Resources

Disclaimer Notice: These materials are presented here for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on a particular matter. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific facts and circumstances relating to an issue. For legal advice on a particular Rutgers University matter within your official responsibilities, please consult with a member of the Office of General Counsel.

FAQ's

I. General

  • Who does the Office of General Counsel represent?

    The Office of the Senior Vice President and General Counsel (“OGC”) provides legal advice and representation to Rutgers, the State University. The University and all of its schools and departments are one legal entity. In that capacity, the OGC advises the Board of Governors, Board of Trustees, and officers, faculty, and staff, all in their official capacities, on various issues impacting the University to reach decisions that are in the best interest of the University. To the extent different areas of the University have different viewpoints on any issue, the President, or if the situation requires, the University’s Board of Governors have final authority.


     
  • Can the Office of General Counsel represent or give legal advice to individual faculty members, students or staff on non-University matters?

    No. The OGC represents the University (not individuals in their personal matters) and will only provide legal advice on University matters to University employees in their official capacities.


     
  • May I hire an outside attorney for University business?

    No. Only the OGC can hire outside counsel for University business. If you feel the services of an attorney are needed for a matter or situation you are handling, you should first contact the OGC to discuss the situation and the legal services needed. If a member of the OGC cannot handle the matter in-house, the OGC will retain an outside attorney to ensure your legal needs are addressed. Even if an outside attorney is retained, a member of the OGC will remain involved in the matter. Unless otherwise cleared with OGC, you should not be speaking directly with an outside attorney even after an outside attorney is retained for your matter. Instead, all conversations with outside attorneys should also involve a member of the OGC.


     
  • How can I contact the Office of General Counsel?

    The OGC can be contacted at:

    Office of the Senior Vice President and General Counsel
    Rutgers, The State University
    Liberty Plaza
    335 George Street, Suite 2160
    New Brunswick, NJ 08901
    Tel: 848-932-7697
    Fax: 732-932-6913
    Email: legal@oldqueens.rutgers.edu
     

  • Which attorney in the Office of General Counsel should I contact if I need legal assistance?

    You may contact any attorney about any matter. The attorney you contact will either handle the
    matter or refer you to a colleague within the OGC with more subject matter expertise. There are
    four practice groups within the OGC. You can feel free to contact the Deputy General Counsel of
    a practice group which might pertain to your question. They are:

    Annemarie Boyan
    Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Healthcare

    David A. Cohen
    Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Labor and Employment

    Robert Roesener
    Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Transactional

    Aron M. Schwartz
    Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel General Practice & Litigation

    Lisa T. Wahler
    Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel General Practice & Litigation
     

  • Can the Office of General Counsel recommend a personal attorney?

    OGC is not responsible for recommending or finding attorneys to represent you on personal matters. If you are a student, you may seek help from the Office of Student Legal Services at http://rusls.rutgers.edu. Otherwise you may contact the New Jersey State Bar Association at https://tcms.njsba.com/PersonifyEbusiness/LegalResources/CountyBarAssociations.aspx or the lawyer referral services of the local county bar association.

II. Contracts and Signature Authority

Any document or exchange of documents, whether hard copy or electronic, whether titled a contract, an agreement, or memorandum of understanding, whether in letter form standard contract, email or other form, that will commit Rutgers to pay another party for goods or services or commit Rutgers to provide  goods or services to another party, can be a contract and bind Rutgers to its terms. In these FAQs OGC uses the term “contract” to cover any document that legally obligates Rutgers to pay for goods or services, or provide goods and services in exchange for a payment. Members of the University community should know that contracts can come in many forms.

  • How are contracts reviewed and approved?

    Faculty and staff regularly receive proposed contracts from various educational institutions, outside agencies, vendors, and other third parties. Most contracts to which the University is a party (either on its own behalf or on behalf of a specific college, school, department or other unit of the University)  should be reviewed by the Office of General Counsel. There are a few exceptions where OGC review is not necessary as a general rule including:

    1) Contracts to purchase goods and/or services that are reviewed and negotiated by University Procurement Services pursuant to the University Purchasing Policy (Policy 20.1.11). In the event University Procurement Services is not already involved in a proposed purchase agreement for goods or services, you should attach a copy of the proposed contract to a requisition in the RU Marketplace procurement system to initiate review by University Procurement Services. University Procurement Services can be reached at:

    University Procurement Services
    33 Knightsbridge Road
    Piscataway, NJ 08854
    Phone: 848-932-4375
    Fax: 732-445-3306

    2) Sponsored research agreements. These are usually reviewed and negotiated by the University Office of Corporate Contracts, which can be reached at:

    University Office of Corporate Contracts
    33 Knightsbridge Road, 2nd Floor East
    Piscataway, New Jersey 08854
    Phone: (848) 932-4462
    Fax: (732) 932-0146
     

  • Who can sign contracts on behalf of the University?

    Most contracts to which the University is a party (either on its own behalf or on behalf of a specific college, school, department or other subdivision of the University), should be reviewed by the OGC and signed by a University officer or a University officer’s duly authorized designee.

