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Research Policies

Policies relating to research integrity, intellectual property, accessibility, and insurance at the University

Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy for Faculty and Other Academic Appointees

Participation in outside professional or commercial activities makes important direct and indirect contributions to the strength and vitality of the University and adds to the knowledge and understanding that is relevant and useful to teaching and research. It is essential, however, to have a policy in place to gaurd against the dangers of inappropriate or excessive outside interests or participation. This policy serves to protect the interested of "Covered Persons" through advancing a very positive goal: defense of the integrity and objectivity of the research and scholarship carried out at the University. The policy is available in full in the attachment below. 

Copyright & Fair Use

Copyright law provides for the principle, commonly called "fair use," where the reproduction of copyright works for certain limited, educational purposes, does not constitute copyright infringement. The Copyright Act establishes a four factor test, the "fair use test," used to determine whether the use of a copyrighted work is fair use and does not require the permission of the copyright owner. The fair use test is highly fact specific and much can turn on seemingly insignificant variations on the proposed use. For details on the "fair use test," please visit The University of Chicago's Copyright Information Center site. 

Copyright Policy for Faculty and Other Academic Appointees

Introduction

The  University’s  treatment  of  copyright  ownership  has  never  been articulated in any separate policy.  To be sure, ownership of copyrightable works involving new information technologies was addressed in the faculty report, New Information Technologies and Intellectual Property at the University (the “Report"). The Report applies the approach of the University’s patent policy, embodied in Statute 18 of the University Statutes.  Statute 18 provides that the University is the owner of patentable works made at the University, or with the substantial aid of the University’s facilities or funds administered by it.  Concerning copyrightable works involving new information technologies,  the  Report  states  the  following  basic principles:

  1. that “the University owns the intellectual property the faculty create at the University or with substantial aid of its facilities or its financial support,”
  2. that the University should not assert its ownership but allows “individual faculty [to] enjoy the revenue generated until it is substantial,”
  3. where the University asserts ownership, that “individual faculty members are entitled to share in the revenues from the intellectual property they have a hand in creating,” and
  4. that “divisions of revenue should follow those already in place for patents and discoveries.”  

The Report did not alter the University’s longstanding policy that faculty retain ownership of articles, books, and similar scholarly works that they produce at the University.  This Copyright Policy does not supplant the Report, but instead formalizes basic principles into an official policy, and provides additional guidance regarding the application of those principles in practice.

Ownership

The Copyright Act protects most works of original authorship from the moment they are fixed in a tangible medium of expression.   There is no filing or registration requirement for an original work created in the United States to be protected by U.S. copyright law.  The Copyright Act also provides that the owner of the copyright in a work created by a person in the course of his or her employment belongs to the employer, not to the individual creator, as a “work made for hire.”  Whether or not any particular faculty work would constitute “work made for hire” under the Copyright Act, the University has long sought to encourage creativity and innovation by recognizing that academic appointees, including faculty as well as postdoctoral researchers (collectively, “Academic Appointees”), enjoy ownership of copyrightable works they create at the University (“Covered Works”).   Subject to the limitations described in paragraph 3 below, the University upon request will provide written confirmation of an Academic Appointee’s ownership of a specific Covered Work.

Exceptions

The University will own the copyright or have specified rights in Covered Works in the following circumstances:

  1. Assigned Tasks: The University will own the copyright if the Covered Work is created by an Academic Appointee as part of an assigned task and the assignment expressly states that the University will own the copyright.
  2. Rights of Sponsors: If the Covered Work is developed by an Academic Appointee in the course of a sponsored award or agreement, ownership of and rights in the Covered Work will be determined in accordance with the terms of that award or agreement.
  3. Patentable Works: Some copyrightable works are owned by the University under the University’s Patent Policy (Statute 18 of the University Statutes), such as certain computer software.  Where the Covered Work is owned by the University under the Patent Policy, the University’s Patent Policy will apply to it and take precedence over this Copyright Policy (that is, if the University would own the Covered Work under the Patent Policy, the University will own the copyright in the Covered Work regardless of this Copyright Policy).
  4. Substantial Use of University Resources: If the Covered Work is created with substantial use of University resources, facilities or equipment, the University may elect to assert its ownership of the copyright.   The term “substantial” does not include ordinary use of personal computers, libraries, offices, departmental office equipment, or University-­‐paid research assistants.  The Provost will determine when the creation of a Covered Work involved substantial use of University resources, facilities or equipment.  The University will generally decline to assert ownership of Covered Works under this paragraph but may assert its rights when the revenue generated from the Covered Work becomes substantial.
  5. Other Cases: The University may elect to assert nonexclusive rights in copyright in other cases in which the Provost determines, in consultation with the University Faculty, that asserting such rights will serve important University and/or public interests, such as broad dissemination of scholarship, without unduly inhibiting the goals of encouraging scholarly creativity and innovation.   Any such assertion will be announced by the Provost in advance of its effectiveness.

