General Administration Policies
Policy Maintenance, Availability, Amendments, and Renewal
Responsibility for Maintenance: College Counsel
I. Policy Statement
Personnel responsible for creating, updating, and distributing College policies must comply with the procedures described in this policy, which details the procedures for formulating, approving, issuing, and amending policies.
II. Reason for Policy
Richard Bland College requires regular maintenance of policies to ensure ongoing compliance with applicable laws, to facilitate optimal efficiency and effectiveness in fulfillment of mission and goals, and to promote a common understanding of the fundamental framework that guides our actions.
III. Applicability of the Policy
This policy applies to all policies included in the official Richard Bland College Policy Manual and available on the Richard Bland College website.
IV. Related Documents
Office of the College Counsel
The College Counsel will send out the inventory of current policies prior to the beginning of each calendar year, but no later than November 10. The RBC senior administrators are responsible for ensuring that policies in their areas of responsibility are included in the Policy Manual. If a policy already exists, then the senior administrator responsible for that policy shall ensure that the policy is kept updated. Senior administrators and other RBC leaders will work with the College Counsel to determine if any legal updates have impacted a policy or if new policies are appropriate. On or before January 15, each senior administrator shall send to the College Counsel final comments regarding revisions or additions to policies.
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Freedom of Information Act Policy (FOIA)
Responsibility for Maintenance: FOIA Officer
(Updated July 6, 2016)
I. Policy Statement
Richard Bland College acknowledges the rights of requesters and the responsibility of the College under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
II. Reason for Policy
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), located at § 2.2-3700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia, guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth and representatives of the media access to public records held by public bodies, public officials, and public employees. The purpose of FOIA is to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities. In furthering this policy, FOIA requires the law to be interpreted liberally, in favor of access, and that any exemption allowing public records to be withheld must be interpreted narrowly.
III. Applicability of the Policy
This policy is to be understood and applied by the College’s FOIA Officer. This policy applies to any public records held by Richard Bland College.
IV. Related Documents
Office of the President
Attn: Lisa Pond
11301 Johnson Road
S. Prince George, Virginia 23805
(804) 862-6100, ext. 6221
Public record: A public record is any writing or recording—regardless of whether it is a paper record, an electronic file, an audio or video recording, or any other format—that is prepared or owned by, or in the possession of a public body or its officers, employees, or agents in the transaction of public business. All public records are presumed to be open, and may only be withheld if a specific, statutory exemption applies.
Requestor: Those who are entitled to inspection and copying of records under FOIA are limited to citizens of the Commonwealth, representatives of newspapers and magazines with circulation in the Commonwealth, and representatives of radio and television stations broadcasting in or into the Commonwealth.
Your FOIA Rights
- You have the right to request to inspect or receive copies of public records, or both.
- You have the right to request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance.
- If you believe that your FOIA rights have been violated, you may file a petition in district or circuit court to compel compliance with FOIA. Alternatively, you may contact the FOIA Council for a nonbinding advisory opinion.
Making a Request for records from Richard Bland College
You may request records by U.S. Mail, fax, e-mail, in person, or over the phone. FOIA does not require that your request be in writing, nor do you need to specifically state that you are requesting records under FOIA. However, from a practical perspective, it may be helpful to both you and the person receiving your request to put your request in writing. This allows you to create a record of your request. It also gives RBC a clear statement of what records you are requesting, so that there is no misunderstanding over a verbal request. However, RBC cannot refuse to respond to your FOIA request if you elect to not put it in writing.
Your request must identify the records you are seeking with “reasonable specificity.” This is a common-sense standard. It does not refer to or limit the volume or number of records that you are requesting; instead, it requires that you be specific enough so that RBC can identify and locate the records that you are seeking.
Your request must ask for existing records or documents. FOIA gives you a right to inspect or copy records; it does not apply to a situation where you are asking general questions about the work of Richard Bland College, nor does it require Richard Bland College to create a record that does not exist.
You may receive electronic records in any format used by Richard Bland College in the regular course of business. For example, if you request records maintained in an Excel database, you may receive those records electronically, via e-mail, on a computer disk, or as a printed document.
Please cooperate with staff’s efforts to clarify the type of records you are seeking, or to attempt to reach a reasonable agreement about a response to a large request. Making a FOIA request is not an adversarial process, but RBC staff may need to discuss your request with you to ensure that we understand what records you are seeking.
To request records from Richard Bland College, you may direct your request to the FOIA Officer by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; by regular mail at 11301 Johnson Road, South Prince George, VA 23805; or by phone at 804.862.6221.
