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Section 6: Policies and Procedures


The university community is governed by a number of written principles arising from different sources. The highest level is the United States Constitution followed by federal laws that are adopted by the United States Congress. At the state level, there is a Florida Constitution, a document adopted by the people of Florida, and the Florida Statutes adopted by the Florida Legislature. Administrative rules/regulations are the next level of written legal principles. These are authorized by the Florida Legislature and must be adopted by state agencies through a formal process of public notice and legislative review. Formal rules/regulations have authority almost at the level of legislatively enacted statutes. The Florida State University Constitution has been enacted as a formally adopted rule/regulation. (Appendix C) The University Constitution provides the basic legal document which, subject to state and federal law and the authority of the Board of Trustees and Board of Governors, governs the University. The Constitution outlines the organization of the University, the functions of its various officers and units, and basic tenure policies.

The Florida Board of Governors has adopted a process for the universities to adopt formal university regulations that have much the same stature as rules/regulations adopted pursuant to the Florida Administrative Code. Existing administrative rules/regulations have been carried over as university regulations with the same reference number and are available on the university Web site (http://regulations.fsu.edu). Thus, any reference to a rule would also refer to the corresponding identical university regulation.

The next level of governance is policies and procedures. These are more informally adopted at the local level. In the case of a university, including Florida State University, such policies and procedures may arise from a number of sources. The Faculty Senate, for instance, adopts certain policies and procedures governing purely academic or other faculty issues. The Board of Trustees of the University and, through the Trustees, the President, Vice Presidents and others in the administration of the university adopt certain policies and procedures governing each of their respective areas of responsibility. For example, we have computer use policies, alcohol policies, sexual harassment policies and so forth, which will be discussed further below. Some of these policies have also been adopted as formal rules/regulations under the statutory rule/regulation- making procedure, giving them greater formal legal authority. With the advent of a Board of Governors, created through the Florida Constitution effective January 7, 2003, the Florida university system is currently going through a transitional period. As an authority created by the Florida Constitution, the Florida Board of Governors arguably has independent authority from the Florida Legislature to create binding policies outside the formal rule/regulation making process. Of further relevance is any Collective Bargaining Agreement with an appropriate employee representative organization.

NOTE: Certain policies and procedures that are of general interest and useful to faculty have been referenced here in alphabetical order. There are other policies and procedures in existence that may be of importance to individual departments or to more specific situations. It is always important to verify that any policy or procedure found here, on the university Web site or elsewhere, is the most current and accurate applicable policy and procedure. Please check with the appropriate department chair, dean, the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement or the General Counsel’s Office, if in doubt. Many university academic entities have adopted their own internal policies and it is necessary to check with the Dean, Director or Chair to obtain any current policies applicable to such entities. These policies must, of course, be consistent with law and general university policies. 

Alcohol and Drugs

The entire Florida State University Alcohol Policy may be found at: http://policies.fsu.edu/content/download/21870/140883/
. A few highlights follow.

Alcohol will be permitted at Florida State University only in those settings that:

  • Comply with federal or state laws, local ordinances, University regulations, foreign country laws (in the case of study abroad programs conducted by Florida State University International Programs, Inc.), Student Conduct Code, and this policy;
  • Present minimum health and safety risks; and
  • In no way inhibit the full participation of those who choose not to drink alcohol.

Except with special permission, only certain designated locations on campus are approved for serving alcoholic beverages as specifically outlined in the full Alcohol Policy. For special permission for faculty events, consult with the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement. For student events, contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. For direct support organizations or other university events, contact the Office of Vice President for University Relations.

No individual under the legal drinking age (minimum of 21 years of age) may serve, sell, consume or possess alcohol on university properties, except to the extent allowed by law within licensed premises or designated areas of the university.

No individual may serve or otherwise provide alcohol to persons under the legal drinking age.

The Sale of Alcohol: The sale of alcohol on campus must be approved by the President or his or her designee. Although the President or his designee may approve the sale of alcohol on campus, only the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco can issue the permit required to sell alcohol in the State of Florida.

Promotional Guidelines: The on-campus promotion of activities or events shall not advertise alcohol or sponsorship by alcohol marketers without prior written approval of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Laws and Regulations: All members of the campus community (students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests) must adhere to all applicable state and local laws and university regulations related to the sale and use of alcohol.

Any organization found not to be in compliance with the university alcohol policy at their event may be subject to university disciplinary action and may forfeit its right to any fee support from the university. 

Standard of Conduct: Drug- and Alcohol-Free Workplace

The University standard of conduct is that no employee will report to work under the influence of or unlawfully possess, unlawfully use, or unlawfully distribute illicit drugs and alcohol on University property or as part of any University activities.

Legal Sanctions (Alcohol and Drug)

State law prohibits the possession of alcoholic beverages by persons under age 21, punishable for the first offense by a possible term of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days and/or a $500 fine. Serving or selling alcohol to minors is also a criminal offense.

The illegal possession or sale of alcohol and drugs has a wide range of consequences from the minimal punishment of a fine to very long terms in state or federal prison for certain drug offenses. 

Available Rehabilitation and Treatment (Alcohol and Drug)

Drug and Alcohol counseling and rehabilitation programs are available through the Employee Assistance Program. [Note that the Faculty Assistance Program, part of the Employee Assistance Program, Web site at http://www.eap.fsu.edu, is available to assist faculty and staff on a strictly confidential basis with a number of personal problems that may be affecting the faculty member’s work including family, financial, emotional and stress, in addition to substance abuse.]

Florida State University, through an agreement with the Student Counseling Center, also provides referral advice to faculty with substance abuse problems. A Dean and Department Chair who determines that a faculty member in their unit may have such a problem will contact the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement, who will arrange for assistance from the Faculty Assistance Program. The goal of this service is to counsel the at-risk faculty member into participating in a rehabilitation program at one of the local service agencies or a similar program in the private sector.

University rules/regulations and the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement provide that faculty whose alcohol or substance abuse impairs their ability to perform assigned duties will be required to enter a prescribed rehabilitation under the Compulsory Disability Leave policy. Refusal to comply with its provisions can lead to disciplinary action. Failure to fulfill the terms and conditions of the program can lead to the faculty member being released from employment.

In addition, help is also available through the following:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous: 850-224-1818
  • Narcotics Anonymous: 850-599-2876 

Institutional Disciplinary Sanctions (Alcohol and Drug)

The University may impose disciplinary sanctions on employees who violate the standards of conduct described.

The disciplinary sanctions for the illegal possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol will be consistently enforced and will range from a letter of reprimand to a 3-day suspension without pay, up to and including dismissal from employment, in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements and/or other applicable policies and procedures, as well as referral for prosecution for violation of the criminal law. A sanction may also include the completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program. 

Animal Subjects

The use of animal subjects in research parallels that of the use of human subjects including the need for prior approval.

The University and funding agencies are committed to providing the highest care for and responsible use of animals in research, teaching, and testing. Any research, teaching, or testing involving vertebrate animals by FSU faculty, staff, or students must comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines. This policy covers both funded and un-funded research as well as thesis, dissertation and special projects. University policy is mandated by the Congress through the Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals as well as various state regulations.

The Institutional Official responsible for animal research is the Vice President for Research. Oversight of compliance is the responsibility of the FSU Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC). Facilitating animal-related research and teaching at FSU is the responsibility of the Department of Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR). Check with the Office of Research, Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) Secretary at 850-644-2462 and https://www.research.fsu.edu/research-offices/acuc/ for current requirements. 

Copyright/Fair Use


The educational “fair use” exemption to the copyright law is often misunderstood. It is actually a quite limited exemption for classroom use of excerpts of copyrighted materials. These excerpts must be brief and are limited to one chapter, an article from a periodical or newspaper, a short story or essay, or a chart, cartoon, diagram, picture or the like. Moreover, the material may only be used for a single class and may not be developed into a permanent classroom document. An exception would be when a copyright release is obtained from the copyright holder. So-called course packs compiled by legitimate commercial print shops usually have been through this copyright release process.