If an Academic Appointee disagrees with a determination of ownership under this Policy, the dispute shall be resolved by the Committee on Intellectual Property, using procedures similar to those it uses to resolve disputes over ownership of inventions.

Sharing of Revenue

Where the University asserts ownership of a Covered Work, any net revenue which the University receives from the licensing, sale, lease or other use of the Covered Work will ordinarily be shared with the creator(s) of the Covered Work.   Revenue from Covered Works that are addressed in the University’s revenue sharing policy for inventions will be shared in accordance with that policy, as then in effect.  For Covered Works not addressed by the revenue sharing policy, the University will consider the revenue sharing policy then in effect in determining revenue sharing arrangements for Covered Works.

Works Created by Other Employees

Ownership of copyrighted works created by employees other than Academic Appointees, including students while they are employed by the University, shall be governed by the Copyright Act and other applicable law, as well as any applicable University policies.

Disability Assistance

Faculty and other academic appointees with disabilities who believe they may need workplace accommodation should contact their departmental chair or dean. The Associate Provost and Director of the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs may be contacted directly to initiate the disability determination and reasonable accommodation process.

Drones (Interim Policy on the Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems)

 
The use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“drones”) is primarily regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration, which is currently considering a regulatory framework for drones. Therefore, the University has issued this policy on an interim basis and will modify it as needed consistent with applicable legal developments. The University’s goal is to facilitate the use of drones for legitimate research and business purposes and satisfy the University’s evolving legal obligations. This policy applies to all commercial and noncommercial users of drones, including but not limited to students, faculty and other academic appointees, staff employees, postdoctoral researchers, contractors, employees of affiliates, volunteers, and visitors.
 
Until further notice, the use of drones on University property or property owned, leased or controlled by the University without prior written permission from the University Department of Safety and Security is prohibited. Any drone use off University property by students, faculty and other academic appointees, staff employees, post-doctoral researchers, contractors, employees of affiliates, volunteers, or visitors that creates a hazard to University property is also prohibited. In addition, authorized drones must be operated in a way that complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and federal guidelines, and does not disrupt University operations or disturb the environment of people in the vicinity. Students, faculty and other academic appointees, staff employees, post-doctoral researchers, contractors, employees of affiliates, volunteers, and visitors who violate this policy will be subject to discipline under the applicable University disciplinary processes, may be held responsible for damages, and may be banned from campus, and may also be subject to fines or other penalties under applicable federal, state, or local law.
 
For inquiries regarding the use of drones for research purposes, please contact Michael Ludwig, Associate Vice President for Research Administration and Director of University Research Administration, at mrludwig@uchicago.edu. For inquiries regarding the use of drones for other University business, please contact Eric Heath, Associate Vice President for Campus Safety & Security, at emheath@uchicago.edu

Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act

What follows are answers to frequently asked questions that are designed to help academic appointees, students in academic jobs, and postdoctoral researchers understand the nature of their obligations to report child abuse and neglect.

