Policy Directory by Glossary Terms

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Sabbatical Leave

A program of academic leave awarded on a competitive basis. 

Safe Harbor

A provision that shields a party from liability under the law provided that certain conditions are met. IRS revenue procedures contain several Safe Harbors relating to activities which could generate Private Business Use, the most important of which pertain to management contracts and research contracts.


Conditon of being safe from undergoing or causing hurt, injury or loss (Webster's Dictionary).

Sale (Sell)

As defined in the Code of Virginia § 4.1-100, includes soliciting or receiving an order for; keeping, offering or exposing for sale; peddling, exchanging or bartering; or delivering otherwise than gratuitously, by any means, alcoholic beverages.

Sanction Regulations (Sanctions)

Includes all the embargoes and trade sanction regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), U.S. Department of the Treasury. Sanctions programs are typically country-based (e.g., those imposed against the governments of Iran, Cuba, and North Korea) or list-based (e.g., Counter Terrorism and Counter Narcotics).

Scheduled Workweek

An employee’s scheduled workweek includes the hours of the day and the days of the week the employee is regularly scheduled to work.


For tax purposes, an amount given to aid in the pursuit of study or training for which there is no obligation to perform services by the recipient as a condition of receiving the funds. "Scholarships," "Fellowships," or "Stipends" have interchangeable meaning in this policy. Any payments paid to or on behalf of foreign nationals requiring the performance of services past, present, or future, in exchange for the payments, are taxable wages subject to withholding regulations.

Scholarship (1)

The federal government defines a scholarship as an amount given in aid in the pursuit of study or training for which there is no obligation to perform services by the recipient as a condition of receiving the funds. While some university policies use “scholarship,” “fellowship,” and “stipend” interchangeably this policy distinguishes between the terms. At the University, scholarships area warded to undergraduate students in all schools and graduate students in the Darden School of Business, the McIntire School of Commerce, the School of Law and the School of Medicine. Scholarships may consist of direct or indirect forms of aid and are often named (e.g. The Thomas Jefferson Scholarship).

School–specific Academic Management Policy

Policy established under the President’s authority, typically delegated through the Executive Vice President and Provost to the dean of the individual school that involves the activities of only one school. The dean obtains approval for such policy from the Executive Vice President and Provost.


An instrument which allows the holder to claim an ownership position or interest in a corporation; a creditor relationship or interest in a corporation, a government, or its agency; or other rights to ownership or interest as stipulated in specific contracts.

Security Administrator

Employee with the responsibility of granting electronic funds transfer entitlements within a banking system to users of that system.

See and Avoid

The duty of the Remote Pilot in Command to exercise vigilance to avoid interference with other aircraft and obstacles that would affect the safe operation of the aircraft.

Segregation of Duties

The process of safeguarding assets by assigning the authorizing, recording, and reconciling of transactions to different individuals. This practice assists in detecting errors, deterring improper activities, and mitigating collusion opportunities.

Select Monetary Instruments

Personal checks, commercial checks, certified checks, cashier’s checks, and money orders.

Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ)

A survey tool used annually by eligible merchants and service providers to evaluate their compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards.


An individual who does not need supervisor’s approval before incurring expenses and has authority to self-approve his/her own expenses. Only the University president, members of the president’s executive cabinet, the Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Center, the Chancellor at Wise, the Executive Director of the Miller Center, and deans may self-authorize or approve his/her own expenses.

Self–Balancing Electric Wheeled Board (Hoverboard)

A type of portable, rechargeable personal mobility device that uses gyroscopic technology to allow an operator to balance on a small-wheeled platform. These devices are commonly referred to as “Hoverboards,” but may also be referred to as Swagways, IO Hawks, and Skywalkers.

Senior Administrators

Positions that report to a dean, vice president, director of intercollegiate athletics, or executive vice president (including, but not limited to, department chairs, associate deans, associate vice presidents, division chiefs, or vice provosts) that have significant responsibility for overseeing one or more functions of a school or unit.

Sensitive Data

Data, records, and files that:

Examples include information concerning the prevention of or response to cyber-attacks, or information that describes a security system used to control access to or use of an automated data processing or telecommunications system, or research records that do not contain Highly Sensitive Data, University ID numbers, i.e., those printed on University ID cards, and/or Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act-protected data not covered under the definition of “Highly Sensitive” data. This category of data also includes any data or record covered by the exemptions listed in the Commonwealth of Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Sensitive Equipment

Non-capital equipment (less than $5,000) deemed sensitive by the sponsoring agency. Sensitive equipment may include: cameras, computers, camcorders, small instruments, tools, and unique or custom items.