Further information concerning copyright and fair use may be found at: http://igs.fsu.edu/Copyright-Information/Policy 

The Teach Act of 2002

The Teach Act of 2002 essentially extends fair use to online courses; however, there are certain restrictions. The course must be set up so that the materials cannot be retained by the student past the class session and the online instruction must be mediated by an instructor. More information on the Teach Act may be found at: http://distance.fsu.edu/docs/instructors/TEACHAct.pdf

Library Photocopying

In order to fall within the fair use exemption, library photocopies are not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” Otherwise, photocopying copyrighted material may violate the copyright laws. More information on this aspect of fair use may be found at: http://igs.fsu.edu/Copyright-Information/Policy

Finance and Administration Policies

The Division of Finance and Administration has adopted a number of Policies and Procedures related to the everyday non-academic operation of the university. They are each assigned an Online Policy or “OP’ number. These are relevant to everyone in the university. They may be accessed at http://policies.vpfa.fsu.edu/policies2.html#top. The following subject areas are addressed:

  • OP-A Business Operations
  • OP-B Facilities/Space
  • OP-C Faculty & Staff
  • OP-D Financial
  • OP-E General University
  • OP-F Records/Information
  • OP-G Safety/ Insurance
  • OP-H Technology 

Honorary Degrees

The University Honorary Degree Committee is an advisory committee appointed by the President to represent the University community. The Committee reviews information and nominates persons to receive honorary degrees. The President selects the recipients of honorary degrees.

Eligibility: In general, it shall be the intent of the Committee to honor persons of outstanding achievement who have gained national or international recognition or made a significant scholarly, creative, public, business, or humane contribution to the United States or to Florida State University.

Nominations: Any active or retired faculty member or any other member of the university community or friend of the University may suggest potential honorary degree recipients to the Committee.

Nominations will be accompanied by supportive data which should include, but not be limited to: (1) a resume, CV, or biographical sketch; (2) an explanation as to why an award should be given; and (3) names and addresses of distinguished persons in a position to provide objective evaluations of the recommendation. Three letters of recommendation may be sufficient to meet the requirements of (2) and (3).

Procedural Guidelines: The Chair is responsible for scheduling committee meetings, collecting items for the agenda and organizing the work of the group. The President will select the chair of the committee. In order to conduct official committee business, a majority of the members shall be present. The Committee shall vote on a list of candidates to recommend to the President.

Advancement of a candidate from level 1 (nomination) to level 2 will require the approval of a majority of the members of the Committee. Every year the names of those nominees who have not advanced beyond level 1 will be removed from consideration unless re-nominated.

Advancement of a candidate from level 2 to level 3 (recommendation to the President for an honorary degree) will require the approval of a majority of the members of the Committee. Every two years the names of nominees who have not advanced beyond the second level will be removed from consideration.

Failure of any member to attend five consecutive meetings of the Committee will constitute cause for removal from the Committee by the President. The Chair of the Committee will notify the President when a member has not attended five consecutive meetings. The President will then appoint a replacement.

Emergency meetings and votes may be held through email for matters requiring urgent attention. 

Human Subjects

Because the University receives federal funding, federal regulations require the approval by the Human Subjects Committee of all projects planned by students, faculty or employees collecting data from human subjects where such data will be published. It should be emphasized that use of human subjects may include use in psychological or other forms of testing or use in other than what might be traditionally considered as medical experimentation. The use of such data may be disallowed in any formal or published research activities where the required prior approval is not obtained.  See http://www.research.fsu.edu/humansubjects/ for further details. 

Institutes and Centers

Institutes and centers are university entities established to coordinate intra- and inter-institutional research, service, and/or educational training activities that supplement and extend existing instruction, research, and service at the state universities.

Institutes and Centers are established to focus in-depth study and research on broadly defined educational, social, economic and scientific problems and issues.

There are two types of Centers: (A) State of Florida Institutes or Centers or (B) University Institutes or Centers. 

State of Florida Institutes and Centers

A State of Florida institute or center has, among other characteristics, a statewide mission; includes two or more universities; and is approved by the Board of Governors.

A Memorandum of Understanding must first be approved by the University Board of Trustees which will be presented to the Council of Academic Vice Presidents for submission to the State University Presidents Association. The Chancellor will consider these recommendations in submitting the request for approval to the Board of Governors for final approval. 

University Centers or Institutes

A university institute or center is established normally within a single university and is funded by appropriations for that center and/or grants or donations. It may expend funds appropriated by the Legislature to that center. Additional institutions may participate, in some instances, with one university as the host.

University centers or institutes are created under university-established procedures. A more detailed description of each such centers or institutes has been issued by the Chancellor. Any faculty member interested in creating new centers or institutes should first contact the Provost’s Office. https://provost.fsu.edu/institutes-centers/guidelines/

Legal Issues-Legal Liability

Sovereign immunity is a judicial doctrine that precludes bringing suit against the government without its consent. The university and its employees enjoy immunity from suit except to the extent that has been waived by the Legislature. It is a complicated area of the law but, generally, the university is liable up to $200,000 to any one person or $300,000 in total for any one claim. A faculty member would not be personally liable in most situations as long as the conduct in question was in the scope of that faculty member’s duties or authority and as long as the action was taken without any personal malice. 

Limitation on Personal Liability-Statute

Florida Statutes, 768.28(9) (a) provides:No officer, employee, or agent of the State or any of its subdivisions shall be held personally liable in tort or named as a party defendant in any action for any injury or damage suffered as a result of any act, event or omission of action in the scope of his employment or function unless such officer, employee or agent acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose or in a manner exhibiting wanton or willful disregard of human rights, safety or property. 

Liability-University Policy

To implement the principles of sovereign immunity and protect the interests of the university, faculty and staff, the University has adopted the following policy guidelines:

Any faculty member named in a civil action arising out of the performance of his or her duties or responsibilities should deliver directly to the Office of the General Counsel, upon receipt, any pleading, summons, subpoena or similar legal documents, in order that the Office might evaluate the rights and responsibilities of the affected faculty member. Where possible, personal delivery is recommended upon advance telephone notice.

Failure to notify the University, through this Office, in a timely fashion, may affect the rights of the parties and the ability of the University and the Board of Trustees to defend any action. See BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 21.4.

Where a faculty member is named in a civil action in his or her individual capacity as opposed to official capacity, or if it is otherwise alleged that he or she acted in bad faith, with malicious purpose or otherwise in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety or property, the faculty member may be advised to seek outside counsel to represent the faculty member individually. In any event, a faculty member is free to consult and retain outside counsel to represent his or her interests in any civil litigation arising out of the performance of assigned duties and responsibilities. 

Library Policies

University Library policies of general interest to the faculty are posted at: https://www.lib.fsu.edu/faculty-services 


Lobbying is the personal solicitation to induce legislators or other governmental officials to vote or take action for one’s own benefit or that of another person or group. Generally, one must be registered to lobby before the state Legislature or a state executive agency. For purposes of the University, there are normally only a limited number of people registered to lobby for the University or any of its units; the President, the Vice President for University Relations and the official university lobbyist. As individuals, faculty and staff may always lobby for personal causes or for other non-University causes and are responsible for whatever registration, disclosure or other ethical or legal requirements may apply.

Considerations of ethics are also involved and all University employees are governed to some degree by Chapter 112, Florida Statutes, the state ethics law. For a good overview of state ethics law, see a publication by the Florida Commission on Ethics at http://www.ethics.state.fl.us/Documents/Publications/

Misconduct in Research and Creative Activity (FSU Policy 7A-2)

Policy Statement

In fostering academic freedom, it is the policy of Florida State University to uphold the highest standards of integrity in research and creative activity, and to protect the right of its employees to engage in research and creative activity. Researchers are expected to adhere to the standards of research in their area of endeavor, and to encourage adherence to those standards by their colleagues and by those under their supervision. Particularly unacceptable are fabrication or falsification of data in scientific research, and plagiarism in any research or creative endeavor. Deviations which are believed to constitute misconduct are to be reported to an appropriate University official. Misconduct does not include honest error or honest difference in interpretations or judgment of data.

Florida State University is committed to adhering to and enforcing applicable federal, state and local laws and to following procedures required by funding agencies from which contract and grant funds are secured. Researchers are to be aware of any special provisions regarding standards of research and of procedures required by funding agencies for resolving allegations of misconduct in research. Application for funding from an agency shall indicate that the researcher agrees to the procedures required by that agency should it be necessary to investigate an allegation of misconduct in research.

