Trinity University
Faculty and Contract Staff Handbook

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(5)    Researcher Responsibilities










For a summary of recent changes to this chapter, see Chapter 9A: Summary of Recent Revisions to this Handbook.

Contents of this page: 

  1. Principles and Guidelines (Principles; Guidelines)

  2. In-House Consulting (Relief of Departmental Duties; Extra Compensation; Supplemental Employment Restrictions; Summer Activity Regulations)


A.    Principles

Because practical applications can broaden and refine academic knowledge, Trinity University encourages the involvement of its faculty, administrators, and contract staff in consulting activities related to their professional training. The following parameters are meant to guide these activities so that the interests of the Trinity University community are preserved while the professional knowledge of our members is enhanced. For full-time Trinity University professionals, consulting is appropriate when it promises to keep current or deepen knowledge of one’s academic profession, or to maintain professional skills relevant to Trinity University’s teaching and scholarly program at a high level of excellence. Consulting activities and other remunerative work should be conducted in furtherance of one’s service to Trinity University, not at the expense of that service.

B.    Guidelines

Consulting is the provision of professional services for pay over and above regular University duties and salary. For consulting services paid from any funds administered by Trinity University, please refer to Section II: In-House Consulting. For the provision of such services to individuals, organizations, businesses, or agencies outside Trinity University, the following guidelines shall apply:

1.    The service shall not interfere in any way with the individual’s regular, expected, full-time duties with Trinity University.

2.    The service should be professional, i.e., an outgrowth or extension of the person’s professional expertise. Faculty consulting activity should be undertaken with the expectation that it will enhance teaching and/or scholarship. Information not of a proprietary nature discovered in the course of consulting should be available to scholarly colleagues.

3.    Time spent on the service should consume, on the average, no more than one day out of a week during the individual’s contractual period with Trinity University.

4.    The service should not present a conflict of interest for either the individual or Trinity University. Among other things, this explicitly means that the service should not be an instructional activity that competes or conflicts at any time with the instruction provided by Trinity University.

5.    Consulting activity ordinarily should not require the use of Trinity University’s services and facilities. On those rare occasions when a faculty member might want to use such services and facilities, a written request for this use must be submitted to the departmental Chair and the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs: Budget and Research (AVPAA:BR). If the administrators agree that the project is consistent with the aims of the University and the facilities and/or services are available for the period of the project, an estimate of the cost for their use will be determined by a University official. If the terms are agreed to by all parties, a signed agreement will be executed by the AVPAA:BR

6.    A statement describing any continuing long-term consulting arrangement should be placed on file with the AVPAA:BR.

7.    Individuals with questions about the interpretation of these guidelines should discuss them with the departmental Chair or director.


Consulting is defined as the provision of professional services for pay over and above regular duties and salary. Consulting is in-house when a Trinity University contract person used as a consultant is paid from any funds administered by Trinity University. The policy of Trinity University covering these activities is as follows:

A.    Relief of Departmental Duties

A faculty member may be relieved of a proportion of his/her usual duties by the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs in order to undertake sponsored research, to engage in a sponsored training program, or to perform other University activities provided that the faculty member’s department agrees. In such cases, the individual’s salary may be divided proportionately between the departmental budget, other University budgets, or the special account established by the University for the research or training projects.

B.    Extra Compensation

In general, University-administered funds are not to be used to augment an individual’s salary if his/her employment with the University is on a full-time basis. It is understood, however, that occasionally a situation may arise in which extra compensation for a limited time may be justified. Payment from University-administered funds in addition to regular salary will be authorized only under the following conditions:

1.    When the faculty member is assigned to work outside the United States and when the payment of a differential is specifically authorized by a University officer or by the granting agency.

2.    When the faculty member serves on a strictly limited basis as a consultant on a project for which another faculty member in another department has principal responsibility. In such instances the project director, who arranges the consulting fee, must obtain prior written approval from the proposed consultant’s departmental Chair or equivalent, and the Office of Academic Affairs. Such a request for approval must clearly describe the consulting agreement. The following information must be included:

  1. Evidence that the services to be provided are essential and cannot be provided by persons acting within the scope of their contractual professional responsibilities to the University who receive salary under the grant, or are otherwise compensated through University sources for their services.

  2. Evidence that the charge is appropriate considering the qualifications of the consultant, his/her normal charges, specific rate limitations of the granting agency, and the nature of the services to be provided.

  3. Evidence that a bona fide search has been made for the most qualified individual with objective evidence that the Trinity University faculty consultant is the most qualified of those available.

  4. The institutional position of each consultant relative to that of the project director is clearly described in the proposal.

3.    When an overload is necessary for a training institute or workshop because it is impossible to release the faculty member from any portion of his/her usual duties. The overload will not be permitted for a longer period than one semester, and the amount of overload permitted will not be greater than an average of one day per week. The compensation for this overload will be appropriate considering the qualifications of the consultant, his/her normal charges, specific rate limitations of the granting agency, and the nature of the services to be provided.

C.    Supplemental Employment Restrictions

A faculty member assigned full-time to a grant or contract is in every sense a full-time faculty member and is thus subject to the same restrictions on accepting supplemental employment as a faculty member employed full-time and paid from the budget of the University.

D.    Summer Activity Regulations

These regulations do not apply to the summer activities of full-time faculty who are on a nine-month contract.

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This page was last modified on 11/10/11

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