Serious Health Condition/Illness

A period of incapacity of more than three consecutive days that involves: (1) Treatment 2 or more times; or (2) Treatment by a Health Care Professional (HCP) on at least one occasion which results in continuing treatment. The first visit must occur within 7 days. The second visit must occur within 30 days, unless there are extenuating circumstances. If the condition is “chronic”, there must be at least 2 visits to the HCP per year in connection with the chronic medical condition.


An activity in which labor is the major factor and not merely incidental to the production, acquisition, and/or delivery of a good.

Service Animals

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The work or tasks performed by the service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks;
  • alerting individuals who are D/deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds;
  • pulling a wheelchair;
  • assisting an individual during a seizure or change in blood sugar;
  • alerting individuals to the presence of allergens;
  • retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone; or
  • providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility-related disabilities.

[Note: See Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, 28 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 35.104. See also ada.gov for more information on service animals at Frequently Asked Questions About Service Animals and the ADA.]

Service Provider

An entity, other than a card brand, that is directly involved in the processing, storage, or transmission of cardholder data on behalf of another entity. This includes entities that provide services that could impact the security of cardholder data.

Servicing or Maintenance Activities

Workplace activities that include but are not limited to: installing, setting up, inspecting or maintaining equipment; and lubrication, cleaning and making tool changes where the employee may be exposed to the unexpected energization of the equipment or release of hazardous energy.

Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Procedures

The University’s Procedures for Investigating and Resolving Reports of Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct setting forth the procedures for investigating and resolving reports of alleged Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct under the Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence.

Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct

All of the conduct defined as “Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct” in the University’s Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence, which includes Non-Consensual Sexual Contact, Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse, Sexual Exploitation, Intimate Partner Violence, Stalking, Quid Pro Quo Harassment, Sexual and Gender-Based Hostile Environment Harassment, Retaliation, and Complicity.

Sexual Misconduct

A broad term that encompasses non-consensual sexual contact (including non-consensual sexual intercourse), sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, dating or domestic violence (also known as relationship violence), and stalking.

Short–Term Project

Work assignments not to exceed an average of 29 hours per week or 1500 hours in an annual Standard Measurement Period.


The action of cutting off electrical power to electrical facility systems or equipment and securing the electrical energy from accidental startup until the work has been completed.

Signatory Authority

The legal authority to bind the University (including any school, department, or business unit thereof) in a contract.

Significant Financial Interest

For this policy:

  1. A financial interest consisting of one or more of the following interests of the investigator and those of the investigator’s immediate family (spouse, dependent children), that reasonably appears to be related to: (a) the investigator’s institutional responsibilities if the research will be PHS-funded, or (b) the study sponsor or an entity that would have an interest in the work and/or the outcome of the research project if the research will not be PHS-funded.

    1. With regard to any publicly traded entity, a significant financial interest exists if the value of any remuneration received from the entity in the twelve months preceding the disclosure combined with the value of any equity interest held in the entity as of the date of disclosure, when aggregated, exceeds $5,000. For purposes of this definition, remuneration includes salary and any payment for services not otherwise identified as salary (e.g., consulting fees, honoraria, paid authorship); equity interest includes any stock, stock option, or other ownership interest, as determined through reference to public prices or other reasonable measures of fair market value;
    2. With regard to any non-publicly traded entity, a significant financial interest exists if the value of any remuneration received from the entity in the twelve months preceding the disclosure, when aggregated, exceeds $5,000, or when the investigator or his immediate family member holds any equity interest (e.g., stock, stock option, or other ownership interest);
    3. Intellectual property rights and interests (e.g., patents, copyrights), upon receipt of income related to such rights and interests.
  2. The term significant financial interest also includes any reimbursed or sponsored travel related to their institutional responsibilities, including travel paid on behalf of the investigator and not reimbursed to the investigator (so that the exact monetary value may not be readily available); except for travel reimbursed or sponsored by a federal, state, or local government agency, an institution of higher education, as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a), an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute affiliated with an institution of higher education as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a). The disclosure will include the purpose of the trip, the identity of the sponsor/organizer, the destination and the duration. The Institutional Official or designee will determine if further information is needed, including monetary value, in order to determine whether the travel constitutes a financial conflict of interest with sponsored research.