Reporting Allegations of Misconduct in Research and Creative Activity

A suspected instance of misconduct in research and creative activity is to be reported to an appropriate University official. Normally this report will be to the departmental chair or the dean of the college (or comparable administrator if the person involved is not under a dean; henceforth this will be understood when the term “dean” is used). Any University official, including departmental chairs, who receives such a report shall communicate the report to the dean of the college in which the alleged misconduct occurred. The dean of the college is responsible for immediately informing the departmental chair (if the report is from another source), the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement, and the Vice President for Research. The dean is also responsible for promptly initiating an inquiry into any suspected or alleged instance of misconduct to determine whether an investigation is warranted. However, it should be noted that if the allegation involves sponsored research funding, some funding agencies assume the responsibility for any inquiry and/or investigation conducted.

Inquiry and Investigation

The inquiry will be conducted by a three-person committee appointed by the dean. The inquiry will determine whether there is reasonable cause to conduct a full investigation. Upon initiating an inquiry the dean will notify the affected faculty or staff member in writing that an allegation has been made against him or her and that the dean’s office is conducting an inquiry to determine whether there is reasonable cause to initiate an investigation.

It will be the task of the committee of inquiry to separate allegations deserving further investigation from frivolous, unjustified, or clearly mistaken allegations.

If the committee of inquiry recommends that no further action should be taken, no record of the allegation or inquiry is to remain in the accused faculty member’s evaluation file.

If a full investigation is recommended by the committee of inquiry, the dean will appoint a three person faculty committee to conduct the investigation. The dean may appoint a larger committee or may appoint members from outside the University if that is deemed warranted by the circumstances of the case. The affected faculty or staff member will be given written notification of the allegations and will be accorded due process in the investigation. Both the University and the affected faculty or staff member will have an opportunity to present evidence, call witnesses, and have questions put to witnesses. A record of the proceeding will be available to the affected faculty or staff member at cost. The affected faculty or staff member may have counsel or a representative present during the proceedings. At the conclusion of the investigation, the committee shall provide documented recommendations to the dean regarding whether they think misconduct has occurred. The affected faculty or staff member will have an opportunity to provide the dean with a written statement regarding the recommendations.

The dean, in consultation with the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement and the Vice President for Research, will decide either to take action appropriate to his authority or to recommend a course of action to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Research. The dean can render a judgment that: (1) misconduct has not occurred, (2) misconduct has occurred and the appropriate penalty is within his or her authority, or (3) misconduct has occurred but an appropriate penalty is not within the dean’s authority.

The dean may act upon the first two judgments. The third will be under the joint authority of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Research.

If the affected faculty or staff member is judged not to have engaged in misconduct, this will be communicated to all appropriate individuals in order to restore the reputation of anyone alleged to have engaged in misconduct when allegations are not confirmed. If the affected faculty or staff member is judged to have engaged in misconduct, this fact should be communicated to the faculty member along with the proposed penalty.

A faculty or staff member, at this point, depending on his or her standing and the severity of the proposed penalty will have available one or more avenues of appeal from which to choose as delineated in the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement, the FSU Constitution, and any other applicable authority.

Those appointed to inquiry or investigatory committees should be free of any conflict of interest and committees should have sufficient expertise to be able to assess the charges before them.

University procedures of inquiry and investigation are not to breach pledges of confidentiality or anonymity provided to human subjects of research.

Those accused of misconduct shall be afforded confidential treatment to the maximum extent possible.

Protection of those Reporting Misconduct

The University will protect employees who make good faith reports of misconduct in research or creative activity from job-related disciplinary reprisals and will make diligent efforts to protect their reputation. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent compatible with law and due process. Once an allegation is made it shall be the responsibility of the University to pursue the matter. Those accused of misconduct in research or creative activity will be informed regarding the person or persons who made the allegation about their work, unless such knowledge is irrelevant to the evaluation of the allegation. This information will be provided with the notification that an inquiry is to take place.

Promptness of Procedure

Each stage should be completed as quickly as is compatible with a fair and effective process for assessing the allegations. If the allegation involves research funded by certain agencies, a specific timetable will need to be followed.

Requirement of Notification and Interim Actions

Should it be necessary to provide information to external agencies or organizations, the Vice President for Research will be the University official responsible for those notifications. In some instances regulations will require interim actions. The Vice President for Research in consultation with the dean conducting the procedure of inquiry and investigation will initiate those interim actions. Those conducting an inquiry or investigation will provide necessary information to the Vice President for Research to allow him to comply with externally mandated actions or reports.

It is the policy of FSU to take legally allowed measures to set the record straight if misconduct is established.

Dissemination of Information Regarding Integrity in Research and Creative Activity

The Vice President for Research shall maintain a website accessible by all faculty, staff, and students, containing all relevant University policy statements, generally applicable federal, state and local requirements, and links to specific requirements of the major funding agencies regarding integrity in research and creative activity.

Addressing Allegations of Misconduct in Research funded by Extramural Funding Agencies

Most extramural funding agencies have specific requirements related to handling research misconduct allegations. When extramural funds are involved, local guidelines and procedures will also comply with conditions of the award, including applicable regulations issued by the sponsor of the research. Such regulations include, but are not limited to, the Responsibilities of PHS Awardee and Applicant Institutions for Dealing with and Reporting Possible Misconduct in Science and the National Science Foundation regulations on Misconduct in Science and Engineering Research. These regulations require specific reports to the funding agency. The Vice President for Research will advise funding agencies as required by federal regulations and agency policy. In some cases, the funding agency may be required to conduct the inquiry and/or investigation itself, or collaborate with FSU in those activities.

The University will take interim administrative actions, as appropriate, to protect Federal funds and ensure the purposes of the Federal financial assistance are carried out.

Naming Buildings and Facilities

(Section 267.062, Florida Statutes)

  1. Except as specifically provided by law, no state building, road, bridge, park, recreational complex, or other similar facility shall be named for any living person.
  2. The division shall, after consulting with the Florida Historical Commission, recommend several persons whose contributions to the state have been of such significance that the division may recommend that state buildings and facilities be named for them.
  3. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) or s. 1013.79(11), any state building, road, bridge, park, recreational complex, or other similar facility of a state university may be named for a living person by the university board of trustees in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board of Governors of the State University System.

The Naming Policy for Florida State University, as approved by the FSU Board of Trustees, is consistent with Section 267.062, Florida Statutes. The Policy can be found at: http://advancement.fsu.edu/content/download/139410/1189912/file/Naming%20Policy.pdf

Name Change of a College, School or Department

A proposal for changing the name of any college, school, or academic department shall originate with the faculty and administration of that unit. Such a proposal shall consist of the specific name being considered and a rationale for the change.

The proposal shall be presented to the general faculty of the unit in a formal manner, and the faculty shall be afforded an opportunity for discussion of the issue in a forum presided over by the dean or the dean’s designee. The faculty shall then be given an opportunity to vote by secret ballot on the proposed change.

If a majority of the faculty in the unit approves the proposed change, the dean shall forward it to the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement for submission to the Council of Deans and the Faculty Senate for discussion and response. If both groups approve, the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement shall consider the proposal and submit it to the Provost for consideration. Upon their concurrence, the proposal shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees. 

Organizational Charts as Policy

Each of the University Divisions maintains an organizational chart. These provide a graphic statement of how each Division is organized and provide a ready means of determining basic structure and authority. The organizational charts for the major divisions (Office of the President, Finance and Administration, Sponsored Research, University Relations, Academic Affairs and Student Affairs) may be found by searching for “Organizational Charts” on the FSU Web site. For any questions or to obtain more detailed Departmental organizational charts, contact the Classification Department in Human Resources at 644-4908. 

Outside Activities/Dual Employment and Compensation

See Discussion under Faculty Human Resources. 

Patents and University-Sponsored Educational Materials

(BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement, See Article 18) 

University-Sponsored Educational Materials; (Copyrights)

General Statement

The University is increasingly involved in diverse use of media that generate and draw upon a variety of materials that are copyrightable. Complex problems are raised concerning ownership and the use of educational materials developed with University facilities and resources or as a result of assigned University duties or with support by a third-party sponsor. The University, as both a producer and user of such materials, needs policies to govern ownership, University use, external use, and rights to income produced by external distribution of these University-sponsored educational materials. It is the purpose of this policy statement to clarify the respective rights of faculty, staff, students, and the University by defining the types of educational materials which should be designated “University Sponsored,” by establishing procedures for administering policies concerning these materials, and stating university-wide policies governing their ownership and use and the rights to income produced.

