Conflict of Commitment – Guidelines for Specific Departments

What the conflict of interest and conflict of commitment policy says

This policy says that department heads (called initial reviewers in the policy excerpts below) can have conflict of commitment guidelines specific to a department. Conflict of commitment is about time. For faculty members, one part of conflict of commitment is the rule that the maximum days spent on Outside Professional Activities are 52 days per year. (See the details below – Section 3.2.)

When the review committee revised the Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment policy in February 2012, they included the section below (See Section 6) to reflect how large and complex the University is. These sections allow the department head to have department – specific guidelines.

All department – specific guidelines are shown below the policy excerpts on this webpage.

Excerpts from the policy

Section 6, from page 12, Procedures section of UBC’s Policy #97 – Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment

6. Guidelines for Conflicts of Commitment

6.1. Where an Initial Reviewer is the Head of an academic department, the Initial Reviewer may issue guidelines that address Conflicts of Commitment in his or her academic department (other than those described in Section 3.2 of the Policy) (see relevant section below), provided that such guidelines are in accordance with this Policy and Procedures. The guidelines may:

6.1.1. provide for streamlined disclosure and approval procedures; and

6.1.2. establish conditional pre-approvals for defined activities and categories of activities that may give rise to Conflicts of Commitment.

 6.2. Guidelines may only be issued with the prior consent of the Dean of the Initial Reviewer’s Faculty.

6.3. Guidelines are only in effect for so long as the Initial Reviewer who issued the guidelines acts as Initial Reviewer—for greater certainty, guidelines adopted by an Initial Reviewer are no longer valid when they leave that position, and previous guidelines do not bind the succeeding Initial Reviewer.

6.4. The Initial Reviewer must keep an up-to-date version of the guidelines filed with the Conflict of Interest Administrator at all times.

Section 3, from page 4, Policy section of UBC’s Policy #97 – Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment

3.2. The following are examples of situations where a Conflict of Commitment exists for Faculty Members, and despite the foregoing, may not be engaged in unless disclosed to and authorized by the Dean of the Faculty in which the Faculty Member has his or her primary appointment or such Dean’s designate:

3.2.1. Where a full-time Faculty Member’s total involvement in Outside Professional Activities is greater than 52 days per year, including evenings, weekends and vacations.

3.2.2. Where a full-time Faculty Member will be away from his or her place of University work for a period of 30 consecutive days (excluding holidays) as a result of the Faculty Member’s Outside Professional Activities.

Department – specific guidelines

Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts as of January 2014

“Department 12-month Lecturers can teach no more than two 3 credit courses per year (or equivalent) at outside institutions. Any teaching above and beyond that amount is disallowed without prior written permission of Department Head.” (This is based on a normal yearly load of 8 courses for lecturers.)


Contact Information 


a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Office of the University Counsel
6328 Memorial Road,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2, Canada
Tel: (604) 822-1897
Fax: (604) 822-8731

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC  | © Copyright The University of British Columbia