presumption of reappointment and the university must notify them of the decision not to renew in accordance with the university’s non-renewal regulations.
c) Resignation and Retirement. All tenured faculty members and all other faculty members employed under written contract for the fiscal or academic year must give the president or his/her authorized representative at least 60 days written notice of their intention to resign or retire. The preferred practice is to send notice to the chair and a copy to the dean.
d) Financial Exigency. Termination of an appointment with continuous tenure, or of a probationary or special appointment before the end of the specified term, may occur under extraordinary circumstances because of a demonstrably bona fide financial exigency, i.e., an imminent financial crisis that threatens the survival of the institution as a whole and that cannot be alleviated by less drastic means. Declarations of financial exigency must follow BOR guidelines as established in its policy manual, and termination of faculty due to financial exigency must follow the university’s own process guidelines.
e) Discontinuance of Program or Department Not Mandated by Financial Exigency. Termination of an appointment with continuous tenure, or of a probationary or special appointment before the end of the specified term, may occur as a result of bona fide formal discontinuance of a program or department of instruction as outlined in the Discontinuance of Program or Department Standards and Procedures.
Columbus State University has established travel regulations for the guidance of its employees in the performance of their official duties and to ensure uniformity with University System policies. Faculty must complete a travel application and have it approved by an appropriate budget authority—normally the chair—prior to initiating any travel for which the faculty member will be reimbursed. (Note: The travel application does not preclude the faculty member’s needing to inform the chair of an absence.) In cases where more than one department is covering the expenses, the faculty member should submit one travel application and list the pertinent department account numbers along with the approximate amounts for each account. The faculty member may request that the university prepay registration fees, lodging, and airfare.
5. Faculty Awards
All CSU faculty members, both full- and part-time, are eligible for a number of awards. The following university-level awards are presented in the spring at the university’s annual Honors Convocation:
- CSU Faculty Service Award. CSU presents this award to a single recipient each year to recognize outstanding service to students, university, and community. The Faculty Service Award guidelines further establish the purpose as well as the nomination and selection processes for the award.
- CSU Faculty Research and Scholarship Award. CSU presents this award to a single recipient each year to recognize outstanding accomplishments in research and scholarship. The Faculty Research and Scholarship Award guidelines further establish the purpose as well as the nomination and selection processes for the award.
- SGA Educator of the Year Award. The Student Government Association (SGA) presents this annual award to a single faculty member nominated by students and selected by SGA representatives. The stated purpose of the award is to recognize and promote teaching excellence among CSU faculty.
- USG Regents Teaching Excellence Award – Individual Faculty/Staff, USG Regents Teaching Excellence Award for Online Faculty, USG Regents Teaching Excellence Award – Department/Program, USG Regents Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award. To recognize teaching excellence within the University System of Georgia, the Board of Regents annually presents these awards, for which it has established basic guidelines for nominations and for which CSU has also established guidelines for internal nominations.
The following university-level award is presented at the annual Celebration of Writing:
Outstanding Teacher of Writing Award. To encourage faculty to use writing across the curriculum as a best practice for student engagement and learning, the Faculty Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning present the Outstanding Teacher of Writing Award to faculty members who demonstrate a positive impact on the writing of individual students and on the culture and curriculum of writing at CSU. Award guidelines are available at the Faculty Center website.
The following college-level awards are presented annually at the colleges’ own awards convocations:
- College of Letters and Sciences Faculty Fellow Awards – Teaching and Research
- College of Education and Health Professions Awards – Dean’s Innovation Award, Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award, Exemplary Service of the Year Award, Scholar of the Year Award
- College of the Arts – Distinct COA awards for CSU and USG awards nominees
B. Responsibilities and Duties
1. General Responsibilities and Duties
Teaching, research, and service are all essential obligations of Columbus State faculty members. Teaching is the primary focus at CSU; however, since success in teaching requires intellectual vitality, faculty members should consider their research, scholarship, and/or creative endeavors a high priority. Likewise, service to the university, the profession, and the community are also important. The faculty should, therefore, devote considerable time and thought to their teaching—to keeping abreast of new scholarly work in their fields, to preparing carefully for their classes, and to being reasonably available to their students outside of class for advice, counseling, and instruction. They should engage in research, reflection, and publication or in other creative efforts that expand knowledge or enrich cultural life. And they should serve at the department, college, university, discipline, and community levels when needed and where appropriate.
CSU faculty have a primary responsibility to: (a) determine the curriculum, subject matter, methods of instruction, and other academic standards and processes, (b) establish the requirements for earning degrees, and (c) evaluate the appointment, reappointment, promotion, and tenure of faculty members. In these capacities they are making collective recommendations to the administration and governing committees on academic standards and policy and on faculty status. The faculty are also encouraged to take part in college life as associates and masters, to serve on departmental and university committees, to attend at least one commencement exercise per year, to stand for election for Faculty Senate and University Council, and to serve the public through professional organizations, community outreach activities, and student-related events.
In fulfilling their obligations, faculty members are expected to have a substantial presence on campus during the academic year, beginning with planning week and ending with their submitting final grades. A member of the faculty with research projects or other commitments requiring an absence from the campus during the academic year should follow proper travel procedure.
More generally, membership in the academic profession carries with it special responsibilities. Faculty members should demonstrate ethical behavior in their professional dealings with students, colleagues, staff, and persons outside the university. As teachers, they should encourage the free pursuit of learning, holding to the best scholarly and ethical standards of their disciplines. Faculty members have obligations to their colleagues that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. In the exchange of criticism and ideas, they should respect the opinions of others and defend the free inquiry of associates. As members of an academic institution, faculty members should recognize that their paramount responsibilities are within the university and give due regard to these responsibilities in determining the level of activities that they can assume outside the university.
2. Academic Responsibilities
a) Syllabus Requirement. Faculty members are required to provide a syllabus to students by the first day of class, either in hard copy or electronically. The syllabus must include the following information:
- instructor's name, office location and phone number, and e-mail address
- office hours, including a statement regarding meetings by appointment
- overall course objectives and expected learning outcomes
- grade policies
- attendance policies
- list of required texts
- special materials required for the class, if any
- number of required examinations and papers, and general description of other course work
- the university’s policy statement regarding students with disabilities
(It is permissible to include a statement indicating that the information contained in the course syllabus, other than the attendance policies, may be subject to change with reasonable advance notice, as deemed appropriate by the instructor.)
b) Class Roll. Class rolls are available to the faculty on the Class Roster page under Faculty Information on Integrated Student Information System (ISIS) on the Web. Because the class roll is not updated immediately upon a student's registration, the roll may not include students who have just recently enrolled for a given class. Each term, after the last day of the late registration period, instructors should notify the Office of the Registrar of any errors on the class roll. Faculty are strongly encouraged to check their class rolls frequently as information is subject to change.
c) Office Hours. Faculty need to make themselves available to students and other faculty during regularly scheduled office hours and by appointment. Typically, full-time faculty should be available three or four hours per week (depending on the department) during regular academic terms, somewhat less during Maymester or Summer terms.
d) Faculty Absence. When faculty members must be absent from class or are unable to meet responsibilities of advisement, registration, or other professional obligations, they should inform the department chair. In the event their chair cannot be reached, they should notify the dean.
When a faculty member must be absent from class because of unforeseen reasons, the faculty member is responsible for making provisions for the class or activity and for timely notification of students and the department chair. The faculty member and the Department Chair will make every effort to minimize the disruption. The university police can leave a note in the classroom for students if no one in the department or Dean’s office can be reached.
Department or college faculty and administrators may develop policies or procedures requiring action by the faculty member beyond that required by this policy.
e) Final Exams. Faculty should administer final exams only at the officially scheduled times established on the Final Exam Schedule, available at the Academic Affairs website. Further, faculty should not require students to engage in any other class activities during Final Exam week.
Students are not permitted to take final examinations at a time other than the regularly scheduled date unless they have the permission of the instructor and the department chair offering the course.
f) Reporting Grades. Faculty are required to submit final grades to the Office of the Registrar by the established deadlines each term. Typically, these deadlines are communicated to faculty via email by the Registrar’s office in the final weeks of a given semester. Additionally, faculty teaching core courses are required to submit mid-term grades.
Instructors submit final grades by data entry on the class roster page found under Faculty Information on Intgrated Student Information System (ISIS) on the Web. Because a class roster is accessible only with the instructor of record's personal identification number (PIN), no hardcopy (paper) documentation of grade sheets is required. The instructions on how to enter grades appear on the class roster page, in the FAQs pages on the Web, and by e-mail before grade entry is opened.
g) Incomplete Grade Policy
When submitting a grade of incomplete (I) in ISIS an instructor must:
- indicate a completion date (up to one year)
- confirm that the student has agreed to a written plan to complete the work and has e-mailed a copy of the plan to the student and send a copy to his or her department chair
- report a default grade if the work is not completed by the completion date
- submit the last date the student attended if the default grade is a WF
An additional responsibility for the instructor:
Given that the instructor might be absent at the time the work is completed: A copy of the completion plan should be deposited with the instructor's Chair (or another agent).
A complete plan should include grades for all completed work and an explanation of how the final grade should be calculated.
- At the same time grades are posted, the Registrar should send email messages to the student, instructor, and instructor's Chair reporting an incomplete grade has been given, the completion date, and the default grade.
- At least two weeks in advance of the due date but not more than three weeks before the due date, if a change of grade has not been submitted, the Registrar should send email messages to the student, instructor, and the instructor's Chair reporting that an incomplete grade has been given, the completion date, and the default grade.
