Policy Title

Outside Employment for Faculty Members (including Consulting)





Policy Number:4.421
Effective Date:09/01/2018
Date Reviewed: 09/01/2018
Last Review Date: Sep 1 2018 12:00AM
Responsible Official:
Responsible Office: Human Resources, Employee Diversity, and Wellness
Contact Information:

Human Resources

303 Tillman Hall

Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA


803/323-4861 (fax)



1.0 Specific meanings of bold terms seen throughout this policy can be found within the University's policy definition glossary by following the link below.

1.1 http://www.winthrop.edu/policy-definitions-glossary

2. Professional Standards  The potential magnitude of outside professional activity, particularly when it entails consulting or outside employment, is such that orderly procedures must be followed to avoid ethical and legal conflicts of interest and to ensure that such activity does not conflict with the proper discharge of university responsibilities. Personal responsibility, integrity, and high ethical standards are the principal factors in avoiding conflicts of interest. The university expects that all faculty members will conduct their outside activities in a manner which reflects credit on themselves, their profession, and the university without need for specific criteria or rules of conduct. The principal safeguards against abuse include the standards required by professional colleagues and the rigorous processes by which the university evaluates and selects individuals for appointment, tenure, and promotion.

3. Full-time Consulting and outside employment policies and procedures apply during the time in which faculty members are under contract with the university. (For most faculty members, this period will begin in August and end in May.) The policy is not applicable during periods when faculty members are not under contract. (For the purposes of this policy, a faculty member teaching a summer school course is not considered under contract with the university.) The obligation inherent in full-time service is difficult to define, since in academic life it means far more than a stated number of hours per week. In a context in which the faculty member has substantial freedom in arranging his or her professional life, it implies an overriding interest, loyalty, and first responsibility to the university. This obligation, therefore, must be defined qualitatively, depending on principle rather than formula.

4. Consulting vs. Outside Employment Several characteristics offer guidance in making a decision on whether an activity is considered consulting or an employment relationship. The primary distinction is in the type of work done and the degree of independence allowed in its implementation.

The university believes that its educational program and effective teaching in all its aspects can flourish only when sustained by continuous, active participation of its faculty in professional development,enriched in many cases by any interaction with industry, artistic organizations, business, government, school districts, and other activities and institutions of our society. This interaction is of greatest value when it contributes significantly to the public welfare, offers an opportunity for professional challenge and growth, or otherwise enhances the effectiveness of a faculty member's service to the university. 1

 1Parts of this policy have been adapted from policies of the University of Texas System’s Office of General Counsel at http://www.utsystem.edu/bor/procedures/policy/policies/int129.html .

For the purposes of this policy, an employee is one who is engaged in the delivery of the primary activity for which the organization exists, not someone who provides advice and suggestions in support of that primary activity. A contributing factor is the degree of independence. An employment relationship is said to exist when a person is in the service of another and the employer has the right to control and direct the employee in the material details of how the work is to be completed, not just in terms of results but in terms of the details and means by which a result is accomplished.


Variable: What is done/nature of work

Consulting: Contribution to the organization is advisory in nature

Outside Employment: Contribution is in the primary area for which the organization exists.

Variable: Organization for whom work is done

Consulting: Organization’s mission is general and multipurpose; the organization does not employ others with the faculty member’s professional background

Outside Employment: Organization’s mission is narrow and focused; the organization has regular employees with the professional background of the Winthrop person.

Variable: Nature of Supervision

Consulting: Objectives are specified but details and methods are left to the consultant.

Outside Employment: Right of control is maintained by the hiring organization; “supervisor” makes assignment, periodically inspects work, controls the details. 

Variable: Time

Consulting: Work is sporadic and time frame is generally defined by the length of the project rather than by hours, days, or months; If time is relevant, it is a relatively short-term commitment.

Outside Employment: Work assignment and compensation are generally associated with time, i.e. pay based on hours of work, regularly scheduled time or hours (for example, teaching class)

Variable: Motivation

Consulting: Professional development and economic

Outside Employment: Largely economic

Disclosure and Approval

Essential to the effectiveness of such procedures is complete disclosure of outside professional activities. It is the obligation of faculty members to keep their dean/department heads continually informed in adequate detail as to all outside professional activities, service on external committees, and other special assignments. All consulting and outside employment must be approved prior to engaging in the activity. The “Request for Approval of Consulting or Outside Employment” form must be completed and signed by all required parties before any consulting or employment is undertaken. (See attached form.) If the consulting or outside employment is to be with another agency of South Carolina state government, see the section on “Dual Employment” in the Faculty Manual.

Elected positions or public offices requiring time commitments and/or involving compensation would have to be approved by the provost in advance of filing candidacy or accepting an appointment. Service on boards involving compensation would have to be approved by the provost in advance of accepting an appointment. Because these activities broaden the experience of the individuals involved and expose the university to a larger audience of business, civic, professional, and social leaders (subject to conflict of interest ruling), consideration ( good) to the university is the improvement of the individual by virtue of his or her continuing contact with nonacademic problems in the nonacademic world.

Absences Due to Consulting or Outside Employment

Consulting and outside employment under the appropriate rules and procedures may require an absence from the campus. Absence from the campus or other regular place of work during the normal working period must be discussed as a part of the “Request for Approval of Consulting or Outside Employment” form. Appropriate travel policies will also apply.

Use of University Resources

The South Carolina Ethics Act prohibits use of public materials, personnel, and equipment for private economic benefit. University resources should not be used in outside employment activities. In consulting activities, incidental use of university resources is acceptable when approved in advance.

This section was intentionally left blank.

Request for Approval of Consulting or Outside Employment 


© Winthrop University · 701 Oakland Avenue · Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA · 803/323-2211