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ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY
Home : Administration & Operations : Compliance and Legal

Outside Consulting and Other Commitments

Effective Date: July 2006
Last Update: February 2012
Responsible University Officer:
  • Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Policy Owner:
  • Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Policy Contact:
  • Updated: February 2012
  • Primary Contact : Ole Gram

Printed on: . Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

POLICY STATEMENT

University employees may participate in outside professional commitments during the term of their appointment, as long as these commitments do not interfere with the performance of regular employment duties, or compete with coursework offered by the University or services offered by the employee's unit. Faculty and academic professional and administrative (P&A) employees eligible to engage in outside professional commitments may not exceed the time limits allowable as noted below. Employees whose outside professional commitments present a conflict of interest must comply with Board of Regents Policy: Individual Conflicts of Interest, and Administrative Policies: Individual Conflicts of Interest and Individual Conflicts of Interest: Standards Governing Those Involved in Clinical Health Care and related procedures.

Eligibility for Outside Professional Commitments: Faculty and Academic Professional and Administrative (P&A) Employees

Faculty and P&A employees on appointments of 75% or more are eligible to engage in outside consulting and other outside professional commitments that do not exceed, on the average, one day per seven-day week. These individuals may not exceed the maximum number of days per term of appointment, for example:

  • A term: 48 days
  • B term: 39 days. (Those employees on B appointments are not subject to this time restriction during the months they are not on appointment, regardless of whether they elect to be paid over 9 months or 12 months.)

Faculty and P&A employees who hold appointments of less than 75% may participate in outside professional commitments only during non-work hours and provided that these commitments do not interfere with the performance of regular employment duties, or compete with coursework offered by the University or services offered by the employee's unit during the term of their employment. No time restrictions apply to these individuals during non-work hours. These employees may participate in professional activities identified in the Reporting Exclusions (see below) during work hours.

Individuals with part-time teaching appointments (less than 75%), excluding tenured and tenure-track faculty, may teach outside the University.

Eligibility for Outside Professional Commitments: Civil Service and Non-Faculty Union-Represented Employees

Civil service and non-faculty union-represented employees may participate in outside professional commitments only during non-work hours and provided that these commitments do not interfere with the performance of regular employment duties, or compete with coursework offered by the University or services offered by the employee's unit. No time restrictions apply to these individuals during non-work hours. Civil service and non-faculty union represented employees may participate in those activities covered in Reporting Exclusions (see below) during work hours with prior written approval from their supervisor.

Reporting and Approvals for Outside Professional Commitments

All faculty and P&A employees eligible to engage in outside consulting and other outside professional commitments must obtain prior approval when the number of anticipated consulting days exceeds the threshold of an average of one day a month per term of appointment. (e.g., 12 days for an A term appointment, 9 days for a B term appointment, as specified in the administrative procedure.) (For the Athletics Department staff, the governing procedure is Outside Consulting and Other Commitments by Intercollegiate Athletics Staff).

Reporting Exclusions

The following activities, when they are related to the normal course of work as a faculty member and P&A employee, do not count as outside professional commitments. The activities listed below do not need to be reported unless they are compensated by a business entity beyond expense reimbursement (receipt of royalties for scholarly publications does not constitute “compensation by a business entity” for purposes of this policy). Regardless of compensation, these activities must not interfere with the performance of regular employment duties or compete with coursework offered by the University or services offered by the employee's unit.

  • Preparing scholarly or artistic works;
  • Peer review of articles and grant proposals;
  • Attendance and presentations at professional meetings (and other similar gatherings);
  • Serving on advisory committees or evaluation panels for governmental agencies, non-profit higher education institutions or non-profit entities organized solely for educational, religious, philanthropic, or research purposes (with the exception of non-profit entities created by for-profit corporations);
  • Giving occasional lectures and speeches, participation in colloquia, symposia, site visits, study sections, and similar gatherings sponsored by governmental agencies, non-profit higher education institutions or non-profit entities organized solely for educational, religious, philanthropic, or research purposes (with the exception of non-profit entities created by for-profit corporations); and
  • Ad hoc refereeing of manuscripts.