- If a change of grade has not been submitted one day after it was due, the Registrar shall assign the default grade
h) Advising. Advising of students regarding curriculum, degree plans, and specific courses is a faculty responsibility. Each department organizes its faculty to assist undergraduate majors and graduate students in planning their courses of study and their subsequent careers. Faculty should arrange to meet with their advisees during Advising Week—typically the week before Preregistration—or, for online-only instructors, to confer with them online, to discuss the courses students should plan to take in the following academic term. Faculty advisors will release a student’s advising hold at the end of the advising session, thus allowing the student to register for classes online. Beyond that, faculty are encouraged to associate informally with students, especially within the major, for the purpose of serving as professional mentors. See the Advising Handbook at the website for the Academic Center for Excellence for detailed advising guidelines.
In certain cases, a faculty member may need specific information concerning advising questions, may want to refer a student to the Academic Center for Excellence, or may need help identifying students at risk.
i) Records Retention. It is strongly recommended that all faculty be familiar with University System of Georgia’s guidelines on records retention, which include the types of records to be retained and duration of retention.
3. Faculty Responsibilities to Students
a) General Responsibilities. Just as students have obligations to meet the course and classroom requirements, all faculty have equally important responsibilities to the students. They include, but are not limited to, regular attendance at classes; evenhandedness in grading; prompt return of graded exams, papers, and other work; an open disclosure and inspection policy regarding a student’s own work; and clear and early statements of policy on matters such as pop quizzes, term papers, absences, make-up exams, office hours, and general course expectations.
Students with Disabilities. Faculty are expected to make all reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities to allow them the opportunity to succeed in the classroom. For more information about policies and services related to students with disabilities, the Accommodation and Access Services website may prove helpful.
c) Student Privacy Rights. Faculty should be aware that students have a clearly established right to privacy under the Federal Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (or Buckley amendment). The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) generally provides that the education records of students—including grades, graded assignments or exams, records, and letters of recommendation—may not be disclosed to third parties without the student's written consent. For an undergraduate or graduate student, parents are considered to be "third parties" according to this law, and a faculty member would violate FERPA if he or she were to discuss the student's grades with the parents without the student's written consent. If the faculty member or department chair feels the need to discuss a student's academic performance with the parents, the faculty member or the chair should first discuss it with the student and get the student's written consent. There are some exceptions to this rule, but a professor should assume no exception without discussion with a chair or dean or legal counsel.
Under FERPA, there is also a "need to know" standard for disclosures of student education records within the institution. If a professor has a legitimate need to obtain protected information as part of his or her job responsibilities relating to that student, then the professor may have access to the information, but he or she may not further disclose it unless it is to someone else who also has a "need to know."
d) Relationships between Faculty and Students. Amorous relationships between faculty members and students are problematic even if they do not involve sexual harassment and even if they involve mutual consent. This is due to the inherently unequal positions of the individuals involved and the potential for professional, psychological, and emotional harm resulting from such relationships. Thus, in the view of Columbus State University, most such amorous relationships do not conform to the institution’s professional standards. To wit, in an academic setting such romantic or sexual relationships conflict with the implicit trust we encourage our students to enjoy vis-à-vis their professors, may negatively impact the university environment when they begin to affect third parties, can result in emotional and psychological damage, and always have the potential for an abuse of power that constitutes unprofessional conduct. The university holds that consensual romantic or sexual relationships between faculty and undergraduate students, and between faculty and graduate students over whom the faculty member has direct or indirect professional responsibility, violate professional ethics and may be subject to disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal.
e) Faculty Advisors of Student Organizations. Every student organization must have an advisor who is an employee of Columbus State University. Typically, a member of the faculty serves in this role, and such service is strictly voluntary. The student organizations themselves choose the faculty or staff member they wish to have as their advisor, and that advisor must be approved through the Office of Student Life and Development. The Registered Student Organizations (RSO) Handbook outlines other specific rules and recommendations and is available at the CSU Clubs and Organizations website.
f) Student Absences Related to Extracurricular Activities. All faculty should be familiar with the university’s policies on undergraduate student absences. The Class Attendance and Withdrawal section in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations explains. While a course’s attendance policy is ordinarily established by individual faculty, that section’s specific binding language applies to absences related to student activities: “Student members of an official Columbus State University organization or students whose attendance is required by the faculty or staff person in charge of the group are officially excused from classes when traveling to university-sanctioned events (e.g., athletic event, band competition, etc.) and are to be given the opportunity to complete exams or other assignments missed as a result of this absence provided that no more than 15% of the class hours (INCLUDING other absences) per course per semester are missed. Any absences that exceed the 15% allotted must be approved, in advance, by the faculty member in charge of the class. Exceptions to this policy (i.e., where make-up assignments will NOT be allowed) include programs whose accreditation won't allow 15% as well as interactive classes or laboratory classes where points for attendance and participation are lost due to absences of any kind. Affected students must submit an Event Participation Form, provided by the faculty sponsor, to their instructors at the beginning of the semester, in order to obtain consideration for the make-up work.
C. Legal and Ethical Considerations
The Board of Regents ethics policy presents a statement of core values, a code of conduct, a list of employee designations to whom the policy applies, and list of sources and references. Faculty also have the ethical obligations outlined below by the American Association of University Professors.
- Professors, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end professors devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although professors may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.
- As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student’s true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom.
- As colleagues, professors have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. Professors do not discriminate against or harass colleagues. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates, even when it leads to findings and conclusions that differ from their own. Professors acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Professors accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.
- As members of an academic institution, professors seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars. Although professors observe the stated regulations of the institution, provided the regulations do not contravene academic freedom, they maintain their right to criticize and seek revision. Professors give due regard to their paramount responsibilities within their institution in determining the amount and character of work done outside it. When considering the interruption or termination of their service, professors recognize the effect of their decision upon the program of the institution and give due notice of their intentions.
- As members of their community, professors have the rights and obligations of other citizens. Professors measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subject, to their students, to their profession, and to their institution. When they speak or act as private persons, they avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting for their college or university. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, professors have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.
2. Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Prevention
It is the policy of Columbus State University to maintain an academic and work environment for all students, faculty, and staff that is free of discrimination and harassment. Discrimination and harassment are contrary to the standards of the university community. They diminish individual dignity and impede educational opportunities, equal access to freedom of academic inquiry, and equal employment. Discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or veteran’s status will not be tolerated at Columbus State University.
Discrimination and harassment are very serious matters that can have far-reaching, current and future impact on the lives, educational experience, and careers of individuals. Intentionally false accusations can have a similar impact. Both a person who impermissibly discriminates against another, and a person who knowingly and intentionally files a false complaint under this policy, are subject to university discipline.
Definition of Discrimination and Harassment
For the purposes of determining whether a particular course of conduct constitutes discrimination or harassment under this policy, the university subscribes to the following definition:
Conduct that is based upon an individual’s race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or veteran’s status that:
- adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a University activity;
- is used as the basis for or a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a university activity; or
- has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or abusive environment for that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a university activity.
Some examples of conduct that may constitute prohibited discrimination may include, but are not limited to:
- denying a person access to an educational program based on that person's race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or veteran’s status;
- denying raises, benefits, or promotions on the basis of a person's race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or veteran’s status;
- preventing any person from using university facilities or services because of that person's race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or veteran’s status;
- instigating or allowing an environment that is unwelcoming or hostile based on a person's race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or veteran’s status.
Lodging a Complaint
An individual who wishes to complain to the university about alleged discriminatory or harassing behavior or retaliation should contact a University official, such as a supervisor; dean, director or department head; or the director of Human Resources.
The university will take appropriate steps to assure that a person who in good faith reports or participates in an informal resolution or formal investigation of a discrimination or harassment allegation will not be subjected to retaliation. The university also will take appropriate steps to assure that a person against whom such an allegation is made is treated fairly.
3. Consensual Relationships
Within the University setting, faculty and supervisors exercise significant power and authority over others. Therefore, primary responsibility for maintaining high standards of conduct resides especially with those in faculty and supervisory positions. Members of the faculty and staff, including graduate assistants, are prohibited from having “Amorous Relationships” with students over whom they have “Supervisory Responsibilities.” “Supervisory Responsibilities” are defined as teaching, evaluating, tutoring, advocating, counseling and/or advising duties performed currently and directly, whether within or outside the classroom, by a faculty, staff member or graduate assistant, with respect to a student. Such responsibilities include the administration, provision or supervision of all academic, co-curricular or extracurricular services and activities, opportunities, awards or benefits offered by or through the University or its personnel in their official capacity. Employees are prohibited from having “Amorous Relationships” with employees whom they supervise, evaluate or in any other way directly affect the terms and conditions of the others’ employment, even in cases where there is, or appears to be, mutual consent. An “Amorous Relationship” is defined as a consensual romantic, sexual or dating relationship. This definition excludes marital unions. The term also encompasses those relationships in which amorous or romantic feelings exist without physical intimacy and which, when acted upon by the faculty or staff member, exceed the reasonable boundaries of what a person of ordinary sensibilities would believe to be a collegial or professional relationship. The faculty/student and supervisor/employee relationship should not be jeopardized by question of favoritism or fairness in professional judgment. Furthermore, whether the consent by a student or employee in such relationship is indeed voluntary is suspect due to the imbalance of power and authority between the parties.
All members of the University community should be aware that initial consent to a romantic relationship does not preclude the potential for charges of conflict of interest, or for charges of sexual harassment arising from the conflict of interest, particularly when students and employees not involved in the relationship claim they have been disadvantaged by the relationship. A faculty, staff member or graduate assistant who enters into an “Amorous Relationship” with a student under his or her supervision, or a supervisor who enters into an “Amorous Relationship” with an employee under his or her supervision, must realize that if a charge of sexual harassment is subsequently lodged, it will be exceedingly difficult to prove blamelessness on grounds of mutual consent.
