Full time faculty members may engage in consulting for private entities up to four days per month, with the understanding that it may not interfere with the performance of their University duties and the hope that the consulting will enhance their professional stature or academic proficiency. The nature of the consulting, and the necessary approvals and annual reporting, are more completely defined in Penn State Policy HR-80 Private Consulting Practice.
In addition, any Penn State University faculty or staff member requires approval of the University President before engaging in service, with personal compensation, for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as specified in Penn State Policy HR-42.
External consulting may or may not be associated with financial conflict of interest depending on whether the financial interest is received from an external commercial entity. Medical liability testimony is a common area of external consulting that would not be considered a financial conflict of interest because it is considered a professional service.