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
January 1, 2018 to March 31, 2018
Policy Points Newsletter
New Policies: 

There were no new policies approved during this period.

Policy Points Newsletter
Substantive Revisions: 

Conflicts of Interest in Research – In order to ensure research is conducted in an unbiased manner, this policy requires research related interests be reported, evaluated, and appropriately resolved or managed. Significant revisions include the following:

  • Reporting new financial interests in, or remunerations from, an entity not previously reported, regardless of amount 
  • Travel that is paid or reimbursed by a third party does not need to be updated outside of annual reporting
  • For ongoing research, IRB/IACUC protocol renewal may be delayed, the protocol may be suspended, and/or sponsored project funding may be frozen until a management plan is accepted by the investigator if a conflict of interest (COI) or competing interest (CI) is determined to exist
  • The COI in Research Program must report the COI or CI determination and any agreed upon management plan to the relevant school/department personnel as well as the Office of Sponsored Programs prior to expenditure of any part of the award
  • Decision-making authority for appeal determinations resides in the vice president for research and innovation position.

Emergency Notification, Response and Evacuation – This policy addresses prompt emergency notification, response and potential evacuation, upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of individuals on the university’s campuses. This policy has been revised to clarify officials responsible for (a) providing the emergency notification to the university community; (b) coordinating and executing the emergency notification, response and evacuation of the university community, as needed, in the event of an emergency; and (c) determining the content of the emergency notification message and activating the components of the emergency communications system.

Financial Aid Recalculation Due to Withdrawal  – The purpose of this policy is to describe effects on a student’s financial aid resulting from course withdrawal. This policy was revised to provide a comprehensive overview of VCU's Financial Aid withdrawal policy and to include withdrawals from courses offered in modules and processing of state aid upon withdrawal.

Intellectual Property – This policy defines the ownership, distribution, and commercialization of rights associated with intellectual property developed at the university. It has been revised to clarify VCU’s stance on intellectual property and better define the types of intellectual property and its handling. Intellectual property issues not specifically addressed prior now include: joint copyrights; computer software copyrights; release of intellectual property; procedures for disclosing inventions and original works of authorship; and cooperating with the university in defending and prosecuting patents. This listing is not exhaustive.

Research Misconduct – This policy (formerly titled Misconduct in Research and Scholarly Activities Policy) prohibits research misconduct. All individuals involved in any research endeavor must comply with this policy. Principal investigators are responsible for the integrity of research performed under their supervision. Administrative unit heads must pursue reasonable monitoring to ensure the integrity of the activities conducted under their oversight. The revision provides for limitations on appeals and an abbreviated appeals process; requires university members’ cooperation in research misconduct proceedings; and addresses procedures for investigating research misconduct, including the use of an Inquiry Panel and an Investigation Panel.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid  – The purpose of this policy is to describe eligibility for continued receipt of Title IV federal funds based on satisfactory academic progress (SAP), revised to provide a more comprehensive overview of related procedures as well as update SAP minimum GPA requirements aligned with VCU’s minimum GPA requirements.

Timely Warning/Crime Alert  – This policy outlines the procedures that the university follows to provide a timely warning/crime alert to the university community upon the VCU Police Department’s discovery of information determined to be a potential serious or ongoing threat to the university community or risk of additional incidents in the future. This policy has been revised to clarify the officials who are authorized to determine (a) whether a crime requires a timely warning/crime alert; (b) the content of the timely warning/crime alert message; and (c) activation of the notification system(s). 

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

Asbestos Management Plan – This was determined to be an operational plan, not a universitywide policy. It is now located on Facilities Management’s website.

Blackboard System Usage Policy – This was converted to an information technology standard pursuant to the Information Security policy as part of the Information Technology Policy Framework.

Cost Accounting Standards – This was revised and consolidated into the Post-Award Financial Management policy.

Cost Overruns – This was revised and consolidated into the Post-Award Financial Management policy.

Cost Transfer Procedures – This was revised and consolidated into the Post-Award Financial Management policy.

Effort Reporting – This was revised and consolidated into the Post-Award Financial Management policy.

Managing Undue Influence in Research Committees and Groups – This was outdated and is being revised and converted to a compliance notice by the Office of Research and Innovation.

Program Income – This was revised and consolidated into the Post-Award Financial Management policy.

Purchasing Goods and Services – This was revised and consolidated into the Post-Award Financial Management policy.

Reporting – This was revised and consolidated into the Post-Award Financial Management policy.