Those who require clarification of this policy or the definition of a relational conflict of interest, or who require guidance in removing a potential conflict of interest must contact the Director of Human Resources or his/her designee. Any individual who violates this policy is subject to disciplinary action commensurate with the offense, up to and including termination.
This policy is superseded by the laws governing inability to consent based on age.
The Board of Regents policy on nepotism establishes clear definitions and guidelines regarding the employment of persons related by family or marriage. The primary statements regarding this policy are the following:
- The basic criteria for the appointment and promotion of USG employees shall be appropriate qualifications and performance as set forth in the policies of the Board of Regents. Relationship by a family or marriage shall constitute neither an advantage nor a disadvantage.
- No individual shall be employed in a department or unit that will result in the existence of a subordinate-superior relationship between such individual and any relative of such individual through any line of authority.
5. Conflicts of Interest
Employees should make every reasonable effort to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. An appearance of conflict exists when a reasonable person will conclude from the circumstances that the employee’s personal interest compromises his or her ability to protect the public interest or perform public duties.
Questions of favoritism or fairness in professional judgment should not influence a faculty member’s decisions. Faculty must strive to be impartial in their judgments and must guard against the appearance that personal interests influence their actions.
Examples of possible conflicts of interest may include, but are not limited to:
- faculty members grading the work of students with whom they have a romantic relationship
- faculty members judging the work of colleagues with whom there have been documented hostilities
- making decisions about matters in which the faculty member has a financial stake
- any improper advantage due to factors other than work performance
6. Intellectual Property
Columbus State University’s policy on intellectual property comprises an extensive document covering all matters related to the subject, including definitions of terms and guidelines for establishing ownership, distribution of income, settling of disputes, confidentiality, collaboration, obligations, and others. It is imperative that students, faculty and staff respect the legal guidelines for creating and using intellectual property in the United States, taking into account the issues of copyright, plagiarism, information piracy, and fair use.
7. Imposition of Sanctions
If the administration believes that the conduct of a faculty member, although not constituting adequate cause for dismissal, is sufficiently grave to justify imposition of a severe sanction, such as suspension from service for a stated period, the administration may institute a proceeding to impose such a severe sanction; the procedures outlined in the dismissal policy will govern such a proceeding.
If the administration believes that the conduct of a faculty member justifies imposition of a minor sanction, such as a reprimand, it will notify the faculty member of the basis of the proposed sanction and provide the faculty member with an opportunity to persuade the administration that the proposed sanction should not be imposed. A faculty member who believes that a major sanction has been imposed as if it were a minor sanction, or that a minor sanction has been unjustly imposed, may, pursuant to the grievance policy, petition the faculty grievance committee for such action as may be appropriate.
D. Public Relations and Outreach
1. Public Relations
Columbus State University seeks and attracts attention from the news media as an academic community of students, faculty, and staff and as a public institution.
Maintaining productive relationships with the people who report the news via newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the Internet allows the university to realize public understanding of university people, policies, and programs. Providing honest and helpful information to reporters, in a timely manner, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and candor, helps the university develop and enhance positive media relations. The university’s policy on Relations with Representatives of News Media by Faculty presents the specific guidelines and procedures for interacting with the media and the general public.
2. Outside Work
The Board of Regents policy on outside activities establishes rules and guidelines about avoiding conflicts of interest and interference with a faculty member’s duties and responsibilities, as well as regulations for consulting and political activities.
Definitions of Terms Related to Grievance
The term faculty member refers to any person defined as "faculty" by the bylaws and policies of the Board of Regents.
Part-time faculty are those persons employed on an as-needed basis for a specified period of time.
For the purposes of this document, a working day is defined as a weekday in the regular Spring, Fall, or Summer term (Maymester excluded) during which the university is in session, exclusive of examination periods.
To initiate the grievance process, a claimant must file a letter with the executive officer of the Faculty Senate within 60 working days of an alleged harm. The letter must describe:
- the harm caused
- the decision maker(s) that caused the alleged harm
- the decision(s) that caused the alleged harm
- evidence for all of the above, including a timeline
- what outcome the claimant is seeking
- what efforts the claimant has made to resolve the issue within the university hierarchy
The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate is the initial hearing committee of a formal grievance. Upon receiving the formal letter of a complainant, the executive officer of the Senate will convene a meeting of the executive committee. The executive committee will determine whether the claimant has made a prima facie case. If a claim is deemed to have merit, the executive officer will inform the claimant of that fact and ask the claimant to indicate within 10 working days if he or she will proceed with a formal hearing. If the claimant decides to pursue the grievance, the executive committee of the Faculty Senate will form a Faculty Hearing Committee, which will follow the university’s codified Grievance Hearing Procedures. The Senate’s executive officer will determine a reasonable timetable for the proceedings.
To form a faculty hearing committee the Senate’s executive committee will pick five individuals from a pool consisting of tenured faculty members who have been at CSU for at least four years and have finished serving on the Faculty Senate within the last six years (or longer if necessary to form a viable committee of five). Those five committee members will select one department chair to be on the committee. Those six committee members will select the chair of the faculty hearing committee, who will have a vote only in the event of a tie. The hearing committee will follow the university’s codified Grievance Hearing Procedures.
Members should remove themselves from any case, either at the request of a party or on their own initiative, if they deem themselves disqualified for bias or interest. Each party will have a maximum of two challenges without stated cause provided that all challenges, with or without cause, are made in writing and filed with the chair of the hearing committee at least five days in advance of the date set for the hearing. The chair has the authority to decide whether a member of the committee is disqualified for cause. If the chair determines that a member is so disqualified or if a committee member removes himself or herself from a case, the replacement will be selected in the same manner as the original committee was formed. If the chair is thus removed, the committee will elect a new chair after committee replacements have been appointed. A minimum of five is required to make any decisions.
Grievance proceedings are confidential and committee members are expected to keep them as such.
During the proceedings grievants are permitted to have an academic advisor of their choice from the campus community. Any advisor will function as a colleague and not as legal counsel.
A representative of a responsible external educational association will be permitted to attend the proceedings as an observer at the request of either party or the hearing committee.
An audio recording of the hearing or hearings will be kept and will be made available to the grievant upon request. A printed copy will be made available to the grievant without cost if requested.
The hearing committee will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence, and may admit any evidence of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available.
The findings of fact and the decision will be based solely on the hearing record.
The parties will be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence. The administration will cooperate with the hearing committee in matters regarding witness availability and making available pertinent documents and other evidence that does not infringe upon a reasonable expectation of privacy.
The parties will have the right to question all witnesses. Where the witnesses cannot or will not appear but the committee determines that the interests of fair hearing require admission of their statements, the committee will identify the witnesses, disclose their statements, and, if possible, provide for responses to questions.
Except for such simple announcements as may be required covering the time of the hearing and similar matters, public statements and publicity about the case by either the faculty member or administrative officers will be avoided so far as possible until the proceedings have been completed, including consideration by the governing board of the institution. The provost, president, and grievant will be notified of the decision in writing and will be given a copy of the record of the hearing.
If the provost did not rule on the issue before the grievance procedures started, then he or she will decide whether or not to accept the committee’s recommendation, and the grievant may appeal to the president if unsatisfied with the provost’s decision. If the provost had made a prior ruling, the president will decide whether or not to accept the committee’s recommendation.
Grounds for Dismissal
Tenured or non-tenured faculty members may be dismissed before the end of their contract term for any of the following reasons, provided that the institution has complied with procedural due process requirements:
- conviction or admission of guilt of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude during the period of employment–or prior thereto if the conviction or admission of guilt was willfully concealed
- professional incompetency, neglect of duty, or default of academic integrity in teaching, in research, or in scholarship
- unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, use, or possession of marijuana, a controlled substance, or other illegal or dangerous drugs as defined by Georgia laws; teaching or working under the influence of alcohol which interferes with the faculty member’s performance of duty or responsibilities to the institution or to the profession
- conviction or admission of guilt in a court proceeding of any criminal drug offense
- physical or mental incompetency as determined by law or by a medical board of three or more licensed physicians and reviewed by a committee of the faculty
- false swearing with respect to official documents filed with the institution
- disruption of any teaching, research, administrative, disciplinary, public service, or other authorized activity
- such other grounds for dismissal as may be specified in the by-laws of Columbus State University
These procedures apply only to the dismissal of faculty members with tenure or non-tenured faculty members before the end of the term specified in their contract. As stated above, the president may at any time remove any faculty member for cause.
The dismissal of tenured faculty members or non-tenured faculty members during their contract term should be preceded by:
- a discussion between the faculty member and appropriate administrative officers looking toward a mutual settlement
- an informal inquiry by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate which may, upon failing to effect an adjustment, advise the president whether dismissal proceedings should be undertaken (Its advisory opinion shall not be binding upon the president.)
- a letter forewarning the faculty member of his or her imminent dismissal for cause and informing the faculty member that a statement of charges will be forwarded (Faculty members may also request a formal hearing on the charges before the faculty hearing committee described below. Failure to request a hearing within a reasonable time shall constitute a waiver of the right to a hearing.)
- submitting to the faculty member a statement of charges, framed with reasonable particularity by the president, along with the names of witnesses whose testimony will be presented to establish cause for dismissal and information regarding the nature of their expected testimony.
A dismissal as defined above will be preceded by a statement of charges or causes (grounds for dismissal) if so requested, including a statement that the faculty member concerned has the right to be heard by a faculty hearing committee.
