The University Executive Committee is responsible for all matters associated with the development and management of the university.
Policy for Senior Staff on External Activities
Last updated: 16 February 2023
Introduction and Scope
It is important for the University that senior staff join various bodies and boards and carry out academic, civic and professional responsibilities at other organisations. This is an important way in which senior staff can develop a good understanding of the higher education sector and related areas which support the strategic development of the University. Such activities are therefore normally to be encouraged and valued. The University especially welcomes staff undertaking well-established collaborative activities that support the higher education sector, such as but not limited to external examining, guest lecturing, and non-executive leadership positions in sector bodies and bodies related to the sector.
The University also requires all senior staff to devote their full time, attention and abilities to their duties during their working hours and to act in the best interests of the University at all times. All members of senior staff must ensure that they give priority to their responsibilities at the University and so must not, without the consent of their manager, undertake any external activity that might interfere with the performance of their duties or conflict with the interests of the University.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that an appropriate approval process is in place for senior staff engaging in external activities, giving due consideration inter alia to the benefits to the University and the individual, the impact on the University, potential conflicts of interest and whether any external income earned by the individual from an external activity should be retained by them.
Scope and Definitions
Senior staff in this policy refers to members of the Academic Leadership Group, i.e. the Executive Group (including the Vice-Chancellor) and the Heads of School.
An external activity may include any form of engagement or employment. Examples of such engagements include serving on Executive Boards or Committees, Trustee Boards, Committees of Enquiry, Task Forces, other external reviews, or any similar board, activity, or representative position (including representative positions for other organisations). Employment includes any remunerated activity for an organisation other than the University, whether a contract of employment exists or not, including but not limited to teaching, external examining, academic publishing, and consultancy.
Senior staff must notify their manager of any external activity which they intend to undertake whilst in the employment of the University that will continue for a period of longer than six months. This notification should include relevant details of the activity such as a description of the role or employment, time commitment, and any payments which the individual will receive. The manager (including the Chair of Council in the case of the Vice-Chancellor) will then confirm whether the external activity is permissible and require such conditions as may seem reasonable, for example, to manage or avoid conflicts of interest. Such permission will not be unreasonably withheld (in accordance with paragraph 1).
Notwithstanding the generality of the definition of external activity in paragraph 5, there is a presumption that approval will be given for senior staff to undertake guest lectures at other institutions and become external examiners.
Where the external activity generates additional income for the individual the manager will also confirm whether that income can be retained. In accordance with the University’s established policy, income from consultancy work secured during the normal course of a staff member’s employment, or generated from intellectual property rights created during the normal course of a staff member’s employment, will be retained by the University. In other circumstances: a. If the member of senior staff undertakes the external activity during working hours then they will normally only be permitted to retain any payments if they are intended to be modest compensation for their commitment and responsibilities. For example, staff acting as external examiners for other HEIs would normally be able to keep the external examining fees paid by those other HEIs. b. If the member of senior staff undertakes the external activity, or can demonstrate that they created the intellectual property, in their own time by taking annual leave, unpaid leave, or in time not usually worked then they will be able to retain the income.
All retained payments will be disclosed to Remuneration and Human Resources Committee through the register of Interests (see paragraph 12). Only income retained by the Vice-Chancellor will be publicly disclosed in the annual Financial Statement.
Individuals are responsible for ensuring that relevant taxes are paid on income from external activities.
Travelling and subsistence expenses should be claimed from the external body in accordance with its own policies (rather than from the University).
A register of external activities will be maintained by the Procurement and Contracts Manager as part of the process for collecting Declarations of Interest. This register will be reported to Remuneration and Human Resources Committee on an annual basis. It is the responsibility of the individual member of senior staff to inform the Procurement and Contracts Manager of any external activities to be included in the register by completing a Declaration of Interest form. This will include details of all retained income.
This policy approved by Remuneration and Human Resources Committee on 30 October 2018