    Signing contracts without the appropriate signatory authority is not within the scope of employment and could, under some circumstances, lead to the person who signed the contract being held personally liable for the contractual obligations.

    The University has a Signatory Authority Policy, also known as the Signatory Delegation Policy, (Policy 50.3.13) outlining how authorized University officers m ay delegate signatory authority to various employees. The Signatory Authority Policy refers to a related signatory matrix which you should consult.

    The Signatory Authority Policy is designed to be a clear and uniformly-followed policy regarding authority to execute contracts on behalf of Rutgers (either as to the entire institution or on behalf of a specific college, school, department or other subdivision of the University). University officers and employees must follow this policy to ensure compliance with appropriate fiscal and management controls.

    One of the most widely used delegations of signatory authority is to make purchases consistent with the University Purchasing Policy (Policy 20.1.11), which authorizes University employees to make purchases (Quick Orders) for department/unit items under $5,000. This particular
    authority is limited to the restrictions delineated in the University Purchasing Policy. Rutgers University Procurement Services handles or oversees most purchasing transactions. Please see the University Procurement Services website for detailed information on the services it provides.
     

  • What should I do if I need something notarized?

    The OGC can notarize work-related documents including but not limited to contracts, affidavits, and trusts. Please contact legal@ogc.rutgers.edu or 848-932-7697 to discuss your document.

III. Litigation

  • What should I do if I receive a subpoena, summons, or court order or if I am contacted by an attorney in connection with University business?

    The University’s Policy on Service of Legal Process (Policy 50.3.2), proceed if there is an attempt to serve you with legal process in a University-related matter. Prompt action is required. Additionally, you can consult with the OGC if you have any questions. Likewise, if you are contacted by an outside attorney in connection with University business, please consult with the OGC prior to talking to such outside attorney.
     

  • I’ve been personally named as a defendant in a lawsuit. Will Rutgers defend me?

    The University Indemnification Policy (Policy 50.3.3), governs whether the University will provide legal counsel and cover costs associated with a lawsuit against a University officer or employee based on matters that arose out of and occurred in the course of the performance of the officer’s/employee’s duties at the University. Officers and employees are not automatically defended by the University in such lawsuits. Determinations on whether the University will provide a defense to an officer or employee named as a defendant in a lawsuit are made by the Senior Vice President and General Counsel on a case-by-case basis pursuant to the Indemnification Policy and the law. This requires a written summary of the matter and request to OGC for indemnity. If the University provides coverage to an officer or employee, the University has the right to conduct the defense. Employees and officers may hire and pay for their own private lawyer even when the University provides coverage defense; however, these costs will not be reimbursed by the University under the Indemnification Policy.
     

  • What should I do if I am served with a search warrant by a law enforcement or investigative agent? What should I do if such an agent makes an informal request to search Rutgers’ documents or property?

    Law enforcement agents serving search warrants on the University and its agents should first contact the appropriate campus public safety or security office listed below to assist in the execution of the search warrant. The University expects that its own law enforcement officials will supervise searches and seizures of Rutgers’ property and questioning of Rutgers personnel. Agents should be prepared to provide a business card(s) of the agent(s) executing the search warrant, a copy of the search warrant including attachments, and an inventory list of all property seized before leaving.

    Camden Division
    409 North 4th Street
    Camden, NJ
    Phone: 856-225-6111

    New Brunswick Division
    55 Commercial Avenue
    New Brunswick, NJ
    Phone: 732-932-7211

    Newark Division
    200 University Avenue
    Newark, NJ
    Phone: 973-353-5111

    Biomedical & Health Sciences Division at Newark
    5 Bruce Street
    Newark, NJ
    Phone: 973-972-4491

    University faculty and staff who are served with a search warrant or informal search request by a law enforcement or investigative agent seeking Rutgers documents or property should respond as follows:

    1. At all times, be polite, courteous, and cooperative with the agent.

    2. Request identification and/or a business card from the agent(s) or write down the agent’s name, title, agency, and work address, phone number and email address.

    3. Request to make a copy of the search warrant including all attachments, if there is one. Make a copy of the search warrant including all attachments.

    4. Advise the agent that you will be pleased to assist them after contacting campus police and the OGC as required by Rutgers protocol. Ask the agent to wait while you contact the appropriate campus police or security office and the OGC.

    5. Be prepared to send a fax or pdf of the search warrant via email to the OGC. It is the role of the OGC to assess the validity and scope of the search warrant and assist in determining the most appropriate method of response that is least disruptive to business operations. It is the role of campus police and security to assist in ensuring that the search warrant is properly executed (e.g., ensuring that the search does not exceed the scope of the warrant.)

    6. If the search warrant authorizes the agent to seize computers or data storage equipment, advise the agent that you need to contact your local IT support team to obtain a backup copy of any data before the computers are removed. Do not attempt to delete or alter any data.

    7. Request a written inventory listing everything that was seized during the search. The inventory should be signed by the agent with the time, date, and the agent’s full contact information.

    8. Meet with an attorney in the OGC to continue to discuss the search and seizure process and appropriate next steps.​

IV. Conflicts of Interest

  • What is a "Conflict of Interest?"