The following procedures will apply:
- Pending a final decision by the hearing committee, the faculty member will be suspended, or assigned to other duties in lieu of suspension, only if continued performance of regular duties threatens immediate harm to the faculty member or others. Before suspending a faculty member, pending an ultimate determination of the faculty member’s status through the institution’s hearing procedures, the administration will consult with the Faculty Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure [or whatever other title it may have] concerning the propriety, the length, and the other conditions of the suspension. A suspension intended to be final is a dismissal and will be treated as such. Salary will continue during the period of the suspension.
- At least 20 days prior to the hearing, the Hearing Committee must serve the faculty member notice in writing and include the specific reasons or charges as well as the names of the members of the Committee. The faculty member may waive a hearing or respond to the charges in writing at least five days in advance of the date set for the hearing. If a faculty member waives a hearing but denies the charges or asserts that the charges do not support a finding of adequate cause, the Hearing Committee will evaluate all available evidence and rest its recommendation upon the evidence in the record.
- The Hearing Committee may, with the consent of the parties concerned, hold joint prehearing meetings with the parties in order to (i) simplify the issues, (ii) effect stipulations of facts, (iii) provide for the exchange of documentary or other information, and (iv) achieve such other appropriate prehearing objectives as will make the hearing fair, effective, and expeditious.
- The Hearing Committee, in consultation with the president and the faculty member, may exercise its judgment about whether the hearing should be public or private.
- During the proceedings the faculty member and the administration are permitted to have on hand an academic advisor and/or counsel of their choice. The hearing committee will be permitted to have advisory counsel.
- At the request of either party or the chair of the Hearing Committee, a representative of a responsible education association will be permitted to attend as an observer.
- An audio recording of the hearing or hearings will be kept and will be made available to the faculty member upon request. A printed copy will be made available to the faculty member without cost if requested.
- An oath or affirmation will be administered to all witnesses by any person authorized by law to administer oaths in the State of Georgia (i.e., a notary).
- The Hearing Committee may grant adjournments to enable either party to investigate evidence about which they have made a valid claim of surprise.
- The faculty member and the administration will be afforded a reasonable opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence. The administration will cooperate with the Hearing Committee in matters regarding witness availability and making available pertinent documents and other evidence that does not infringe upon a reasonable expectation of privacy.
- The parties will have the right to question all witnesses. Where witnesses cannot or will not appear but the committee determines that the interests of justice require the admission of their statements, the committee will identify the witnesses, disclose their statements, and if possible provide for interrogatories.
- In the hearing of charges of incompetence, the testimony will include that of qualified faculty members from this or other institutions of higher education.
- The Hearing Committee will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence and may admit any evidence of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available. All questions relating to admissibility of evidence or other legal matters will be decided by the chair or presiding officer.
- The findings of fact and the decision of the Hearing Committee will be based solely on the hearing record.
- Except for such simple announcements as may be required covering the time of the hearing and similar matters, public statements and publicity about the case by either the faculty member or administrative officers should be avoided until the proceedings have been completed, including consideration by the Board of Regents in the event that an appeal is filed. The Hearing Committee will notify the president and the faculty member in writing of its decision and recommendation, if any.
- If the Committee concludes that adequate cause for dismissal has not been established by the evidence in the record, it will so report to the president. If the president does not approve the report, he or she should state the reasons for that disapproval in writing to the Committee and to the faculty member and provide an opportunity for responses before rendering a final decision. If the Committee concludes that an academic penalty less than dismissal would be more appropriate, it may so recommend with supporting reasons. The president may or may not follow the recommendations of the Committee.
- After complying with the foregoing procedures, the president will send an official letter notifying the faculty member whether he or she is to be retained or removed for cause. The letter will be delivered to the addressee only, accompanied by a receipt establishing to whom the letter was delivered, when it was delivered, and where. The letter will clearly state any charges the president has found sustained and will notify the faculty member that he or she may appeal to the Board of Regents for review. The appeal must be submitted in writing to the chancellor within 20 days following the president’s decision. It will state the decision complained of and the redress desired. The Board or a committee of the Board will investigate the matter thoroughly and render its decision thereon within 60 days from the date of the receipt of the appeal or from the date of any hearing held thereon.
- Upon dismissal by the president, the faculty member will be suspended from employment without pay from the date of the final decision of the president. Should the faculty member be reinstated by action of the Board of Regents, he or she will be compensated from the date of the suspension.
Non-Tenured Faculty with Academic Ranks of Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor
According to current Georgia Board of Regents policy, universities in the system are no longer required to notify non-tenured faculty who have been awarded academic rank and who are employed under written contract that an employment contract for the succeeding academic year will be offered to them. Rather, “faculty with the rank of instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor, who are employed under written contract, and who served full-time for the entire previous year, have the presumption of renewal for the next academic year unless notified in writing, by the president of an institution or his/her authorized representative, of the intent not to renew.”
Non-tenured faculty and other non-tenured personnel employed under written contract are employed only for the term specified in the contract and subsequent or future employment, if any, results solely from a separate offer and acceptance requisite to execution of a new and distinct contract.
Notice of intention not to renew a non-tenured faculty member who has been awarded academic rank (instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor) will be furnished in writing, according to the following schedule:
- at least three months before the date of termination of an initial one-year contract
- at least six months before the date of termination of a second one-year contract
- at least nine months before the date of termination of a contract after two or more years of service in the institution
This schedule of notification does not apply to persons holding temporary or part-time positions, or persons with courtesy appointments, such as adjunct appointments.
Lecturers and Senior Lecturers
Full-time lecturers and senior lecturers are appointed on a year-to-year basis. Lecturers and senior lecturers who have served full-time for the entire previous academic year have the presumption of reappointment for the subsequent academic year unless notified in writing to the contrary as follows:
- For lecturers with less than three years of full-time service, the university will provide non-reappointment notice as early as possible, but no specific notice is required.
- For lecturers with three or more years but less than six years of full-time service, the university will provide non-reappointment notice at least 30 calendar days prior to the institution’s first day of classes in the semester.
- For senior lecturers or lecturers with six years or more of full-time service, the university will provide non-reappointment notice at least 180 calendar days prior to the first day of classes in the semester.
Lecturers or senior lecturers who have served for six or more years of full-time service and who have received timely notice of non-reappointment are entitled to a review of the decision in accordance with published procedures.
In no case will the service as lecturer or senior lecturer imply any claim upon tenure or reappointment under other conditions than those above.
On such matters, the Faculty Senate should determine the pool from which the majority of the faculty representatives for advising the president are selected. When implementing BOR policy on financial exigency those responsible should recognize that:
- Judgments determining where termination of appointments may occur, within the overall academic program, involve considerations of educational policy, including affirmative action, as well as of faculty status, and should therefore be the primary responsibility of the faculty. The faculty should also exercise primary responsibility in determining the criteria for identifying the individuals whose appointments are to be terminated. These criteria may appropriately include considerations of length of service.
- The responsibility for identifying individuals whose appointments are to be terminated should be committed to a person or group designated or approved by the faculty. The Faculty Senate should determine the allocation of this responsibility.
- Terminating appointments because of financial exigency and at the same time making new appointments will reflect negatively on the institution as a whole.
- Before terminating an appointment because of financial exigency, the institution, with faculty participation, should make every effort to place the faculty member concerned in another suitable position within the institution.
- In all cases of termination of appointment because of financial exigency, the place of the faculty member concerned should not be filled by a replacement within a period of three years, unless the released faculty member has been offered reinstatement and a reasonable time in which to accept or decline it.
- If the administration issues notice to a particular faculty member of an intention to terminate the appointment because of financial exigency, the faculty member will have the right to a full hearing before a faculty committee.
Discontinuance of Program or Department Standards and Procedures
- The decision to discontinue formally a program or department of instruction will be based essentially upon educational considerations, as determined primarily by the faculty as a whole or an appropriate committee thereof.
Note: “Educational considerations” do not include cyclical or temporary variations in enrollment. They must reflect long-range judgments that the educational mission of the institution as a whole will be enhanced by the discontinuance.
- Before the administration issues notice to a faculty member of its intention to terminate an appointment because of formal discontinuance of a program or department of instruction, the institution will make every effort to place the faculty member concerned in another suitable position. If placement in another position would be facilitated by a reasonable period of training, financial and other support for such training will be proffered. If no position is available within the institution, with or without retraining, the faculty member’s appointment then may be terminated, but only with provision for severance salary equitably adjusted to the faculty member’s length of past and potential service.
- A faculty member may appeal a proposed relocation or termination resulting from a discontinuance and has a right to a full hearing before a faculty committee. The hearing need not conform in all respects with a proceeding conducted pursuant to the grievance procedures, but the essentials of an on-the-record adjudicative hearing will be observed. The issues in such a hearing may include the institution’s failure to satisfy any of the conditions specified above. In such a hearing, a faculty determination that a program or department is to be discontinued will be considered presumptively valid, but the burden of proof on other issues will rest on the administration.
Employees required to travel in the performance of official duties and entitled to reimbursement for expenses incurred need authorization from the department chairperson or other designated official for the performance of their travel—a standing authorization for individuals required to travel on a regular or continuous basis; a specific authorization for those required to make an occasional trip. Travel applications should include the itinerary, cost of travel, mode of transportation, and general purpose of travel. A copy of the approved travel application must be attached to the travel expense report. For the purposes of these regulations, travel to points just beyond the state border necessary for the accomplishment of in-state business is not construed as out-of-state travel.
