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Outside Consulting Arrangement Do’s and Don’t’s

Although not an exhaustive list, please keep in mind the following do’s and don’t’s for outside Consulting Arrangements.

  • DO follow the West Virginia Ethics Act. In general, the Ethics Act requires that all state higher education employees get approval from their employer for all outside employment engaged in by the employee. The Outside Consulting Arrangement Approval Form serves as the documentation of that approval.
  • DON’T agree to an outside Consulting Arrangement that will require you to use University resources without first seeking approval and putting into place a reimbursement plan. It is expressly prohibited by the Ethics Act and University policy to use State-owned resources to complete your duties under a Consulting Arrangement without a reimbursement plan. 
  • DO closely review any outside Consulting Arrangement contract provided to you by the outside entity. You are responsible for ensuring the arrangement does not violate the University’s policies, state and federal law, and your professional ethics standards. The University is not a party to such agreements and therefore cannot provide you legal or business review, indemnity, or insurance. 
  • DON’T agree, if you are a not a leave-eligible employee, to any Consulting Arrangement that will, collectively, when considering all of your outside employment obligations, require you to work more than one working day per week, on average, of your time during your appointment period. 
  • DO remember to take annual leave if you are a leave-eligible employee engaging in a Consulting Arrangement during your normal working hours. 
  • DON’T forget to report all outside Consulting Arrangements to your dean, vice president or designee yearly. 
  • DO remember that part-time employment unrelated to your institutional duties outside of their normal University working hours, e.g., weeknights, weekends, holidays, is generally permitted. Similarly, you may also generally engage in volunteering outside of your normal University working hours (e.g., weeknights, weekends, holidays). 
  • DON’T use University intellectual property, including its trademarks and logos, when engaging in Consulting Arrangements. 
  • DO feel free to state that you are a professor or employee of West Virginia University in your biographical information where appropriate. 
  • DON’T endorse a commercial product, service, or private company as part of your outside Consulting Arrangement. Be especially careful of endorsing products, services and companies when giving public talks or presentations on behalf of a third party. While you are permitted to discuss the results of your research, treatment options, disease states or other objective information, you cannot engage in subjective discussion or recommendation of a particular product, service or private company. 
  • DO feel free to continue to accept offers to participate in a grant review panel or committee, deliver a speech, perform a work of art or other similar pursuits that are considered as part of your institutional duties.