Printed on: 11/20/2019. Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.
University of Minnisota  Procedure

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

Administrative Procedure

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. P&A staff in the Athletic Department are governed by Administrative Procedure: Outside Consulting and Other Professional Commitments by Intercollegiate Athletics Staff.


No outside professional commitment may interfere with:

  • Performance of regular employment duties, or
  • Compete with coursework offered by the University, or
  • Compete with services offered by the employee's unit.

Faculty or P&A staff whose outside professional commitments, when aggregated during the annual term of the employee's appointment, will:

  1. Total three days or fewer, need not obtain prior approval for the outside activity nor report it on the Report of External Professional Activities (REPA).
  2. Exceed three days but are less than the prior approval threshold of more than one day per month, depending on the individual’s appointment, must report the outside professional commitment(s) annually on the REPA form (
  3. Reach the prior approval threshold of more than one day per month, (e.g., more than 12 days for an A appointment, or more than 9 days for a B term appointment), depending on the individual’s appointment, must complete a Request for Consultant or Outside Service Agreement (ROC) form to obtain the required approval and report the outside professional commitment(s) annually on the REPA so long as they exceed three days per calendar year.

Faculty or P&A engaged in outside professional commitments must take the action(s) specified below when the aggregated number of days exceeds a threshold specified below.

  Action Required
Aggregated Number of Days Engaged in Allowable* Outside Professional Commitments for One Calendar YearRequires Prior Approval via Completion of a ROCRequires Annual Reporting via a REPA
0 - 3 days No No
4 - 12 days (A term appointment)
4 - 9 days (B term appointment)
No Yes
13 days or more (A term appointment)
10 days or more (B term appointment)
Yes Yes

*Allowable activities are those that do not interfere with the performance of employment duties, compete with coursework offered by the University, or compete with services offered by the employee's unit.

** The number of days will vary for appointments than are greater than 75% time, but not an A or B term appointment.


Submitting Requests

Outside professional commitments, other than those specified in the administrative policy as not needing to be reported, require prior approval if the prior approval threshold described above is exceeded.

  1. The requesting individual completes an online ROC, which can be found at
  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 so long as the commitment involves more than three days annually. All prior approvals expire after three years or at the end of the time period specified in the ROC, whichever comes first. Once the ROC has expired, a new ROC must be filed if the appropriate threshold is met.

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.
  2. The unit head decides whether to grant or deny the request (ROC). This decision should be made no later than two weeks from the receipt of the request. If the unit head is the decision maker and fails to timely act within this period, the request should be forwarded to the dean, chancellor, or vice president for review and decision.
  3. The unit head notifies the individual of the decision. If the request is not approved, a written statement of the reason(s) for withholding approval must be provided to the individual. The unit retains documentation.

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 will be established to advise the Executive Vice President and Provost. This committee will be 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 will invite 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.


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
  • 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.

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