Real Estate and Construction

If my department is interested in renting or leasing office space off campus, to whom should we direct our questions?

The University's Real Estate Office (612-625-5345) prepares and reviews all leasing and coordinates lease approval.

Student Issues

The class I teach is going on a trip. Should I get a consent form from the students?

It is generally a good idea to have all participants in any off-campus activity, particularly overnight and/or out-of-town travel, to read and sign a form acknowledging their understanding of the planned activity and their willingness to accept the risk. Of course, trip leaders should take all reasonable precautions for safety. If you are leading a trip, consider using a field trip release.

Purchasing and Contracting

My department is considering providing services to an outside party for compensation. I know that if it were a sponsored project, I would go through Sponsored Projects Administration. However, these services do not involve sponsored research, and they appear to constitute an external sale. Where should I go for help?

Refer to the External Sales Policy on the Web. In addition, you may contact the Office of External Sales at 612-625-2415.

Legal Defense and Indemnification of University Employees

What if there is a legal claim against me based on something I did at work?

From time to time, individual University employees are sued as a result of their activities as University employees. For example, University employees are occasionally involved in automobile accidents in which the plaintiffs sue the University and the driver of the University of Minnesota vehicle. Employment disputes may involve an individual supervisor or administrator.

Lawsuits, Legal Claims, Subpoenas


Only the Corporate Secretary for the Board of Regents and the University General Counsel are authorized to accept service of process against the University of Minnesota, whether that service is of a summons and complaint, subpoena, or other legal document.  Due to current conditions, the building in which the offices of these individuals sit has restricted access.  Therefore, those wishing to effect service of process against the University are directed to email the Office of the General Counsel at 

Information Access and Restrictions; Personal Data

What University information can I get or give out?

There are two primary laws governing University information the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minn. Stat. ch. 13, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Title 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232. Each contains many detailed provisions, classifying information as private, public, or confidential.

Health Care Law

As a researcher in the healthcare field, I need access to patient medical records to do my research. What restrictions apply?

Under a Minnesota State law which became effective January 1, 1997, researchers who are external to a healthcare provider may not have access to the provider's patient records created as of that date unless the patient has signed a general written authorization allowing access to the medical record for research purposes. This requirement does not apply to researchers internal to the healthcare provider.

Free Speech, Free Press, Freedom of Religion

Doesn't free speech mean I can say whatever I want wherever I want, even if it offends someone?

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees certain rights to citizens, including free speech, a free press, and freedom of religion. Students, employees, and visitors of the University of Minnesota benefit from these rights as do all persons in the United States. However, courts have long recognized that the exercise of these rights is not infringed when the state adopts reasonable restrictions to protect the rights of other members of the community.