Frequently Asked Questions

Privacy

Contracts

Legal Counsel

Consulting and Donations

Other

 

Are the personal e-mails that I send and receive on my University computer private?
No. While a personal e-mail is not a public record, the University may be legally obligated in the course of litigation or threatened litigation to preserve, maintain and review all e-mails for a particular employee’s e-mail address, University computer or University server. In addition, the University may examine personal electronic information stored on or passing over IT resources to ensure compliance with the law and other purposes as outlined in its HR and IT policies. Therefore, if you desire privacy, you should use a private e-mail account for personal matters.

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What information about me as a student is public information?
Most information regarding a student is private. Information that the University identifies as “directory information” is public information, unless a student has placed a privacy block on his or her directory information by opting out. To learn what constitutes directory information and under what circumstances the University may release private information about a student, please see the FERPA Regulation page of the Office of Legal Affairs website. 

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What should I do if a parent asks me for a copy of his or her child’s grade (or other information in the University’s records regarding the child)?
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents do not have an automatic right to see the educational records of their children. You should refer the parent back to the student to get grades directly from him or her or refer the parent to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office will have the student complete a FERPA release form electronically and obtain a FERPA Personal Identification Number (PIN) for use in communicating with the University about student records before releasing grades or other records to the parent. For more information, see the FERPA page on the Office of Legal Affairs Website.

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Do I have authority to sign a University contract, memorandum of understanding, lease, license or other agreement?
It depends on whether you have been delegated authority by the President. Generally, all contracts binding on the University must be signed by the President, Chief Financial Officer, or Procurement and Contract Administration Department. Delegations of signature authority for various types of contracts are restricted and limited. To determine whether you are an authorized representative of the University for certain contracts, please consult the General Counsel or the Chief Financial Officer.

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What happens if I sign a contract for which I did not have authority to sign?
You may be personally liable for the breach or value of the contract, and the University may discipline you for unauthorized conduct.

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If I wish to participate as a researcher in a clinical trial or other project funded by private dollars, may I sign the contract the sponsoring company sends me?
No. Only the President, Chief Financial Officer, and certain administrators with delegated signature authority may sign a contract or agreement on behalf of the University.  Please contact the General Counsel for additional information.

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Will the University defend me if I am sued for something that I allegedly did or did not do while at work?
Generally, yes. The insurance policies of the University include defending employees against lawsuits brought against them in their official capacities, and personally for acts or omissions occurring in the course of their authorized employment. Grounds for refusing a defense include the existence of fraud, corruption, actual malice; or that the person was acting outside the course of employment (e.g. sexual harassment); or if the University determines that it would not be in the best interests of the University.

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What should I do if I am served with a subpoena relating to University business?
You should notify the Office of General Counsel immediately and provide a copy of the subpoena. For more information about subpoenas, please see the Office of Legal Affairs Policies and Procedures webpage section on Subpoenas and Summons

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Can I hire an attorney to handle a University matter?
No. The University can only be represented by the attorneys in the Office of Legal Affairs or outside counsel engaged by that office or one of the University’s insurers.  However, you are always free to engage your own attorney to advise you on legal matters at your cost.

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Can a University attorney handle a private legal matter for me?
No.  For more information or help finding an attorney in your area please see the Legal Representation page on the Office of Legal Affairs website.

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May I enter into consulting arrangements?
It depends, but typically the answer is a qualified yes.  Check your employment contract and Intellectual Property policies to be sure the exceptions would not apply.

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May I donate my consulting fees to the University?
Yes. However, there are personal tax consequences associated with receiving the income.  Additionally, if you decide to make a gift, the funds must be deposited into an account over which you have no direct or indirect control over disbursement.

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Someone has contacted me about donating some excess product inventory to my department.  How do I accept this gift?
Proposed gifts of tangible personal property should be reported to the Development Office and evaluated through that office’s procedures.

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How long do I have to keep University records in my office?
It depends on the type of record.  Generally speaking, Financial Aid or Federal Aid records must be retained for 3 years minimum after the student ceases enrollment, and State Aid related records are retained for 5 years minimum. Records related to an open audit must be retained for 8 years, and the original promissory notes (such as the Liberty University loans) must be retained through the full repayment term of the loan. Electronic records, which are all paper or paperless documents scanned and indexed, are backed up daily and maintained for approximately 10 years. For more information on records retention and approved methods of destruction for your department, please see your department Supervisor.

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Where do I get permission to use the University’s trademarks?
Commercial use of the University’s name, logos, nicknames, or other trademarks requires advance permission from the University’s Marketing Department. University departments are permitted to use the trademarks and service marks for official University business purposes without prior approval. For more information, please see the University’s Brand Identity Guide

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To whom should I report illegal or fraudulent activity?
If there is some connection to Liberty University, you should report such matters to Liberty University Police Department or Human Resources. Each of these offices allow for anonymous tips or the filing of more formal complaints.  

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Can my office, department or division conduct a raffle to raise money?
The law in Virginia does not prohibit conducting raffles to fund raise. Contact your supervisor for more information on how to conduct a raffle to fundraise for your department.

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