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Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy

Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy

Authority: 
Academic and Student Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
March 28, 2011
In F/S Handbook: 
yes

Introduction

McNeese State University faculty and staff disseminate knowledge and information both inside and outside the University.  This is accomplished in part through traditional academic pursuits, such as teaching, lectures, scholarly publications, training of undergraduate and graduate students, and public service appointments. Employees engage in extramural interactions with industry and other external constituencies. Consultancies, advisory engagements, service on for-profit or not-for-profit boards, and various other outside activities provide opportunities for faculty and staff to direct their expertise and learning to useful applications.


Such activities and interactions promote intellectual exchange, enhance professional development, encourage new discovery, and benefit students.  And, the University is aware that relationships with outside enterprises can create opportunities for personal gain or financial advantage that may be at odds with the primary obligations of employment with McNeese, and present conflict of interest or conflict of commitment.


The University requires employees to avoid engagement in behaviors that risk compromising the University's integrity.  Because financial conflicts of interest erode confidence in the University and diminish its trustworthiness and stature, employees are required to report potential conflict of interest or conflict of commitment for scrupulous attention and management.


University employees are public servants of the State of Louisiana, and as public servants are required to abide by the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics, which includes laws prohibiting conflict of interest. These statutes preclude public servants from participating in transactions of their employing State agency where the public servant has a personal substantial economic interest. The Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics, Louisiana Revised Statutes 42:1101-1170, may be found at www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp.


In pursuit of its mission, and consistent with the requirements of external agencies, particularly the federal and state government, McNeese State University implemented the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment to identify and address potential, actual, and apparent conflicts of interest and conflict of commitment. Each member of the McNeese community has an obligation to act in the best interests of the University, and must not let outside activities or outside financial interests interfere with those obligations. The policy builds on generally accepted recommendations and guidelines and is intended to increase the awareness of faculty, staff and students to the potential for conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment and to establish procedures whereby such conflicts may be avoided or properly managed.


McNeese State University follows the Association of American Universities' three-fold approach for the framework of a Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy:

  1. disclose always;
  2. manage in most cases;
  3. prohibit the activity when necessary to protect the public interest or the interest of the university.

Principles

  1. The free and open exchange of ideas and the results of scholarly activities is the essence of academic freedom and is fundamental to the integrity of the University as a community of scholars. Faculty members must foster an atmosphere of academic freedom by promoting the free, open, and timely exchange of results of scholarly activities. Financial conflicts of interest or conflicts of commitment cannot be permitted to undermine independent inquiry or uncensored publication of ideas and findings.

    1. Faculty members should not be induced by financial interests to:
      1. Give outside sponsors or other organizations or individuals authority to direct their studies or to restrict or unreasonably delay the release or publication of research results, or
      2. Participate under the aegis of the University in scholarly activities whose existence, methods, purpose, or results are held confidential.  Although this second prohibition does not apply to projects undertaken as part of a faculty member's permissible outside activities, faculty should avoid entangling outside projects with their academic duties in ways that could subject members of the University community to improper constraints (for example, by assigning students or trainees to work for academic credit on outside projects that require their ideas or scholarly products to be held in confidence).
      3. Assign students to participate in research projects or other scholarly projects that constrain or could constrain their ability freely to discuss, defend, and publish their research.
    2. Without the prior approval of his or her college dean, no faculty member may assign any student to any research project or other scholarly project in which the faculty member or a member of his or her family has a financial interest directly or through an outside entity.  A faculty member must ensure that the assigned work of students is not exploited in service of the faculty member's outside activities.
    3. Not infrequently, outside entities or sponsors - for example, companies or individuals uniquely in control of information or materials required for a scholarly investigation or for preparation of case studies deemed valuable for classroom instruction - retain privacy interests or property rights in the information or materials throughout the course of the investigation.
      1. To accommodate property rights, outside entities or sponsors may be allowed a reasonable time (generally, 30 - 60 days) to review research manuscripts for potentially patentable material, or to ensure that the sponsors' confidential or proprietary information is not being disclosed.
      2. If there is a relation or affiliation between the faculty scholar and the source of the information or materials, a financial conflict of interest exists and the circumstances must be disclosed, evaluated, and managed or eliminated according to the McNeese COI/COC policy.
    4. The Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy does not override regulations and protections afforded intellectual property or proprietary information.
  2. The transfer of knowledge and information from academia to industry may create a range of activities and relationships outside the university that can be extremely beneficial to the public.  A degree of conflict of interest or conflict of commitment may be inevitable whenever academic research addresses problems of the real world.  Such conflicts must be managed so that the purpose and mission of the University are not compromised, so that the investment of the public and students is protected, and so that public confidence in the integrity of scholarly activities is maintained.

