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To: Faculty, Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, and Administrative Officers

Re: Conflict of Commitment and Outside Activities of Faculty Members

Dear Colleagues:

We are writing to remind you of prior approval and reporting requirements related to outside professional activities and how to comply with UC policy as described in Academic Personnel Manual 671 (PDF) (APM-671).

APM-671 (along with your School’s Implementation Procedures) provides faculty with the framework to manage conflict of commitment as they balance University obligations with outside activities. Outside professional activities, both compensated and/or uncompensated, are defined as those activities that are within a faculty member’s training and expertise that form the basis of the individual’s qualifications for University appointment, but are performed for a third party. A conflict of commitment may occur when a faculty member’s outside activities interfere with the faculty member’s professional obligations to students, colleagues, or the University as a whole.

Eligible Faculty Members

All faculty members participating in the Health Sciences Compensation Plan (HSCP) in all professorial series (Regular, In-Residence, Clinical X, Health Sciences Clinical, Adjunct, Visiting, and Recall) at all ranks (Instructor, Assistant, Associate, and Professor) are required to report their outside professional activities regardless of percent of full-time effort (including those on approved leave with pay and sabbatical). Deans and Full-Time Faculty Administrators with an underlying faculty appointment in HSCP are also covered under this policy, but are also subject to the provisions in APM-240 (PDF) and APM-246 (PDF). Faculty members who were on approved leaves without pay, should contact their Dean’s Office for reporting requirements.

Outside Activities Categories

Outside professional activities are separated into three categories based on the extent to which they are likely to constitute conflicts of commitment, whether they are compensated or uncompensated:

Type Conflict Level Examples of Outside Activities Requires Prior Approval from VC-AP Before Engaging in the Activity Requires Annual Reporting
Category I Most likely to create a conflict of commitment
  • Teaching, research, or administration of a grant at another educational institution, trust, organization, government agency, foundation, or other entity outside of the University. This includes foreign institutions of higher education, and government or quasi-governmental organizations of other countries
  • Employment outside of the University
  • Assuming a founding or a co-founding role of a company
  • Assuming an executive or managerial position outside of the University
Category II Lesser potential for a conflict of commitment
  • Consulting for for-profit entities, for government agencies, for non-profit entities, for non-profit health or education-related organizations, consulting or testifying as an expert or professional witness, consulting under the auspices of UC
  • Serving on a board of directors outside of the University
  • Providing or presenting a workshop for industry
  • Additional University-compensated teaching
Category III Unlikely to raise a conflict of commitment
  • Reviewing manuscripts
  • Attending and presenting talks at university conferences
  • Developing scholarly or creative works

Outside professional activities that involve submission of proposals for extramural research support through an outside entity will need the prior approval of both the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel. Proposals for research support should be submitted through UCLA. Any request to do otherwise requires a prior exception under the UC policy on the “Requirement to Submit Proposals and to Receive Awards for Grants and Contracts through the University.” (PDF) All requests to submit requests for extramural research support through an outside organization are to be submitted to Vice Chancellor Roger Wakimoto (Research), in care of Associate Vice Chancellor Ann Pollack. Upon receiving approval from Vice Chancellor Wakimoto, faculty will need to receive prior approval from Vice Chancellor Michael Levine (Academic Personnel) before engaging in the outside professional activity.

Prior Approval and Reporting Requirements

In an effort to assure accountability in our public university, eligible faculty are required to: 1) seek prior approval from the Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel before engaging in any Category I activities, 2) obtain prior approval from the Department Chair before involving a student in an outside professional activity, and 3) submit an annual report of all Category I and II outside professional activities, both compensated and/or uncompensated. If there are no Category I or II activities to report, faculty must still submit an annual report certifying that they did not engage in any Category I or II outside activities.

HSCP faculty at the David Geffen School of Medicine must complete their reporting requirements on the OATS website. DGSOM Implementing Procedures (PDF) are available as well as FAQ’s (PDF). HSCP faculty at the School of Dentistry will find reporting instructions and the form at the School’s Compensation Plan Documents website. Department chairs/Deans must review these reports in a timely manner.

In addition to these Conflict of Commitment requirements, there are other reporting obligations. Faculty are required to disclose financial interests including equity, income, and travel, under California and Federal Conflict of Interest regulations and policies related to extramurally supported research. Most federal agencies require that proposals for extramural research support include disclosure of all current and pending research support, and professional effort, which may not exceed 100%. Outside professional activities that are approved by or allowed by the University may also have to be reported to federal or other granting agencies for prior approval or as required by the terms of the award. Seek guidance from local research administration. A useful memo on international engagements is also available for your reference.

Thank you in advance for your compliance.


Michael S. Levine
Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel

Roger Wakimoto
Vice Chancellor for Research & Creative Activities