    In the simplest terms, a "Conflict of Interest" is a conflict between an individual’s private or personal interests and the interests of the entity to which he or she has official responsibilities as a person in a position of trust. At Rutgers, a conflict of interest exists when there is the potential that a person in a position of trust may put his or her own interests ahead of his or her duties and obligations to the University.
     

  • Are there any laws or policies that articulate the conflict of interest standards for Rutgers employees?

    Yes. Both the New Jersey Conflict of Interests Law and Rutgers Code of Ethics define and provide examples of instances where a Rutgers employee may have a conflict of interest.
     

  • What are some of the essential principles of ethics applicable to all employees?

    There are three essential principles in all ethics and conflicts rules:
     

    1. Rutgers employment shall not be used to obtain “unwarranted privileges and advantages” for oneself or others;
       
    2. Rutgers employees are to conduct their duties objectively and maintain the independence which fosters objectivity. Rutgers employees shall avoid any outside interests which could inappropriately benefit them due to their role as University employees or influence their University activities;
       
    3. Rutgers employees should avoid the appearance of impropriety.
       
  • Are there any policies that specifically apply to the outside activities of Faculty?

    Yes. Rutgers has a policy on Conflicts of Interest – Faculty (Policy 60.5.8), that addresses the professional activities (including outside employment) in which faculty may engage. The policy makes clear that faculty members may engage in outside employment and professional activities
    that are neither adverse to the interests of Rutgers or "trade" on the faculty members’ employment at Rutgers to secure inappropriate privileges or advantages for themselves or others.

    Examples from the policy regarding conflicts of interest are:

    1. Orienting University research, teaching, or other University activity for inappropriate private advantage or, without disclosure to the University, to serve the needs of outside individuals, organizations, or institutions with which the faculty member is associated for financial gain.
       
    2. Transmitting, without disclosure to and approval by the University, to outside individuals, organizations, or institutions with which the faculty member is associated for financial gain, or other inappropriate nonacademic use for financial gain or other private advantage, of University-sponsored work products, results, materials, records, or information that are not made generally available.
       
    3. Undertaking for financial gain or other private advantage, and without permission from the University, either in the employment of oneself or in that of outside individuals, organizations, or institutions, contracted research or other similar contracted professional activity that the faculty member would normally engage in under University auspices.
       
    4. Participating in or influencing the purchase or lease of equipment, instruments, materials, or other items for University use from individuals, organizations, or institutions with which the faculty member is associated for financial gain without disclosure of the association to the University.
       
    5. Using University equipment, materials, services, students, or facilities without proper authorization, and compensation where appropriate, for the faculty member's own benefit or for the benefit of other individuals, organizations, or institutions with which the faculty member is associated for financial gain.
       
    6. Accepting gifts, favors, or services having value from individuals, organizations, or institutions seeking access to University facilities or programs, or with which the University does business, under circumstances that might reasonably be interpreted as an attempt to influence the recipient in the conduct of his or her duties.
       
  • Is compensation received from royalties for published works or Honoria considered "Outside Employment?"

    No. Although Conflicts of Interest – Faculty (Policy 60.5.8) defines "Outside Employment" as "all work for which one is compensated by any source other than Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey," it specifically notes that outside employment does not include ". . . compensation for published or creative works in one's field or honoraria for commissioned papers and occasional lectures." What is included within the definition is "self-employment, as well as part-time employment, consulting, advising, research, and teaching for other employers."
     

  • Is there a policy related to Conflicts of Interest in Research?

    Yes. The Investigator Conflict of Interest policy (Policy 90.2.5) was developed to identify and manage actual or perceived conflicts of interest that may arise in research. The purpose is to ensure the integrity, objectivity and freedom of inquiry by Rutgers' investigators, and the safety and welfare of human research subjects.
     

  • Does the New Jersey Conflict of Interest Law apply to members of the Board of Governors, members of the Board of Trustees, and University Officers?

    Yes. There is a Conflicts of Interest Policy for Members of the Boards of Governors and Trustees, the Camden Board of Directors, and University Officers (Policy 50.1.12) that specifically and clearly describes how the New Jersey Conflict of Interest law applies to members of both the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees, as well as University Officers (as those Officers are defined in the Board of Governor’s Bylaws III.A.)
     

  • Is there anywhere I can get further information on Conflicts of Interest?

    Yes. The Rutgers Office of Enterprise Risk Management, Ethics and Compliance (“ERM”) maintains a website that has direct links to an Ethics FAQ, policies and forms related to the avoidance of conflicts of interest. ERM has also developed a helpful "Plain Language Guide" that explains when Conflicts of Interest may arise, how best to avoid them and how to deal with them when they cannot be avoided.

V. Tax Exempt Status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

  • I know Rutgers is a 501(c)(3). What does this mean?

