East Carolina University Faculty Manual

PART VII.

RESEARCH INFORMATION

I.    Policy and Guidelines for External Funding (Formerly Appendix O)

A.  Introduction

As a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina, East Carolina University receives its basic financial support from appropriations by the North Carolina General Assembly and from tuition and fees paid by students.  However, to achieve and maintain a higher level of excellence than is possible with those funds, it is necessary to seek grants and contracts from governmental and other sources and to obtain gifts from alumni, friends, corporate entities, and foundations.

 

B.  Policy Statement

The basic principle affirmed in this policy statement is that East Carolina University's external funding policy shall be centrally coordinated but structured to accommodate individualized and decentralized fund‑raising activities. While all members of the university community are encouraged to participate in the process of identifying and qualifying prospective funding sources, the vice chancellor for institutional advancement is responsible for the coordination of all fund raising activities at the university which are direct gift solicitation.  Therefore, with the exceptions noted below, no formal request for external funding shall be made by any university employee in the name of or for the benefit of the university without prior clearance through the Office of Institutional Advancement or the Office of Sponsored Programs.

C.  Exceptions

The East Carolina University Educational Foundation (Pirate Club) and the East Carolina University Medical Foundation shall be exempt from the policies and reporting procedures stated in this document where private gifts which clearly entail no contractual obligations by ECU of direct benefit to the contributor are involved.  (See "Definitions" for clarification of the term "gift" as used in this policy statement.)  Any uncertainty in this regard shall be resolved by discussion with the vice chancellor for institutional advancement. In order that each university fund‑raising program may achieve maximum results, it is anticipated that all foundations will communicate with each other and coordinate their activities.

D.  Definitions

Terms used in this policy statement are defined below.

1.   Gift

A gift is an item of value, ownership of which is voluntarily transferred from one party to East Carolina University or one of its foundations without direct compensation to the first party.  Gifts may be in the form of cash or in kind (e.g., art objects, equipment, securities, real estate, services, insurance, etc.).  Gifts may be solicited (given in response to a request from ECU) or unsolicited (given at the donor's own initiative).  Gifts may also be classified as unrestricted (i.e., use or disposition of the gift is at the discretion of the university) or restricted (i.e., use is limited to certain activities, departments, beneficiaries, etc.).

 

Examples of restricted gifts are sums of money which are used to finance building projects, create scholarship funds, or establish individual scholarships and items of equipment which are designated for use only in certain activities or by specific departments or schools. Where cash or property‑in‑kind is given in response to a proposal for a specific project, the transaction should be considered as a gift when the donor is an individual or a for‑profit commercial enterprise, and as a grant when the donor is a governmental agency or private nonprofit foundation or organization.  Gifts or grants of cash or property-in-kind from foundations (corporate foundations) which remain under the financial or other control of a for‑profit corporation should be treated as gifts. A proposed "gift" by a for‑profit commercial enterprise which is contingent upon ECU or one of its units conducting specified research or providing other specified services which redound to the direct benefit of the commercial enterprise should not be considered as a gift, but should be considered and treated as a contract to be coordinated with the office of Sponsored Programs as outlined below. Occasionally, it may seem advantageous to combine an agreement to conduct specified research or provide other specified services on behalf of a commercial enterprise with an understanding that the commercial enterprise will make a gift of cash or equipment to the university which may be restricted to use by a specific school, department, or even individual.  Such arrangements are fraught with legal and ethical problems and should be thoroughly discussed with the office of Institutional Advancement before any commitments are made.

2.   Contract

In general, a contract is given for a project where the funding agency has already identified the need, determined the type of activity required to meet this need, identified the expected outcomes for the project, selected an acceptable cost range, and estimated the time required to complete the project.  Often, the funding agency merely chooses the best among several candidates to carry out the project and may exert fairly strict management control over the contract recipient.  Contracts are typically awarded by the federal government in response to requests for proposals (RFP's), by state and local government agencies, and by for‑profit commercial entities (single owner companies, partnerships, and corporations).  Unsolicited proposals, i.e., proposals submitted on the initiative of the would‑be principal investigator or project director rather than in response to an RFP, may also result in a contract.  In most cases, progress reports, a final report, and a financial report are required by the sponsor, and the project is in most cases subject to audit.  From the sponsor's point of view, contracts are typically entered into to produce a specific product (often simply a report or service) which is of direct benefit to the sponsor. Typical contracts with commercial firms entered into by the university in recent years include environmental impact studies, clinical drug studies, field testing of psychological questionnaires, and internship agreements for psychology and allied health students.  Typical contracts with government agencies include the conduct of specific research and/or development for various federal government departments, the provision of health and educational services for a number of state government departments, and the provision of student interns to various local government units.