    *(An important distinction between faculty members' assignment of students to projects as part of the students' academic programs and their hiring of students to work on faculty members' academic, consulting, or other outside activities exists.)

    1. Instructional subject matter and assignments to students, trainees, and student assistants (referred to collectively throughout the remainder of this annotation as "students") may overlap with the subject matter of the faculty member's outside consulting or related activities.
      1. Faculty members should exercise special care to avoid exploiting student work or subordinating the prerogatives and interests of their students to such outside activities.
      2. Faculty members should be transparent with students about their activities with and obligations to outside entities that could benefit from the work or ideas of their students.
      3. Students should have ready access to information about faculty members' sources of funds that support the students' research or scholarly work.
    2. Faculty should not assign students to research/scholarly projects in which a faculty member has a financial interest or gain.
      1. This does not include research/scholarly projects in which the faculty member's financial interest is entirely speculative. For example, at the point of disclosing a new technology to the University where the commercial value of the invention is largely unknown, involving students in further investigations of the technology that serve their training objectives would generally not be problematic.
      2. If the inventor realizes financial interest in the commercial development of a licensed technology, dean's or supervisor's approval prior to assigning students to follow-on research is required.  The point of financial interest will vary among different technologies and disciplines, and responsibility for defining them should lie in with the Conflict of Interest Committee.
    3. Employees should not be employed by or enter into a commercial relationship with a student or an entity substantially controlled by the student.  A commercial relationship for these purposes includes, but is not limited to, the ownership of stock, stock options, or other equity.
    4. Employees may not use University resources, including confidential information or - other than in a purely incidental way - facilities (offices), personnel, or equipment to support outside consulting activities or for any other purposes that are unrelated to the education, research, scholarship, and public service mission of the University.
      1. Use of the McNeese name or logo or trademarks must comply with regulations set forth in the McNeese State University Faculty/Staff Handbook or ULS Rules or other appropriate regulatory agencies.
      2. Use for personal profit of unpublished information emanating from University research or other confidential University sources, or assisting an outside organization by giving it exclusive access to such information, is prohibited
    5. Inappropriate use of University resources includes the following:
      1. More than incidental use of University staff on an employee's outside consulting or business activities without prior approval by the Dean/immediate supervisor.
      2. Granting outside entities access to McNeese resources or services for purposes unrelated to sanctioned University activities.
      3. Unilaterally appropriating patentable inventions or protectable software rather than disclosing such products for its determination of ownership in accordance with University policy. See the University's policy on "Intellectual Property and Shared Royalties," (Section 127 of the Faculty Staff Handbook).
      4. Using for personal gain, or granting others unauthorized access to, confidential information acquired through conduct of University business or research activity, including, for example: medical, personnel, or security records of individuals; proprietary knowledge about the corporate affairs or business dealings of the University; and information from public agencies concerning contract awards or regulatory decisions in advance of their public release date.
      5. Providing preferential access to research results, materials, or products generated from University teaching or research activities to an outside entity for personal financial gain.  (This would not preclude appropriate licensing arrangements for inventions, or consulting on the basis of sponsored project results where there is significant additional work or expertise involved.)
    6. Ad hoc reporting- Employees must, in advance of transactions such as gifts, sponsored projects, technology licensing arrangements, and certain procurements, or as soon as becoming aware, disclose any financial interests they or members of their immediate family have with an outside entity involved in the transaction.  According to the McNeese State University Faculty/Staff Handbook (Section 130), employees should not accept anything of value from individuals or companies that are in financial relationships or would like to be in financial relationships with the university. Specifically, employees must report financial relationships with any outside entity that is known by the employee to:
      1. Fund University-sponsored research in which the employee participates or proposes to participate;
      2. Own or have a contractual right to develop or exploit intellectual property or a product or technology that is the subject of research in which the employee participates or proposes to participate;
      3. Compete commercially with an entity that owns or has a contractual right to develop or exploit intellectual property or a product or technology that is the subject of research in which the employee participates or proposes to participate;
      4. Make or propose to make a gift to the University that would support the employee's  teaching or research activities;
      5. Furnish products or services to the University through a contractual process in which the employee participates in any way;
      6. Propose to enter a licensing agreement with the University with respect to technology invented by the employee;
      7. Act as a legal or de facto agent for any outside entity engaged in any of the above activities. In such cases, approval by the Conflict of Interest Committee will be required before the transaction may commence or continue. The committee's approval may be withheld or conditioned on measures to reduce, manage, or eliminate any financial conflict of interest.
  3. No employee, officer, or agent shall participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract supported by Federal funds if a real or apparent conflict of interest or conflict of commitment would be involved. Such a conflict would rise when the employee, officer, or agent, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated herein, has a financial or other interest in the firm selected for an award [Federal regulations -24CFR84.42].  The Purchasing Department in accordance with the State Code of Governmental Ethics, will not purchase any merchandise or service for a department from any establishment in which a McNeese employee or their immediate family has an interest in excess of twenty-five (25) percent.  Therefore, an employee is required to disclose information that will assist purchasing in complying with this requirement.


