- Academic Integrity
- Computing Policy
- Student Health Insurance
- Freedom of Expression
- Student Immunization
- Intellectual Property
- Student Privacy Rights
- Restricted Research
- Student Activities Fee
- Temporary Closing of the University
- Student Leaves and Returns
- Tuition Adjustment
- Financial Aid
- Undergraduate Course Meetings
A University Policy is a rule that has been officially sanctioned by the president of Carnegie Mellon University and that generally has university-wide applicability. A Policy may include governing principles, it may either mandate or constrain action, it may ensure compliance with laws, or it may mitigate the University's risk. Broadly, a Policy is either academic or administrative in scope and application and must be approved by the president (and Board of Trustees as required), in order to become official University Policy.
Additional University Policies not listed in this catalog may be found at www.cmu.edu/policies.
Statement of Assurance
Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate in admission, employment, or administration of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, ancestry, belief, veteran status, or genetic information. Furthermore, Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate and is required not to discriminate in violation of federal, state, or local laws or executive orders.
Inquiries concerning the application of and compliance with this statement should be directed to the university ombudsman, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, telephone 412-268-1018.
Obtain general information about Carnegie Mellon University by calling 412-268-2000.
Students at Carnegie Mellon are engaged in intellectual activity consistent with the highest standards of the academy. The relationship between students and instructors and their shared commitment to overarching standards of respect, honor and transparency determine the integrity of our community of scholars. The actions of our students, faculty and staff are a representation of our university community and of the professional and personal communities that we lead. Therefore, a deep and abiding commitment to academic integrity is fundamental to a Carnegie Mellon education. Honesty and good faith, clarity in the communication of core values, professional conduct of work, mutual trust and respect, and fairness and exemplary behavior represent the expectations for ethical behavior for all members of the Carnegie Mellon community.
In any manner of presentation, it is the responsibility of each student to produce her/his own original academic work. Collaboration or assistance on academic work to be graded is not permitted unless explicitly authorized by the course instructor(s). Students may utilize the assistance provided by Academic Development, the Global Communication Center, and the Academic Resource Center (CMU-Q) unless specifically prohibited by the course instructor(s). Any other sources of collaboration or assistance must be specifically authorized by the course instructor(s).
In all academic work to be graded, the citation of all sources is required. When collaboration or assistance is permitted by the course instructor(s) or when a student utilizes the services provided by Academic Development, the Global Communication Center, and the Academic Resource Center (CMU-Q), the acknowledgement of any collaboration or assistance is likewise required. This citation and acknowledgement must be incorporated into the work submitted and not separately or at a later point in time. Failure to do so is dishonest and is subject to disciplinary action.
Instructors have a duty to communicate their expectations including those specific to collaboration, assistance, citation and acknowledgement within each course. Students likewise have a duty to ensure that they understand and abide by the standards that apply in any course or academic activity. In the absence of such understanding, it is the student’s responsibility to seek additional information and clarification.
Cheating occurs when a student avails her/himself of an unfair or disallowed advantage which includes but is not limited to:
- Theft of or unauthorized access to an exam, answer key or other graded work from previous course offerings.
- Use of an alternate, stand-in or proxy during an examination.
- Copying from the examination or work of another person or source.
- Submission or use of falsified data.
- Using false statements to obtain additional time or other accommodation.
- Falsification of academic credentials.
Plagiarism is defined as the use of work or concepts contributed by other individuals without proper attribution or citation. Unique ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged in academic work to be graded. Examples of sources expected to be referenced include but are not limited to:
- Text, either written or spoken, quoted directly or paraphrased.
- Graphic elements.
- Passages of music, existing either as sound or as notation.
- Mathematical proofs.
- Scientific data.
- Concepts or material derived from the work, published or unpublished, of another person.
Unauthorized assistance refers to the use of sources of support that have not been specifically authorized in this policy statement or by the course instructor(s) in the completion of academic work to be graded. Such sources of support may include but are not limited to advice or help provided by another individual, published or unpublished written sources, and electronic sources. Examples of unauthorized assistance include but are not limited to:
- Collaboration on any assignment beyond the standards authorized by this policy statement and the course instructor(s).
- Submission of work completed or edited in whole or in part by another person.
- Supplying or communicating unauthorized information or materials, including graded work and answer keys from previous course offerings, in any way to another student.
- Use of unauthorized information or materials, including graded work and answer keys from previous course offerings.
- Use of unauthorized devices.
- Submission for credit of previously completed graded work in a second course without first obtaining permission from the instructor(s) of the second course. In the case of concurrent courses, permission to submit the same work for credit in two courses must be obtained from the instructors of both courses.
Procedures for dealing with allegations of these policy violations are detailed in the university’s Academic Disciplinary Action Procedures for Undergraduate Students and the Academic Disciplinary Action Procedures for Graduate Students, which are published in The WORD student handbook. Periodic review of these procedures will be overseen by the Dean of Student Affairs or her/his designee in consultation with Faculty Senate and the relevant student governing bodies. Any amendments to these procedures are subject to the approval of Faculty Senate. Additional guidelines and procedures for graduate students may exist at the college/department/program level, in which case they are communicated in the college/department/program graduate student handbook.
The purpose of this policy is to set forth guidelines so that members of our community may use the campus network and computing facilities in ways that are responsible and respectful of privacy. This policy sets forth the university’s expectations of acceptable behavior on the part of computer systems users at Carnegie Mellon by providing guidelines for appropriate use of computing and related communication systems and examples of inappropriate use. These standards of acceptable behavior also extend beyond the campus community into the Internet. Just as it is unacceptable to violate others’ rights to privacy, property and resources within Carnegie Mellon, it is also unacceptable to violate those rights on systems that are not at Carnegie Mellon but are accessible through Carnegie Mellon’s connection to the Internet.
This policy applies to all users of Carnegie Mellon computing systems, including students, faculty and staff, and any others granted the use of university computing resources. It applies to the use of all computing facilities owned, leased, operated or contracted by Carnegie Mellon University. As used in this policy, terms such as “computing,” “computing/communications systems,” “computing resources,” etc., refer to all computers, communication systems, and peripherals, software, telephones and systems with similar functions, which are owned by Carnegie Mellon, or which utilize Carnegie Mellon infrastructure such as telephone lines or computer networks.
Although this policy does not attempt to deal specifically with legal issues, university members are responsible to act in compliance with the law, including any federal, state and local laws governing computer and telecommunications use, as well as all other applicable university policies.
Privileges and Responsibilities
Every member of the Carnegie Mellon community who uses computing and related communications systems at Carnegie Mellon, or systems that belong to Carnegie Mellon or which rely on Carnegie Mellon’s infrastructure has the responsibilities described in this policy. This includes members of the Carnegie Mellon community who have restricted privileges, such as alumni who may have electronic mail forwarding access, but no access to “login” resources. Individuals with personally-owned computers, but who rely upon the university network to connect those computers (either through an on-campus or remote network connection, such as Ethernet, wireless, dialup, DSL) are expected to abide by the policies set forth in this document. Personally-owned computers operating in stand-alone mode or networked through a non-university connection are not covered under this policy, but those users are encouraged to consult the usage policies set forth by their Internet Service Provider.
A fundamental premise of this policy is that anyone sharing computing resources with other individuals should behave as a reasonable, mature and ethical person. The user must recognize that computer systems and networks do not exist in some special rule-free environment; on the contrary, use of computers is a form of communication, and every component of a computing environment and every piece of information it contains belong to the university, the university community as a whole, or some individual or group within that community.
Access to Carnegie Mellon’s computing resources is contingent upon being a member of the university community and adhering to university and Computing Services policies, guidelines and procedures, including this policy. Misuse may result in the loss of access and/or university disciplinary action. For some users and certain systems, access may be authorized by specific departments, research centers or other organizations affiliated with Carnegie Mellon. In such cases, any department- or group-specific policies and guidelines must be adhered to when using resources provided by the department or group. This is in addition to university policies and Computing Services guidelines and procedures.
Any user who suspects a violation of the University’s computer use policies, or who has knowledge of potential vulnerabilities or security loopholes in a system or network at Carnegie Mellon, should immediately notify the Computer and Network Security Coordinator or email@example.com.
Maintain the Security and Confidentiality of your Account
Users assume personal responsibility for the use made of their computer accounts. This responsibility begins with selecting a secure password, and involves maintaining the confidentiality of that password and changing the password regularly in order to assure the continued security of your account. For guidance in selecting a secure password, see Managing Your Andrew Password. If you believe that someone has made unauthorized use of your account, you should change your password immediately and report the incident to the Computer and Network Security Coordinator or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Respect for Others’ Property and Privacy Rights
Users are responsible to respect copyright agreements and intellectual property ownership. Any material that is the work of another, whether explicitly copyrighted or not, should not be distributed by a user without appropriate acknowledgement and/or permission of the creator; unless permission has been granted by the owner of copyright protected materials, distribution of copyright protected material via the university network or computer systems is prohibited. So while the university has been granted permission by software vendors to distribute certain software packages via the network, it is not generally permissible for individual users to distribute that same software to others via the university network or computer systems. See the sections in this policy on Misuse and Inappropriate Behavior. While there may be cases in which property rights to particular programs, data, etc., are ambiguous or in dispute, the user must assume that any information not created by himself or herself belongs to someone else and must respect that person’s privacy and property rights to that information. (In certain situations, even information created by the user may not belong to that user but rather to the university or others.) This policy is not intended to limit “fair use” as permitted under the Copyright Act and users having questions about whether a particular use constitutes a “fair use” may consult the General Counsel for advice.
Any communications that would be improper or illegal on any other medium are equally so on the computer: libelous material, obscene messages, harassment, forgery, threats, etc. However, this is not intended to restrict the free expression of ideas. Communication conducted in accordance with the university policy on Free Speech and Assembly and Controversial Speakers and with the statement on Academic Freedom and Responsibility enunciated in the Appointment and Tenure Policy of Carnegie Mellon University will not be considered a violation of this policy. For further guidelines, see also the university policy on Separation of Individual’s and Institution’s Interests.
Responsible Sharing of Resources
Where a resource such as memory, CPU time or access to network resources belongs to the whole community collectively, it must be shared.
It is unacceptable to make such excessive use of system or network resources that other users cannot obtain access. Examples include excessive use of CPU time during a period of heavy use on a timesharing system, excessive use of disk space on a system that does not limit such utilization, the use of an excessive amount of network bandwidth in an environment of networked computers, and any activity that makes a system unusable or significantly degrades performance for others. A novice user might be unaware that a particular action constitutes “excessive use” but, without doubt, once a system administrator makes him or her aware of the fact that such an action is unreasonable, that user will be held responsible for any further such infractions. If you are unsure whether your needs constitute excessive use, contact the system administrator. Similarly, if you need an unusual amount of disk space, CPU time or other resources, check with the system administrator to find out whether this use can be accommodated, rather than risk interfering with the work of others on the system.
Risks of Data Loss and Data Persistence
Although the university will make efforts to secure the network and university controlled servers from abuse and damage, it cannot guarantee against data loss by a student, faculty, member or staff, either on a university-operated or an individually-owned computer.
Users should know that even those files that they have “deleted” using the appropriate procedures in the application or operating system, may indeed be recoverable if they exist in a system backup file or other persistent form. If the university is asked to recover such data by subpoena, it must cooperate, and data that the user believes to have been destroyed may be recovered in the process.
