Issued: July 22, 1994
Owner: Vice Provost for Research
This policy has been migrated to the standardized format.
This policy describes the general guidelines for classified research.
2.0 Policy [Top]
It is the policy of the University of Virginia to encourage the greatest possible freedom of communication of ideas and information in all areas of academic endeavor. However, in some instances, academic inquiry produces results, the full and immediate disclosure of which would be detrimental to the national security of the United States of America. In such cases, it may be appropriate for the University to accept certain limitations on the communication of research results.
The following policy suggests that each classified research project proposed to the University be considered on its own merits. Classified research is defined as research, knowledge of the procedures and results of which, is restricted to individuals with United States government security clearances. The process by which the University shall decide whether to sponsor a particular classified research project proposed by a member of its faculty in included in this policy. Among the factors to be considered in determining whether a particular classified research project is acceptable to the University are the academic merit of the proposed research, the compatibility of the proposed research with the mission of the University, the nature of the restrictions placed on communication of research results, and the contribution of the proposed research to the benefit of humanity.
The University of Virginia does not encourage its faculty to engage in classified research. However, the University does not prohibit such activities.
The University will not approve classified research contracts for which the identity of the sponsor and the general nature of the research cannot be revealed to the public. It is the responsibility of a scholar to reveal in publications and presentations of research results the identity of the sponsors of that research.
A faculty member desiring to engage in classified research is required to submit a written description and justification of the project, its academic merit, and the restrictions on the dissemination of its results. This report will be submitted to the dean of the appropriate school for consideration. The dean will forward the report, along with the dean's recommendations, to the Vice Provost for Research, who will transmit it to the Classified Research Committee (described in Point 4).
Projects involving classified research must be considered by the Classified Research Committee, a standing committee of the Faculty Senate. The Classified Research Committee shall consist of tenured faculty members who are actively engaged in research and teaching. The Classified Research Committee shall consist of five members appointed by the Faculty Senate for three (3) year terms. The Provost may assign two non-voting members with expertise in the area of the proposed research to advise and assist the Committee in making a decision. Among the functions of the Classified Research Committee are:
- To assure that the nature of the proposed research and its intellectual merit are compatible with the academic mission of the University.
- To endeavor to minimize the restrictions placed on dissemination of research results by specifically requiring the faculty member wishing to engage in classified research to justify fully the nature of the restrictions.
- To review ongoing classified research projects to assure that the points listed in (a) and (b) continue to be satisfied. The schedule for reviewing each project would be decided when the project is initially approved. Before a project involving classified research is approved for renewal, the previous project period will be evaluated by the Committee in order to maximize the compatibility of the project with the University's mission and to minimize restrictions on dissemination of results during the next project period.
- To advise the Vice Provost for Research and the Provost of the University. Approval by both the Classified Research Committee and the Provost will be required for University sponsorship of the proposed research. Should the recommendations of the Committee and the Provost differ, the final decision will be made by the President of the University.
Proposed relationships of the University with government agencies that involve the University's participation in managing research facilities at which classified research would be conducted will be subject to the approval process outlined in points 3. and 4.
A research project requiring that access to part of a University facility be restricted to persons with United States government security clearances may not be conducted on the Grounds of the University. The Grounds of the University are defined as the areas where basic teaching and research facilities of the University that are used frequently by members of the University community are located. At the present time, the Grounds consist of the Main Grounds and North Grounds.
No part of a thesis or dissertation submitted for an advanced degree at the University may be classified. Classified research may not be taken into account in decisions about promotion and tenure of faculty until the research has been declassified. It is the policy of the University to discourage the participation of graduate students in classified research.
The Vice Provost for Research shall annually inform the University community of the classified research projects the University sponsors. The information provided shall include the general nature of the research being conducted, the sponsor, and the funding level.
It is the policy of the University to discourage any restriction on its faculty in communicating unclassified information to any individuals, including foreign nationals and institutions, engaged in research at the University or in the international community of scholars.
The University places no restriction on the nature of the activities of its faculty as private consultants to government agencies, except that such activities must conform to the University policy on consulting.
3.0 Definitions [Top]
4.0 References [Top]
5.0 Approvals and Revisions [Top]