Part of the Ball State University mission statement reads, "Faculty are expected to remain active in their research (and) professional activities. Part of the College of Business Mission Statement reads – we must recruit, develop, and maintain a highly motivated faculty who are active teacher/scholars in their fields of specialty. Faculty has the responsibility to make students aware of today's business environment. Likewise, College of Business programs should reflect the latest developments in theory and practice which can be partially accomplished through consulting opportunities. The College of Business encourages consulting which leads to research that can be applied to the business environment and classroom instruction. Consulting as professional service can also play a supporting role to teaching and intellectual contributions.
As a matter of policy, faculty and administrators should not use university resources in activities undertaken solely for personal gain. On the surface, this policy seems simple, but there are complicating factors that require judgment and interpretation by administrators. It is also a basic assumption that contact with the professional and business world is beneficial to a faculty member's teaching and research activities. Such activity keeps a faculty member current on what is happening in the business world. Such activity is also beneficial to the University in that it cements relationships between the school and the business community and often results in financial contributions to the College and the University for various purposes including student scholarships and funding of faculty travel and research.
Following are some guiding principles that should be followed by deans and department chairs in administering this area of responsibility.
1. Faculty should be discouraged from using their offices to meet clients on a regular basis. If the faculty member is consulting in a manner where they have frequent meetings with clients and potential clients, these meetings should occur away from the University. For example, an accounting faculty member who is consulting with tax clients, should hold client conferences away from his or her University office.
2. Faculty consulting that is a one-time situation is usually preferable to a continuing involvement with one or more clients. The University benefits from a faculty member's consulting in increased exposure to various areas of business by the faculty member and by the number of firms that are positively affected by the consulting. These firms will develop a closer kinship to the College and hopefully be more receptive to development efforts.
For example, several universities frown on an accounting faculty member operating a continuing CPA practice, but encourage an accounting faculty member to engage in a project such as one of our faculty members did during the summer of 1990 with a regional CPA firm. The faculty member assisted the firm in developing an internal quality review program. The project was conducted during the summer term in which the faculty member did not teach.
3. A faculty member may use his or her computer and office space and minimal supplies to do some of the type of consulting that would be considered favorable to the College and University. The faculty member should not use departmental resources to produce multiple handouts or consulting reports. Such work should be done elsewhere and paid by the faculty member. For example, if a faculty member presents a seminar to a business or professional association, any handouts should duplicated at a copy shop at the faculty member's expense.
The use of the Bureau of Business Research resources, including editing, data entry, software consulting and project oversight, is not considered appropriate for consulting activities that do not benefit the College and the students. Support of such activities by Bureau personnel will receive the lowest priority, and any mailing, copying or other supply expenses incurred by the Bureau associated with these activities should be fully reimbursed by the faculty member.
4. In the area of textbook writing, the Department, College, and University also benefit if the textbook is published. Their reputations are enhanced. On the other hand, textbooks are not as enhancing to a faculty member's vita as the publication of refereed journal articles. Also, unless the textbook is widely adopted, the royalties from the textbook and its ancillaries will probably be less than the minimum wage on an hourly basis! It is expected that a faculty member may do textbook writing, manuscript editing, etc. in his or her faculty office in order to be available to students and to be available for committee meetings, etc.
5. It should also be expected that a faculty member will use his office computer and minimal supplies such as computer paper, computer disks, etc., in this effort. Since the University also receives some benefits from this activity, this minimal use should not be prohibited.
6. The faculty member may also want to take advantage of secretarial and paid student assistance in the textbook writing activity. It is in this area that a problem arises. As stated above, the writing of refereed journal articles are more beneficial to the faculty member and to the Department, College, and University than textbook writing. As such, the preparation of manuscripts for submission to refereed journals should take precedence over the preparation of textbook manuscripts in the use of secretarial time or student assistant time. Textbook manuscripts should move to the end or the queue. They should only be worked on by secretaries and student assistants if there is no other productive work in the queue. If this is not satisfactory to the schedule of the faculty member, the faculty member should hire outside secretarial assistance.
Faculty are expected to report their consulting activities each year on their Annual Report. The implementation of these suggestions will take the judgment and interpretation by the department chair in the affected department. In cases where the department chair cannot resolve the situation satisfactorily or where the department chair is involved by being the author, the case should be discussed with the Dean for the Dean's decision. The Dean should also involve the other department chairs in the College, since his decision would set a precedent for possible future cases in all departments of the College.10/30/96
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