Reimbursement for transportation within the state may be for use of personally owned vehicles or by common carrier. Transportation outside the state will be by common carrier unless the faculty member receives specific authorization prior to the trip for the use of a personally owned vehicle. Such authorization should be granted only under conditions where travel by common carrier would be more expensive or less advantageous to the university system. Faculty may not receive reimbursement for payment for transportation other than mileage for use of personally owned, rented or leased vehicle, or travel by recognized common carrier; payments to friends or other individuals cannot be allowed. Transportation costs between an employee's place of residence and his official headquarters cannot be reimbursed.
Reimbursement for transportation by personally owned, rented or leased vehicles will be at the rate approved by statute for the actual mileage traveled in performance of official duties. The initial point of departure will be considered as the employee's residence or official headquarters whichever may be nearer the destination point. In addition to the authorized mileage rate, the faculty member may also receive reimbursement for actual expenses incurred for tolls and parking fees. As per BOR travel procedures, transportation by common carrier will be by scheduled plane, train, or bus. Ground transportation expenses may be reimbursed when actually incurred in connection with common carrier transportation to and from railroad, plane, or bus.
Faculty members may receive reimbursement for lodging expenses incurred in a hotel or motel upon presentation of a "paid" copy of the bill. Faculty should obtain adequate accommodations; however, in accordance with BOR policy, they should try to make reservations in advance, whenever practical, and choose the minimum-rate accommodations available.
When faculty members share a room their reimbursement will be calculated on a pro rata share of the total cost, and each employee will complete an expense statement for his or her portion of the bill. An employee on travel status, if accompanied by husband or wife who is not an employee on travel status, would be entitled to reimbursement at single room rate.
Per BOR policy, faculty may receive reimbursement for the actual cost of meals within certain limits.
Registration fees required for participation in conventions or conferences which an employee is authorized to attend will be reimbursed when supported by a "paid" receipt. Faculty members cannot receive reimbursement for optional assessments or fees or personal memberships. Any part of a registration fee applicable to meals should be reported as meal expense and not as a registration fee.
Faculty members may receive reimbursement for official telephone expenses. Reimbursement claims should indicate the location from which the faculty member made a call, the person contacted, and justification for the communication.
Gratuities must be reasonable and explained. Expenditures for entertainment, laundry, valet service, and other similar personal expenses cannot be reimbursed.
Filing for Travel Reimbursement
Employees who have received official authorization to perform travel must file a Travel Expense Statement with the business office to account for their expenses and obtain the reimbursement for their expenses or their portion of the travel expense.
Faculty members should file Travel Expense Statements promptly after completing travel and attach paid receipts for registration, lodging, transportation, and all other claimed expenditures
Faculty Service Award Guidelines
- The purpose of this award is to recognize members of the faculty who have contributed outstanding professional service to the university and/or the community during a recent period including the current academic year. Service is defined as the contribution of faculty members’ expertise in their discipline to worthwhile efforts of the university, community, educational, environmental, business, and economic life of the community. Service may also be defined as enrichment of the intellectual life of the university community and as improvement in the quality of the educational environment for the faculty, staff, and students of Columbus State University.
- Though teaching excellence and scholarly activity are important roles of faculty, the selection committee does not directly consider those areas in making its selection.
- Examples of outstanding service may be, but are not limited to, service to students in academic advisement, leadership roles on committees at departmental, college and university levels, furtherance of the objectives of faculty and student governance bodies, contribution of professional expertise to the work of community boards, organizations, and other public agencies and private sector enterprises, delivery of exemplary continuing education programs, and combinations of the above activities.
- Each college’s nominee(s) for the Faculty Service Award will receive a certificate of appreciation in recognition of service rendered.
- The Faculty Service Award will be presented to a single recipient chosen from among the candidates put forth by each college. The recipient will receive a plaque and monetary award—provided by Columbus Bank and Trust—at the annual Honors Convocation.
- Each college will determine its procedures for selecting nominees and may submit up to two nominations (up to one for the Libraries).
- Each dean will send written notice to the faculty announcing deadlines for award nominations and the procedures for selecting the college’s nominees. Each college will then submit its nominations to the provost’s office.
- A panel chaired by the associate provost for academic affairs will select the recipient of the Faculty Service Award. This panel will consist of the following: (1) the vice president for student affairs, or his or her designee; and (2) a representative from each college and the Library appointed by the dean. The representatives will include only faculty who did not serve on the college-level Faculty Service Award selection committees.
- After the panel has made its selection, the recipient’s name will remain confidential until the time of the Honors Convocation.
Faculty Research and Scholarship Award Guidelines
- The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding efforts by faculty members of Columbus State University in research and scholarship. The award is meant to celebrate the value of these activities, particularly for their role in contributing to the faculty's intellectual growth. Though the award will be given without regard to the nominee's teaching or service talents, it implicitly recognizes the role of research and scholarship in the enhancement of a faculty member's teaching and service capabilities. The award also provides the university a way of identifying and rewarding faculty contributions to the creation, extension, or growth of knowledge, skills, or aesthetic products.
- Because research and scholarship can be so variously defined by the many disciplines of the university, this award will be based on a list of criteria (spelled out below) rather than on a single definition of either research or scholarship. However, the award should recognize scholarly or research efforts that result in tangible products or artifacts (publications, grants, performances, works of art, etc.). The committee charged with selecting the recipient of the award can decide whether to choose faculty whose achievements are wide and various or those whose achievements are narrowly focused. Priority should be given to faculty members whose products are related to their discipline.
- Each college’s nominee(s) for the Faculty Research and Scholarship Award will receive a certificate of appreciation in recognition of achievement in research and scholarship.
- The Faculty Research and Scholarship Award will be presented to a single recipient chosen from among the candidates put forth by each college and the Library. The recipient will receive a plaque and monetary award— at least equal to that given for the Faculty Service and Teaching awards —at the annual Honors Convocation.
Criteria should remain flexible so as to include the achievements of faculty from the university's many disciplines. A guiding principle is a track record of continued success. Primary criteria for the award should include the following, though not necessarily in the order listed:
- publication of papers and books in refereed journals or presses
- presentations of papers to academic conferences or professional societies
- creation, performance, or presentation of creative works
- research or scholarly proposals which receive external funding and result in creative works
- research that incorporates teaching methods or interests or that involves students in research
- for creative works, there should be documentation of exhibitions, “hosting” of artistic events, publications in art journals, inclusion of CDs, program brochures, posters and flyers, visual documentation such as photographs, articles about the candidate's work, grant awards, commissions/freelance activities, artworks acquired by major gallery, museum or other significant collector, recorded performances of new and original creative work in the field of music or theatre, scores of musical works, invited and juried exhibits and activities, honors and awards
Secondary criteria like the following could be used as supporting data:
- publication in non-refereed outlets
- attendance at conferences, workshops, or professional meetings
- reviewing for journals or professional societies
- published book reviews
Results which receive international/national attention or audiences should be given higher priority than those which receive regional, state, or local audiences only. Also, work generated principally during the faculty member's tenure at Columbus State University is preferred.
- Each college will determine its procedures for selecting nominees and may submit up to two nominations (up to one for the Libraries).
- Each dean will send written notice to the faculty announcing deadlines for award nominations and the procedures for selecting the college’s nominees. Each college will then submit its nominations to the provost’s office.
- A panel chaired by the associate provost for academic affairs will select the recipient of the Faculty Research and Scholarship Award. This panel will consist of the following: (1) the chair of the Faculty Development Committee; and (2) a representative from each college and the Library appointed by the dean (excluding the academic unit of the chair of the Faculty Development Committee). The representatives will include only faculty who did not serve on the college-level Faculty Service Award selection committees.
- After the panel has made its selection, the recipient’s name will remain confidential until the time of the Honors Convocation.
Required Materials for University-level Awards Selection Process
CSU Faculty Service and Research Awards
$1500 at the university level awarded by Columbus Bank & Trust (one for each category)
For departmental nominees
- Abbreviated CV (no more than 3 pages, with attention to items relevant to the award)
- Statement (1-2 pages) about the accomplishments of the nominee relevant to the award
For college nominees
- Abbreviated CV (no more than 3 pages, with attention to items relevant to the award)
- Cover letter submitted by the dean to include a statement about the nominee’s accomplishments relevant to the award
- Letters of endorsement by the dean and maximum of 3 others knowledgeable about the nominee’s achievements
SGA Educator of the Year Award
$1500 at the university level awarded by the Student Government Association
Each year, the Vice President of Scholastic Affairs has the option to conduct nominee interviews, class visits or both if s/he so chooses. Selection criteria include:
- Achievement: education
- Leadership: in the classroom
- Involvement on campus/ local community
- Teaching methodology/Philosophy of Higher Education
- Critical thinking: ways of improving the education process for students
USG Regents Teaching Excellence Award for Individual Faculty/Staff -- AND -- USG Regents Teaching Excellence Award for Online Faculty
$5000 at the state level awarded by the BOR (one for each category)
$1500 at the university level awarded by the CSU Faculty Center (one for each category)
For departmental nominees
- Abbreviated CV (no more than 3 pages, with attention to items relevant to the award)
- A reflective statement that includes the nominee’s teaching and learning philosophy, strategies, and objectives. This statement should address the criteria for the award (2-4 pages)
For college nominees
- Both items from the departmental level, plus supporting documentation that addresses methods of assessing student learning and achievement that go beyond student evaluations
For institutional nominees
- All of the items from the departmental and college level, plus the complete list of portfolio components requested from the USG, to be prepared with the assistance of the CSU Faculty Center
USG Regents Teaching Excellence Award for Department/Program
$5000 at the state level awarded by the BOR
For college nominees
- A narrative statement from the department or program that outlines its philosophy as a community of faculty, and its goals and strategies for making a difference in the academic success of students. This statement should address the criteria for the award (2-4 pages)
- Data showing student successes, such as graduation rates, student retention, job placement, acceptance to other schools, etc.