This policy does not affect the personal ownership rights of University personnel to print or non-print educational materials other than those that are University-sponsored. 

Scope of Statement

A. This statement of policy shall apply only to the ownership and use of University-sponsored educational materials, as defined in Section III, and extends to University personnel, including faculty, staff, and students, as defined in Section III.

B. Unless specifically excluded by other Sections of this statement, the types of educational materials to which this policy is designed to apply include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Video and audio recordings;
  • Films, filmstrips, charts, transparencies, slides, and other visual aids and accompanying sound recordings;
  • Study guides, tests, scripts, manuals, syllabi, bibliographies, periodicals, books, or similar printed or audio materials;
  • Computer programs and programmed instructional materials;
  • Live audio and video transmissions, open (broadcast) or closed (cable);
  • Musical compositions and works of art to include drawings, plastic works of scientific or technical character, photographs, prints, and pictorial illustrations;
  • Other print and non-print materials subject to Federal copyright. 

C. This policy statement does not apply to the following types of materials:

  • Articles submitted to or published by scholarly and professional journals;
  • Class notes produced in connection with regularly scheduled courses of instruction;
  • Scholarly and professional books, texts, works of art, musical compositions and the like unless the author or producer was assisted by a support agency of the University as specified under Section III, A,1,a, or unless the author or producer was both specifically commissioned in writing and assisted in whole or in part as provided under Section III, A,1,b.

Sponsored grants or contracts may contain specific provisions regarding ownership, copyright, or royalty income privileges related to materials generated under the contract. These conditions are binding on the University and the author or producer. If the extramural agency does not stipulate how royalty income is to be distributed within the University then the provisions of this policy shall prevail. 


University-sponsored Educational Materials

Educational Materials are University-sponsored: If the author or producer has employed in his developmental work, without personal charge to himself, the equipment, materials or staff services of the Computer Center, WFSU-FM, WFSU-TV, the Photo Laboratory or the Division of Instructional Research and Service, or any other new agency or combinations of above mentioned existent agencies, and/or new agencies, established or supported by the University primarily to assist in developing and producing educational materials; or

If the author or producer has been both commissioned in writing by the University, or one of its colleges, schools, departments or other subdivisions, to develop the materials and, in their production has received assistance in the form of released time or from University funds, including grants and contract funds administered by the University. 

Costs (Production Costs)

The word costs or the phrase production costs, as related to the production of University-sponsored education materials will include the following categories:

Direct costs: Those salaries and materials specifically identified with the production of such materials. (Section III, A, 1a, 1b.) Direct costs are computed by those supporting agencies involved with design, preparation, production, editing, duplication and distribution of educational materials

Indirect costs (Overhead): Costs for space, utilities, amortization of equipment, etc., which are generally referred to as overhead. The current University indirect cost rate will be applied for recovery of indirect costs relating to the production of University-sponsored educational materials. 

University Personnel

Part-time and full-time members of the faculty, administrative and professional staff, career staff, undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral students and fellows of the University. 

Author or Producer

An individual, a group, a department, or other unit of the university involved in the production of education materials.

Control of the Content and the Presentation of University Sponsored Educational Materials

Subject to the provisions of this policy, the author or producer has the right to and the responsibility for control of the content of university-sponsored educational materials.

Subject to the provisions of this policy, the author or producer has the right to make other versions of the content of the materials for presentation in other media. 

Use of University-Sponsored Educational Materials

Internal Use

Internal use within the University requires approval of the author or producer responsible for the materials, and the academic department, school, college, or agency of the author or producer. Where an academic department, school, college, or agency incurs costs in making materials available for internal use, the supplying entity may require such costs to be reimbursed by the user unit.

As long as the author or producer of University- sponsored educational materials remains a member of the staff of the University, he or she has the right to revise any or all materials because of obsolescence provided that the University shall not be obligated to provide further resources for the development of any such revisions unless the revisions are requested by the University or agreed upon jointly by the University and the author or producer. Should the extent of the required revision exceed the resources of University supporting agencies involved, materials may be withdrawn by agreement of the author or producer and the University. Questions regarding revisions or the withdrawal of materials will be referred to the Vice President for Research, and shall be governed by the procedures outlined in Section IX, B-2.

If the University-sponsored educational materials are used internally without revision for a period of two years, the University shall request the author or producer and the appropriate University supporting agency or agencies to consider revising the materials or to determine whether they shall continue to be used.

The author or producer has the right to make personal and professional use of the materials within the University. Scheduling and arrangements to cover the costs for such personal requests will be made with the University supporting services involved with the original production of the educational materials.

If the author or producer terminates employment with the University, the University retains the right to continued internal use of the University-sponsored educational materials in accordance with this policy unless special conditions for subsequent internal use have been arrived at by joint written agreement of the author or producer and the University.

The author or producer has the right to use the University-sponsored educational materials at no cost to the University after termination of his or her employment with the University subject to the provisions of this policy. 

External Use

Licensing or sale or publication of University-sponsored educational materials for external use shall be preceded by a written agreement between the University and the author or producer specifying the conditions or use, including provisions concerning the right of the author to revise the materials or to withdraw them from use, and the distribution of net royalty income (in accordance with Section VI,B,2,d).

Use by other institutions in the State University System shall be royalty free. 

Compensation for the Production and Use of University-Sponsored Educational Materials

Compensation for Production Activity: With the exception of payments made on an overload basis (VII,A,3), the University shall not make any payment to the author or producer of University-sponsored educational materials other than the compensation regularly received.

The regular assignment of the author or producer may be adjusted to take into account the extra time required to develop, or produce, or revise the University-sponsored educational materials.

In accordance with the established policy, which enables the Division of Continuing Education to pay for services on an overload basis, the author or producer may receive payment for the development of materials. Such additive compensation will be provided for in a written agreement between the Division of Continuing Education and the author or producer.

Distribution of Royalties: The University shall license the external use of University-sponsored materials only after it enters into a written agreement among the Board of Trustees on behalf of the University and the author or producer specifying the distribution of net royalty income, in accordance with Section VII,B,2,d.

Such an agreement will be subject to the following guidelines:

  • The University’s original production costs as defined in Section III,B,1 and 2, shall be recovered by the University prior to the distribution of any royalties.
  • Expenses related to the production and distribution of additional copies of educational materials will be recovered from each sale or rental on the same basis as the original production costs.
  • Royalties may be included in the sale or rental price subject to any limitation imposed by outside contracting or granting agencies.
  • Fifty percent of any resultant net royalty income (royalty income after production costs and distribution costs as defined in Section III,B,1 and 2) derived from the external use of University-sponsored educational materials will go to the University, and 50 percent to the author or producer.
  • One half of the University's share, or 25 percent of the total, shall be allocated to the Florida State University Research Foundation, Inc.  The remaining royalties that accrue to the University shall be returned to the school, college and/or supporting agency to finance further the development of educational materials or for other educational purposes.  Distribution shall be as negotiated between the Vice President for Research, and the chief administrator of the department, school, college or agency involved.  

Ownership and Copyright

Ownership of University-sponsored educational materials shall be vested in the University, subject to the conditions set forth in this statement of policy. Copyright of University-sponsored educational materials resides with the State of Florida. The author or producer shall cooperate with the University in obtaining copyright.

Copyright Statement: Property rights in copyrightable material may be secured for a published work by initially publishing the work in printed or otherwise processed form bearing or displaying a proper copyright notice. Notice contains a display of the word copyright, the abbreviation COPR, or the “C” enclosed in a circle, followed by the year of publication and the name of the copyright owner. The “C” in the circle is preferred because it gives the work certain international copyright protection. Formal registration in the U.S. Copyright Office constitutes further evidence of copyright. The publication of a work without proper notice may forfeit copyright protection.

Credit Statements on University-Sponsored Educational Materials: University-sponsored educational materials should bear the name of the author or producer, Florida State University, the date when produced, and a copyright notice. Guidance on the appropriate copyright notice should be obtained from the Vice President for Research.

