Policy for Use of University Resources in Support of Entrepreneurial Activities

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill values and supports entrepreneurial activity by faculty. Consistent with the University’s goal to support the economic development of the State of North Carolina, entrepreneurial activities of University faculty are considered part of their duties. Faculty use of university resources in support of appropriate entrepreneurial activities may be allowed provided these activities do not conflict with applicable policies regarding use of public facilities for private gain. Incidental and minimal use of office, library, machine shop, personal desktop work stations, storage servers, communication devices, or clerical staff is permitted.

For the purpose of this policy, “entrepreneurial activities” performed by a member of the university faculty as part of University duties are activities that contribute to the university’s economic development, technology transfer or other public service goals. Examples include early stage activities associated with forming a nonprofit organization focused on health care, environmental or educational issues, a startup company in which the university expects to acquire an equity position through licensing university intellectual property, or activities in support of the development of a licensing agreement with an established company. Where activities are undertaken purely for an employee’s personal gain without connection to the University’s mission, use of University resources in support of such activities is not appropriate except as otherwise allowed by University policy.

Consulting activities undertaken as allowed by the Policy on External Professional Activities for Pay are not considered entrepreneurial activities that are part of the faculty member’s University duties unless they are so noted on the external professional activities for pay notice of intent form and the official approving the activity expressly concurs with that characterization.

While this policy is meant to clarify and encourage such activity, faculty should be aware that other current university policies (e.g., patent policy, conflict of interest policy, and others) remain in place and are thus applicable to certain aspects of entrepreneurial activity.

These include: