Outside Activities: Procedures for Obtaining Approval

To avoid repetition of policies stated elsewhere, the first section of this document provides only references to various policies relevant to outside activities. The second section states the professional obligations and expectations associated with undertaking outside activities. The third section contains the procedures for obtaining approval to engage in outside activities.

References to Policies Related to Outside Activities

As stated on pages 4-5 of the RCB document titled “Professional Obligations and Expectations of Faculty” (Section F(16) of the RCB Policies and Procedures Manual):

While a faculty appointment is viewed as a full-time position, each faculty member is permitted and encouraged to engage in outside activities appropriate for the faculty member’s academic and professional position. Such activities are expected to provide benefits to the faculty member and the institution by maintaining or enhancing his or her academic or professional standing. While appropriate outside activities are permitted and encouraged, permission to engage in such activities must be requested in writing prior to each such engagement in accordance with relevant laws and policies of the College, the University, the Georgia Board of Regents and the state of Georgia.

The Board of Regents’ policy is contained in Section 802.16 of The Policy Manual of the Board of Regents. The Regents’ policy is reiterated and supplemented in the GSU Faculty Handbook in Section II.N.4 (Faculty Duties and Responsibilities: Outside Activities) and Appendix R (Board of Regents Policies on Outside Activities).

Professional Obligations and Expectation Associated with Understanding Outside Activities

As stated on page 5 of “Professional Obligations and Expectations of Faculty:

When a faculty member undertakes appropriate outside activity, the following conditions are expected to be observed as part of the faculty member’s professional obligations:

  1. Follow established policies and procedures to identify and gain prior approval to undertake any outside activity.
  2. Engage only in outside activities that are in keeping with the faculty member’s academic and professional position and that reflect positively on the academic unit, the College and the University.
  3. Engage in outside activities that do no compete directly with previously established activities associated with the College or University.
  4. Avoid using the faculty position to actively promote consulting or other outside activities for compensation.
  5. Avoid using University resources (space, equipment, personnel or other university property) for outside activities, except where explicit permission has been obtained and appropriate arrangements for reimbursement have been established.
  6. Observe the guidelines and requirements in College and University policies and procedures that limit the amount of total time that may be devoted to approved outside activities.

Avoid any outside activity that detracts from or conflicts with faculty responsibilities.

Procedures for Obtaining Approval to Engage in Outside Activities

University Policy

Section II.N.4.a. of the GSU Faculty Handbook states, in part:

Prior to engaging in remunerative outside work or activity, a faculty member must file a description of the nature and extent of the outside work or activity with the dean of the appropriate college or school, and shall not continue or undertake such employment if notified of the disapproval of such undertaking. A copy of the appropriate form for receiving approval is available from the offices of the deans.

RCB Approval Form

In the RCB, obtaining approval is initiated by the faculty member (or other employee) filing the attached RCB form titled “Request for Approval to Engage in Outside Activities.” Approval must be recommended by the employee’s department head unless the employee is a department head. If the recommendation is positive, the form is forwarded to the Dean who, in turn, will indicate approval or disapproval of the activity on the form, with copies subsequently distributed to the requesting employee, the department head and the Dean.

Substitute Instruction

Normally, outside activities will not be permitted if they conflict with scheduled classroom teaching responsibilities. If a faculty member and the head of the academic unit feel that an exception is justified, the reasons for the exception should be stated in a memorandum from the faculty member to the head of the academic unit which states the classes that will use substitute instruction, the description of the activity causing the classroom instruction, the benefits to the RCB, and the arrangements that have been made to use substitute instruction. The “Request for Approval to Engage in Outside Activities” form requires that this memorandum requesting approval of substitute instruction be approved by the head of the academic unit at the same time that the request for approval to engage in outside activities is completed and forwarded to the head of the academic units for approval.


The following guidelines apply to the use of this form:

  1. A form must be completed for each separate activity.
  2. Where approval relates to an activity that spans more than twelve months, the employee must again request approval at the beginning of each succeeding academic year (i.e., mid- September) applicable to the time period of the outside activity. Each year, the Dean will send a reminder memorandum to all faculty prior to the start of fall quarter.
  3. When the nature of an approved outside activity or the time committed to it changes significantly, subsequent to approval, an amended outside activity form must be filed.
  4. A form is not required to be filed for activities undertaken by a faculty member employed on an academic year contract for activities which begin after the end of spring quarter and are completed before the beginning of the succeeding fall quarter, if that faculty member is not employed in any capacity by the University during the summer quarter in which the activity takes place.

(Approved by the Executive Committee March 1996 and Faculty Affairs Committee April 1996)

Request for Approval to Engage in Outside Activities