  1. What is ANCRA? ANCRA is the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, the Illinois child welfare law that requires certain individuals called “mandated reporters” to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS).
  2. What is a “mandated reporter?" ​Under ANCRA, “mandated reporters” are persons who are legally required to report immediately the suspected abuse or neglect of a child know to them in their official capacity to the IDCFS Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE FREE. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  3. Who at the University is a mandated reporter? Based on a recent change in the law, all University personnel are mandated reporters, including but not limited to all staff employees, academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, student employees, and volunteers.
  4. What does it mean to “suspect child abuse or neglect?” The threshold for reporting is when a mandated reporter has reasonable cause to believe that abuse or neglect is occurring to a child known to him or her in his or her official capacity.
  5. What is “reasonable cause” within the meaning of ANCRA? ANCRA does not define the term, and although there is no precise, universally accepted definition, reasonable cause under ANCRA generally exists when the known facts and the rational inferences that may be drawn from those facts would cause a reasonable person to conclude that a child is being abused or neglected.
  6. What is a “child” within the meaning of ANCRA? “Child” means any person under the age of 18 years, unless legally emancipated by reason of marriage or entry into a branch of the United States armed services.
  7. What is an “abused child” within the meaning of ANCRA? An “abused child” includes but is not limited to a child whose parent or immediate family member, or any person responsible for the child's welfare, or any individual residing in the same home as the child, or a paramour of the child's parent:
    • inflicts, causes to be inflicted, or allows to be inflicted upon a child physical injury, by other than accidental means, which causes death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health, or loss or impairment of any bodily function;
    • creates a substantial risk of physical injury to a child by other than accidental means which would be likely to cause death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health, or loss or impairment of any bodily function;
    • commits or allows to be committed any sex offense against a child, as sex offense is defined in the Illinois Criminal Code and Wrongs to Children Act, and extending those definitions of sex offenses to include children under 18 years of age;
    • commits or allows to be committed an act or acts of torture upon a child; or inflicts excessive corporal punishment.
  8. What is a “neglected child” within the meaning of ANCRA? Neglect occurs when a person responsible for the child deprives or fails to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or needed medical treatment.  Abandonment and inadequate supervision also constitute neglect. Further, neglect occurs under ANCRA when a child “is subjected to an environment which is injurious insofar as:
    • the child’s environment creates a likelihood of harm to the child’s health, physical well-being, or welfare and
    • the likely harm to the child is the result of a blatant disregard of parent or caretaker responsibilities.” According to IDCFS, “blatant disregard” means an incident where the real, significant, and imminent risk of harm would be so obvious to a reasonable parent or caretaker that it is unlikely that a reasonable parent or caretaker would have exposed the child to the danger without exercising precautionary measures to protect the child from harm.
  9. What are some examples of abuse and neglect? Although you should always use your best judgment to assess whether a child you know in your official capacity has been abused or neglected, normally you would call the IDCFS Child Abuse Hotline under circumstances such as:
    • you see marks on a child's body that do not appear to have been caused by accident;
    • you see someone hitting a child with an object;
    • a child tells you that he or she has been harmed or sexually abused by someone;
    • a child appears to be undernourished, is dressed inappropriately for the weather, or is young and has been left alone.
  10. What does it mean to know a child in my “official capacity?" Although ANCRA does not define “official capacity,” generally the term means the things you do in the course of carrying out the duties of your role at the University.  Thus to know a child in your official capacity means that you have become aware of or have gotten to know a child in the course of doing your job.  For example, a department chair who meets the children of a graduate student at a departmental social event would be deemed to know those children in his or her official capacity.  Likewise, an academic appointee who meets a child in connection with giving a lecture at the University would be deemed to know the child in his or her official capacity.
  11. What if I see or suspect child abuse off campus – for example, while taking a walk in the park, I see a man strike a child repeatedly with his fists? It depends on the circumstances.  As a mandated reporter, you are required only to report acts of suspected abuse or neglect that you learn about in your official capacity as a University employee, including but not limited to abuse or neglect you witness at a University event or on University property.  If the child you witnessed being abused during your walk in the park is not somebody you know through conducting your duties as a University academic appointee, then you do not have a duty to report to IDCFS, although you are not prohibited from doing so.  On the other hand, if you know the child because you met him or her while giving a tour of your research laboratory to a group of middle school students, you would have a duty to report immediately to IDCFS.
  12. What should I do if I have reasonable cause to believe that a child I know in my official capacity is being abused or neglected? You must immediately call the IDCFS Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE FREE.  Hotline staff are social workers with special training in determining what constitutes child abuse and neglect under ANCRA.
  13. What happens when I call the Hotline? When you call, a hotline social worker will listen to what you wish to report.  You should be prepared to tell the Hotline worker all germane facts related to the situation, including the child’s name, address and age; the nature of the suspected abuse or neglect, including when and where it occurred; the names of suspected perpetrators and their relationship to the child (parent, teacher, etc.); and any other information you think may help. The hotline worker will ask questions to help gather enough information to determine whether to take a formal report.  If there is not enough information to make a report, the worker will tell you so and answer any questions you may have.  If a formal report is taken, a child protection investigator will begin the investigation within 24 hours, but much sooner if the child is considered at immediate risk of harm.
  14. How am I protected if I report abuse or neglect? People who report alleged child abuse or neglect in good faith cannot be held liable for damages under criminal or civil law. In addition, their names are not given to the person they name as the abuser or to anyone else unless ordered by a hearing officer or judge. Although as a mandated reporter you may make a report without giving your name, doing so is disadvantageous because the investigator will not be able to contact you to verify information or gather additional information; you will not be notified of the results of the investigation; and if something happens to the child, you will have no legal proof that you fulfilled your role as a mandated reporter.
  15. Should I also call the police? If a child appears to be in imminent danger, you should seek immediate protection for the child by calling the University of Chicago Police Department at 2-8181 or the Chicago Police Department at 911.
  16. Do I satisfy my reporting duty if I tell my chair or call the police? No.  Reporting suspected abuse or neglect to a colleague, chair, dean, provost, an Harassment Complaint Adviser, the University’s whistleblower hotline or even the police department – but not IDCFS – does not satisfy the legal duty to report.  The only means of fulfilling one’s legal obligation and avoiding legal penalty is to report the suspected child abuse or neglect to IDCFS.
  17. What are the consequences if I fail to make a report to IDCFS even though I have a reasonable basis to believe that a child I know in my official capacity is being abused or neglected? Under the law, a mandated reporter's failure to report suspected instances of child abuse or neglect to IDCFS constitutes a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment for up to one year, or by a fine not to exceed $1,000, or both, and a second or subsequent violation is a Class 4 felony.  Finally, if you knowingly fail to report a case of suspected child abuse or neglect to IDCFS when you have a reasonable basis for doing so, you may be disciplined up to and including termination of appointment.
  18. Do I have additional obligations as a mandated reporter? Yes, under ANCRA, all mandated reporters must complete, sign and date an IDCFS-issued document called “acknowledgment of mandated reporter status” at their time of hire.  By signing the document, the individual acknowledges his or her status as a mandated reporter and affirms that he or she understands the applicable reporting requirements.  Also, as a matter of University policy, once you make a report to IDCFS, you must promptly notify the head of your academic unit – section chief, department chair, dean or provost – that you have made a report, as well as the circumstances that compelled the report.

