Outside Activities Reporting (GEN 3A)
GEN 3.A.2. Code of Ethics (UWS 8) — Unclassified Staff Code of Ethics.
Chapter UWS 8, Wis. Admin. Code, may require unclassified staff members to make a report of their outside activities to their appropriate administrators (i.e., Dean/Director of Polk Library, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Executive Director Budget/Controller, Provost and Vice Chancellor or Chancellor). Specifically, unclassified staff members should read sections UWS 8.025, (1) and (2); and UWS 8.04.
Citing guidelines prepared by System, a report must be filed if there is an affirmative answer to any of the inquiries of Section 8.025 (2). The reporting form requires information to be provided in the following situations:
(1) Where a staff member or a member of his or her immediate family serves as an officer, director or trustee of a business or other organization (other than a professional society) related to the staff member’s field of academic interest or specialization [sec. 8.025 (2)(a)1], the name and geographic location of the organization and the position held must be provided;
(2) Where a staff member or a member of his or her immediate family, individually or in the aggregate, owns or controls at least 10% of the outstanding equity of any business or organization related to his or her field of academic interest or specialization [sec. 8.025 (2)(a) 1], the name and geographic location of the business or organization must be provided;
(3) Where a staff member maintains a private remunerative relationship with any non-governmental sponsor of University research for which the staff member is or was during the past year the principal investigator [sec. 8.025(2)(a)2], the name and geographic location of the business or organization must be provided; and
(4) Where a staff member performs remunerative consulting or other services in his or her field of professional interest or specialization for any business or organization [sec. 8.025(2)(a)3], the identity of the organization, the type of activity or business in which it is engaged, the aggregate amount of time spent on the activity, and whether the staff member earned more than $5,000 from a single source must be provided; if disclosure of the name of a business or organization would be inappropriate, identification of the nature of the business may suffice.
The report is due to the unclassified staff member’s appropriate administrator annually on or before April 30. This report is for the calendar year April 30 to April 30. Section UWS 8.04 may require unclassified staff members to report anticipated outside activities in specific instances. The information contained in these reports shall be considered matters of public record.
Reporting the summer activities of academic year employees is not specifically addressed in the code. Although summer activities performed when staff members are not under contract to the University may not give rise to a conflict of interest or extend into the academic year, the suggestion has been made that this situation should be viewed as a specific case and the unclassified staff member should consult with his/her supervising administrator.
The University’s Institutional Ethics Code Committee (reference, UWS 8.035) is available to provide consultation and advice regarding the application of Chapter UWS 8. Requests should be submitted in writing to the Provost and Vice Chancellor’s Office.
The reporting forms are available from the Provost and Vice Chancellor’s Office.
GEN 3.A.3. Definition in Reporting of Outside Activities.
Faculty and academic staff of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh are permitted broad participation in public service and other endeavors while meeting teaching, scholarly and University service responsibilities. While activities outside the institution can enhance professional expertise and teaching skills, care should be taken so that excessive participation does not unduly affect institutional programs. This section shall not pertain to paid or unpaid leaves of absence, absences from campus of short duration for activities normally associated with institutions of higher education such as attendance at professional meetings or professional speaking engagements. These absences are covered elsewhere in University policies.
(1) Faculty and academic staff must obtain the consent of their department chairperson/equivalent prior to engaging in outside activities which will prevent them from meeting a class or carrying out other University responsibilities and activities for which they are normally scheduled. Faculty and academic staff are responsible for making arrangements as far in advance as possible to ensure that the scheduled activity is appropriately covered and to inform the chairperson or director of those arrangements prior to the absence.
(2) Faculty and academic staff members must obtain the consent of their department chairperson and Dean/equivalent prior to participation in any extensive, recurring or continuing outside activity. An extensive, recurring or continuing outside activity is defined as one which requires participation during a period of assigned responsibilities, for a period of time equivalent to one day a week for a period of seven or more weeks per year.
(3) Faculty outside activities shall be reported as required under UWS 8.025. A departmental chairperson or Dean, however, may ask for a conference with any person whose outside activities of any nature appear to be in conflict with the performance of his/her scheduled responsibilities.
In any instances where the conference does not result in agreement between the chairperson or Dean and faculty member concerning outside activities and the responsible fulfillment of scheduled University activities, the chairperson or Dean may then ask that these activities be reviewed through the consideration and appeal process, described below in the next section.
GEN 3.A.4. Consideration and Appeal.
(1) In most instances where differences exist concerning outside activities and the performance of an individual’s institutional responsibilities, those differences should be resolved, agreement reached, and approval given at the lowest administrative level.
(2) Where differences exist and cannot be resolved through a conference between the supervisor and individual, the case shall be referred in writing via statements from both the supervisor and individual to the Dean, Assistant Vice Chancellor, or Vice Chancellor, as appropriate, within 14 calendar days following the final conference between the supervisor and the individual. The Dean/Assistant Vice Chancellor/Vice Chancellor shall then, within 14 calendar days after receipt of the written information, review that information, confer with both parties, and render a decision.
