Provost Policy Directive: Outside Academic Affiliation for Faculty

Jan. 8, 2013

Attached please find the final version of the memorandum we have discussed previously clarifying how to interpret the UNLV and NSHE policies concerning Conflict of Interest and Outside Compensated Activity as it pertains to outside academic affiliations.

You will see the memo has been revised based on your feedback, as well as feedback from the Faculty Senate, to provide greater clarity. Also attached is a disclosure and approval form that can be used by any faculty member with an on-going outside academic affiliation or who intends to initiate one on during the spring 2013 semester. After this academic year, we intend to include this information and these questions in the standard Conflict of Interest/ Outside Compensated Activity policy and forms, so this particular form is a one-off for this year only.

A few notes to help you provide guidance to chairs. First, to be clear, this memorandum is not a prohibition on outside activity or outside compensation; the extant NSHE rules remain in effect as before. This memorandum is a clarification of what has been a grey area, whether faculty who are teaching or otherwise identified with another institution on an on-going basis need to disclose that affiliation and seek approval under the extant NSHE rules and UNLV policy. They do.

Second, the primary objective of this memorandum is to encourage conversation between faculty members and chairs, then Deans, and if necessary Provost, to ensure that the effort expended outside UNLV by our full-time faculty (whether tenured, tenure-track, FIRS/visiting, or administrative faculty) is guided by the University’s and the faculty member’s shared interest in ensuring every faculty members’ full participation and engagement in their own professional advancement and success at UNLV.  

The standard therefore to use in determining if an on-going, formal outside academic affiliation might pose a conflict of interest is first and foremost, whether or not the activity advances their professional development at UNLV -- as a scholar, teacher and participant in the campus community -- and whether it advances UNLV's interest as a research university.

Using those standards, we are asking for your offices to distribute this memorandum and form to to the chairs and faculty at the start of the fall semester; the memorandum and forms are also available in the Provost’s library of forms and procedures.

Memorandum on Outside Academic Affiliation (PDF)

Disclosure and Approval form for outside academic affiliation (.doc)

 The form is to be completed only by those faculty who have an on-going academic activity (which must necessary include all work as an instructor of record for another institution); these faculty members should use the form to disclose the activity and seek the approval or recommendation of the chair and dean. We ask you to request that faculty who have such an affiliation to disclose to do so by submitting this form along with the annual work report, which is due to the chair in most units in late January.

Then, we would ask that chairs add their comments, forward those forms to Deans, and Deans add comments and forward those forms to the office of the Vice Provost for Faculty, Policy and Research. We ask that you submit the completed forms for your college in a single envelope, with a list of those forms being submitted, by March 1, 2013 -- at the same time as annual evaluation forms are due.

Although this topic has been widely vetted with deans, chairs and Faculty Senate, there are certainly to be questions so please refer those questions to our office. Since this is a process merely of disclosure and request for approval, it should pose little burden for faculty to err on the side of disclosing an activity, and for chairs to err on the side of offering comments to the Dean in the case of activities that raise concerns for the chair.

Finally in the case of specific hardships that this may pose for individual faculty members or for the institutions with which they have had affiliations in the past, we ask that you bring these to our attention so that we can seek to resolve them. The purpose again is not to punish faculty or create additional work for chairs; it is to enhance our focus on improving the quality of instruction and research at UNLV