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Frequently Asked Questions

May OGC represent or give legal advice to individuals, faculty, staff or students, on non-college matters? 

I need to have a document or contract signed by the college. Who has authority to sign?

What do I do if I need to have an FIT contract reviewed or prepared?

What do I do if I receive an inquiry from a government agency?

What do I do if someone tries to serve a summons, subpoena or other legal notice?

What do I do if I am contacted by an outside attorney concerning a college-related matter?

What do I do if I receive a request for student educational or health records?

Will I be represented and indemnified if I am sued in connection with college business?

How do I report concerns about illegal or unethical conduct in connection with financial resources or operations of the college or its auxiliary entities?

Is what I tell OGC confidential?

Q. May OGC represent or give legal advice to individuals, faculty, staff, or students, on non-college matters?

No. OGC represents the College and works only on College-related matters. OGC attorneys advise the trustees, directors, administrators, faculty and staff acting in their official capacities on legal issues. Please refer to the links listed at Referrals for Personal Legal Matters.

Q. I need to have a document or contract signed by the college. Who has authority to sign?

The President, the Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration, and certain other senior administrators are authorized to sign documents and contracts on behalf of the College. Generally, this authority is limited to a specific area of responsibility. Please check with the senior manager for your area to determine who has the authority to sign the particular document or contract. If he or she does not know, OGC can help determine the appropriate signatory.

Q. What do I do if I need to have an FIT contract reviewed or prepared?

OGC reviews, drafts and approves, as to legal sufficiency, terms and conditions of agreements entered into by the College. Prior to sending any document or seeking help with any legal task, make sure that you have the authorization of your supervisor to contact us.

Q. What do I do if I receive an inquiry from a government agency?

Whenever the College receives requests for information or site visits from government regulatory and investigative agencies, it is important that OGC be notified immediately. OGC will determine whether the request or visit is legally valid, coordinate the College’s response and notify appropriate senior administrators. Refer all persons representing regulatory authorities or other government agencies to OGC.

Q. What do I do if someone tries to serve a summons, subpoena or other legal notice?

Whenever a “process server” attempts to hand-deliver an official legal document, such as a summons and complaint or a subpoena, to a College employee, you should inform the process server that you do not have authority to accept service of the document, and that the document should be delivered instead to OGC. Do not sign anything unless authorized to do so by someone in OGC. Official legal documents mailed to the College should be forwarded immediately to OGC.

Q. What do I do if I am contacted by an outside attorney concerning a college-related matter?

All dealings with outside attorneys on College-related matters should be conducted through OGC. If you are contacted by an outside attorney on a College-related matter, please refer the attorney to OGC.

Q. What do I do if I receive a request for student educational or health records?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides that, with certain exceptions, educational records may not be disclosed to persons outside the College without a student’s written consent. Likewise, there are state and federal laws limiting when an individual’s health records can be disclosed. Requests for such records should be forwarded to OGC for appropriate response.

Q. Will I be represented and indemnified if I am sued in connection with college business?

Generally, yes, as long as you are acting in good faith and within the scope of your job.

Q. How do I report concerns about illegal or unethical conduct in connection with financial resources or operations of the college or its auxiliary entities?

Complaints may be submitted orally or in writing, giving as much detail as possible. Complaints may be made anonymously. All complaints should be made to the General Counsel and Secretary of the College. Any complaint submitted to a senior administrator or a department head of the College should be forwarded by the recipient to OGC. Contact OGC at 212 217.4030, Room C914, 227 West 27th Street.

Q. Is what I tell OGC confidential?

While it is OGC policy that information you provide to OGC will be used only for purposes of College-related business and will be disclosed only to other FIT employees who have a specific need to know, OGC cannot guarantee to keep any or all information it receives from you strictly confidential.

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