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U of Utah Consulting Guidelines


Revised February, 2015

The purpose of this document is to provide helpful advice to faculty and other university employees who have outside consulting arrangements.

"Remunerative Consultation" or "Consulting" includes those professional activities which: (a) are performed by a faculty member or Administrative Officer in his or her individual capacity and not on the University's behalf, (b) with respect to a faculty member, are related to the faculty member's area of expertise, as indicated by the instructional, clinical and research activities the faculty member performs or has performed on the University's behalf, (c) advance or communicate that expertise through interactions with industry, the community, or the public, and (d) for which the faculty member or Administrative Officer receives (or expects) compensation or remuneration. When carrying out these activities, faculty members or employees will be acting on their own, and if appropriate, may wish to have consulting agreements reviewed by counsel of their own choosing.

The following guidelines and recommended clauses will aid University employees when entering into and performing consulting agreements.

The policies outlined herein are not and should not be construed as the full text and embodiment of the respective sections of policy and procedure, and are being provided solely to inform the reader of his/her obligations. Further, this document and the guidelines, comments, and clauses should not be construed as legal advice.


The Primary University of Utah Policies and Procedures relating to faculty consulting activities include the following:

Restrictions on Consulting (PPM 5-204)

Consultation and other services to persons, firms, institutions, and agencies outside the university may be carried on by faculty members as long as the performance of such services does not interfere with the individual's service obligations to the university, subject to the following restrictions.

  1. Full-time faculty and Administrative Officers are allowed four days a month for either consulting or outside employment, not counting weekends or holidays. Faculty and Administrative Officers who are not full-time are permitted a proportionately reduced number of monthly consulting days commensurate with their part-time status. Unused consultation time may be accumulated for a period not to exceed three (3) months, i.e., for a total accumulation not exceeding a maximum of 12 days for full-time faculty members and Administrative Officers (or a proportionately reduced number of accumulated days commensurate with the part-time status of a faculty member or Administrative Officer), and may be taken during one consecutive period of time. The University has no obligation to compensate personnel for authorized consultation time that, for any reason, is not actually used.
  2. Use of consultation time should have a demonstrable relation to the professional interests of the faculty member or administrative officer, and to the university's general mission within the community.
  3. Any absence from the university for the purpose of consultation services may be recorded as an excused absence for approved consultation only if the restrictions of this section have been satisfied.
  4. Consultation involving service to individual patients or clients may take place in a faculty or staff member's office or laboratory. Use of university facilities and equipment resulting in clearly identifiable additional cost to the university shall be reimbursed and shall require authorization by the supervisor with direct line authority over the employee.
  5. The individual engaged in consultation activities must arrange in advance, with the approval of the responsible department chairperson, director, or other line officer, for scheduling of classes or other work assignments missed as the result of consultation activities.
  6. Individual exceptions to this policy may be approved by the cognizant vice president upon recommendation of the dean or director, subject to any specific conditions imposed by the vice president.

Responsibilities of University Employees as to Consulting

University employees engaged in consultation services authorized by this policy must assume the following responsibilities to assure compliance with policy and with applicable legal requirements.

  1. The University employee must advise in writing, on a form provided by, or approved by the University, the person, firm, or agency for whom such consultation services are to be performed that (a) the employee, in his/her role as a consultant, is acting solely as an independent contractor, and not as an agent or employee, or under the sponsorship, auspices, or control of the University of Utah, and (b) the University assumes no responsibility whatever, express or implied, for the actions or omissions of the employee in his/her role as a consultant.
  2. Before entering into a consultation contract, the University employee must personally determine that the contemplated consultation activities and arrangements will not involve a conflict of interest with the individual's duties to the University that may be in violation of the Public Officers' and Employees Ethics Act or University conflict of interest policies. (See Policy 1-006) Such conflicts may be implicated if (a) the consultant is or will be serving concurrently as a principal investigator under a contract or grant from the same external firm or agency; or (b) the consultant's services are directly related to and derived from activities performed under a contract or grant from the same external firm or agency, or from confidential information acquired as a result of participation in such a contract or grant.

Intellectual Property Issues

  1. Faculty consultants must avoid entering into consulting agreements that are in violation of the terms of their employment by the University.
  2. Policy 5-204 requires all University faculty to abide by the University’s Intellectual Property Policies and Procedures and to assign to the University all rights to intellectual property developed (1) that are within his or her area of expertise, (2) in the course of University research, or (3) with non-incidental use of University resources. See PPM 7-002.III.B.1
  3. The University claims no right in or to any invention to the extent created by full or part-time faculty members and Administrative Officers as a result of private consulting services performed in compliance with Policy 5-204, unless the invention is created with non-incidental use of University resources. See PPM 7-002.III.B.6
  4. Each full or part-time faculty member, non-faculty academic employee, staff member and student-employee, and each student participating in University research or making non-incidental use of University resources, is expected to inform promptly the director of TCO concerning all inventions created within his or her area of expertise, in the course of University research, or the non-incidental use of University resources as applicable; to cooperate with and assist the director of TCO in the handling of such matters; to execute all rightful papers and do necessary and proper acts to assist the University in obtaining, utilizing and enforcing patent protection on such matters, and to abide by and benefit from the patent Policy of the University in effect during the inventor's respective associations with the University. See PPM 7-002.III.B.4