Faculty Experts Policies


Compensation Policy

WSU Faculty Manual, Section IV, Subsections D, E

(reprinted here on 8-3-2012)
click here for complete manual pdf



1. General

Washington State University encourages worthwhile professional outside services by faculty.

Full-time faculty members are compensated for full-time service to the University in instruction, research, public service, extension, or combinations of these responsibilities. The University expects that each full-time faculty member will assume a proper share of the functions and responsibilities of the department, college, or other equivalent administrative unit, and the University.

University employees, as consultants, can be valuable resources to government, industry, and public and private organizations. The University encourages consulting that does not interfere with the employee's performance of University duties and when no conflict of interest exists. Under certain circumstances and within certain limits, a faculty member may receive compensation for outside professional service work beyond the scope of prescribed duties.

2. Guidelines

The following guidelines are intended to provide for certain employees to engage in a limited amount of outside work for pay and to protect the integrity of the employee-public university work relationship.

  • a) Consulting.
    Consulting, which must be consistent with the University's mission and enhance the faculty member's professional development, includes consulting, advising, research, demonstrating, or teaching for others in areas of professional competence for which the faculty member is employed by Washington State University. Not included is appearance on the program of a scientific or scholarly meeting attended mainly by professional peers or outside profit-making business activities engaged in for personal monetary gain. Some such activities are covered in section VI.E Extended Professional Activities.
  • b) Non-Interference with Professional Duties
    Outside work must not interfere with a faculty member's normal official University duties, including those non-classroom responsibilities expected of all faculty members.
  • c) Remuneration
    Compensation for outside work includes salaries, fees, honoraria and gifts beyond actual expenses. No compensation may be accepted by faculty members for tutoring students in courses they teach.
  • d) Solicitation
    Attempts to arrange outside work must be consistent with state law (RCW 42.18 especially 42.18.200 through 42.18.217) and University policy.
  • e) Limit and Approval
    The University values faculty-student exchanges and high quality of performance of duties. Therefore, without special consent of the Dean or other comparable unit administrator, and of the Provost and Academic Vice President, on recommendation of the department chair, full-time faculty are allowed to spend the equivalent of one day per week in outside work for each week worked equivalent to the entire year of employment. All outside work must be disclosed promptly and reported annually by the faculty member to the department Chair or comparable unit administrator. Such work by a department Chair or Dean must be reported to the Provost and Academic Vice President. These provisions do not apply to full-time faculty on nine-month appointments outside periods of obligated service.
  • Part-time faculty members may be self-employed or may accept additional employment outside the University up to a level corresponding to a full-time position.
  • The department Chair, or other comparable unit administrator, must determine in each specific case whether outside professionally related service activities by an employee are interfering with official University duties. If, contrary to expectation, such activities prove in the judgment of the department Chair or comparable unit administrator to interfere with prescribed standard University duties and obligations, the faculty member must either seek an acceptable revision of outside work activities or apply for a partial or full leave of absence. A faculty member deemed not to be meeting University obligations will be dealt with as provided in the Faculty Manual.
  • f) Use of Facilities
    University facilities (equipment, materials, space, or clerical service) may not be used in connection with compensated outside professionally related service work.
  • g) Responsibility
    The University assumes no responsibility for the competence or performance of a faculty member who engages in outside work for compensation. No such responsibility may be implied in any advertising or contractual documents. University stationery may be used only for official University business.


1. General

The policies and procedures of WSU should allow the expertise of University faculty and staff to be available to society without interfering with University programs or academic freedom, and without leading to conflict of interest.

A University employee's commercial involvements may at times go beyond ordinary relationships arising from normal duties, professional affiliations, and consulting agreements and thus may not be covered by University policies on extra compensation, patents, and copyrights. These extended involvements also raise the possibility of: conflicts of interest, constraints on the free exchange of information, or excessive diversion from the employee's primary responsibilities to the University. The following policy and procedures for disclosure and approval of extended professional activities apply to extended involvement and permit supervisors flexibility for dealing with unusual situations.

As used in this section, the word supervisor means:, Chair and Dean or Director for faculty who are not administrators; Dean or Director for Chairs, The Provost and Academic Vice President for Deans, Directors, and Vice Provosts; the President for Vice Presidents and the Provost and Academic Vice President; and the unit head (Chair, Dean, Director, Vice President, Provost and Academic Vice President, or President) for staff. Supervisors bear responsibility for approval of activities under this section. However, as part of the approval process, supervisors should review their actions with the Provost and Academic Vice President.