While the university makes computer resources available primarily to achieve its goals of education and research, and for administrative activities, it realizes the need to encourage the personal use of computing for the convenience of the campus community. Thus, it is reasonable to allow the use of computing resources for computer mail, document preparation, personal or course Web page publication, or other activity that can facilitate convenience or enhance productivity, to the extent that the activity is within the limits described by Responsible Sharing of Resources. Any personal use of computing resources related to operating a personal business or commercial enterprise is prohibited unless permission to do so has been specifically granted by the provost or the provost’s designee.
We do recognize the difficulty of distinguishing whether certain cases of “personal use” are allowable, such as activities that result in personal financial gain (e.g. checking stock prices online), relate to a commercial business (e.g. university-sponsored technology transfer efforts), or support (but do not constitute operating) a personal business (e.g. a student developing a business plan or a faculty member writing a report for a consulting engagement outside the university). In such cases, we rely on individuals to be responsible and judicious in the use of university’s shared computing resources. In particular ensuring:
- appropriate use of resources (e.g. any such work is completed outside of university time and does not utilize shared resources such as CPU cycles or network bandwidth to a degree that adversely impacts academic or research activities);
- appropriate use of licenses (e.g. do not use software procured with academic use licenses for commercial applications or development, unless the license explicitly permits such use);
- appropriate marketing (e.g. no creation of “.com” domains within Carnegie Mellon’s “edu” domain, no advertising services and products using Carnegie Mellon email accounts, and no advertising using web pages on Carnegie Mellon servers (any server with a .CMU.EDU host name).
In cases of questionable personal use of resources, you may contact email@example.com to determine whether a particular activity is permissible.
We reserve the right to restrict personal use of university systems and networks by an individual or by the community at large, if the use of resources for such activities becomes excessive. If you need unlimited access to computer networks for private or business purposes, you can subscribe to a commercial service.
For information regarding the use of resources to produce intellectual property and profit from the development of such property see Carnegie Mellon University’s Intellectual Property Policy and the Policy on Conflict of Interest/Commitment.
The user must presume that the contents of any other users’ directory are private unless expressly designated otherwise, just as one would presume that the contents of someone’s apartment or office are private. The only exceptions to this rule are: that in some environments, files such as “plan files” may be considered public even if the user has not expressly designated them as such; and that some services such as web pages and anonymous or “guest access” ftp services may be considered to be public, but only for those areas not protected by password and which are “obviously” public. An unprotected account or shared device (such as a shared disk on a networked computer) are not considered to be public unless the name or service expressly indicates that it is. In such cases, any files or other data which would appear to be private in nature, by virtue of the file name or data stored, even if “publicly accessible” should be considered to be private. The user accessing such files has a responsibility to ask the owner of the files or service if the files are intended to be publicly accessible before the user does more than a “cursory glance” sufficient to cause the question.
A user can explicitly grant access to his or her directories, files or to services run from his or her systems. However, users who issue general or vague invitations to browse through their files incur a special obligation to protect any material that they do not wish others to see. Indeed, all users are urged to maintain protection levels on their files consistent with the access they are actually willing to give to other users.
Access to Faculty Data
Electronic data on a faculty member’s account, whether stored on a computer in the faculty member’s office or elsewhere under the proprietary control of that faculty member, may not be examined, i.e., the contents of the data read by a person, without the faculty member’s consent, except in cases of emergency or in response to a valid subpoena, search warrant, or order of a court. Posting of data by a faculty member on servers available to the public or to students shall be understood to imply consent, and electronic access given to specific parties by the faculty member will likewise imply consent for those parties to access permitted data. Emergencies may include, for example, but are not limited to, the death, incapacity or disappearance of the faculty member, or the search for and examination of files used for apparently malicious activity in an account which endangers the integrity of shared computers, the network, or other aspects of the university’s computing infrastructure.
Only specifically designated individuals are permitted to determine what passes for an “emergency.” Such individuals may be specifically designated, or may be designated by job position/description. All assignments for individuals or positions will be done by Provost or by a designate of the Provost.
Whenever possible and legally permissible, notification must be given to the faculty member whose data are subject to subpoena, search warrant, or order of court prior to compliance therewith, and, whenever possible and legally permissible, sufficient time must be allowed, before intrusion, to allow the faculty member to file a motion to quash. Information obtained from an examination warranted by an emergency cannot be used as evidence in University sanctions of any faculty member, and cannot be released to the public, or to the university community or to public officials, except as such releases are essential to resolution of the emergency, or constitute evidence of a crime concealment of which would obstruct justice, and in the latter case release may only be to appropriate law enforcement officials. Any intrusion by an employee of the University into a faculty member’s electronic data must be reported to the faculty member as soon as possible, and within five days of the event in writing both to the faculty member, if possible, and unless prohibited by order of court, and to an Ombudsman, who shall be a member of the regular faculty selected annually by the Nominating Committee of the Faculty Senate and who has been endorsed by majority vote of the Faculty Senate. The Ombudsman shall be a current or retired regular faculty member who holds no administrative appointment and is not a member of the Faculty Review Committee. The Ombudsman shall have authority to investigate whether an intrusion was warranted by the policy and, (i) shall inform the President and the affected faculty member of the Ombudsman’s findings; (ii) where a violation of the policy is found, shall inform the Faculty Review Committee of the policy violation; and (iii) where appropriate, in the absence of the affected faculty member, to bring a grievance before the Faculty Review Committee. Violation of any aspect of this policy is a sanctionable offense.
For purposes of this section, the term “faculty” shall mean any person who is a member of the Faculty Organization as defined in Article III of the Constitution of the Faculty Organization.
Access to Staff Data
Electronic data on a staff member’s account, whether stored on a computer in the staff member’s office or elsewhere under the proprietary control of that staff member, may not be examined, i.e., the contents of the data read by a person, without the staff member’s consent, except in cases of emergency, in response to a valid subpoena, search warrant, order of a court, or by specific request by the staff members’ supervisor for the purpose of accessing work-related electronic data. Posting of data by a staff member on servers available to the public or to members of the university shall be understood to imply consent, and electronic access given to specific parties by the staff member will likewise imply consent for those parties to access permitted data. Emergencies may include, for example, but are not limited to, the death, incapacity or disappearance of the staff member, or the search for and examination of files used for apparently malicious activity in an account which endangers the integrity of shared computers, the network, or other aspects of the university’s computing infrastructure.
Only specifically designated individuals are permitted to determine what passes for an “emergency.” Such individuals may be specifically designated, or may be designated by job position/description. All assignments for individuals or positions will be done by Provost or by a designate of the Provost.
Whenever possible and legally permissible, notification must be given to the staff member whose data are subject to subpoena, search warrant, or order of court prior to compliance therewith. Information obtained from an examination warranted by an emergency will not be released to the public, or to the university community or to public officials, except as such releases are essential to resolution of the emergency, or constitute evidence of a crime concealment of which would obstruct justice, and in the latter case release may only be to appropriate law enforcement officials. Any such findings may be reported to the staff member’s supervisor, department head, or to Human Resources for appropriate investigation and action. Any intrusion by an employee of the University into a staff member’s electronic data must be reported to the staff member as soon as possible, and within five days of the event via electronic mail unless prohibited by order of court, or due to a continuance of an ongoing investigation by the University. Violation of any aspect of this policy is a sanctionable offense.
When possible, staff members will be informed about the issuance of court orders, or other intrusions into their electronic data. In cases where a staff member believes that electronic data in their account has been inappropriately accessed by another staff member, the incident should be reported to Human Resources.
Access to Student Data
Electronic data stored in a student account, whether stored on a computer in the student’s residence or elsewhere under the proprietary control of that student, may not be examined, i.e., the contents of the data read by a person, without the student’s consent, except in cases of emergency or in response to a valid subpoena, search warrant, order of a court, or by order of the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. Posting of data by a student on servers available to the public shall be understood to imply consent, and electronic access given to specific parties by the student will likewise imply consent for those parties to access permitted data. Emergencies may include, for example, but are not limited to, the death, incapacity or disappearance of the student, or the search for and examination of files used for apparently malicious activity in an account which endangers the integrity of shared computers, the network, or other aspects of the university’s computing infrastructure.
Only specifically designated individuals are permitted to determine what passes for an “emergency”. Such individuals may be specifically designated, or may be designated by job position/description. All assignments for individuals or positions will be done by Provost or by a designate of the Provost.
Whenever possible and legally permissible, notification must be given to the student whose data are subject to subpoena, search warrant, or order of court prior to compliance therewith. Information obtained from an examination warranted by an emergency will not be released to the public, or to the university community or to public officials, except as such releases are essential to resolution of the emergency, or constitute evidence of a crime of concealment which would obstruct justice, and in the latter case release may only be to appropriate law enforcement officials. Any findings of potential wrongdoing unrelated to the original intent of the search, must be reported to the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs for appropriate investigation and action. Any intrusion by an employee of the University into a student’s electronic data must be reported to the student as soon as possible, and within five days of the event via electronic mail to the student, if possible, unless prohibited by an order of the court or because of an ongoing investigation conducted by the University. Violation of any aspect of this policy is a sanctionable offense.
When possible, students will be informed about the issuance of court orders, or other intrusions into their electronic data, including the purpose of the search. In cases where a student believes that electronic data in their account has been inappropriately accessed by a staff member, the incident should be reported to Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.
Note: Removable media such as floppy disks, zip drives, tapes, or CDs in a faculty or staff office, or in a residence hall are not subject to search by Computing Services, though Computing Services will assist authorized law enforcement agencies or authorities to read data after they are obtained, at the agencies’ or authorities’ request.
Protecting Confidential Information
Users who maintain confidential information, such as records relating to employees or students, are responsible for following privacy-related policies and laws.
Protecting Personal Information
As is described throughout this policy, data transmitted across the university network or stored on university systems may be accessed by others as a result of misuse by an individual, as an incidental result of the routine operation of the network and systems, or in response to a court subpoena or university investigation into suspected or alleged misuse. While complete privacy of personal data may not be possible, users who wish to ensure a higher degree of privacy for their data are encouraged to use encryption, PGP security, or other techniques to reduce the risk that others may access their data. For more information on these techniques, see various newsgroups (e.g. comp.security.pgp) or web references (e.g. comp.security.pgp FAQ).
Misuse and Inappropriate Behavior
The following activities are expressly prohibited at Carnegie Mellon:
- Using a computer system without proper authorization granted through the University, college, or department management structure. Some activities such as “port scanning” are not expressly prohibited. However, if the target of such scanning requests that an individual or system stop performing such actions, the person or system performing the scans must stop scanning the target machine unless the scans are being carried out by a system administrator who has the authority and responsibility over the machine(s) being scanned or for the network being used.
- Concealing your identity, or assuming the identity of another (e.g., by sending forged electronic mail). Note that some forms of electronic communication, such as browsing Web pages, passively “identify” users. Keeping your identity private either by not setting an identity in your browser or by using a Web-anonymizer in order to protect yourself from being put onto mailing lists is not a violation of this policy.
- Sharing your password or account with the specific exception of staff or faculty members allowing their support personnel to access their accounts in order to provide services appropriate to their job functions. Note that some policies for the accessing of specific systems or data (see Data and Computer Security, Confidentiality of Administrative Data) explicitly forbid the sharing of passwords used to access them, and that such restrictions for those specific systems override this policy.
- Using another person’s computer account, userID, files, or data without appropriate permission, as described in the previous bullet (e.g. using an account found “logged in” on a cluster machine).
