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Outside Employment and Consulting

Outside Employment and Consulting

Authority: 
Business Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
June 27, 2006
In F/S Handbook: 
yes

This policy relates to employment directly undertaken by employees of System institutions with outside employers or to self-employment (including consulting) and does not relate to employment in which arrangements are made officially through the institution by contract with or grants to the institution.
Statement of Policy on Outside Employment

  1. A member of the faculty or staff may engage in outside activities, paid or unpaid, which do not conflict, delay or in any manner interfere with instructional, scholarly, and/or other services he must render in the nature of his college or university employment.
  2. A full-time member of the faculty or staff who is presently engaged, or who plans to engage, in such activities outside of his broad institutional responsibilities, during any period of full-time employment by the institution, shall report to the chairman or head of his department in writing the nature and extent of such activities, and the amount of time the work will require. In all such instances, the department head or chairman shall forward the report to the employee's administrative superior who will make a complete disclosure of these facts to the campus head or his designee. A similar procedure shall be followed by deans in reporting to their vice-presidents in reporting to their president.
  3. No full-time member of the faculty or staff shall engage in such outside employment (or continue such employment if already so engaged) without the written approval of the department head and dean. In the event that either the department head or the dean believes that such outside employment involves, or may involve a matter of public interest or interfere with duties to the institution, the matter shall be referred through the appropriate channels to the president of the college or university or his designee for approval.
  4. It is the responsibility of the employee to make clear to any outside employer that in accepting such employment he does so as an individual independent of his capacity as a member of the staff of the college or university. This might best be accomplished by providing with oral testimony or written reports a statement to the effect that the views expressed are those of the employee and do not necessarily reflect the views of the institution. In no case should the individual concerned use the name of the institution or his college or university title officially, or in any way, in support of any position he may take.
  5. The institution recognizes the fact that a person qualifies as an expert because of his training and experience. Therefore, biographical data, including a statement of employment by the college or university, may be included as introductory material to written reports (but not incorporated in the body of the written report) by the outside employer, or orally in the case of expert witness, by way of establishing the writer as a qualified expert.
  6. Institutional resources shall not be used for personal gain. No college or university personnel, laboratories, services or equipment are to be used without administrative authorization in connection with outside employment of college or university employees.
Reporting Procedures

Vice president(s) shall submit reports of an employee's outside activities to the campus president.

Code of Ethics Requirement

http://www.ethics.state.la.us/Pub/Laws/ethsum.pdf

Compliance with the provisions of this policy is required by the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics.  Violation of this policy may result in a violation of the Ethics Code and penalties applicable thereto and/or appropriate sanctions by the University and/or the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.  All employees, both full-time and part-time, are reminded that they are subject to the Ethics Code.

Conflicts of Interest (July 2009)

University employees are expected to perform their duties conscientiously, honestly, and in accordance with the best interests of the University. 

University employees are public servants of the State of Louisiana, and as public servants, University employees are required to abide by the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics, which includes laws prohibiting conflicts of interest.  Essentially, these statutes preclude public servants from participating in transactions of their employing State agency where the public servant has a personal substantial economic interest. The Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics, Louisiana Revised Statutes 42:1101-1170, may be found at www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp.

A conflict of interest may occur when public interests come in conflict with personal interests. A potential conflict of interest occurs when an employee is in a position to influence a decision that may result in personal gain for that employee or for a relative as a result of a University's business dealing. 

Personal gain may result not only in cases where an employee or relative has a significant ownership in a business with which the University does business directly, but also where an employee or relative receives a substantial gift or other special consideration in consideration for a business dealing or transaction involving the University.

The existence of an employee's relationship with an outside business does not automatically create a conflict of interest.  However, if an employee has any influence on a transaction involving a purchase, contract, lease, or other transaction, it is imperative that the employee disclose to their supervisor, as soon as possible, the existence of any actual or potential conflict of interest so that safeguards can be established to protect all parties.

Conflict of Commitment

  A conflict of commitment occurs when an employee commits time and effort to an outside, non-University related endeavor that compromises or interferes with the employee's efforts for the University.  During University working hours, employees owe their full commitment of time and effort to University activities and responsibilities and must act in the institution's best interests.  Employees must avoid committing time and effort to endeavors that interfere with their commitment to the University.

Conflict of Interest for Externally Sponsored Projects

The university has obligations to protect a project from being compromised by conflicting financial interests and to protect the reputation and credibility of the university in order to ensure public trust and confidence in its sponsored projects.  Please refer to the separate Policy on Conflicts of Interest Related to Externally Sponsored Projects for details.

Conflicts of Interest Policy Related to Externally Sponsored Projects (July 2009)

Introduction

The University has obligations to protect a project from being compromised by conflicting financial interests and to protect the reputation and credibility of the University in order to ensure public trust and confidence in sponsored projects.  This policy and related procedures regulate the financial conflicts of interest in externally sponsored projects.