    Currently, entities that have received IRS designation as a 501(c)(3) have certain benefits, namely, they can procure certain goods and services without paying sales taxes and they are generally exempt from paying income tax at an entity level for income related to the entity’s exempt purpose. In addition, individuals and entities who gift money or property to a 501(c)(3) can also receive a tax benefit based on the value of the gift or property. Rutgers is a “dual entity” under the Federal Internal Revenue Code meaning Rutgers has been designated as a 501(c)(3) but, because Rutgers is an instrumentality of the State of New Jersey, Rutgers is also considered a “Section 115” entity – which refers to Section 115 of the Internal Revenue Code. The income to a Section 115 entity also is exempt from federal income tax. For more information about taxes generally, please see the Office of the University Controller's tax-services web page.
     

  • Can I obtain 501(c)(3) designation for an entity within Rutgers in which I work?

    No one at Rutgers should form, attempt to form, or consider forming a corporate entity and/or attempt to obtain a 501(c)(3) designation for any official business of Rutgers without permission of the University. Any questions regarding Rutgers’ tax status, or whether it might be a good idea to form a 501(c)(3) entity should first be discussed with a member of the OGC and with the University’s Tax Director.
     

VI. Intellectual Property

  • What is Rutgers' policy on the ownership of inventions?

    All University personnel (including faculty, staff, persons holding any form of research appointment, visiting professors, visiting scientists, undergraduate and graduate students, graduate assistants, teaching assistants and post-doctoral fellows) and all other persons with inventions that result in whole or in part from the use of University facilities or resources are subject to the Rutgers University Patent Policy (Policy 50.3.1). Pursuant to this policy, all such inventions must be disclosed and assigned to the University. The federal Bayh-Dole Act allows universities to be the owners of intellectual property created through federally funded research (e.g., NIH, NSF, and NCI). The University Patent Policy pertaining to legacy UMDNJ personnel is Policy 50.3.14. These Policies describe the requirements regarding the disclosure and assignment of rights to the University, the return of rights to the inventor under certain circumstances, and the distribution of income resulting from the licensing, sale or assignment of inventions discovered by University personnel.
     

  • Who should I contact if I create an invention or discovery?

    You should contact Rutgers’ Office of Research Commercialization (ORC) by completing and submitting a Notice of Invention Form.
     

  • Where can I learn details of the patent and licensing process at Rutgers?

    Invention disclosure review, patent application filing and prosecution, patent licensing, and non-disclosure agreements related to patents and licensing are handled by Rutgers' Office of Research Commercialization. Helpful information can be found on the ORC website.
     

  • How are patent rights treated in sponsored research?

    Rutgers retains ownership of patent rights resulting from sponsored research in most instances. Sponsored research projects with public and private not for profit sponsors are handled by Rutgers' Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP). ORSP assists faculty and departmental staff in navigating through the proposal submission and award set up process. Helpful information can be found at ORSP's website. Sponsored research projects with industrial sponsors are handled by Rutgers’ Office of Corporate Contracts. The Office of Corporate Contracts also handles non-disclosure agreements related to research matters, material transfer agreements, and clinical trial agreements. Helpful information can be found here.
     

  • Can Rutgers be liable for patent infringement of third party patents by virtue of work performed by a Rutgers researcher?

    Rutgers researchers may be accused of patent infringement and Rutgers could potentially have liability for such infringement. If you are accused of infringement, you must immediately contact the OGC.
     

  • What if a company wants to obtain a license to use a Rutgers trademark?

    If you are contacted by a company seeking a license to use the Rutgers University Trademarks (e.g., "Scarlet Knights"), please contact the University Communications and Marketing's Licensing Office.
     

  • Who should I contact if I have created potentially copyrightable content, such as text, video, images, media or software? (MN/EM)

    If you have created potentially copyrightable content (in your Rutgers’ capacity), such as text, video, images, media or software, you should contact Rutgers’ ORC by completing and submitting a Notice of Authorship Form or a Notice of Software Form.
     

  • How can I obtain answers on other copyright-related questions, including concerns about copyright infringement?

    The University has a comprehensive guide to copyright for faculty, students and staff at http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/copyright. This site provides links to all the relevant University policies and has extensive information about the use of copyright materials and the rights of copyrights holders.

    You should call OGC regarding copyright matters such as:
     

    1. If you have a question as to whether the copyright to a particular work belongs to the University or not;
       
    2. If you receive notice from a third party that you or the University is infringing on that party’s copyright; and
       
    3. If you believe that a work to which the University owns the copyright is being infringed.
  • While OGC can help advise you regarding Rutgers-owned works or use of third party works in connection with Rutgers activities, it cannot provide advice regarding works to which you own copyright. If you need legal advice regarding personal copyright matters, please see the section of these FAQs regarding seeking personal counsel.
     

VII. Student Records

  • What should I do if I get a request for student records?

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 ("FERPA"), is a federal law governing the rights of students and institutional responsibilities with respect to the maintenance and disclosure of student records. Under FERPA, students have rights to inspect and review their educational records, have some control over the disclosure of information from their educational records, and may seek to amend incorrect educational records.

    FERPA does not mandate that a student be provided with a copy of his or her educational records. FERPA requires that the student be permitted, within forty-five (45) days of making a proper request to the correct party, to review and inspect his or her educational records.