- Deleting or tampering with another user’s files or with information stored by another user on any information-bearing medium (disk, tape, memory, etc.). Even if the user’s files are unprotected, with the exception of files obviously intended for public reading, such as Web pages, it is improper for another user to read them unless the owner has given permission (e.g. in an announcement in class or on a computer bulletin board).
- Attempting to “crack” or guess other users’ passwords. System administrators or those specifically designated by the administrator or owner of a system may attempt to crack passwords in order to test and enhance the security of the system. In cases where an individual or department “owns” machines which use password files controlled by another organization (e.g. Andrew machines or their like), the owner may not attempt to crack passwords without explicit permission by the owners of the password database.
- Obtaining passwords by other means, such as password capturing programs.
- Attempting to circumvent system security (e.g. breaking into a system or using programs to obtain “root” access), without the explicit permission of the owner of that system.
- Denying appropriate access to resources to other users (e.g. “ping flooding” another system, sending “mail bombs,” or modifying a login file in order to cause a user to not be able to log in).
- Releasing programs such as viruses, Trojan horses, worms, etc., that disrupt other users, damage software or hardware, disrupt network performance, or replicate themselves for malicious purpose.
- Sending commercial solicitations via electronic mail (i.e. spamming) to individuals, or to newsgroups or mailing lists where such advertising is not part of the purpose of the group or list. (It is permissible to send a commercial solicitation to a “for sale” newsgroup, provided that the advertisement conforms to other policies and guidelines at Carnegie Mellon.)
- Any “mass mailing” which is solicitous in nature, unless the mailing is in the conduct of university business.
- Reselling of services based on the university network, such as web hosting, mailing services or the selling of shell accounts.
- Running a proxy server which results in inappropriate or unauthorized access to university materials to non-university members.
- Advertising commercial businesses or ventures on Web pages hosted by Carnegie Mellon, unless prior authorization has been granted.
- Using mail messages to harass or intimidate another person (such as by repeatedly sending unwanted mail or broadcasting unsolicited mail).
- Violations of any local, state or federal laws, such as the distribution of copyright-protected materials (e.g. the distribution of commercial software, music or films in electronic format without appropriate permissions by the owner, even if the user distributing the materials notifies others of their copyright status).
- Tampering with, willful destruction of or theft of any computer equipment, whether it belongs to the university or to an individual. Tampering includes any deliberate effort to degrade or halt a system, to tie up a system or to compromise the system/network performance. Willful destruction includes any deliberate disabling or damaging of computer systems, peripheral equipment such as scanners or printers, or other facilities or equipment including the network, and any deliberate destruction or impairment of software or other users’ files or data.
- The unauthorized removal of university or another's computing equipment, which constitutes theft.
This list should not be considered to be complete or exhaustive. It should, however, serve as a set of examples of obviously inappropriate behaviors. If you are in doubt about the appropriateness of something that you want to do, contact the Computing Services Help Center at 8-HELP, or send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask first.
Inappropriate behavior in the use of computers is punishable under the general university policies and regulations regarding faculty, students and staff. The offenses mentioned in this policy range from relatively minor to extremely serious, though even a minor offense may be treated severely if it is repeated or malicious. Certain offenses may also be subject to prosecution under federal, state or local laws.
Appropriate disciplinary action depends not only on the nature of the offense, but also on the intent and previous history of the offender. The range of possible penalties includes reprimands, loss of computing privileges, course failures for students, disciplinary probation, suspension or dismissal from the university and/or criminal prosecution.
Offenses that are minor or appear to be accidental in nature are often handled in a very informal manner such as through electronic mail. More serious offenses will involve formal procedures pursued through the Division of Student Affairs for students, Human Resources and/or the hiring university department or administrative unit for staff, or the Faculty Review Committee for faculty.
Restrictions of Privileges During Investigations
During the course of an investigation of alleged inappropriate or unauthorized use, it may be necessary to temporarily suspend a user’s network or computing privileges, but only after determining there is at least a prima facie case against the individual, as well as a risk to the university or it’s computing resources if privileges are not revoked. In these cases, it is important to recognize that the restriction of network or computing privileges is intended to protect the system rather than to punish the individual. For example, if a computer account has been used to launch an attack on another system, that account will be rendered inactive until the investigation is complete. This is a necessary action taken to prevent further misuse and does not presume that the account holder initiated the misuse. Unsubstantiated reports of abuse will not result in the suspension of accounts or network access unless sufficient evidence is provided to show that inappropriate activity occurred. For example, if someone reports that their computer was “attacked” by a Carnegie Mellon system, the burden will be upon the complainant to provide sufficient data logs or other evidence to show that the incident did, indeed at least appear to be an attack.
Adverse Impact on Shared Systems
The university reserves the right to discontinue communication with external systems that are known to harbor spammers or account crackers, despite the fact that this may restrict certain acceptable communications. When deemed necessary, this action will be taken to protect the security and safety of our systems. Similarly, there may be cases where a particular service or activity on a given University system will, by the very nature of its legitimate operation, tend to generate attacks from other Internet sites. If these attacks are frequent and severe enough to cause service interruptions for larger parts of the campus community, it may be necessary to temporarily or permanently remove these systems from the campus network. In cases where such an action is deemed necessary, network administrators will work with the maintainers of the system to identify alternative methods of network access. In cases where the university restricts access to external sites or removes network access for internal sites, the purpose of the action is to maintain the security and reliability of the computer systems and networks rather than to punish an individual or a site, or to restrict the free expression of ideas.
Policies on Examinations
The Faculty Senate adopted the following policies on the administration of examinations for the undergraduate courses (defined as courses that are numbered 6xx or below). These policies represent an understanding between faculty and student concerning an important but often stressful period, especially at the conclusion of each academic semester and at mid-semester. There should be no expectation that the following points will cover every conceivable situation. The student should anticipate the demands of the exam schedule, plan accordingly and early, and be prepared. The faculty should recognize that the student is encumbered with many tightly orchestrated and intensive obligations during this period over which he or she has no control: expectations should be reasonably consistent with the number of course units and, of course, should be made known to the student well in advance of the final examination period, preferably as part of the course syllabus.
In order to help students plan their time and study optimally for examinations, this document lays out in some detail the policies regarding final and in-term examinations. Instructors are requested to provide notification of the major in-term examinations in the course syllabus. The final examination date is posted early in the semester. It is the responsibility of the student to give his or her instructor sufficient notice and to work with the instructor to reschedule examinations if this is needed.
- Final examination period.The university's official final examination period begins on the Monday immediately following the last day of classes and continues through the last day of scheduled final examinations, with the exception of reading day(s).
- Scheduled final examinations. Scheduled final examinations are those scheduled by Enrollment Services.
- Self-scheduled examinations.An instructor may choose not to fix a schedule for the final examination, but instead allow each student to choose the examination time; such exams are called self-scheduled examinations.
- Final examinations. Final examinations can either be comprehensive, covering all course materials, or non-comprehensive, covering only a part of the course.
- In-term examinations. Major examinations during the semester are referred to here as in-term examinations.
I. In-Term Examinations
- All in-term examinations should be given during the regularly scheduled class time. However, if the exam requires additional time to complete, then examinations may be administered outside of regularly scheduled class time.
- No examinations given outside of class time (excluding make ups and self-scheduled examinations) shall be administered on a Friday after 4:30 pm, or at any time Saturday or Sunday.
- The instructor administering an exam (or another required class event) that falls outside class time must make any and all reasonable accommodations to provide an alternative time to students who have conflicts with the proposed time period, including those conflicts due to activities, meetings, other classes, etc. (provided that the instructor is notified of such conflict in a timely manner).
- No student shall be required to take more than two full-period in-class or out-of-class examinations on the same day. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor in a timely manner of his/her circumstance so that appropriate accommodations can be made.
II. Final Examinations
- All scheduled final examinations are held at the end of the semester during the university's official final examination period. Comprehensive final examinations are not required for each course, but are given at the option of the department or instructor. The reading day and weekend preceding the examination days shall never be used for examination purposes of any kind, unless a student opts to take a self-scheduled examination during this time. Non-comprehensive final examinations or final projects (but not both) are allowed during this final examination period only in courses that do not give a final comprehensive examination.
- Instructors are expected to return all work assigned no later than the last regular day of classes in courses for which there is a final examination. In cases when this is not possible, an answer key, solution sets or equivalent feedback should be provided unless the final examination will not cover material in work that has not been returned.
- No other coursework, including laboratory or studio work, will be due during the final examination period unless it is assigned in advance and in lieu of the course's final examination. Regardless of whether there is a final examination in the course, no classes other than review sessions shall be held during the final examination period. Review sessions should be scheduled for optimal attendance, and a serious effort should be made to accommodate students who cannot attend. In appreciation of the time required to prepare for final examinations, no other examinations, portfolio reviews, critiques or juries shall be scheduled for the last class day of a course with a final examination.
- Instructors shall never exert or submit to pressures to move an examination so that people can leave earlier nor pressure students to take an examination on a reading day or weekend preceding examinations.
- No student is required to take more than two scheduled examinations that start within a 25-hour period. A student who has more than two examinations scheduled within a 25-hour period or has two examinations scheduled at the same time should first contact the instructors of the courses for assistance in resolving conflicts. If the problem cannot be resolved by that means, the student should contact the associate dean of his or her home college.
- Take-home final examinations shall be given for any 24-hour period of the student's choosing during the final examination period.
- Students are expected to present themselves at the place assigned at the start of the examination; late arrival will reduce the total time a student has to complete the examination, unless instructor's course policy indicates otherwise. Instructors reserve the right to require attendance within a specific time period. Students who miss an examination with a reasonable excuse and wish to petition for a make-up final examination should check with the instructor. Instructors are encouraged to include late arrival policy and make-up exam policy in the course syllabus.
- Any student shall be permitted to review his or her corrected, graded final examination in the presence of an instructor or a teaching assistant. Any controversy arising from this review shall be dealt with in accordance with the university procedure for the appeal of grades and academic actions. A final examination that is not returned to a student will be kept available for a year for review. In the event that the instructor or teaching assistant is not available for the review, the responsibility shall rest with the department head of the instructor offering the course or his or her designee. Since instructors are expected to return all work assigned before the final examinations, they are not responsible for retaining unclaimed coursework.
- Concerns related to final examination, complaints about violations of the final examination policy or alterations of the final examination schedule should be directed to the department head of the instructor offering the course or to the associate dean of the student's home college.
Questions concerning this policy or its content should be directed to the Vice Provost for Education, (412) 268-5865.
Final Examination Conflict Guidelines
Recognizing that students will, on occasion, encounter foreseeable or unforeseeable conflicts with scheduled final examinations, the following guidelines have been approved by the University Education Council (UEC), the Associate Deans' Council (ADC), and the Associate Deans for Graduate Programs (ADGP) to inform the actions of students and the decisions of instructors.
Before negotiating any exam conflicts, students should recognize the following expectations. Students should carefully consider the dates of each semester's final exam period as reflected in the university's official academic calendar. Until the university publishes the detailed final examination schedule (usually by early October in the Fall semester and by late February in the Spring semester), students should plan according to the assumption that their final exams could be scheduled for any day/time during the final exam period. Therefore, students should avoid making any personal arrangements (such as travel) that could ultimately conflict with the final exam period.
In developing the final examination schedule, the University Registrar's Office deploys significant effort in consultation with associate deans to minimize direct and 25-hour conflicts for individual students. Once the final exam schedule is published for the semester, each student should immediately review the schedule to determine whether there are conflicts. If the student's schedule presents any final exams that directly conflict with each other, or if the student's schedule presents more than two final exams to begin in a twenty-five hour period, then the student is responsible for immediately initiating the following process so that the relevant instructors can reach a timely and effective resolution that is consistent with university policy (noting that no action is necessary if a student voluntarily elects to take the exams according to the published schedule):
- The student should begin by discussing the conflict with all relevant instructors to determine if they can suggest a resolution. This discussion should be completed at least two weeks prior to the exams.