Process

  1. Definitions
    Conflict of Interest

    A conflict of interest may take various forms, but arises when a McNeese employee is or may be in a position to influence the university business, research, or other decisions in ways that could lead to any form of personal gain for the employee or the employee's family, or give improper advantage to others.

    Conflicts of interest can arise naturally from an individual's engagement with the world outside the University, and the mere existence of a conflict of interest does not necessarily imply wrongdoing on anyone's part.  When conflicts of interest do arise, however, they must be recognized, disclosed, and managed, reduced, or eliminated.  Even when no conflict actually exists, the appearance of conflict of interest may be present. Such apparent conflicts can do as much damage as actual ones, undermining the credibility of research, scholarship, or University financial decisions, and must be avoided.

    Conflicts of interest may exist with respect to University financial decisions in which the individual is involved, for example, regarding investments, loans, purchases or sales of goods or services, and financial accounting decisions. They may also exist with respect to non-financial University matters, including in particular the conduct of research, the care of patients, the protection of human research subjects, and the treatment of students and colleagues. Conflicts may also exist with respect to matters with both financial and non-financial implications, such as decisions about the use of University equipment and facilities and the negotiation of research agreements and license agreements.


    Faculty and Staff
    All individuals employed by McNeese State University.

    Immediate Family
    As the term relates to a public servant means his or her children, spouses of children, brothers, sisters, spouses of his brothers and sisters, parents, spouse, and the parents of his spouse (L.R.S. 42:1102).

    Financial Interest
    Any relationship, including but not limited to consulting, employment, managerial, and fiduciary relationships, entered into by the employee or his or her family, other than employment by the University, which could result in financial gain for the employee or his or her family.