For institutional nominees
- Both of the items from the college level, plus the complete list of portfolio components requested from the USG, to be prepared with the assistance of the CSU Faculty Center
USG Regents Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award
$5000 at the state level awarded by the BOR
$1500 at the university level awarded by the CSU Faculty Center
For departmental nominees
- Abbreviated CV (no more than 3 pages, with attention to items relevant to the award)
- A well articulated teaching philosophy that outlines research questions related to teaching and learning (2-4 pages)
For college nominees
- Both items from the departmental level, plus data/evidence (3-5 pages) of the impact of their teaching techniques/pedagogies on student learning and its potential impact on teaching and learning in the discipline
For institutional nominees
- All of the items from the departmental and college level, plus the complete list of portfolio components requested from the USG, to be prepared with the assistance of the CSU Faculty Center
All institutions of the University System of Georgia are on a 4.0 grade point average system. For computing grade point averages, see the academic catalog.
The University System Uniform Grading Policy is reaffirmed with the provision that a "C" or higher in freshman English composition courses is required to guarantee transferability to institutions that require "C" or higher in English composition of their native students. The receiving institution must have the same policy for both transfer and non-transfer of Core Curriculum "D" grades. The policy that applies to on-campus Core Curriculum "D" grades apply to transfer Core Curriculum "D" grades.
Grading System will reside in the system office with the University System chief academic officer. Exceptions to the use of “S” symbol for academic coursework must be submitted to the University System chief academic officer. Exceptions to the use of the “U” symbol for academic coursework must be submitted to the University System chief academic officer.
If a student believes an assigned grade is incorrect, he or she should consult the instructor promptly. A final grade will not be changed after one calendar year from the date given.
To change a final grade, the instructor completes an "Authorization to Change Grade" using the Integrated Student Information System (ISIS) .
Within the university setting, faculty and supervisors exercise significant power and authority over others. Therefore, primary responsibility for maintaining high standards of conduct resides especially with those in faculty and supervisor positions. It is the university's position that it is unwise and inappropriate for members of the faculty to have romantic relationships with students whom they teach, and for supervisors to have romantic relationships with employees whom they supervise, even in cases where there is, or appears to be, mutual consent. The faculty/student and supervisor/employee relationship should not be jeopardized by question of favoritism or fairness in professional judgment. Furthermore, whether the consent by a student or employee in such a relationship is indeed voluntary is suspect due to the imbalance of power and authority between the parties.
All members of the university community should be aware that initial consent to a romantic relationship does not preclude the potential for charges of conflict of interest, or for charges of sexual harassment arising from the conflict of interest, particularly when students and employees not involved in the relationship claim they have been disadvantaged by it. A faculty member who enters into a romantic and/or sexual relationship with a student under his or her supervision, or a supervisor who enters into a romantic and/or sexual relationship with an employee under his or her supervision, must realize that if a charge of sexual harassment is subsequently lodged, it will be exceedingly difficult to prove blamelessness on grounds of mutual consent.
In order to prevent the conflict of interest created by a consensual sexual or romantic relationship, Columbus State University requires that the participants in such a relationship act immediately to remove the conflict of interest. Those who require clarification of this policy or the definition of a relational conflict of interest, or who require guidance in removing the conflict of interest are encouraged to contact the AA/EEO Officer or the human resources director. Failure of the supervisor/faculty member to remove the conflict of interest may lead to disciplinary procedures, including termination of employment.
This policy is superseded by the laws governing ability to consent based on age.
Records Retention Policy
The University System of Georgia’s guidelines on records retention include the types of records to be retained and duration of retention. While the manual’s guidelines cover all aspects of an institution’s record-keeping, the following sections are especially important for faculty in that they determine that retention should occur at the unit level, among others.
- Administrative Reports (A2)
- Advisory Board Reports (A4)
- Agency Relations Records (A7)
- Association and Organization Advisory Records (A8)
- Awards Records (A10)
- Committee Records (A11)
- Correspondence, Administrative (A13)
- Correspondence, Executive (A14)
- Correspondence, Transitory (A15)
- Correspondence, Routine (A16)
- Crisis or Disaster Logs (A17)
- Daily Logs (A18)
- Election Records (A19)
- Grievance Records (A24)
- Institutional Speeches and Statements (A26)
- Institutional Cooperation and Relations Records (A27)
- Lectures and Lecture Series Records (A29)
- Board of Regents Relations Records (A32)
- Policies and Procedures Records (A33)
- Professional Membership Records (A34)
- Signature Authorizations (A36)
- Special Activity Records (A37)
- Special Events Records (A38)
- Meeting Records (A39)
- Vehicle Use Authorization and Request Records (A40)
- Visiting Scholar Program Records (A41)
- Equipment Maintenance Records (A45)
- Issue Tickets Records (A50)
- Property Disposition Requests Records (A52)
- Research and Teaching Drug Inventory Records (A54)
- Sale Inventory Records (A55)
- Shipping Lists and Packing Slips (A56)
- Vehicle Records (A58)
- Vendor History Reports (A60)
- Author’s and Artist’s Contracts and Agreements Records (A109)
- Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plans (A126)
Under “Academic Affairs”
- Academic Program Administrative Records (B1)
- Book Order Records (B2)
- Non-University Student Program Administration Records (B10)
- Special Academic Program Records (B13)
- Student Handbooks (B14)
Under “Human Resources”
- Academic and Unclassified Employees Personnel Records (G2)
- Classified Unsolicited Applications (G14)
- Employees Training Records (G19)
- Employees Employment Verification Records (G20)
- Graduate Assistantship Application Records (G25)
- Recruiting Pool Records (G36)
- Search Records (G40)
- Staffing Policies Records (G41)
- Student Faculty/Course Evaluation Records (G44)
- Time, Attendance and Leave Records (G45)
- Volunteer Program Records (G46)
- Shift Summary Sheets (G63)
- Student Time and Attendance Records (G66)
- Student Time Records (G67)
- Leave Request Form (G75)
Under “Publications/Promotions and Alumni Relations”
- Biographical Records (H5)
- Films, Videotapes, and Sound Recordings (H7)
- Fund-Raising Records (H8)
- News Release Records (H10)
- Ordering Records (H11)
- Photographs (H12)
- Publications Inventory Records (H13)
- Publications Record (H14)
- Scholarship Reports (H16)
- Unit/Institution/Organization History Record (H17)
- Research Data (Animal Care and Use) (H10)
- Research Data (Human Subjects) (H11)
- Research Data (Agricultural) (H12)
CSU Intellectual Property Policy
Columbus State University is dedicated to teaching, research and the extension of knowledge to the public. Its personnel recognize as two of their primary objectives the creation, development and production of new knowledge and the dissemination of both old and new knowledge. Inherent in these objectives is the need to encourage the development of new and useful materials, devices, programs, processes, and other inventions and creations, some of which may have potential for commercialization, and/or the production and publication of creative and scholarly works and educational materials. CSU believes such activities:
- Contribute to the professional development of the faculty, staff and students involved;
- Enhance the reputation of the University;
- Provide additional educational opportunities for participating students; and
- Promote the general welfare of the public at large.
Patentable inventions and copyrightable materials often come about because of the activities of CSU faculty, staff and students who have been aided by the use of CSU resources. As part of the CSU’s mission, it is important to insure the utilization of such inventions, creations and materials for the public good and to expedite their development and delivery to the public.
At the same time, the CSU encourages the protection of the rights and privileges, and endorses the initiative and incentive of the Creator(s) so that their abilities, as well as those of all other faculty, staff and students, are further stimulated and rewarded.
CSU recognizes the publication of scholarly works as an integral part of the processes of teaching, research and service. Therefore, the University encourages faculty, staff and students to regularly prepare for publication, either through individual or collaborative effort and initiative, articles, pamphlets, books, works of art and other scholarly works which may be subject to copyright and which may generate royalties for the Creator.
Publication may also result from work supported either partially or completely by CSU. With the advent of current and future technology, the variety and number of materials that might be created in a university community has increased significantly, causing the ownership of such copyrightable materials to become increasingly complex.
CSU strives to be at the forefront of teaching and to provide diverse high-quality learning environments. To achieve these goals, CSU encourages and provides incentives for innovators and creators in the development of improved educational materials. Through the efforts of faculty and staff, digital and other storage, and transmission media will have an increasing role in expanding educational effectiveness and accessibility. When such materials are used to expand programs outside the traditional campus, they deserve Intellectual Property (IP) protection.
CSU recognizes the need for enhanced development and dissemination of software technology as a means of expressing both old and new knowledge. CSU is also aware of the dynamic nature of software and that the value of such IP is derived from the ability of its owner to control its use. Indeed, its value is directly related to the degree of protection it enjoys under the law. CSU encourages the protection of such expressions of knowledge by the utilization of appropriate IP laws and the creation of comprehensive software technology transfer policies and procedures.
The foregoing considered, and in order to establish the respective rights and obligations of the University and its faculty, staff and students with regard to current and future Intellectual Property, CSU does hereby establish the following Intellectual Property Policy.
- “Commercialization” means the process of marketing and licensing Intellectual Property to parties outside CSU who, in turn, will develop products or services based on that IP to sell or license to others. By way of counter-example, this term does not apply to CSU offering a course or seminar for a fee.