The author or producer has the right of withdrawal of personal credit. 

Procedures and Administration

Administration of Policy

The Vice President for Research shall represent the University in negotiating all agreements with authors or producers and initially in other matters covered by this policy. In drafting any agreement, he shall also consult with the heads of the author’s or producer’s unit and the heads of the production or supporting agencies. Where copyright coverage should be obtained on University-sponsored materials, the Vice President for Research will initiate the copyrights, notice and application for copyright.

The President of the University shall appoint a University Committee on Copyrights consisting of three members, all knowledgeable in the field of instructional systems and materials and including representation from the faculty. The Vice President for Research shall be an additional non-voting member of the Copyright Committee. The Committee shall consider all requests for reviews and reports submitted to it promptly and shall make the determinations required within a reasonable time. All University personnel involved in the development and production of materials covered by this policy shall be entitled to appear before the Committee to present evidence with respect to the determinations made by the Committee. The Committee’s determinations shall be made in writing and shall contain a statement of its findings and reasons for the decision. 

Procedures for Interpretation of Policy

Determining the nature of educational materials: All materials which may belong to the University under the provisions of this policy shall be disclosed through the appropriate department head and dean to the Vice President for Research. Any faculty or staff member having questions as to whether certain materials, either in preparation or under planning for preparation, will be considered University property should initiate an inquiry to the Vice President for Research. This inquiry shall constitute a full and complete disclosure of the subject matter and the identity of all persons participating in the development and production of the educational materials. The Vice President for Research shall promptly advise the author or producer as to whether the material should be considered University-sponsored within the meaning of this policy. Such advisory opinions are subject to final clarification when production of the materials is completed. When the work has been completed, the author or producer should submit questions regarding rights in the work to the University Committee on Copyrights for review or recommendation. Recommendation by the Committee on Copyrights may be reviewed by the Council on Research and Creativity (CRC) and the decision of the Council on Research and Creativity will be final subject to the provisions of Section IX,B,2.

Reconciling DisputesAny differences between the author or producer on the one hand and the Vice President for Research, or the University Committee on Copyrights on the other hand, shall be submitted to the CRC. The CRC shall have full access to any pertinent records over which University personnel, including the author or producer, or the University has jurisdiction. The determination of the CRC shall be communicated to the President of the University who may review the determination or refer the matter to the Board of Trustees for final determination with his recommendation. 

Protection and Liability


The University Committee on Copyrights, where authorized by the Board of Trustees, shall investigate allegations for unauthorized use or copyright infringement of University- sponsored educational materials and shall recommend appropriate action. If such action is started by the University all costs of such action shall be borne by the University. All proceeds in excess of such costs shall be shared as noted in Section VII,B,2,d. 


Before any use is made of University-sponsored educational materials, the author or producer shall hold the University harmless and certify in writing to the Office of the Vice President for Research, that to the best of his or her knowledge the materials do not infringe on any existing copyright or other legal right. When other alleged violations of personal property rights by the University, or by the author or producer of University-sponsored educational materials are reported, the University may assume responsibility for the defense of any action and the satisfaction of any judgments rendered against the University or the author or producer. However, the Vice President for Research, acting for the University, may request or require the author or producer to indemnify and hold harmless the University for all costs to which it has been subjected when the action for personal or property rights is based upon matters which should have been known or with reasonable care should have been discovered by the author or producer. Any judgment rendered against the University or the author or producer shall be satisfied first from net royalties received by the University and the author or producer. 


This policy statement will be subject to periodic review by the Council on Research and Creativity. 

Policy on Patents

Basic Objectives

Research, one of the basic objectives of a university, is undertaken to educate students, stimulate a spirit of inquiry, to solve problems, and to discover new knowledge. Many novel discoveries result from research. The objectives of the Florida State University policy are:

  • To serve the public interest by insuring that inventions that have the potential for the betterment of society are developed to the point of maximum utilization and prompt availability to the public.
  • To encourage the creation of inventions by giving adequate recognition and incentive to inventors. In sharing the proceeds of inventions with inventors, the University recognizes inventorship and acknowledges the sizable amount of time and effort necessary to adequately disclose the invention, participate in its evaluation, assist attorneys involved in filing patent applications, and alert potential licensees.
  • To encourage and support research within the University by returning a portion of the proceeds of an invention to support selected research programs and the patent program.
  • To recognize the equity of any outside sponsor of research within the university by making reasonable and equitable provision for the granting of limited patent rights to the sponsor consistent with the objectives outlined above. 

Legal Authority

Retention of intellectual property, or inventions, by universities has been facilitated by passage of uniform patent legislation, Public Law 96-517, “The Patent and Trademark Amendments Act of 1980.” In this act, the federal government has given nonprofit organizations and small businesses a right of first refusal to title in inventions made in the performance of government grants and contracts with some limited exceptions. This law clearly sets forth, as the objective of Congress, the utilization of the patent system as a vehicle to “effectuate the transfer of government-funded inventions to the public.”

The Florida State University patent policy is based on 1004.22 and 1004.23, Florida Statutes. The University has implemented this authority through Rule/regulation 6C2-6.009, Florida State University Regulations, which requires that an employee shall disclose all patentable inventions and technological developments which the employee may develop or discover while an employee of the University. It further states that “a discovery or invention which is made in the field in which the investigator is employed by the University or by using University funds, facilities, materials, equipment, personnel or proprietary technological information is the property of the University and the inventor shall share in the proceeds therefrom.” Rule/regulation 6C2-6.009 tracks Article 18 of the UFF-BOR Agreement. 

Florida State University Policy

The impact of the above is that all inventions by faculty members (although the term “faculty” will be used throughout this document, the policy herein described applies to all faculty, non-faculty employees and students) who are using university funds, facilities, materials, equipment, personnel or proprietary technological information, are the property of the University and proceeds from the commercialization of these inventions will be shared with the inventor.

Discoveries or inventions made outside the field in which a faculty member is employed by the University and for which the University has provided no support are the private property of the inventor. In any case, the faculty member is required to disclose all inventions, even those considered by him/her to be unrelated to his/her work.

Except for unusual cases, it is the policy of the University to require that inventions developed in the course of privately or industrially sponsored research be the property of the University. An exclusivity option may be accorded to the sponsor, in which case the term of exclusivity and the royalty rate will be negotiated at the time the invention or discovery is made or under the provisions of subsection III.A of this document. Under these conditions, the sponsor is given an option of acquiring an exclusive license within the stated number of months after the invention is disclosed. If the sponsor exercises this option, the University retains royalty-free license rights to practice the invention for its own purposes.

Proprietary considerations, principally those involving rights, are usually complex, and patent provisions are likely to be rather detailed. The Vice President for Research is the President’s designee in the negotiation of patent clauses and license agreements on behalf of Florida State University. 

Research Financed by Outside Sponsors

Research financed totally or in part by an outside sponsor comes under the special provisions of the grant, contract, or agreement covering such work. Such provisions are executed by the Division of Sponsored Research. Ordinarily, Florida State University retains all rights to an invention resulting from research. Exceptions to this policy may only be made by the Vice President for Research.

Faculty engaged in consulting work should use great care to determine that the patent clauses in their consulting agreement(s) do not involve conflict of interest problems or are not in actual conflict with sponsored grants or contracts, or with University policy. Consulting agreements frequently ask that the consultant waive his/her patent rights as a condition of employment. Consulting agreements containing such waivers shall be submitted to the Vice President for Research for review and approval. The employee must insure that he or she does not attempt to waive patent rights held by the University. Where consulting activities involve the development of inventions or potential inventions conceived under federal sponsorship or supported by Florida State University funds or resources, permission to waive patent rights will not be granted. A determination by the University must be initiated when the faculty member submits a Report of Outside Employment to the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement in which patent rights are to be granted to the outside employer. Full disclosure of any invention discovered in the course of such work, in accordance with instructions of subsection IV.B of this document, must be made to the Vice President for Research. Ownership decisions will be made within 30 days of receipt of the disclosure by the Vice President for Research. 

