1.07-4 Outside Activities/Consulting Policy

The policy below is effective January 1, 2016

The Notice of Intent to Complete Outside Work for Pay form is here.

I. Introduction

This policy replaces 1.07-4 Outside Activities / Consulting Policy for Faculty effective January 1, 2016.  

Consistent with the Board of Regents Policy on Outside Activities (Policy Manual 8.2.15), teaching, research and public service are the primary responsibilities of faculty. However, the University of Georgia (UGA) considers it reasonable and desirable for faculty members to engage in certain “Outside Work” that includes consulting and other external activities not assigned by UGA if approved through this policy.  UGA recognizes that this Outside Work may be mutually beneficial to the faculty and to the University. However, in carrying out this Outside Work, faculty members must adhere to this Policy and must avoid Conflicts of Commitment and Conflicts of Interests that have the potential to negatively impact the University’s interests, compromise objectivity in carrying out University responsibilities, or otherwise compromise performance of University responsibilities. Academic units (colleges/schools) or other units at UGA where faculty have primary appointments may develop guidelines that extend or further define the requirements of this Policy.  However, these guidelines must not conflict with this Policy. Any guidelines developed by an academic unit or other units at UGA that further define this Policy must be approved by the Provost’s Office.

The Policy pertains to all full-time faculty at UGA. In order to effectively address all potential Conflicts of Commitment and Conflicts of Interest, all full-time faculty must disclose all proposed Outside Work throughout the entire fiscal year. However, as described in this Policy, the maximum time allowed for approved Outside Work is not limited during non-contract times (i.e. summer months for faculty with academic year contracts).

II. Definitions
“Primary Responsibilities” are teaching, research, clinical practice, service, administrative duties, and other appropriate duties assigned by the University to the faculty member.  

“Secondary Responsibilities” are professional activities or affiliations traditionally undertaken by University of Georgia faculty outside of the immediate University employment context but where the faculty member legally and professionally represents the University of Georgia and his or her affiliation to it. These secondary responsibilities or activities, which demonstrate active participation in a profession, are encouraged provided they do not conflict or interfere with the timely and effective performance of the faculty member’s Primary Responsibilities or University of Georgia or University System of Georgia policies. Secondary Responsibilities may or may not entail the receipt of Honoraria, remuneration, or the reimbursement of expenses. A list of common Secondary Responsibilities or activities includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Membership in and service to professional associations and learned societies
  • Membership on professional or scientific review or advisory panels
  • Presentation of lectures, papers, concerts, or exhibits
  • Participation in seminars and conferences
  • Reviewing or editing scholarly publications and books  
  • Providing for credit or non-credit distance learning courses and continuing education programs pre-approved by the University
  • Service to national or international associations, foundations, or on governing boards closely aligned with or related to faculty work
  • Work or service required to maintain credentials or board certifications related to the University faculty position
  • Participation in review of grants and policies for governmental or professional organizations
  • Participation as a director or trustee of an Affiliated Organization (i.e., The UGA Foundation, UGA Alumni Association, UGA Athletic Association, UGA Research Foundation, UGA Real Estate Foundation, etc.)

Secondary Responsibilities are not considered Outside Work, and faculty members engaging in these common Secondary Responsibilities do not have to complete the Notice of Intent to Complete Outside Work for Pay form as described below. 

Outside Work” is any activity for Compensation other than Primary Responsibilities or Secondary Responsibilities that a faculty member may engage in that, (1) is based upon professional knowledge, experience and abilities of the faculty member that relate to his or her UGA employment, and (2) is performed for any public or private entity other than UGA. During the Outside Work, the faculty member does not legally represent the University of Georgia and enters into a legal contract with the entity as an individual.

“Compensation” means any payment, deferred payment, equity or deferred equity provided in exchange for the expectation that the faculty member will perform work or services for the benefit of the outside payer. Compensation does not include standard Honoraria. 

“Honoraria” means any payments given for professional or voluntary services that are rendered nominally without charge, and any payment in recognition of these services typically forbids a price to be set.

“Conflict of Commitment” is created when a faculty member’s Outside Work (1) could interfere with the faculty member’s ability to fully and timely discharge all Primary and Secondary Responsibilities, (2) falls within the scope of the faculty member’s University employment and would normally and otherwise be performed in the faculty member’s role as an employee of UGA (i.e., through a sponsored project agreement or a service agreement), or (3) could interfere with intellectual property interests of the University or the UGA Research Foundation. Outside Work may create financial conflict of interest with sponsored research projects that must be disclosed and managed. Please refer to the Policy on Conflicts of Interest in the Sponsored Projects Administration.   

