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RESEARCH INFORMATION AND GUIDELINES

 

Copyright and Intellectual Property

            Issues regarding copyright and ownership of intellectual property created while in the employ of Texas A&M International University are covered in TAMUS Policy 17.01, “Intellectual Property Management and Commercialization.”  Particular attention should be paid to section 17.01.02, “Ownership of Intellectual Property and Tangible Research Property (TRP).”

 

Hazardous Waste

            The Texas Hazard Communication Act of 1985, Texas Civil Statutes, Article 5182b requires that Texas A&M International University provide faculty with certain specific information concerning the use and disposal of hazardous materials.  For a complete description of the statute and its implications, see TAMUS Policy 34.02 Section 2.

 

Human Subjects

            All research projects conducted by members of the TAMIU community involving human subjects must be approved by the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or be exempt from IRB review by federal statute.  Both faculty and student researchers must contact the Office of the Provost for the latest information regarding IRB approval and exemption procedures.

            The University’s IRB number registered with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is as follows: IRB 00002613.  The Federal-Wide number for the Assurance for the Protection of Human Subjects (see DHHS website) is as follows: FWA 00003404.

 

Inventions, Patents, and Creations

            TAMUS policy regarding inventions, patents, and creations is outlined in TAMUS Policy 17.01.  The ownership rests with the creator, unless the University commissions the creation.

 

Scientific Misconduct and Animal Research

            TAMUS research policies, restrictions and constraints are outlined in TAMUS Policy 15.01.

 

Study Leave and Faculty Development Leave

            Faculty on leave will be given the same considerations as faculty on campus with regard to salary, tenure, seniority and all other rights and privileges, except as explicitly exempted in the terms of the request for leave and the approval of the leave.

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Study Leave

 

            Without Pay

            Upon recommendation and approval of the Dean, Provost and President and submission to the Chancellor for approval by the TAMUS Board of Regents, a leave of absence without pay for travel or study may be granted to a teaching member of the faculty who has been employed for at least three years.  A leave will not be granted for longer than twelve months at one time, but an extension for additional time may be granted if conditions warrant and permit it.

 

            With Pay (Faculty Development Leave)

            The purpose of this procedure is to meet the objectives of faculty development as outlined in the Texas Education Code, Section 51.102: to provide a program of leaves of absence that would enable faculty members to engage in study, research, writing, and similar projects.  In effect, the legislature aims to improve higher education by providing opportunities for professional growth at colleges and universities, thereby increasing the value of the recipient’s sustained contribution.  Thus, faculty development leaves are part of a plan of compensation for faculty.

            Faculty development leave may be granted to persons employed by Texas A&M International University who are full-time tenured faculty or equivalent.  Faculty duties include teaching, research, administration (who have no more than ¼ release time for administration) and/or professional services.  Faculty development leave may not be granted to persons in the classified personnel system of the University.

            Eligibility is limited to tenured, full-time faculty members:

 

  • With at least seven years of service at this University;
  • With at least six years of service since their last development leave; and
  • Who have submitted acceptable report(s) from previous leave(s).

 

           The Faculty Development Leave Committee (FDLC) shall be chaired by the current President of the Faculty Senate and shall consist of one tenured faculty member from each college and/or free standing academic unit, with the exception of the College of Arts and Sciences, which shall have two representatives.  The Faculty Senate will conduct elections during April, polling faculty from each college to determine its representative.  Members elected in April will begin their terms the next school year, beginning in September.  Faculty members are not eligible for faculty development leave during their tenure on the committee.

            All elections shall be for three-year terms.  When vacancies occur, the Faculty Senate shall designate a replacement to fill the unexpired term.  The President of the Faculty Senate is responsible for all matters pertaining to the election of FDLC members.

            The FDLC will recommend an application deadline to the Provost who, in turn, will notify the faculty.  Normally, the application deadline will be no later than November 1 of the

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Fall Semester preceding the academic year for which the award is sought.  For example, if faculty members were seeking leave during the fall and/or spring term of 2009-2010, they would apply in November 2008.

            An applicant will submit a completed application for approval to the appropriate department head in accord with the deadline established by the FDLC.  Upon receipt of the applications by the academic department, further routing will be as follows: from the department chair to the Dean, and to the Office of the Provost.  The department chair must indicate how the faculty member’s classes will be covered (including an estimate of costs).  Each administrative officer will have one week to comment and forward the application packet.  The Provost will then forward packets to the FDLC for ranking.