Relationships Between the Inventor and the University Regarding Patents

Inventions Outside the Inventor’s Field Made Without University Support

If an invention is made or developed without any University support in a field other than the general field in which the inventor is employed (i.e., not in the field or discipline for which the inventor was employed to teach, serve or to research), patent rights will be released to the inventor. Under these conditions, the employee is, nevertheless, required to make full disclosure of this invention to the University in accordance with subsection IV.B of this document so that the University may make a determination as to ownership. Ownership decisions will be made within 30 days of receipt of the disclosure by the Vice President for Research. 

Inventions in the Field in Which the Inventor is Employed or Made with University Support

If an invention has been determined to have been made or developed in the inventor’s general field (i.e., the field or discipline for which the inventor was employed to teach, serve or to research) or with University support in terms of funds, facilities, materials, equipment, personnel or proprietary technological information, the inventor shall promptly submit a full disclosure of the invention, in accordance with the instructions of subsection IV.B of this document, to the Vice President for Research.

The University may:

  • elect to waive its rights, thus allowing the inventor to protect the invention as he or she may wish, subject to any patent provisions in any sponsoring agreements, if outside funds supported the work leading to the invention. This waiver shall not affect the right of the University and State of Florida to royalty-free use of the invention, or
  • elect to acquire title to the invention by assignment (i.e., the inventor assigns the rights to the University). In this case, Florida State University will seek to patent, develop, and market the invention. All costs of the patent application and related activities such as travel and attorney’s fees incurred by the University (including authorized costs approved in advance by the Vice President for Research and incurred by the inventor) and including those which lead to active licensed production, shall be paid from University funds, and this cost shall be charged against royalty income as described in IV.C below. The term “inventor” may mean joint inventors, in which case the inventors’ share of the royalties will be paid as though they were a single entity and divided equally unless a contract or prior agreement exists. The inventor may designate that a portion of his/her royalties be deposited in an FSU Research Foundation account for exclusive use by the inventor in his/her research. Once application for a patents has been made, the Vice President for Research will be responsible for the development and negotiation of licensing agreements in a way which serves the public interest. 

Division of Proceeds

When a U.S. patent is issued on an invention assigned to the University, the inventor will receive a $500 payment. Royalties or other income resulting from inventions in which the University takes title will be distributed as follows:

  • 85 percent to inventor(s) for the first $10,000
  • 15 percent to University 

Once the $10,000 plateau has been reached, net income (gross royalties minus direct costs of patenting, licensing, legal, and other related expenses) will be divided as follows: 

For net income in excess of $10,000

  • 40 percent to inventor(s)
  • 30 percent to dept. or unit or both, which inventor is member
  • 30 percent to University 

These thresholds will be revised from time to time. The University will utilize its share of net royalties in accordance with 1004.22, Florida Statutes. 


Organization; Patent Committee

The Office of the Vice President for Research is responsible for all matters relating to inventions, patents, trademarks (with the exception of institutional trademarks and names), and copyrights and represents the University in all matters of patent policy affecting the University’s relations with government, industry, and the public.

The Patent Committee, which is appointed by the Vice President for Research and which has representation from the principal faculties potentially affected by the policies in this area, is available to advise the Vice President as to whether the University should exert an interest in a particular invention, and whether the patent rights should be released to the inventor. The Patent Committee also makes recommendations on University patent policy implementation and disputes arising under this policy. 

Making Disclosures

At the same time the inventor discloses an invention in writing to the Vice President for Research the inventor must also send a brief description to his/her dean and department chairperson (or director, if applicable). The Vice President will seek advice from the inventor as well as the appropriate unit administrator (dean or director) about provisions, agreements, and conditions, including funding for further research and development prior to licensing negotiations.

Determination of OwnershipWhen the inventor declares that a disclosed invention is not the property of the University, the Vice President for Research will announce a decision on the University’s legal rights within 30 calendar days from receipt of the invention disclosure.

Determination of the University’s Interest in PatentingUpon receipt of an assigned disclosure by the Vice President for Research, the disclosure may be referred to an external agency for evaluation.

If the disclosure is referred to the committee, it shall review the disclosure and, when necessary, hear an oral presentation by the inventor(s), supported by such visual material as may be required for clarity. Use will be made of appropriate ad hoc members who can best assist in evaluating the patent application.

The committee shall recommend whether the University should exert an interest in the invention, based on a determination that the proposed invention is novel, useful and nonobvious and has commercial potential.

Within 75 calendar days of receipt of the assigned disclosure by the Vice President for Research, the committee shall make a recommendation to him as to whether the University shall pursue patent development of the invention. The Vice President for Research shall consider the recommendation of the committee and shall respond in writing to the inventor within 135 calendar days of his receipt of the disclosure whether the University will apply for a patent. It shall be the obligation of the inventor to be available to provide additional information as needed in this and subsequent stages of this procedure. If the matter has not been referred to the committee, the Vice President will still have 135 calendar days from receipt of the disclosure to inform the inventor whether the University will apply for a patent.

If the Vice President decides the University will not pursue development of the invention, or such agreed upon decisions are not made or responded to in writing during the specified time period, or a mutually agreeable extended time period, the University shall have waived its rights to pursue development of the invention, except that the University will retain royalty-free license rights to practice for its own purposes and for governmental purposes of the State of Florida.

In exceptional circumstances, the Vice President may decide to exert an interest in the invention and pursue development of the invention without committee review if he believes such action is in the best interests of the University. Said decision will be communicated to the committee at its next meeting. 

Political Activity

Faculty members are free to support political candidates as private citizens but must not use their professional status or any other resource of the University to influence the political process. Specifically, if they have donated to a campaign or signed a political petition, they should request that their administrative title not be included. They must also be careful to consider the implications of sending political or fundraising materials to those who work for them or doing anything else that might be interpreted as pressure to support a candidate or an issue. 

Posthumous Degrees

Baccalaureate Degrees

The recommendation of the student’s Academic Dean is required. Approval will be granted if 1) the work in progress at the time of the student’s death, had it been completed, would have been accepted by the faculty in the degree program as meeting the major, minor, and other departmental requirements for the degree and 2) the total number of hours earned would have met the minimum total number of hours required for the degree or would have been close enough for the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement to approve the degree in exception to the rule/regulation. 

Master’s and Specialist’s Degrees

In addition to the Baccalaureate Degree standards stated above, the recommendations of the student’s Supervisory Committee and the Dean of The Graduate School are required for these degrees. 

Doctoral Degrees

In applying the standards stated above for Baccalaureate, Master’s, and Specialist’s degrees to Doctoral degrees, the student’s Supervisory Committee and Academic Dean must certify that they accept the research or creative activity required for the doctoral degree in question as having been substantially completed, even though the doctoral dissertation may not have been completed in final form or the papers required for elaboration of creative works or performances have not been finally submitted. 

Posting Policy

This policy, now a rule/regulation, is meant to promote a better-looking campus by placing some restriction on where fliers may be posted and the manner in which they may be posted. Also, it is meant to protect University property which is subject to constant repair, cleaning and repainting as the result of careless posting, chalking and the like. It is titled the “University Policy for Posting, Promotions, Advertising, Chalking, and the Distribution of Materials on FSU Campuses.” This policy was adopted as a university rule effective May 10, 2002.

Florida State University strives to create a campus culture that supports the academic mission of the University, and which provides an environment conducive to learning. Moreover, it is important the campus environment is aesthetically pleasing and welcoming for faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members, and visitors. The campus should be free from excessive and abusive postings, chalking and the distribution of commercial and promotional materials, which deface and depreciate the value of our grounds, facilities, and campuses.

When these acts occur, it is imperative that University officials, with the assistance of our University community, take the appropriate action to uphold a positive campus culture by educating the citizens of our community, encouraging positive participation in campus activities, and addressing the improper posting, chalking and distribution of materials on FSU campuses. 

The entire text of the Regulation may be found at:  https://posting.fsu.edu/

Public Records

Florida has a very broad public records law. Section 119.011(11), Florida Statutes states:
“Public records” means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.”

Public records are available to the general public for inspection and copying and may not be disposed of except pursuant to certain established retention schedules. The university charges for copies of public records at the current rate of $.15 per one sided page and $.20 for two sided. Additional charges may be imposed for “extensive use” of clerical, supervisory or information technologies which the University has defined as time in excess of 15 minutes. An appropriate supervisor and then, if necessary, the Office of General Counsel should be consulted where there is any doubt concerning any such request or related charges. Additional information concerning records management may be found at: http://policies.vpfa.fsu.edu/policies2.html#ri


A detailed summary of the University’s purchasing policies may be found on the Division of Finance and Administration Web site at http://policies.vpfa.fsu.edu/bmanual/procurement.html. As previously noted, there are other parts of this Web site of interest to faculty; however, purchasing may deserve a further brief highlight.

