Administrative Policies

AD03 Conducting Educational Programs Using the Name of the University

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Lindsay Miller, 814-863-5132,

Policy Steward: 

Vice President for Administration


  • Purpose
  • Definitions
  • Policy
  • Application for Use of University Name or Facilities
  • Program Administration and Related Issues
  • Administrative Responsibility
  • Exceptions
  • Non-Educational Programs
  • Further Information
  • Cross References

    The Office of the Vice President for Outreach, the Office of the Vice Provost for Online Education and the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses designate units and/or individuals to support, deliver and administer non-credit programs that have an educational purpose with the intent of providing the highest quality teaching and learning environment. Such audiences can consist of, but are not necessarily limited to, scholars, individuals seeking to expand their cultural interests, persons working to update their professional skills, individuals considering career redirection, and those interested in personal, community, or societal improvements.  Conferences & Institutes is the designated unit at the University Park campus.  Chancellors are responsible for identifying the designee at their campus location. The purpose of this policy is to ensure consistent, high quality delivery of programs, financial accountability, and optimal use of University resources and facilities for any group conducting non-credit educational programs (conferences, courses, workshops, institutes, symposiums, seminars, etc.) using the University name, regardless of facilities used.


    A non-credit program is any activity with academic content approved to offer educational value measures (EVM), continuing educational units (CEU), or professional educational hours.


    Non-credit programs originating at or through any campus or Penn State location, or through a faculty or staff member, using the name of the University, at which external audiences are expected, and either 1) a program registration fee is charged or underwritten, or 2) educational value measures, or continuing education units (CEUs or other profession-specific credits) are offered, must be offered through Conferences & Institutes or the Chancellor designee. Online non-credit programs must also adhere to University Policy AD55.  Blended programs must adhere to both AD03 and AD55.


    All individuals and/or units wishing to conduct educational programs using the name of the University must first obtain approval in accordance with University Policy AD07, “Use of University Name, Trademarks, Symbols, Logos and/or Graphic Devices”. In addition, such units will notify the Assistant/Associate Dean of the college responsible for outreach programming or the Chancellor most directly concerned with the program, and provide:

    • the name and purpose of the program,
    • preferred program dates,
    • if minors will be involved with the program,
    • University personnel involved, and
    • facilities required;
      • University owned or leased
      • Non-University

    The Associate Dean/Chancellor will notify Conferences & Institutes/Chancellor designee that the program has been approved and that support for the program is requested.

    Conferences & Institutes/Chancellor designee will provide support services, such as registration, conference management, financial accounting, budgeting, media services, program planning and instructional design, marketing, and record keeping, and will ensure that programs conducted in the name of the University on and off campus comply with the policies and procedures established by the University.


    Conferences & Institutes/Chancellor designee will ensure the following before commencing planning:

    • a course master is approved by the appropriate academic representative
    • budget is approved by the appropriate budget administrator/authority

    All receipts of any program will be collected by Conferences & Institutes with direct costs of the college or department included as part of the program expenses; revenues will be returned to the sponsoring college(s) according to specific program agreements.

    Publicity, promotion, and marketing materials dealing with the approved program and bearing the name of the University must be reviewed and approved by the academic coordinators of the program and the Outreach/Campus representative as designated by the University Editor (per Policy AD61 "University Communications Through Advertising, Publications and Media Relations") before release/distribution.


    The Vice President for Outreach and Vice Provost for Online Education, in conjunction with the College Assistant/Associate Deans responsible for outreach programming, and the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses in conjunction with the Chancellor’s designee has overall responsibility for all approved programs. The Conferences & Institutes and Chancellors’ designees will have general administrative responsibility for the operation and delivery of all approved programs. These individuals will establish budgets, arrange and/or contract for registering participants into the official non-credit registration system, and arrange and/or contract for the required planning activities, services, and amenities associated with the program.


    This policy does not apply to the following:

    • regularly scheduled meetings or other educational programs for students, faculty, or staff of the University that do not charge registration fees,
    • alumni reunions and leadership retreats; and information-sharing meetings such as the Big Ten Academic Alliance, etc.,
    • short media events designed to provide information to the public about a University-related matter, research-related breakthrough, or topic of general interest,
    • program series that are presented free of charge to the University and local communities on a public-service, information-dissemination, or cultural awareness basis, or
    • programs and activities funded by student activity fees.

    In the event that it is in the interest of the University for a program to be supported outside of Conferences & Institutes or the Chancellor designee, an exception may be pursued by the unit seeking to manage its own program. An exception requires the approval and support of the College Associate Dean/Chancellor, the Financial Officer, Risk Management Office, and Youth Programs Compliance Specialist (if applicable). Exceptions must have a valid rationale. The appropriate AD03 Exception Application (University Park AD03 Exception Application or Commonwealth Campus AD03 Exception Application) must be completed.

    NOTE: While the policy provides for these exemptions, services of Conferences & Institutes or Chancellor designee are available to these groups if requested.


    Any request for using the University facilities not related to an educational program or service shall be referred to the Office of Strategic Communications. (See Policy AD02, Non-University Groups Using University Facilities.)


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Outreach and Online Education or the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses.


    • AD01 - Policies and Procedures for the Use of University Auditoriums,
    • AD02 - Non-University Groups Using University Facilities,
    • AD07 - Use of University Name and/or Symbols,
    • AD21 - Use of the Agricultural Arena and Agricultural Progress Days Facilities,
    • AD26 - Sales of Food and Beverages at University Locations,
    • AD27 - Commercial Sales Activities at University Locations,
    • AD32 - Smoking Policy and Guideline,
    • AD39 - Minors Involved in University-Sponsored Programs or Programs Held at the University and/or Housed in University Facilities
    • AD55 - Role of the Department of Distance Education/World Campus, and
    • AD61 - University Communications Through Advertising, Publications and Media Relations
    • Conference and Institutes Web Site

    Most recent changes:

    • December 4, 2018 - Split AD03 Exception Application into form for University Park and for Commonwealth Campuses.

    Revision History (and effective dates):

    • December 5, 2016 - Changes made throughout the policy to reflect current operations. Expanded the policy to include all Penn State locations. DEFINITION section added. Revised approval and exception processes. Editorial changes, such as references to Continuing and Distance Education being changed to "Conferences & Institutes." 
    • August 21, 2014 - Editorial changes. In NON-EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS, reference to the Office of University Relations have been changed to the Office of Strategic Communications. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
    • August 15, 2006 - Changes to Purpose, Policy, Application For Use of Name or Facilities, Approval of Application and Related Issues, and Administrative Responsibility sections.  Approved by University Outreach Council on May 18, 2006, and President's Council on August 14, 2006.
    • June 15, 2006 - Revision History added.
    • July 28, 2005 - Editorial changes to reflect that cross references to former policy AD10, "University Publications Program," have been replaced with the correct cross referenced policy, that being policy AD61, " University Communications Through Advertising, Publications and Media Relations."
    • July 11, 1994 - Substantial revisions
    • August 30, 1985 - Office Title changes, per reorganization changes.
    • December 9, 1981 - Revisions to "Application for Use" are "Approval" sections.

    Date Approved: 

    December 5, 2016

    Date Published: 

    December 8, 2016

    Effective Date: 

    December 5, 2016