Office of the Provost

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest — Research/Teaching

The University has implemented a Conflict of Interest Policy and procedures to prevent and resolve potential, apparent or actual conflicts of interest. This policy provides examples of situations that should be viewed as potential or actual conflicts of interest, as well as definitions and procedures for disclosure and resolution of actual, potential, or apparent conflicts of interest.

The policy relies on the following general principles: the presumption that not all conflicting interests are necessarily impermissible; the requirement of regular, timely, and complete disclosures of outside relationships and organizational commitments; case by case analysis; accountability at all levels of review — up to and including the Chancellor; assurance of confidentiality; and yearly review and analysis of success of approach and of conflicts resolved.

Definition of Conflict of Interest

A potential or actual conflict of interest exists when commitments and obligations to the University or to widely-recognized professional norms are likely to be compromised by a person's other interests or commitments, especially economic, particularly if those interests or commitments are not disclosed.

Policy Requirements

  1. Faculty members, administrators, and researchers are required to make regular (at least annually), timely, and full confidential disclosures to their superiors of all outside remunerative activities related to their teaching, research, or administrative responsibilities. They must also disclose equities and positions of members of their immediate family (see the complete policy for definitions of terms) which could create a conflict or the perception of a conflict of interest between their academic obligations and their outside interests.
  2. The Conflict of Interest Policy also imposes the obligation on department chairs and other supervisory administrators — themselves subject to the policy and its disclosure requirements — to not encourage or condone impermissible conflicts in their faculty, administrators, or researchers.
  3. Non-compliance with the requirements or provisions of this policy may be sanctioned in the same way as non-compliance with any other University policy, including removal from the particular project, letter of reprimand, special monitoring of future work, probation, suspension, salary reduction, or initiation of steps leading to possible rank reduction or termination of employment.

The full Conflict of Interest Policy may be obtained by referencing University Policy 11-01-03, Conflict of Interest — Research/Teaching.