You may also contact the FOIA Officer with questions you have concerning requesting records from Richard Bland College. In addition, the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is available to answer any questions you may have about FOIA. The Council may be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com, or by phone at (804) 225-3056 or [toll free] 1-866-448-4100.
Richard Bland College’s Responsibilities in Responding to Your Request
Richard Bland College must respond to your request within five working days of receiving it. “Day One” is the working day after your request is received. The five-day period does not include weekends, holidays, or other days the College is closed.
The reason behind your request for public records from Richard Bland College is irrelevant, and you do not have to state why you want the records before we respond to your request. FOIA does, however, allow Richard Bland College to require you to provide your name and legal address.
FOIA requires that Richard Bland College make one of the following responses to your request within the five-day time period:
- We provide you with the records that you have requested in their entirety.
- We withhold all of the records that you have requested, because all of the records are subject to a specific statutory exemption. If all of the records are being withheld, we must send you a response in writing. That writing must identify the volume and subject matter of the records being withheld, and state the specific section of the Code of Virginia that allows us to withhold the records.
- We provide some of the records that you have requested, but withhold other records. We cannot withhold an entire record if only a portion of it is subject to an exemption. In that instance, we may redact the portion of the record that may be withheld, and must provide you with the remainder of the record. We must provide you with a written response stating the specific section of the Code of Virginia that allows portions of the requested records to be withheld.
- We inform you in writing that the requested records cannot be found or do not exist (we do not have the records you want). However, if we know that another public body has the requested records, we must include contact information for the other public body in our response to you.
- If it is practically impossible for Richard Bland College to respond to your request within the five-day period, we must state this in writing, explaining the conditions that make the response impossible. This will allow us seven additional working days to respond to your request, giving us a total of 12 working days to respond to your request.
If you make a request for a very large number of records, and we feel that we cannot provide the records to you within 12 working days without disrupting our other organizational responsibilities, we may petition the court for additional time to respond to your request. However, FOIA requires that we make a reasonable effort to reach an agreement with you concerning the production of the records before we go to court to ask for more time.
A public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested records. No public body shall impose any extraneous, intermediary, or surplus fees or expenses to recoup the general costs associated with creating or maintaining records or transacting the general business of the public body. Any duplicating fee charged by a public body shall not exceed the actual cost of duplication. All charges for the supplying of requested records shall be estimated in advance at the request of the citizen as set forth in subsection F of § 2.2-3704 of the Code of Virginia.
You may have to pay for the records that you request from Richard Bland College. FOIA allows us to charge for the actual costs of responding to FOIA requests. This would include items like staff time spent searching for the requested records, copying costs, or any other costs directly related to supplying the requested records. It cannot include general overhead costs.
If RBC estimates that it will cost more than $200 to respond to your request, RBC may require you to pay a deposit, not to exceed the amount of the estimate, before proceeding with your request. The five days that RBC has to respond to your request does not include the time between when RBC asks for a deposit and when you respond.
You may request that RBC estimate in advance the charges for supplying the records that you have requested. This will allow you to know about any costs upfront, or give you the opportunity to modify your request in an attempt to lower the estimated costs.
If you owe RBC money from a previous FOIA request that has remained unpaid for more than 30 days, RBC may require payment of the past-due bill before responding to your new FOIA request.
Commonly used exemptions
The Code of Virginia allows any public body to withhold certain records from public disclosure. Federal law also requires certain records to be withheld. Richard Bland College commonly withholds records subject to the following exemptions:
- Personnel records (§ 2.2-3705.1 (1) of the Code of Virginia)
- Records subject to attorney-client privilege (§ 2.2-3705.1 (2)) or attorney work product (§ 2.2-3705.1 (3))
- Vendor proprietary information (§ 2.2-3705.1 (6))
- Records relating to the negotiation and award of a contract, prior to a contract being awarded (§ 2.2-3705.1 (12))
- Student records (§ 2.2-3705.4 and The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99)
VIII. Related Laws
Virginia Code §§ 2.2-3700 et seq. – http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title2.2/chapter37/
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Responsibility for Maintenance: Provost
I. Policy Statement
This policy governs the respective ownership rights of the College and its employees in copyrightable material produced within the scope of employment and student ownership rights.
The “work-for-hire” rule in the Copyright Act gives the College ownership of the copyrights to works produced by its employees within the scope of their employment. The College cedes copyright ownership to the author(s) of scholarly and academic works (such as journal articles, books, and papers) created by academic and research faculty who use generally available College resources. However, the College asserts its right of copyright ownership if significant College resources (including sponsor-provided funds) are used in the creation of such works, and: (a) the work generates royalty payments; or (b) the work is of commercial value that can be realized by College marketing efforts.
