Faculty Handbook: Expert Witness Policy and Procedure

This policy is adopted to provide guidance to faculty who may be asked to serve as expert witnesses in private litigation. The purpose of the policy is to both support those faculty who consult as expert witnesses in their private capacities, and to provide assistance to faculty who may be subpoenaed in their University roles to testify as experts.

University faculty members may serve as expert witnesses in administrative or judicial proceedings in which the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and Oregon State University are not parties, provided they do so in a manner consistent with the OSU Policy on Outside Professional Activities, Oregon Administrative Rule 580–21–025 and consistent with any college, unit, or department restrictions on outside consulting or conflict of interest policies.

Faculty members may be subpoenaed to appear as witnesses in administrative or judicial proceedings in which they do not want to testify as experts, or are prohibited from testifying by university or college policy. When this happens, the faculty member should contact the dean and OSU’s legal advisor. The faculty member should not respond to inquiries regarding the appearance until the legal advisor advises the faculty member otherwise. The OSU legal advisor will attempt to quash or modify the subpoena so that 1) the faculty member will not have to appear or testify, 2) the faculty member will only have to testify to matters of personal knowledge, or 3) the faculty member’s department is adequately compensated for the faculty member’s time away from other responsibilities. As soon as the matter is resolved, the legal advisor will inform the faculty member of the remaining obligations under the subpoena.