What should I do if I'm sued in connection with my work for the University?
If an employee is named as a defendant in a lawsuit, and the lawsuit arose out of the employee’s scope of employment, the employee must notify the Office of the General Counsel immediately upon receipt of the lawsuit and submit a written request for defense and indemnification to the University Department of Risk Management and Safety at 284 East Avenue, Burlington, VT 05405 or firstname.lastname@example.org within five (5) business days. If it is determined that the employee was working within his/her scope of employment, legal representation and indemnification will be provided in accordance with the University’s Indemnification for Officers and Employees Policy (PDF).
What should I do if someone tries to serve me with a summons, complaint, or other official legal document?
You cannot accept service of a subpoena, complaint, or other legal document on behalf of the University. If a process server attempts to serve you with documents directed to the University, you should politely decline and direct the process server to the Office of the General Counsel at 357 Waterman Building.
If you are served with documents that name you personally, you may accept service (that is, sign a paper of acceptance) only for yourself. If the matter involves your duties or activities conducted by you for the University, notify the Office of the General Counsel immediately and forward the documents to this Office at 357 Waterman Building or email: General.Counsel@uvm.edu. You may wish to keep a copy for your records. The Office of the General Counsel will review the documents, determine what steps are necessary, and discuss with you your involvement, if any.
If you are served with a subpoena or other legal document addressed to you concerning a non-University matter, you should seek the advice of private legal counsel.
What should I do if I receive a phone call or letter from a lawyer wanting to discuss the University or a University matter?
If you are contacted by an outside attorney in connection with University business or your work for the University, please notify the Office of the General Counsel immediately. Please do not speak or correspond directly with an attorney representing someone other than the University who is engaged in or threatening a claim or lawsuit against the University or against you in your official capacity for the University.
What should I do if I receive a request for University documents from a member of the public or member of the press?
UVM is a public body subject to the Vermont State Public Records Act (PRA), which mandates public agencies to allow for the inspection and/or copying of “any written or recorded information, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which is produced or acquired in the course of public agency business”. The PRA does not require a public agency to create new records or to summarize existing ones. In addition, there may be some University records that are exempt from disclosure.
All requests for information pursuant to the PRA must be in writing, and relayed immediately to the University’s Public Records Officer, Gary Derr, Vice President for Operations and Public Safety (348 Waterman or email Gary.Derr@uvm.edu). The PRA requires disclosure of requested information within three (3) business days, if an extension is not requested before that time. Therefore, if an employee receives such a request, they should direct the requestor to make a written request to Vice President Derr and promptly notify him of the pending request.
Note: The University owns all the systems on which e-mail operates and retains the right to inspect files. E-mail sent through the University’s computer systems is not confidential and may be subject to disclosure under the PRA. All e-mail messages should be composed with the knowledge that they might be disclosed to third parties.
What should I do if I am called for jury duty and it will interfere with my work or class schedule?
You must comply with the jury summons you’ve received. Review your summons to see if you meet any of the criteria for being excused from jury service, or postponing jury service, and follow the procedures outlined in your summons. Promptly notify your supervisor and/or faculty members if you will be missing work or class due to jury service.
What should I do if a government agency representative calls, knocks on my door, or otherwise notifies me that they will be on campus?
The staff person, faculty member, receiving a communication from government regulators should politely inform the regulators of the University’s Government Review Protocol (PDF), transmitting a copy via email, FAX or, if the regulators are on campus, by hard copy. The staff person or faculty member should next immediately inform their supervisor of the communication. Either the supervisor or, at the supervisor’s request, the person who received the communication should then immediately contact Gary Derr, Vice President for Operations and Public Safety (348 Waterman or email Gary.Derr@uvm.edu) who is the official responsible for administering government reviews.
What should I do if I receive a request for a student’s education records? Do I have the authority to access these files and forward them to a third party?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulates the privacy of student records. It governs the release of records as well as a student's access to these records. Under FERPA, a student has a right to:
- Inspect and review his/her education records,
- Request an amendment to their education records,
- Limit disclosure of "personally identifiable information” known as directory information,
- File a complaint with the Department of Education concerning the University’s failure to comply with the Act.
With respect to access by third parties, while a school official, including a member of the faculty, may have access to and obtain a copy of a student's education record for a legitimate educational purpose, ordinarily the student's education record is confidential and cannot be viewed, accessed, or released to third parties without the student's explicit permission.
Any questions concerning the release of student records should be directed to the Office of General Counsel at (802) 656-8585 or General.Counsel@uvm.edu.
Where or with who at the University do I file a complaint of harassment or discrimination?
The mission of the Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity (AAEO) Office is to create a diverse, nondiscriminatory learning and working environment for the University of Vermont community by promoting inclusion, respect and equity.
Please visit AAEO at 428 Waterman Building, or call (802) 656-3368, if you believe you have been discriminated against.
Where or with who at the University do I file an (anonymous) report about possible UVM policy violations?
Employees are encouraged to use the Ethics and Compliance Reporting Help Line to address questions regarding compliance issues or to anonymously report incidents or situations that may involve violations of the University's Code of Business Conduct or other policy standards or legal requirements. The Help Line can be reached at (877) 310-0413.
Where or with who at the University do I obtain assistance with immigration issues?
Please contact the Office of International Education at (802) 656-4296, or visit Living/Learning Center B-162, regarding immigration services for international students, scholars, faculty, and staff.
Where or with who at the University do I learn or file a report about workplace and other types of safety?
Please contact the Department of Risk Management and Safety at (802) 656-3242, or visit 284 East Avenue, for issues such as workplace safety, environmental safety, emergency planning, travel safety, on-the-job injuries, and insurance and claims management.
Where or with who at the University do I obtain notarization services?
The Office of the General Counsel provides notary services for University business documents only. To obtain notarization of personal documents, please go to the University’s Print and Mail Center at 118 Waterman Building (Monday-Friday, 8:00 to 4:30).
Where or with who at the University do I obtain permission to use the University's name or logo(s)?
Trademarks identifying the University or its products, services, programs, or activities are the property of the University, protected under state and federal trademark law (“University Trademarks”). Use of a University trademark without the consent and approval of an authorized University official constitutes an unlawful infringement of the mark.
Please visit University Licensing Program for information about the approval process for use of a University Trademark, or contact Krista Balogh, Associate Athletic Director for External Relations and Communications at (802) 656-1744.
Additional information regarding Trademarks can also be found in the University’s Trademark Policy (PDF).
All materials provided on this website, including the contents of linked pages, are provided for general informational purposes only. While we seek to provide links to current and authoritative information, neither UVM nor this office guarantees the accuracy of information accessible online; therefore, this information must not be relied upon as substitute for legal advice from a qualified attorney. Please contact a UVM Office of the General Counsel attorney to obtain current legal advice specifically responsive to your questions.