Use of the College’s name in connection with the commercialization of a faculty work must be approved in advance by the RBC President.
Even in cases where the College retains copyright ownership under this policy, it may cede such ownership to the work’s author(s) by written agreement signed by the RBC senior administrator (those personnel reporting directly to the President) with supervisory oversight over the employee(s) involved and approved by the RBC President.
The College retains a non-exclusive, royalty-free right under any and all circumstances to use for non-commercial purposes works produced by its employees while acting within the scope of their employment even if copyright ownership is ceded to the author or authors.
The College may assign its copyright ownership for purposes of commercialization to licensees, publishers, or other parties.
Sponsors and Contracts: When under the terms of a contract with the College a sponsor obtains copyright ownership in any copyrightable work that may result from the sponsored effort, that contract takes precedence over this policy. If the sponsor in the contract does not assert an ownership interest, copyright ownership is vested with the College as provided in this policy.
Grants: The College may vary the terms of this policy when it provides or administers a grant if it provides notice in, or at the time of, the grant application. In the absence of that notice, the following paragraphs generally will apply:
Ownership of intellectual property created under a grant from the College is the same as ownership of intellectual property not covered by a grant: i.e. it is described in this policy.
Ownership of intellectual property created under an outside grant that is administered by the College is not completely within the College’s control. Therefore, this policy governs unless in conflict with any term or condition of the grant. Whenever the granting agency retains ownership of intellectual property if the College does not elect to claim it, the College will elect to retain ownership and either keep it or transfer it to the employee according to the provisions of this policy.
Contracts: The College sometimes has copyrightable or patentable work performed on contract with third parties who are not employees or students. Rights in these situations are governed by a combination of federal and state law and the contract.
Consulting: Employees who perform consulting work for outside organizations do not act as College employees when they do so, and the terms of this policy are therefore inapplicable. Outside employment must be approved beforehand by the College, as specified in the Faculty Handbook and/or state policy.
Ownership of Intellectual Property (Students)
Students will own intellectual property resulting from their classroom assignments unless the intellectual property has been created as a result of employment with RBC, an administrative activity, or an assigned duty, or involved a significant use of general funds, in which case the College will own the intellectual property.
Students own any intellectual property resulting from their own initiative and not required by the College or a faculty member, such as a paper written for an essay contest.
II. Reason for Policy
The purpose of this policy is to define the ownership rights to copyrightable works of authorship and inventions which may be patented that are created by employees and students of Richard Bland College.
III. Applicability of the Policy
A. Applicability of the Policy – This policy applies to all employees and students of the College.
Definition of Terms in Statement:
- Administrative Activity – an activity that relates to the management or administrative functions of the College. Such activity is typically found in other organizations not involved with teaching or scholarship. Administrative activities include, for example, preparing budgets, developing policies and contracts, maintaining a personnel system, keeping inventories of equipment, developing long-range plans, and preparing brochures. Administrative activities also include activities that are not found outside of educational institutions but which support teaching and scholarship indirectly, such as preparing a database of student information, printing a catalogue of course descriptions, designing and constructing classrooms, or writing a patent and copyright policy. There is no hard and fast line between administrative activities and teaching or scholarship activities. The question is whether an activity is predominantly one or the other, not whether it is entirely one or the other.
- Assigned duty – is narrower than “scope of employment,” and is an undertaking of a task or project as a result of a specific request or direction. A general obligation to do research, even if it results in a specific end product such as a vaccine, a published article, or a computer program, or to produce scholarly publications, is not a specific request or direction and hence is not an assigned duty. In contrast, an obligation to develop a vaccine or a request or direction to write an article or produce a computer program is a specific request or direction and is therefore an assigned duty.
- “College” means Richard Bland College of William & Mary.
- “Creator “means either an inventor in the context of patentable invention, or an author in the context of copyrightable works of authorship.
- Copyright – A form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works, whereby copyright owners may claim, for a limited time, certain exclusive rights to specified works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works and gives the copyright owner the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, sell, perform, display or prepare derivatives of the work, and to protect a copyright against infringement. Copyright protection does not extend to an idea, procedure, process, slogan, principle or discovery.
- Employee – Any individual employed by the College, including full- and part-time faculty, 12-month faculty, classified and operational employees, and professionals and professional faculty. Employee also includes: adjunct professors; visiting faculty; visiting scientists; and students who receive salaries or assistantships, or College work-study funds, stipends, or hourly wages while they are acting within the scope of their employment at the College.
- Intellectual Property – A collective term identifying College work that may be protected by copyrights, trade secrets protections, trademarks, and/or patents, irrespective of whether formal protection is sought.