For more information about the Abused and Neglected Child Report Act, please visit the Illinois General Assembly site. 

 

Indemnification/Risk Management/Insurance

The University shall indemnify all faculty members, other academic personnel, and professional employees ("covered persons") against expenses and liabilities (including attorneys' fees, costs, judgments and fines) actually and reasonably incurred by them in connection with, or resulting from, any action, suit or other proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative, to which they are a party arising out of any actual or alleged act or omission within the scope of their duties on behalf of the University (a "covered proceeding"). Covered proceedings do not include actions, suits, or other proceedings, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative, initiated by the University.

The University, in its sole discretion, shall be entitled to assume and control the defense of a covered proceeding. If the University chooses not to assume and control the defense of a covered proceeding, it shall have the right to approve in advance any legal counsel engaged by a covered person for that proceeding. The University shall have the sole discretion to make or approve any settlement of a covered proceeding.

The University shall have no obligation to indemnify a covered person in relation to matters in which he or she is finally adjudged to be liable because of bad faith, fraud, willful or wanton misconduct, commission of a crime, a knowing violation of law, or individually liable to the University. The University's indemnity obligation shall not apply with respect to any covered proceeding that is settled predicated on the existence or reasonable likelihood of liability based on a covered person's bad faith, fraud, willful or wanton misconduct, commission of a crime, knowing violation of the law, or individual liability to the University.

To be indemnified under this policy, a covered person must promptly notify the Office of Legal Counsel of any threatened or commenced covered proceeding, and provide the University with all information and full cooperation as requested by the University.

Information Technology Use and Access, The University of Chicago Policy on

Since its inception, the University has been absolutely committed to ensuring open discourse and the free expression of viewpoints and beliefs. The commitment includes ensuring that academic dialogue is free from unwarranted institutional intrusion and oversight. With the values of open discourse and institutional restraint as guideposts, the purpose of this University-wide policy is to articulate and promote the ethical, legal, and secure use of information technology by all members of the University of Chicago community and to confirm the University’s responsibilities in connection with accessing such information. For the full text of the policy, please visit the The University of Chicago Policy on Information Technology Use and Access page.

Mandatory Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

Illinois law requires certain individuals – called mandated reporters – to immediately report suspected child abuse or neglect to the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (IDCFS) Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE FREE.

Under the law, all “personnel of institutions of higher education” are mandated reporters and must immediately report any instance where there is reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their official capacity may be abused or neglected. This means that all University academic appointees/postdoctoral researchers, regardless of rank or compensation status, are mandated reporters. Note: some academic appointees/postdoctoral researchers also may be mandated reporters by virtue of being in another category of mandated reporters, e.g., physician.

The University thus requires all University academic appointees/postdoctoral researchers to immediately report to IDCFS if they have reasonable cause to believe a child known to them in their official capacity may be abused or neglected.

Failure by a mandated reporter to immediately report suspected instances of child abuse or neglect to IDCFS constitutes a Class A misdemeanor. Moreover, reporting suspicions to a colleague, mentor, chair, dean, director, provost, the Harassment Complaint Advisers, or the University’s whistleblower hotline – but not IDCFS – does not satisfy the legal duty to report. The only means of fulfilling one’s legal obligation and avoiding legal penalty is to report the suspected child abuse or neglect to IDCFS.