- “Copyrighted Materials” shall include the following: (i) books, journal articles, texts, glossaries, bibliographies, study guides, laboratory manuals, syllabi, tests and proposals; (ii) lectures that are written, recorded or other otherwise captured, musical or dramatic compositions, unpublished scripts; (iii) films, filmstrips, charts, transparencies, and other visual aids; (iv) digital video and audio discs and cassettes; (v) live video and audio broadcasts; (vi) programmed and instructional materials; (vii) mask works; (viii) research notes, research data reports, and research notebooks; and (ix) other materials or works other than software, which qualify for protection under the copyright laws of the United States (see 17 U.S.C. 102 et seq.) or other protective statutes whether or not registered there-under.
- “Creator” means a member of the CSU faculty, staff, or student body who creates or develops an invention, as defined under the U.S. patent law, or who participates in the creation of a copyrightable work, under U.S. copyright law, or both. One is a participant in creating a copyrighted work when one makes an original work of authorship (or part thereof) fixed in any tangible medium of expression from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Being an editor or otherwise facilitating a creation does not ordinarily qualify one as a “Creator.” The term Creator shall be understood to refer to either singular or multiple creators.
- “CSU Research and Service Foundation, Inc.” (CSURSF) is the entity formed for the purpose of evaluating, administering, owning and licensing IP created by CSU faculty, staff and/or students. CSURSF is a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to support CSU.
- “Disclosure Form” is the document by which faculty, staff and/or students disclose to the CSURSF the project or program being conceived of or developed. This document is due before work begins on such project or program.
- “Faculty member, staff member and student” shall include, for the purposes of this policy, students who are enrolled for any course at CSU, as well as all faculty or staff members who are employed on a full- or part-time basis by CSU.
- “Individual Efforts”are those activities directed toward a research project or a creative project which are initiated and undertaken by a CSU faculty or staff member and/or student during which:
- only incidental use of University resources is made;
- the project is developed on one’s own time and is not in accordance with the terms of a sponsored project; and
- the project is not undertaken in whole or in part as a University assignment.
- “Intellectual Property” shall be deemed to refer to copyrighted materials, patentable processes or materials, software, trademarks, and trade secrets, whether or not formal protection is sought.
- “Lead Creator” shall be the person in charge of the project or program which develops the IP. There may be more than one Lead Creator on a project or program, however, this must be specified in the Disclosure Form.
- “Mask Work” means a series of related images, however fixed or encoded: (i) having or representing the predetermined, three dimensional pattern of metallic, insulating, or semiconductor material present or removed from the layers of semiconductor chip product; and (ii) in which series the relation of the images to one another is that each image has the pattern of the surface of one form of the semiconductor chip product (See 17 U.S.C. 901).
- “Net Revenue” shall mean the revenue received through commercialization of any IP less the associated expenses which may include, but not be limited to, patent costs, attorney’s fees, marketing costs, reproduction, mailing, consumables, accounting costs, unreimbursed development costs, etc.
- “Novel Plant Variety” means a novel variety of sexually reproduced plant (See 7 U.S.C. 2321 et seq.).
- “Patentable Materials”* shall be deemed to refer to items which reasonably appear to qualify for protection under the patent laws of the United States or other protective statutes whether or not patentable there-under. These are to include Novel Plant Varieties and Patentable Plants.
- “Patentable Plant” means an asexually reproduced distinct and new variety of plant (See 35 U.S.C. 161).
- “Software” shall include one or more computer programs existing in any form, or any associated operational procedures, manuals or other documentation, whether or not protectable or protected by patent or copyright. The term “computer program” shall mean a set of instructions, statements or related data that, in actual or modified form, is capable of causing a computer or computer system to perform specified functions.
- “Sponsored Efforts” are those research and other projects undertaken by faculty, staff and/or students which are paid for, either wholly or substantially in part, by outside entities. Such entities may include, but not be limited to, governmental, corporate, Defense Department, or private foundation. A sponsored effort may be in the form of a grant or a contract whose purpose is to produce a result through research, writing, programming, construction or other effort.
- “Trademarks” shall include all trademarks, service marks, trade names, seals, symbols, designs, slogans, or logotypes developed by or associated with the University System of Georgia or any of its institutions (see 15 U.S.C. 1127).
- “Trade Secrets” means information including, but not limited to, technical or nontechnical data, a formula, a pattern, a compilation, a program, a device, a method, a technique, a drawing, a process, financial data, financial plans, product plans, or a list of actual or potential customers or suppliers which: (i) derives economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons, who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and (ii) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy (See O.C.G.A 10-1-761).
- “University-Assigned Efforts” are those efforts which the University assigns to a College, department, specific faculty member(s), staff, and/or student(s). The assignment may be either explicit, as in a directive from the president, provost, a dean, department chair or other administrative or governance body, or implicit, as in an effort undertaken as a part of one’s job. Excluded are those scholarly and creative works produced under the general obligation faculty and students have for developing such works which include, but are not limited to, textbooks, associated supplementary material, dissertations, class assignments, other books, musical compositions, works of art, and journal articles.
- “University-Assisted Efforts” are those undertaken by faculty, staff and/or students on their own initiative which receive institutional support (financial or otherwise) or use institutional resources in more than a purely incidental way. Such resources include, but are not limited to, use of funding provided by the University or a University-associated foundation, use of University-paid time within the employment period and/or by others involved, use of support staff and/or students, and use of University facilities other than one’s office and the CSU library.
“University Managed/Operated Efforts” are those in which a department is expected to develop IP to help carry out its primary mission and to assist in defraying departmental expenses. The University, Faculty and Staff recognize that these departments include elements that go beyond the traditional teacher/student/classroom relationships, though those elements are included and considered of primary importance as well. Departments that fit this category include, but are not limited to, the Coca Cola Space Science Center, Oxbow Meadows, The CSU Social Research Center, and the Cunningham Center.
*Note: “Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefore, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.” United States Code Annotated, Title 35, Section 101, as amended.
III. Intellectual Property Committee
Intellectual Property activities at CSU shall be under the general oversight of an institutional Intellectual Property Committee (IPC). This committee shall be appointed by the president and shall consist of nine (9) members as follows:
- up to six faculty with at least one from each colleges
- up to three staff with at least one each from the offices of the provost and the vice president of business and finance.
- up to one student
Ad hoc advisors may be added by the chair at any time to consider a particular case if necessary. Five members shall constitute a quorum. The chair shall be elected by the IPC and shall serve as chair for the duration of his/her term.
Term length shall be three years with staggered term lengths for the initial committee members. Members may request to remain on the IPC for successive terms subject to the approval of the President.
Duties of the Intellectual Property Committee
- To advise the President on policy matters relating to Intellectual Property;
- To implement the IP Policies as defined herein;
- To recommend IP Policy revisions and amendments as it deems necessary;
- To arbitrate disputes over IP;
- To approve deviations from the IP policy; and
- To review IP that is referred to it through the disclosure process.
The IPC shall meet as necessary but at least once during the academic year.
IV. Intellectual Property Management
The IPC is responsible for implementation of the University’s Intellectual Property Policy. CSURSF is responsible for determining whether or not to administer such Intellectual Property by undertaking the efforts necessary to protect and/or license, or otherwise commercialize, that IP.
Management of Sponsor-Supported Efforts
IP created through Sponsor-Supported Efforts, subject to provisions of the Sponsor, shall be managed by CSURSF, should CSURSF opt to do so.
Management of University-Assigned Efforts
IP created through University-Assigned Efforts shall be managed by CSURSF, should CSURSF opt to do so.
Management of University-Assisted Individual Effort
IP created through University-Assisted Efforts shall be managed by CSURSF, should CSURSF opt to do so.
Management of Individual Efforts
It shall be the responsibility of the Creator(s) to demonstrate that IP developed as a result of individual efforts while employed by the University meets the criteria set forth in section 2(G). In each case, when agreed to by the IP Committee, the IP will be acknowledged as belonging to the Creator to dispose of as the Creator sees fit.
If both the Creator and CSURSF agree in writing, Individual Effort IP may be managed by the CSURSF on the Creator’s behalf. For purposes of income distribution such IP managed by the CSURSF shall be treated as University-Assisted Intellectual Property.
Declined Intellectual Property
Whenever CSURSF elects not to manage Intellectual Property, or elects to cease managing Intellectual Property that is at the time under its purview, such Intellectual Property, subject to any obligations to a sponsor, may be assigned by CSURSF to the Lead Creator to dispose of as the Lead Creator sees fit.
V. Determination of Rights and Equities in Intellectual Property
Sponsored project agreements may contain specific provisions with respect to ownership of IP developed during the course of such work. Should ownership of any IP produced be shared between the sponsor and CSU or individual performing the work, then ownership of the university/individual’s portion shall vest in CSU.
Income, if any, from such IP developed from Sponsor-Supported Efforts shall be shared, subject to the sponsor agreement, in accordance with Section 6.
Ownership of IP developed as a result of University-Assigned Efforts, including any effort normally associated with one’s discipline and position, shall reside with the University. Copyrightable works created by an employee in the course of that employee’s employment are considered to be works made for hire under copyright law, with ownership vested in the employer. The general obligation among faculty and students to produce scholarly and creative works, such as textbooks and associated supplementary material, dissertations, other books, musical compositions, works of art, and journal articles does not constitute a specific assignment for this purpose and would constitute an Individual Effort.
Work supported by CSU or CSU Foundation grants or stipends shall be considered University-Assigned Efforts unless the work falls under the general obligation to produce scholarly and creative works.
Income, if any, from such IP developed from University-Assigned Efforts shall be shared as described in Section 6.
Ownership of IP developed by CSU employees or students through University-Assisted Efforts as defined in Section 2(T) shall reside with the University, unless the CSURSF determines that the IP is not commercially viable at which point ownership shall be assigned to the Creator.
