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MSSU board approves intellectual properties policy after 10 years of negotiations

Mar. 18—The Missouri Southern Board of Governors approved on Friday an intellectual properties policy that has been under review and development by the administration and the Faculty Senate for more than a decade.

Faculty Senate President Jean Coltharp said the university didn't have an intellectual properties policy before Friday.

"This really protects the faculty, staff and administration," Coltharp said. "As it was, when we didn't have an intellectual property policy, the university owned everything that we created. So this just gives more ownership to the employees. It helps also with applying for grants. A lot of grants need a copy of an intellectual property (policy), so employees weren't allowed to apply for those grants."

The policy was approved unanimously by the board and will be reviewed next year and every three years after that.

"It does give the ownership to the employee a lot more, but it also protects the university in just making sure everything is black and white as it can be," Coltharp said. "There's no gray area; there's no hard feelings when something big happens. Everyone is on the same page going into this."

MSSU President Dean Van Galen said it was just good business for MSSU to have a policy that defines the roles and responsibilities and ownership of intellectual properties created by faculty.

"This policy is not in response to any item or issue," he said. "It is good practice to simply have clarity on any type of intellectual property whether it be materials developed by the faculty or patentable materials, inventions, so I think that importance of clarity even before we need it, that's a big deal."

Health science center

Missouri Southern Executive Vice President Brad Hodson reported that work on the designs for the $42 million, 65,000-square-foot Roy Blunt Health Science Innovation Center are being finalized.

Groundbreaking for the new center will take place at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 11, on the campus oval as the opening event for the first Willcoxon Innovation in Health Science Summit, slated for April 11 and 12.

Van Galen said former U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt will attend the groundbreaking and give an address in the Taylor Performing Arts Center on perspectives on health care, especially at the federal government level.

Van Galen said the public is invited to all events related to the summit.

Hearnes Hall update

Hodson also reported that progress was being made to remediate water damage in Hearnes Hall caused by a Jan. 14 waterline break in the building's sprinkler system.

He said repairs to the fire suppression system were completed Feb. 6 and that the systems was brought back online.

A contractor completed the removal of original vinyl floor tile that contained asbestos Feb. 21.

He said reconstruction of the building is on schedule for completion and the move-in date for employees who work in Hearnes Hall who were displaced is slated for July 1.