Reporting

Every University academic appointee/postdoctoral researcher who has reasonable cause to believe a child known to him/her in his/her official capacity has been abused or neglected must immediately call the IDCFS Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE FREE. This hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Thereafter, the academic appointee/postdoctoral researcher who makes such a report must promptly notify the head of his/her academic unit – mentor, section chief, department chair, dean or provost – that a report has been made, as well as the underlying circumstances that compelled the report.

If a child is in imminent danger, the academic appointee/postdoctoral researcher should seek immediate protection for the child by calling the University of Chicago Police Department at 2-8181 or the Chicago Police Department at 911.  After making this emergency call, the postdoctoral researcher must immediately call the IDCFS Hotline.

Definitions1

Child means any person under the age of 18 years, unless legally emancipated by reason of marriage or entry into a branch of the United States armed services.

Abused child includes but is not limited to a child whose parent or immediate family member, or any person responsible for the child's welfare, or any individual residing in the same home as the child, or a paramour of the child's parent:

  • inflicts, causes to be inflicted, or allows to be inflicted upon such child physical injury, by other than accidental means, which causes death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health, or loss or impairment of any bodily function;
  • creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such child by other than accidental means which would be likely to cause death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health, or loss or impairment of any bodily function;
  • commits or allows to be committed any sex offense against such child, as sex offense is defined in the Illinois Criminal Code and Wrongs to Children Act, and extending those definitions of sex offenses to include children under 18 years of age;
  • commits or allows to be committed an act or acts of torture upon such child;
  • inflicts excessive corporal punishment.

Neglected child includes but is not limited to any child who is not receiving the proper or necessary nourishment or medically indicated treatment including food or care not provided solely on the basis of the present or anticipated mental or physical impairment as determined by a physician acting alone or in consultation with other physicians or otherwise is not receiving the proper or necessary support or medical or other remedial care recognized under State law as necessary for a child's well-being, or other care necessary for his or her well- being, including adequate food, clothing and shelter; or who is abandoned by his or her parents or other person responsible for the child's welfare without a proper plan of care.

Mandated Reporter Acknowledgment

Effective June 27, 2012, and as a condition of appointment, all new University academic appointees/postdoctoral researcher must execute the IDCFS-issued “Acknowledgment of Mandated Reporter Status” form, which will be maintained by the University as a personnel record.

Consequences of Failing To Report

A University academic appointee/postdoctoral researcher who knowingly fails to report a case of suspected child abuse or neglect to IDCFS if they have reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their official capacity may be abused or neglected may be disciplined up to and including termination of appointment.

Immunity

Illinois law protects the identity of all mandated reporters and gives them immunity from liability as a result of good faith reports.  However, any mandated reporter who fails to report an instance of child abuse or neglect commits a crime and may be prosecuted.  More importantly, failing to report child abuse or neglect means that a child may continue to be abused or neglected.

Other Considerations

The Illinois Rules of Professional Responsibility are applicable to academic appointees who practice law as part of their job responsibilities. Those academic appointees may disclose client confidences only as permitted or required by the Rules.

Resource Materials

All University academic appointees are strongly encouraged to review educational materials provided by IDCFS regarding mandated reporter obligations, including the on-line training module “Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse: Training for Mandated Reporters.” Additional on-line resources include the IDCFS web page for mandated reporters, the IDCFS Manual for Mandated Reporters, and and the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act

In June 2012, a long-standing Illinois law was amended to expand the definition of “mandated reporters” of child abuse and neglect to include “all personnel of institutions of higher education.” Since 1975, “mandated reporters” under the law have typically been professionals (e.g., physicians and teachers) who work with children in the course of their professional duties.  Some University of Chicago employees thus have been mandated reporters under the law for their entire careers here.

This new law means that now, ALL University personnel are “mandated reporters” and must immediately report to a 24-hour hotline any instance where there is reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their official capacity is being abused or neglected. Additionally, every new University employee now must execute at the time of hire an “acknowledgement of mandated reporter status” form as prescribed by the state.

Your execution of the form is a condition of appointment.  If you refuse to sign the form, your appointment will not become effective. The University strongly encourages you to take IDCFS’s online training course to help you understand more about your role in recognizing and reporting child abuse. You can print a Certificate of Completion upon successful completion of the training. The training can be accessed here.

Additional online resources include:

You should feel free to contact Ted Stamatakos in the Office of Legal Counsel with any questions: 773-702-7516, stamatak@uchicago.edu.

