Conflict of Commitment

College Policy on Conflict of Commitment, External Professional Activities, and Outside Employment

[as proposed by the Dean’s Advisory Council on January 23, 2013 and amended in Spring 2013]

The College of Humanities (COH) follows the University of Arizona (UA) Interim Policy on Conflict of Commitment, External Professional Activities, and Outside Employment dated August 24, 2012 ( All the principles, terms, responsibilities, and procedures in that Policy are assumed in what follows, which covers relevant activities particular to the College of Humanities. This COH document clarifies what is appropriate for its College’s faculty and staff within the UA Policy’s definitions of “External Professional Commitments,” “Outside Employment,” and normal “Institutional Responsibilities.”  Departments or Programs within the College may also define activities appropriate to each category more specific to their areas than the ones below.  The following is how the College of Humanities distinguishes the activities within each of these areas. 

Categories of Compensated Outside Professional Activities in COH

Compensated outside professional activities are divided into three categories, depending on the extent to which they may raise conflict of commitment issues. Only the first category below includes the activities that normally require disclosure and approval under the UA Policy. Categories II and III do not require disclosure approval; however, Category II activities must be recorded each year in the employee’s Annual Report. When in doubt about which category a particular activity falls into, the faculty member should request clarification from the Dean, through the department Head or Program Director.

Category I activities are likely on their face to raise issues of conflict of commitment and require disclosure that come under the definitions of “External Professional Commitments” and “Outside Employment” that require disclosure. In order to engage in such activities while an active member of the faculty, the faculty member must make a written request to the College Dean, though the department Head or program Director, and receive written approval.  Requests must be submitted and approved annually, unless approved for a longer term. Such approval should be included in annual reports of professional activities. Category I activities include the following:

Assuming an executive or managerial position in a for-profit or not-for-profit business. For purposes of this policy, executive or managerial positions do not include providing consulting services or engaging in professional practice through the faculty member’s professional corporation or sole proprietorship. Also, providing professional services through a more complex type of organization, in which the role of the faculty member might potentially be classified as executive or managerial, is ordinarily allowable in disciplines in which that professional practice is generally accepted as being integral to faculty work (such as developing software content for writing or language instruction).

Administering a grant outside the University that would ordinarily be conducted under the auspices of the University.

Establishing a relationship as a salaried employee outside the University. In addition, with the exception of delivering occasional lectures or participating in UA-sponsored continuing education programs, compensated teaching or research at another institution while under contract as a full-time faculty member at the University is not permitted without prior written approval of the President or Provost of the University.

Serving on the board of directors of a commercial enterprise or 501-C3 organization.

Engaging in other compensated outside professional activities which common sense and good judgment would indicate are likely to raise issues of conflict of commitment.

Category II activities are unlikely to raise issues of conflict of commitment and are ordinarily accepted as regularly performed, compensated, outside professional activities coming under the definition of normal “Institutional Responsibilities” not requiring disclosure, given the nature of Humanities disciplines.  Hence they are allowable without prior approval. Category II activities, though, must be recorded each year in the employee’s Annual Report. Examples of these include, but are not limited to, the following:

Providing expert testimony in administrative, legislative, or judicial proceedings.

Leading educational trips during Spring and Winter breaks within the period of the employee’s contract

Providing consulting services or referrals or engaging in professional practice where such activities are provided by the faculty member acting as an individual or are provided by the

Faculty member through his or her single-member professional corporation or sole proprietorship. It is only providing such services through other types of organizations or arrangements (e.g., through a publicly held corporation) that requires prior approval.

Providing a workshop for industry.

Undertaking compensated outside professional activity not mentioned in Categories I or III and that common sense and good judgment indicate are not likely to raise issues of conflict of commitment.

In addition, faculty members may receive additional compensation for specified additional University teaching activities (i.e., Outreach courses and programs, other continuing education programs run by the University, and self-supporting UA degree programs).  These activities normally do not require advance approval, though they should be noted on annual reports. 

Category III activities come very much within normal “Institutional Responsibilities” not requiring disclosure because they are integral to all COH disciplines and ordinarily do not present issues of conflict of commitment. They are accepted as part of the faculty member’s scholarly and creative work. Even if compensated, they are allowable and not counted as needing to be disclosed.  Category III activities do not have to be reported.  However, the President or his or her designee(s) may under certain circumstances ask for information about them, which the employee should provide upon request. Examples of Category III activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Serving on a federal, state, or local government agency, committee, panel, or commission.

Acting in an editorial capacity for a professional journal.

Reviewing journal manuscripts, book manuscripts, or grant or contract proposals.

Attending and presenting talks at scholarly colloquia and conferences or for civic groups and community outreach. 

Judging academic or artistic work for any appropriate organization.  

Developing scholarly communications in the form of books or journal articles, movies, television productions, software or digital media, and similar works, even when such activities result in financial gain.

Serving as an external reviewer for an academic department at another institution.

Serving as a committee member or as an officer of a professional or scholarly society.

Accepting a commission for an academic, digital, or artistic work or performance that is considered an integral part of a faculty member’s academic portfolio (e.g., a piece of creative writing or online art or a work of translation).

Accepting honoraria (other than those received for Category II activities) and prizes.

Teaching in the humanities seminars program.

Coordinating, guiding, and/or teaching in UA Study Abroad programs for students within the time-frame of a faculty member’s contract. 

In sum: Category II and III activities, do not require disclosure and approval under UA Policy, since they are ultimately included in the position descriptions and the Handbook for Appointed Personnel under which faculty and many staff members are hired in the College of Humanities at the University of Arizona. There is also no disclosure required for any such activities that occur outside of the employee’s contract period (normally the academic year). This document may be amended, subject to the Dean’s approval, and any employee of the College who wishes to propose an amendment should submit that request in writing to the Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council.