FAQs

For Employees For Students

For Employees


Can I seek legal advice from the Office of Legal Affairs?

The Office of Legal Affairs represents the Board of Regents, CSCU Colleges and Universities, and employees acting in their official capacities. The Office of Legal Affairs does not provide individual legal advice or representation to employees outside of the scope of their employment, or to students or the general public.

What is Attorney-Client Privilege?

Communications with attorneys in the Office of Legal Affairs that are for the purpose of seeking legal advice are generally protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege. This means that employees may communicate with the attorneys in the Office of Legal Affairs about legal issues facing the CSCU Colleges and Universities with the reasonable expectation that the communications are confidential and may not be disclosed to third parties.

  • Do not share legal advice including emails provided to you by the Office of Legal Affairs with others without first consulting with Office of Legal Affairs as doing so may waive the privilege;
  • Attorneys in the Office of Legal Affairs may share the communications within the institution as necessary;
  • The institutions, through its administration, may waive the privilege without your consent.
  • There may be employees on campus who have law degrees. However, only attorneys in the Office of Legal Affairs represent the CSCU Colleges and Universities, and may engage in privileged communication.*

*CCSU has a University Counsel who represents CCSU exclusively and engages in privileged communication for that specific institution.

A process server came to my office with documents, what do I do?

Employees may encounter situations in which a State marshal or other process server asks you to accept service of a legal document or you may also receive these legal documents by mail. Typically, these legal documents consist of:

  • Subpoena: A subpoena is a written order issued by a court, attorney, or administrative agency. A subpoena generally requires a person to provide testimony and/or documents in connection with a legal proceeding, such as a deposition, court hearing or a trial. A subpoena is not a lawsuit against CSCU Colleges or Universities or their employees.

If you are asked to accept service of a subpoena on behalf of a CSCU College or University or another employee, you must immediately inform the Office of Legal Affairs at CSCU-Legal@ct.edu and provide the Office of Legal Affairs with a copy. The Office of Legal Affairs will coordinate the response.

  • Summons and Complaint: A summons and complaint are the documents used to initiate a lawsuit.

If you are asked to accept service of a summons and complaint, you should decline and advise the process server that lawsuits against the state, which include all CSCU institutions, must be served on the Attorney General’s Office in Hartford.

Exception: The only exception to the above is if the subpoena or summons specifically names you, as opposed to a CSCU College or University or another employee. In that situation, you can accept service of the subpoena or summons on your own behalf.

If you accept service of a subpoena or summons on your own behalf, receive such documents by mail, or accidently accept service of such documents, please contact the Office of Legal Affairs immediately at CSCU-Legal@ct.edu with a copy of the subpoena or summons.  Typically, these documents are time sensitive and failure to alert our office can result in adverse legal consequences.

I am an employee and I was contacted about a claim or lawsuit involving my institution, what do I do?

Please immediately refer all callers to the Office of Legal Affairs and do not respond to their questions.

I am employee and was sued for doing my job, what happens now?

As an employee of the State of Connecticut, you are generally immune from personal liability as a result of acts or omissions occurring within the scope of your employment. Further, employees sued as a result of acts or omissions taken in the discharge of their duties or within the scope of their employment will be provided a defense by the State through the Office of the Attorney General as long as such actions were not wanton, malicious or reckless. These protections are codified in State law.

If you are named as a defendant in a summons/lawsuit, you must immediately send a copy of the legal documents to the Office of Legal Affairs at CSCU-Legal@ct.edu.

Who is the CSCU’s insurer?

As a State agency, the CSCU Colleges and Universities are self-insured. Claims against any State agency are adjudicated by the State’s Commissioner of Claims. Anyone who believes they have suffered an injury or loss as a result of CSCU’s negligence should contact the State Claims Commissioner for further information.
State Claims Commissioner

Liability Waivers – Off-Campus University Activities

If CSCU faculty, administrators or staff are organizing  voluntary field trips or other activities off campus for students, a signed STUDENT LIABILITY RELEASE, WAIVER AND DISCHARGE form is required for students to participate. Please contact the Office of Legal Affairs at CSCU-Legal@ct.edu at least one week prior to the planned activity for legal advice and support.

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information is a Connecticut law which allows the inspection and copying of certain state records as well as notice and access to public meetings.

About the FOI Act

Freedom of Information Requests (FOI) – University document requests?

If you are asked to provide any information or documents in the possession of CSCU under the Freedom of Information Act, please contact the Data Privacy Officer, Mr. Angelo Simoni immediately for advice before turning over any documents. He may be reached at (860) 723-0165.  These matters are time sensitive and it is imperative that you forward these requests to him as soon as you receive them.

If you are advised that you must provide the documents requested, your department is responsible for copying them. The inherent copying and mailing costs may be charged back to the requestor, pursuant to state law. In addition, if the documentation requested is too voluminous to be mailed or delivered, you may need to arrange for a supervised review of documents by the requestor.

What is FERPA?

FERPA, an acronym for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law which provides privacy rights to students’ educational records.
Learn More

What is Title IX?

