2023 Legal Symposium

On October 26, 2023, the Division of Institutional Integrity presented the annual Legal Symposium. Session descriptions and links to the presentation materials are below.

Session Descriptions

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9:00 – 9:50          Session One (Plenary)

Is Free Speech Really Free?  Sujit Chemburkar, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Dr. Tehia Starker Glass, Professor of Elementary Education and Educational Psychology; Dr. Matthew Metzgar, Clinical Professor of Economics; and Sarah Edwards, Associate Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and Deputy General Counsel.

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UNC Charlotte is committed to creating a culture that embraces free expression, but as the saying goes, freedom isn’t always free. The presenters will walk through various real-life scenarios in which the protection of free speech came at a cost. The presenters will conclude with helpful tips for facilitating constructive conversation even when, or especially when, individuals passionately disagree.

10:00 – 10:50    Session Two

2A.             Youth Protection: Empowering a Safe Campus Environment.  Heather Nance, Risk Analyst. 

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Learn about the who, what, where, when and how but most importantly the WHY of youth protection! This presentation will help faculty, staff and students who are considering sponsoring an activity with minors understand their responsibility for safeguarding young individuals and staff while under their care, custody and control. And for anyone who is unsure whether and when minors are under your care, custody, or control . . . this is definitely the session for you!

2B.              No Money, No Problems? Legal and Policy Considerations Governing Unpaid Collaborators at UNC Charlotte.  Isabel Alele, Associate General Counsel.

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Many universities utilize unpaid collaborators -- including volunteers, courtesy faculty, and unpaid interns -- in laboratories, in classrooms, on athletic fields, and other areas of campus. This presentation will explore the complexities of those relationships from both a legal and a practical perspective. The presenter will review the parameters of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), walk through real-world scenarios, and discuss important considerations for structuring unpaid collaborations, including when to conduct background checks, how to address intellectual property issues, and best practices for managing liability concerns.

11:00 – 11:50    Session Three

3A.             Sunny with a Chance for Increased Visibility: A Discussion of Open Access (OA) Principles, and What That Means for UNC Charlotte.  Arnetta Girardeau, Copyright & Licensing Librarian; Elizabeth Siler, Associate Dean for Collection Services; and Erica Solosky, Associate General Counsel & Director of Ethics, Policy, and Compliance.

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The scholarly research and publishing ecosystem is constantly adapting to both market forces and government directives. Open Access (OA) supports a commitment to disseminating the fruit of research and scholarship as widely as possible. Participants will learn about Open Access principles, their potential impact on work done at UNC Charlotte, and how to access resources and tools to navigate questions at each stage of the research lifecycle.  Presenters will engage with participants on helpful scenarios to practice these ideas in real-world settings.

3B.              *New* Legal Protections for Pregnant and Nursing Employees & What to Expect When Accommodating Pregnant Students.  Gena Smith, Director of Disability Services; Dr. Michelle Reinken, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX; and André Lindsay, Senior Associate General Counsel.

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Enjoy an interactive discussion around new legal protections for employees under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the PUMP Act of 2022, as well as anticipated new protections under forthcoming Title IX regulations addressing pregnant employees and students. The panel will explain the nuances between the different types of accommodations provided for pregnant students and student-employees by CRTIX and the Office of Disability Services, and will discuss scenarios to help demonstrate how both resources can support and help navigate these complex issues.

1:00 – 1:50          Session Four

4A.              Riskonomics: How Risk Shapes Our Lives.  Steven Dunham, Chief Risk Officer.

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Explore the world of risk and its universal influence on our day-to-day activities. This presentation will consider the ways in which risk plays a pivotal role in shaping our decisions, opportunities, and life experiences, both as employees and as individuals. Through purposeful analysis and real-world examples, the presenter will explore the inseparable relationship between risk and success, encouraging us to make informed choices as we navigate the complexities of work and life.

4B.              Traversing the Rugged Terrain of Student Grievances.  Larry Gourdine, Associate Dean and Director of Student Assistance and Support Services; Dr. Amy Peterman, Associate Professor of Psychological Science; and Sarah Edwards, Associate Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and Deputy General Counsel.

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Join the presenters as they walk through the steps of the University’s student grievance procedure through the perspectives of each traveler: the student grievant, the faculty or staff respondent, the decision-maker, and the fact-finding panel. The presenters will share lessons they have learned while navigating the rocky student grievance landscape as well as survival tips to make the journey smoother.

2:00 – 2:50          Session Five

5A.              Staying Ahead of the Field: Planning and Managing Student Field Trips.  Amy Kelso, Senior Associate General Counsel.

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This presentation will review critical steps faculty should take before taking students off-campus for University-sponsored course-related, educational activities. Learn what is considered a "field trip" and take a fresh look at field trip planning guidelines, including approval and reporting forms, insurance requirements, release and behavioral agreements, transportation arrangements, and other related issues. And if you have any lingering concerns, the presenter will take time to “field” questions from the audience!

5B.              Ins and Outs of Teleworking Arrangements: What Employees and Supervisors Need to Know.  Cindy Edwards, Director of Employee Relations; and André Lindsay, Senior Associate General Counsel.

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Join Human Resources and Legal Affairs for a review of the University's flexible work and telework policies. This presentation will explain each step of the teleworking process, from completing the new teleworking form to the approval and annual renewals procedures. The presenters will also discuss the intersection between workers’ compensation, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for employees who telework.                 

3:00 – 3:50          Session Six

6A.              A Place for Everything: Guidelines for Record Management and Data Handling.  Tarveras Rogers, IT Auditor; Susan Wagoner, Information Security Compliance Manager; and Tina Dadio, University Public Records Officer and Legal Specialist.

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As the age of technology advances and more documents are saved and shared electronically, retention and destruction of records is becoming increasingly complicated. As University employees, we are required to comply with our University records retention policy and the UNC System retention schedule. How does this apply to emailed records? To Google documents? To Dropbox? To text messages? And what types of records can be shared or saved on which of these platforms? Join the presenters as they review both the University's records retention schedule and OneIT's data handling guidelines and discuss why knowing the rules matters to your work.

6B.              The Shifting Sands of College Athletics.  Katie Renaut, Assistant Athletic Director of Compliance; and Jesh Humphrey, Vice Chancellor for Institutional Integrity and General Counsel.

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The landscape of college athletics has endured seismic change, and the ground has yet to settle. A little over two years ago student-athletes risked forfeiting their athletic eligibility for pursuing endorsement deals; today, some are being paid millions of dollars for use of their name, image, and likeness. New rules regarding transferring student-athletes have upended recruiting practices and drawn the ire of North Carolina officials. Additionally, the existing college athletics model continues to be challenged in courts, with major cases related to multimedia rights and the employee status of student-athletes working their way through the legal system. Join the presenters for a review the current state of college athletics and a preview of major issues on the horizon.