Draft Policy

This is a draft policy shared for comment. Comments were due by Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 12:01pm.

View Comments

Original Issuance Date: February 27, 2020
Last Revision Date: February 27, 2020

1. Purpose of Guidelines

These guidelines support SYS 1290, Code of Ethics and describe specific requirements for reporting outside activities.

2. Publishing Office(s)

UW System Administration Office of Human Resources

3. Affected Stakeholders on Campus

It is the policy of the University of Wisconsin System to require a report from all faculty, academic staff and limited appointees who engage in remunerative outside activities in their field of professional interest whose appointments are half-time or more for the period under contract to the UW System. If you have a joint appointment, you must file a report for each department/unit.

4. Primary Responsibility

Your report covers activities that occur during the full year, even if you were not under contract to the University for part of that time. You should discuss with your dean or director any activities that may present carryover questions of conflict with your responsibilities during your contract period. If, during the year, changes in your reportable outside activities occur, you should immediately inform, in writing, your dean, director or other appropriate administrator. This information shall be placed on file with your annual statement of outside interests. The due date for the annual report is April 30th each year.

5. Guidelines

A. Reporting Responsibilities

I. Those activities which are reportable under UWS 8.025 include:

1.    Section A:

  • Professionally related outside activities occurring during the time you are under contract to the university for which you received remuneration, not including ordinary professional activities (see below).
  • The names of organizations or businesses for which remunerative outside activities were performed, the type of activity (consulting, teaching, research, writing, etc.), the aggregate time spent (days) in that activity, and whether you received $5000.00 or more compensation per year from a single source.
    • Royalties from writing and patents need be reported only in the year that they first appear.
    • If you believe you should not publicly identify the name of the organization, you must receive approval from your dean to withhold the name (e.g., if revealing the name would be damaging to the organization’s legitimate competitive interests).
  • If you have received compensation from a nongovernmental sponsor of university research, teaching or training for which you are principal investigator, check the box at the bottom of Section A and list the name of the sponsor.

2.    Section B: Officerships, directorships, trusteeships that you or members of your immediate family hold in businesses or commercial organizations related to your professional field.

3.    Section C: Ownership interests in organizations related to your academic area of specialization, provided that your immediate family collectively owns more than 10% of the equity.

II. Those activities which need not be reported include:

1.    Activities for which remuneration comes from university administered funds (e.g., teaching and innovation awards, etc.).

2.    Remunerative ordinary professional activities which extend an unclassified staff member’s normal institutional responsibilities of teaching, research and service to serving other public institutions, organizations, and professional societies.

  • Occasional lectures, colloquia, seminars, etc., given at colleges and universities and at meetings of professional societies.
  • Preparation of monographs, chapters and editorial services for nonprofit educational organizations.
  • Service on advisory committees and evaluation panels for government funding agencies, nonprofit foundations and educational organizations.
  • Leadership positions in professional societies.

3.    Instruction at another nonprofit educational institution or research supported by a government agency if the instruction or research is performed during periods when you are not on the university payroll, or, in the case of part-time appointment, if the work is performed during the time that you are not contracted to the university.

B. Definitions

A remunerative relationship is any relationship that results in payments, transfer of goods or provision of services to the reporting staff member.

An organization is any corporation, partnership, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, trust or the legal entity other than an individual or body politic (see Wis. Admin. Code § UWS 8.02(12)).

Professionally related activities are activities related to the staff members’ field of academic interest or specialization.

C. UWS 8.025 Outside activities and interests; reports

I. Outside activities.

Members of the unclassified staff are free to engage in outside activities, whether or not such activities are remunerative or related to staff members’ fields of academic interest or specialization. However, no member of the unclassified staff may engage in outside activity if it conflicts with his or her public responsibilities to the university of Wisconsin system or the institution at which the unclassified staff member is employed.

