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FAQs - Academic Affairs & Research

Are parents (or relatives) who are paying student fees for the student entitled to know how the student is doing at the University?

Generally no, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides two general rights for students regarding educational records:

  • Right to access educational records pertaining to them.
  • Subject to statutory exceptions, the right to prevent disclosure of their educational records to others without the student’s written consent.

One of the more common exceptions is internal disclosures to employees within the University who have an educational need to know. FERPA permits the disclosure of the student records to parents only if they can show that their son or daughter is a dependent under the Internal Revenue Code (i.e., normally by providing a copy of their income tax return).

In order for the grades or other student records to be released to any third party there must be a written “consent to disclose” statement signed and dated by the student.

For more information refer to the University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations Section 180.020 Section D.

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Can grades may be posted by student number or social security number as a convenient way of making the information available to the students?

No, grades or other student records can not be publicly displayed in any manner where the identify of the students can be traced back to them by unauthorized persons. Student numbers or social security numbers are readily available so this method of posting grades does not adequately protect the identity of the students.

However, faculty members may devise a method of random numbers that will not be tied in any way to social security or student ID numbers so that student grades can be posted. Just be careful not to distribute a list of numbers or in any other way make the numbers available to others.

For more information see the University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations Section 180.020.

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If I invent something as part of my work at the University of Missouri and file for a patent, who owns the rights to the patent and any royalties?

The University, as the employer, shall have the ownership and control of any Invention developed in the course of the employee’s service to the University. Each employee is required to assign to The Curators of the University of Missouri all domestic and foreign rights to any Invention made within the general scope of her/his duties as an employee.

An Invention or Plant Variety shall be considered as having been made within the general scope of the employee’s duties for the University if either of the following conditions is met:

  • Whenever the employee’s duties include research or investigation, and the Invention or Plant Variety arose in the course of such research or investigation and is relevant to the general field of an inquiry to which the employee was assigned; or
  • Whenever the Invention or Plant Variety was in a substantial degree made or developed through the use of University facilities or financing, or on University time, or through the aid of University information not available to the public.
    An employee of the University is entitled to all rights resulting from any Invention or Plant Variety made by the employee outside the general scope of the University duties as that phrase is defined above. If the Invention or Plant Variety does not result from research or information obtained from University services, the University has no rights to Inventions or Plant Varieties developed in the course of summer or consulting employment by an employer other than the University of Missouri.

Inventor Requests for Waiver of University Rights

If the inventor believes that the Invention or Plant Variety was made outside the general scope of her/his University duties and does not want to assign the rights to the University, the Invention or Plant Variety report should request that the Patent Committee determine the respective rights of the University and the inventor. The Invention or Plant Variety report should include the following information:

  • The circumstances under which the Invention or Plant Variety was made and developed;
  • The employee’s official duties when the Invention or Plant Variety was made or developed;
  • Whether the employee wishes a patent or Plant Variety Protection application to be prosecuted, if it is determined that the Invention or Plant Variety does not need to be assigned to the University, and
  • The extent to which the employee would be willing voluntarily to assign the rights of the Invention or Plant Variety to the University if it should be determined that an assignment of an Invention or Plant Variety to the University is not required.


Funds Received by University Relating to Inventions, Patents and Plant Varieties

Whenever the University receives money from any source for the sale, waiver, assignment or licensing of University-owned patents, discoveries, Inventions, or Plant Varieties, the entire amount of money (except for money described in section 100.020 H o the Collected Rules) is divided as follows unless otherwise agreed in writing by the inventor:

  • For Inventions and Discoveries
    • Thirty-three and one-third (33 1/3) percent shall go to the inventor.
    • b. After reimbursing of the University or research sponsor for reasonable costs of procuring and defending the patent rights and reducing the Invention to practice, and after payment of the inventor’s share, all monies derived by the University shall be allocated as follows:
      • 66.7 percent to the campus from which the patent, Invention or discovery originated, half of which the campus must allocate to the originating department.
      • 33.3 percent shall go to the University.
    • Funds allocated to the departments, campuses and the University are restricted to the support of research, development and other scholarly activities.
  • For Plant Varieties

    • Ten (10) percent shall go to the inventor.
    • After reimbursement of the University or research sponsor for reasonable costs of procuring and defending Plant Variety rights and payment of the inventor’s share, all monies derived by University shall be allocated as follows:
      • Ninety-five (95) percent to the breeding program from which the Plant Variety originated.
      • Five (5) percent to the University

For more information about Inventions and Plant Varieties see the Collected Rules and Regulations section 100.020.

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What are the regulations regarding ownership of material that I write while I am employed by the University?

It depends. In general, faculty members have personal ownership of intellectual property rights to books, workbooks, study guides, and similar materials that were not directly commissioned by the University and the preparation of which was not supported by any substantial University resources.

However, if the educational materials are University-sponsored, the University owns the copyright. Educational materials are University-sponsored if:

  • The University has in writing specifically commissioned the author or producer to develop the materials and has provided extra compensation, released time from regular job responsibilities, or a leave at more than 50 percent of regular salary for their production; or
  • The production of the materials is a specific responsibility of the position for which the employee is hired; or
  • Substantial University resources have been used in their development. Limited secretarial support, uses of the library for which special charges are not normally made, and the staff member’s own time except as covered by paragraphs (a) and (b) above shall not be considered substantial University resources.

These policies apply to:

  • Video and audio recordings.
  • Study guides, tests, syllabi, bibliographies, and texts.
  • Films, film strips, charts, transparencies, and other visual aids.
  • Programmed instructional materials.
  • Live video and audio broadcasts.
  • Computer software (as defined in section 100.030 B.2.f. of the Collected Rules).

Payments to the Author or Producer for Production and Use:

There are any number of ways that employees can be compensated for University-sponsored educational materials they create or produce including:

Compensation for Production:

  • Compensation for production normally will take place through the reduction of the author’s or producer’s normal work load.
  • Employees on nine-month academic appointments may receive summer grants and salaries for the production of educational materials.
  • Occasionally, payment may be made on an extra compensation basis following the current University policy on extra compensation.

Compensation for Internal Use & Revision:

  • The author or producer of University-sponsored educational materials shall not receive compensation, other than regular compensation from the University, for the normal internal use of these materials, except when such compensation is negotiated at the time of initial commission.
  • The appropriate instruction unit of the University may recommend extra compensation for the author or producer if:
    • the materials are used outside the author’s home unit, and
    • if supervising their use or managing revisions involves an extension of the author’s or producer’s normal duties, and
    • if appropriate release time cannot be budgeted.

Compensation for External Use and Revision:

The University can license the external use or sale of University-sponsored educational materials only after a written agreement with the author or producer has been approved by the President specifying the division of net income between the author or producer and the University. The following general principles shall be reflected in the agreement:

  • Fifty (50) percent of the net income derived from the external use of University-sponsored educational materials shall go to the departments or units responsible for their production, and fifty (50) percent to the authors or producers.
  • The University may enter into agreements for dividing the net income on some other basis, if special circumstances attend the production or use of these materials.

For more information about University sponsored educational materials see section 100.030 of the Collected Rules and Regulations.

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Reviewed August 28, 2014.