  3. The term significant financial interest does not include the following types of financial interests: salary, royalties, or other remuneration paid by or on behalf of the University to the investigator, including intellectual property rights assigned to the University and agreements to share in royalties related to such rights; income from investment vehicles, such as mutual funds and retirement accounts, as long as the investigator does not directly control the investment decisions made in these vehicles; and, income from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by, or income from service on advisory committees or review panels for a federal, state, or local government agency, an institution of higher education, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute affiliated with an institution of higher education.

Significant University Resources

The use of University resources is “significant” when it entails substantial and dedicated use of University equipment, facilities, or personnel. The use of a computer in a faculty office, incidental supplies and occasional use of University personnel or shared facilities would typically not be considered significant use. In contrast, utilization of University laboratories or special instrumentation, dedicated assistance by University employees, special financial assistance or extensive use of shared facilities would constitute significant use.

Site and Itinerary Review

Review for alignment with the University’s health, safety, and security standards that may lead to requirements for further planning, limits on, or, in some cases, deferral or cancellation of travel.

Six Year Capital Outlay Plan

The capital outlay plan required by the Department of Planning and Budget. This is a subset of the Major Capital Projects Program.

Six Year Financial Plan

The financial plan required by Chapters 933 and 943 of the 2006 Acts of Assembly, updated every two years and approved by the Board of Visitors.

Small Business Enterprise

A business that is at least 51 percent independently owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens and, together with affiliates, has 250 or fewer employees or average annual gross receipts of $10 million or less averaged over the previous three years. One or more of the individual owners shall control both the management and daily business operations of the small business.

Small Unmanned Aircraft

An Unmanned Aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

A travel registry administered by the U.S. Department of State that automatically distributes country-specific information, Travel Alerts, fact sheets, and emergency messages to registrants. STEP also helps the Department of State better assist travelers in the event of an emergency.


The carrying or holding of any lighted pipe, cigar or cigarette of any kind or any lighted smoking equipment or the lighting, inhaling or exhaling of smoke from a pipe, cigar or cigarette of any kind.

Social Event Meal

A meal served at an event that may be primarily social in nature and not necessarily essential to the mission of the University. However, the event must still support the mission of the University in some way, such as team building events or holiday celebrations for employees. The event may not be to honor or recognize particular individuals (e.g., wedding showers or baby showers are not allowable social event meals).

Social Gatherings

Planned or spontaneous indoor or outdoor events with people participating or attending for a social purpose. This includes celebrations and parties hosted at private residences.


Selling, promoting for the purpose of sales, commercial advertising, canvassing, and/or fundraising.

Solid Waste

Materials which are typically disposed in a landfill. This does not include hazardous, bio-hazardous, or other regulated waste.

Source Reduction

Programs that target the elimination of waste at its source and prior to its entering the waste stream. Examples include working with manufacturers and suppliers to use less packaging, ordering materials and supplies in bulk, and matching newspaper and phone book production to circulation.

Special Pay

Payments that apply to specific positions designed to address unique needs of the University (e.g., shift differential). Special pay is not included as part of the employee’s base pay.

Special Program Participant

An individual who is enrolled in a special program sponsored by a University department.

Special Status Organizations

Special status student organizations act as agents of the University in carrying out a University function(s) through authority delegated by an authorized University official. The manner in which the function(s) is conducted is subject to the supervision and control of the University. The special status student organization is solely responsible for activities conducted by the organization that have not been officially delegated to it by the University. When conducting non-University authorized activities, the student organization is considered by the University to be non-special status and, therefore, not acting as an agent of the University.

Specialized Skills or Training

Specific, definable skills or training that enables an individual to provide certain identified emergency services requested by public officials during a disaster. These skills and training may or may not be related to the qualifications used in the individual’s University job.

Specialty Vehicle

A vehicle designed to transport 10 or more passengers.

Spending Authority

The permission to make expenditures from a particular fund source for a specific period of time up to an established level, provided with the setting of an award installment. 


Separating transactions in order to circumvent established procurement and expenditure guidelines. 


An individual or group that provides support financially or through the provision of products or services for an event, activity, person or organization.

