Classified/Proprietary Research at UAF

A. In accordance with Regents’ Policy 10.07.02, the University of Alaska will collaborate with external sponsors of classified or proprietary research when the relevant MAU chancellor or designee determines in writing that such collaboration is beneficial to national, state, or local, as well as university interests, and that such research can be conducted while protecting the basic tenets of universities. This determination shall be made in accordance with the procedures set forth in this regulation.

B. Classified or proprietary research is subject to Regents’ Policy, University Regulation, laws, regulations, and MAU rules and procedures applicable to research, provided, however, that the determination required by part A of this regulation, and any approvals related to the status of research as classified or proprietary, shall be subject solely to the process established by this regulation, and provided further that classified or proprietary research shall not by virtue of this regulation be subject to any policy, regulation or procedure that would require or result in unauthorized disclosure of classified or proprietary information.

C. Approval Process

1. When required - Approval of the relevant MAU chancellor or designee must be obtained before:

a. Submission of a grant application or execution of a contract involving classified or proprietary research;
b. Expansion of the scope of existing sponsored research or contract to include classified or proprietary research; or
c. Material expansion of approved classified or proprietary research or contracts.

2. Upon receipt of a request for approval, the chancellor or designee shall consult with the president or designee prior to initiating further review.

3. An MAU which intends to engage in classified or proprietary research shall have a standing advisory committee. Alternatively, the MAU chancellor may designate a standing advisory committee at another MAU for this purpose. To the extent determined feasible by the chancellor, the committee shall review requests for approval and advise the chancellor. Ex officio members of MAU advisory committees shall include the vice president for Academic Affairs or designee, and the MAU vice provost for research or designee, or in the event that position or equivalent does not exist at the MAU, the provost or designee. The chancellor will appoint up to three tenured faculty members to the committee.

4. Individuals participating in the review and approval process for classified research must have appropriate security clearances to serve in the capacity indicated.

5. In determining whether to recommend or approve such research, the committee and the chancellor or designee shall consider the extent to which the proposal, grant, contract, or assignment:

a. Limits the publication or dissemination of results;
b. Advances important national, state or local interests;
c. Impacts public safety, the environment, or University security;
d. Entails substantial scholarly, scientific or educational benefits;
e. Impacts the academic environment of the University;
f. Provides an opportunity for substantial public service;
g. Impacts student or faculty participation or advancement;
h. Involves unique University capabilities;
i. Strengthens long term ties with government, industry and the community;
j. Entails unique security costs or considerations, poses difficulties in meeting the requirements imposed, or raises issues regarding allocation of costs and benefits;
k. Involves facilities provided by the granting agency;
l. Conflicts with other commitments of the University;
m. Could be accomplished using alternative means; and;
n. Involves other considerations of which the chancellor should be aware.

6. After considering any recommendations of the advisory committee, the chancellor shall make a written determination in accordance with this regulation.

7. The advisory committee and the chancellor shall maintain records of all classified and proprietary research that is reviewed. These records shall set forth only the general nature of the research, a summary of the committee recommendation, and the chancellor’s determination. These summaries shall not include classified or proprietary information, and shall be available to the public to the extent allowed by law.

D. Definitions

1. Classified Research – Research conducted with or on behalf of a government agency, or service provided to or on behalf of a government agency, that will require government-issued security clearances for participation.

2. Proprietary Research – research or services subject to a sponsorship agreement or contract which prohibits dissemination of information or delays publication or dissemination of results, or permits the sponsoring agency to prohibit or delay publication or dissemination of results, for more than 90 days after submission of the final report.

E. Nothing in this regulation is intended to create, extend, or support an obligation of any kind enforceable against the university in an administrative or legal proceeding.

Sponsored Projects Submittal and Acceptance

To strengthen its ties with government, industry, the community, and other academic institutions, the University of Alaska will engage in activities sponsored by external entities. Such sponsored research, scholarship or creative activity will be conducted in accordance with Regents' Policy, University Regulation, applicable laws and regulations, and MAU rules and procedures. Since sponsors may operate within a proprietary or classified environment while universities function on the principle of free inquiry and open expression, the President will promulgate University Regulations for collaborative work which facilitate beneficial arrangements with sponsors and protect the basic tenets of universities.

All proposed sponsored projects will be reviewed for constraints on disclosure and dissemination of the results of the work. After review of the proposed project and review of the constraints on disclosure and dissemination of the results of the work, the Chancellor or Chancellor's designee may approve entering into contractual agreements for classified or proprietary work under governmental or private sponsorship.

Faculty members and graduate students may conduct classified or proprietary research that has been approved by the Chancellor, but theses or dissertations that cannot be published or disseminated because of classified or proprietary research will not be accepted in satisfaction of degree requirements.”

Background Information

Classified research is currently a hot topic at UAF. Specifically being questioned is the lack of procedures and guidelines for the necessary oversight and faculty review of classified and proprietary research projects. The UAF Faculty Senate formed the Ad Hoc Committee on Classified Research and in March 2003 proposed a Policy on Classified and Propietary Research for approval by the UA BOR. This policy, for now, seems to be unapproved and still in debate, but the basics of the above quoted BOR policy still stand.