University of Minnesota  Procedure

Outside Consulting and Other Commitments by Faculty and Academic Professional and Administrative (P and A) Staff


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Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

This procedure applies to faculty and academic professional and administrative (P&A) staff, who hold appointments of 75% or more and engage in outside professional commitments.

Submitting and Evaluating Requests for Outside Professional Commitments

Submitting Requests

Outside professional commitments, other than those specified in the administrative policy as not needing to be reported, require prior approval.

  1. The requesting individual completes an online ROC following instructions
  2. Once completed, the online form will be routed to the designated approver (department or unit) for consideration.

Important: If the ROC is approved, the outside professional commitment must be reported via the REPA and reviewed annually by the local unit.

Unit Review of Requests

  1. The unit head reviews the information submitted on the ROC to evaluate whether or not the activity represents a conflict of commitment, to include the following:
    1. the appropriateness of the commitment;
    2. the amount of time devoted to it;
    3. whether the outside commitment is permissible;
    4. whether the commitment interferes with employment responsibilities; and
    5. whether prior approval or a special exemption is required.

The unit head decides whether to grant or deny the request (ROC). The unit should review the appendix to policy: Guidelines for Reviewing Outside Consulting and Other Commitments.

Disputing a Unit Decision

  1. The individual may challenge the decision of the unit head.
  2. The dean, chancellor or vice president will review the unit head’s action and decide whether to approve the request for outside commitments (see Appendix: Guidelines for Reviewing Outside Consulting and Other Commitment Requests).
  3. The decision of the dean, chancellor, or vice president will be communicated to the individual in writing, which will include the reason(s) for upholding the decision of the unit head or authorizing the activity.

Appealing the Denial of a Request

  1. The individual may appeal the decision to the Executive Vice President and Provost.
  2. A three-person committee is established to advise the Executive Vice President and Provost. This committee is comprised of the chair of the Faculty Consultative Committee, a senior faculty member or P&A employee (depending on the employee's classification) from outside the college or administrative unit where the denial decision was made, and a discretionary member, all of whom are appointed by the Provost.
  3. The Committee invites input from the employee's chancellor, vice president, or dean and from the individual.
  4. A decision made in connection with an appeal will be made in a timely manner.

Note: At any level of review, an outside commitment that may create a conflict of interest will be referred to the Conflict of Interest Program for review.

Requesting a Special Exemption

Special exemption approval is required for the following outside professional commitments:

  • outside consulting commitments that in total exceed the maximum allowable amount (an average of one day a week per seven day work week or, for example, a total of 39 or 48 days per year, for B appointments and A appointments, respectively); and/or
  • any professional outside commitment that competes with coursework offered by the University or services offered by the employee's unit.

The Executive Vice President and Provost may grant a special exemption if it is in the best interests of the University. Requests for such exemptions are forwarded through the dean, chancellor, vice president, or athletic director, who will comment on the submission. The individual whose outside commitment is under consideration will also be invited to comment. Individuals seeking the following exemptions must obtain written approval before engaging in the outside commitment.