Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What is the legal status of the University?

    The University of Miami is a not-for-profit corporation, duly recognized as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization by the Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service. The University of Miami is exempt from the payment of Florida sales and use tax on real property rented, transient rental property rented, tangible personal property purchased or rented, or services purchased. A copy of the University of Miami’s Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption issued pursuant to Chapter 212, Florida Statues may be found here

  • Who does the Office of the General Counsel represent?

    The Office of the General Counsel represents the institution and provides a wide-range of legal representation to the University and its various component organizations. The office advises Trustees, Officers, Faculty, and Staff in their official university capacity.

  • What type of services does the Office of the General Counsel provide?

    The Office of the General Counsel is responsible for all legal matters affecting the institution, including litigation, advice and opinions to University administrators, participation in formulating University policies, and supervision of outside counsel. General Counsel provides legal guidance in a number of areas, including business transactions; student affairs; labor and employment, including immigration; probate; tax; environmental health and safety; athletics; regulatory compliance; governance and ethics; health care matters, intellectual property and technology transfer; sponsored programs; litigation management; policy development, and general corporate law.

  • Can I retain outside counsel for a university matter?

    No. Only the Office of the General Counsel can retain outside counsel. If you have a matter that you believe warrants legal representation please contact our office. For more information, click here.

  • I need to have something signed by the University. Who has the authority to execute?

    The following officers are authorized to execute contracts on behalf of the University: President, Senior Vice President for Business and Finance, Vice President and Treasurer, Vice President for Real Estate, Vice President for Business Services, and Associate Vice President for Facilities Administration.

    For more information, click here.

  • Can the Office of the General Counsel represent or give legal advice to individual faculty members or students?

    No. Please refer to our “Help for the Public” Tab on the Home page.

  • What is the role of the ombudsperson?

    The University has identified a group of troubleshooters and a University Ombudsperson. Troubleshooters are faculty members and administrators who serve as a resource for students seeking assistance with academic and non-academic matters. The Academic Ombudsperson listens to student grievances, investigates the facts, and attempts to objectively make recommendations on how to resolve the issue.

    You may contact the Ombudsperson by calling 305-284-4922 or via email at

  • Which lawyer in the Office of the General Counsel do I contact for my particular legal issue?

    Please click on the “Practice Areas" tab for guidance or contact our office at 305-284-2700

  • Is what I tell you confidential?

    Each situation must be evaluated on its facts. Most information given as part of a request for legal advice is privileged with respect to third parties, but not to other University officials.

  • Am I indemnified if I am sued in connection with University business?

    Generally, provided you are acting in good faith and within the scope of your employment.

  • I have been asked to send to a student's file to a third party. What should I do?

    Students’ records are maintained by the Registrar’s Office in strict compliance with THE FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT OF 1974 (FERPA).

    Contact the Registrar in accordance with University policy.

  • To whom should I report suspected fraudulent activity?

    If an employee has knowledge of information that is in violation of any law, rule or regulation, the employee is encouraged to contact his/her immediate supervisor or the following hotlines to afford the University a reasonable opportunity to review and correct the activity:

    Whistleblower protection prevents retaliatory actions against an employee who reports violations. This includes protection from retaliation in the form of an adverse employment action such as termination, suspension, or demotion. Any whistleblower who believes he/she is being retaliated against must contact the appropriate Human Resources Office, Faculty Affairs Office or the Office of Equality Administration immediately.

    Human Resources:
    Medical School Campus: 305-243-6501
    Gables/Marine School Campus: 305-284-4083

    Faculty Affairs:
    Medical School Campus: 305-243-6551
    Gables/Marine School Campus: 305-284-3386

    Equality Administration:
    Medical School Campus: 305-243-7203
    Gables/Marine School Campus: 305-284-3064

  • Who can give me permission to use the University of Miami name and logo?

    These requests are handled through the Office of Business Services. For more information, click here.

  • What should I do if I receive a writ of garnishment or tax levy for an employee?

