School of Nursing: Policy On Intellectual Property


School of Nursing: Policy On Intellectual Property

Unit Policy



To be evaluated at next review.

Scope of Applicability

To be evaluated at next review.


Policy Statement

Concern over "who owns what" has promoted the faculty to consider the copyright and transmission of intellectual property in the School of Nursing. Using the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Copyright Policy1 the Faculty Executive Committee has developed a policy for the sharing of intellectual property in the School of Nursing.

Intellectual property is what results from unique or original intellectual activity. When this work is created in tangible form, it is automatically protected by federal copyright. While the legal system might find that the copyright resulting from "work for hire" belongs to the employing university, universities have generally granted the copyright to the faculty member developing the work. Faculty have been permitted to retain the ownership of their copyrighted works including teaching materials (such as presentations, notes, syllabi and demonstration materials). The exception to automatically granting copyright to the faculty occurs when the work involves exceptional use of University resources. Exceptional resources at UNC-Chapel Hill have been defined as resources that are not routinely made available to faculty. For work to be seen as being created through the use of exceptional resources it must be deemed to be so by the Division Chair, Program Director or Associate Dean contracting with the faculty member for the work and that claim should be in a written agreement between the faculty member and the administrator prior to the work commencing. Work created using exceptional resources may be copyrighted by the University, jointly copyrighted by the University and the faculty member or transferred to the faculty member.

Intellectual Property in the School of Nursing

  1. Syllabi are the property of the faculty member teaching courses in the SON. Although a faculty member maintains the copyright to a syllabus, faculty are expected to share with other faculty the "barebones" of a syllabus. The "barebones" of a syllabus are the course description, the course objectives, the topical outline (without readings) and a list of the assignments for the course. These elements essentially belong to the course and the School of Nursing rather than to a faculty member. The list of assignments includes only the assignment categories, e.g., midterm examination, critique paper, and class presentation.
  2. "Barebones" syllabi are to be given to the division and, if requested, to the Program Division. The delivery can be digital. Program Directors will assure that the descriptions, objectives, topical outline are current and consistent with the required language. Once the Program Directors have ensured the accuracy of the "barebones" syllabi it will be placed on the "P drive."
  3. Full paper copies of syllabi need to be given to OAA each semester for their files which includes, at a minimum the description, objectives, topical outline, readings, assignments and other course requirements. Any grading system or grading scale used should be included. OAA can only share paper copies of syllabi in accordance with #6 below.
  4. Notes, overheads, PowerPoint presentations, test questions or other materials developed for courses taught in the SON are the property of the faculty member who developed them. Although there is no requirement that faculty share these materials with other faculty, we encourage faculty member's willingness to share with each other.
  5. Faculty guest lecturing in courses may provide materials related to the guest lecture to the course coordinator. These materials belong to the guest lecturer and may not be used by the course coordinator or other faculty in the course without expressed permission of the guest faculty member.
  6. Paper copies of syllabi on file in an administrative office in the SON will be shared with other faculty in the SON or with visitors to the SON only with prior permission from the faculty member developing the syllabi. Executive Committees needing access to OAA copies of syllabi will inform the involved faculty before they obtain copies of the syllabi. Any administrative office in the SON will never distribute digital copies of syllabi. CITES cannot distribute or share any faculty member's work without expressed permission from that faculty member.
  7. There are no restrictions on the internal use of syllabi developed by faculty who have subsequently left the SON.



Contact Information

Policy Contact

Theresa Raphael-Grimm, Faculty Chair

Other Contacts


Important Dates

  • Effective Date and title of Approver: 11/8/2004

Approved by:

Theresa Raphael-Grimm

Faculty Chair


Article ID: 132377
Thu 4/8/21 9:30 PM
Fri 11/19/21 2:36 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
11/08/2004 11:00 PM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Clinical Professor
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
11/08/2004 11:00 PM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
11/08/2004 11:00 PM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
11/08/2004 11:00 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
School of Nursing