III. Policy
A faculty member may engage in Outside Work, provided that:

  1. All full-time faculty at UGA must disclose all proposed Outside Work at least two weeks in advance throughout the entire fiscal year by completing the Notice of Intent to Complete Outside Work for Pay form
  2. A faculty member cannot engage in any Outside Work prior to reporting and receiving approval in advance.  Failure to receive prior approval will be considered a violation of this Policy. 
  3. During periods where the faculty member is under contract with UGA, Outside Work must not exceed four (4) days per month or 32 hours per month. Eight hours of consulting time is considered one day. Any portion of the four days or 32 hours (or shorter period per an applicable college/school/unit policy) not used within the month will be forfeited and not rolled over to the next month. Request for exceptions to the maximum allowed number of days or hours per month must be made by the dean or senior most Approver in the unit to the Provost.
  4. If applicable, a faculty member may use annual leave hours for any Outside Work exceeding the allowable maximum days, subject to prior approval by the Approvers.  
  5. During periods where the faculty member is not under contract with UGA (i.e., summer months), there is no limit to the number of days per month the faculty member can engage in Outside Work, as long as that Outside Work receives prior approval through this Policy.
  6. Each college/school/unit may adopt an individual policy for a maximum number of allowable days that is less than four days (or 32 hours) per month, in which case the faculty member must follow such college/school/unit policy.  If the faculty member has a joint academic appointment, then the faculty member will be bound by the policy of the unit that provides for the greater number of allowable days. 
  7. Outside Work must not create a Conflict of Commitment or, if it does create a Conflict of Commitment, that Conflict of Commitment must be disclosed and a management plan established and followed before the faculty member performs the Outside Work.
  8. A faculty member may not use University personnel, equipment, facilities, or materials in performing Outside Work absent prior University approval obtained though approval of the Notice of Intent to Complete Outside Work for Pay form. Consistent with Board of Regents Policy, the faculty member must have prior approval for use of the University’s personnel, facilities, equipment and/or materials and an agreed plan for reimbursing UGA for such use at rates equivalent to those charged to outside groups or persons.

IV. Required Actions
Step 1Faculty Responsibilities.  A faculty member who intends to engage in new Outside Work (or ongoing Outside Work that was not previously approved in the current fiscal year) is required to complete a Notice of Intent to Complete Outside Work for Pay form and submit it at least two weeks before engaging in the activity. The Notice of Intent is a fillable PDF form available on the Provost’s webpage. 

Outside Work can be either Non-recurring Outside Work or Recurring Outside Work, and the following provisions apply to the two categories:

  • Non-recurring Outside Work is a single activity with a defined start and end date.  Example:  A faculty member proposes to consult with a company for two consecutive days. A Notice of Intent for Non-recurring Outside Work for Pay is made a single time and at least two weeks in advance of the proposed Outside Work.
  • Recurring Outside Work is a recurring activity over the course of weeks or months or even years. Examples:  (1) A faculty member is retained by a law firm as an expert witness, and the duration of the activity is less defined and over an extended period of time, or (2) A faculty member is engaged in the operations of a start-up company.  Often the extent of such activities (number of engagements, types of activities, and/or overall time) for Recurring Outside Work is not initially known but can be estimated.  Therefore, at the time of the initial Notice of Intent to Complete Outside Work for Pay, the faculty member must submit a best estimate of the time to be committed to the activity for the duration of the existing fiscal year ending June 30. Then, on or before July 1, the faculty member must submit a new UGA Notice of Intent for Outside Work for Pay if the proposed Outside Work will extend into a new fiscal year. The purpose of the new Notice of Intent is to update the original time estimate, identify any changes in Outside Work activities, and allow the University to consider approval of those revised activities.  

Step 2Approver Responsibilities.  The Dean (or Dean’s Designee) or Vice President/Associate Provost/Director of the faculty member’s college/school/unit of primary appointment is responsible for reviewing requests to engage in Outside Work. The Approvers have the responsibility to thoroughly review the Notice of Intent to Complete Outside Work for Pay and approve or reject the proposed Outside Work. Specifically, consideration must be given to whether the proposed Outside Work creates a Conflict of Commitment.  The Approvers may approve the proposed Outside Work as submitted, reject pending additional information or clarification, or reject outright if in the discretion of the Approvers any Conflict of Commitment cannot be appropriately managed. All colleges/schools/unit must retain a signed copy of the approved Notice of Intent and any management plan (per Board of Regents records retention guidelines) and make each Notice of Intent available upon request.  

V.  Required Terms
Any agreement for Outside Work executed between the faculty member and the outside entity must include the following two statements:

Statement 1.
The consultant has certain obligations to the University of Georgia as a faculty member as described in the Intellectual Property Policy of the University of Georgia (IP Policy). In the event that there is any conflict between the consultant’s obligations to the IP Policy and their obligations to the entity for whom they consult, the obligations to the IP Policy shall control.”

Statement 2.
In addition, the faculty member must include the following disclaimer in any presentations or reports written, signed, or prepared by the faculty member for an outside entity for which the faculty member performs Outside Work:

“This content represents the opinions of the consultant. It carries no endorsement of the University of Georgia.”

VI. Failure to Disclose Outside Work and/or Lack of Adherence to this Policy
A faculty member cannot engage in any Outside Work prior to reporting and receiving approval in advance as set out in this Policy.  Failure to receive prior approval will be considered a direct violation of this Policy. Lack of adherence to this Policy by a faculty member, including failure to accurately and timely disclose all Outside Work, is considered neglect of Primary Responsibilities (Academic Affairs Policy Manual 1.13-1 Grounds for Removal “neglect of duty”) and is grounds for disciplinary action, including the possibility of suspension and dismissal.