- If one of the course instructors offers an alternate time for the exam, the student must agree to that resolution unless another exam conflicts with the alternate proposed time.
- If a resolution cannot be found, the following hierarchy is recommended for compromise (Student’s Home Department> Student’s College> Smallest Course Size> Higher Course level):
If one of the courses is offered in the student’s home department, the home department should be the first to accommodate.
If the course is offered within the student’s home college, then the student’s college should accommodate a course that is not within the student’s college.
An instructor teaching a smaller course size should accommodate before an instructor from a larger course size accommodates.
Finally, if a resolution still has not been reached, an instructor teaching a higher course level should accommodate before an instructor from a lower course level accommodates.
At any point during this process, the student's academic advisor or academic associate dean from the home academic college may be consulted to verify the existence of the conflict and assist in the negotiation and resolution.
Other foreseeable conflicts may be personal in nature, such as a religious holy day or observance, or a singular, significant obligation. As stated earlier, students are expected to review the final exam schedule as soon as it is published to identify such conflicts. A student faced with such a conflict should first exhaust all reasonable means to otherwise resolve it. If such efforts are unsuccessful, then the student should immediately contact the instructor and explain the circumstances, recognizing that the current Policy on Examinations does not require the instructor to offer an alternate exam time in response to foreseeable, personal conflicts. The mutual respect and goodwill between instructor and student should guide their negotiation of such conflicts as they attempt to balance the student's needs with those of the academic enterprise. At any point in the process, the student's academic advisor, academic associate dean and/or student affairs liaison may be consulted to assist in identifying reasonable accommodations or solutions.
Students hoping to resolve cases involving foreseeable conflicts should expect that their instructors may require them to take a rescheduled final examination on the Make Up Final Exam Day.
In exceptional circumstances, a student may encounter a medical, personal or family emergency that unexpectedly interferes with his/her ability to participate in a scheduled final examination. When encountering such a situation, the student should contact the instructor as soon as is reasonably possible, and ideally before the final examination has been administered. The student's academic advisor, academic associate dean and/or student affairs liaison may serve as both advocate for the student and point of verification for the instructor. After reviewing the matter, should an accommodation be granted by the instructor, the instructor may elect to institute one of several options, including: rescheduling the exam for later in the final examination period; assigning an "I" incomplete grade until a make-up exam can be administered in the following semester; or utilizing another method for resolving missed exams that has been outlined in the course syllabus.
Student Health Insurance Policy
Reason for Policy
The high cost of health care in the United States presents a potentially serious health and financial risk to students and their accompanying dependents. The absence of adequate insurance coverage can result in temporary or permanent interruption of a student's education. The university is committed to offering student health insurance that provides access to quality health care and achieves a balance between premium cost and adequate coverage without overburdening students' financial resources. This balance is best achieved through a mandatory/hard waiver insurance program that mitigates the effect of adverse selection.
Policy Statement General Requirements
All full-time students are required to carry health insurance and will be assessed a charge for the individual basic mandatory plan offered through the university student health insurance program. The charge will appear on the invoice of the first semester of attendance in the academic cycle. The student is required to take one of the following three actions:
Enroll in the basic plan as charged.
Upgrade the benefit plan by enrolling in the enhanced student health insurance options during the open enrollment period.
Apply for a waiver from the mandatory plan.
Requirements for Waiver
Application for a waiver from the university student health insurance plan must be made to Student Health Services by the last day of the open enrollment period. Students applying for waiver must provide documentation of continuing coverage verifying that they are enrolled as the dependent, partner/spouse or principal in an employer or government-sponsored insurance plan. Additionally, the plan must meet minimum standards for coverage as set forth below:
It must offer at least 75% coverage for inpatient and outpatient medical services in the Pittsburgh area.
It must include mental health benefits.
The deductible must not exceed $500 per accident or illness.
It must offer medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness.
It must cover pre-existing conditions.
Questions should be directed to Student Health Services, (412) 268-2157.
Carnegie Mellon Freedom of Expression Policy
Freedom of Expression Policy
Carnegie Mellon University values the freedoms of speech, thought, expression and assembly - in themselves and as part of our core educational and intellectual mission. If individuals are to cherish freedom, they must experience it. The very concept of freedom assumes that people usually choose wisely from a range of available ideas and that the range and implications of ideas cannot be fully understood unless we hold vital our rights to know, to express, and to choose. The university must be a place where all ideas may be expressed freely and where no alternative is withheld from consideration. The only limits on these freedoms are those dictated by law and those necessary to protect the rights of other members of the University community and to ensure the normal functioning of the University.
On Carnegie Mellon's Campus, anyone may distribute printed material, offer petitions for signature, make speeches, and hold protests or demonstrations outside university buildings. All such activities must be peaceful, avoiding acts or credible threats of violence and preserving the normal operation of the university. No event shall infringe upon the rights or privileges of anyone not in sympathy with it, and no one will be permitted to harm others, damage or deface property, block access to university buildings or disrupt classes. The enforcement of these conditions will not depend in any way on the message or sponsorship of the act or event. When guests are invited by a recognized campus organization, they may express their ideas not because they have a right to do so, but because members of the campus community have a right to hear, see, and experience diverse intellectual and creative inquiry. Defending that right is a fundamental obligation of the university. Controversy cannot be permitted to abridge the freedoms of speech, thought, expression or assembly. They are not matters of convenience, but of necessity.
Freedom of expression must be at once fiercely guarded and genuinely embraced. Those who exercise it serve the Carnegie Mellon community by accepting the responsibilities attendant to free expression. University organizations that sponsor invited guests to campus are expected to uphold Carnegie Mellon's educational mission by planning carefully to create safe and thoughtful experiences for those involved. Hosts are responsible for the behavior of their guests and should exercise due care to ensure that all participants abide by relevant university policies.
Considerations for Planning Campus Events
Consistent with the rights and responsibilities outlined in the university's policy on Freedom of Expression, university hosts must follow all applicable policies related to space reservation, use, safety and security, keeping in mind the responsibility to have campus police present for any event with 100 or more persons in attendance.
Hosts should consider the items below as guidance in planning campus events, recognizing that not all of the items will apply to all events:
A public declaration of the event, its purpose, the identification of sponsors and co-sponsors, and contact information for those seeking further information.
A plan for advertising the event, including advance notice to relevant members of the community who may wish to co-sponsor, protest, or host other events in response to the planned activity.
Where appropriate, a clear and detailed contract with outside speakers, artists, or suppliers of services to ensure continuity of purpose and the ability of the host to control the event reasonably, consistent with the host's intent.
A plan for access to the event, including notifying the community of reserved seats, ticketing, queuing protocol, or other relevant details or restrictions well in advance of the activity.
A provision for security before, during, and after events, managed in coordination wit the University Police. Specifically, non-university security personnel must have their allowable duties clearly delineated, in partnership with the University Police, with their role generally limited to personal security and not to space management.
A plan for participant engagement at the event, such as through a question and answer session, if relevant, with a clear delineation of the planned ground rules for the event set out well in advance.
A strategy for hosting of additional events, discussions, or town meetings before or after a principal event to help provide a context in which the principal event may be best experienced.
The Office of Student Activities and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs may assist in, or directly coordinate, some aspects of campus events, such as fostering discussions preceding or following an event, or accommodating an opposing view at an alternative event. It is assumed that the spirit of community, both among people with groups with opposing views, as well as between event sponsors and the Student Activities and Student Affairs staffs, will foster communication and cooperation in the planning of campus events. Wherever possible, Student Affairs will work in concert with University Police to notify occupants of buildings in advance of any potential disruption caused by such events.
Security Personnel Statement
At times, members of the campus community or their invited guests may have a legitimate basis for being accompanied by independent security personnel. It is incumbent upon the host of such an individual to ensure that University Police approve in advance the presence and scope of involvement of any such security personnel.
Human Subjects in Research at Carnegie Mellon
The university is committed to the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects in research investigations conducted under the jurisdiction of the university. The university believes that review independent of the investigator is necessary to safeguard the rights and welfare of human subjects of research investigations. All research involving human subjects is conducted in accordance with federal regulations, including Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 46 (45 CFR 46). Under federal regulations, human subjects are defined as: living individual(s) about whom an investigator conducting research obtains:
data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or
identifiable private information.
An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is established under the provost to ensure adequate safeguards. The provost is responsible for the composition of the IRB with respect to: (1) the qualifications of IRB members in terms of educational background and research or other relevant experience, and (2) broad representation of relevant university interests.
This IRB is responsible for reviewing investigational procedures involving human subjects prior to the initiation of the research procedure in reference to (1) the rights and welfare of the individuals involved, (2) the appropriateness of the methods used to obtain informed consent, and (3) the risks and potential benefits of the investigations. The IRB is responsible for determining when additional expertise is required for adequate review and for obtaining that additional expertise. The IRB is further responsible for maintaining records of its review activities and decisions and for ensuring that records of informed consent are developed and kept by investigators where appropriate.
It is the responsibility of investigators who plan to use human subjects in research to obtain written consent from the IRB prior to conducting an investigation involving human subjects. It is the investigator's further responsibility to take whatever steps are determined necessary for the protection of the subjects, and to meet the reporting requirements established by the IRB.
Student Immunization Policy
Reason for Policy
Vaccine-preventable diseases continue to occur on American campuses and pose a significant threat to the public health of the campus community. Outbreaks not only impose a significant cost to infected individuals in terms of mortality and morbidity but also can be costly to the university by disrupting university activities.
The goal of the Student Health Services and the university is to provide adequate protection of the campus community against vaccine-preventable diseases by requiring students to be vaccinated against and/or screened for certain highly contagious diseases. This goal can best be achieved through a mandatory prematriculation immunization requirement. The following requirements are consistent with Pennsylvania State Law and with the recommendations of the American College Health Association, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Requirements for All Full-Time Students
All entering full-time students born after 1956 must demonstrate proof of immunity against measles, mumps and rubella by either providing dates of inoculation of two doses of the measles vaccine and at least one dose of mumps and rubella or providing blood titers that demonstrate immunity to these infections or providing documentation from a physician of having had the infection.
Additional Requirements for Students Residing in University Housing
All students residing in university housing must demonstrate immunity against Hepatitis B by either providing documentation of having initiated or completed the three dose vaccination series.
The student is expected to complete the series within six months of initiation of the series.
All students residing in university housing must provide documentation of having been vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis within three years prior to enrollment in the university.
All full-time international students must provide documentation of having had a PPD skin test to screen for tuberculosis within one year prior to enrollment in the university regardless of prior BCG inoculation. If the results of the skin test are positive, a chest x-ray is required.
Request for Waiver
A student may request a waiver from any vaccination for medical reasons or if vaccination conflicts with personal or religious beliefs. Application for waiver is to be made in writing to Student Health Services prior to the first day of classes in his/her first semester of attendance at the university. In the case of an outbreak of a contagious disease on campus for which the student has not been immunized, the university reserves the right to ask the student to leave campus until the outbreak is over.
A student may request a waiver from tuberculin skin testing if the student is from a country that has been identified by the Centers for Disease Control as having low prevalence of tuberculosis.
