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Intranet: Policies and Procedures: Section 1: Personnel

1.06 Faculty Consulting Policy

The University of Georgia and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences recognize that appropriate consulting activities may be mutually beneficial to the faculty and the University. These benefits include: enhancing the knowledge, expertise and experience of the faculty; assisting in maintaining awareness of real world conditions; opening and expanding contacts and communications with other institutions, organizations, industry, governmental agencies, and other clients; and fostering public service activities otherwise unavailable. Thus, appropriate consulting activities constitute enrichment and continuing education activities which enhance the professional development and reputation of faculty. This may result in improved teaching, research, and service. Hence, reasonable participation in consulting is encouraged within the parameters of the Board of Regents Policy Manual and set forth herein.

It should be clearly understood that consulting is a privilege undertaken with the concurrence and approval of the college administration.

Definition of Consulting

Consulting is defined as external (international and domestic) professional activities for pay, and includes any activity that:

  1. is performed on an individual contractual basis for any individual(s), firm or agency other than The University of Georgia;
  2. is based upon the professional knowledge, experience and abilities of the faculty or staff member;
  3. is undertaken for personal compensation beyond the payment of a nominal honorarium and/or reimbursement for expenses; and
  4. clearly enhances the professional development and expertise of the faculty member.

Consulting does not include private business undertakings. Faculty may participate in certain business activities, provided they do not conflict with their college and University duties. Such business activities must be of such a character as not to damage in any way the prestige or image of the college or University. Individuals assigned to the college must clearly identify any business relationships with the State of Georgia.

Consulting does not include those responsibilities to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences which are a part of a given faculty member's regular professional responsibilities for which that individual is already being compensated.

Eligibility for Participating in Consulting

According to the Board of Regents Policy, only faculty may engage in official sanctioned consulting.

Guidelines for Consulting

With appropriate prior administrative approval, a faculty member, employed on a full-time basis, may render professional consulting services. Such consulting activities must not preempt, and must be scheduled around, the responsibility of a faculty member to meet assigned duties and obligations.

To avoid a conflict of interest and insure the continued credibility of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, faculty may engage in consulting only when such activities conform to the principles listed below. These criteria are not designed as a substitute for good judgment by faculty or administrators, but to provide guidelines within which consulting activities can be evaluated.

  • Consulting should not be undertaken if it encroaches upon the time and energy required for the full and complete performance of the duties to which a member is assigned.
  • Faculty members should make clear in writing to those who employ them as consultants that their work is private and unofficial and that the college and/or University is not responsible in any way for the services rendered or results obtained.
  • A faculty member may not consult for an enterprise owned or operated whole or in part by him/herself or that of a relative.
  • Consulting activities must in no way compromise the position of the college or the University.
  • Duties which college personnel should perform as a public service within the state of Georgia are not to be performed by any faculty member acting as a consultant.
  • University resources, including equipment and supplies, are not to be used in consulting. When college or University resources are required, the activity shall be performed on a contractual basis with the college or University rather than as an individual consulting activity.
  • Both the fact and semblance of conflicts of interest must be avoided. If the question arises, the interest and the reputation of the college and the University must come first.
  • Care must be exercised to avoid establishment of consulting activities that infringe or duplicate activities or units of the University or those which may conflict with services provided by recognized professional consulting services within the state of Georgia.
  • The maximum number of consulting days permissible for a member of the faculty on a full-time appointment (without using annual leave) is two days per month (24 days per year). Consulting days are not cumulative. Any consulting days exceeding two per month must be taken as annual leave.

Consulting Requests, Approval and Reporting

All consulting activities, including local, state, national and international, must have approval by the department head of the faculty member initiating the request, the associate deans, and the dean and director prior to engaging in consulting activity. The department head is to determine that the consulting activity does not pose a conflict of interest or time and is consistent with the role and responsibility of the faculty member and the college. The department head will determine if the proposed consulting service is or is not in conflict with services presently being offered by the college. The associate deans and dean and director will confirm or deny the department head’s evaluation. In addition to the Faculty Consulting Outside Work Form, a cover letter is required which should address, because of space limitations on the request form, additional details that justify the consulting request. If applicable, the letter will provide information to facilitate a travel request. A copy of the approved leave form should accompany the consulting request.

With such prior written approval, a college faculty member may be engaged as a consultant. On June 30 of each year, all existing approvals for consulting must be reaffirmed based upon appropriate information for the faculty and the department concerned. Consulting fees are the prerogative of the faculty member but, in general, faculty should not engage in consulting activities at a fee below the standard fee for services rendered by an independent consultant.