Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 439

    January Session, 2017

Substitute Senate Bill No. 872

Senate, April 5, 2017

The Committee on Higher Education and Employment Advancement reported through SEN. BYE of the 5th Dist. and SEN. LINARES of the 33rd Dist., Chairpersons of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING THE FACULTY CONSULTING OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (r) of section 1-84 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(r) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section, a member of the faculty or a member of a faculty bargaining unit of a constituent unit of the state system of higher education may enter into a consulting agreement or engage in a research project with a public or private entity, provided such agreement or project does not conflict with the member's employment with the constituent unit, as determined by policies established by the board of trustees for such constituent unit.

(2) (A) The board of trustees for each constituent unit of the state system of higher education shall establish policies to ensure that any such member who enters such a consulting agreement or engages in such a research project [(A)] (i) is not inappropriately using university proprietary information in connection with such agreement or project, [(B)] (ii) does not have an interest in such agreement or project that interferes with the proper discharge of his or her employment with the constituent unit, and [(C)] (iii) is not inappropriately using such member's association with the constituent unit in connection with such agreement or project. Such policies shall [(i)] (I) establish procedures for the disclosure, review and management of conflicts of interest relating to any such agreement or project, [(ii)] (II) require the approval by the chief academic officer of the constituent unit, or his or her designee, prior to any such member entering into any such agreement or engaging in any such project, and [(iii)] (III) include procedures that impose sanctions and penalties on any member for failing to comply with the provisions of the policies. Annually, the internal audit office of each constituent unit shall audit the constituent unit's compliance with such policies and report its findings to the committee of the constituent unit established pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection. For purposes of this subsection, "consulting" means the provision of services for compensation to a public or private entity by a member of the faculty or member of a faculty bargaining unit of a constituent unit of the state system of higher education: [(I)] When the request to provide such services is based on such member's expertise in a field or prominence in such field, and [(II)] while such member is not acting in the capacity of a state employee, and "research" means a systematic investigation, including, but not limited to, research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to general knowledge in the applicable field of study.

(B) The Board of Regents for Higher Education shall designate the academic and student affairs committee of the board to serve as the consulting oversight committee responsible for monitoring the compliance of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities with the provisions of this subsection. Such committee shall (i) review the annual reports submitted by the internal audit office, pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, (ii) make recommendations, as appropriate, to the Board of Regents for Higher Education concerning the policies and procedures of the constituent unit established pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, including any changes to such policies and procedures, and (iii) provide the Office of State Ethics with an annual report of the committee's policies, procedures and recommendations concerning faculty consulting oversight.

(3) There is established a committee for [each constituent unit of the state system of higher education] The University of Connecticut to monitor [the constituent unit's] The University of Connecticut's compliance with the policies and procedures described in subdivision (2) of this subsection governing consulting agreements and research projects with public or private entities by a member of the faculty or a member of a faculty bargaining unit of [such constituent unit. Each] The University of Connecticut. Such committee shall consist of nine members as follows: (A) Three members, appointed jointly by the Governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the president pro tempore of the Senate, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, the majority leader of the Senate, the minority leader of the House of Representatives and the minority leader of the Senate, who shall serve as members for each such committee; (B) one member appointed by the chairperson of [the constituent unit's] The University of Connecticut's board of trustees from the membership of such board; (C) the chief academic officer of [the constituent unit] The University of Connecticut, or his or her designee; (D) three members appointed by the chief executive officer of [the constituent unit] The University of Connecticut; and (E) one member appointed by the chairperson of the Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board from the membership of such board. Members shall serve for a term of two years. Any vacancies shall be filled by the appointing authority. [Each] Such committee shall (i) review the annual reports submitted by the internal audit office for [the constituent unit] The University of Connecticut, pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, (ii) make recommendations, annually, to the board of trustees of [the constituent unit] The University of Connecticut concerning the policies and procedures of [the constituent unit] The University of Connecticut established pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, including any changes to such policies and procedures, and (iii) send a copy of such recommendations, in accordance with section 11-4a, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to higher education and government administration.

(4) The provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section shall apply to any member of the faculty or member of a faculty bargaining unit of a constituent unit of the state system of higher education who enters such a consulting agreement or engages in such a research project without prior approval, as described in subdivision (2) of this subsection.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

1-84(r)

Statement of Legislative Commissioners:

In Section 1(r)(2)(B), "Academic and Student Affairs committee" was changed to "academic and student affairs committee of the board" for consistency with standard drafting conventions.

HED

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill has no fiscal impact as the Board of Regents for Higher Education and its staff have sufficient expertise to carry out the bill's requirements.

The Out Years

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 872

AN ACT CONCERNING THE FACULTY CONSULTING OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.

SUMMARY

This bill allows the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) to designate its own Academic and Student Affairs committee to serve as the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities' (CSCU) faculty consulting oversight committee, rather than a committee comprised of state-appointed and institutional administrative members, as current law requires for both CSCU and UConn. (The bill does not define the membership or term length of BOR's Academic and Student Affairs committee.)

By law, the boards of trustees for UConn and CSCU must create policies to ensure that faculty members who enter into consulting agreements or engage in research projects avoid certain conflicts of interest (see BACKGROUND). An oversight committee must monitor UConn and CSCU for compliance with these policies.

The bill assigns various oversight responsibilities to BOR's Academic and Student Affairs committee that are identical to those of the committee that monitors UConn. It also adds an additional reporting requirement to the Office of State Ethics (OSE).

The bill also makes various conforming and technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

BOR OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

Duties

The bill requires the newly designated BOR Academic and Student Affairs committee to do the following as the oversight committee monitoring CSCU compliance with its own policies on faculty consulting and research projects:

The above duties mirror that of UConn's oversight committee under current law, except (1) the OSE reporting requirement is unique to BOR's oversight committee and (2) UConn's committee, unlike BOR's, must submit a copy of its recommendations to the Higher Education and Government Administration and Election committees.

Membership and Term Length

Neither the bill nor current law specifies the membership of BOR's Academic and Student Affairs committee or the length of its members' terms. Under current law, the oversight committees for CCSU and UConn have the same membership requirements, as follows:

Additionally, the bill does not specify the term length for BOR Academic and Student Affairs committee members, while current law limits membership on the UConn and CSCU oversight committees to a two-year term.

BACKGROUND

Faculty Consulting Policies and Procedures

By law, the boards of trustees for the state's constituent units for higher education (i.e., UConn and the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities) must create policies to ensure that faculty members who enter into consulting agreements or engage in research projects avoid certain conflicts of interest. Specifically, these policies must ensure that faculty members or faculty bargaining unit members do not (1) inappropriately use university proprietary information, (2) have an interest in the consulting agreement or project that interferes with their employment at the college or university, and (3) inappropriately use their association with their employing college or university in connection with the agreement or project.

These policies must (1) establish procedures for disclosing, reviewing, and managing conflicts of interest; (2) require the institution's chief academic officer's approval for faculty members to enter into these agreements or projects; and (3) include procedures for imposing sanctions and penalties for faculty noncompliance (CGS 1-84(r)(2)).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

13

Nay

8

(03/21/2017)

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