Conflicts of Commitment Involving Outside Professional Activities for Academic Appointees
About This Policy
- Effective Date:
See current policy
- Date of Last Review/Update:
- Responsible University Office:
- University Faculty Council
- Responsible University Administrator:
- Board of Trustees, Indiana University
This policy shall apply to all Academic Appointees, both full-time and part-time. The potential for conflicts of commitment is likely to rise in proportion to the particular commitment that exists between an individual Academic Appointee and the University. For example, the kinds of external activities likely to compete with a full-time appointee’s primary duties may not apply to part-time appointees. Accordingly, this policy defines in a consistent manner the types of situations that could pose conflicts and that should be reported. The evaluation of potential conflicts will take into account the particular facts of individual situations, including the nature of the relationship that the University and the Academic Appointee have with each other.
- Academic Appointees may engage in Outside Professional Activities, provided that these activities do not constitute a Conflict of Commitment and comply with all other applicable University policies.
- Full-time tenure-track faculty shall be permitted to spend, on average, one non-weekend day each week during the period of appointment, not including official university holidays, on Outside Professional Activities.
- Academic Appointees shall not use University resources in the performance of Outside Professional Activities without the written permission of their dean or unit head and without compensating the University. Where resource usage is de minimis and the cost difficult or impossible to calculate, such use of University resources shall not require reimbursement.
Examples of possible Conflicts of Commitment that must be disclosed
- An outside professional activity that may substantially reduce the time available for the appointee to carry out the primary obligations of his or her appointment.
- Teaching for another educational institution, including online teaching.
- Undertaking externally funded research activities where the financial sponsorship is managed entirely outside Indiana University.
- Undertaking activities that compete, or have the potential to compete, with Indiana University in areas that are part of the appointee’s University Responsibilities.
All Academic Appointees at Indiana University must disclose, to their dean or unit head, activities that may represent a Conflict of Commitment.
All disclosure statements are to be submitted in writing to the appropriate dean or unit head. The dean/unit head or his/her designee will review submitted disclosure statements within 30 days and will work with the Academic Appointees to determine if a Conflict of Commitment exists and if so, what steps must be taken to eliminate or properly manage that conflict. Administrative decisions will be documented in writing. If the dean/unit head and Academic Appointee disagree, they may seek additional advice regarding the proposed activity from the campus Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Appeals from administrative decisions concerning conflicts of commitment are subject to applicable University policies and procedures.
Instances of deliberate breach of policy, including failure to file or knowingly filing an incomplete, erroneous, or misleading disclosure, or failure to comply with prescribed procedures for managing an identified conflict of commitment, will be adjudicated in accordance with the Code of Academic Ethics and applicable misconduct policies and procedures at the appropriate campus of Indiana University.
Reason for Policy
All Academic Appointees are required to fully meet the professional obligations of their appointments. Full-time Academic Appointees are expected to devote their primary professional time and energy to carrying out teaching, research, and service responsibilities on behalf of Indiana University. Academic appointees should avoid conflicts of commitment, which arise either when an appointee undertakes outside professional activities that interfere with fulfilling the obligations of his or her academic appointment, or when an appointee undertakes, on behalf of another organization, activities that would ordinarily be performed on behalf of Indiana University.
Consistent with the provisions of this University policy, each campus will establish its own procedures for implementation.
A Conflict of Commitment arises when an Outside Professional Activity interferes with an Academic Appointee’s performance of University Responsibilities.
Academic Appointee refers to any person who has either a full- or part-time academic appointment in the University.
University Responsibilities refers to the responsibilities of an Academic Appointee to perform University Activities as defined by University policy (or in a contract).
University Activities refers to activities related to the research, teaching, and service mission of the University. Service activities include service to the appointee’s profession and service to the community that is related to the appointees’ professional qualifications.
Outside Professional Activities refers to external activities within the scope of the appointee’s professional qualifications that are not undertaken in fulfillment of the University Responsibilities of an Academic Appointee, but which enhance the performance of those responsibilities.
Indiana University or University refers to Indiana University and to any foundation associated with Indiana University.