Sponsor Salary Caps–National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Salary caps are limitations, sponsor-imposed ceilings, on the amount of an individual’s salary that a sponsor will directly support. When an employee’s institutional base salary (IBS) exceeds the effective salary cap the University must fund the difference from non-federal sources. This difference is considered cost share (this cost share is solely for purposes related to the Indirect/Facilities and Administrative – F&A- cost rate calculations and is not to be counted/claimed/reported toward mandatory or voluntary cost share commitments) to that sponsored activity. The associated effort is expected to be captured on the effort report for certification purposes (toward 100% ‘University effort’). Annual salary caps can be found at the NIH website.

Sponsor-Owned Equipment

Equipment purchased using sponsored program funds for which the title is retained by the Sponsor.

Sponsored Program

Any externally funded research, public service, or scholarly activity (including hosting or attending conferences) at the University that has a defined scope of work often including a set of specific programmatic objectives and/or deliverables, and line-item-based budget, providing the basis for sponsor expectations and awardee accountability (i.e., a reciprocal transfer of something of value). Sponsored programs are funded through agreements that usually include terms and conditions for the disposition of tangible properties and outcomes (e.g., equipment, records, specified technical reports, theses, or dissertations) or intangible properties and outcomes (e.g., rights in data, copyrights, and inventions). Note: The terms sponsored program, sponsored project, and/or sponsored activity are often used interchangeably.

Sponsoring Manager

The individual employed by the University of Virginia with overall responsibility for identifying, screening, placing, training, and supervising a volunteer.

Sponsoring Unit

An academic or administrative unit that is responsible for the coordination of space usage and/or for conducting the covered program activity.

Sponsor–Owned Equipment

Equipment purchased using sponsored program funds for which the title is retained by the Sponsor.

Sponsor–Provided Resources

Funds and facilities provided by governmental, commercial, industrial or other private organizations which are administered and controlled by the University shall be considered University resources.


Husband or wife as recognized under the laws of the Commonwealth for the purpose of marriage.

Staff Employees

Classified employees who are:

Employment Category:
Salaried or Wage

Payment Type:
Restricted (positions with limited funding where funding has an expiration/stop date) or Unrestricted

Full Time Equivalency:
Full-time or Part-time

Exemption Status:
Exempt: Not subject to (i.e., they are exempt from) the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime provisions. Employees are typically paid on a salaried basis; or
Non-Exempt: Subject to the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Staff Wage Employee

A staff employee who is hired to perform a short-term work assignment and is ineligible for leave or other benefits, with the exception of pre- and post-tax savings plans, and the Wage Health Plan when requisite criteria are met. These employees are not covered by the Virginia Personnel Act and may be compensated in one of two ways:

  1. Hourly: The terms and conditions of employment stipulate an hourly rate of pay rather than a fixed salary and paid on an hourly basis for actual hours worked. Positions paid on an hourly basis are, in most cases, non-exempt.

  2. Period Activity Pay (PAP): The pay structure used to pay employees a lump-sum over a period of time for fixed-term activities. It is administered outside of the formal Compensation Package. The lump sum payment will be equally distributed over the pay cycles included in the payment timeframe.
Standard Measurement Period (SMP)

The retroactive measurement or “look back” period established by the University as October 3 to October 2 as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Standard Workweek

The University standard workweek (for payroll purposes) is seven consecutive days commencing at 12:01 a.m. Monday and ending at 12:00 midnight the following Sunday.

State Agency

Any authority, board, department, instrumentality, institution, agency, or other unit of state government. "State agency" does not include any county, city, or town.

State Funds

Restricted and unrestricted resources generated from tuition and fee revenues, Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost recoveries, state tax dollars, sales and services activities, grants and contracts, and auxiliary activities.

State of Emergency

The status declared by the Governor of Virginia (see Va. Code §44-146.17) or of another state for conditions of sufficient severity and magnitude that assistance is needed to supplement the efforts of localities and other relief organizations.

State Purchasing Card Program

A card program managed locally by the University's Purchasing Card Administrator with oversight from DOA. Purchases may be made with local or state funds. 


A student may be enrolled or affiliated.

Enrolled students pay tuition and fees and may register for credits. An enrolled student may be enrolled full-time, three-quarter time, half-time, or less than half-time.

Affiliated students are absent temporarily from the University for educational purposes and expect to complete their degree. Affiliated students are not enrolled, pay the affiliated status fee, and may not register for credits. Affiliated status must be approved by a student’s dean and may be used only for the purposes defined in this policy.


An amount given directly to a student as part of a fellowship or scholarship to support the pursuit of study or training. Students receiving a stipend are under no obligation to perform services as a condition of receiving the funds. Such payments typically are provided over a period of time, e.g. ten monthly payments of $500 each.

