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Princeton University
Office of the Dean of the Faculty

Outside Professional Activities

January 5, 2007

The University supports the outside professional activities of faculty members because they can enhance your effectiveness as a scholar and teacher.  However, we ask that these activities be consistent with your commitment to fulfilling your full-time responsibilities to Princeton.  A written summary of outside professional activities, therefore, is required annually by the Rules & Procedures of the Faculty.  A link to the relevant excerpts from Rules & Procedures is included on the website for completing the form.

As you consider your outside professional activities, please note:

  • The primary professional obligation of each full-time faculty member is to Princeton; therefore, faculty members need to be sensitive to a variety of possible conflicts between their outside professional interests and their obligations as members of the faculty.

  • The University interprets the one-day-a-week rule as permitting one working day per calendar week (i.e., one eight- to twelve-hour day out of seven) to be devoted to outside professional activities.  This is intended to be an average figure; there is no objection to working outside two half-days in a week, or to working more than one day in a given week as long as the average is observed (as well as the rules regarding absences from campus).  No more than one working day, on average, per week, is therefore to be billed to outside organizations, either directly or indirectly. The one-day-a-week rule applies throughout the academic year including reading and examination periods and intercession but excluding the one-month of vacation in June.  If a faculty member receives summer salary, the one-day-a-week rule applies for the period of the summer for which compensation through the University is accepted.  Note that if a faculty member receives more than two months of summer salary, the number of days permitted for outside professional activities in the month of June must be reduced accordingly.  University holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas may also be used for outside professional activities.  However, it is not permissible to “bank” unused outside professional activity days from the month of June or University holidays.

  • For the purposes of reporting, outside professional activities are professional activities, whether compensated or not, that are not directly associated with the fulfillment of a faculty member’s teaching, research and administrative commitments to the University.  Activities that normally would not be counted under the one-day-a-week rule include the presentation of research seminars to professional audiences; attending conferences or panels related to a faculty member’s research or teaching interests; peer review activities; and research conducted off-campus (when appropriate on-campus facilities are not available).  Activities that normally would be counted under the one-day-a-week rule include: consulting for the government or private corporations; participation in an outside business or organization; teaching at any institution other than Princeton, including, for example, executive education programs; and advising a private or public group on policy.  Lectures or media presentations intended for the general public, especially if compensated, would also usually be treated as an outside activity under the one-day-a-week rule; however, the inclusion of public lectures is not intended to restrict occasional activities which the faculty member may undertake in his or her capacity as a citizen, such as speaking for no or nominal compensation in a school or to a service organization.

  • Activities that are less clearly classifiable than those cited above, such as work for professional academic organizations and editorship of academic journals, should be taken up with your departmental chair, who will refer any unresolved matters to me.

The Dean of the Faculty will consider exceptions to these rules for compelling reasons, but any such exception must be granted in advance of undertaking the activity in question.