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University Policy 8 - Outside Activities Research Grants and Contracts

University Policy 8
Outside Activities, Research Grants and Contracts, and Conflicts of Commitment

Revised: 2012 June 12
Policy Topic:  Academic Affairs
Administering Office:  Office of Sponsored Research

Posted for Comment: 2012 July 12; Comment Period Closes: 2012 July 23

Issued: 2012 July 26 

I.   POLICY STATEMENT

It is both appropriate and desirable that Kettering faculty members be involved in professional and other outside activities, in the practice of their profession, in research programs, consulting, guest lecturing at other institutions, and serving in professional and community organizations.  Such activities extend the faculty member’s professional competence, enrich the teaching he or she can provide at Kettering, and contribute to the advancement of the profession.

The principal professional commitment of full-time faculty members is to the University. It is recognized that University-related educational, research, service and related activities are such that it is both unfeasible and undesirable to attempt to establish narrow time and location regulations on how faculty members fulfill these responsibilities.

The University encourages outside professional activity on the part of faculty members when it furthers their professional development, and especially when it enhances their teaching and research capabilities. It is expected, however, that faculty members will arrange any external activities they may engage in so as not to interfere with their principal commitment.

Faculty members must inform the head of their department and the Office of the Provost before engaging in any significant outside professional activity. Activities may be significant even though they may involve a relatively small commitment of time.  A single guest lecture or a one-time consulting visit would not normally be considered significant, but a lecture series or an on-going consulting relationship would be. Where there is a disagreement about the propriety of an activity, the department head and the faculty member involved shall make their best efforts to arrive at a resolution consistent with the mission of the university and department. In such cases the Provost, in consultation with the department head will make the final determination, however, given his or her ultimate responsibility to the university for the performance of the department.

As a rule, faculty members should not take on substantial teaching or other commitments in another educational institution. Exceptions would include guest lecturing, participating in invited seminars, and similar activities.

Faculty members should not engage in external activities that are not consistent with good professional practices or that involve any significant use of University facilities, materials, services, personnel, or restricted University information without specific advance written permission from the University and, where needed, appropriate compensation.

The following examples are given for the guidance and are not all-inclusive.

Activities consistent with this policy that do not require advance permission from the Provost:

    • Acceptance of royalties for published scholarly works or other writings, or of honoraria for commissioned papers and occasional lectures;
    • Service on committees or boards of organizations, public or private, which does not conflict with University obligations. The payment of honoraria or reimbursement of expenses in these cases should not be an issue;
    • Occasional consulting with outside organizations or clients, provided that it does not conflict with his or her obligations to the University or the practice or policy restrictions of the school or college involved.

Activities that need to be examined on a case-by-case basis and approved in advance by the Provost:

    • Service as a principal consultant or director of an outside concern;
    • Service as a consultant to a firm which in turn sponsors the faculty member’s work, or related work at the University;
    • Relationships that might enable (or appear to enable) the faculty member to influence the University’s dealings with an outside organization in ways leading to personal gain or other conflicts of interest;
    • Activities that appear to conflict with University policies governing research funded by an external agency and with funds administered by the University;
    • Activities that directly or indirectly involve students in anything other than their normal academic pursuits.

Activities that are generally unacceptable:

    • Service involving executive responsibility for an outside concern working in areas related to the faculty member’s professional activities;
    • Situations where a research or service activity that could and ordinarily would be carried on within the University is conducted elsewhere to the disadvantage of the University and its legitimate interests.

II.  DEFINITIONS

“Base Salary” is the current annual salary of the employee as it appears in the appointment letter or subsequent notification of salary increase/decrease; plus any supplement that carries an anticipated duration of 12 months or more.

“Conflict of Commitment” relates to an individual's distribution of effort between obligations to his or her University employment and participation in activities outside of University employment. The latter may include such generally encouraged extensions of professional expertise as professional consulting. A conflict of commitment occurs when the pursuit of such outside activities involves an investment of time that interferes with the employee's duties and responsibilities. Conflicts of Commitment may also arise in connection with non-compensated activities. If an employee's obligations to the University to teach, conduct research, or mentor students are not met due to time spent on an outside activity, a conflict of commitment exists notwithstanding that the employee may receive no economic benefit from the outside activity.

“Sponsored Project” or “Sponsored Program” is any externally funded research or scholarly activity that has a defined scope of work or set of objectives, which provides a basis for sponsor expectations. This more specifically involves research, instruction, training, curriculum development, community and public service, or other scholarly activity involving funds, materials, or other forms of compensation, or exchanges of in-kind efforts under awards or agreements and are administered through the Office of Sponsored Research.

