Licensing Practices at UNC SYSTEM Institutions

The UNC System’s 17 institutions license the use of university trademarks and properties. Licensing helps influence economic conditions for those employed in the manufacturing industry and foster safer working conditions for those who make UNC System-licensed products. Campuses license apparel and other products that may be sourced in Bangladesh, a major producer and exporter of worldwide textiles, apparel, and garments. International concern over the working conditions of those in Bangladesh’s garment industry has increased over the last several years.

In 2015, UNC System President Tom Ross asked staff to review the standards and practices for licensing the use of institutional trademarks and other properties of the University’s 17 institutions. Staff undertook this review to determine whether the adoption of consistent practices would help promote System-wide goals.

Staff gathered information, data, and feedback from students, faculty, and other sources. The University received written comments, and many interested stakeholders took part in a community discussion, which provided additional information and insight. Staff collected and reviewed media coverage related to worker safety in Bangladesh. In addition, they polled the University’s 17 constituent institutions for data on licensing, including royalties and licensee participation in worker safety agreements.


Labor codes and standards are put in place to ensure safe working conditions. The organizations below and the codes implemented in their work were referenced in the University’s review and discussion.

The Collegiate Licensing Company 
The Fair Labor Association
The Worker Rights Consortium
The Licensing Resource Group