Policy UL-AD77 Engaging in Outside Professional Activities

Main Policy Content

  • Preface 
  • Teaching Courses for Other Institutions
  • Approval to Teach Courses for Other Institutions
  • Disposition of Documentation
  • Cross References


Occasionally librarians receive opportunities to teach credit and non-credit courses in library studies and other academic areas that are offered at other institutions of higher education, or through educational agencies or organizations. Personal compensation is often involved. This policy addresses permission to teach outside of Penn State and identifies the relevant University policies that must be considered by librarians who want to teach outside of the University.

Approval to teach, teaching loads, and ongoing teaching assignments within Penn State are generally covered in University Libraries’ instruction policy UL-IN02 Teaching by Libraries Faculty


Because teaching courses for other institutions is considered consulting by the University, librarians doing this teaching must abide by the following Penn State policies and guidelines:


Never approved: The following academic activities will not be approved:

  • Tenure at another institution.

Requires pre-approval: Other activities may require more time, create the possibility for competition with Penn State offerings, or involve intellectual property ownership, increasing the possibility for a conflict of commitment. Given an increased possibility of a conflict of commitment, activities of the following types require pre-approval by the associate dean and dean: 

  • Any teaching that is for academic credit;
  • Any teaching that involves a commitment in excess of five days;
  • Teaching or research appointments that include intellectual property agreements;  
  • Chairing graduate committees at any other institution;
  • Holding a professional appointment at another institution, domestic or international.

Does not require pre-approval: Given the nature of these activities, and the limited likelihood that they will result in a conflict of commitment, the following activities do not require pre-approval by the associate dean and dean:

  • Serving on a graduate committee at another institution;
  • Teaching a non-credit workshop or short course (up to five days) at another institution, or for a professional or other organization, including professional education and development courses.

Generally, permission will not be granted for part-time teaching performed during a sabbatical and related compensation unless it is directly related to the purposes of the sabbatical. Even when approved, payment earned by teaching during a sabbatical cannot result in a total amount of compensation that exceeds the normal full salary of the individual for the period of the leave. (See AC17 Sabbatical Leave and ACG15 Regulations Regarding Use of Support Funds and Receiving Outside Compensation During Sabbatical Leaves of Absence).


Copies of all documentation related to teaching at other institutions should be sent to the Libraries' Office of Human Resources for retention in the personnel files, to the Dean's Office, and to the Libraries' Financial Officer when any supplemental payments are involved.


AC47 – General Standards of Professional Ethics

FN14 – Use of University Tangible Assets, Equipment, Supplies and Services

AC17 – Sabbatical  Leave

HR42 – Payment of Personal Compensation by a State Agency or Department of the Commonwealth

AC80 – Private Consulting Practice

HR91 – Conflict of Interest

ACG15 – Regulations Regarding Use of Support Funds and Receiving Outside Compensation During Sabbatical Leaves of Absence

UL-HR05 – Supplemental Payments

UL-IN02 – Teaching by Libraries’ Faculty

Effective Date: February 2011
Date Approved: February 2011 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • April 2020: Updated as required for compliance with University Policy AD77

  • November 2019 - October 30 LFO voted to rename and renumber Policy UL-IN01 (Teaching by Libraries' Faculty for Other Institutions) to Policy UL-AD77 Teaching by Libraries' Faculty for Other Institution. November 26:  changed title to "Engaging in Outside Professional Activities"
  • February 2011 – New policy

Last Review Date:  April 2020