“Effort Reporting” is a federally-mandated process by which the salary charged to a sponsored project is certified as being reasonable in relation to the effort expended on that project. “Effort” is the proportion of time spent on any activity, expressed as a percentage of an individual’s total university effort.

“Non Teaching Term Salary” is any earnings paid through Kettering University for work performed by 9-month faculty during their non-teaching term.

“Overload” or "Overtime" is defined as externally funded compensation in excess of a faculty member’s Base Salary.

“Supplemental Pay” is defined as compensation in excess of a faculty member’s annual salary paid by Kettering University for temporary increases in responsibility and/or for extra duties beyond the scope of the contract/appointment. Non-Teaching term salary is considered a form of supplemental pay for 9-month faculty, since it falls outside the normal contract/appointment period.

III.  DETAILS/PROCEDURES

Grants and Contract Research

Grants and contracts for support of research shall be accepted by the University only if recommended favorably by the department chair under whose jurisdiction the research is to be done and approved by the Provost or his or her designee.

All proposals to outside agencies for support of research and research facilities, University-administered traineeships and fellowships, institutes and special teaching programs, and other University activities which are to be supported wholly or partially with non-University funds shall be submitted through first the relevant Department Head, then the Dean of Research and Graduate Programs, to the Provost or his or her designee, who is the person officially designated to approve, sign, and transmit such proposals. The University will not honor any obligations, expressed or implied, which have not been properly authorized. Negotiation of a grant or contract is the responsibility of the Dean of Research and Graduate Programs.

a) The department chair's review should relate to the substance and merit of the proposal as well as to budgetary and administrative considerations, and approval by the chair constitutes an endorsement of all aspects of the proposal.

b) The Provost review should relate to the substance and merit of the proposal as well as to the budget, to the salary and employment of present personnel or proposed new personnel, and to any other aspect of the proposal which may affect the teaching, the research, and the use of space and facilities of the department and the University. If appropriate, the proposal may be referred to other University officers for review of financial or legal questions, commitments of University space, facilities, or services, and other considerations.

Compensation and Salary Recovery

Faculty may receive additional compensation for research grants and contracts subject to workload provisions and this policy.  Generally, PI's can use any combination of compensation from sponsored projects to cover teaching and non-teaching term salaries, consistent with effort. The intent of this policy is to avoid situations where the time or creative energy a faculty member devotes to extramural activities compromises the amount or quality of his or her participation in the instructional, scholarly, or administrative work of the university.

It is the policy of the University to recover direct costs of sponsored programs to the maximum extent possible, consistent with sponsor policies, the mission of the University, and the proper conduct of the sponsored programs. If the professional responsibilities of a faculty member must be reduced to allow more time to be spent in carrying out a sponsored program and an academic unit incurs additional costs to maintain its programs as a result, it is expected that appropriate portions of salary costs will be recovered from the sponsored program.

When the effort of a faculty member in a sponsored program is activity expected as part of that individual's academic responsibilities, such participation does not reflect an increased cost to the University. The portion of the faculty salary representing time devoted to the project may be considered the University's contribution to a project of mutual interest and cost shared. No overload or supplemental pay may be granted covering such participation, and when possible some portion of the cost of this participation should be recovered from the funding source, because such recovery expands the campus resource base and its ability to support further research.

There will be no release from the faculty member's normal teaching duties for salary recovery from sponsored programs. Any salary savings gained by moving a portion of a faculty member's salary to extramural grants will be distributed to the principal investigator’s professional development account, to the department, and to the Provost’s office in relative percentages established by the University. With the approval of the Department Head and the Provost, faculty may buyout courses in addition to paying part of their academic year salary from grants, however the combined percentages for buyouts and sponsored program salary recovery cannot be over 50% of base salary without Provost approval. Benefits will be charged to the sponsored project proportionally to the level of cost sharing.

During a teaching term, a faculty member’s total professional effort must balance between, teaching, research, and service responsibilities.  As a general rule, to ensure that instructional and service commitments are met by all faculty, no more than 50% of a faculty member’s total professional effort and no more than 25% of a faculty member’s professional effort during the normal working hours of a five-day week may be directed to Sponsored Project work, unless specifically authorized by the Provost (the "25/50% guideline"). Overload is not permitted for Sponsored Project work conducted during the normal duty hours. When government funded research is undertaken during teaching terms, overload is to be avoided by appropriate adjustments in teaching or other duties. When private sector research is undertaken during teaching terms, overload is permitted consistent with the limits of this policy, however in no case may overload be paid for efforts for which compensation is also reflected in base salary.

During a non-teaching term, a 9-month faculty member may be paid no more than a total of one-third (based on 1.0 FTE equivalent) of his or her nine-month base salary from all sources of funds.  Exceptions beyond the one-third earnings maximum must be approved in advance by the Provost (not his/her designee) and must be in accordance with the terms and conditions of the project sponsor. No payment from any source of funds is allowable for time off for personal activities.

