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The Outside Professional Activities (OPA) application has been completely rewritten for Report Year 2020, both to modernize the system using newer technologies and to improve the University's ability to manage potential conflicts of interests amid increased scrutiny by external groups.

Changes for Faculty and Staff

  • A new, modern, and more intuitive user interface will make it easier to complete the OPA survey.
  • All full-time and part-time faculty and exempt staff will be required to complete OPA.
  • All paid or unpaid activities related to foreign governments or entities must be reported.
  • More guidance and information about how to complete your OPA survey is available on the OPA Help Center in the Faculty and Exempt Staff (Submitters) section.
  • When entering an activity, there is a new field for reporting the type of organization.

  • Before submitting your survey, there is a new method for certifying your compliance with the policy.

  • After submitting your survey, you can correct your survey if needed, until your survey has been reviewed by the department approver.

Changes for Approvers and Reviewers

Given the changed noted below, approvers are strongly encouraged to begin reviewing surveys early.

  • To ensure appropriate review and scrutiny, each employee’s survey will be individually approved, rather than the unit being approved as a whole.
  • Approvals will occur at the department level. There will no longer be a requirement that colleges/divisions approve departments.
  • The department chair/head is responsible for approving OPA surveys. This responsibility cannot be delegated or shared.
  • More guidance and information about how to approving and reviewing OPA surveys are available on the OPA Help Center in the Approvers and Reviewers sections.
  • Reviewers can be identified to support the review and approval process. They can read and comment on individual surveys.
    • These comments are visible only to approvers, reviewers, and liaisons, not to employees.

  • Approvers' surveys will be acted upon by another approver higher in the organizational hierarchy, e.g. department chair's survey is approved by the dean (division approver).
  • Tableau reports have been integrated directly within the application to provide information about survey completion and approval.

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