External and Internal Activities

External and Internal Activities

Abstract:
This section of the Faculty Handbook discusses acceptable external and internal activities for faculty members.
Administrative Group:
Responsible Party:
Contacts:
None Assigned
Version Number:
Original Source:
ARP Website
Audience:
Faculty

External and Internal Activities

3.11 External and Internal Activities
3.11.1 External Activities
3.11.2 Internal Activities
3.11.3 Conflicts of Commitment and Conflicts of Interest
 

 


3.11 External and Internal Activities

3.11.1 External Activities

UAB recognizes outstanding contributions and achievement by its faculty not only by appropriate compensation adjustments and promotion but also by permitting faculty members’ substantial freedom in arranging their academic lives. Although instruction, research, and service are the primary functions of UAB faculty, UAB recognizes the desirability of making available the services of the many highly trained specialists on its faculty to business, industry, government, professional societies, or other appropriate groups. The involvement of UAB faculty in providing external services of a professional nature contributes significantly to the public welfare, offers opportunities for professional challenge and growth, brings recognition to the institution, and contributes to the improvement of UAB’s instruction research and service programs.  Therefore, UAB encourages members of its faculty to participate in extramural activities which are consistent with their primary responsibilities to the institution.

Full-time faculty members may, with the approvals described below, contract to perform independent research, to furnish services as a consultant, or both, provided such activity (a) does not interfere with the performance of other responsibilities as a faculty member, (b) is limited in time, (c) is compatible with the interests of UAB as a public academic institution, and (d) does not require significant use of UAB resources or facilities. Faculty activities which use significant UAB time or UAB resources (for example, laboratories, studios, equipment, supplies, databases, students, or staff paid by UAB) should be handled as UAB grants or contracts.

Because of the great variation in the nature of faculty expertise and external activities, it is difficult to establish specific rules or time allocations for external consulting activities that draw upon the knowledge and skill of a faculty member’s professional duties at UAB. It is the responsibility of the faculty member, Department Chair, and Dean or Library Director to exercise judicious oversight and control of external activities so that no UAB functions or policies are neglected. Written prior approval to participate in any external activities, except those cases identified below, shall be obtained from the Dean or Library Director through the appropriate Department Chair using the electronic process for Faculty/Staff External Activities/COI disclosure
.

Faculty who are denied approval for external activities should seek resolution directly through their respective department chair or dean/library director according to the faculty grievance procedure.

External activities that draw upon the knowledge and skill of a faculty member and are considered professional public service activities do not have to be reported or approved, whether compensated or not. These exempted external activities include:

 

  1. Seminars, lectures, service on advisory committees or boards of directors, or review panels for US federal, state, or local government agencies, institutions of higher education, academic teaching hospitals, medical centers or research institutes that are affiliated with an institution of higher education
  2. Professional studies, services, participation on boards of directors, or participation in manuscript review, grant/contract review, or academic program review for nonprofit/philanthropic entities, professional societies, or professional associations, that are not affiliates of or affiliated with industry or other for profit entities;
  3. Seminars, presentations, performances, or board service for civic groups
  4. Participation on boards of directors with UAB enterprise affiliated entities

Although no prior approval is required, a faculty member who is an investigator (responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of proposed or active research) is required to disclose financial interest exceeding $5,000 acquired from any one entity in the previous 12 months for their participation in any professional public service activities listed in numbers 2) and 3) above.

All other external activities which draw upon the knowledge and skill of a faculty member require prior approval. Although examples in and of themselves require interpretation and judgment, a sample of such compensated activities usually will include (a) one-time or multiple visits to a business for the purposes of offering advice and counsel, (b) carrying out investigations or studies which are not UAB grants or contracts, (c) a series of non-UAB lectures or performances for commercial entities, (d) serving as an expert witness, or (e) rendering specific professional services other than those through a UAB-affiliated professional services fund.

Faculty also are responsible for ensuring that external activities are conducted in accordance with UAB Enterprise Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy, as well as policies on disclosure of discoveries and inventions, patents, and computer software. When participating in external activities other than professional service activities, the faculty member should not use the name of the University of Alabama at Birmingham to imply that UAB is sponsoring the activity or the project.

(Return to top)

3.11.2 Internal Activities

Internal activities performed by faculty members for which there is additional compensation are to be limited in time and must receive prior approval on a project-by-project basis. Faculty may be permitted to perform internal activities within UAB when:
  1. The individual has specialized training or knowledge essential to the programs; and
  2. The performance of these duties is such that it is above and beyond the commitments associated with the faculty appointment.

Examples of internal activities within UAB by which additional compensation may be paid to the faculty member include special lectures, short courses, sponsored research projects, and continuing education projects.

Internal activities for 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 internal activities 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" policy.

The appropriate Department Chair, Dean, or Library Director of the faculty or staff performing the internal activity and Department Chair, Dean, or Library Director of the unit requesting the service must give their approval of these internal activities. If internal activity is across school lines, approval by the Provost also is required. Internal activities 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's engagement in internal or external activities compromises the ability to carry out his/her primary obligations and commitments to UAB. A conflict of interest exists when a faculty member's financial, professional, or personal interests affect, or have the appearance of affecting, judgment in exercising a duty or responsibility owed to UAB.

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 using the electronic process for Faculty/Staff External Activities/COI disclosure
.  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 manage the potential or actual 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 UAB Enterprise Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy provides greater insight into these important issues.

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 UAB Enterprise Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy should be directed to the University Compliance Office.

(Return to top)