Faculty Consulting Policy

Clemson University extends to its faculty members the privilege of consulting because such activities can contribute to the professional development and stature of the faculty member, and thus may benefit the University as well as the faculty member. Such benefit may be, but is not limited to, enhancement of faculty professional expertise, establishing and maintaining professional contacts, associations and relationships, and developing opportunities for sponsored research. “Consulting activity” is defined as professional work performed outside university auspices that is substantively related to a faculty member’s area of expertise and duties at the university. Included is consulting for a company owned by oneself or by a member of one’s immediate family.

Professional consulting is encouraged provided such activities present no conflicts of interest and are kept within reasonable bounds. The primary safeguard is the requirement that the faculty member secure advance approval for consulting activities to ensure that the activity is beneficial to the University in that no conflicts of interest exist, no conflict with University duties and responsibilities is present, and the total amount of consulting by the faculty member is not excessive. Professional work that is part of the normal duties of members of the academy does not fall under the auspices of this policy.

1) For nine-month faculty, the maximum limit for consulting is one (1) day per week (39 days per academic year) during periods of full-time Clemson University employment. Consulting limits for part-time faculty employees are established on an individual basis using the one-day per week limitation as a guide. In accordance with State and University regulations, 12 month faculty and staff must take Annual Leave when engaged in consulting during their normal work hours.

2) All proposed consulting activities (while employed by the University) must receive prior review and approval through the appropriate channels (department chair, dean, and Vice President for Research) to ensure that they present no conflicts of interest and do not diminish the quantity and quality of professional services rendered to the University as part of the faculty member’s normal duties and responsibilities. Non-compensated consulting (i.e., public service in one’s area of professional expertise) must also receive prior approval whenever the potential for a conflict of interest exists. It is the faculty member’s responsibility to assess whether the potential for a conflict of interest in non-compensated consulting exists; when in doubt a consulting form should be submitted.

3) Prior approval must be obtained for consulting use of University equipment or facilities, or the employment of University faculty, staff, and students. The inconsequential use of office-based computing equipment and telephone equipment (e.g. the exchange of e-mails or local telephone calls with a consulting client) is permitted without prior approval.

4) A consulting approval form must be submitted and approved for each proposed consulting arrangement each fiscal year (July 1 through June 30). The number of days of the proposed consultancy must be provided on the consulting approval form. Estimates must later be amended to reflect the actual days of the consultancy.

Instructions for filing a consulting request form:

  • Log in to InfoEd using your Clemson username and password. 
  • Click on the “Conflict of Interest” tab on the left side of the screen, followed by “Create or Update Disclosure”.
  • On the following page, select the option to “Edit/Submit Consulting”.

5) Personal consulting contracts must not imply that the consultant is an agent of Clemson University. In this regard, Clemson University letterhead stationery or similar indicators of University affiliation must not be used when transacting personal consulting activities.

6) A faculty member must always use his/her own social security number (SSN) or employer identification number (EIN) when transacting personal consulting business.

7) Ownership (by a faculty member, her/his spouse, and any dependent children or any children occupying the same residence), as a principal, officer, director, partner or other like status, of an interest in a business relating to one’s profession must be disclosed to the department chair and dean with copies to the Provost and Vice President for Research. This disclosure must provide the full details of one’s relationship to the business, one’s obligations to the business, how the relationship might impact one’s teaching and research obligations to Clemson University, what potential conflicts of interest could exist, how conflicts of interest will be avoided, etc.

8) If a consulting agreement involves a faculty member assigning rights in intellectual property to the client, and if the subject area or field of such intellectual property is closely related to or the same as a field of research being actively pursued by the faculty member as part of his/her University responsibilities, or logically anticipated as part of such responsibilities, the faculty member must inform the University (Dean, Provost, and Vice President for Research) in detail of such potential assignment and notify or authorize the University to notify the client of possible vested interests in such property held by Clemson.

9) Requests for approval must be processed by the administration within 15 working days of submission.