What if I am only receiving actual expenses (e.g., travel costs, food)?
A: If you are not receiving any payment above your actual expenses, you do not need consulting approval. However, within 30 days of receiving such expenses, you must report these to the state. There are also rules that govern whether such expenses can be accepted. Please see the page on “Necessary Expenses” for full details.
I received a prize for work that I have already done, is this consulting?
A: Prizes that recognize excellence do not fall within the consulting policy. Typical examples might be a book prize that recognizes a book after publication, or an award of excellence recognizing your contributions to your field. Such awards should relate to work that has already taken place.
If an award provides a stipend, grant, or other support for future research, performance, etc., related to your faculty role, this would likely fall under the consulting policy or other policies related to compensation and research support.
If offered a prize, we recommend that you reach out to the relevant Faculty Consulting Office to discuss the specifics of your prize and whether this falls within the consulting policy or not.
Can compensation be deposited into an Academic Enhancement Account? (i.e. What is a Consulting Activity vs an Academically Related Activity (ARA)
A: UConn Health Faculty:
If you are performing work related to your professional expertise as a private citizen and the money is going into your pocket this is consulting and a request should be submitted and approved prior to beginning any work.
If you are performing work related to your University role as a state employee the money can be deposited into a University/Academic account. In this situation certain activities can be classified as an Academically Related Activity (ARA) and the funds would be deposited into an Academic Enhancement Account (which can support typical business expenses). These activities would not be considered consulting as the money is not coming to you and they do not require approval from our office.
School of Medicine faculty interested in this option should contact their department head. Please note that if the level of compensation is greater than $10,000, a contract will be required.
School of Dental Medicine faculty should contact Mr. John Brigada at 860/679-4065. Please note that if the level of compensation is greater than $10,000, a contract will be required.
What if someone is paying me in something other than money?
A: Non-monetary compensation is treated as an equivalent to the cash value of the goods, services, stocks, etc., that you may be receiving. You should still submit a consulting request if you will be receiving non-monetary compensation for consulting work.
If you are receiving books and choose to undertake the activity as part of your University role (i.e., you do not seek consulting approval for the activity), the books will then be the property of the University. They will then fall under the Policy on Acceptance and Disposal of Textbook Donations.
Can I consult within the University, and/or between UConn and UCHC?
A: Internal consulting is not possible. If you are doing work over and above your regular workload between UConn and UCHC (e.g., a faculty member in Nursing working per diem at UCHC outside of normal work time), you will need to work with HR to be employed in this additional role through the dual employment process. Please contact HR for support with this process.
If you have financial support for work with another unit within the University through a grant, please contact Sponsored Program Services for support in how to administer the grant.
If you are undertaking a support role with another unit of the University outside the scope of your normal workload, it is acceptable that the other unit might provide internal funds to support your research or professional development activities, sent to a local account within your unit. Such internal support where no additional compensation is provided does not require any form of consulting approval.
Can I perform consulting services for another Connecticut state agency?
A: Consulting with other state agencies should usually also fall under the dual employment process. We recommend that you speak with HR in the agency in question to request that they follow the dual employment process.
State agencies may want to request that work be carried out through a contract rather than through dual employment. You should be aware that specific provisions apply to state agencies contracting with a state employee, and that this means that an open and public process for such contracts is required. Employees, their immediate family members, and/or a business with which an employee or their family member is associated may not enter into a contract with the state valued at $100 or more, unless the contract has been awarded through an open and public process. The Office of State Ethics has ruled that immediate family members may not be hired as an independent contractor unless there has been an open and public process.
Responsibility for complying with the State Code of Ethics rests with you as an individual state employee. We would strongly advise that you do not take up contract work with another state agency unless all appropriate provisions of the State Code of Ethics have been met. We recommend that you reach out to the University Ethics Liaison for guidance.
I am serving on the board of a nonprofit organization related to my expertise as a faculty member and I do not receive any compensation, is this consulting?
A: In most cases, such activities are purely professional service. They do not require consulting approval. If there is any complexity to your situation, particularly if you think it has the potential to create some form of conflict of interest with your University work, please reach out to your Faculty Consulting Office for support.
I am starting a company but I don’t expect it to make any money in the near future. Do I need consulting approval?
A: Yes, if you have a business entity (usually termed a “faculty-affiliated company” or FAC) you are required to have active consulting approval each year, even if you do not expect to receive any compensation. The University maintains a list of these entities and we will check that you submit an active consulting request for each fiscal year, so long as the entity is still active. Failure to submit a request each year will result in a sanction under the Faculty Consulting Policy.
