Outside Activity

Click here to access the electronic COC Form: https://edisclosure.arizona.edu

University approval is required prior to Full Time University Employees (0.50 FTE or greater) entering into an Outside Commitment or Outside Employment. 


Outside Commitments: (1) are professional and other activities that are related to a University Employee’s professional expertise, outside of their University duties and responsibilities; (2) are for the benefit of an external entity or individual and are not covered by a fully executed written agreement between the University and the external entity; and (3) require a time commitment. Outside Commitments include Outside Employment, independent contracts for consulting services, private consulting groups comprised of University Employees, volunteer/pro bono work, appointments at postsecondary educational institutions, and foreign components, as that term may be updated by the University’s Conflict of Interest Program.

If in doubt as to whether approval is necessary, you are nonetheless encouraged to use the new Conflict of Commitment Form to apprise your department and college of the outside activity.

Approval Required University Employees with a 0.50 FTE or greater CANNOT start an Outside Activity until it has been approved.

Who needs to obtain approval

The COC form is to be used by all University Employees with a 0.50 FTE or greater to obtain approval prior to entering into any outside commitment or outside employment (Outside Activity), regardless of when that Outside Activity occurs.  This includes sabbatical leaves that involve an Outside Commitment (e.g., compensation or travel support provided by another institution).

If you do NOT engage in an Outside Activity, you do NOT need to submit a COC form.

If you engage in MULTIPLE Outside Activities, you will need to submit a COC form for EACH one.

NOTE Outside Activities at other postsecondary institutions create unique conflict concerns.  Please see Guidance for Consulting or Employment at Other Postsecondary Institutions for more information.

Publications and presentations based on performance of Outside Employment or an Outside Commitment should clearly identify the entity under which the performance occurred. Individuals may list their University affiliation, but each such publication or presentation should include a disclosure of funding and must not state or imply that project funding was provided by the University, nor that the individual’s contribution to such publication or presentation was part of their institutional responsibilities.


The COC form should be submitted for approval at least four (4) weeks prior to beginning the outside activity to allow a reasonable time for consideration of your request.

Approval of an outside activity lasts no more than one year and it is the submitter’s responsibility to seek renewal upon expiration.

What is an Outside Commitment?

Outside Commitments are activities that are related to your professional expertise and required a time commitment but are outside of your University duties and responsibilities.  Outside Commitment are for the benefit of an outside entity or individual but they are not covered by a fully executed written agreement between the University and the external entity or individual.

Why do I have to disclose my Outside Employment and Outside Commitments to the Office for Responsible Outside Interests?

The University requires that full-time (0.50 FTE or greater) employees disclose their Outside Activities for review of conflicts of commitment because the University has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that inappropriate external influences outside the course and scope of one’s University employment do not affect the performance of one’s primary duties to the University. Outside Activities raise important questions related to time and energy allocation, University resource allocation, intellectual property protection and potential for conflicts of interest.

What is a Conflict of Commitment?

Conflict of Commitment is a situation in which an individual accepts or incurs conflicting obligations between or among multiple employers or other entities.  A Conflict of Commitment occurs when a University Employee's Outside Activity interferes with, or could interfere with, their obligations to the University of Arizona.  Conflicts of Commitment relate to an individual's distribution of time and effort between their full-time duties as a University Employee or University research responsibilities and their responsibilities resulting from Outside Activities, University resource allocation, use of University assets, intellectual property protection and potential for conflicts of interest.

"Many organizational policies define conflicts of commitment as conflicting commitments of time and effort, including obligations to dedicate time in excess of organizational or research agency policies or commitments.  Other types of conflicting obligations, including obligations to improperly share information with, or to withhold information from, an employer or research agency,  can also threaten research security and integrity, and are an element of a broader concept of conflicts of commitment."

The University of Arizona’s Conflicts of Interest & Commitment Policy provides guidance to University employees and to the University in the identification of potential and actual conflicts of commitment.

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