New and Recently Updated Policies

New Policies

Bicycle Parking & Removal


To promote safe and sustainable bicycle use on campus, this new policy addresses bicycle use on university property including retrieval and disposal of impounded bicycles and ways to register a bike with campus police. VCU encourages the use of bicycles as a convenient, environmentally sound and efficient means of transportation to, from and around campus.

Conduct of Animal Subjects Research


VCU recognizes that conducting animal subjects research is a privilege. Animal subject research has contributed to impactful discoveries in medicine and science for many years. VCU complies with federal regulations from the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and implements best practices. This policy applies to all VCU research, training, experimentation, biological testing, teaching, and other university-sanctioned activities involving live vertebrate animals regardless of funding source and regardless of where the activity is occurring (for example, at another institution).

Expectations of Ethical Conduct


This policy codifies the university’s commitment to VCU’s ethical standards, as approved by the Board of Visitors in 2005 and outlined in the Code of Conduct. The policy assists with accountability by including specific behaviors associated with each standard providing clarity about what it means to exhibit ethical conduct in the VCU community.

Substantive Change for Regional Accreditation


This policy covers procedures for identifying and reporting academic and non-academic substantive changes (as defined by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)) prior to implementation. It achieved final approval through the governance process to ensure compliance with SACSCOC requirements.

Substantive Revisions

Conduct of Human Subjects Research


Per recent changes to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (‘Common Rule’) by the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Human Research Protections, the following changes are reflected in policy: 

  • Definitions of Research and Human Subject have been altered for clarity; 
  • IRBs no longer need to complete grant congruency review; 
  • Categories of research considered exempt from the federal policy have been expanded (some categories will be considered exempt only after “limited IRB review” for confidentiality risks); 
  • Minimal Risk research will no longer require IRB review on an annual basis; 
  • Informed consent requirements include new elements for consent and for waiver of consent; and 
  • All clinical trials must post a copy of the consent form to a federal website

Criminal Conviction Investigations


The purpose of this policy is to describe the criminal background review to which every VCU employee is subject. The policy updates procedures to accurately reflect Human Resources practices and procedures, to state post-hire reporting requirements, and to align with the Working at VCU: “Great Place” HR Policies policy. 

Delegation of Signatory Authority


The revised policy incorporates many changes in delegations of signatory authority based on responsible individuals and roles. It further clarifies the process for administering sub-delegations, creates a repository for presidential delegations and updates roles and responsibilities of senior leaders at the university.

Fixed Asset


The threshold for controllable fixed assets has changed. Control of assets between $2,000 and $5,000 is eliminated, except for Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund (HEETF) assets which remain at the $500 threshold. Specifically, for all moveable equipment, except HEETF equipment, only assets costing $5,000 or more are tagged and tracked. Overall, this policy ensures fixed assets are acquired, safeguarded, controlled, disposed of, and accounted for in accordance with state and federal regulations, audit requirements, and generally accepted accounting principles.

Institutional Conflicts of Interest in Research


This policy was revised to clarify the role of the conflict of interest (COI) in research program, the COI in research committee and the ICOI in research committee. This was formerly in interim status.

An institutional conflict of interest (ICOI) in research is a situation in which the financial interests of the university or its covered members might reasonably appear to influence or bias institutional activities involving research. Certain financial interests of university entities and covered members are required to be reported and potential conflicts are evaluated and appropriately resolved or managed.

Post-Award Financial Extension and Closeout


This policy consolidates and updates several policies monitored and enforced by Grants and Contracts (G&C) Accounting and Effort Reporting. The following titles have been retired in name and their substance is now included in this policy: Extend, Closeout, or Release an Account; Audits of Sponsored Programs; Transfers To/From Other Institutions; and Record Retention (formerly hosted on a website). Procedures for closing out grants and contracts have been added and replace former procedures applicable only to G&C staff. Procedures that concern G&C staff only will remain on the Controller's Office webpage.

Research and Development Exception for the Virginia Conflict of Interest Act


Under the Code of Virginia State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act, an employee is prohibited from having a personal interest in a contract with VCU other than the employee’s own contract of employment. If a VCU employee, or a member of their immediate family, has a personal interest in a business that proposes to contract with VCU, the contract may represent a state-prohibited contract as defined under the Act. The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework under which proposed contracts for research and development in which a VCU employee has a personal interest will be processed and managed. This policy revision affords a better understanding of the state law requirements and the VCU process to attain an exception from the state-prohibited contract for research and development.

Tuition Benefits, Educational and Training Opportunities


This policy, formerly titled Educational and Training Opportunities, affirms VCU’s commitment to providing learning and development opportunities to eligible employees and encouraging employees to continue their education and enhance their growth and development through tuition benefits and other educational opportunities. The policy was revised to include the new University and Academic Professional employee group; allow one course per semester (the equivalent of three credit hours) to be taken during work time (v. non-work hours) with prior managerial approval to align and be consistent with the career development section of the Working@VCU: “Great Place” HR Policies; and include detailed procedures to the Tuition Benefit, Tuition Reimbursement, and Educational Leave of Absence sections of policy.    


Minor Revisions