Consulting Policy

  1. General Principles
    1. Definition of Consulting
    2. The Amount of Permissible Consulting Time
    3. Consulting During Periods of Part-time Employment
    4. Responsibilities of Faculty Members
    5. Use of Institute Facilities or Services
    6. Consulting During the Summer Term or During Periods of Leave Without Pay
    7. Consulting While on Research Leave
    8. How to Request to Engage in Consulting Services
  2. Conflict of Interest
  3. Consulting Services for Other State Offices

Franklin College Request to Consult Form

General Principles

The University of Georgia and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences recognize that appropriate consulting activities may be mutually beneficial to the faculty and to the university. The benefits include: enhancing the knowledge, expertise and experience of the faculty; assisting in maintaining knowledge of practice and applications; opening and expanding contact and communication with other institutions, organizations, industry, governmental agencies and other clients; and fostering public service activities otherwise unavailable. Thus, appropriate consulting activities constitute enrichment and continuing education activities which enhance the professional development and reputation of faculty. This, in turn, may result in improved teaching, research, and service. Hence, reasonable participation in consulting is encouraged within the parameters identified in Section 802.16 of the Board of Regents Policy Manual and Article X, Sections 7 and 8 of the University of Georgia Statutes.

Although consulting may make faculty better scholars and teachers, the consulting process has in it the potential for diversion of faculty from their primary activities and responsibilities. The basic principle of this policy statement, therefore, is that there are limitations upon Franklin College faculty members who undertake consulting. The purpose of this policy is to state these limits and the reasons for them.

The limits set forth below are intended to strike a balance between consulting and regular faculty duties within the College and serve to safeguard the interests of both parties. In cases of ambiguity, the primary guide should be the intention to promote the interests of the College as a place of education, learning and research.

Definition of Consulting

For purposes of this policy, consulting is defined as professional activity related to the faculty member's field or discipline, where a fee-for-service or equivalent relationship with a third party exists.

There are many types of consulting relations and fee arrangements. The principle is that, in consulting, a person agrees to use his or her professional capabilities to further the agenda of a third party in return for compensation. Thus, it does not matter whether a person is on the client's payroll, works as an independent contractor, or acts as a director or as a manager of a company engaged in activities related to the consultant's field or discipline. Included under this definition are situations in which a Franklin College faculty member is chosen to serve on a Board of Directors of a company, or in some equivalent position, because of that faculty member's affiliation with the College or The University of Georgia and with a discipline that serves to enrich the company. Several types of faculty activity, other than regular College duty, are not "consulting." These are:

  1. Publication. Scholarly communications in the form of books, movies, television productions, art works, etc., though frequently earning financial profit for a faculty member and for another party (e.g., publisher), are not viewed as consultation. To attempt to distinguish between types of books, to assess the roles of book publication in different disciplines, or to challenge the historical relation between authorship and manuscript ownership would be fraught with danger and confusion. These reservations apply equally to the other types of scholarly communication cited.
  2. Professional Service. Under this category fall seminars, service on national commissions, on governmental agencies and boards, on granting agency peer-group review panels, on visiting committees or advisory groups to other universities, and on analogous bodies. The fundamental distinction between activities and consulting is that they are public or college service. Although an honorarium or equivalent sometimes is forthcoming, these professional service activities are not undertaken for personal financial gain. Therefore, such service does not fall within the consulting category.
  3. "Moonlighting." Faculty members may pursue a variety of endeavors for financial profit that are not directly related to their fields or disciplines. These efforts are not considered consulting under this policy, but such activities do fall under Board of Regents policy. (802.1601)

The Amount of Permissible Consulting Time

Faculty members who are on full-time appointments are permitted to spend a maximum of four days per month consulting.  Eight hours of consulting time are considered equivalent to one day.  This limit is averaged over the semester or other term of employment, so that in a 4 month term, 16 days or 128 hours of consulting are permitted.  Consulting time can be averaged across terms, on a limited basis, if a faculty member plans to consult more during one term and less during another term during the same fiscal year; for example, it would normally be permissible to consult 5 days during a 4 month term, if consulting was limited to 3 days in another 4 month term.  Four days per month, or 48 days for a year of full-time active duty, is a liberal allocation that is in line with the University of Georgia policy on Technology Transfer that was approved in 1989.

Consulting During Periods of Part-time Employment

Faculty members on part-time appointments are permitted to consult proportionately as much as those on full-time appointments, and in addition, to consult during their work time that is not committed to Franklin College.  The limit on consulting is pro-rated; thus, someone holding a 50% part-time faculty position would be permitted 2 days of consulting per month on the portion of their time paid by Franklin College.

Responsibilities of Faculty Members

Faculty are required to request permission to consult from the Dean of Franklin College through their Department Head and Associate Dean on an annual basis. See Section H below.