1. Definitions are from the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, 325 ILCS 5/1 et seq.

Misconduct

Discipline is handled initially at the unit level. In the case of faculty or academic personnel misconduct, the member's chair or director may investigate the matter and respond appropriately. If the matter is of a more serious nature, it normally will be investigated by the appropriate dean. Should the matter persist or be of a still more serious nature, the provost may be consulted. The chair, director, dean, or provost may opt to refer the matter to a faculty committee for investigation and consultation. Issues of unlawful harassment, academic fraud, or conflict of interest will be investigated by the respective standing panel or committee in accordance with those specific policies.

Patent Policy (Statute 18)

18.1. The basic policies of The University of Chicago include complete freedom of research and the unrestricted dissemination of information. While the traditional method of dissemination of the results of academic work is through publication in scholarly or other public media, developments having commercial potential often arise in the course of University research or other activities. For the benefit of the University, the inventor or creator, and the public, the University endeavors to bring the products of research to practical implementation. Where research or other activities carried out at the University, or with substantial aid of its facilities or funds administered by it, result in inventions, discoveries, or device-like software, such intellectual property shall be disclosed to the University, and shall be the property of the University from inception. The inventor or creator shall agree in writing to notify the University promptly of any such intellectual property and to assign to the University all of his or her rights, title and interests in such intellectual property, in the form of a present assignment of future rights. The inventor or creator shall comply with the University’s request that he or she perfect the University’s ownership of the intellectual property by execution of a recordable assignment of the intellectual property to the University, or to an organization designated by the University. The University, acting directly or through its designee, shall endeavor to license or assign such intellectual property in a manner that benefits the University and the public, and provides a return to the inventor or creator. The inventor or creator shall be consulted and kept informed of the arrangements. The conditions for the disposition of intellectual property rights shall be consistent with:

  1. the basic policies of the University,
  2. the terms of sponsorship of activities that led to the intellectual property, and
  3. the requirements of law and professional ethics.

18.2. Where neither the University nor its designated organization wishes to retain the rights to the intellectual property, and the conditions of sponsorship so permit, the inventor or creator may be allowed to obtain the rights, and to obtain patents, at the expense and for the benefit of the inventor or creator, but in any event the customary processes of academic publication will be utilized for the benefit of the scholarly and general public.

18.3. This §18 does not apply in any situation where the Illinois Employee Patent Act or other law does not permit the University to require that rights be assigned to it. In any situation where the inventor or creator retains rights under this §18, the inventor or creator may offer to assign the intellectual property to the University or its designee, upon such terms as may be agreed upon.

18.4. Procedures to implement the foregoing shall be developed and administered by the Office of Technology and Intellectual Property under the direction of the President or his or her designee.

 

To read this Statute in context, please see the University of Chicago's Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Statutes found here. Note that the Statutes do change, and the current edition (dated October 28, 2015) differs from older versions and will likely differ from versions yet to be approved.

Policy on the Safety of Children in University Programs

The University of Chicago is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for children who participate in University programs. This policy affirms that commitment by setting forth screening, training and conduct requirements for faculty, academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, staff, student employees, volunteers and others who staff University programs that serve children. This policy also restates the legal obligation borne by all University faculty, academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, staff, student employees and volunteers to report known or suspected abuse or neglect of a child. Under this policy, a “child” or “minor” is any person under the age of 18.

To see the full text of the University's Policy on the Safety of Children in University Programs, please click here

To see FAQs about the University's Policy on the Safety of Children in University Programs, please click here

Principal Investigator Eligibility

Responsibility for setting the course of research at the University of Chicago is vested with the faculty. A principal investigator is a member of the academic staff or faculty who bears responsibility for the intellectual leadership of a project. The principal investigator accepts overall responsibility for directing the research, the financial oversight of the award's funding, as well as compliance with relevant University policies and federal regulations as well as sponsor terms and conditions of an award. For the full policy on PI eligibility, please visit the Principal Investigator Eligibility page on the University Research Administration's website. 

Property Insurance

The University does not insure the property of faculty or academic staff members, whether it is located on or off campus. Arrangements for coverage of personal property should be made with an insurance agent. Coverage for University property used by faculty members on or off campus is available from the University. 

Residence Requirements (Faculty and Other Academic Appointees, Statute 14)

Statute 14. Residence Requirements for Academic Appointees. Individuals appointed under Statute 11 for full-time service during each appointive year shall perform service (in instruction, research, and other activities) as may be recommended by the appropriate Dean and approved by the Provost. Work under such assignments shall be considered to be service in residence, and shall normally be performed within the University, but such service may be rendered outside the University when recommended by the Dean and approved by the Provost. Periods of freedom from assignment, when extended to one Quarter or more, are considered to be out of residence unless otherwise specified in the Statutes. A member of the Faculty or an academic appointee under Statute 11.2 during the Quarters of residence may not engage in consultation, teaching at other universities, regular compensated lecturing, compensated editorial activities, or other substantial outside employment, unless such activity is consistent with the faculty member’s or academic appointee’s obligations to the University, is not inimical to the fullest development of scholarly activities, and meets with the approval of the faculty member’s or academic appointee’s Chair and Dean.