    More information about FERPA may be obtained here: or by contacting the Rutgers Office of Enterprise Risk Management, Ethics and Compliance and the University Director of Privacy at 973-972-8093 or online at ferparu@rutgers.edu.
     

  • What is a student record under FERPA?

    Student records are also known as "educational records" under FERPA. Educational records are defined as records that are:

    1. Directly related to the student, and

    2. Maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution (such as a Registrar or Financial Aid specialist).

    Educational records are NOT: records which are kept in the sole possession of the maker, law enforcement unit records, employment records, medical records* or post-attendance records.

    * Health records of care received at University-run clinics are characterized under FERPA not as Educational Records, but as Medical Records. There are separate rules and regulations governing when and how these Medical Records can be disclosed, even to the individual student.
     

VIII. International Students and Scholars (AB)

  • I am an international student or scholar and I have questions about my visa or immigration status. What should I do?

    The Center for Global Services provides immigration-related advising and processing and cross-cultural programs for international students and scholars, as well as their spouses and dependents. The Center also serves to clarify federal regulations and assist members of the campus community in the cultural adjustment process.

    You can also contact one of the following offices for additional support:

    1. Rutgers – New Brunswick, Center for Global Services, GAIA Centers, 848-932-7015
       
    2. Rutgers – Newark, Office of International Students and Scholars, 973-353-1427
       
    3. Rutgers – Camden, Office of International Students & Global Programs, 856-225-6832
       
    4. Rutgers – Biomedical & Health Sciences (RBHS) – Center for Global Services, GAIA Centers, 973-972-6138
  • How can I receive support in hiring international scholars?

    Rutgers recognizes the need for worldwide recruitment for both long- and short-term positions. The appointment of foreign nationals is a complex matter involving three United States government agencies—the Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Labor. The University is constrained by the regulations of these agencies and by immigration acts enacted by Congress, including the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which sanctions employers for employing individuals not authorized to work in the United States. To ensure their departmental hiring authorities comply with Federal regulations concerning the employment of short and long-term employees, please refer to the Employment of Foreign Nationals Policy (Policy 60.1.2).

    If you have specific questions you would like to have answered by someone at Rutgers, you can contact one of the following offices for additional support:
     

    1. Rutgers – New Brunswick, Center for Global Services, GAIA Centers, 848-932-7015
       
    2. Rutgers – Newark, Office of International Students and Scholars, 973-353-1427
       
    3. Rutgers – Camden, Office of International Students & Global Programs, 856-225-6832
       
    4. Rutgers – Biomedical & Health Sciences (RBHS) – Center for Global Services, GAIA Centers, 973-972-6138
       
    5. Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, 848-932-4889
       
    6. Office of the Vice President for International and Global Affairs, 848-932-1777
       

IX. Employment-Related Issues

  • Where can I make an employment-related complaint or express my concerns about an employment issue? I am a supervisor, where can I get assistance in responding to colleagues’ complaints or concerns?

    Rutgers University Human Resources ("UHR") can support both complainants and supervisors in addressing employee complaints and concerns.

    The Office of Employment Equity investigates complaints of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, discrimination and harassment based on protected class, workplace violence, and Conscientious Employee Protection Policy (“whistleblower”) violations. Protected classifications include race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age, veteran status, and any other category covered by law.
     

  • Where can I be supported in making or responding to a request for disability or religious accommodations?

    The Office of Employment Equity is responsible for coordinating the University's efforts to provide reasonable accommodations based on an employee's disability or religious observances and/or practices.
     

  • I would like to obtain a background check for a person I am hoping to hire. What should I do?

    All background checks are conducted by University HR or by the Office of Labor Relations based upon job category and/or the applicable legal requirement. Information from UHR on obtaining background checks is available here:
     

  • An individual or agency is conducting a background investigation or reference check about a current or former faculty or staff member and is requesting information and/or asking questions. What should I do?

    Direct the requestor to the UHR Service Center at 848-932-3020 or at info@hr.rutgers.edu.
     

X. HIPAA Privacy and Security

Rutgers is committed to protecting "protected health information" in accordance with all applicable New Jersey and federal laws. Rutgers Policies Governing the Privacy of Protected Health Information can be found in the Rutgers Policy Library in Section 100.
 

  • What is Protected Health Information (PHI)?

    "Protected Health Information" means individually identifiable health information that relates to the past, present or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual, the provision of health care to an individual or the past, present or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual and identifies or could reasonably be used to identify the individual.

    Protected Health Information excludes individually identifiable health information in: (a) Education records covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and (b) Employment records held by a covered entity in its role as employer.
     

  • What information makes medical information "identifiable"?
    1. Names
       
    2. Street address, city, county, precinct, zip code, and equivalent geocodes
       
    3. All elements of dates (except year) for dates directly related to the individual, including birth date, admission date, discharge date, date of death, and all ages over 89 and all elements of dates (including year) indicative of such age, except that such ages and elements may be aggregated into a single category of 90 or older
       
    4. Birth date
       
    5. Telephone numbers
       
    6. Fax numbers
       
    7. Electronic mail addresses
       
    8. Social security number
       
    9. Medical record number
       
    10. Health plan beneficiary number
       
    11. Account numbers
       
    12. Certificate/license number
       
    13. Any vehicle identifiers and serial numbers, including license plate numbers
       
    14. Web Universal Resource Locator (URL)
       
    15. Internet Protocol (IP) address number
       
    16. Finger or voice prints; biometric identifiers
       
    17. Full face photographic images; and any comparable images
       
    18. Any other unique identifying number, characteristic, or code that a Rutgers provider has reason to believe may be identifiable to an anticipated recipient of the information.
       