            The FDLC will return rankings to the Provost, who will review and forward the rankings to the President.  The FDLC reserves the right to interview applicants when needed for clarification in ranking applications.  Leaves will be considered final upon recommendation by the President, who will cause to be provided written acknowledgement of approval to all applicants and the FDLC.

            The FDLC determines and reports the criteria to be used in making its selection recommendations to the Provost.  Current criteria are those cited in Chapter 51, Section 51.102 of the Texas Education Code:

 

                        “On the application of a faculty member, the governing board of an institution of

                        higher education may grant a faculty development leave of absence for study,

                        research, writing, field observations, or other suitable purpose, to a faculty

                        member if the board determines that the faculty member is eligible by reason of

                        service, that the purpose for which a faculty development leave is sought is one

                        for which a faculty development leave may be granted, and that granting the leave

                        will not place on faculty development leave a greater number of faculty members

                        than that authorized.”

 

            Requests for faculty development leave must be approved or disapproved by the department chair.  Impact of the leave on the applicant’s department or program (i.e. describe how the leave will benefit the institution), and other pertinent information, should be addressed in the department chair’s decision.

            Faculty members may hold faculty development leaves for one academic year at one-half their regular salary, or for one-half an academic year at their full salary.  An academic year is defined as the nine-month period contained in the Fall and Spring semesters; development leaves are not authorized for summer sessions.

            Faculty members having signed a legal agreement to serve one full academic year after completion of the leave shall be required to reimburse the University in the amount they receive as salary and fringe benefits if they should fail to fulfill the year of service after the leave.  Permanent disability attested to by a medical doctor would constitute reason for exemption, or an equivalent condition as judged by the Provost.

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            Faculty members on leave will retain their rights and eligibility for benefits to hospitalization, medical insurance, income protection, life insurance, and other such programs (including retirement) in force for full-time faculty members.  The University administration shall cause to be deducted from the leave recipient’s salary the cost of such benefits as permitted by law.

            Within three months of their return from leave, recipients of faculty development leave must provide a written report of their activities to their respective department chairs, who in turn will route the report to the Dean and the Provost.  Recipients will also conduct a forum for discussion with members of their respective colleges.  A copy of the written report, and the agenda for the college discussion, will be submitted to the FDLC, who will report their work to the Faculty Senate at the September meeting of the Faculty Senate.

            This program is restricted to those departments or academic units that are able to release a faculty member without affecting their academic functions and without hiring a replacement, unless funds are available.

            Appropriate funding for faculty development leave is authorized by Title 3, Chapter 51, Section 51.105 of the Texas Education Code:

 

                       “a.  The governing board may grant to a faculty member a faculty development

                       leave either for one academic year at one-half of his [sic] regular salary or for

                       one-half academic year at his [sic] full salary.  Payment of salary to the faculty

                       member on faculty development leave may be made from the funds appropriated

                       by the legislature specifically for that purpose, or from such other funds as might

                       be available to the institution.

 

                       b.  A faculty member on faculty development leave may accept a grant for study,

                       research, or travel from any institution of higher education or governmental

                       agency.  A faculty member on faculty development leave may not accept

                       employment from any other person, corporation, or government, unless the

                       governing board determines that it would be in the public interest to do so

                       and expressly approves the employment.

 

                       c.  It is not required that faculty members obtain matching funds to be eligible for

                       development leave; however, faculty members who are granted development

                       leave are encouraged to seek additional funding from authorized and appropriate

                       external sources.  Applicants must follow guidelines established by the Office of

                       Grant Resources when seeking additional funding.”

 

            The University will supplement the faculty member’s grant or salary paid by the entity sponsoring the development program so that the University compensation will equal half the faculty member’s regular salary for one academic year or his or her full regular salary for half an academic year, subject to availability of funds.  In order for the faculty member to remain eligible for state-paid benefits, the department must submit a Memorandum of Employment

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covering the absence period and attach a copy of the approval of the faculty member’s development leave request to the Office of Human Resources.

            As stated in Title 3, Chapter 51, Section 51.106, not more than six percent of the faculty members of any institution of higher education may be on faculty development leave at any one time.  Additionally, the actual leaves awarded are dependent upon the availability of funds as well as the extent to which proposed leave requires funding.