The following activities are considered University responsibilities and therefore also are excluded from the scope of this policy:

  • Working on projects supported by grant or contract funds awarded to the University and accepted by the Board of Regents; and
  • Teaching extension courses offered by the University.

Employees Participating in Private Practice Plans

Employees participating in private practice plans are governed by Board of Regents' policies on private practice plans. Outside professional commitments that do not fall under these plans, as determined by the president or delegate, are subject to this policy.

Written Consulting Agreements

Consistent with University policies on individual conflicts of interest, employees who are engaged in one or more “higher risk activities” and receive compensation from a business entity for consulting services related to their University expertise or responsibilities, must enter into a signed, written agreement with the business entity prior to providing the consulting service. The written agreement must state the need for the services, describe the services and any deliverables to be provided, state the compensation to be paid and the timeframe covered by the agreement, and make clear that the covered individual is acting solely in his or her individual capacity and is not speaking for or acting on behalf of the University.

A copy of any written agreement may be requested for review as part of a conflict of interest review or other oversight process. The employee also must maintain documentation reflecting (a) the remuneration received from and any travel expenses paid for or reimbursed by the business entity and (b) the services provided, including estimates of the time and effort committed to providing the services. This documentation must be retained for the duration of the consulting relationship plus two years and must be available upon request.

All other covered individuals are encouraged to enter into such agreements, but are not required to do so, unless directed by a chancellor, dean, or administrative unit head.

Restrictions

The following restrictions apply to University employee participation in outside commitments. University employees:

  • may not use University personnel or students, equipment or services for outside commitments in a way that materially depletes University resources without prior approval and payment of a reasonable fee to the University. Prior approval and agreement for payment terms must be obtained from the employee's unit head and dean.
  • may not use the University name, marks, or logos for advertising purposes.
  • may not use the official stationery of the University or give as a consulting business address any University building or department name when participating in outside commitments.
  • may identify their University employee status when rendering service to an organization outside the University, but may not speak, act, or make representations on behalf of the University, nor may they express institutional endorsement in relation to the outside activity.

Policy Violations

Violations of this policy include, but are not limited to: failing to file a REPA or request prior approval using a ROC; filing an incomplete, erroneous, or misleading REPA or ROC; failing to provide additional information as required by the approving authority; or non-compliance with any of the Restrictions outlined above. Violations may result in denial of approval for consulting activities and also may be the basis for employee discipline, up to and including termination, depending on the nature and circumstances of the violation. Any discipline imposed will follow the applicable Board of Regents and administrative policies and procedures for the individual’s employment classification.

REASON FOR POLICY

This policy implements Board of Regents Policy: Outside Consulting and Other Commitments. This policy provides specifics on outside professional commitment thresholds, time limitations, reporting requirements, and their relationship to Board of Regents Policy: Individual Conflicts of Interest.

Full-time faculty and full-time academic professional and administrative (P&A) employees are compensated for full-time professional effort for the University. However, outside professional commitments can be positive contributors to fulfilling University responsibilities. The University recognizes that, through consulting and other relationships with government, industry, not-for-profit organizations, and others outside the University, its employees can make valuable contributions off campus while enhancing their expertise in their discipline.

PROCEDURES

FORMS/INSTRUCTIONS

APPENDICES

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

There is no FAQ associated with this policy.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS

Subject
Contact
Phone
Fax/Email
Primary Contact(s)
612-624-5082
Request for Consulting Forms
EGMS Helpline
612-624-1600
 
Sponsored Projects
Kevin McKoskey
612-624-5066
612-624-4843 (fax)
Conflict of Interest Program
Lynn Zentner
612-626-7852