Faculty-affiliated companies can be varied, and the questions related to them are often specific to the context of the individual company. We are always here to support you in navigating compliance requirements and work closely with the Office of University Compliance and the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) to support faculty members with FACs. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Faculty Consulting Office for support in this area.
Am I allowed to teach a class at another institution if I am a UConn faculty member?
A: If you have been offered paid teaching work, this must be submitted for approval through the faculty consulting process. If the work is taking place during off-contract summer months, consulting approval is still required. If the teaching activity is taking place at an entity you will be affiliated with during a research leave or sabbatical, you will still require consulting approval and the time spent teaching will be subject to the usual time limitations as for all other consulting requests.
Particular scrutiny will be given to requests to teach classes at other institutions to ensure that such activities are not in competition with the University. Your request should provide detailed information, as relevant, on how this outside teaching will be different from classes you offer at UConn, how the students differ, an explanation of how the teaching will not be in competition with the University, and how this will be a benefit to your work as a UConn faculty member.
What if I am undertaking an activity totally unrelated to my faculty expertise?
A: In most cases, this work would not require any approval under the faculty consulting process. You should not conduct such work during normal work time. Consulting relates only to activities that are related to your faculty expertise. Such activity would still be considered "outside employment" and subject to provisions on outside employment under the State Code of Ethics.
The exception to this is for faculty-affiliated companies. Because of the potential for conflicts of interest when you have a business entity, work with faculty affiliated companies must receive approval through the faculty consulting process.
If you have questions about the nature of your activity and whether it will require approval, please reach out to your Faculty Consulting Office.
Can University resources be used for consulting? Are there any exceptions?
A: In general, no, University resources cannot be used for consulting. There are a few exceptions, detailed below.
- You may make use of “idle, non-consumable resources,” which are usually defined as the use of your office, work computer, and University email account, so long as the following conditions are met:
- This use does not interfere with other State business (i.e., your regular University work or that of your colleagues).
- You can demonstrate that using these resources was for convenience not for the purpose of saving money. (i.e., you have a personal computer that you could use or a home office space, but it was simply more convenient to use your University computer and office).
- You are clear in any consulting context that even though you may be using University office space, computer, or email, that the work you are doing as consulting is in your capacity as a private citizen and not in your University employee role.
- Consulting may involve the use of de minimis resources in the following ways:
- Resources used must not exceed a value of $100 in any given fiscal year (across all consulting activities).
- Departmental policies such as reimbursement for photocopying or other expenses must be followed at all times.
- In rare cases, material use of University resources may be used to support consulting activities. Such use should be documented with a formal agreement and the University must be compensated for such use at fair market rates. If you have any questions about this type of use, please reach out to the Faculty Consulting Office for support. Any consulting request involving material use of University resources must include documentation that includes the following:
- A summary of the material use of state resources
- A description of the fair market value of these resources.
- The name of the highest level University official who approved the use of the resources, including an attestation of this approval.
- An attestation that this University official is responsible for monitoring the appropriate reimbursement for such resources.
- An attestation that you are prepared to provide documentation of all points above to the auditors if and when requested.
What happens if I am traveling on University business, but I also have some consulting activity when at my destination?
A: When consulting you are not acting in your capacity as a University employee. If you are traveling only for the purpose of consulting activity, no University funds should be used.
If you will be traveling for University business and will be adding on time for consulting (e.g., traveling to a city for a conference, where you are then invited to stay for an additional day by a local institution to give a talk for an honorarium, for which you seek consulting approval), you will treat the time that is related to consulting as personal travel. In such cases, you should follow Section 1.e of the University Travel Policy.
"1e. COMBINED BUSINESS AND PERSONAL TRAVEL
Employees may combine travel for personal and business reasons, subject to the guidelines below.
If weekends, holidays, or necessary standby days fall between business travel days the traveler may be reimbursed for a hotel where a cost savings can be demonstrated. Example – if a traveler attends a two-week conference and there is a cost savings by remaining at the conference location over the weekend versus flying home and back during the weekend.
If a traveler chooses to arrive early or to stay longer for non-business reasons, the University will not pay for expenses incurred during additional personal days or any other personal travel expense. The only exception and in special cases, travelers will be able to combine their business and personal travel at a cost lower than if a single trip were only for business. In these special cases, the University will reimburse the traveler for the lower-cost business and personal trip provided that the traveler has clearly documented the cost savings to the University. The traveler must provide supporting documentation and economic justification from the time of booking, including cost comparisons from the University’s contracted and preferred agency on the date of booking."
Combined business and personal travel requires airfare price comparisons. You can find more information about this process here. (Click on the top menu for "Training and Resources" and then click on "UConn Business Air Fare Comparison" under the "Book Travel" category).
If you have questions related to University travel, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for support.