Policy Points

The Policy Program is pleased to bring you Policy Points. This publication is a quarterly notification bringing awareness to all universitywide policy updates. All universitywide policies are located in the policy library, providing appropriate centralization and data normalization.

Click on the policy titles below to access the document in full. Questions? Comments? Please do not hesitate to email policy@vcu.edu or call 828-3982 to reach Senior University Compliance and Policy Specialist, Tony Rapchick.

Please visit www.policy.vcu.edu to access current versions of all universitywide policies.

This edition of Policy Points reflects recent updates from
April 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018
Policy Points Newsletter
New Policies: 

Outside Professional Activity, Consulting and Continuing Education Instruction for University and Academic Professionals and Classified Staff - Interim - The purpose of this policy is to establish requirements for participation in and the restrictions associated with outside professional activity, external consulting and continuing education by university and academic professionals and classified staff. As detailed in this policy, professional service activities must not detract from the employee’s performance or obligations to the university; must not present a conflict of interest; must not deplete university facilities and resources; must be approved in advance and reported on annually; and, if the employee is to receive extra compensation, must only be entered into while on approved leave or outside of normal work hours.

Reservation and Use of Space - The university recognizes that the free expression of ideas and open inquiry are essential in fulfilling its academic mission by embracing rigorous open discourse, argumentation, speaking, listening, learning and the exploration of ideas. As such, this policy establishes requirements for the use of VCU property to pursue its academic mission, provide a safe environment, and preserve the functional and aesthetic integrity of the campus.

Policy Points Newsletter
Substantive Revisions: 

Broadcast Mass Mail - This policy describes the requirements for distributing information to all members of a VCU audience group via VCU email. The purpose of the policy is to identify individuals authorized to send and receive such emails as well as the appropriate content of messages, in order to ensure that mass emails, are kept to a minimum and are timely, relevant, coordinated and properly vetted for content and quality. This revision (1) reduces the number of people who can send mass email; (2) delineates specific mass email message criteria; and (3) defines a standard naming convention for mass email.

Identity Theft Prevention - Interim - This policy exists in response to the federal requirement to implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program designed to detect the warning signs – or “Red Flags” – of identity theft in day-to-day operations. It has been revised to better define the content and development of the Identity Theft Prevention Program and to reflect recent changes to other university policies and standards that affect this policy. The policy now incorporates an Identity Theft Prevention Standard, which allows for more flexibility for program development and more timely and dynamic changes in program content. The operational details previously contained in the policy have been removed and are now updated and included in the Identity Theft Prevention Standard.

Preventing and Responding to Discrimination - This policy, formerly titled Affirmation of VCU's Equal Opportunity, was revised to fulfill relevant federal and state requirements and university policies. It outlines the protected bases for discrimination and applicable statutory authority; establishes VCU's investigation and administrative procedures and lists the applicable disciplinary procedures that will be followed in response to findings of discrimination; clarifies which procedures apply where multiple nondiscrimination policies apply to the underlying conduct; and identifies other state and university formal grievance procedures and the appropriate agencies for filing an external complaint. The revision includes a provision for administrative review of allegations of discriminatory or retaliatory conduct, in the absence of a formal complaint.

Principal Investigator Eligibility for Sponsored Programs - This policy defines who is permitted to serve as a principal investigator (PI) for sponsored programs. Detailed responsibilities for PIs are included in the Roles and Responsibilities Matrix referenced in the policy. The policy has been revised to: (1) include new categories and definitions for impacted Human Resources job classifications; (2) remove the exception request requirement for specific categories; and (3) remove specific details related to PI eligibility for human subjects research and animal research, which are covered by separate IRB and IACUC policies and procedures.

Reimbursable Business Expenses - This policy provides that VCU may reimburse individuals for reimbursable business expenses up to $2,000 per reimbursement provided that the person seeking reimbursement provides proper justification for not using established procurement processes (P-Card or purchase order) and appropriate, timely and sufficient documentation of the expense. Reimbursement for anything other than goods and services such as honoraria, stipends, independent contractors, etc., is strictly prohibited. The policy was revised to include the $2,000 per reimbursement limit.

Student Code of Conduct - The Student Code of Conduct applies to all conduct by students on university property, at VCU-sponsored activities, and off-campus. Each student is responsible for their conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of the degree. The Student Code of Conduct addresses (1) prohibited conduct; (2) students' rights and responsibilities; (3) adjudication of charges; and (4) administrative actions and sanctions. Highlights of the revision include: encouraging students to report violations to the proper authorities; enhancing and clarifying definitions of prohibited conduct; and removal of the interim suspension provision, which is now managed by the Office of the Dean of Students.

[Removals are due to consolidation with other policies; streamlining to meet operational plans; or retirement through the governance process.]

Demonstrations on the Campuses of Virginia Commonwealth University - Regulation - This regulation was significantly outdated, ineffectual and rendered obsolete by the new Reservation and Use of Space policy. As such, the Board of Visitors passed a resolution to repeal this regulation at its May 11, 2018 meeting.

Faculty Guide to Student Conduct in Instructional Settings - This was removed at the request of the Dean of Students Office because it was significantly outdated and contained no policy requirements. Instead, it was merely a set of recommendations and guidelines not appropriate for inclusion in the Policy Library.