  • What laws govern the handling of Protected Health Information?

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) establishes rules and regulations regarding access and disclosure to protected health information. Under HIPAA, protected health information, or PHI, is individually identifiable health information. New Jersey law also protects patient information from disclosure and includes heightened protections for the disclosure of certain types of particularly sensitive medical information (i.e., mental health and substance abuse records). Another federal law commonly known as "Part 2" protects substance abuse records in some instances (depending on where and from whom services are delivered).

    Rutgers patients all receive a Notice of Privacy Practices which outlines how our providers use and disclose PHI. The Rutgers Notice of Privacy Practices describes the rights of patients cared for by Rutgers providers.
     

  • What are a patient’s rights related to their PHI?

    HIPAA provides the following patient rights:

    1. To request that we communicate with the patient confidentially;
    2. To see or receive a copy of health information;
    3. For some disclosures, to receive a list of with whom Rutgers shared information;
    4. To request an amendment change to the medical record;
    5. To receive a copy of Rutgers’ Notice of Privacy Practices;
    6. To make a complaint;
      • Complaints may be made by
        ▪ contacting the Rutgers Privacy Officer at 973-972-8093;
        ▪ contacting the anonymous compliance hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-215-9664;
        ▪ by submitting an online report; or
        ▪ by making a complaint with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
    7. For certain purposes, such as marketing, the right to provide permission before PHI may be used or shared.
       
  • What happens if PHI is disclosed or accessed in an inappropriate manner?

    Under HIPAA regulations, if PHI is disclosed or accessed in an inappropriate manner, typically an investigation will take place to determine if a breach has occurred. A breach will result in notification to the affected individual(s).

    The Rutgers Compliance Office is responsible for receiving complaints alleging violation(s) of HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules, and for investigating and resolving these allegations. You can reach the Compliance Office at:

    Privacy Officer University Ethics and Compliance
    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
    Stanley S. Bergen, Jr.
    Building 65 Bergen Street Suite 1346
    Newark, New Jersey 07107
    973-972-8093

    The role of the Rutgers Privacy Program is more fully described in the Rutgers policy governing Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information.

    The University Ethics and Compliance Office works closely with the Office of the Senior Vice President and General Counsel in determining if a breach has occurred.

    Rutgers takes the privacy of its patients seriously. Please contact the University Ethics and Compliance Office at 973-972-8093 or submit an anonymous report through the Rutgers Compliance Hotline. Alternatively, you can speak with a Rutgers lawyer with any questions by contacting the Office of the Senior Vice President and General Counsel at 848-932-7697.

XI. Minors on Campus

Rutgers serves more than 80,000 minors annually. University students, faculty and staff interact with youth in many ways: as coach, counselor, mentor, researcher, teacher, or volunteer – either on behalf of Rutgers directly, or with an outside agency hosting minors in a Rutgers owned or operated facility. Rutgers is committed to protecting the safety of minors participating in University-sponsored programs or in programs operated by outside entities that are held in University facilities. To help achieve this goal, Rutgers maintains a robust protection of minors program under the direction of the Protection of Minors Steering Committee (protectminors@rutgers.edu).
The Protection of Minors website includes links to the University’s Protection of Minors Policy (Policy 30.1.9), as well as resources such as the University’s Guide to Working with Minors; Resources for Program Directors and Principal Investigators; Information for External Programs Hosting Minors at Rutgers; the portal to the Protection of Minors Database; and detailed answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Below is some basic information from those resources; the OGC recommends that all University students, faculty, staff and external programs hosting minors at Rutgers review the information on the University’s Protection of Minors Website.
 

  • Who is a minor?

    A minor is a person under the age of eighteen (18) years.
     

  • What safeguards are in place to protect minors at the University?

    The Protection of Minors program is focused on protecting all minors and informing the entire University community of their duty to report suspected child abuse and neglect. The University’s Protection of Minors Policy (Policy 30.1.9) requires mandatory: (1) reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect; (2) annual program registration; (3) completion of an online training program; and (4) background and sex offender registry checks.
     

  • Are any programs or activities exempt from the Protection of Minors policy?

    While all suspected instances of abuse or neglect of a minor must be reported under the Protection of Minors Policy (Policy 30.1.9) and state law, other policy requirements (for example those related to training and background checks) do not apply to minors enrolled in the undergraduate program, Summer/Winter Session courses, or minors employed by Rutgers University. For example, events on campus that are open to the public and which minors attend at the sole discretion of their parents or legal guardians, or private events where minors attend under parental or legal guardian supervision, do not need to comply with the registration, training, and/or background check requirements of the Protection of Minors Policy.
     