For faculty, it is important to remember that existing policy requires that all purchases more than $10,000 be approved by the Provost. Many contracts may not require an actual outlay of cash but may have long-term impact on the University; therefore, faculty should consider a commitment of university resources of any kind to be considered under this threshold.

A purchase less than $10,000 would generally require the approval of the Dean or Director of the College, or equivalent unit. The appropriate authority within the unit should be consulted before any purchase is made. It should also be noted that certain items may not be purchased with funds without specific prior authority. These include brief cases, desk pen and pad sets, holiday decorations, and cards. More details may be found in the above-cited policy.

Even with proper department or college approval, Purchasing should be consulted (644-6850) because some purchases must go through the competitive selection (bidding) process while others are exempt.

Of related concern is the disposal and trading in of University Property. The Division of Finance and Administration, Surplus Property Management, should be consulted as to these issues. (644‑5520) 

Research Policies

The Office of Research policies of general interest to the Faculty are posted at: http://www.research.fsu.edu/contractsgrants/policypro.html

Sexual Battery Policy

Sexual battery is a criminal act that violates several University Policies. Sexual battery, sexual assault, and sexual violence are forms of gender discrimination that violate the University’s Sexual Battery Policy, Sexual Harassment Policy, and Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, and Non-Retaliation Policy.  Sexual battery is also a criminal matter that must always be reported to the proper police authorities. The goals of University’s Sexual Battery Policy are to educate members of this community about sexual battery, to apprehend and sanction perpetrators, and to provide the best possible support to victims. The University’s Sexual Battery Policy may be accessed at: http://policies.vpfa.fsu.edu/bmanual/battery.html.

Definition: Sexual battery is a crime defined in Section 794.011, Florida Statutes, as “the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; however, sexual battery shall not include acts done for a bona fide medical purpose.”  The law against sexual battery applies equally to male and female staff, faculty, and students of the University, on or off the campus, regardless of whether the perpetrator and the victim are acquaintances or strangers. Sexual battery involves a lack of consent by the victim. Sexual battery committed by a student is also a violation of the FSU Student Conduct Code (6C2‐3.004, Florida Administrative Code).

All University faculty and staff must report every incident of sexual battery to the FSU Police (644-1234). It is the responsibility of each faculty and staff member to assist victims in reporting incidents to the FSU Police. If the victim chooses not to provide evidence to the police, faculty and staff must still notify the FSU Police Department of the alleged sexual battery without identifying the victim, as soon as practicable. Both the FSU Police Department and the Victim Advocate Program will report statistical data on sexual battery and attempted sexual battery to their respective Vice Presidents, who will then notify the President of the University.

Complaints or questions regarding sexual battery and sexual violence can also be directed to the Dean of Students Department (for complaints against a student) at 644-2428 or http://srr.fsu.edu/ and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance (complaints against faculty, staff, contractors, and visitors) at 645-6519 or http://compliance.hr.fsu.edu/

Sexual Harassment Policy

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on a person's gender. Sexual harassment is contrary to the University's values and moral standards as well as a violation of federal and state laws and University rules and policies. The University’s Sexual Harassment Policy may be accessed at http://policies.vpfa.fsu.edu/personnel/3i.html#4. Investigations of sexual harassment complaints are conducted by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance. The University’s Sexual Harassment Policy has also formally been adopted as University Regulation 6C2R-6.013.

Each faculty and staff member is required to attend a sexual harassment training session. It is important to review the policy and remember that sexual harassment may occur between faculty, faculty and staff, faculty and students, and between students.  The University will take prompt steps to end sexual harassment, prevent its recurrence, and correct the effects of the harassment on the victim. 

Definition: Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed at an employee or student by another when:

  • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, academic status, receipt of University services, participation in University activities and programs, or affects the measure of a student’s academic performance; or
  • submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for a decision affecting employment, academic status, receipt of services, participation in University activities and programs, or the measure of a student’s academic performance; or
  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with employment opportunities, work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

Sexual harassment may involve persons of different or the same gender. 

Examples of Sexual Harassment:  include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • use of gender‐based verbal or written language, including electronic communications offensive or degrading to a person of that gender, whether or not the content is sexual;
  • inappropriate display of gender‐based pictorial images offensive or degrading to a person of that gender, including but not limited to sexual posters, photographs, cartoons, drawings, or other displays of sexually suggestive objects or pictures;
  • use of inappropriate gestures or body language of a sexual nature, including leering or staring at another;
  • unwelcome requests or demands for sexual favors or unwelcome sexual advances;
  • inappropriate nonconsensual touching of another’s body, including but not limited to kissing, pinching, groping, fondling, or blocking normal movement; or
  • sexual battery. (Note: some acts of sexual harassment may also constitute violations of criminal law, e.g., sexual battery, indecent exposure, sexual abuse, etc. In such instances, please refer to the University’s Sexual Battery Policy.)

For more information on the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy, reporting harassment, or complaint investigation procedures contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance at 645‑6519 or see, http://compliance.hr.fsu.edu/

Relationships with Students 

Sexual relationships between faculty members and students where a direct supervisory or evaluative relationship exists are fraught with the potential for exploitation.  The respect and trust accorded a faculty member by a student, as well as the power exercised by the faculty member in a direct supervisory or evaluative role, make voluntary consent by the student suspect.  In their relationships with students, faculty members are expected to be aware of their professional responsibilities and to avoid conflict of interest, favoritism, or bias.  When any direct supervisory or evaluative role exists, a consensual sexual relationship between a student and a faculty member is a conflict of interest.  Any situation of direct supervision or evaluation will be ended immediately when a consensual sexual relationship between a student and a faculty member exists.  Any such relationship must be disclosed to the faculty member’s supervisor immediately.  Direct supervision includes any type of evaluative role.  Examples of direct supervision of the student include the following: 

  • teaching the student’s class;
  • serving as a thesis or dissertation director;
  • instructor of record;
  • member of the student’s thesis or dissertation committee;
  • member of the student’s comprehensive or doctoral exam committee; or
  • member of other committees where the focus is evaluation or supervision of the student’s academic competence or the student’s assistantship.

Smoking Policy

As of January 2014, Florida State University is entirely smoke-free.

The full policy may be found at: http://policies.vpfa.fsu.edu/bmanual/smoking.html. 

University Counsel

The University Counsel or University Attorney is the office of the University that provides legal representation to the University and its administration. It also provides legal advice and representation to faculty, in some cases, relative to their official functions and duties at the University. It cannot provide any personal legal representation to individual faculty or students. The office is available and should be consulted if faculty have any legal questions about their official functions as a member of the faculty. Initial contact should be through the Department Chair, Dean, or the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement. The office may be reached at 850-644-4440. The office is located in Suite 424, Westcott Building. 

Use of Campus Facilities

The authorized use of various University facilities is outlined in both policy and rule/regulation. Rule/regulation 6C2-2.007, Florida Administrative Code, Use of Campus Facilities is the formal rule/regulation governing campus facilities. See Florida Administrative Code Online for full text at https://www.flrules.org/. The rule/regulation is summarized under Policies of Finance and Administration at http://policies.vpfa.fsu.edu/bmanual/

This rule/regulation is supplemented by the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement relating to use by UFF, faculty office space and use of facilities by retired faculty. See Sections 3.1,21.2 and 24.4, BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement at http://hr.fsu.edu/?page=faculty_relations/faculty_relations_home

Generally, the rule/regulation and policy defines three user groups: University Person, Groups and Organizations, University Related Groups and Organizations and Non-University Persons, Groups and Organizations. The first group includes official university persons and organizations. The second includes groups promoting the interests of the University and the third includes all others. Generally, it is presumed only the first two groups will have use of university facilities with the first group always having priority use for official university business and functions. Generally, academic areas are under the final scheduling authority of the University Registrar and other spaces are generally under the scheduling authority of Oglesby Union Guest Services, University Housing, Campus Recreation, the Director of Athletics or the President’s Office, as appropriate.

