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Current Status: Active PolicyStat ID: 4464650

Policy on Classified Research

In keeping with the traditions of a free university community, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has long-standing commitments to academic freedom, the free flow of ideas, maximizing communication of new knowledge, and service to the citizens of North Carolina and the nation as a whole.  These commitments generally work in harmony.  However, in the very rare cases when they come into conflict, balanced solutions must be found that consider both the University's academic mission and the general public interest.

In general, the University should not accept or participate in any research grant or contract that will prevent or restrict investigators from publishing fully and freely the results of their investigations.  Rare exceptions to this general policy with respect to classified research (i.e., research that falls under the provisions of Executive Order 12958) may be made only with the prior approval of the Chancellor or his designee.  In such cases, the following additional considerations apply:

All such exceptions must be reported in writing to the UNC President prior to execution of a contract or acceptance of a grant [pursuant to UNC Policy Manual, Section 500.1].

Whenever possible, the University shall retain the right to disclose the existence of the proposed research and the identity of the sponsor.

Students may participate in approved classified research, so long as this participation does not significantly impede their progress toward a degree.  No thesis or dissertation submitted in fulfillment of degree requirements may be classified, in whole or in part.

Consulting and other external activities involving classified research are not prohibited, so long as they are consistent with the University's Policy on External Professional Activities for Pay.

In times of national emergency, rapid access to campus expertise or facilities may be required by government agencies for purposes other than long-term research. Permission for such short-term access may be granted by the Chancellor or his designee.

This Policy is effective as of December 1, 2003.

This Policy is maintained by the Office of the University Counsel

All revision dates: 12/1/2003