14.1. Three-Quarter Appointments: Each Faculty member under this type of appointment shall perform service in residence during three Quarters of the member’s appointive year as may be recommended by the appropriate Dean and approved by the Provost.  Compensation for such service is payable in twelve equal monthly installments annually.

14.2. Four-Quarter Appointments: When certain types of continuous service are required, a member of the Faculty may be appointed to serve during the four Quarters (or equivalent thereof) of the academic year. Compensation shall be in twelve equal monthly installments. The different types of Four-Quarter appointments provided for are designated below by the symbol used in budget and appointment forms.

  1. 4 Q: Four-Quarter appointments requiring specified service in each Quarter are provided for members of the Faculty assigned to teaching, research, or administrative duties through four Quarters of the year. Persons receiving this type of appointment shall be entitled to four weeks of vacation  annually.
  2. 4 S: This type of Four-Quarter appointment is provided for members of the staffs of the clinics and clinical Departments of the Pritzker School of Medicine appointed under §11.1.1 to §11.1.4. Appointees are subject to the Divisional regulations on full-time service. Service in the classrooms, laboratories, and clinics, as may be approved by the Dean, is required throughout the appointive year, except that the appointee is entitled to four weeks of vacation annually. Fees charged for professional services shall be paid to the University, including income received for professional consultation and professional services outside the University.
  3. 4 CT: This type of Four-Quarter appointment is provided for members of the staffs of the clinics and clinical Departments of the Pritzker School of Medicine who are appointed under §11.1.5. Appointees are subject to the Divisional regulations on full-time service. Service in the classrooms, laboratories, and clinics, as may be approved by the Dean, is required throughout the appointive year, except that the appointee is entitled to four weeks of vacation annually. Fees charged for professional services shall be paid to the University, including income received for professional consultation and professional services outside the University.

Members of a Faculty who accept full-time appointment under these conditions, and who have served thereunder eleven Quarters or longer in the rank of Assistant Professor or higher, shall be eligible to apply for one full Quarter out of residence for each such eleven Quarters of service, with pay at the basic academic salary in force when such leave is taken, except that under no circumstances may a member of the Faculty accumulate more than two Quarters of leave in out-of-residence status and, when a second Quarter of such leave has been accumulated, no further accumulation is permitted until at least one full Quarter of such leave has been taken.

14.3. The President is authorized to make provision for less than full-time appointments.

 

To read this Statute in context, please see the University of Chicago's Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Statutes found here. Note that the Statutes do change, and the current edition (dated October 28, 2015) differs from older versions and will likely differ from versions yet to be approved.

Travel Policy

The purpose of the University's Travel Policy is to manage University resources wisely and meet requirements imposed upon the University from external entities while treating the Traveler and the University equitably. To see the University's policy in full, please visit the Travel Policies and Procedures page on the Financial Services site.

U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, University Policy on

When engaging in international University research and other activities, University community members, including faculty, OAAs and postdoctoral appointees, are required to act ethically, honestly and with integrity and to comply with applicable laws. This includes compliance with anti-bribery provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), which prohibits bribery of foreign officials. To assist you with satisfying their FCPA obligations, the University has developed a FCPA Policy, together with additional guidance and FAQs.

To see the full text of the University's FCPA Policy and FAQs, please click here

You may also contact the Global Engagement Office via global@uchicago.edu to request a training session on the FCPA and the University’s Policy.

University of Chicago Patent Agreement and Assignment (PAA) Policy

To comply with the provisions of Statute 18.1, all appointees as well as Postdoctoral Researchers are required to execute a “present assignment of future rights,” or Patent Agreement and Assignment (PAA). Because it is not possible to determine in advance which faculty or other academic appointees will create intellectual property covered by Statute 18, appointees are to execute the PAA either at the time an initial offer of appointment is extended by the University or, if already appointed, as soon as possible but no later than the next date of either reappointment or salary change.