2. General Provisions
  • a) Activities for which approval shall be obtained under this policy include the following:
    • (1) Ownership of substantial equity in a commercial enterprise that carries on activities closely related to the employee's area of University work
    • (2) Holding a line management position in such a commercial enterprise
    • (3) Participation in the day-to-day operations of such a commercial enterprise
    • (4) Assumption of an important continuing role in the scientific or technical aspects of such a commercial enterprise
    • (5) Transfer, for personal gain, to a commercial enterprise of non-patented technology or potentially marketable information developed in University research programs

In case 5, approval from the Intellectual Property Committee as well as the supervisors is required.

  • b) Activities for which approval need not be obtained under this policy include the following:
    • (1) Minor holding of stocks
    • (2) Uncompensated service on boards of directors and, in some instances, compensated service on company boards when this service does not conflict with the employee's University obligations
    • (3) Ownership of or equity in a corporation used solely for the employee's consulting as reported under the policy on extra compensation

The supervisor may determine that outside activities of certain temporary or part-time employees do not conflict with the University position and therefore exempt them from the requirements of this section.

  • c) Requests for approval of such commercial involvements must disclose:
    • (1) Nature of the relationship with the commercial entity
    • (2) Short- and long-term commitment of time and effort
    • (3) Financial aspects, including extent of compensation, equity, indirect or potential economic value
    • (4) Expected benefits to the commercial entity
    • (5) Expected benefits to the employee and to the University
  • d) Supervisors should consider the following factors for acceptability of such requests:
    • (1) The relationship should benefit the employee and the University
    • (2) The relationship should not interfere with the employee's primary obligations to the University, nor should it detract from the integrity of the University; in particular, there should be no conflict of interest as defined in RCW 42.18
    • (3) The employee's total time commitment during periods of obligated service, averaged over the term, to commercial involvements and outside work of all kinds should not exceed one day a week
    • (4) There must be no anticipated distortion of academic programs or direction of students, the protection of whose intellectual property should receive special attention
    • (5) There must be free access to the results of all research conducted at the University
    • (6) With rare exceptions, holding a line management position or participating in day-to-day operations in a commercial entity should not be approved for full-time employees; employees may engage in such activities if their appointments to the University are at an appropriate level less than full time
    • (7) If the applicant for approval is a department Chair or program Director, the request should be consistent with unit goals, which the supervisor should determine by consulting representative members of the unit
  • e) The information disclosed by the employee and a record of the supervisor's action on the employee's request shall be transmitted to the Provost and Academic Vice President and placed in the employee's file where it will be protected from public disclosure to the extent permitted by law. Moreover, the supervisor shall not disclose financial aspects of the request except to his or her own supervisors.
3. Appeals

Negative decisions by the supervisors may be appealed to the Provost and Academic Vice President. When this occurs, the Provost and Academic Vice President shall establish a suitable review process in consultation with the Faculty Status Committee. The appeal shall be filed within fifteen days of the decision and the Provost and Academic Vice President shall reply within thirty days after receiving the appeal.

4. Evaluation
  • a) By November 1, each employee who in the preceding year has had commercial involvements in areas related to his or her University responsibilities approved under the provisions of this section shall submit a summary of those activities to the approving supervisor(s) with a copy to the Provost and Academic Vice President. Review may result in revision of activities based on apparent or emerging conflicts with University policy
  • b) Before the end of each fall semester, the Deans, Directors, and Vice Presidents shall review employee commercial involvements, as treated in this section and reported under l, and prepare an evaluative report for the President
  • c) The summaries and reports required in items 1 and 2 may be combined with those prescribed for outside consulting. See also Business Policies and Procedures Manual, 60.44
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Conflicts of Interest

From the Council on Governmental Relations
Date: 2002
Located at: http://www.coi.wsu.edu/Documents/forms/pdf/COIFinal.pdf

Cautions and Reminders:

• Avoid a consulting relationship with a company that distorts the responsibilities to the university as primary employer. Frequently this occurs in the form of the company requiring the faculty member to devote time and effort already committed to the university.

• Be cautious when entering into relationships that limit publication.

• Refrain from creating any impression that the university has sanctioned the outside activity, unless the university has approved this.

• Do not use university resources to benefit a consulting relationship without permission.

• Do not use students to support consulting activities.

• Keep a contemporaneous journal or notebook that summarizes unique information or intellectual property discussed in all consultations.

• Seek the advice of a dean or member of the sponsored research staff before entering agreements that may limit future sponsored activities.

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