Straight-Time Pay

The total earnings of an employee for time worked and authorized paid time off in a service week (pay period) excluding overtime, special, or premium pay. Straight-time pay is calculated based upon the employee’s hourly rate of pay.

Strategic Compensation Alignment

A base pay adjustment provided to retain employees critical to the work of the University. Salary adjustment decisions are made using a holistic approach where multiple relevant factors (including the market-based pay range, employee skills and competencies, competitive counter-offers, and performance) are considered in support of sound pay decision-making.


An individual who either has been admitted to a degree or certificate program at the University or has received permission to enroll and is registered for coursework (including credit or non-credit) at the University during any given academic session (including fall or spring semesters, Summer Session, or January Term). 

Student (1)

A person enrolled in one or more courses at the University of Virginia.

Student Financial Services (SFS)

The University department with the responsibility for billing, management, collection and reporting of student receivables. SFS is also responsible to act as the University’s agent for receivables assigned to collection agencies or credit reporting bureaus.

Student Groups or Organizations (Student Groups/Organizations)

Student groups or organizations that have an active Contracted Independent Organization Agreement, Fraternal Organization Agreement, or Special Status Organization Agreement with the University.

Student Information System (SIS)

An internal system that is the source for admission, academic, and financial information.

Student Location

The current address a student annually reports to the University as their residence when enrolled at the University. This address may differ from a student’s billing or permanent address.

Student Organization

A general term that refers to all Contracted Independent Organizations (CIOs), Fraternal Operating Agreement Organizations (FOAs), and Special Status and Agency groups.

Student Procedures

The University’s Procedures for Reports Against Students, setting forth the procedures for investigating and resolving reports of alleged Prohibited Conduct committed by Students.

Student Resource Guide for Prohibited Conduct

The University’s Resource and Reporting Guide for Students, providing complete information for students about how to locate and access University and community resources for medical and mental-health assistance and support, how to obtain supportive measures, how to report Prohibited Conduct to the University and to law enforcement, and other information that may be useful to University students who have experienced or witnessed an incident of Prohibited Conduct.


An enforceable agreement, issued under a Federal Award or a Non-Federal Award between a Pass-through Entity and a Subrecipient for the performance of a substantive portion of the program. [Note: These terms do NOT apply to the procurement of goods or services from a Vendor.]


A non-Federal entity that receives a Subaward from a Pass-through Entity to carry out part of a federal or non-federal program as opposed to providing goods and services but does not include an individual that is a beneficiary of such a program. Subrecipients have responsibility for programmatic decision-making and for adherence to applicable program compliance responsibilities.

Substantial Misrepresentation

Any misrepresentation on which the person to whom it was made could reasonably be expected to rely, or has reasonably relied, to that person's detriment concerning the nature of an institution’s educational programs, financial charges, or the employability of its graduates.

Substantive Change

A significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Substantive changes can impact the quality of educational programs and services (see U.S. Department of Education Required Operating Policies and Procedures section 602.22).

Suitable Means of Verification

The process through which one receives assurance that work was performed so as to provide a certification of effort on the periodic effort reports. This process must take into consideration other university records and provide for the documented review of such records in support of work performed. Some examples of these records might include: calendars, teaching schedules, logbooks, or sponsor budgets. Other means of verification may also suffice, including e-mails attesting to effort devoted based upon firsthand knowledge. Oral verification from the employee/Principal Investigator or others fulfilling the role of a responsible person to an administrator will not suffice as a suitable means of verification.


Any person who has authority to undertake or recommend tangible employment decisions affecting an employee or academic decisions affecting a student; or to direct an employee’s work activities or a student’s academic activities. Examples include faculty members to whom work-study students report and team lead workers who, from time to time, monitor other employees’ performance or direct their work.

Supervisor (1)

A University employee charged with responsibility for managing another employee’s performance, including conducting performance evaluations.

Supplemental Approver

The individual designated as the Employee’s Supervisor in the University’s Human Resource System and certifies exceptions to policy are reasonable, necessary, and support the mission of the University.

Surplus Property

All University General Assets, Electronic Devices, and Electronic Media that are moveable from one location to another, including abandoned property, that is unwanted, worn-out, obsolete, excess to the University’s needs, or otherwise unsuitable for intended use.

The ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. ¹

¹From the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), now known as the Brundtland Commission.