3.   Grant

A grant is typically awarded for projects where most or all of the factors outlined above have not yet been determined.  Grants are frequently awarded for experimental projects or for projects where the idea and purpose of the award have been suggested by the grantee.  In general, grants are characterized by greater latitude in shifting funds among budget categories, more flexibility in the timetable necessary for completing various elements of the project, and more freedom in the methods used to accomplish the intended outcome.  Grants are typically awarded by the federal government and by private nonprofit foundations and organizations.  In most cases, a final report and a financial report are required, and the project is often subject to audit.  In the case of small grants (usually with a specified limit of typically $10,000‑15,000), reporting requirements are often reduced or eliminated entirely.  Outcomes of the project are typically not of direct benefit to the sponsor of a grant.

4.   Cooperative Agreement

A cooperative agreement shares some of the attributes of both the traditional relationships, but is more like a contract than a grant.  The funding agency retains an interest in procedures, timetables, etc. and works cooperatively with the awardee so as to share responsibility for achievement, changes in methods, delays, etc. 

A cooperative agreement is most likely to be used by certain agencies of the federal government.

 

E.  Clearance Procedures for Contracts, Grants, and Cooperative Agreements

All proposals to governmental, private nonprofit, or corporate agencies or organizations for a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement to support research (including clinical research), instruction, public service, or other activities to be conducted by any faculty or staff member or other person associated with the university shall be coordinated in advance of submission with the Office of Sponsored Programs and submitted in accordance with the policy and procedure statements set forth in the ECU BUSINESS MANUAL.

 

This policy applies irrespective of which ECU office or ECU­‑affiliated agency may ultimately administer the funded grant, contract, or cooperative agreement.  It does not apply to preliminary or informal inquiries, whether oral or written, to determine whether a potential sponsor may be interested in considering a proposal for a certain project.  However, the policy does come into effect when such inquiries result in encouragement from the potential sponsor to submit a letter or a written proposal or when the inquiries proceed to a point where commitments or funding levels are discussed.  The importance of following the procedures referred to above whenever university personnel, facilities, equipment, or supplies are to be employed cannot be overemphasized.

 

F.   Clearance Procedures for Soliciting Gifts

Faculty or staff members who wish to undertake any type of fund-raising project shall contact their department or unit head, dean, or vice chancellor, as appropriate, concerning the appropriateness of the proposed project and its adherence to department, division, and university priorities.  At the same time, they are encouraged to contact the Office of Institutional Advancement to discuss the idea and its possibility for funding.  Once a project has been approved through the originator's division, the originator shall send a memorandum to the Office of Institutional Advancement containing, as a minimum, the following information:

1. the purpose for which the solicitation will be made,

2. the amount of money or type of gift to be requested,  

3. the name(s) of any known prospect(s) (individual, corporate, or foundation) suggested for solicitation,

4. the approximate date recommended for solicitation, if appropriate, and

5. a statement to the effect that the project has been approved by the originator's division

 

In evaluating the proposed solicitation, the Office of Institutional Advancement will attempt to identify potential sponsors in addition to the prospect(s) suggested by the originator of the project.  The Office of Institutional Advancement will consider each prospect's university affiliations, other interests, past giving record, past and present solicitation activity, and specific project interest, if known.

 

Clearance through the Office of Institutional Advancement of the solicitation will be given in writing outlining the level of involvement by the Office of Institutional Advancement  and the individual or department submitting the request.  For example, the entire solicitation project might be conducted by the Office of Institutional Advancement; or a particular faculty member or dean and a support group, such as the Friends of the Library, may be authorized to conduct the project; or a combined effort with joint solicitation calls by members of the Office of Institutional Advancement, key faculty members, and/or volunteers may be endorsed.

 

Postponement by the Office of Institutional Advancement of the project will also be given in writing with the reason(s) for the decision.  The vice chancellor for institutional advancement will be available to discuss the postponement, the relative priority of the project, and rescheduling the solicitation with the sponsor and his or her vice chancellor.

