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Use of Intellectual Property

Use of Intellectual Property - Policy Concerning the Assigning of Faculty Authorized Textbooks To Students Taught by Same Faculty

Assignment of Textbooks

Section 1-84 of the Connecticut General Statutes prohibits public officials and other state employees from using their public office or position to obtain a financial gain for themselves or their family members or any business with which they are associated. A faculty member’s assignment of a textbook authored or developed by the faculty member could be considered as “obtaining financial gain” for the faculty member in violation of the Connecticut State Ethics Code. Before requiring students to purchase a textbook or intellectual property for a course that the faculty member authored or developed, the faculty member must obtain prior approval for such use or provide documentation that any financial gain is directed to a University fund from which that faculty member derives no personal financial benefit, or to another recognized 501(c)(3) entity within 30 days of receipt. Therefore, all full time and part-time faculty who require their own students to purchase the faculty member’s intellectual property are required to provide notification to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. The notification and compliance form is available at
Intellectual Property Notification and Compliance Form

* Compliance form must be completed online.  To view the form in its entirety for reference before submitting your responses using online version, click here.

Pursuant to the State of Connecticut Ethics Commission’s requirement in Advisory Opinion 2001-7 (see for the full text), (Central, Eastern, Southern, Western) Connecticut State University requires that there be established a review panel that will rule on requests to utilize a professor’s text for his or her class. 

Review Panel Composition

The review panel is appointed by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and shall include no less than five (5) members including tenured faculty members recommended by the Deans of their respective Schools. Faculty shall represent different departments. Membership will include at least the following:

            Two (2) faculty members from the School of Arts & Sciences, one of whom is a scientist

            One (1) faculty member from the School of Business

            One (1) faculty member from the School of Education

            One (1) faculty member from the School of Health and Human Services

            One (1) faculty member from any school to serve as an alternate

 Terms of Appointment

Members on this panel serve for two-year staggered terms. Initially, half of the members will be appointed for a period of one year. New members are selected in late Spring. The term of office concludes at the end of the academic year.

Operating Procedures

The review panel selects a chair for a two-year period who is responsible for all communications with the faculty and administration. The review panel considers requests, justification and evidence submitted by full-time or part-time faculty members who have authored a textbook and wish to assign that textbook to students in courses they teach at the university. After considering all appropriate materials, the review panel rules and can approve requests if the requests meet one or both of the following requirements:

a) the text is recognized as the standard in the field, or

b) the text offers a unique perspective on the topic of study

The panel informs the faculty member in writing of its decision indicating the reason for approval or disapproval, no later than 30 days following the application deadline.  A copy of the decision is transmitted to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. All decisions require a majority vote. A panel member who represents the department of the faculty member whose request is under consideration may not vote on that request.  All materials submitted to the panel and any other materials produced by the panel will be appropriately archived within the university at the end of each academic year.

Instructors whose application to require purchases of intellectual property has been denied may appeal the committee’s decision to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

 Failure to comply with this Policy constitutes a violation of the State Ethics Code and University policy and subjects the faculty member to an enforcement action by the State Ethics Commission and disciplinary procedures by the University.