II. Reportable outside activities.

1.    The following outside activities must be reported to a staff member’s dean, director or other appropriate administrator:

  1. Associations with organizations, as defined in s.UWS 8.02 (3) and (12), related to staff members’ fields of academic interest or specialization;
  2. Private remunerative relationships between staff members and non-governmental sponsors of university research for which the staff member is a principal investigator; and
  3. Remunerative outside activities in a staff member’s field of academic interest or specialization, including but not limited to consulting, and whether the staff member earns for such activities $5,000 or more in a year from a single source.

2.    Each unclassified staff member engaging in outside activities reportable under this section shall annually, on or before April 30, file a report of outside activities with his or her dean, director or other appropriate administrator.

3.   If, during the year, changes in a staff member’s reportable outside activities occur, the staff member shall immediately inform, in writing, his or her dean, director or other appropriate administrator. This information shall be placed on file with the staff member’s annual statement of outside interests.

III. Institutional polices.

The unclassified staff members of each institution, with the approval of the chancellor, shall develop policies and procedures which shall, at a minimum provide:

1.    Standards concerning the use of university facilities and personnel in connection with outside activities;

2.    Standards concerning absence from regular duties for the purpose of engaging in outside activities;

3.    Guidelines identifying types or categories of outside activities which may result in a material conflict of interest; and

4.    For such reports of anticipated outside activities as are necessary to insure Compliance with s. UWS 8.04.

IV. Reports public.

Information required to be reported under this section shall, unless otherwise privileged by law, be a matter of public record.

Note: This section addresses outside activities. Several explanatory points provide relevant background:

1.    The section addresses matters heretofore handled under UWS 7 and UWS 14, which are accordingly repealed. This change in the scope of UWS 8 was made in response to legislative suggestion.

2.   2. The rule recognizes the right of unclassified staff members to engage in outside activities, whether or not the activities are remunerative or related to staff members’ fields of academic interest. However, in order to assure that such activities do not conflict with staff members’ responsibilities to the university of Wisconsin system, or the institution at which the staff member serves, the rule provides that certain types of activities must be reported to staff members’ deans, directors or other appropriate administrators. These reportable outside activities include associations with organizations related to staff members’ fields of academic interest or specialization, certain private remunerative relationships between staff members and non-governmental research sponsors, and remunerative outside activities in staff members’ fields of academic interest or specialization and whether the staff member earns $5,000 or more in a year from a single source. The language retains the requirements currently in UWS 7 and UWS 14 that institutions develop policies to regulate the use of university facilities in connection with outside activities, and adds a similar requirement pertaining to use of personnel. It provides a more explicit requirement for institutional development of standards on absence from university duties, and for reports on outside activities which staff members anticipate they will perform during the academic year.

3.    Guidelines and suggestions will be provided to institutions for implementation of the Regent rule. These guidelines would include examples of standards concerning use of university facilities and absence from university duties that might be adopted under UWS 8.025 (3) (a) and (b) categories or types of activities which might present a material conflict of interest under UWS 8.025 (3) (c); reporting procedures under UWS 8.025 (4); and other relevant information.

4.    The rule incorporates and codifies the result of litigation between the Madison Capital Times and the UW-Madison. That case, decided in Dane County Circuit Court in the spring of 1983, held that UW-Madison reports of outside activities required under UWS 7 and UWS 14 were records open to public inspection. This section continues the existence of the reporting requirements (UWS 8.025 (2) a declares the public nature of the reports (UWS 8.025 (4), except in those instances where other legal principles establish a privilege for the information contained therein.

5.    UWS 8.025 (1) indicates that the Regents’ purpose is not to dictate the financial topical terms of activity but to ensure that it does not present conflicts of interest or time with university duties. [See also Note to UWS 8.01 (3)].

6.    Forms required under this section for the reporting of outside activities may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary to the Board of Regents, Room 1860 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, at no charge.

6. Contact

UW System Administration Office of Human Resources

7. Guidelines History

Original Issuance: February 27, 2020
*Before this date these guidelines were published as Appendix 1 of SYS 1290, Code of Ethics.

8. Scheduled Review

February 2025