Title IX was enacted to ensure: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Learn More

CSCU-Issued E-Mail – Is it public or private information?

The definition of a public record is found in Connecticut General Statute 1-200, “any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method”. Accordingly, it is prudent that CSCU employees consider any e-mails or attachments shared between them and colleagues or outside parties as potentially public information. This warning includes use of your office computer, laptop, home computer (if used for business purposes) and even your wireless device.  Some tips for proper e-mail awareness:

  1. Do not send or forward any e-mail message that you wouldn’t want disclosed in a court or administrative proceeding. Some courts have ordered the production of employees’ computer hard drives as evidence.
  2. Never share confidential legal communication from this office to a colleague or friend. Doing so may waive the attorney-client privilege.
  3. Save only e-mails required for records retention purposes.
  4. Remember, any message you want kept completely confidential should be transmitted by phone and, of course, never left on anyone’s voice mail system.

How do I know what e-mail records to destroy and what to keep? If your records are litigation-related, please give us a call before you delete or destroy them! If there is the slightest threat of litigation, it may be crucial to preserve records of any data that may or may not be referred to in the State’s Records Retention Policy. It is also important to note that the purposeful destruction of crucial evidence for any litigation matter, either current or anticipated, could later have adverse consequences. Therefore, if you have any questions about the importance of any data, including electronic data, do not hesitate to contact this office for advice.

Misappropriation of University Assets

The Whistle Blower Complaints Section 4-61dd of the Connecticut General Statutes, also known as the Whistle Blower Act, was created to encourage those with information about any suspected misuse or misappropriation of State assets to feel confident that any information they offer will be kept confidential and that they may remain anonymous if they choose. If you wish to report any alleged misuse, you may file a complaint with the State Auditors by calling (860) 566-1435. Additionally, you may report any alleged misuse of State assets specific to CSCU to either the CSCU System Counsel at 860-723-0131, or to the main Office of the Attorney General at 860-808-5355.

Records Retention

Please visit https://ctstatelibrary.org/publicrecords/general-schedules-municipal/ for more information.  Please note that before destroying any CSCU record, it is likely that permission is needed from the State of Connecticut Library/CSCU institutional staff member who is the records liaison. 

Use of the CSCU Logo

The logo developed for the CSCU and the Board of Regents is the visual embodiment of the Board's higher education governance. All CSCU logos are designed elements and may not be used without permission or altered in any way.   https://www.ct.edu/newsroom/logo 

The CSCU logo may be downloaded for approved uses only. For any additional questions concerning logo use, please contact morrisa@ct.edu.

For Students


May a student seek legal advice from the Office of Legal Affairs?

The Office of Legal Affairs represents the Board of Regents, CSCU Colleges and Universities, and employees acting in their official capacities. The Office of Legal Affairs does not provide individual legal advice or representation to employees outside of the scope of their employment, or to students or the general public.

May I receive legal representation by your office in my role as a student/employee?

Student-employees may receive representation by the Office of Legal Affairs if they are found to be acting within the scope of their employment and their conduct has been determined not to be wanton, reckless, or malicious.

What if I have legal concerns about my dual role as a student/employee?

If you have a legal question concerning your employment-related duties, please discuss your concerns with your direct supervisor and have the appropriate Dean, Director or Department Head contact the Office of Legal Affairs if a resolution cannot be found at the administrative level.

I am not an employee and I was injured or sustained property damage on campus, what do I do for recovery?

As a State agency, claims by third parties against CSCU Colleges and Universities are barred by the Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity and must be filed with the Connecticut Office of the Claims Commissioner. The Claims Commissioner provides helpful information on its website, including the procedure for filing a claim.

State of Connecticut Office of Claims Commissioner Website

Who is the CSCU’s insurer?

As a State agency, the CSCU Colleges and Universities are self-insured. Claims against any State agency are adjudicated by the State’s Commissioner of Claims. Anyone who believes they have suffered an injury or loss as a result of CSCU’s negligence should contact the State Claims Commissioner for further information.
State Claims Commissioner

How do I know whether I qualify for in- state tuition?

For the purpose of assessing the cost of tuition, each CSCU applicant will be classified as a Connecticut resident or a non-resident. CSCU uses the information provided by the Connecticut General Statutes to determine an applicant’s residency classification. Failure to complete residency information on your application for admission will result in a non-resident classification.
Residency Determination Information

I am a veteran, are there any educational benefits that I may access at CSCU Institutions?

Certain qualified Veterans and their family members may attend CSCU and receive tuition waivers for credit-bearing undergraduate and graduate programs.
View Qualfications

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information is a Connecticut law which allows the inspection and copying of certain state records as well as notice and access to public meetings.

About the FOI Act

What is FERPA?

FERPA, an acronym for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law which provides privacy rights to students’ educational records.
Learn More

What is Title IX?

Title IX was enacted to ensure: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Learn More

Student Conduct Code

The CSCU Student Code of Conduct is approved by the Board of Regents and administered by the office of Student Affairs and the Dean of Students. This office works closely with Student Affairs to maintain a consistency of policy implementation across the university and college community.