  • How does the Protection of Minors policy relate to other University policies which specifically apply to minors?

    The Protection of Minors Policy (Policy 30.1.9) provides a minimum standard of conduct. All policies at a departmental or unit level that deal with interactions with minors must reference the Protection of Minors policy and must not provide for a standard of conduct below that provided in the Protection of Minors Policy. However, the Protection of Minors Policy does not supersede or diminish stricter standards provided by patient care policies that relate to the treatment of minors, research policies that relate to the inclusion of minors in research, and any other area which provides greater protections.
     

  • Are there any additional requirements when minors work in a research laboratory?

    Yes, there are additional requirements when a minor is working in a research laboratory. Consult the Rutgers Environmental Health and Safety webpage for additional information relating to Volunteers and Minors in the Laboratory.
     

  • Should a program that involves only one minor be subject to the requirements of the Protection of Minors policy?

    Yes, even programs that involve one (1) minor must comply with the requirements of the Protection of Minors Policy (Policy 30.1.9). However, minors enrolled or matriculating at Rutgers are exempted from the Policy.
     

  • Does the Protection of Minors Policy apply to external programs hosting minors at Rutgers?

    Non-University organizations that wish to utilize Rutgers University facilities for youth-service programs or activities must ensure that their programs are run consistent with the guidelines of the University’s Protection of Minors Policy (Policy 30.1.9) and the Guide to Working with Minors. All contracts for the use of University facilities by outside parties for activities involving minors must provide a link to the Protection of Minors Policy and reference the requirements for program registration, training and background checks. More information and suggested contract language is available at:

    http://protectminors.rutgers.edu/externalprograms.php
     

XII. Political Activities

  • Are there rules relating to University employees engaging in political activities?

    The University Policy on Electoral Political Activities and the Use of University Resources, (Policy 50.3.4), acknowledges that the university community has a right to participate or not, as in the election process. However, as an institution, the University shall be free of partisanship and may not participate or intervene in any political campaign. No member of the University community may speak or act in the name of the University in a political campaign. Those who in their official capacity speak for the University should make it clear when expressing individual views that they are not stating a University position.
     

  • What are some activities in which members of the University community may engage in their official University functions or in University settings when consistent with University Policy?

     

  1. Discuss ideological or political issues or teach about political issues or techniques
  2. Engage in academic endeavors which address public policy
  3. Conduct scholarly research on the effects of a campaign proposal on the university, state, economy, etc.
  4. Compile and assemble data and other factual information on the effects of a campaign proposal
  5. Disseminate factual material and/or the results of scholarly research to news organizations, academic journals, etc.
  6. Post factual material and/or the results of research to a University web site
  7. Plan conferences, forums, symposia or panel discussions -- or invite guest speakers to campus -- to discuss campaign-related issues
  • What are some examples of activities in which members of the University community may engage only on their own time (provided they do not use University resources and do not say or imply they are acting on behalf of the University)?

     

  1. Contribute money to a political campaign
  2. Act as a campaign volunteer by writing letters, making phone calls, knocking on doors or distributing flyers in support of or opposition to a political campaign
  3. Organize or attend rallies in support of or opposition to a political campaign
  4. Write letters to the editor or op-ed pieces for publication
  5. Give speeches or participate in debates
  6. Write to elected officials to express their opinion
  • Are employees allowed to campaign as political candidates?

    Employees campaigning as political candidates for local, state or federal offices shall do so only on their own time.
     

  • May candidates for public office speak at commencement or convocation ceremonies?

    No. It is longstanding University practice not to invite declared candidates to speak at any of the commencement or convocation ceremonies in order to avoid any appearance of showing favoritism in a political campaign.

XIII. Charitable Giving

As set forth in the Charitable Contributions and Expending University Funds Related to Charitable Causes Policy (Policy 20.1.15), “Rutgers makes contributions to the state and local communities through its outreach efforts in the areas of education, research, and public service. By policy, it prohibits the use of public funds to make monetary contributions to other organizations or causes. Only authorized representatives of the university may expend university discretionary, non-state funds for approved purposes.”
 

  • As a Rutgers employee, am I allowed to make contributions to charitable organizations using my own money or funds?

    Rutgers policy does not prevent or in any way discourage Rutgers employees or individuals associated with Rutgers from making contributions to whatever causes they choose from their own funds.
     

  • As a Rutgers employee, can I use my Rutgers email to solicit charitable donations for a charitable organization that I support?

    No. You cannot use Rutgers email or resources to make University-wide solicitations. (Policy 60.1.9) University-wide solicitations for charitable purposes are prohibited, with the exception of university-sponsored programs such as the Rutgers Foundation, the University Condolence Fund and the Employees’ Combined Charities Campaign.
     

  • As a Rutgers employee, can I use Rutgers monetary sources to make charitable donations for an organization that I support or wish to give to?

    No. Rutgers monetary or State-funded resources may not be used to make charitable donations. In fact, no University resources, whether state or non-state, may be used for donations.
     

  • Does Rutgers institutionally support charitable organizations?