In any event, no assignment shall involve responsibilities over and above the regular load that might impair the effectiveness of faculty teaching or otherwise jeopardize the professional advancement of faculty or diminish their usefulness to the University.

All effort commitments (including any cost-sharing of effort) made to sponsors must continue to be met during the budget periods for which the commitment is made and are exclusive of time spent on teaching, service or administrative duties, development of grant proposals, or time off for personal activities during the period. Faculty accepting non-teaching term compensation, no matter the sources, are expected to be working on scholarly and other University activities for the portion of the non-teaching term for which they are compensated. 

The same policy applies to faculty on appointments greater than nine months (i.e., 7/8th appointments). Those periods of the appointment which are in excess of nine months shall be included in the calculation of the non-teaching term appointment outlined above.

Additional compensation associated with non-government research grants and contracts is permissible and is governed by the specific terms of the contract, but in any event must not conflict with the general compensation guidelines of this policy. Payment and effort must be consistent with rules and procedures of Kettering University and the funding agency.  The Office of Management of the Budget (OMB) and Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) limit permissible overload for faculty with federal contracts.  Some funding agencies may impose more restrictive guidelines regarding non-teaching term (i.e. summer) pay; the awarding documents/funding agency regulations are the ultimate authority on allowable expenses.
 
For example, the National Science Foundation and other Government agencies generally limit a PI’s salary requests to two-ninths of academic year salary on any one grant proposal, and also limit payments to two ninths of academic year salary from all grants from a single agency. Compensation and Salary Recovery for faculty members with Government Research Grants and Contracts shall conform to the directives found in OMB Circular 21A Principles for Determining Costs Applicable to Grants, Contracts, and Other Agreements with Educational Institutions (as amended), Section J, General provisions for select items of cost, Article 10. Permissible overtime compensation for government grants and contracts is governed by Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.222-2 Payment for Overtime Premiums.The same policy applies to faculty on appointments greater than nine months (i.e., 7/8th appointments). Those periods of the appointment which are in excess of nine months shall be included in the calculation of the non-teaching term appointment outlined above.All effort commitments (including any cost-sharing of effort) made to sponsors must continue to be met during the budget periods for which the commitment is made and are exclusive of time spent on teaching, service or administrative duties, development of grant proposals, or time off for personal activities during the period. Faculty accepting non-teaching term compensation, no matter the sources, are expected to be working on scholarly and other University activities for the portion of the non-teaching term for which they are compensated. In any event, no assignment shall involve responsibilities over and above the regular load that might impair the effectiveness of faculty teaching or otherwise jeopardize the professional advancement of faculty or diminish their usefulness to the University.
 
Overload Guidelines by Contract Type (subject to Specified Approvals/Exceptions)
       
   Hours / WeekHours / Week
Term # weeksPrivate SectorGovernment Sector **
Teaching *36Per contractFAR 52.222-2
Non-teaching12Per contractOMB Circular A-21
Winter break2Per contractOMB Circular A-21
Summer break2Per contractOMB Circular A-21
       
* Also subject to 25/50% guideline and exceptions approval 
** May also be subject to additional agency restrictions 

The general practice of the University is to grant compensation at the same rate as that determined in the regular salary scale, although special provision within an individual contract, subject to Provost (or his/her designee) approval, may specify a different rate. No grant or contract shall be accepted by the University which commits faculty members to a 12-month period of service except as provision is made for full compensation during such period. To receive additional compensation for research grant and contract work during teaching terms, the faculty member is required to have prior approval granted by the Department Head, Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, and Provost.  Only approval from the Dean of Research and Graduate Programs is required during the non-teaching term.  During and after participation, specific Payroll authorization forms must be submitted before payment to a faculty member is made.  Faculty compensation will be received through regular payroll.  

Institutional Costs Associated with Grants and Contracts

It is University policy to seek full reimbursement of indirect costs in connection with all externally supported grant and contract programs unless precluded by agency policy or exceptional circumstances. Exceptions to this policy must be approved in advance by the Provost. Proposed grant and contract budgets should provide for indirect costs on the basis of the University's federally authorized indirect cost rate. In those cases where it is impractical to specify a budget in advance, indirect costs will be charged against the grant or contract account on an after-the-fact basis. Grants and contracts in support of scholarships and fellowships are not subject to indirect cost charges. Gifts are not subject to indirect costs.

IV.  POLICY REVIEW

Initial review of this policy will occur in one year (2013), with subsequent review every two years.

V. RELATED POLICIES AND RESOURCES

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_a021_2004

https://www.acquisition.gov/far/