University employees are public servants of the State of Louisiana, and as public servants, University employees are required to abide by the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics, which includes laws prohibiting conflicts of interest.  Essentially, these statutes preclude public servants from participating in transactions of their employing State agency where the public servant has a personal substantial economic interest. The Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics, Louisiana Revised Statutes 42:1101-1170, may be found at www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp.

Those involved in proposing or implementing an externally sponsored project must disclose actual or potential conflicts of interest according to the policies and procedures detailed below.  Both current relationships or interests and relationships or interests that have existed in the past three (3) years must be reported under this policy.

Definitions

Immediate family members are defined as spouses, parents, parents of spouses, siblings, spouses of siblings, children and spouses of children.

Any financial interest is defined as an economic benefit that an employee derives from a project, or would derive if a proposal were funded, that is greater than the interest derived by a member of the general public, not counting any salary, per diem, intellectual property related benefits normally approved by the University, or other similar compensation arising solely from his or her University employment, position and/or rank.

A controlling interest is defined as an ownership interest held by or on behalf of an individual or of immediate family members, individually or collectively, that exceeds 25% of the legal entity.

A potential conflict of interest occurs when there is a divergence between an individual's private or professional interests and his or her obligations to the University such that an independent observer might reasonably question whether the individual's professional actions or decisions are determined by considerations of personal gain, financial or otherwise.  The existence of an actual conflict of interest depends on the details of the particular situation.

Policy

At the time a proposal is submitted, any individual who has a responsibility for the design, conduct, or reporting of activities proposed for external funding (Principal Investigator and all co-Principal Investigators)  must make a reasonable search and disclose to the University all current financial interests that existed in the past three (3) years in either of the following categories that would or might reasonably appear to be affected by the activities or to impact his or her work on the project or duties at the University:

  • the existence of any financial interest involving himself or herself, or a member of his or her immediate family, or
  • a legal entity or beneficial interest in a trust in which he or she or a member of his or her immediate family has a controlling interest.
Any member of the faculty or research staff who works on a project is presumed to have such a responsible role in project activities.  The Principal Investigator or Project Director is responsible for determining whether or not others, such as students or project staff, have such responsibility.  The Principal Investigator (Project Director) and any co-Principal Investigators are responsible on the Internal Proposal.

If no reportable financial interests exist at the time the proposal is submitted, then financial interest disclosure is not required unless otherwise required by the funding agency.  However, if any responsible project personnel have new or revised financial or controlling interests to report between the time the proposal is submitted and the time the project ends, then they must be disclosed as soon as they occur.

In addition, if a sponsoring agency requires higher reporting standards than those described here, then the University will comply with the sponsoring agency's requirements.

Procedures

Submission of Forms:

At the time of submission of a proposal for external funding, the Principal Investigator (Project Director) and any co-Principal Investigators are responsible on the Internal Proposal Approval Form for certifying that there is no conflict of interest or for disclosing the existence of possible conflicts of interest related to the proposed project.  In addition the Project Director is responsible for making a reasonable effort to determine whether any other project staff, including graduate and undergraduate students, has any reportable potential conflicts of interest.

Financial interests related to externally sponsored projects are recorded on the Financial Conflict of Interest Assurance and Disclosure Form, which is submitted to the Office of Research Services with the Internal Proposal Approval Form and complete proposal package.  This form serves to report the existence of any financial interests for any proposed or actual externally funded project.  This reporting form must be submitted for the individual with the reportable conflict with any proposal for funding when such financial interest currently exists or existed in the past three (3) years.

At any time during the proposal process or project administration when any new potential or actual financial interest arises, or when there are changes to existing potential or actual financial interest, the Project Director should submit a revised Financial Conflict of Interest Assurance and Disclosure Form documenting the change.

Review of Forms:

The Office of Research Services will forward these forms to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, who shall determine whether an actual or potential conflict exists and, if so, what conditions or restrictions should be imposed by the University to avoid, reduce, or manage the conflict in compliance with Federal or State laws and University policies.  Possible conditions might include public disclosure or financial interests, review or monitoring of project activities by independent reviewers, modification of the project design, disqualification from participation in all or part of the project, divestiture of substantial financial relationships, or severance of relationships that create actual or potential conflicts of interest.  In making such determinations, the Vice President shall seek input as appropriate from University, State or Federal officials, legal counsel, or other advisors.  He or she may also appoint an ad hoc committee to review the disclosure and to recommend a course of action.  Before the Vice President reaches a decision, the individuals involved, including the person with the actual or potential conflict, shall be given the opportunity to meet with the Vice President (and with the ad hoc committee, if one is appointed) to discuss the actual or potential conflict and strategies for managing, reducing, or eliminating the conflict.