Consulting is encouraged, provided the faculty member's primary obligations to the Franklin College are met. The responsibility for adhering to the limit on consulting days, and other aspects of this consulting policy, lies first with the individual faculty member. Faculty members have an obligation to report, fully and currently, the level of their consulting activities. Faculty members should resolve any questions or ambiguities with the appropriate Franklin College official before the fact, so that the College community is not injured by their actions. The College has the right, and indeed, the obligation, to protect itself from losses due to excess consulting.

Use of Institute Facilities or Services

In general, the use of University personnel, equipment, facilities, and materials should be avoided in consulting. When the use of college or university resources is required, the department head must provide prior approval and the institution must be reimbursed in full for all expenses chargeable to it (see attached form).

Consulting During the Summer Term or During Periods of Leave Without Pay

Faculty members on nine-month appointments with no salary supplement for the summer term are not subject to the consulting time limit during the summer term, nor does the limit apply to faculty members on leave without pay. If the faculty member receives a salary for full-time service during the summer, the regular consulting limit shall apply.

If faculty are paid from an external grant run through UGA for some portion of their summer salary, with UGA writing the paycheck, then consulting during this time is limited to the regular limit of four days per month. For example, someone paid one month summer salary from a National Science Foundation grant would have a limit of four days consulting for that month.

Consulting While on Research Leave

A faculty member on research leave receiving a full-time Franklin College salary may consult up to the regular limit during the period of leave.

How to Request to Engage in Consulting Services

Faculty are required to request permission to consult from the Dean of Franklin College through their Department Head and Associate Dean on an annual basis on or before June 30; additionally, permission should be requested if there is a substantial change in the anticipated consulting.  Separate permission is required for each entity for whom the faculty member wishes to act as a consultant.

The information required is:

  • The entity for whom the faculty will be consulting;
  • a brief description of the consulting activity;
  • the location where the consulting will occur;
  • the anticipated time involved;
  • a discussion of how this activity will benefit you in your teaching, research, service or administrative responsibilities;
  • a description of the arrangements for reimbursing Franklin College and The University of Georgia for any resources used, including personnel, facilities, supplies or equipment;
  • a discussion of any potential conflicts of interest that might arise as a result of the consulting, whether the potential conflict is with a Franklin College or University of Georgia interest, or with an externally funded program;
  • endorsement by the faculty member's department head.

Faculty should submit this information with appropriate signatures on the form available here:

Franklin College Request to Consult Form

If a Department Head denies permission to consult, the faculty member may appeal this decision to the Dean's Office, where the situation will be discussed with both parties and a final decision will be made.

Conflict of Interest

The Franklin College encourages and assists faculty members in the practice of their profession, including consulting. It must be recognized, however, that professional consulting activities and involvement in business ventures can result in an apparent or actual conflict of interest with the College or The University of Georgia.  This policy provides several principles which should be followed to avoid conflicts.

With appropriate prior administrative approval, any faculty member in the Franklin College may render professional consulting services. Such consulting must not preempt, and must be scheduled around, the responsibility of the faculty member to meet all assigned duties and obligations to the University of Georgia and the Franklin College. All faculty members are expected to avoid all actual and apparent conflicts of interest.

A faculty member's first obligation is as an employee of the University of Georgia. As such, he or she is not to assist other organizations in competing for research or instruction contracts of the type that the Franklin College or The University of Georgia normally pursues.

Full-time University employees may not be on the payroll of other organizations except as consultants. To be listed otherwise may be in conflict with OMB Circular No. A-21 and result in financial penalties against The University of Georgia. (Payment for services must be reported on an IRS 1099 Form, not on a W2Form.)

Members of the faculty may, for tax liability reasons, undertake consulting assignments through personal corporations. This is not considered a conflict of interest in and of itself if the limits given in the college's Consulting Policy and the principles of this "Policy on Conflict of Interest" are followed.

Consulting Services for Other State Offices

As a general rule, University employees may not receive compensation for services performed for other state offices (Georgia Code Section 45-10-20). Employees of one State agency may teach or work as consultants for another state agency provided they fall within one of the following classifications and provided they meet the conditions stated below:

  1. Any transaction involving part-time employment by any agency of a chaplain, fireman, any person holding a doctorate or master's degree from an accredited college or university, a licenses physician, dentist, or psychologist, or a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, if employed by the state.
  2. The chief executive officer of the department or agency desiring to obtain the services of a person falling within the class of exceptions shall certify in writing the need for the services and shall set forth why the best interest of the state will be served by obtaining the part-time services of such a person in lieu of obtaining such services from a person not presently employed by the State.
  3. The chief executive officer of the department or agency employing the person in the class of exceptions shall certify in writing that the person whose services are desired is available to perform such services, that the performances of such services will not detract nor have a detrimental effect on the performance of the person's employment, and, where appropriate, that the part-time employment of this person will be in the best interest of the State.
  4. The two departments or agencies involved will then agree on the procedures under which the employee shall perform the additional services. The agreement shall specify the means of employment whether as a part-time employee or as a consultant, the compensation, and other pertinent details and conditions of the employment relationship. The agreement may be terminated at anytime by either of the parties to the agreement.

Franklin College Request to Consult Form