Disclosure and Approval of External Activities

Policy Memorandum No. 199

Approved by the Commission on Research: April 26, 2000
Approved by University Council: May 1, 2000
Approved by the President: May 1, 2000
Approved by the Board of Visitors: June 5, 2000

The University Council, on recommendation of the Commission on Research, approved a resolution concerning disclosure and approval of external activities of faculty members.

Following is the text of the resolution as adopted by University Council.

WHEREAS, the nature of faculty work is changing rapidly and dramatically for faculty members in many fields, ranging beyond traditional modes of instruction and scholarship to activities involving significant interaction with external entities and in some cases, commercial development of their work; and

WHEREAS, much of this entrepreneurial activity provides positive benefits to the university community and to the Commonwealth, nation, and world; and

WHEREAS, faculty involvement as owners or employees of businesses related to their research, and in other roles with significant interaction with external entities, may present potential conflicts of interest and commitment; and

WHEREAS, Virginia Tech is committed to full compliance with state and federal laws concerning conflicts and faculty members are expected to devote their primary professional loyalty, time, and energy to their teaching, research, administrative, and service responsibilities within the university;

THEREFORE, be it resolved that Policy 13010, Faculty Conflicts of Interest and Commitment, be revised as attached. The policy outlines the requirement for disclosure of external activities, the appropriate avenues for their approval, identification of potential conflicts of interest or commitment, and oversight mechanisms that will be put into place to avoid or manage such conflicts.

University Council also approved the following amendment to the resolution:

That Policy 13010 be approved provisionally for one year as a pilot policy process and that the Committee on Conflicts of Interest and Commitment be formally charged with responsibility to monitor the submission and approval of disclosure documents through the fall term and prepare a summary for the Commission on Research and subsequently the University Council.

In preparing such a report, the committee should consult with faculty members and administrators who have negotiated such disclosure agreements and solicit their recommendations for improvements to the process and the policy. Further the committee should actively solicit and take into account comments from other interested parties. Based on the Committee's recommendations, the policy should then be confirmed and/or revised through usual governance procedures by the last Council meeting in spring 2001.

Forms for reporting involvement with external organizations which are referenced in Policy 13010 are available on the Provost's website: http://www.provost.vt.edu/fhp/fhp.html


President's Policy Memoramdum

URL: http://purl.vt.edu/vtdocs/policies/ppm199