Policies and Guidelines on the Use of the University's Name and Visual Identity

Overview

  • As society and economy become knowledge based, the University of Hong Kong - indeed, any university - is increasingly committed to knowledge creation and dissemination for the benefits of the community with which it forms an inherent strategic, and profitable, partnership. Through provision of educational services and technology transfer, university-owned knowledge acquires social and economic values, very often through collaboration with commercial enterprises. The globalisation trend also means that the University of Hong Kong must seek to break out of national and regional boundaries, and be recognised as a university of international renown. On account of its strategy of community partnership and internationalization, the University of Hong Kong will become associated with collaborative individuals and organizations, locally and internationally. However, the University must at the same time be seen to maintain its core value in the pursuit of truth and must be trusted by the public that in all its activities, including commercialization of research output and business-industry partnership, the intellectual integrity is preserved.
  • Indeed, we regard "The University of Hong Kong" as a widely known and respected name in Hong Kong, regionally and internationally. We therefore believe that the appropriate use of the name of the University will bring credit to all members in association and the institution itself; conversely, improper use of the name will engender ill repute.
  • The name itself (including the variant forms of its visual identity) is also an intellectual property that the University must have legitimate interest to protect its use, especially as it may be of significant economic value.

Objective

  • This paper aims to clarify the use of the name of the University of Hong Kong for members of the University and the public. The intent is to set out the general principles and the guidelines so as to ensure that the use of the University's name is accurate and appropriate and that such use signifies institutional accountability.
  • The use of the University's name is not confined to its constituent academic and administrative units and collaborative partners. Individual members of the University may give opinions or make endorsements solely in their personal capacity. The existence of any financial consideration must be disclosed to the University and revealed in any agreed endorsement. The University expects that its staff will maintain the highest professional conduct when they associate themselves with its name in making professional or public statements - whether in a professional or expert capacity.
  • It is understandable that the University's name will be used extensively and under different circumstances. Hence, this set of general principles and guidelines may not comprehensively cover all cases. If in doubt, members of the University and the public are requested to seek advice from the Registrar.

Definitions

The following are the definitions of University's name and activities:

  1. "Name" includes "The University of Hong Kong", "香港大學", the acronym "HKU", "港大", all other names, abbreviations, logos (whether registered as a trademark or not), and any other form of visual identity that connote an association with the University; and
  2. University's activities include its educational work, research and developmental work, community services, administrative and promotional work in pursuit of its knowledge generation and educational goals, consultancies with or without commercial advantages.

Application

The principles and guidelines shall apply to:

  1. "University members", including all staff and students;
  2. University's sub-divisions of studies and learning, administrative and service departments, companies, registered staff organizations, sponsored or registered student groups;
  3. University support groups such as Court and Council lay members, alumni bodies;
  4. Government and other statutory bodies;
  5. Public members, either individually or collectively, who through participation and engagement in University activities have become involved in the use of the University's name; and
  6. Print, television, video, motion picture, all forms of electronic media.

General Principles

The following criteria, inter alia, should be considered when approval is to be given by the Vice-Chancellor or his designated authority for the use of the University's name:

  1. Any use of the University's name must be made to ensure that the association does not adversely affect the University's reputation or other interests.
  2. Any direct or implied association with the University due to using its name must be based on a relationship properly approved by the University between itself and the other party concerned.
  3. The use of the University's name to describe or promote activities should be made only if it is assured that intellectual and ethical standards approved by the University are maintained; and that in actual application, there should be rigorous demand on factual accuracy to prevent distortion or misinformation.
  4. Economic values which may be generated through the appropriate association with the University's name should be fairly attributed to the University in accordance with the relevant schedules and procedures managed by the Finance and Enterprises Office and Versitech Limited.
  5. The format or media in which the University's name (or any form of visual identity) appears must be aesthetically pleasing in order to avoid public offence or distaste.

Guidelines

  • The authority to approve the use of the University's name ultimately belongs to the Vice-Chancellor or his delegated authority. [Exception: Materials already designated in any visual identity manual or products/services under copyright/intellectual property assignments to the University may be given blanket or category approval.]
  • The use of the name of individual Faculties, Departments, sub-divisions of studies and learning, administrative and service departments shall be approved in advance by the Vice-Chancellor or his delegated authority. [Express approval must be obtained from the Vice-Chancellor or his delegated authority in relation to fund-raising, advertising and promotional efforts, sale and distributions of services/products for financial consideration, and financial transactions.]
  • For events other than the normal University activities, staff and students, individually or collectively, may only use the name of the University (including the name of individual Faculties, Departments, sub-divisions of studies and learning, administrative and service departments) with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor or his delegated authority except where blanket or category approval has already been given.
  • In using or authorizing the use of the University's name (including the name of individual Faculties, Departments, sub-divisions of studies and learning, administrative and service departments) to identify themselves or to associate with activities conducted in collaboration with outside parties (such as in contract research, public statements, joint authorships), staff and students should, wherever necessary, assure that the use of such name(s) does not imply the University's endorsement of or responsibility for the particular activity, product, or publication involved.
  • Advertising that displays, lists, or suggests the University
    1. as a user or endorser of any product or service; or
    2. as the source of research information on which a commercial product, service, programme, or publication is based or derived; or
    3. has evaluated or analyzed a commercial product, service, programme, or publication
    is generally not encouraged. Approval may be granted exceptionally if the University is satisfied that its reputation and interests are sufficiently safeguarded. [There should be an exclusion clause on the use of University's name in the normal research consultancy agreement in order to preempt commercial exploitation of the University's name consequent upon the release of the research findings and reports. A standard clause is at Annex I.]
  • In advance of using the University's name (including the name of individual Faculties, Departments, sub-division of studies and learning, administrative and service departments) in whatever format or media, express approval should be obtained from the Vice-Chancellor or his delegated authority.

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