Income, if any, from such IP developed from University-Assisted Efforts shall be shared as described in Section 6.
Ownership of IP developed by University personnel shall reside with the Creator(s) of such IP provided that it meets the definition of Individual Efforts in Section 2(G) and that the Creator(s) has decided not to use the CSURSF to commercialize the IP.
It shall be the responsibility of the Creator of the IP, if requested, to demonstrate that this classification applies to the IP.
Ownership of IP developed by University-Managed/Operated Efforts is subject to the same considerations and definitions as those described above and defined in Section 2(U) and shall reside with the University.
Income, if any, from such IP developed by University Managed and Operated Efforts shall be shared as described in Section 6.
VI. Distribution of Income
Net Revenue generated from Intellectual Property administered by CSURSF shall be shared on the following basis:
Creator's Research Efforts
Provost's Office for Faculty Research & Development
Shares which go to the Creator’s academic Department and College, and to Faculty Research and Development shall only be used to fund new research or to pay for faculty development opportunities such as scholarly conferences.
Should a person in an academic unit not affiliated with a College create intellectual property under the guidelines above, which is then commercialized, the share which would have gone to the College will instead go to the Provost for further faculty research and development. The library shall be treated as a college for purposes of this section of the policy.
The shares going to the Creator’s Department shall be administered by the administrative department head or the academic department chairperson. The share going to the Creator’s College shall be administrated by the Dean of the College, and the share going to Faculty Research and Development shall be administered by the Provost. The share designated for the Creator’s Research Efforts may only be used for future research efforts by the project’s Lead Creator or for professional development and is only in effect while the Lead Creator(s) is employed by, and conducting research at, the University. If the Lead Creator leaves the employ of the University, then this share is returned to CSURSF.
The share going to the CSURSF shall be used for administrative expenses including, but not limited to, tax return preparation, audits, and commercialization efforts.
The Creator’s share of Net Revenue shall be divided equally among joint Creators of the IP unless a written statement signed by all joint Creators which provides for a different distribution formula is filed with CSURSF prior to the first distribution of shared Net Revenue.
It is the Lead Creator’s responsibility to reach a signed income distribution agreement with all co-creators, including students, prior to the commencement of a project. This agreement must be filed with the CSURSF.
In the event the Creator, or one of the Creators leaves the University, that Creator will then receive half of their original share. The other half shall then go to the Faculty Research and Development fund. The only exception being a student Creator who graduates, in which case the student shall continue to receive their full share for 10 years after graduating and then shall receive a half share with the other half going to the Faculty Research and Development fund.
In the event of the death of a Creator, any payment due, or which would have been due to such Creator, shall be made to the Creator’s estate for a period of ten (10) years from the date on the Creator’s death certificate. After the ten year period, those royalties shall revert to CSURSF.
In the event the terms of any license of IP provide CSURSF with equity, or an option to acquire equity in the entity which licenses the IP, the share of such equity due to the Creator as identified above will be distributed to the Creator when such equity is transferable or convertible to cash.
In the event that IP is licensed to the Creator, the Creator shall waive the right under the University Intellectual Property Policy to receive the Creator’s share of Net Revenue specified above. Additionally, if the Creator owns or controls 25% or more of the entity that licenses the IP, the Creator shall waive the right under this University IP Policy to receive the Creator’s share of Net Revenue specified above.
In the event the Creator does not receive the Creator’s share, that share shall be distributed to any joint Creators identified in writing in the proportions specified in the above chart, or if there are none, shall revert to CSURSF.
VII. Disclosure of Intellectual Property
All faculty, staff and students who initiate work on a research or other project which could produce IP are required to disclose their efforts at the outset of the project to the CSURSF.
The purpose of IP Disclosure is to record IP that may be, is being, or was created and the circumstances under which it is or was created. It provides the basis for a determination of patentability, for drafting a patent application, and/or for registering a copyright. It also provides the initial basis for determining the commercial viability of the possible IP to be created.
An Intellectual Property Disclosure Form needs to be completed when something new and useful has been conceived of or developed, or when unusual, unexpected, or unobvious research results have been achieved.
An Intellectual Property Disclosure Form also needs to be completed when other forms of IP are created by faculty, staff, or students, unless the works are specifically excluded as noted in Sections 2, 4 and/or 5.
Once the form is signed by the Creator, the form and supporting documents should then be submitted to the CSURSF.
Disclosures are not required for Individual Efforts or for scholarly and creative works produced under the general obligation faculty and students have for developing such works which include, but are not limited to, textbooks, associated supplementary material, dissertations, class assignments, other books, musical compositions, works of art, and journal articles.
VIII. Dispute Resolution and Appeals
All cases in which questions arise as to equities, rights, division of royalties, or any other Intellectual Property-related matter shall first be referred to the Intellectual Property Committee for consideration, interpretation of policy, and decision.
CSU Faculty, staff and students shall have the right to appeal the decisions of the Intellectual Property Committee. Any appeal of an Intellectual Property Committee decision shall be first to the Provost, then, if one desires, to the President, and finally to the Board of Regents.
Appeals within the CSU must be made in writing within thirty (30) days of written notice of a final decision and will be adjudicated within 30 days after receipt by the entity at the next level in the appellate process. Appeals to the Board of Regents shall be made in accordance with Article IX of the Bylaws of the Board, which requires that all appeals be filed within twenty (20) days of the final decision of the President of the University.
Collaboration between CSU personnel and persons not employed or associated with the University, including researchers at other universities or companies can result in the development of IP jointly owned by CSU and other persons or their employers. Protection and commercialization of such joint Intellectual Property can be difficult without extensive cooperation and written agreement among the Creators. Accordingly, it is important for University personnel involved in, or contemplating collaborative efforts with outside entities which may result in the development of IP to advise their immediate supervisors, the Office of Research Services and Sponsored Programs, and the Director of the CSURSF of such activities. An agreement in writing between the parties will need to be signed prior to the collaboration.
Certain contractual obligations and governmental regulations may require that information be maintained in confidence. Additionally, some works, such as certain computer software, may best be protected and licensed as trade secrets, and inventions must be maintained in confidence for limited periods to avoid the loss of patent rights. Accordingly, the timing of publications is important, and CSU Personnel shall use their best efforts to keep the following items confidential:
All information or material designated confidential in a contract, grant, or the like;
All information or material designated or required to be maintained as confidential under any applicable governmental statutes or regulations; and
All information relating to IP developed by CSU Personnel which may be protected under this Policy until application has been made for protection.
XI. Obligations of Lead Creators
Lead Creators shall be responsible for informing co-workers, including students, of their rights and obligations under this Policy as well as under contracts, grants and the like before initiation of a research, creative or other project which would fall under this IP Policy.
XII. Heirs and Assigns
The provisions of this Policy shall inure to the benefit of and be binding upon the heirs and assigns of (i) all CSU personnel and (ii) all others who agree to be bound by it.
XIII. Prevailing Policy
In the event of a conflict between this IP Policy and any policy of the Board of Regents, the latter shall prevail.
XIV. Changes in Policy
This IP Policy may be changed by the President on the recommendation of the Intellectual Property Committee, with the endorsement of the Faculty Senate.
XV. Retention of Ownership
Ownership of IP will normally be retained by the CSURSF. This is to ensure that all licensable knowledge, processes and devices created or invented will be available for public use. Licensing agreements granted by the CSURSF will contain a due diligence provision which will require that the license revert to the CSURSF within a reasonable period of time if the licensee does not make the IP available to the public.
XVI. Policy Applicability
This IP Policy applies to all full or part-time faculty, staff and students of Columbus State University.
Faculty are to adhere to the guidelines below only when and if they do not impinge upon the tenets of academic freedom, to wit:
- Freedom to discuss all relevant matters in the classroom, to explore all avenues of scholarship, research, and creative expression, and to speak or write without institutional discipline or restraint on matters of public concern as well as on matters related to professional duties and the functioning of the university.
- Academic responsibility implies the faithful performance of professional duties and obligations, the recognition of the demands of the scholarly enterprise, and the candor to make it clear that when one is speaking on matters of public interest, one is not speaking for the institution.
Relations with Representative of News Media by Faculty
- The office of University Relations is the official source of information for media representatives and issues all news releases.
- The release of information about university athletic programs and athletes is a responsibility of the sports information director.
- The office of University Relations publicizes and promotes cultural, athletic and academic events throughout campus, working in coordination with a designated person within each area to promote those events to which the media or public would be invited.
- Faculty members are encouraged to talk with members of the media on topics in which they can provide expertise. University Relations is available to assist as needed in these situations, but prior approval is not required. They would appreciate hearing about interviews so they can track media coverage of the university.
- Media requests should be delegated to University Relations when media request information on (a) policy or issues for which a spokesperson has been designated; (b) items for which an “official” university response is needed; (c) issues that require two or more university sources; and (d) campus policy reports.
- The university will carry out the provisions of the state regulations on public records, which define legal access to information by the media and others.
Procedures for Publicizing Events for the General Public
- Plans for publicizing events should include contact with the University Relations office at least two weeks in advance.
- University Relations will initiate contact with the media to assure coordination of information.
- Refer media representatives to the University Relations office when inquiries pertain to university policy, questions to which an official response needs to be prepared, or responses that require coordination among two or more administrative units.
- Respond to media inquiries in a timely fashion by referring them to University Relations or by returning a call to a reporter if it is appropriate to respond as noted within the media relations policy.
- In a crisis situation, proceed as directed by the university's emergency procedures manual, copies of which are available in University Relations office, public safety, the president, vice presidents, and deans.
- University faculty and staff should make clear to the media when not speaking in an official capacity.
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