The obligation inherent in full-time service is difficult to define since, in academic life, it means far more than a stated number of hours per week. In a context where faculty members have substantial freedom in arranging their professional lives, it implies a controlling interest, loyalty, and first responsibility to the Institute. Individuals who hold full-time academic appointments at MIT are expected to devote the bulk of their professional energies and time to fulfilling the Institute's mission. This obligation, therefore, must remain loosely defined, depending upon principle rather than formula. When it has been necessary for practical reasons to be more specific, the Institute has generally granted full-time members of the Faculty the privilege of devoting an average of about one day per week to their outside professional activities during the academic year and when receiving summer compensation.
Faculty should not enter into contracts with outside parties to develop teaching materials that would constrain teaching or scholarly responsibilities at MIT, including specifically the use of their work in research or teaching at the Institute.
Faculty who, as part of their external professional activities, engage in education and research activities that present a potential conflict of commitment, or who enter into formal or informal contracts or other arrangements to share work produced at MIT that could constrain their teaching and scholarly responsibilities, are expected to consult with their department head or dean in advance of such commitments.
Faculty should seek the permission of their dean when they have the opportunity to teach at other not-for-profit or for-profit institutions or when they are presented with other opportunities that might conflict with their faculty commitment. Department heads and deans are to work with faculty to remove or manage conflicts or the appearance of conflicts. When disputes arise regarding faculty commitment, they are to be settled by School deans, with the Provost being the final arbiter.