To execute the PAA or confirm that an Agreement is on file, use your CNetID to log in to https://policymanagement.uchicago.edu/ 

Statute 18 reads, in part, as follows [emphasis added]:

18.1. The basic policies of The University of Chicago include complete freedom of research and the unrestricted dissemination of information. While the traditional method of dissemination of the results of academic work is through publication in scholarly or other public media, developments having commercial potential often arise in the course of University research or other activities. For the benefit of the University, the inventor or creator, and the public, the University endeavors to bring the products of research to practical implementation. Where research or other activities carried out at the University, or with substantial aid of its facilities or funds administered by it, result in inventions, discoveries, or device-like software, such intellectual property shall be disclosed to the University, and shall be the property of the University from inception. The inventor or creator shall agree in writing to notify the University promptly of any such intellectual property and to assign to the University all of his or her rights, title and interests in such intellectual property, in the form of a present assignment of future rights. The inventor or creator shall comply with the University’s request that he or she perfect the University’s ownership of the intellectual property by execution of a recordable assignment of the intellectual property to the University, or to an organization designated by the University. The University, acting directly or through its designee, shall endeavor to license or assign such intellectual property in a manner that benefits the University and the public, and provides a return to the inventor or creator. The inventor or creator shall be consulted and kept informed of the arrangements.


Frequently Asked Questions University of Chicago Patent Agreement and Assignment (PAA)

  1. What is the PAA? The University's long-standing Patent Policy (Statute 18) gives the University rights in discoveries and inventions that are created by people working at or for the University. The PAA is an agreement between you and the University that confirms the rights that the University already has under Statute 18. Except in unusual circumstances, you will be asked to sign the PAA only once (not annually) during your association with the University.
  2. Does the PAA change or enlarge the University’s policy regarding inventions? No. The PAA does not create rights in inventions that the University does not already have under Statute 18. For many years, all academic appointments at the University have been expressly made subject to the appointee’s compliance with the University’s Statutes and other administrative policies. By accepting their appointments at the University, all current academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, and affiliates have already agreed to be bound by Statute 18 and to the University’s ownership of inventions on the terms described in Statute 18. The PAA has no effect on or implications for the University's policies or practices with respect to copyrighted works in any medium.
  3. If I am already bound by Statute 18, why is the University now requiring a signed PAA? The PAA is being implemented at the University because recent patent law court decisions (in cases not involving the University), most notably the United States Supreme Court’s decision in the case Stanford v. Roche, have highlighted the importance of obtaining a written assignment of inventions prior to the time an invention is made. As a result of these court decisions, research universities in the United States have implemented or are in the process of implementing procedures for obtaining similar signed patent agreements from all academic appointees. The PAA process was vetted with the Faculty Committee on Individual Conflicts of Interest as part of its review of similar procedures for obtaining conflict of interest assurances under the University’s conflict of interest policy.
  4. I am not an inventor and never will be, so why do I have to do this? There is no practical way of determining which University appointees may, in the future, create something with University resources that could be patented and in which the University has ownership. Inventions sometimes arise in unlikely settings and in unexpected ways. We have tried to make the process of signing and submitting the PAA as easy as possible to minimize your inconvenience.
  5. What if I do not sign? If you have not begun your appointment, your offer of appointment is contingent on your signature on the PAA; if you do not sign, your appointment will not become effective, your employment at the University may not commence, and you will not be paid. If you are a current appointee and do not sign, your term appointment may not be renewed unless you comply, or you may not receive raises or other discretionary compensation from the University (other than compensation to which you are now contractually entitled).
  6. What if I have questions before I sign? If you have questions about the PAA you should first contact your department chair, a dean of your professional school, or your institute director to seek clarification. They in turn can contact or refer you to the relevant administrative offices of the University, depending on the nature of the question.

Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct, Policy on

The University of Chicago is a community of scholars dedicated to research, academic excellence, and the pursuit and cultivation of learning. Members of the University community cannot thrive unless each is accepted as an autonomous individual and is treated without regard to characteristics irrelevant to participation in the life of the University. Freedom of expression is vital to our shared goal of the pursuit of knowledge and should not be restricted by a multitude of rules. At the same time, unlawful discrimination, including harassment, compromises the integrity of the University. The University is committed to taking necessary action to prevent, correct, and, where indicated, discipline unlawful discrimination.

Sexual misconduct may violate the law, does violate the standards of our community, and is unacceptable at the University of Chicago.  Sexual misconduct can be devastating to the person who experiences it directly and can adversely impact family, friends, and the larger community. People who believe they have experienced any sexual misconduct are encouraged to report the incident and to seek medical care and support as soon as possible.

To see the University's policy in full, please visit the Harassment Policy site. 

Whistle Blower

It is the responsibility of employees who are aware of inappropriate actions to make the University aware so the situation can be properly addressed. For details on the University's process for addressing inappropriate activites, please visit the Whistleblower page of the Risk Management and Internal Audit site.