Howling Counsel Newsletter – The Faculty Edition, Fall 2018

Have you ever had to:

  • Decide whether you could make “fair use” of a movie clip in one of your classes?
  • Travel internationally with sensitive data on a laptop or flash drive?
  • Evaluate the merits of forming a start-up company around your invention?
  • Comply with “FERPA” without really knowing what “FERPA” is?

Dealing with situations that require specialized legal knowledge or resources can be challenging. Fortunately, many NC State departments are available to help faculty members navigate these and similar situations.

This special Faculty Edition of the Howling Counsel newsletter presents FAQs related to teaching, supporting students, conducting research, and other common scenarios, and provides hotlinks to offices that can provide assistance and to  relevant web-based information.

Our goal is to make it easy for you to locate information and obtain assistance that will support you in your work as a faculty member at NC State. We welcome your comments, suggestions and questions at

Have a great school year!  We look forward to working with you.  Contact us early so we can help inform your decision-making and avoid later complications.


The NC State Office of General Counsel
We are NC STATE’S law firm


Warwick A. Arden, Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost

Dear NC State Faculty:

The 2018-19 academic year is now underway! Whether you’ve arrived on campus for the first or fifthteenth time, we’re glad you’re here. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with Howling Counsel newsletter’s special Faculty Issue. This resource from our General Counsel will direct you to the tools necessary to address certain issues (including legal ones) that may arise in the pursuit of your teaching, research, outreach and service. That’s why we’re focusing on you, the faculty, in this newsletter.

Warwick A. Arden
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost




Dr. Carolyn L. Bird, Chair of the Faculty
Dr. Carolyn L. Bird, Chair of the Faculty

Dear Faculty Colleagues:

NC State University continues to grow in stature as we, the faculty, are recognized by various National Academies, become elected Fellows in prestigious societies, and lead international professional associations. The work we do every day in securing extramural funding, engaging in the discovery of new knowledge, teaching students, partnering to improve the quality of life in North Carolina, and consistently pushing the boundaries with our innovations and research means it is likely we will enter new territories and/or changing environments.

As we face challenges in our disciplines we need to call on the expertise of the Office of General Counsel (OGC) to assist in devising the best path forward, to think about potential externalities, to understand University Policies, Rules, and Regulations (PRR) and state and federal laws, and perhaps even to protect our work. We are fortunate to have the university’s attorneys to help us understand the legal aspects of our environment in order to smooth the pathway as we effectively achieve our goals. I encourage all faculty to review this newsletter with its resources and guidance that can serve as a reference for all areas of expertise. Please make a note of this resource so that as the year takes on its hectic pace, you will be able to refer to this information, if needed.

I wish you all the best for a productive and enjoyable academic year as you conduct research, teach and mentor undergraduate and graduate students, and work through outreach with our state, our nation, and the world. Please feel free to contact me and/or the faculty senate with your thoughts, suggestions, or questions.

On behalf of the faculty, I thank the attorneys and staff in the Office of General Counsel (OGC) for their support of the faculty. I also thank all other campus personnel who work on behalf of the faculty and/or who have contributed to this publication.


Carolyn L. Bird
Chair of the Faculty 2018-2019



Looking for the latest information on Title IX, Free speech, or Discrimination? Find all the latest information on those topics and more on the Compliance and Integrity Program website or click the link below.

University Annual Notices



Dr. Nick Haddad, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor
Dr. Nick Haddad, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor, works with students in the field at Yates Mill.



Dr. Jacob Jones, Director, Analytical Instrumentation Facility
Dr. Jacob Jones, Director, Analytical Instrumentation Facility, with <br />a graduate student at the Titan Microscope on Centennial Campus.
  • What must I do to keep student information private?
    Do not release a student’s records (e.g. grades, coursework, course schedule, etc.) outside the university, even to a parent or other family member, without first getting the student’s written consent. See REG 11.00.01 for information on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and contact the Office of General Counsel for assistance. 
  • What should I do if I see a person who may be a threat to themselves or others?
    Contact University Police at either 911 or (919) 515-3000 for emergencies or other imminent situations. For non-emergencies, contact Violence Prevention & Threat Management at (919) 513-4224.
  • What can I do if I am concerned about a student’s health or well-being?
    If the concern is about physical health, refer the student to Student Health Services. If the concern is about mental health, refer the student to the Counseling Center.  You may also confer with DASA’s Faculty Resources
  • How can I assist a student who reports being subjected to discrimination or harassment?
    Students who believe they have been subjected to harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, age (over 40), sex, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information, sexual orientation or gender identity should be referred to the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity for assistance.  In addition, for information about Title IX, see the Title IX website or contact one of the Title IX Coordinators.
  • What should I do if a student reports to me (or I become aware) that he/she has been sexually assaulted?
    Students within the NC State community who have experienced sexual violence are encouraged to report incidents to University Police at (919) 515-3000, the Office of Student Conduct at (919) 515-2963 or to the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity’s Title IX Coordinator at (919) 513-3148. In addition, students are encouraged to contact the Women’s Center at (919) 515-2015 or GLBT Center at (919) 513-9742. NC State’s Counseling Center at (919) 515-2423 or Student Health Services at (919) 515-2563 are confidential resources available for students.
  • What resources are available to me for accommodating students with disabilities?
    Contact the Disability Services Office (DSO) for assistance and see the roles of the student, instructor, and the DSO in the accommodation process.
  • Should I obtain a written consent from a  student who has asked me to write a recommendation?
    Yes. Even if the student has made a verbal request, getting a student’s written consent helps insure compliance with FERPA and confirms what information the student authorizes you to release. Contact the University Records Officer for assistance.

