11.0 Outside Activities and Conflict of Interest

  1. Outside Activities and Conflict of Interest

    1. Outside Activities

      1. Introduction

        This policy on outside activities applies to all faculty members and all academic administrators who hold faculty rank. The professional capabilities of University faculty members allow them to make significant contributions to the larger society of which Missouri State University is a part. The University encourages faculty members to participate in activities beyond the campus community. Such involvement in the community may not only benefit society, but may also enhance the prestige and visible contribution of the University. However, employees may not compete with the University or convert business opportunities of the University to their personal gain or advantage or the gain or advantage of another. Consulting may, in some instances, also constitute a business interest requiring disclosure and approval when the entity for which the employee consults also transacts business with the University or is in competition with the University or where the consultation itself competes with the work of the University.

        When hiring a person to a full-time position, the University presumes that it has engaged the individual for his or her teaching and for professional and other University-related activities. Outside activities must therefore be clearly subordinate to and must not interfere with the individual's obligations to the University.

        A faculty member must reimburse the University for the full value of any material University resource used in any outside activity.

        A division chair or other administrator may request that a faculty member participate in a specific outside activity not normally associated with the position of the faculty member. However, no faculty member shall be coerced (overtly or covertly) into using his or her professional competence beyond the normal responsibilities as a teacher or scholar. No faculty member shall be penalized in any way for refusal to participate in a specific outside activity.

      2. Remunerated Outside Activities

        University policy permits faculty members to engage in remunerated outside activities that are related to their professional interests and development, provided those activities 1) do not interfere with regular University duties and do not involve, on average, more than one work day per week during periods when the University is employing the individual on a full-time basis; 2) do not utilize University materials, facilities or resources except as specifically authorized by the appropriate department head and dean; 3) do not compete with the work of the University and are not otherwise contrary to the best interest of the University; 4) do not violate federal or state law; 5) do not represent a conflict of interest (Section 11.2) or violate other policies of the University; 6) do not convert confidential information or trade secrets of the University to their personal gain or advantage or to the gain or advantage of others and 7) do not entail a reduction in work load.

        Because Missouri State University faculty members are hired primarily to teach, outside teaching by full-time faculty members at other institutions of higher education during periods when the University is employing the individual on a full-time basis is discouraged but may be permitted in exceptional circumstances with the knowledge of and written consent of the provost.

        During periods when the University is not employing the individual on a full-time basis (for example, during the summer session and the intersession periods for a faculty member on a standard academic-year contract), a faculty member may engage in any lawful outside activity, including teaching for another institution, provided that activity 1) does not utilize University materials, facilities or resources except as specifically authorized by the appropriate department head and dean; 2) does not represent a conflict of interest (Section 11.2) or violate other policies of the University and 3) does not convert confidential information or trade secrets of the University to his/her personal gain or advantage or to the gain or advantage of others.

        If a faculty member accepts supplemental compensation from Missouri State University for teaching or for performing another compensated University-related activity during a period when the University is not otherwise employing the individual on a full-time basis, remunerated outside activities combined with Missouri State University responsibilities must not exceed the equivalent of a full-time work load.

      3. Procedures for Reporting Remunerated Outside Activities

        Except during the summer when he or she is not under contract to the University, a full-time faculty member who engages in outside activities for which he or she is remunerated must report each such activity to his or her division chair prior to, when possible, the commencement of the activity. If in the division chair's judgment the activity will interfere with the faculty member's performance of duties at the University or constitute a conflict of interest (see section 11.2), it is the responsibility of the division chair to discuss and attempt to resolve the problem with the faculty member. The division chair must identify the specific nature and extent of the faculty member's diminished effectiveness or the conflict of interest. If an agreement cannot be reached, the matter will be taken to the dean of academic affairs who will attempt to reach a resolution satisfactory to both the individual and the administration. The dean will make a final determination.

        Because Missouri State University-West Plains faculty members are hired primarily to teach, outside teaching by full-time faculty members is permitted only with the knowledge of and written consent of the dean of academic affairs, except during the summer when Missouri State University faculty members are not under contract.

      4. Non-remunerated Professional Activities

        Faculty members are encouraged to contribute their professional expertise for the advancement of their academic discipline and/or for the benefit of society in general. Such non-remunerated professional activities may be considered favorably in tenure and promotion decisions. Therefore, faculty members should report all such non-remunerated professional activities, regardless of when they occur during the calendar year.

      5. Other Non-Remunerated Outside Activities (Volunteerism)

        Consistent with its mission in public affairs, Missouri State University encourages its employees to participate in voluntary activities that benefit our community and society at large. However, the choice whether or not to participate in any particular volunteer activity or none at all, rests solely with the individual employee.

        In an attempt to document its positive impact on the community, the University may request that faculty members report the extent of their involvement in volunteer activities. However, such reporting is entirely voluntary and no faculty member shall be required to report any such activity, nor shall any faculty member suffer any negative repercussions for declining to report such activities.

        Faculty members are expected to limit the total extent of their volunteer activities so that they do not interfere with regular University duties. However, such potential interference shall be monitored through job performance rather than through any type of requirement to disclose the nature or extent of volunteer activities.

    2. Conflict of Interest

      A faculty member should avoid improper influences in institutionally related decisions and activities or the use of his or her position or the property of the University for personal, financial or political gain.

      A conflict of interest occurs when any faculty member engages in those economic activities which are prohibited in section 11.2.1 or when a faculty member maintains an interest or relationship which prevents him or her from exercising independent judgment in the best interests of the University.

      A faculty member must disclose to his or her division chair all relevant facts related to activities which might involve a conflict of interest.

      1. Economic Involvement

        The following policy statements have been derived from Missouri Statutes and govern the conduct of all University employees:

        1. No employee shall keep for sale or be interested in, directly or indirectly, the sale of any furniture or apparatus, books, maps, charts or stationery owned by the University.
        2. No employee shall be interested in, directly or indirectly, any contract or purchase for building or repairing any structure or for fencing or ornamenting the grounds or furnishing any supplies or materials for the use of the University.
        3. No employee of the University, acting on his or her own behalf or as a representative for an external agency, shall use University facilities to display or promote for sale to third parties any personal or represented material.

        Faculty members are not permitted to receive royalties for the sale of their materials to Missouri State University students. In those cases where it is desired to utilize books, plays, compositions and other works of faculty members, the faculty member will be required to renounce his royalty rights on all sales to Missouri State University students. The faculty member is responsible for making the appropriate arrangements with the Drago College Store so that he or she is not in violation of the state statute.

    3. External Utterances and Political Activities

      A faculty member at Missouri State University-West Plains possesses the same constitutional right to free expression as any private American citizen. However, a faculty member should not purport to be a spokesperson for the University unless designated as such by the chancellor (see section 3.2).

      Missouri State University faculty members may engage in political activities as long as those activities do not interfere with fulfillment of their professional responsibilities to the University. A faculty member may request a leave without pay for such activities such as an election campaign or term of elective office.

      Application for such a leave must be received by the division chair on or before April 1 preceding the beginning of the academic year in which the leave is to be taken. The division chair's written recommendation must accompany the faculty member's application prior to a decision by the dean of the college. The leave of absence may last no longer than one academic year.

      A leave of absence incident to political activity will be subject in all other determinations to the regulations affecting any leave without pay. The conditions for each individual leave will be specified in writing by the dean of the college and a copy of those conditions will be given to the faculty member. These conditions will not be used to adversely affect the tenure status of a tenured faculty member. However, the time encumbered by a leave without pay will not be counted toward the attainment of tenure.