POL-U1500.09 Faculty Policy on Outside Work

Dates and Approval

Effective Date:

June 7, 2023

Approved by:

President Sabah Randhawa

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to all University faculty.

For compensated professional activities of university faculty and research employees as described in their official University duties, see POL-U2100.01 Faculty Policy on Compensated Professional Activities.


The principal obligation of members of the faculty is the preparation for and carrying out of official University duties. Full-time faculty are expected to devote full-time effort to their institutional responsibilities. At the same time, the University recognizes that individuals, the University, and the state benefit from faculty involvement in and support of outside organizations and industry. Such involvement provides individuals opportunities to create and disseminate expert information outside of the traditional university employment structure while simultaneously providing faculty with additional experiences, augmenting their ability to carry out their University responsibilities. Outside faculty work can benefit the University in its ongoing relationships with the local, regional, national, and international communities it seeks to serve.

The University encourages faculty members to engage in such activities, if they do not interfere with the performance of official University duties and that no conflict of interest exists.

Full-time faculty members are compensated for full-time service to the University in instruction, research, and public service responsibilities. The University expects that each full-time faculty member will assume a proper share of the functions and responsibilities of the department, college, and the University. A faculty member may engage in outside work beyond the scope of their official University duties as a faculty member by following this policy.

This policy is designed to protect the integrity of the faculty member-University work relationship.



Official University Duties

An employee’s duties or job description within the specific scope of employment defined by the University, collective bargaining agreement, contract, statute, or state Constitution.

Outside Work

A faculty member providing professional expert advice related to their scholarly, technological, scientific, and creative expertise to outside entities or individuals, including any other outside work, consulting, or self-employment activity performed by a faculty member, whether compensated or not, which is entirely outside of their official University duties.

Policy Statements

1. Non-Interference with Professional Duties

Outside work must not interfere with a faculty member’s normal official University duties, including those non-classroom responsibilities expected of all faculty members, as defined by each college. Outside work activities are covered under the state ethics laws (including RCW 42.52 Ethics in Public Service, WAC 292-110-010 Use of State Resources) and applicable University policies (including this policy).

2. Compensation

Compensation for outside work includes salaries, fees, or gifts. Pursuant to RCW 42.52.120, faculty members may accept compensation for outside work only in compliance with the following guidelines: 

  1. The performance of the work is not within the faculty member’s official University duties.
  2. No outside compensation may be accepted by faculty members for tutoring students in courses they teach.
  3. The work does not involve assisting others in transactions with Western Washington University as prohibited by law. See RCW 42.52.040 Assisting in transactions.
  4. The agreement for the outside work is not expressly created or authorized by the faculty member in his or her official capacity or by the University.
  5. The work does not require unauthorized disclosure of confidential University information.

3. Limits and Approvals

The University values faculty-student exchanges and expects faculty to perform at a high-level in teaching, research, and service duties. Where outside work temporarily conflicts with official University duties, faculty members can request a leave of absence or temporary reduction in appointment.

All outside work must be disclosed, upon initial contracting and once per subsequent academic year thereafter, to the Department Chair and approved by the College Dean or equivalent administrator, using the University-provided standardized reporting form. Outside work by a College Dean must be reported to the Provost, using the same form.

These limits and approvals do not apply to work by full-time faculty on nine-month appointments outside periods of obligated service.

Faculty members who hold part-time appointments with the University may be self-employed or may accept additional employment outside the University up to a level corresponding to a full-time position without approvals.

The College Dean or equivalent administrator must determine whether the outside work by the faculty member would interfere with the performance of official University duties in each specific case. If the College Dean notifies the faculty member in writing that the outside work interferes with the faculty member’s official University duties, the faculty member shall have the opportunity to make an acceptable revision of the extent of the proposed activities or apply for a leave of absence or temporary reduction in appointment. The faculty member may appeal the negative judgment of the College Dean to the Provost, whose decision shall be final.

4. Use of Facilities

University facilities (e.g., equipment, space, computers, and other resources) may not be used for outside work except as provided in the policy. In all other cases, if the faculty desires to use equipment or facilities that are unique and are unavailable in the private sector, the faculty member may request approval for use, which must be for a specific project and of a limited duration. This is the same use as generally available to the public and other private citizens by the University, including payment of the same fees or rates. Such use must not conflict with the instructional or research activities of the University. Fees for such use shall be determined by the Dean prior to the use. The fees must include overhead costs and be comparable to what the private sector in other cities charges, or to what other universities charge. The fee schedule must be filed with the Vice President for Business Affairs, and the faculty member authorized to use the facilities or equipment is responsible to the University for payment of the fees.

5. Responsibility

The University assumes no responsibility for the competence or performance of a faculty member who engages in outside work. No such responsibility may be implied in any advertising or contractual documents. University stationery, email, or other forms of communication may not be used for correspondence related to outside work.

Policy Information


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  • POL-U5400.18 Faculty Policy on Consulting and Other Compensated Professional Activities

See Also:

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  • POL-U5400.18 Faculty Policy on Consulting and Other Compensated Professional Activities


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