Collaborating Academic Visitors

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Lehigh faculty and staff often collaborate with faculty and students from other universities, as well as researchers, scholars, and practitioners from industry, government or other non-profit institutions. Such collaborations may involve a visitor coming to Lehigh for a period of time and are important to our research and educational missions. To accommodate this type of relationship, the University has established the role of Collaborating Academic Visitor (CAV).

What is essential?

A Collaborating Academic Visitor (CAV) is an individual who visits Lehigh from a home institution to collaborate with University personnel on research and/or to access the University’s facilities in ways that are not available to the general public. Such activity on the part of the CAV should substantially benefit Lehigh and further its research, educational or service missions. 

Collaborating Academic Visitors may include, but are not limited to:

  • Faculty members employed by another academic institution.
  • Researchers from not-for-profit or for-profit institutions engaged in collaborations with Lehigh faculty.
  • Any individuals whose access to University property is governed by a separate written agreement approved by an authorized University official or by the terms of an applicable University policy, when such individuals activities are also part of the activities described in this policy.
  • Students from other institutions and unpaid interns. 

All CAV appointments are for a fixed term at a maximum period of one year, but are renewable for fixed terms not to exceed one year. The typical minimum period for a CAV appointment is two weeks (14 business days) and any faculty or research staff member hosting an individual visiting the University for the purpose of engaging in collaboration for two weeks or longer should initiate the Collaborating Academic Visitor appointment process. There may, however, be instances in which a Collaborating Academic Visitor appointment for less than a two-week period is appropriate. 

A common feature to all CAV appointments is that Lehigh does not provide compensation to the holder in the form of either monetary remuneration or credit toward an academic degree or certification.

Collaborating Academic Visitor appointments are conditional on verification that the individual has successfully completed all background checks that the university requires of new university employees.  The host department, program, center or institute is responsible for ensuring that such background checks are completed as well as covering any costs involved and providing written notification of this to the Office of the Provost.  Academic Collaborators are also expected to complete all on-line training programs that must be completed by Lehigh University faculty and staff.

A visitor’s access to university property and buildings may be terminated at any time by a department chair, Dean or by the Provost, without explanation. Visitors do not have any rights to access University space or resources.

Please be sure to read the Collaborating Academic Visitor’s Policy and be familiar with it before inviting a visitor to Lehigh University.   

Why it’s Important

Collaborating Academic Visitors must abide by all applicable University policies, rules and procedures, including but not limited to those that govern topics as diverse as University ownership of intellectual property, human and animal research subjects protections, lab safety, building access, prohibition of harassment and discrimination, and insurance coverage. In addition, Lehigh property is tax-exempt and usage of University property, laboratories, equipment, and materials must be in compliance with the University’s tax-exempt non-profit status.  Some visitors may also need to abide by policies linked to grants or contracts that support the work being performed or conform their activities to the requirements of applicable federal, state, and local laws and ordinances. It is the responsibility of the Visitor’s sponsor and the Visitor to understand and comply with all such applicable policies, contractual obligations, and laws and ordinances. Collaborating Academic Visitors should generally be paid by their home institution in support of that institution’s collaboration with Lehigh.  Collaborating Academic Visitors should generally not be volunteers.

How to Comply

Before inviting a Collaborating Academic Visitor to visit Lehigh, the University must confirm that the activities of this person will be in accord with applicable laws, regulations, institutional policies, contractual commitments to sponsors, and the University’s tax-exempt non-profit status. We must have documentation of the proposed activities and duration of the visit because Lehigh may be affected by the actions of these individuals. In furtherance of these objectives, we have implemented a process requiring that before a visitor comes to campus, the sponsoring faculty/staff host and the sponsoring department must assure that the Collaborating Academic Visitors' process has been followed.