Events of a political nature are limited to those sponsored by University persons, groups, or organizations. Historically, the University administration has, itself, only approved use of facilities for political speeches by announced candidates of major political parties for President and Vice President of the United States. 

Use of Technology Resources Policy

The work of the University and, indeed, the world has become increasingly dependent on the use of Information Technology. This is a fast-changing area and the University has adopted some general policies concerning the use of computers, the Internet, electronic mail and other technologies. The basics of the policy are stated below: 


This policy statement is intended to support appropriate and effective use of information technology (IT) resources at Florida State University (FSU), while providing guidelines for allowable use.


  • FSU provides a wide variety of IT resources, including computers, networks, software, computer accounts, cellular phones, beepers, office telephones and hand-held and wireless devices, for use by University students, faculty, and staff. These resources are administered by the Office of Technology Integration, the Office of Telecommunications, and a number of schools, colleges, departments, and institutes, and are intended for the legitimate business of the University.
  • Appropriate business use of IT resources includes instruction, research, and the official work of the offices, departments, recognized student and campus organizations, and other agencies of the University. Priority for resources may be granted to certain users or certain groups of users in support of the University’s mission.
  • Computer accounts are provided to faculty, staff, and students as a privilege associated with membership in the University community. When an individual accepts this privilege, a number of responsibilities must be assumed, including knowledge of appropriate University policies and procedures.
  • In recognition of the World Wide Web (WWW) as an important communication medium, FSU encourages its use as a means of supporting and fulfilling the mission and official work of the University. Moreover, the University is presented a challenge when establishing partnerships with commercial enterprises, as these partnerships may raise questions of conflict-of-interest, neutrality, or freedom from influence.
  • This and all policies and procedures associated with FSU IT resources are not intended to abridge academic freedom, constitutional guarantees of free speech, or freedom of expression. The use of IT resources is available to all members of the University community. While the rights of academic freedom and intellectual creativity are recognized, the interests of the University, students, faculty, and staff must be protected. In addition to consideration of legal liability issues, the institutional image and reputation of FSU as a major research institution are valuable assets requiring protection.
  • The use of e-commerce and online business processes are encouraged as a way to improve services to the FSU community. Commercial links must be presented in a way that preserves the image and reputation of the FSU campus and conforms to University policies and commercial enterprises. It is critical that e-commerce systems maintain adequate security and departments hosting such services safeguard the confidentiality of data related to purchases of goods and services. 

More detailed information concerning prohibited uses, use of Web sites, electronic mail, corporate use, privacy and security and violations and enforcement may be found  at: http://its.fsu.edu/About-Us/IT-Policies-Guidelines

Use of University Symbols

(The So Called “Indicia”)

Certain of the university symbols, such as the seal, the Seminole head, logo and others, have been federally registered and are the property of the University. Any questions concerning their use should be directed to the FSU Office of Trademarks and Licensing at 644-3141. 

Values and Moral Standards

The moral norm that guides conduct and informs policy at Florida State University is responsible freedom. Freedom is an important experience that the University, one of the freest of institutions, provides for all of its citizens--faculty, students, administrators, and staff. Freedom is responsibly exercised when it is directed by ethical standards.

As the Florida public university most deeply rooted in the liberal arts tradition, Florida State University not only focuses on intellectual development, but as a community of moral discourse, it also recognizes the need for the development of the whole person. The University maintains a comprehensive educational program ranging from classroom instruction to research and creative activities at the frontiers of human knowledge. These modes of searching for the truth are mutually enhancing and provide the context for the liberating experiences students gain from contact with ideas and individuals. Education based in the liberal arts provides an opportunity for students to learn to express themselves; to think critically both quantitatively and qualitatively; to gain an understanding of and respect for self and others; to understand the world by knowing more about its history, the role of science and technology, and social and cultural achievements; and to develop specialized talents for a vocation. This opportunity is provided with the conviction, as reflected in the University Seal, that through such an educational experience one can come to a clearer understanding of the complex moral issues inherent in human life and can develop the knowledge and skills for effective and responsible participation in the world.

Florida State University shares a commitment to the dignity and worth of each person and is guided in its many endeavors by that underlying value. Through academic activity, community involvement, social interaction, cultural experience, recreational and physical activity, and religious involvement, students find many avenues in the university community for the development of the whole person.

The University shares this society’s commitment to the rule of law and expects members of the community to abide by the laws of the city, state and nation, as well as University rules and regulations.

The University aspires to excellence in its core activities of teaching, learning, research, creative expression, and public service and is committed to the integrity of the academic process. The Academic Honor Policy is a specific manifestation of this commitment. Truthfulness in one’s claims and representations and honesty in one’s activities are essential in life and vocation, and the realization of truthfulness and honesty is an intrinsic part of the educational process.

The University is a place of both assent and dissent and is committed to academic freedom and civil dialogue. In a free and vigorous academic community an ongoing clash of ideas is to be expected and encouraged. The University has a special obligation to see that all have an opportunity to be heard.

Florida State University is committed to nondiscrimination in matters of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, age, and physical disability. This commitment applies in all areas with students, faculty, and other University personnel. It addresses recruiting, hiring, training, promotions and applicable employment conditions. It is also relevant to those aspects of the University concerned with the choice of contractors, suppliers of goods and services, and with the use of University facilities. The University believes in equal opportunity practices that conform to both the spirit and the letter of all laws against discrimination.

A responsible student recognizes that freedom means the acknowledgement of responsibility to the following:

  • to justice and public order; to fellow students’ rights and interests;
  • to the University, its rules/regulations, regulations and accepted traditions;
  • to parents and teachers, and to all others whose support makes one’s advanced education possible;
  • to city, state and national laws;
  • to oneself; and
  • to the opportunity for specialized training and continuing education toward the ends of personal fulfillment and social service. 

Students are urged to use their freedom in the University community to develop habits of responsibility which lead to the achievement of these personal and social values. Responsible student behavior requires observance of the Student Conduct Code, which is based on respect for the dignity and worth of each person and the requirements for successful community life.

Relations among all persons should be characterized by mutual respect and equality. Sexism, sexual harassment and sexual coercion of any sort are wrong and constitute a violation of fundamental moral requirements and state law. Minimally responsible behavior requires that no one take sexual advantage of another.

The University enforces all laws relevant to alcohol and controlled substances, and further, by policy, strongly discourages the use of illegal substances at any time. The University disseminates and encourages the dissemination by others of information concerning the responsible use of alcohol.

The cultural, ethnic, and racial diversity of the University community provides an opportunity for learning about those different from oneself. The University expects each individual to make a special effort to ensure that all are treated with dignity and respect and accorded the full opportunities of the University. Racism, whether in assumptions, attitudes, acts, or policies, is incompatible with the concept of responsible freedom as espoused by Florida State University.

The University is a compassionate community. In its treatment of students, it recognizes the wisdom both of letting students experience the consequences of their actions and of providing the opportunity to learn and grow in ways that can overcome past difficulties. The University provides ongoing student support through the health center, counseling services, and the academic advising process.

The university experience is a time for adventure, fun, excitement, the making of new friends, and the discovery of new possibilities. There are numerous individual and organized opportunities for students to develop and to learn in the course of their university years to exercise newly acquired freedom deliberately and responsibly.

Matriculation to Florida State University, then, is a summons to the exercise of responsible freedom in a community of teaching, learning and discovery. 

Workplace Violence Policy

Florida State University is committed to providing and maintaining a respectful environment that is conducive to safe working, learning, and living for all members of the institutional community. The University must have an environment in which all faculty, staff, students, and guests can study, live, and work without intimidation or fear.

In keeping with this commitment, it is the policy of Florida State University that acts of violence, threats of violence, and behavior meant to intimidate others is strictly prohibited. Such prohibition includes any act, behavior, or communication which is abusive, threatening or disruptive to the work, education, or well-being of any individual or groups of individuals employed by, enrolled in, or visiting the University.

Anyone who believes themselves to be a victim of violence should report their concerns to the Florida State University Police, and/or any University vice president, assistant vice president, dean, director, or department chair. Any threat or violent act by an employee or student will be considered serious misconduct and may be the basis for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. 

More details concerning this policy and reporting procedures may be found at: http://policies.vpfa.fsu.edu/bmanual/workplace.html