3.11 Consulting3.11.1 External Consulting3.11.2 Internal Consulting3.11.3 Conflicts of Commitment and Conflicts of Interest
Refer to HR policies: Policy 127 – Consulting / Independent Contractors Policy 128 – Employment and Consulting Outside of UAB
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3.11.2 Internal ConsultingConsulting and the performance of duties by faculty members for special fees within UAB is to be limited in time and is subject to prior approval on a project-by-project basis. Faculty may be permitted to perform consulting and other types of services within UAB when:
Examples of consulting services or projects within UAB by which special fees may be paid to the faculty member include special lectures, short courses, sponsored research projects, and continuing education projects.
Consulting on UAB-administered projects financed by non-UAB sources may or may not be permitted in accordance with the policy of the sponsoring source. If permitted by the sponsor, approval within UAB must be obtained as indicated below. In cases in which the sponsor’s policy is unclear or unknown, clarification should be obtained from the UAB Office of Sponsored Programs.
Rates of payment for consulting or special services are to be determined on the basis of the individual’s salary or evidence that the fee is appropriate considering the qualifications of the consultant, normal charges, and the nature of the services to be provided and should be approved by the appropriate administrator(s). Work for special fees should be performed so as not to interfere with academic or other UAB responsibilities. Such fees are considered income and, as such, are paid and reported according to stipulations of the “Personal Services Approval and Payment Policy–UAB Employee.”
The appropriate Department Chair, Dean, or Library Director of the consultant and the unit requesting the service must give their approval of these consulting activities within UAB. If consulting is across school lines, approval by the Provost also is required. Consulting by UAB faculty or staff under funds obtained from UAB grants or contracts or funds from any extramural source additionally requires the approval of the Provost. All such approvals must be obtained before a commitment is made.
(Return to top)3.11.3 Conflicts of Commitment and Conflicts of Interest A conflict of commitment exists when a faculty member assumes obligations external to UAB or elsewhere within UAB which interfere with the faculty member’s properly discharging his or her obligations and commitments to UAB. A conflict of interest exists when a faculty member (a) influences, or makes use of, UAB’s academic, administrative, or other resources or (b) influences UAB decisions, or (c) conducts or reports research in a way that could lead to personal financial gain or advantage to that faculty member or to that faculty member’s family or business. Expeditious disclosure and resolution of such conflicts or potential conflicts is in the best interest of all involved. Actual or potential conflicts of commitment or interest must be disclosed and evaluated/resolved in compliance with UAB Conflicts of Commitment Policy and Conflicts of Interest Policy using the electronic process for Faculty/Staff External Activities/COI disclosure (www.uab.edu/uabforms). It is incumbent upon each faculty member to continuously review such activity in order to avoid the appearance of a conflict as well as an actual conflict. When a potential or actual conflict of commitment/interest arises, it is expected that the faculty member, with the assistance of the Department Chair, Dean, Library Director, and others as necessary, will act to preclude, manage, or remove the conflict. The use or orientation of any faculty effort at UAB to serve the needs of an individual, group, firm, corporation, or other organization or entity without proper disclosure of such use or orientation to a sponsoring agency and to UAB constitutes a serious breach of confidence. Furthermore, there should be no purchase by a UAB employee of any major equipment, instruments, materials, services, and other items for use in UAB faculty efforts from a corporation, company, firm, or organization in which the employee has a pecuniary interest without obtaining approval by UAB in advance. Disclosure of conflicts of interest/commitment involving extramural funding is the responsibility of the faculty member or employee and must be done prior to, or as a part of, the UAB grant and contract application process. All individuals who are “investigators” are required to disclose significant financial interests (1) which reasonably would appear to be related to research for which funding from any source is sought and (2) in any and all entities whose financial interests reasonably would appear to be affected by the research. The term “investigator” includes any person who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of extramurally funded research or educational activity. The term includes principal investigators, project directors, co-principal investigators, co-project directors, and other faculty investigators and faculty project personnel. The term also may include staff, trainees, students, administrators, and other collaborators who have such responsibilities. Many conflicts of commitment/interest situations may arise, both obvious and subtle, in such variety that they cannot be presented adequately in this document. The Conflicts of Commitment and Conflicts of Interest policies provide greater insight into these important issues.
Refer to: Policy on Conflicts of Commitment Policy on Conflicts of Interest
Senior administrators shall disclose any potential conflict of interest as described in the UA System Board Manual Policy 106 – Ethics – Conflicts of Interest – Members of the Board of Trustees and Senior Administrators. Questions related to the Conflicts of Commitment Policy and the Conflicts of Interest Policy should be directed to the University Compliance Officer.(Return to top)