13.14 Export Controls


To outline the University's obligations in regard to the shipment, transmission, or transfer of data, information, materials, equipment, and technologies to foreign persons or countries, as required by federal regulations for export controls. 

Policy Statement

It is the policy of the University of Northern Iowa to comply with all applicable export control laws.  The Director of Research Services serves as the Export Controls Coordinator and is responsible to facilitate and support the University's screening and management activities in this area.

All faculty and staff who may be engaged in covered export activity are responsible for maintaining an awareness of the University policy on export controls; notifying the appropriate University officials of potential export control issues; and cooperating in the screening, management, and oversight of activities to which export controls may apply.  This includes responsibility for export-controlled activities as they pertain to students under their direction.  Faculty and staff are prohibited from negotiating any agreements with sponsors or others that may involve constraints on the publication or other dissemination of research results without the knowledge and approval of the Export Controls Coordinator or his/her designee.

This policy applies to all University activities, contracts, and agreements.  Applicable export control laws and regulations include:  1) Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which prohibit the export of specified technology and related technical information to certain foreign nations and their citizens; and 2) Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) regulations, which prohibit economic activities with certain listed countries, entities and individuals.  Federal law allows the imposition of serious civil and criminal sanctions against an investigator and university when a violation occurs.  However, the EAR and ITAR include several exclusions, including an exclusion from export control limitations for most fundamental research activities -- the kind of research (basic and applied) in which results are ordinarily published.  Other exclusions may apply as well.  Therefore, careful screening and awareness of research and other activities are necessary to determine if export control laws apply to a given situation or if one of the exclusions applies. 

Key administrative units responsible for activities that most commonly involve export controls are the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), Office of Business Operations (OBO), University Counsel, and college and department administrative units that oversee faculty, staff, and student research, travel, and purchasing.  The OSP is responsible to monitor the screening and management of export controlled activities in grants, contracts, and research agreements.  The OBO is responsible to monitor the screening and management of export controlled activities as they pertain to service and purchasing agreements, travel, shipping, and equipment.  College and departmental administrators are responsible for screening and monitoring all potential export-controlled activities as they occur under their purview. 

University Counsel is responsible to assist the Project Director/Principal Investigator, Export Controls Coordinator, OSP, OBO, and others with legal issues involving the application of export control laws and regulations to University activities.  University Counsel also is responsible to provide final approval for all Export Control Management Plans and take the lead in applying for any licenses that are needed in order to engage in controlled activity. 


The Export Control Coordinator is responsible to provide training and educational materials to administrators, faculty, and staff who may be engaged in covered export activity to assist them in understanding and complying with export control laws and regulations.  Each unit head is responsible to monitor the activities within their purview for potential export control issues and to report such activities as soon as they are identified to the Export Controls Coordinator.  Screening mechanisms within OSP, OBO, and other units will assist in this process.  The Export Controls Coordinator, in consultation with University Counsel as needed, will make a final determination as to whether or not export control regulations apply in a given circumstance.  If so, the Coordinator will assist the involved parties in developing a management plan for restricting access to research information or other controlled items, including, if necessary, physical security.  The plan will assure that faculty and staff working on the project are informed that the information may not be carried or transmitted to a restricted foreign country, or to a restricted foreign national, without the appropriate export license.  The plan must be approved by the department chair or center/program director, dean, and the Export Controls Coordinator, and will be shared with any administrative units holding responsibility for the controlled materials or activities.  It will then be forwarded to University Counsel for final approval, who will work with the PI, Coordinator, and department to obtain any necessary licenses.  The Project Director, Principal Investigator, or other lead individual for the activity will then be responsible for ensuring that the management plan is carried out and/or working with the Export Controls Coordinator to make adjustments to it as necessary.

The OSP is responsible to maintain pertinent information on export controls, including forms and screening tools, at its website

Office of Sponsored Programs, approved July 28, 2010 
President's Cabinet, approved August 9, 2010