Section 800: Financial Affairs

Effective: December 1, 1999
Revised: October 2015
Responsible Party: Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration


Additional Compensation is remuneration by the University that is over and above the salary authorized to be paid from appropriated funds. While not part of a faculty/staff member's budgeted line, the funds upon which additional compensation is drawn are controlled by the University. Appropriate University approval of additional compensation, as set forth below, is required.

Consulting is any additional activity beyond duties assigned by the institution, professional in nature and based in the appropriate discipline, for which the individual receives additional personal remuneration during the contract year. Remuneration for consulting is by agencies or individuals outside the University, and the funds upon which consulting payments are drawn are not controlled by the University.


The University has priority claim on the working time of full-time staff members. When faculty/staff members undertake additional activities University-sponsored or non-University sponsored they must ensure that their assigned duties are fulfilled.

No employee of Montana State University-Northern may accept additional compensation for providing to the same clientele the same services which are part of their assigned University duties. In particular, no faculty/staff member may receive compensation for tutoring students of the University. A teaching assistant may not receive compensation for tutoring students in any course in which he/she has any responsibility.

Additional Compensation

Additional compensation from University-controlled sources is a temporary adjustment of salary which must be annually specified and approved in writing by the Department chair/director and the appropriate Vice Chancellor. Royalties, copyrights, and patents as well as monetary awards, prizes, recognition, and honors are not considered additional compensation.

A faculty/staff member may receive additional compensation during the academic year (or contract year) through university-controlled sources other than state-appropriated funds, including grants and contracts administered through the University. That additional compensation may be calculated on the following basis: proportion of time devoted to grant project times maximum of $100,000 allowed for full-time, 12 month grant assignment. Items 1 through 4 below must be satisfied.

A faculty member may earn additional compensation through summer employment as set forth in the collective bargaining agreement.

  1. Criteria and Process for Approval. Additional compensation is not a permanent increase to an employee's base salary, is expressly conditioned on the availability of funds, and may be suspended or removed at any time upon five days notice.
  2. Responsibilities of Program Chairs and Directors. Department chairs and directors will carefully analyze the total professional commitments, including outside consulting, of the faculty/staff member requesting additional compensation. Additional compensation should be approved only if the faculty/staff member's and the department's instructional services and scholarship programs will not be adversely affected.
  3. Responsibilities of the Faculty/Staff Member. Funds used for additional compensation from the direct costs of a sponsored grant, gift or contract must be used only with the sponsor's approval. If sponsored funds are used to pay a portion of the additional compensation, the funds should be included in the grant as direct costs and the faculty/staff member will obtain the approval of the sponsor. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved in writing by the Chancellor.
  4. Types of Additional Compensation. Additional compensation of a faculty/staff member may result from summer employment, special assignments or projects, teaching distance learning courses, assuming administrative duties, or being named to an endowed chair. Additional compensation may also be necessary for faculty/staff assigned off-campus.

Special Assignments/Projects. It may be advantageous to the University to assign or permit individual faculty and staff members to perform special professional services such as participation in the teaching program of another unit or department or participation in a specially funded project which is clearly beyond the normal duties for that individual. Department chairs/directors are urged to provide release time for these projects.

A Record of Appointment Status (RAS) is completed and processed in the payroll office in order to ensure that costs are charged to the proper funding source. The completed form is reviewed and approved by the Department Chair or Director, the appropriate Vice Chancellor, and Chancellor.

Compensation for a Change in Responsibility. When an interim assignment results in greatly increased responsibility for the faculty/staff member, the funding source may offer additional compensation for the duration of the assignment.

Consulting Policy

  1. Conflict of Interest. All consulting assignments and professional practice accepted by faculty/staff members must comply with the Board of Regents and collective bargaining conflict of interest policy.
  2. Compensation. Faculty/staff members engaged in consulting work and/or professional practice not sponsored by institutions of higher education in Montana should charge fees that are consistent with others in the profession in the area and will be entitled to retain such outside compensation.
  3. University Indemnification and Liability. In all private consulting engagements, the client must be notified of the following:
    1. The faculty/staff member is acting as a private consultant.
    2. Montana State University-Northern is not a party to the contract nor is it responsible for the performance thereof.
    3. Montana State University-Northern is not liable in any way for property of the client utilized for testing, observation, or otherwise in connection with the consulting engagement nor for consequent damages.
    4. No official Montana State University-Northern stationery or forms may be used in connection with private consulting work or professional practice, nor may the name of the University be used in advertising. The faculty/staff member may not use the University address or telephone number on correspondence and advertising. The name of the University will not be used in any other way without the written consent of the faculty/staff member's department chair/director.
  4. Use of University Facilities and Personnel. Faculty/staff members may use the space, equipment, and other facilities of the University in consulting work with the written approval of the appropriate supervisor if such use does not interfere with classes or other University activities and the University is fully compensated.

    The faculty/staff member undertaking private consulting work must enter into a written use agreement with the University. The University will set forth the terms, conditions and payment for the use of any University facilities or equipment prior to use. A faculty/staff member acting as a consultant may not use university employees, students, or others in consulting assignments without the written approval of the department chair/director, who will report such arrangements to the Vice Chancellor. The faculty/staff member is responsible for the payment of any persons used in consulting assignments.

  5. Permission Required. All consulting assignments and professional activities will be reported as a part of the annual review of every employee of Montana State University-Northern. Consulting assignments or professional practice totaling more than one week or averaging more than one day per week during the contract period must be approved in writing by the department chair/director and the appropriate Vice Chancellor. Each case will be treated individually and, in the case of extended assignments, leave without pay should be taken by the consulting faculty/staff member.
  6. Reassignment or Regranting of University Rights Prohibited. Faculty members engaged in non-university consulting may not without the express written consent of the appropriate Vice Chancellor assign, commit, contract away or otherwise affect University rights, specifically including rights to inventions, technologies or other proprietary knowledge and information. Any commitment to a consulting sponsor in violation of this policy is null and void. Faculty members performing consulting services will inform their consulting sponsors of this policy at or prior to the time they enter into their consulting arrangements.
  7. Circumvention of Grant and Contract Activities Prohibited. Consulting arrangement with non University sponsors may not be used to circumvent University grants and contracts activities.
  8. Prohibition Against Affecting Rights of the University Faculty, Staff or Students. Non-University consulting arrangements and commitments will not bind, commit or attempt to affect the rights of any University faculty, students or staff without their express written permission.


Appeals of decision of the Vice Chancellors may be submitted to the Chancellor for review and resolution.

Consulting During Vacation and Leave Periods

The University encourages faculty/staff members to take annual vacation for rest and recuperation; however, compensated consulting activities conducted during leave periods should conform to the policies described below.

Faculty/staff members on academic-year contracts, may engage in private consulting activities or professional practice during the periods they are not employed by the university, but any use of University facilities, equipment or personnel must conform to this policy.

Professional Writing and Other Creative Activities

Faculty and staff members of the University are encouraged to write for professional periodicals, to write books in their professional fields, and to engage in other creative professional activities as part of their duties. Such scholarly writing will not be considered consulting and will not be subject to this policy unless such activity interferes with the assigned duties of the faculty/staff member.