New Guidelines Further Restrict Professors' Outside Activities

In a the midst of debate over the merits of distance learning and Internet colleges, the University unveiled a new "Statement on Outside Activities" that spells out what professors can do with their time when they are not teaching and prohibits faculty members from teaching online courses.

The statement is the first comprehensive overhaul of the rules regarding outside activities since 1948.

Though the guidelines have been amended over the years, many of the rules were outdated and did not address modern problems, said Pforzheimer University Professor Sidney H. Verba '53, a member of the faculty committee that developed the new statement.


"A lot of the stuff dated back to the '60's and was piecemeal patched over the years," he said.

New technology and its potential effects on teaching were the major impetus behind the replacement, said Dean for Research and Technology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Paul C. Martin.

The statement, which has also been updated with gender-neutral language, says that faculty members must devote their efforts primarily toward Harvard students and that they may not teach any part of a course at another institution--even via electronic communication.

The new restrictions apply to teaching and research in the summer and also prohibit paid consulting for educational institutions or organizations without permission from the dean of faculty.

Some faculties already had that policy, but the new guidelines make it a University-wide rule.

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