Penalty for Noncompliance
If the student fails to comply with the immunization policy, the Student Health Services will notify Enrollment Services who will place a hold on the student's registration until the requirements are met and assess a fee of no more than $50 to the student's account.
Additionally, if the student is a resident in university housing and fails to comply with the immunization requirements, he/she will be removed from housing.
Questions should be directed to Student Health Services, (412) 268-2157.
Related Policies and Procedures
The university complies with OSHA regulations regarding occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens. Questions regarding these regulations should be directed to Environmental Health & Safety, (412) 268-8182.
A PPD skin test for tuberculosis is recommended for domestic students who have traveled to an area where tuberculosis is endemic. All students should have a booster dose of tetanus/diphtheria every ten years after completion of the primary series.
Intellectual Property Policy
The policy reflects the following goals:
To create a university environment that encourages the generation of new knowledge by faculty, staff, and students.
To facilitate wide transfer of useful inventions and writings to society.
To motivate the development and dissemination of intellectual property by providing appropriate financial rewards to creators and the university, and administrative assistance to creators.
To ensure that the financial return from the development of intellectual property does not distort decisions and operations of the university in a manner contrary to the mission of the university.
The policy is based upon the following principles relating the university to society:
The mission of the university remains the generation and dissemination of knowledge.
Intellectual property will be generated within the university, and there exists an obligation to disseminate it. An interface is needed if better technology transfer is to be achieved, and the university will provide mechanisms for that function.1
The policy is based upon the following principles relating faculty, staff and students to the university:
Intellectual property is created by individuals, or by groups of individuals, who are entitled to choose the course of disclosure; academic freedom of individuals is a higher priority than possible financial rewards.
There exists a historical tradition allowing authors to retain ownership of intellectual property rights from textbooks and works of art.
The university is the support of the whole campus community, and is thereby entitled to share in financial rewards.
There should be incentives for all parties to pursue financial rewards together, consistent with the expressed goals of the policy. The distribution of these rewards should reflect, insofar as possible, the creative contributions of the creator, and the resources contributed by and risks assumed by both the creator and the university in developing intellectual property.
Since it is frequently difficult to assess risks meaningfully, resources and potential rewards, negotiated agreements are to be encouraged whenever possible.
Certain terms are used in this document with specific meanings, as defined in this section. These definitions do not necessarily conform to customary usage.
Intellectual Property includes any patentable invention, any copyrightable subject matter, or trade secret. It also includes works of art, and inventions or creations that might normally be developed on a proprietary basis.
University means Carnegie Mellon.
Student means any full-time or part-time graduate or undergraduate student, regardless of whether the student receives financial aid from the university or from outside sources. It is the responsibility of students who are also employees of other outside entities to resolve any conflicts between this policy and provisions of agreements with their employers prior to beginning any undertaking at the university that will involve the development of intellectual property.
Faculty means members of the university's Faculty Organization as defined in the Faculty Handbook, plus instructors and special faculty appointments (even in the first year), and part-time faculty.
Staff means any employee of the university other than students and faculty as defined above. If a student is also a part-time university employee, he is considered as staff with regard to intellectual property developed as a result of his employment, and as a student with regard to other intellectual property. A full-time non-faculty employee who is also taking one or more courses is considered to be staff. Visitors to the university who make substantial use of university resources are considered as staff with respect to any intellectual property arising from such use. (The distinction between faculty and staff does not affect intellectual property rights except for representation on the Intellectual Property Adjudication Committee [see Section 5].)
Creator means any person or persons who create an item of intellectual property.
Net proceeds to the university means all proceeds received by the university on intellectual property that it assigns, sells or licenses, minus any application, litigation, interference, or marketing costs directly attributable to the intellectual property being licensed. Deducted costs shall be reasonable and fair, and shall be properly disclosed; the sources and amounts of compensation shall also be properly disclosed.
Net proceeds to the creator means all proceeds received by the creator from intellectual property owned by him that he sells, assigns or licenses, less the costs of application, legal protection, or litigation, interference, travel and other marketing costs directly attributable to the intellectual property being exploited. Such net proceeds do not include compensation legitimately received by the creator for consulting services or interest or other return on invested labor or capital. Deducted costs shall be reasonable and fair, and shall be properly disclosed; the sources and amounts of compensation shall also be properly disclosed.
Substantial use of university facilities means extensive unreimbursed use of major university laboratory, studio or computational facilities, or human resources. The use of these facilities must be important to the creation of the intellectual property; merely incidental use of a facility does not constitute substantial use, nor does extensive use of a facility commonly available to all faculty or professional staff (such as libraries and offices), nor does extensive use of a specialized facility for routine tasks. Use will be considered “extensive” and facilities will be considered “major” if similar use of similar facilities would cost the creator more than $5000 (five thousand dollars) in constant 1984 dollars if purchased or leased in the public market. Creators wishing to directly reimburse the university for the use of its facilities must make arrangements to do so before the level of facilities usage for a particular intellectual property becomes substantial. (This provision is not intended to override any other department or university policy concerning reimbursement for facilities usage.)
In any given year the equivalent figure for a particular amount of money in constant 1984 dollars will be obtained by multiplying that amount of money by the ratio of the most recent quarterly Disposable Personal Income Deflator divided by the average monthly Disposable Personal Income Deflator for the year 1984.
As used in this policy, the masculine gender includes the feminine gender, singular or plural, wherever appropriate.
3. Policy Provisions
This section states the policies concerning ownership of intellectual property created at the university. In order of precedence, ownership of intellectual property shall be as follows:
3-1. Externally Sponsored Work
Ownership Provisions: Intellectual property created as a result of work conducted under an agreement between an external sponsor and the university that specifies the ownership of such intellectual property shall be owned as specified in said agreement. If the university declares itself to be a sponsor, but does not declare itself to be the owner of the intellectual property, ownership shall be determined in accordance with 3-6-4 below.
Procedural Provisions: It is the responsibility of the Office of Sponsored Research of the university to inform each person whose intellectual property rights are limited by an externally sponsored contract of the intellectual property provisions of that contract in advance of the beginning of work thereon. Such notice is to be in writing and the university may require written acknowledgment of such provisions by any person working on externally sponsored projects. A summary of external sponsorship agreements limiting the intellectual property rights of potential creators will be maintained by the Office of Sponsored Research and will be available to the general university community.
If the university fails to notify a creator, effectively and in advance, of limitations imposed on his intellectual property rights by external sponsorship agreements, the creator is entitled to receive from the university 50% (fifty percent) of the net proceeds to the university resulting from his intellectual property.
3-2. Internally Sponsored Work
Ownership Provisions: When the university provides funds or facilities for a particular project to the extent of substantial use, it may also choose to designate itself as sponsor of that work. The university may declare itself the owner of intellectual property resulting from said work. In such cases the university must specify in advance the disposition of any intellectual property rights arising from the project. If the university declares itself to be a sponsor, but does not declare itself the owner of the intellectual property, ownership shall be determined in accordance with 3-6-4 below.
Procedural Provisions: It is the responsibility of the Office of Sponsored Research of the university to inform each person whose intellectual property rights are limited by internally sponsored work of the intellectual property ownership rights specified by the university as to that work in advance of the beginning of work thereon. Such notice is to be in writing and the university may require written acknowledgment of such provisions by any person working on internally sponsored projects. A summary of work for which university sponsorship limits the intellectual property rights of potential creators will be maintained by the Office of Sponsored Research and will be available to the general university community.
If the university fails to notify a creator, effectively and in advance, of limitations imposed on his intellectual property rights by internal university sponsorship, the creator is entitled to receive from the university 50% (fifty percent) of the net proceeds to the university resulting from his intellectual property.
3-3. Individual Agreements
Ownership Provisions: Intellectual property which is the subject of a specific agreement between the university and the creator(s) thereof shall be owned as provided in said agreement. Such agreements by the university and the faculty are encouraged.
Procedural Provisions: Except where limited by external sponsorship agreements, creators and the university may negotiate individual agreements to govern ownership of intellectual property regardless of the applicability of any other provision hereof.
3-4. Intellectual Property Created Within Scope of Employment
Ownership Provisions: Intellectual property created by university employees who were employed specifically to produce a particular intellectual property shall be owned by the university if said intellectual property was created within the normal scope of their employment. Faculty are presumed not to be hired to produce a particular intellectual property. On the other hand, computer programs written on the job by staff computer programmers would fall under this provision.
3-5. Public Dedication
Ownership Provisions: Except when limited by sub-parts 3-1, 3-2, 3-3 or 3-4 above, the creator of any intellectual property may choose to place his or her creation in the public domain. In such cases both the creator and the university waive all ownership rights to said property.
Procedural Provisions: Creators wishing to place their intellectual property in the public domain are responsible for ascertaining that the right to public dedication of that intellectual property is not limited by any external agreement, university sponsorship arrangement or terms of employment as described in Provisions 3-1, 3-2 or 3-3. The university provost will provide such a determination in writing upon request by the creator. It is also the creator's responsibility to ensure that disclosure does not include valuable intellectual property owned by others. (This provision does not release the university from its general obligation to notify creators of limitations to intellectual property rights specified in Provisions 3-1 and 3-2.)
To facilitate the actual transfer of knowledge of the intellectual property to the public at large, the creator shall provide the university with a complete description and documentation of the property placed in the public domain, specifically including a copy of the property in the case of printed material, and complete machine-readable source code in the case of software. All such material provided to the university will be placed in the University Library and made available to the public at large. The university will take appropriate action on a regular basis to publicize summary descriptions of intellectual property recently placed in the public domain. The university will also provide any member of the general public copies of such material on a cost-recovery basis.
The provisions of this section do not apply to the normal scholarly or creative publication processes unless the creator intends to waive all proprietary rights to the publication.
3-6. In General
Unless governed by sub-parts 3-1, 3-2, 3-3, 3-4 or 3-5 above, owner-ship of intellectual property created at the university shall be deter-mined as follows:
3-6-1. Traditional Rights Retained
Ownership Provisions: In keeping with academic traditions at the university, the creator retains all rights to the following types of intellectual property, without limitation: books (including textbooks), educational course-ware, articles, non-fiction, novels, poems, musical works, dramatic works including any accompanying music, panto-mimes and choreographic works, pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, motion pictures and other similar audio-visual works, and sound recordings, regardless of the level of use of university facilities. This provision does not include computer software (other than educational course-ware) or data bases.
Procedural Provisions: The types of intellectual property listed in the preceding paragraph share the attribute that they display information or visual or auditory appearances which are fully revealed to the purchaser or consumer. Thus, for example, source code listings would also be considered within this category. On the other hand, most computer software and data bases do not share this attribute; they are characterized by their capacity to perform tasks. Because of their utilitarian nature, ownership rights with respect thereto are governed by 3-6-3 or 3-6-4. Educational course-ware is included in this provision in all cases because of its role in furthering the primary educational mission of the university.
This provision applies regardless of any university sponsorship of the work, and it may be modified only by a specific prior agreement between the creator and the university. The use of university-owned computers and other facilities in the preparation of books and similar works does not alter this provision, though other university policies may limit such use or require reimbursement to the university. Similarly, the use of externally sponsored resources does not alter this provision, unless the creator is effectively notified in advance of such limitations to his rights in accordance with 3-1.
3-6-2. No Substantial Use of University
Facilities Ownership Provisions: The creator owns all intellectual property created without substantial use of university facilities, including intellectual property rights in computer software and data bases.