- Significant College Resources – The use of College resources is “significant” when it entails substantial and dedicated use of College equipment, facilities, or personnel. The use of a computer in a faculty office, incidental supplies and occasional use of College personnel or shared facilities would typically not be considered significant use. In contrast, utilization of College laboratories or special instrumentation, dedicated assistance by College employees, special financial assistance, or extensive use of shared facilities would constitute significant use.
- Sponsor–Provided Resources – Funds and facilities provided by governmental, commercial, industrial, or other private organizations which are administered and controlled by the College shall be considered College resources.
Work–for–Hire Rule – The “work-for-hire” rule, defined in the Copyright Act, provides that when an employee produces a copyrightable work within the scope of employment, the copyright to that work belongs to the employer and not to the author.
A. Administrative Responsibilities: The Provost is responsible for the implementation and administration of this intellectual Property policy, with the concurrence of the RBC President, and will:
(1) promptly consider all notifications of intellectual property and determine the circumstances of creation to establish whether significant use of College facilities, personnel, and resources is involved;
(2) determine whether to apply for a patent or register a copyright on behalf of the College;
(3) determine whether the intellectual property in which the College holds an interest is marketable, and if so, take appropriate steps on behalf of the College for marketing the property, including transferring the College’s rights to the Richard Bland College Foundation or another entity, as authorized by law and this policy;
(4) distribute royalties as a result of the implementation of this policy;
(5) advise the creator in writing whenever the College does not claim ownership of intellectual property of which the creator has notified the College.
The RBC President may reassign the administrative responsibilities of administering this policy as he or she deems necessary.
B. Employee Responsibilities
Employees will promptly notify the Provost in writing of all intellectual property of marketable value that the College owns. Notifications will go through the appropriate administrative head to the Provost for the purpose of determining whether, and to what extent, the College has a proprietary interest in the material and determining the use of State general funds in its development. If more than one individual participated in the development, the notification should identify the percent of each participant’s interest and should be signed by all participants. The participants will furnish additional information and execute documents from time to time as the Provost may reasonably request.
Responsibility for timely and responsible notification of intellectual property rests with the creator. Notification forms will be available in the Provost. Guidance is available from the Provost on the steps to be taken to protect the interests of the creator and the College.
The Provost will so advise the creator in writing if the College claims no ownership of the intellectual property.
The determination of ownership will typically occur within thirty (30) days after the creator submits a completed notification to the Provost. The creator and all participants will cooperate in the application for a patent on the invention or in registering the copyright to the work, whether requested by the College or an agent or assignee of the College, such as the Richard Bland College Foundation. If at any point in the process the College decides that no further current action is desirable for intellectual property that the College owns, it will so notify the creator within thirty (30) days. In this case, the College may transfer full or limited ownership to the creator, or reserve ownership until a subsequent date.
C. Protection and Commercialization
Nothing in this policy requires the College to sell, license, or use any intellectual property. The Provost and the President must approve institutional agreements between the College and any outside patent management firm. The President will determine whether the agreement is in the College’s best interest.
D. Distribution of Royalties
Generally, the creator(s) and the College will share the gross royalties that are received from intellectual properties for which the College obtains a patent or holds a copyright. The creator will receive 50% of the gross royalties received on the first $10,000, then 20% of the gross royalties received over $10,000 and up to $100,000, and 10% thereafter of the gross royalties that exceed $100,000. Under special circumstances the creator or the College may propose an alternate arrangement.
The royalties to the College will be used to fund faculty development, general research, and intellectual property development expenses unless the Board of Visitors or the President directs otherwise.
Individual grants or contracts for sponsored research with a granting agency may specify a different assignment of patent or copyright ownership or a different distribution of royalties.
E. Appeal of Action by the Provost.
A creator who claims to be adversely affected by an action of the Provost may appeal in writing within ten (10) calendar days of notification of the action to the RBC President. Grounds for appeal include an alleged failure of the Provost to comply with this Intellectual Property Policy.
The creator will submit his or her appeal to the President and demonstrate that the creator has made a reasonable effort to resolve his or her complaint with the Provost as a preliminary matter. Proceedings will be informal, and all parties will have adequate notice and opportunity to be heard.
After considering all relevant information, the President will decide the merit of the creator’s grievance and advise the Provost and the creator of his or her decision. Review of appeals will take no longer than thirty (30) days from the date they are filed unless both parties mutually agree upon an extension or if additional time is authorized by the President for cause.
F. Reporting Requirements
The Provost shall be responsible for compiling information and submitting reports to external bodies as required by law or applicable policy.
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