Outside Consulting Work

Consultation by faculty members with outside organizations can be a source of valuable professional experience a well as being, in some cases, a source of additional income. The University permits such consultation, subject to the conditions, in this policy statement. For those on full-time service to the University, the guiding principle is that University duties are the primary obligation of the faculty member while consultation is a personal activity.

Although obligations of faculty are multifaceted and often cannot be precisely defined in number of hours, there is increasing pressure on universities to provide a reasonable accounting of the professional activities of full-time employees. Because of the complexity of these obligations and the difficulty in reporting faculty activities, it has generally been accepted that universities place limits as a matter of policy on the amounts of time and effort full-time faculty members may devote to outside consulting. The intent of this policy is to provide faculty members with maximum flexibility to exercise their consulting privilege within established limits.

During semesters of full time service to the University, consulting work for outside organizations is limited to the equivalent of four days per month. Consulting work must be performed on personal time and should not detract from the faculty member’s primary obligations to the University. Written requests for permission to consult should specify the organization with which the work is concerned, a statement of the amount of time required, the period of the consulting arrangement, and whether the work will or will not interfere with responsibilities to the University. The request should have the approval of the department chair and the appropriate dean. Authority for granting permission resides with the Provost. If there is any possibility of interference with primary obligations, the faculty member should not engage in the consulting work or should request a leave of absence or a salary reduction.

The facilities and services of the University may not be used in connection with compensated outside work, except in a purely incidental way. In cases where a member of the faculty wishes to use the facilities and services of the University in connection with outside consulting activities, appropriate arrangements to compensate the University must be made in advance with the Office of the Vice President for Administration.

To avoid conflicts between the primary obligations of the faculty member to the University and the terms of the consulting or other agreements with a third party, the following clause must be included in any such agreements:

In the event the terms and conditions of this agreement are in conflict with the terms and conditions of employment with the State University of New York at Stony Brook, or with those of grants or contracts administered by the Research Foundation of SUNY for which I perform service, the latter shall prevail.