3-6-3. Substantial Use of University Facilities - No External or Internal Sponsorship
Ownership of intellectual property created with substantial use of university facilities, but not directly arising from externally sponsored work, or from work for which the university has declared itself as sponsor, shall be determined as set forth hereinafter depending on whether the creator or the university develops said property.
3-6-3-1. Development by Creator
Ownership Provisions: The creator originally owns intellectual property created with substantial use of university facilities but no external or internal sponsorship, and retains said ownership by commercial development of said property subject to the following:
(i) the university shall receive 15% (fifteen percent) of the net proceeds to the creator above $25,000 (twenty-five thousand dollars) in constant 1984 dollars from all sources (in the case of patents and copyrights, this provision shall be limited to the life of the patent or copyright), and
(ii) the university shall receive a perpetual, non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty free license to use said intellectual property. In the case of software, this license includes access by specified university personnel to the source listings, and the university shall require each person to whom a disclosure is made to execute in advance a binding confidentiality agreement in favor of and enforce-able by the creator. If the intellectual property is created solely by a student or students, the creator is exempt from the obligation to pay to the university a fraction of his net proceeds, but not from the provision of this paragraph for a non-exclusive license to the university.
Procedural Provisions: If the creator develops an intellectual property that is covered by this provision, he must make full and fair disclosure to the university of all such sources of compensation relating to that intellectual property.
3-6-3-2. Development by the University
Ownership Provisions: When intellectual property is created with substantial use of university facilities, but not directly arising from sponsored research, the creator will originally retain the rights to the property, provided that he desires to commercially develop the property himself or to make it available to the public. If, however, the creator elects not to commercially develop same or fails to show diligence in pursuing such development, then the ownership rights to that property may be acquired by the university. Intellectual property acquired by the university in this fashion will be treated as in 3-6-4-1 below.
Procedural Provisions: At the time the intellectual property is disclosed to the university's provost as required under Section 4-1, or at any time thereafter, the university may request that the creator decide whether he will develop the intellectual property or will grant the rights to the university, and execute documents to pass on the title. Such a decision must be made within one year of the request or the creator will automatically lose his rights in favor of the university.
3-6-4. Substantial Use of University Facilities - External or Internal Sponsorship
Ownership of intellectual property created with substantial use of university facilities and directly arising from work sponsored under an agreement between an external sponsor and the university, or from work for which the university has declared itself a sponsor, but for which neither the external sponsor nor the university have specified the ownership of resulting intellectual property shall be determined as set forth hereinafter depending on whether the creator or the university develops said property.
3-6-4-1. Development by University
Ownership Provisions: The university originally owns intellectual property created with substantial use of university facilities provided by an external agreement or internal university sponsorship and retains said ownership by commercial development of said property, subject to the following: in all cases, the creator shall receive 50% (fifty percent) of the net proceeds to the university.
Procedural Provisions: When an intellectual property is created with substantial use of university resources provided by an external research contract or a specific university sponsorship agreement, and when that contract or agreement either does not specify the disposition of the intellectual property rights arising from that sponsorship, or it permits the university and/or creator to retain or acquire such intellectual property rights, the university will originally retain the rights to such intellectual property.
3-6-4-2. Development by Creator
Ownership Provisions: When intellectual property is created with substantial use of university facilities provided by external or internal sponsorship, the university will originally retain the rights to the property, provided that it desires to commercially develop the property or to make it available to the public. If, however, the university elects not to commercially develop same or fails to show diligence in such development, the ownership rights to that property may be acquired by the creator. Intellectual property acquired by the creator in this fashion will be treated as in 3-6-3-1 above. This assignment of rights to the creator may be prohibited by the terms of an external sponsorship agreement with the university or by an internal university sponsorship declaration, but in such cases the creator must be notified in advance, as in Provisions 3-1 and 3-2.
Procedural Provisions: At the time the intellectual property is disclosed to the university's provost as required by Section 4-1, or at any time thereafter, the creator may request that the university decide whether it will commercially develop the intellectual property or execute an assignment of the intellectual property rights to the creator. Such a decision must be made within 120 (one hundred twenty) days of the request or the university automatically waives its rights in favor of the creator, and it must execute an assignment of these rights to the creator.
3-6-5. Consulting Agreements
Ownership Provisions: Work done by individuals as consultants to outside firms is presumed not to involve unreimbursed substantial use of university facilities, and the rights to intellectual property created under consulting agreements are retained by the outside firms or the individual as specified by the terms of the consulting agreement and the terms of Provision 3-6-2 above.
Procedural Provisions: Under university policy consulting work must not make substantial unreimbursed use of university facilities except by explicit prior agreement. Any member of the university community who is engaged in consulting work or in business is responsible for ensuring that provisions in his agreements are not in conflict with this policy of the university or with the university's commitments. The university's Innovation Transfer Office will, upon request, provide assistance in this respect. The university's rights and the individual's obligations to the university are in no way abrogated or limited by the terms of such agreements. Each creator of intellectual property should make his obligations to the university clear to those with whom he makes such agreements and should ensure that they are provided with a current statement of the university's intellectual property policy. Appropriate sample contract wording to cover various possible external consulting arrangements shall be available from the university provost.
4. General Procedures
The creator of any intellectual property that is or might be owned by the university under this policy is required to make reasonably prompt written disclosure of the work to the university's provost, and to execute any document deemed necessary to perfect legal rights in the university and enable the university to file patent applications and applications for copyright registration when appropriate. This disclosure to the provost should be made at the time when legal protection for the creation is contemplated, and it must be made before the intellectual property is sold, used for profit, or disclosed to the public. Whenever legal protection for intellectual property is anticipated all persons engaged in such creative activity are encouraged to keep regular notebooks and records.
Whenever the university undertakes commercial development it shall do so, if possible, in a fashion that provides for the widest possible dissemination, avoiding suppression of inventions from which the public might otherwise benefit, providing for non-exclusive licensing at reasonable royalties, and giving consideration to more favorable or royalty-free licensing to non-profit charitable institutions, minority businesses or enterprises in developing countries.
The university's share of any proceeds under this policy will be used to reimburse the university for its expenses for commercial development of intellectual property. Any additional return to the university will be used to further the academic purposes of all the disciplines of the entire university.
5. Resolution of Disputes
This policy constitutes an understanding which is binding on the university and on the faculty, staff, and students upon whom it is effective according to the terms of Section 6 below, as a condition for participating in research programs at the university or for the use of university funds or facilities.
Any question of interpretation or claim arising out of or relating to this policy, or dispute as to ownership rights of intellectual property under this policy, will be settled by the following procedure:
The issue must first be submitted to the university's Intellectual Property Adjudication Committee in the form of a letter setting forth the grievance or issue to be resolved. The committee will review the matter and then advise the parties of its decision within 60 days of submission of the letter.
If any of the parties to the dispute is not satisfied with the committee's decision, the party may seek binding arbitration in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and in accordance with the Rules of the American Arbitration Association then in effect. Judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. The arbitrator(s) will give some weight to the decision of the Intellectual Property Adjudication Committee in reaching a decision. The losing party of the arbitration hearing will pay for all costs of the arbitration unless the arbitrator(s) specifies otherwise.
The Intellectual Property Adjudication Committee will consist of a chair who is a member of the tenured faculty, four other members of the faculty, and four other members representing, respectively, the university administration, the technical staff, and the graduate and undergraduate student bodies. Initially, half of the members of the committee (including the chair) will be appointed for two-year terms of office, and the remaining half will be appointed for a one-year term. After one year new members of the committee will be appointed for two-year terms of office. The chair will be appointed by the chair of the Faculty Senate, with the advice and consent of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and the remaining eight members of the committee will be appointed by the president of the university or his designee. At all times at least one of the faculty members will have had significant practical experience with intellectual property development and exploitation. The faculty members appointed by the president of the university will be selected from a list of nominees prepared by the Faculty Senate or its designated committee and nominees with experience in intellectual property development will be identified as such by the Faculty Senate. The staff representative will be selected from a list of nominees prepared by Staff Council, and the administration representative will be named directly by the president of the university or his designee. The graduate student representative will be selected from a list of nominees prepared by the Graduate Student Organization. The undergraduate representative will be chosen from a list of nominees prepared by the Student Senate. The committee will use the guidelines set forth in this policy to decide upon a fair resolution of any dispute.
If possible, the committee will also provide on request informal advisory opinions to creators and the university indicating how it is likely to interpret the provisions of this policy as it applies to special cases.
6. Effective Date of Policy
This policy will become effective August 27, 1985. Once effective this policy will be binding on new faculty, administration, and staff when hired, and on graduate and undergraduate students when admitted. Current faculty and staff will also become bound by this policy when they sign new employment contracts as the result of the renewal of limited-term appointments or promotion. Other university personnel, including tenured faculty, and current staff and students may choose to become bound by this policy for future and pending intellectual property by voluntary written consent. Unless the creator and the university agree to a different arrangement, intellectual property that is already partially developed at the time this policy becomes effective will be treated according to the provisions of the patent policy by which the University creator is currently bound. Similarly, members of the university working under contracts signed before the effective date of this policy who do not choose to accept this policy will remain bound by the patent policies that already apply to them. With respect to intellectual property developed during the course of employment at the university, this policy shall continue to be binding on any person whose relationship with the university becomes terminated. The university should take all administrative steps necessary to ensure that employees and students sign, upon initial employment, registration or at other appropriate times, forms that indicate their acceptance of this policy.
7. Amendments of the Policy
Amendments of this policy may be proposed by the Faculty Senate, Staff Council or university administration. Proposed amendments must be approved by a two-thirds majority of votes in the Faculty Senate and subsequently approved by a simple majority of votes cast in a referendum administered by the Faculty Senate that is open to all members of the faculty as defined by this policy and to the exempt staff, provided that this majority constitutes at least 25% (twenty-five percent) of those eligible to vote. This referendum must be preceded by an opportunity for public discussion open to all interested faculty, administration, staff and students. Amendments that are supported by the faculty and staff must then be approved by the president of the university and adopted by the university trustees. Once adopted, amendments will become binding on new faculty, administration, and staff when hired, on existing faculty and staff when they sign new employment contracts, and on graduate and undergraduate students when admitted. Other university personnel, including tenured faculty, and current staff and students may choose to become bound by this policy for future and pending intellectual property by voluntary written consent. Intellectual property that is already developed or under development at the time that an amendment to the policy is ratified will not be bound by the terms of the amendment without the voluntary written consent of both the creator and the university.
1. This document presumes the existence of a university office to facilitate technology transfer. Such an office would serve as a clearinghouse for contacts with outside partners, would perform patent and copyright tasks, and would develop an effective marketing capability.
Policy on Student Privacy Rights
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), you have the right to:
Inspect and review your education records;
Request an amendment to your education records if you believe they are inaccurate or misleading;
Request a hearing if your request for an amendment is not resolved to your satisfaction;
Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information from your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without your consent;
File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office if you believe your rights under FERPA have been violated.
What are education records?
Education records are records maintained by the university that are directly related to students. These include biographic and demographic data, application materials, course schedules, grades and work-study records. The term does not include:
Information contained in the private files of instructors and administrators, used only as a personal memory aid and not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record;
Campus Police records;
Employment records other than work-study records;
Medical and psychological records used solely for treatment purposes;
Records that only contain information about individuals after they have left the university;
Any other records that do not meet the above definition of education records.
How do I inspect my education records?
- Complete an Education Inspection and Review Request Form [PDF] and return it to The HUB in order to notify the University Registrar's Office.
The custodian of the education record you wish to inspect will contact you to arrange a mutually convenient time for inspection, not more than 45 days after your request. The custodian or designee will be present during your inspection.