Other Resources for Faculty

Compliance  & Integrity Program Faculty Ombuds Office Faculty Staff and Assistance Program (FASAP) Faculty Senate Office Office of Faculty Development Violence Prevention and Threat Management Students of Concern University Policies, Regulations and Rules Emergency Information
(919) 515-1526 (919) 935-0922 (866) 467-0467 (919) 515-2279 (919) 513-3634 (919) 513-4224 (919) 515-2423 (PRRs)


Dr. Robert Beichner, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor
Dr. Robert Beichner, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, leads a STEM class.
Dr. Mo-Yuen Chow
Dr. Mo-Yuen Chow and robot cars used to simulate driving in his EB2 lab. Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • What do I need to know about export controls?
    If you create or work with novel technologies or other regulated items, your    activities may be subject to export control regulations. Illegally exposing regulated items to non-US citizens without a required  government license can lead to fines and imprisonment. Consult the export controls website, and contact Sponsored Programs and Regulatory Compliance (SPARCS) for assistance.
  • How should I report possible research misconduct?
    Contact the Research Integrity Office for assistance. See REG 10.00.02 for further information.





What happens when . . .? Advice for Common Scenarios

Dr. Elizabeth Nichols, Professor
Dr. Elizabeth Nichols, Professor, Forestry & Environmental Resources
  • Can I consult or engage in other outside professional activities for pay?
    Yes, NC State encourages these activities so long as a) they are pre-approved by the dean of the faculty member’s college, and b) any conflicts of interest (COI) and commitment are properly disclosed and managed. However foreign national employees on H-1B, E-3, O-1 or TN visas are not allowed to work for anyone other than the petitioning employer (NC State) or perform any professional services for compensation – unless such specific activity was already foreseen and included in the immigration petition to the government. Please contact International Employment Office for further assistance in this area. See the COI/NOI page maintained by SPARCS, including FAQs on COI and Consulting. See the Office of General Counsel’s Consulting FAQs for  further information.
  • Do I have authority to sign a nondisclosure agreement or a material transfer agreement?
    NO! If your work requires that NC State enter into such an agreement, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization and New Ventures  for assistance. 
  • Do I have authority to sign any other contracts?
    NO! The Chancellor has delegated contractual signature authority to only select campus officials as described in REG 01.20.02 and summarized in this Chart. Contact the Office of General Counsel for assistance.
  • Is it permissible for me to download “free” software to use in my work at NC State?
    It may be, but to be sure, please check first with your unit’s IT professional. This will help insure a) that the software is compatible with
Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou, Associate Professor
Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou, Associate Professor, Bioprocess & Nutrition Science

existing NC State hardware and software, avoiding unexpected and costly “fixes”, and b) that problematic terms in the online “clickwrap” agreement (just like any other contract) are avoided. Check out software@NCState to see if your desired software is already licensed for your use, and contact the Software Licensing Management Staff for assistance. Please see OIT’s clickwrap site regarding approved, conditionally approved and denied clickwrap agreements.

Dr. Karen Daniels, Professor
Dr. Karen Daniels, Professor, Physics Department
  • Will NC State defend me if I am sued?
    Generally speaking, yes, subject to the NC Attorney General’s discretion, if you were acting within the course and scope of your assigned duties. See additional information on the Defense of State Employees Act and contact the Office of General Counsel for assistance.
  • What should I do if I receive a court order or a subpoena, or if I am contacted by an outside attorney regarding my work at NC State?
    Contact the Office of General Counsel immediately. See additional information on  subpoenas, court orders and search warrants.
  • What should I do if I see or suspect misuse of or damage to State property?
    You should report any information or evidence to your immediate supervisor, University Police, or Internal Auditor within three (3) days as required by state law.  See REG 07.40.02 and FAQs for further information.
  • Are there guidelines to follow if I want to engage in political activity?
    Yes, state law generally prohibits state employees from engaging in political activities during any time they are expected to perform work for the state, and prohibits the use of state property to support or oppose a candidate or an issue.  Also see the “Advocacy by State Employees” newsletter.
  • When should I consult with the Office of General Counsel?
    For a representative list of situations, see the November 2011 edition of the Howling Counsel newsletter.