 

G.  Acceptance of Gifts

Acceptance of a gift‑‑whether in cash or in kind‑‑imposes a legal obligation to comply with the terms established by the donor.  Therefore, it is necessary that the nature and extent of this obligation be clearly understood.  For this reason, the terms of each restricted gift will be reviewed to ensure that they do not hamper the usefulness or desirability of the gift to ECU.  If a gift is deemed unacceptable because of the restrictions the donor has placed on its use, the donor will be requested to remove or modify the restrictions, as appropriate.  A gift will be refused or returned when it

1... is determined to be for a purpose inappropriate or not in the best interest of ECU or

2... would obligate ECU to undertake responsibilities, financial or otherwise, which it may not be able or willing to meet for the period required by the terms of the gift.

 

Gifts‑in‑kind will be reviewed with special care to assure that acceptance will not involve excessive financial commitments or other obligations disproportionate to the usefulness or value of the gift.  Consideration will be given to such factors as the cost of maintenance, cataloging, delivery, insurance, display, and space requirements for exhibition or storage.

 

When gifts‑in‑kind are given to ECU with the intent of the donor to receive a tax deduction, it shall be the responsibility of the donor (not ECU) to obtain an appraisal establishing the value of the gift for tax purposes.  ECU shall not become involved in the appraisal process, as such involvement could result in the appraisal's accuracy and objectivity being challenged by the Internal Revenue Service.

 

H.  Recording, Acknowledgment, and Disposition of Gifts

It shall be the responsibility of the Office of Institutional Advancement gift records office to officially record and receipt all gifts, including cash, pledges, securities, trusts, insurance policies, real estate, and other gifts‑in‑kind to East Carolina University or any agency thereof.  Therefore, all gifts shall be processed through the gift records office, where they will be entered on the central donor file and a receipt issued before any gift is deposited in any university account, transferred to any unit's property record, or otherwise disposed of.  Gifts‑in‑kind will become the property of East Carolina University or one of its foundations, as appropriate, and will be handled, inventoried, and/or disposed of in accordance with applicable policies and procedures.

 

Official acknowledgment of gifts to the university shall be coordinated through the Office of Institutional Advancement.  The chancellor will acknowledge all major gifts.  Other principals in a particular gift transaction are also encouraged to express their personal gratitude or the appreciation of their department or school and are requested to forward a copy of their letter to the Office of Institutional Advancement for the central donor file.

 

I.    Maintenance of Prospect and Resource Files

It shall be the responsibility of the Office of Institutional Advancement to establish and maintain prospect and resource files for the purpose of providing timely and relevant information about prospective individual donors, private foundations, and corporations.  To assist in the fulfillment of this responsibility, each solicitation or cultivation contact (where specific information is gained that will be of use in future solicitation at tempts) with a prospect or donor by any representative or agent of the university shall be reported to the Office of Institutional Advancement on a call report form, which identifies the purpose of the contact, the major points of discussion, and the recommended action(s) to maximize the benefit of the contact.  Call report forms will be made available by the Office of Institutional Advancement.

 

J.   Preparation of Fund-Raising Literature

All literature, including brochures, booklets, and letters, used to attract private funds to ECU shall be coordinated through the Office of Institutional Advancement in order to ensure that the most accurate information appropriate to a particular fund-raising effort is reflected.

 

K.  Scheduling of Fund-Raising Activities

It shall be the responsibility of the Office of Institutional Advancement to establish and maintain a master calendar which incorporates the schedule of all mailings, solicitations, and other fund‑raising activities to ensure the potential for maximum success for each.

 

L.   Budget Formulation for Fund-Raising Projects

The formulation of budgets which are to be spent for private fundraising projects in the name of the university shall be the joint responsibility of the vice chancellor for institutional advancement and the appropriate individual or group representing the project.

 

M.  Involvement of Volunteers in Fund-Raising Efforts

Whenever volunteers are to be involved in fund-raising efforts, it shall be the responsibility of the Office of Institutional Advancement to assist in the selection and recruitment of the volunteers and to assist in their training in order for them to be more effective in soliciting funds.

 

N.  Public Statements Regarding Gifts

It shall be the responsibility of the ECU News Bureau, in conjunction with the Office of Institutional Advancement, to initiate the preparation of all public statements concerning gifts to the university or to any of its units.  Project sponsors and other appropriate individuals will be asked to supply pertinent information and will be involved in coordinating the public announcement.

 

O.  Special Projects by Non-university Related Organizations

The university neither encourages nor endorses the use of the East Carolina University name by non-university related organizations to solicit funds, even though a portion of the funds to be raised may come to the university.  To avoid embarrassment and possible legal problems, it is emphasized that any individual or organization not directly affiliated with the university should coordinate with the vice chancellor for institutional advancement  in advance any plans for fund-raising activities involving the name of the university.

 

 

Approved:    February 17, 1984
East Carolina University Board of Trustees