You will not be permitted to review financial information, including your parents' financial information; or confidential letters of recommendation, if you have waived your right to inspect such letters.
You can get copies of your education records from the office where they are kept for 25 cents per page, prepaid.
How do I amend my educational records?
- Send a written, signed request for amendment to the University Registrar, Carnegie Mellon University, A19 Warner Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Your request should specify the record you want to have amended and the reason for amendment.
The university will reply to you no later than 45 days after your request. If the university does not agree to amend the record, you have a right to a hearing on the issue.
How do I request a hearing?
- Send a written, signed request for a hearing to the University Registrar, Carnegie Mellon University, A19 Warner Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. The university will schedule a hearing no later than 45 days after your request.
A university officer appointed by the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services, who is not affiliated with your enrolled college will conduct the hearing.
You may bring others, including an attorney, to the hearing to assist or represent you. If your attorney will be present, you must notify the university ten days in advance of the hearing so that the university can arrange to have an attorney present too, if desired.
The university will inform you of its decision, in writing, including a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for its decision, no later than 45 days after the hearing.
If the university decides not to amend the record, you have a right to add a statement to the record that explains your side of the story.
Carnegie Mellon generally will not disclose personally identifiable information from your education records without your consent except for directory information and other exceptions specified by law.
What is directory information?
Directory information is personally identifiable information of a general nature that may be disclosed without your consent, unless you specifically request the university not to do so. It is used for purposes like compiling campus directories.
If you do not want your directory information to be disclosed, you must notify the University Registrar's Office in writing within the first 15 days of the semester.
Notifying the University Registrar's Office covers only the disclosure of centralized records. Members of individual organizations such as fraternities, sororities, athletics, etc. must also notify those organizations to restrict the disclosure of directory information.
Carnegie Mellon has defined directory information as the following:
your full name,
local/campus address and local/campus telephone number,
email User ID (Andrew ID) and address,
(User IDs cannot be completely suppressed from our electronic systems. While it may be possible to suppress the association of an individual's name with their user id, doing so may adversely impact the delivery of electronic mail or other electronic services.)
major, department, college,
class status (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, undergraduate or graduate)
dates of attendance (semester begin and end dates),
enrollment status (full, half, or part time)
date(s) of graduation,
sorority or fraternity affiliation.
For students participating in intercollegiate athletics, directory information also includes:
sport of participation.
What are the other exceptions?
Under FERPA, Carnegie Mellon may release personally identifiable information from your education records without your prior consent to:
school officials with legitimate educational interests (“School officials” are Carnegie Mellon employees in administrative, supervisory, academic or support staff positions; Carnegie Mellon trustees; individuals and companies with whom the university has contracted, such as attorneys, auditors, or collection agencies; and individuals assisting school officials in performing their tasks. School officials have a “legitimate educational interest” if they need to review an education record in order to fulfill their professional responsibilities.);
certain federal officials in connection with federal program requirements;
organizations involved in awarding financial aid;
state and local officials who are legally entitled to the information;
testing agencies such as the Educational Testing Service, for the purpose of developing, validating, researching and administering tests;
accrediting agencies, in connection with their accrediting functions;
parents of dependent students (as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Service Code);
comply with a judicial order or subpoena (after making a reasonable effort to notify the student in advance of compliance so that the student can take protective action, except in cases where the university is legally required not to disclose the existence of the subpoena);
appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency, if necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals;
officials of another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll;
victims of violent crimes or non-forcible sexual offenses (the results of final student disciplinary proceedings);
parents or legal guardians of students under 21 years of age (information regarding violations of university drug and alcohol policies);
courts (records relevant to legal actions initiated by students, parents or the university).
comply with federal laws concerning sex offenders and other individuals required to register under section 170101 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.
If you believe the university has not complied with FERPA, you can file a complaint with the:
Family Policy Compliance Office, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W. Washington, DC 20202-4605
Footnote: Your Carnegie Mellon GUID (global user identification) number is also designated as directory information under FERPA, but does not contain personally identifiable information and therefore cannot be used by itself to determine your identity or to access your records.
Policy on Restricted Research
Universities have two primary purposes: to create knowledge and to disseminate knowledge. Carnegie Mellon University recognizes the importance of open intellectual communication within a research group, within the university, and within the larger community outside. Ideally, all units of the university would disseminate the results of research as quickly and as widely as possible. Some members or units of the university, however, desire to do research that may be difficult or impossible without restrictions or without access to classified or proprietary materials.
There exists, therefore, a tension between the university's goal of disseminating knowledge freely and the desire on the part of some of its members to conduct restricted research on important problems. The university intends to guarantee the academic freedom of all faculty members to do research in their own manner on topics of their own choosing, provided that such research is consistent with the overall purposes of the university.
This policy seeks to resolve the tension between the desire to participate in restricted research and the desire to maintain the open atmosphere of the university by confining restricted research to semi-autonomous units, which are not associated with any academic departments. It thereby establishes the principle that restricted research is inappropriate at Carnegie Mellon University except in the semi-autonomous units.
This policy does not attempt to anticipate all possible concerns about restricted research. In some cases, decisions will need to be made about particular research projects to which the application of particular policy guidelines are not clear. In choosing to accept or decline such projects, the university will weigh the potential of a project for generating and disseminating new knowledge for the benefit of society, against the project's potential for adversely affecting the climate for research conducted in a free and open environment. While this policy sets no explicit limits on the extent of classified research permitted in the semi-autonomous units, it is not the intent of the policy to encourage any unit of the university to engage in classified research as a primary ongoing activity. Indeed, it is expected that classified projects will never represent more than a small fraction of the total research effort in any unit.
Research: all projects and investigations involving the creation of new knowledge of a theoretical or practical nature. The term “research” as used here encompasses both “research” and “development” as they are commonly defined.
Classified research: research, the free dissemination of the results of which is deemed to jeopardize national security. The federal government controls access to the environment in which such research is performed, restricts discussions about the work in progress to individuals with clearance and a “need to know,” and limits publication of research, results or access to data needed to verify results, for a specified period of time.
Proprietary research: research that results in intellectual property that is owned by entities other than Carnegie Mellon University. Such entities may wish to market products derived from inventions or ideas that are developed at the university. They might, therefore, desire to fund projects which restrict access to data and to discussions about work in progress to individuals with a “need to know,” and to seek, for a specified period of time, a delay in publication of research results or data needed to verify results. Such entities may also provide access to proprietary material, which researchers must agree not to include in publications.
Publication: oral or written dissemination.
Restricted research: includes all classified research, and any proprietary or other research that requires more than a six month delay in publication of the research results.
Semi-autonomous units: units of the university specifically so designated by the president, after consultation with the URC and the Faculty Senate, currently the Mellon Institute and the Software Engineering Institute.
Non-autonomous units: all university entities other than semi-autonomous units.
Restricted Research in Non-Autonomous Units
It is the policy of Carnegie Mellon that restricted research is inappropriate and, therefore, not permitted within its non-autonomous units.
It is also the policy of Carnegie Mellon not to permit involvement of students in projects which carry restrictions that may impede their progress toward a degree. Therefore, students should not be involved in contracts that require the delay of a student's publication of research results when such results are intended for use in obtaining academic credit, except that a sponsor may require a delay of thirty days for review of publications for removal of proprietary information that was provided by the sponsor for the conduct of the research.
Proprietary research is allowed within non-autonomous units provided it is subject to limitations (excluding students' publications as noted above) no more stringent than the following:
A sponsor may request a delay of up to six months in publication so that steps may be taken to secure intellectual property rights to inventions or ideas developed under the contract.
A sponsor may require a delay of thirty days for review of publications for removal of proprietary information which was provided for the conduct of the research.
Considerations for faculty/researchers:
The university recognizes that problems arise in both restricted research and research that is not itself restricted but that involves access to classified or propriety information or materials (hereinafter, restricted materials). Researchers may also have access to restricted materials when serving as consultants. Access to restricted materials gives rise to concerns about limitations on researchers' freedom to communicate. In such instances, researchers must exercise consider-able judgment to conduct their research in an open environment while protecting the restricted materials to which they have access. Researchers must also be aware that the university will judge their performance as researchers through their publications or through other scholarly products that arise from their research. Research that is restricted in dissemination, or not available for public review, cannot be considered in promotion or reappointment decisions or in evaluations of academic performance of any kind.
Considerations for faculty/researchers:
There are important concerns about the involvement of students in restricted research. It is necessary for students to publish their work in order to obtain degrees, course credit and professional recognition. Students rely to a large degree on their faculty advisor's judgment for guidance and advice. Research that is restricted in dissemination, or not available for public review, cannot be used for academic credit. Thus, before working on such research, a student must be notified in writing that work on this research may not be used for academic credit.
Restricted Research in Semi-Autonomous Units
The semi-autonomous units associated with Carnegie Mellon may conduct restricted research.
Faculty members may conduct restricted research in or in cooperation with semi-autonomous units only on a consulting basis or by means of a formal, internal leave of absence from their non-autonomous units.
Work that is restricted in any way may not be used for academic evaluations until it is released for publication, and then only with respect to future academic actions.
Students may occasionally be employed by the semi-autonomous units, provided that such employment does not interfere substantially with progress toward a degree. However, they must be made aware that work that is restricted cannot be used for academic credit. Work that was restricted and is later released for dissemination and review can be applied toward future academic credit. Students should be discouraged from working on restricted research in which dissemination may be delayed indefinitely.
Guidelines for all Units
Work by students on restricted research projects shall not be made a condition for admission or financial aid.
The principal investigator is responsible for informing all members of a project (faculty, staff and students) of any restrictions imposed on the dissemination of information related to the research. This must be done prior to the start of the project or prior to an individual joining an existing project.
Restrictions on access to university facilities due to the conduct of restricted research must be kept to a minimum. Access to and movement through the facilities in which restricted research is conducted must be consistent with standard university procedures.
The Provost's Office is responsible for obtaining signed documents from principal investigators on restricted research projects attesting that they are aware of all restrictions imposed on the research and that they have informed all participants of these restrictions.
The Office of Sponsored Research shall review all proposals and contracts prior to approval for conformity with these guidelines. Any that do not meet these guidelines will be referred to the University Research Council (URC) for review and recommendation of appropriate action to the provost.
To maintain a balance with the university's goals of broad dissemination of knowledge, the URC will conduct an annual review of all restricted research being conducted at the university. This review will be made based on a listing of all contracts that involve restricted research. This listing shall include the title and sponsor(s) of the research, name(s) of principal investigator(s), and the amount of funding of each contract.
The university community will be informed annually, through the URC's written report to the Faculty Senate and Student Senate, of the nature and overall impact of restricted research at Carnegie Mellon.
Existing sponsored research projects shall be allowed to continue under the terms of their present contract. However, renewal contracts must conform with this policy.
Student Activities Fee
By action of the Board of Trustees, a required Student Activities Fee in addition to tuition is charged to all under-graduate students and graduate students who enroll for 19 units or more. Student Government is responsible for administering the fee and for using it only for the support of projects under the following guidelines:
Activities and facilities which can be described as meeting the reasonably predictable social, cultural, recreational, or welfare needs of college students.
Publications which can reasonably be presumed to serve the needs of the student community for communication, expressions of opinion, and the conduct of their business.
Such enterprises of an entrepreneurial nature undertaken by the student body as can reasonably be expected to serve as an instrument for meeting the needs described above.