    Yes. Only authorized representatives of the University (the President, Executive Vice Presidents, and Chancellors), or their designees, may expend University funds for such purposes as entertaining visiting scholars at lunches or dinners, hosting social engagements to promote a particular program or activity, supporting tables at charitable events, purchasing advertisements in program books and other types of social interactions categorized as "official functions."
     

XIV. Gaming Including Raffles and Lotteries

  • Is gambling illegal in New Jersey?

    Yes, except where permitted by law (such as casinos and racetracks), gambling is an illegal activity in the State of New Jersey. Specifically, N.J.S.A. 2A:40-1, states: "All wagers, bets or stakes made to depend upon any race or game, or upon any gaming by lot or chance, or upon any lot, chance, casualty or unknown or contingent event, shall be unlawful."
     

  • Is a lottery illegal?

    It is. N.J.S.A. 2C:37-1 (h) defines a Lottery as: ". . . an unlawful gambling scheme in which (a) the players pay or agree to pay something of value for chances, represented and differentiated by numbers or by combinations of numbers or by some other media, one or more of which chances are to be designated the winning ones; and (b) the winning chances are to be determined by a drawing or by some other method based upon the element of chance; and (c) the holders of the winning chances are to receive something of value."
     

  • Can a student organization run a raffle as a fundraiser?

    Yes, subject to the Events and Program Planning Guidelines and consistent with the laws of the State of New Jersey. Regulations setting forth the necessary requirements for any "Games of Legalized Chance" to take place (and how they are to be advertised, organized and run) are found in the New Jersey Administrative Code at sections 13:47-1.1 through 13:47-20.41.

    Games of Chance, limited to raffles and bingo, are lawful activities in the State of New Jersey when, and only when, the sponsoring organization is registered with the state and licensed with the local township in which the drawing takes place and the prizes are awarded. The initial procedure to register a sponsoring organization and license their activity is as follows. Additional guidelines from the New Jersey Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission may apply once a sponsoring organization becomes registered.

    The sponsoring organization must first submit an Initial Affidavit and Application for Biennial Registration (found at: http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/lgccc/ at the bottom of the page, click Applications), along with the organization’s constitution and bylaws, to the New Jersey Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission. Political clubs and organizations are not eligible to apply for registration.

    For additional information, contact:

    New Jersey Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission
    P.O. Box 46000
    Newark, NJ 07101
    (973)- 273-8000 phone
    (973)-648-4908 fax
    http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/lgccc/

    Special Note: Rutgers in no way endorses or encourages organizations to hold or sponsor bingo and raffle events. The above procedures have been enumerated for information purposes only. The Division of Student Affairs and Rutgers University accept no responsibility or liability for legalized games of chance sponsored by student organizations. Adherence to the appropriate procedures and applicable state and local municipality laws and ordinances is the sole
    responsibility of the sponsoring organization. The sponsoring organization will be in violation of state and local law if tickets are printed and/or sold or if a bingo or raffle event is advertised or publicized prior to receiving the New Jersey registration certificate and the local municipal games of chance license.
     

XV. Serving Alcoholic Beverages at University Events or other Events on Campus

  • May alcoholic beverages be served on campus?
    The sale, provision, serving, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the Rutgers campuses are regulated by federal and state laws and by local ordinances. All members of the University community are obligated to obey these laws, regulations, and ordinances. The University does not have the authority to alter the laws or secure exemption from them. Members of the University are individually responsible for determining how applicable laws, regulations, and ordinances apply to them, and for obeying them.

    A license is needed to sell alcohol in the state of New Jersey. No member of the University community may sell alcoholic beverages to any person of any age without a license or special permit issued by the New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. See New Jersey Statutes Annotated N.J.S.A. 33:1-2 and Title 33 of the New Jersey Statutes, generally.

    By policy, the use of alcoholic beverages at social functions on the Rutgers campuses is restricted to those functions open to members of sponsoring departments/organizations and their invited guests where service of alcohol is restricted to those of legal drinking age as defined by pertinent New Jersey Statutes. Such functions must be restricted to areas designated by the deans, chancellors, or vice presidents. In all cases, state laws governing the dispensing of alcoholic beverages must be observed and the Alcohol or Other Drugs Policy for Employees (Policy 60.1.11) and the Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy for Students (Policy 10.2.14) must be followed.
     

  • What other laws are applicable to serving alcohol on campus?

    A person who is below the legal drinking age of 21 years of age may not acquire, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages on any University property or at any University-sponsored event. See N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15.

    A person who is of legal drinking age (21 years of age or older) may not give any alcoholic beverage to a minor, assist or allow a minor to acquire or consume any alcoholic beverage, except a parent or guardian of the minor, if the alcoholic beverage is consumed for religious observance, ceremony, or rite. See N.J.S.A. 2C:33-17; N.J.S.A. 33:1-81.
     

  • How may I obtain a license to sell alcohol?

    Generally, the University does not obtain a license to sell alcohol, but will enter into a professional service provider agreement with a third-party that has a license. University Procurement Services and/or the OGC should be contacted in this regard.
     

 

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