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Gates at the entrance of California University of PennsylvaniaGates at the entrance of California University of Pennsylvania


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Posted on September 14, 2012

From: Acting President Geraldine M. Jones
To: All students, faculty, staff, alumni and University friendsPortrait of Acting Cal U President Geraldine M. Jones.

New state legislation will allow Cal U’s faculty, staff and students to turn bright ideas into commercial ventures that benefit both themselves and the University.

A package of measures collectively known as the Higher Education Modernization Act, or HEMA, includes the State System Intellectual Property Act.

This act is good news for innovators and entrepreneurs who also are PASSHE employees or students. Under the act, they now may work directly with businesses to develop and market new products created in the course of their research.

Both the innovators and the University may benefit from the “economic development transactions” defined in the act. For the first time, state-owned universities will be permitted to license these innovations to companies in which a faculty or staff member has some interest, perhaps as the business owner or a consultant.

Prior to this legislation, PASSHE faculty, staff and students were not permitted to develop commercial applications for innovations created in the course of their research, because of their special status as state employees.

The new legislation “creates a level playing field, not only with all other institutions of higher education in the commonwealth, but also with other public universities throughout the country,” said PASSHE Chancellor John C. Cavanaugh.

The new act could enhance Cal U’s ability to recruit and retain faculty and staff, while providing new research and internship opportunities for students. It also could provide new revenue streams for the University as innovations are taken to market.

In addition to the Intellectual Property Act, HEMA includes measures that:

  • Permit PASSHE universities, including Cal U, to offer applied, or professional, doctorates. (IUP will remain the only PASSHE university permitted to offer a research doctorate, or Ph.D.)
  • Allow university presidents, faculty and other employees to become more involved in private fundraising on behalf of the University.
  • Permit PASSHE universities to save money by joining large purchasing consortiums.

PASSHE has organized live videoconferences to present information about the State System Intellectual Property Act. Here at Cal U, the PASSHE Entrepreneurial Forum will be broadcast from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Oct. 16, in the north conference wing of the Convocation Center.

I urge all members of the campus community to attend the videoconference, which will be held during the Common Hour. I invite you to listen critically, think creatively, and explore this opportunity together.

Signature of Acting President Geraldine Jones.

Meet Acting President Geraldine M. Jones