All functions and services provided by the fees described above must be in accordance with Carnegie Mellon's policy of non-discrimination. In addition, no use of such fees may be intended to violate or circumvent the policies of the university or the laws of the land.
Final responsibility for establishing the amount of any required fee rests with the Board of Trustees, which will consider changes only upon requests of the Student Government and the officers of the university.
Note: Historically, the Student Government has dedicated a specific portion of graduate students' activities fees to the Graduate Student Assembly to be used at their discretion.
Policy on Temporary Emergency Closing of the University
Carnegie Mellon University has an important commitment to students, parents, sponsors, benefactors and the community. Accordingly, the university will make every attempt to operate normally during severe weather or other emergencies. This includes holding classes, conducting research programs, and operating facilities and services. The university will attempt to operate normally unless such operation represents a clear danger to students, staff or faculty.
There may be occasions when the university community is served best by suspending normal operations. In that event, only the president (or the president's designated representative) has the authority to close the university and to specify those persons or group of persons who are free to leave or refrain from coming to campus. Staff members who provide primary services, including certain members of Physical Plant, Dining Services and Security, may be asked to work.
Unless the president announces that the university is closed, everyone is expected to be at work as usual. When the university is in session, faculty members are expected to meet their scheduled classes and other obligations. If a faculty member is unable to meet a scheduled class, he or she should notify the department office and arrange either for a qualified substitute or for a future make-up session.
If the university is open but a staff member is unable to come to work because of severe weather or other emergency, he or she should notify the supervisor as soon as possible. Staff members will be expected to make up lost time or use Paid Time Off (PTO), consistent with regular operating protocols.
Announcement of Closing
As soon as the president or his/her designee determines that the university must be closed, University Relations will alert local radio and television stations. Also, announcements of closings will be posted on the Carnegie Mellon electronic bboard official.cmu-news.
Questions concerning this policy or its intent should be directed to the Office of the President, (412) 268-2200.
Student Leaves & Returns
Student Leave Policy
Students must sometimes interrupt their studies for a variety of reasons (financial, academic or personal). Students choosing to take a leave of absence must first contact their department advisor to discuss their plans while on leave to work out any conditions that may be necessary for a smooth return to Carnegie Mellon.
A student may leave Carnegie Mellon by either withdrawing from the university (this means leaving the university with no intention of returning) or by taking a leave of absence (this means leaving the university temporarily, with the firm and stated intention of returning).
A Leave of Absence Form must be completed by all students requesting a leave of absence. A Withdrawal Form must be completed by all students who are withdrawing. Notifying instructors or no longer attending classes does not complete the process. Forms are available on The HUB web site. Not completing the leave form results in tuition being charged to midpoint of the semester or the last date the student attended an academically-related activity such as an exam, tutorial or study group, or the last day a student turned in a class assignment.
Students are required to fill out all information on the form, including all comment sections relating to reasons for their leave of absence. After completion of the form, students must take it to their home department and dean's office for appropriate signatures. The process of taking a leave will not be complete until all necessary signatures are on the leave form. Under certain circumstances, students may also need the Dean of Student Affairs to sign off on the leave form. International students who are here on a F1 or J1 visa must consult the Office of International Education for information on possible visa implications prior to going on leave.
Students on leave are not permitted to live in university housing, attend classes or maintain employment as students at Carnegie Mellon while their leave is in effect.
Doctoral candidates in ABD (All But Dissertation) status who wish to take a leave of absence should refer to the Doctoral Student Status policy.
Leaves during the academic semester will take effect as of the date signed by the student's dean. After the Leave of Absence or Withdrawal Form is received by the University's Registrar's Office, it will be reviewed for the appropriate tuition refunds (see Enrollment Services: Tuition and Fees Adjustment Policy) and grade implications. The recording of student courses and grades for taking a leave in a semester follows the deadlines for semester or mini courses, as follows:
- On or before the university deadline to drop classes with W (withdrawal) grades: all courses or grades are removed.
- After the university deadline to drop classes but before the last day of classes: W (withdrawal) grades will be assigned to all classes. (W grades apply to all undergraduate students, and graduate students in the Carnegie Institute of Technology, the Mellon College of Science or the Tepper School of Business.)
- After the last day of classes: Permanent grades assigned by the instructor will be recorded.
Student Return Policy
Students on leave wishing to return to Carnegie Mellon to resume their degree studies may do so under several conditions. In order to be considered for return from leave, a student must first obtain an Application for Return form from The HUB or their academic department. This application requires information from the student regarding the intended semester of return, current address information and information about their leave. This application must be submitted to their home department at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester.
Undergraduates may return within their same academic department within two years. After two years, students returning in the same academic department are subject to space constraints and academic performance review. Graduate students must negotiate their return with their home department and must follow their department policy.
The Application for Return requires approval of the student's academic department and dean. If a student's department chooses to deny the student's Application for Return, the student may appeal to their dean. Any constraints governing the student's eligibility to return will be specified directly on the application by the academic department and/or dean's office or the Office of Student Affairs.
Students who have taken courses elsewhere must submit an official transcript and course descriptions with their Application for Return. Transfer credit approval is determined by the academic department based on course level, performance and appropriateness to the student's curriculum requirements. Credit transfer is subject to college-specific policy. Failure to submit the necessary documents at the time of return will result in denial of transfer credit.
The process of returning is not completed until all necessary signatures on the Return form are obtained by the student and until all outstanding bills are paid. Enrollment Services will then notify the appropriate university offices of the student's return.
Tuition Adjustment Policy
This policy applies to withdrawals and leaves of absence by all students (graduate, undergraduate, non-degree) for all semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer 1, Summer 2, Summer All).
Official Date of Withdrawal/Leave of Absence
For students who notify the university of their intent to withdraw or take a leave of absence, the official date of withdrawal or leave of absence is the earliest of:
the date the student began the withdrawal or leave of absence process;
the date the student notified his or her home department;
the date the student notified the associate dean of his or her college; or
the date the student notified the dean of students.
For students who do not notify the university of their intent to withdraw or take a leave of absence, the official date of withdrawal or leave of absence is:
the midpoint of the semester;
the last date the student attended an academically-related activity such as an exam, tutorial or study group, or the last day a student turned in a class assignment.
Students who withdraw or take a leave of absence before completing 60% of the semester will be charged tuition based on the number of days completed within the semester. This includes calendar days, class and non-class days, from the first day of classes to the last day of final exams. Breaks which last five days or longer, including the preceding and subsequent weekends, are not counted. Thanksgiving and Spring Break are not counted. There is no tuition adjustment after 60% of the semester is completed. No tutition is charged to a student who is administratively withdrawn. See The HUB website for the complete tuition assessment schedule for the current semester.
Housing, Dining Plan & Fee Adjustments
Housing charges are adjusted daily, beginning on check-in day and ending on the last day of final exams for the semester. Holiday breaks are included. The Winter Break period is not included.
Dining plan charges are adjusted per the bi-weekly period. DineXtra and PlaidCa$h are assessed based upon actual use.
There is no adjustment of the Port Authority Fee, the Technology Fee or Student Activity fee.
Financial Aid Adjustment
Federal and institutional financial aid is adjusted on the same basis as tuition. A student earns 100% of his or her federal or institutional financial aid when 60% of the semester is completed.
State grants and non-federal outside scholarships are adjusted based upon the withdrawal policy of the agency awarding the funds.
Questions concerning this policy or its intent should be directed to: The HUB, (412) 268-8186.
Financial Aid Policy Statement
University Academic Scholarship Renewals
Carnegie Mellon University awards academic scholarships as part of the freshman financial aid process. Each of these scholarships is renewable for four academic years of study (five for architecture) based upon the maintenance of a specific cumulative quality point average. The academic scholarship renewal criteria are included in the scholarship notification letter which is mailed to the student prior to the May 1 matriculation deadline.
Each scholarship recipient's cumulative quality point average is reviewed at the end of each academic year. If the student achieves the scholarship renewal criteria, then the scholarship is automatically renewed for the next academic year.
If the student does not meet the cumulative quality point average requirement for renewal, then s/he is given the opportunity to appeal. A merit scholarship appeal form and instructions are automatically sent to the student at the end of each academic year.
The student's completed appeal form is reviewed by members of the Enrollment Services staff. Input from the Associate Dean of the student's college is also considered. The student is notified, in writing, of the decision. The decision may be to renew the scholarship for the entire academic year, renew the scholarship for one academic term, or to reject the appeal. If the appeal is rejected, a written explanation is provided to the student.
Undergraduate Tuition Exchange Programs
Carnegie Mellon University assesses the standard tuition charge for the undergraduate tuition exchange programs.
Since Carnegie Mellon assesses the tuition charge, the student can be considered for all forms of institutional, state, and federal aid for which the student may have eligibility with the exception of any student employment program.
Undergraduate Study Abroad Programs
Carnegie Mellon University does not assess the tuition charge for any of the Study Abroad Programs.
Since Carnegie Mellon does not assess the tuition charge, the student is not considered for any institutional grants and scholarships. However, Carnegie Mellon will consider any student participating in an approved Study Abroad Program for all state and federal student aid programs for which the student may have eligibility with the exception of any student employment program.
The U.S. Department of Education and Carnegie Mellon University define an approved Study Abroad Program as one which is part of a contractual agreement between Carnegie Mellon and the host institution. Additionally, courses taken in the Study Abroad Program must be accepted for transfer to Carnegie Mellon by the Dean of the student's college.
Undergraduate Sponsored Study Abroad Programs
Carnegie Mellon assesses full tuition charges and all applicable fees to students participating in an undergraduate sponsored study abroad program.
Undergraduate International Students
Documentation Eligibility (U.S. Citizenship or Eligible Noncitizen)
You must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident alien to receive federal student aid. If you are a U.S. Citizen, but were not born in the United States, valid documentation includes a copy of your passport or naturalization certificate.
If you are a U.S. permanent resident alien or refugee, acceptable forms of verification include a photocopy of both sides of your I-551 or I-551C card.
Undergraduate international students are ineligible to receive any federal or state student financial aid. Additionally, Carnegie Mellon does not award any institutional financial aid funds to undergraduate international students.
Undergraduate Course Meeting Policy
No undergraduate classes, exams, academic, or artistic activities (including: extra help session, rehearsals, ROTC drill, make-up exams, etc.) are scheduled on weekdays between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Extra class time beyond those regularly scheduled must take place either before 4:30 p.m. or after 6:30 p.m.
Undergraduate Course Meeting Procedure
This policy is not intended to reduce the rigor or vigor of the academic or artistic programs, but to ensure that students have a period in which they are free to carry on co-curricular activities and athletics. Scheduling classes, exams, or other academic and artistic activities makes it very difficult for the students to meet these commitments. Since we are all concerned about the quality of life at the university, this time must be held for the students.
In planning the academic course schedule, Enrollment Services will review all courses to ensure that no academic or artistic courses be scheduled in this period. In addition, any requests to schedule additional or makeup course meetings, review and/or study sessions, teaching assistant office hours, or other course-related meetings, must take place either before 4:30 p.m. or after 6:30 p.m. This includes meetings in all university spaces, not just within Enrollment Services controlled classrooms.
As with any policy, there must be a means of making exceptions. Any academic or artistic activities which you feel must be scheduled between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. must be cleared with the Vice President for Enrollment. These requests must be in writing either as a memo or through e-mail. All requests must include the course relationship, intent for the requested meeting, and the reason why the meeting cannot be held either before 4:30 p.m. or after 6:30 p.m.
Any further clarification of this policy can be addressed to the Vice President for Campus Affairs.