(3) If both parties agree to accept the decision, the matter shall be considered closed. If one party does not accept, then the case shall be referred in writing by the Dean/Assistant Vice Chancellor/Vice Chancellor and the disagreeing party, within 14 calendar days after the final conference, to the President of the Faculty Senate (or the Senate of the Academic Staff, as appropriate) for referral to a hearing committee as per FAC 9.A.2. or GOV 4.3.C.
(4) The committee shall, within 14 calendar days after receiving the written statement, complete its investigation of the case and make a recommendation to the Provost and Vice Chancellor via the President of the Senate. The Provost and Vice Chancellor shall, within 14 calendar days after receipt of the written statement, review that statement and conduct any other investigation deemed necessary and render a decision which shall be final. The decision of the Provost and Vice Chancellor shall be communicated in writing to the individual, all supervisors, the President of the Senate and the Chancellor. If the disagreement occurred within the purview of a Vice Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor may appeal to the Chancellor.
GEN 3.A.5. Record Maintenance.
Current and complete records of outside activities of a recurring or continuing nature shall be maintained in the individual’s personnel files.
GEN 3.A.6. Investigator’s Financial Disclosure Policy (IFDF).
(1) Filing Requirement.
Consistent with applicable federal regulations (Federal Register Vol. 59:33242-33251 and 33308-33312, June 28, 1994 and Federal Register Vol. 60:35810-35823, July 11, 1995), and to assure timely processing of applications for federal funding, an investigator who is planning to participate in a federally funded research or educational activity must submit a University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Investigator’s Financial Disclosure Form (IFDF) to her/his department chair or director prior to University transmittal of their proposal to a federal agency. The regulations define “investigator” as the principal investigator and any other person who is responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of federally funded research or educational activities. (Note: In some circumstances students, technical personnel and administrators may not be “responsible,” but in other circumstances they may be, in that they are given responsibility for a task that could have a significant effect on the design, conduct or reporting of the research or educational activities.)
(2) University’s Institutional Ethics Code Committee.
The University’s Institutional Ethics Code Committee (IECC) is available to provide consultation and advice regarding the application of these regulations. This committee will conduct the review of potential conflicts arising under this policy. The committee shall meet as necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this policy.
(3) Review Process.
Within 10 working days of receipt, the investigator’s department chair or director must review, sign, and forward the IFDF to the appropriate Dean.
The Dean shall review the IFDF within 10 working days of its receipt. If the Dean determines, after review of the IFDF, that no conflict of interest exists, s/he shall notify the investigator and the Office of Grants and Faculty Development of the determination. Upon such a determination by the Dean, the expenditure of any awarded research funds may proceed.
If the Dean determines, after reviewing an IFDF, that a potential for conflict of interest exists, s/he will notify the investigator, the IECC, and of the Office of Grants and Faculty Development of the potential conflict of interest. If the investigator with a potential conflict of interest decides to proceed with a submission of a proposal to a federal agency, the investigator must also send an abstract of the proposal and an explanation of why there is no conflict, or an explanation of potential solutions to the conflict, to the IECC. If, after review of the submitted documentation, the IECC decides there is no conflict of interest, the IECC will notify the investigator, the Dean, and Office of Grants and Faculty Development. [A “no conflict of interest” determination could arise in the following circumstances: if the investigator’s income is not from a “for profit” business; or, if the investigator’s income is from textbook writing.]
If the IECC decides that a conflict of interest does exist, it will convene a meeting with the investigator and the investigator’s Dean. At the meeting, any party may suggest ways to eliminate, resolve or manage the conflict of interest. [One way a conflict could be managed is for the IECC to appoint a 2-3 member project oversight committee. Ideally, members of a project oversight committee would have expertise in areas related to the investigator’s proposed research area. All project oversight committees would be required to file annual reports with the IECC concerning their ongoing role in the management of the conflict. Section 50.605 of Subpart F, 42 CFR Part 50, includes several other suggestions for managing a conflict of interest.] If the IECC, the investigator, and the Dean all agree on how to manage a conflict, the IECC will notify the Office of Grants and Faculty Development that the conflict of interest is manageable and that the University can expend the federal grant if awarded.
If a conflict cannot be resolved or managed by the above process, an appeal process shall be provided. If an investigator requests an appeal, the investigator’s Dean shall convene and preside over a three to five-member appeals committee, consisting of at least one representative from the IECC, and other qualified persons appointed by the Chancellor.
If the conflict is resolved or managed through the appeal process, the Office of Grants and Faculty Development shall be notified that the conflict of interest is manageable and the University can accept the federal grant if awarded. If the conflict is not resolved or managed through the appeal process, the University may not expend the federal grant.
If, during the course of the year, circumstances concerning an investigator’s significant financial interests change, the investigator shall submit a revised IFDF to his/her department chair or director, and the above steps for reviewing the revised IFDF shall be followed.
The Office of Grants and Faculty Development will maintain records of all investigator financial disclosures and of all actions taken to resolve or manage potential conflicts of interest for at least three years after the termination or completion of the award to which they relate.
Forms are available in the Office of Grants and Faculty Development.