    IRS levies and child support must be forwarded to the Payroll Office for handling. The Payroll Office will make every attempt to notify an employee when a notice of an IRS levy or child support or the other order is received. When required, copies of orders will be sent via certified mail to the employee's address on record in the University's DHRS/Payroll System. The first deduction of the levy, garnishment or other request for withholding will be taken from the next paycheck. Deductions will cease either upon full satisfaction of any amount indicated in the order or on receipt of a discharge from the courts or the IRS.

    Consumer Writ of Garnishments are handled by the Office of the General Counsel, which directs the Payroll Office to withhold from the employees' pay as appropriate. Employees should contact the IRS or their attorney for further advice or information.

  • Who may accept service of process for the University?

    In your professional capacity at the University, you may be contacted or approached by a process server who is paid to deliver legal documents in accordance with State and Federal rules. The most common legal documents that are served are:
    Subpoena: This document requires a person/institution to provide testimony and/or documents.
    Summons and Complaint: These serve as notice that a lawsuit has been filed.
    Wage Garnishment: Court order compelling the University to withhold some portion of an employee’s wages and apply those funds toward a monetary obligation.

    All subpoenas, summonses and other liability claims must be served on the Registered Agent. In the event another office/employee is served, please notify the Office of General Counsel immediately. Please keep in mind that court orders are time sensitive and have a court imposed deadline. No records will be made available without clearance from the Office of General Counsel.

    If a process server asks you to accept any document on behalf of UM, decline and refer them to the Registered Agent.

    The Registered Agent for the University is:
    Humberto M. Speziani

    Executive Director of Risk Management

    Gables One Tower

    1320 South Dixie Highway, Suite 1200

    Coral Gables, Florida 33146

  • What should I do if an FBI or other federal agent arrives at my office and requests information as part of a background check?

    Please contact the Office of the General Counsel at 305-284-2700.

  • What should I do if an FBI or other federal agent arrives at my office with a warrant?

    Please contact the Office of the General Counsel at 305-284-2700.

  • Can I talk to the media? Who is the official spokesperson for UM?

    The President is the official spokesperson for the University on matters of policy and official action. In most cases, this authority is delegated to the Director of Media Relations for the Coral Gables and Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science campuses, and the Director of Public Relations for the Medical School.
    Employees should keep the University Relations Office informed about newsworthy matters in their area of responsibility.

  • What is the relationship between Jackson Memorial Hospital and the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine?

    Jackson Memorial Hospital is an accredited, public, tertiary care hospital and the major teaching facility for the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Jackson Memorial Hospital is a referral center, a magnet for medical research and a full-service provider for the uninsured and medically indigent in Miami-Dade County.

    The University of Miami’s Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, an academic medical center was founded in 1952. The University of Miami School of Medicine campus is conveniently located minutes from downtown Miami, in the Civic Center area.

  • What is the compliance committee?

    The University Compliance Committee (UCC) provides central coordination and oversight for all compliance activities and reports to the Provost. The goal of the UCC is to monitor, provide support, and fulfill the University’s legal and ethical compliance obligations. The UCC works in conjunction with the University units that oversee compliance activities ranging from research and athletics to human resources and enrollments. The University has compliance offices for athletics, billing, privacy and research compliance and standards.

    For more information, click here.

  • Does the University of Miami have a hurricane or disaster preparation and recovery plan?

    Yes. Safety is a top priority at the University of Miami. If a storm threatens, members of the UM community should monitor the University's home page for continual updates and advice. Visit  or

  • How do I make a gift to the University?

    Momentum2: The Campaign for the University of Miami is fueling the transformation of the institution.
    There are many ways to show your support for the University of Miami:
    The most traditional and common way in which to support the University is with a gift of cash.
    The easiest and most convenient way to make a contribution is by credit card.
    Gifts of stock and bonds are welcomed at the University of Miami; however, these gifts require special planning and consultation with your professional financial advisor and the University of Miami staff.
    Tangible personal property that address a specific need and comply with the mission and policies of the University.
    Many companies provide matching gifts for their employees as part of their employee benefit packages. Click here to donate