DEFINITIONS

Appointment Type
The condition attached to the appointment.
Business Entity
Any corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, firm, franchise, association, organization, holding company, joint stock company, receivership, business or real estate trust, or any other nongovernmental legal entity organized for profit, nonprofit, or charitable purposes. This definition does not include organizations and entities that are organized solely for educational, religious, philanthropic, or research purposes.
Day
For this policy only, in order to calculate allowable consulting days, the length of a day is considered the length of an employee's normal working day, up to ten hours. However if the entity the individual is consulting with defines "day" differently, the individual must use that definition (e.g., in its consulting agreements, the Veteran's Administration defines a day as 8 hours).
Full-time
Considered an appointment of 75% -100%, consistent with eligibility for human resources benefits.
Higher-Risk Activities
The higher-risk activities pertain to covered individuals who are:
  • Involved in clinical health care;
  • Involved in human subjects research subject to review by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) where the IRB has determined that research conducted by the covered individual involves “more than minimal” risk to subjects;
  • Involved in technology commercialization;
  • In a position to exert control over the content of University curriculum that could benefit the commercial interests of a business entity and, at the same time, create opportunity for or further an existing financial relationship between the covered individual and that business entity; or
  • In a position to take any other action on behalf of the University that could benefit the commercial interests of a business entity and, at the same time, create opportunity for or further an existing financial relationship between the covered individual and that business entity.
Outside Commitment
Outside consulting or other activities, paid or unpaid, that are beyond the scope of the individual's University employment responsibilities.
Outside Consulting
An outside commitment that is paid professional service intended to further the interests of an outside party, regardless of whether such services are provided as an employee of the outside party, an independent contractor, a business owner, or as a director or manager.
Outside Professional Commitment
An outside commitment that utilizes the same professional expertise that the individual employs in his or her University responsibilities.
Professional and Administrative Employee
Employees classified within the 93xx, 96xx, and 97xx job codes and title series
Report of External Professional Activities (REPA)
The form in the Electronic Grants Management System (EGMS) used by covered individuals to report external professional commitments and financial and business interests at least annually.
Request for Consultant or Outside Service Agreement (ROC)
The form in the Electronic Grants Management System (EGMS) used by covered individuals to request approval for consulting and other outside commitments.
Term of Appointment
The duration of an individual's University employment contract (e.g.,. the term of appointment for a B appointee is nine months; for an A appointee, the term is twelve months.)
Unit Head
The department, unit, or division head, as appropriate.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Faculty and Professional and Administrative (P&A) Employees
Be familiar with and comply with all aspects of this policy.
Unit Head or Associate Athletics Director
Review ROC requests. Approve or deny requests for approval of outside professional commitments. Ensure employee compliance with this policy. Act on requests for use of University resources for outside professional commitments. Refer any outside professional commitment request that may appear to create a conflict of interest to the Conflict of Interest Program for review as needed. (See Board of Regents Policy: Individual Conflicts of Interest.) Review the related information reported annually on a REPA.
Chief of Staff to the President
Review and act on appeals of denied consulting requests from intercollegiate athletic staff.
Chancellor, Vice President, Dean, or Athletics Director
May review unit head's action on outside professional commitments requests on an as needed basis and in connection with such reviews, may approve or deny the request. Review a direct report’s outside professional commitments. Refer any outside professional commitment request that may appear to create a conflict of interest to the Conflict of Interest Program for review as needed. (See Board of Regents Policy: Individual Conflicts of Interest.) Act on requests for use of University resources for outside professional commitments.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Review and approve or deny requests for special exemptions from the policy. Review and act on appeals of denied consulting requests for faculty and P&A employees. Review the outside professional commitment requests of deans and other direct reports and approves or deny them.

RELATED INFORMATION

HISTORY

Amended:
February 2012 - Comprehensive Review, Major Revision: Aligns the administrative policy with Board of Regents Policy: Outside Consulting and Other Commitments, by adding language to explicitly include civil service and union-represented employees; Transfers the reporting exclusions text into the policy, from the procedures; Incorporates the conflict of interest requirement to have a formal consulting agreement in place when the individual is engaged in one or more of the higher risk activities (e.g., clinical health care.); Addresses policy violations consistent with the conflict of interest policy.
Effective:
July 2006

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Last modified on October 9, 2013