    Significant Financial Interest

    Relates to anything of monetary value, including but not limited to, salary or other payments for services (e.g., consulting fees or honoraria); equity interests (e.g. stocks, stock options, or other ownership interest); intellectual property rights (e.g., patents, copyrights and royalties from such rights).  The term does not include:

    1. Salary, royalties, or other remuneration from McNeese;
    2. Any ownership interests in McNeese, if the institution is an applicant under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program;
    3. Income from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by public or nonprofit entities;
    4. Income from service on advisory committees or review panels for public or nonprofit entities;

    Conflict of Commitment
    A conflict of commitment occurs when an employee's commitment to external activities adversely affects his or her capacity to meet University responsibilities. This form of conflict is easily defined and recognized since it involves a perceptible reduction of the individual's time and energy devoted to University activities. Obligations to the University are not discharged solely by teaching classes; individuals must be available to their students outside the classroom, participate on committees and in other University activities, supervise undergraduate and graduate students, and participate in research and scholarly pursuits.   Any relationship with an outside organization that requires frequent or prolonged absence from McNeese represents a conflict of commitment that must be avoided.  It is a violation of State and institutional policy for employees to make use of McNeese property or other resources, including time, to advance personal interests or activities during the course of their employment at McNeese.  Please see University of Louisiana System policy on Outside Employment of College and University Employees and section 214 of the Faculty Staff Handbook titled Outside Employment and Consulting.

    Research Involving the Use of Human Subjects

    The University has special responsibilities as mandated by 1991 Federal Policies for the Protection of Human Subjects (called the "common rule") adopted by the Federal government and set forth in 45 CFR 46 (rev. March 1983) and as revised August 1991 to participants in human subject research and must ensure that its financial relationships do not compromise its primary obligations to them.  It is paramount that humans who volunteer as participants in clinical studies are assured that no financial bias, positive or negative, is influencing the recruitment, trials, gathering and interpreting of data, or the impartiality of the reporting of the outcome of the clinical study.  If financial conflicts of interest exist, obviously they must be addressed in the most conservative manner to ensure human research participants that the studies are adhering to the highest ethical standards.

    Further, the public safety consequences of research in some nonclinical research areas should also be recognized when outside financial interests could influence research design, conduct, or reporting. For example, engineering research leading to development, testing, and commercialization of new materials can involve human research volunteers and put them at risk. There are also research projects in social and behavioral studies where financial conflicts may be sensitive. Investigators whose human participant research is considered less than minimal risk-i.e., the prospect of harm to the individual person in the course of participating in the research is low-may not be subjected to the same "zero tolerance" standard that high-risk clinical studies have warranted.


    Procurement of Goods and Services from Corporations in which the University has a Financial Interest

    Employees who make decisions about purchasing or contracting for goods or services received by the University should not have relationships with, or financial interests in, outside Vendors or suppliers that conflict with, or appear to conflict with, their duty to act in the University's best interests when purchasing or contracting on behalf of the University.

    Purchasing goods and services from companies that sponsor research at the University, or who are licensees of University technology, can raise issues similar to those raised by large gifts from commercial sponsors.

  2. Guidelines for Identifying Conflicts of Interest and Conflicts of Commitment

    Identifying a conflict of interest and conflict of commitment is not a simple task. The following is a partial list of activities or actions that merit case-by-case examination to determine whether they create a conflict of interest or conflict of commitment that should either be managed appropriately or eliminated.

    1. Consulting activities.
    2. The purchase of goods or services from businesses in which the employee, or immediate family, has a financial interest or, as a result of such purchase, may directly benefit.
    3. Receipt of gifts, gratuities, loans or special favors (including trips or speaker's fees) from research sponsors or vendors.
    4. Receipt of significant compensation for a position in a company or for consulting with a company, or holding significant equity in a company, that supports the research or teaching activities of the employee.
    5. Receipt of significant compensation for a position in a company or for consulting with a company, or holding significant equity in a company if that company operates in the field of research of the employee.
    6. Holding of an ownership interest by the employee, or the employee's family, in any real or personal property leased or purchased by the University.
    7. Holding of a significant equity, royalty or debt instrument interest by the employee, or the employee's family, in any entity providing to the University financial support, including research or other support or services, when such support will benefit the employee or persons supervised, directly or indirectly, by the employee.
    8. Receipt, directly to the employee from non-University sources, of cash, services or equipment provided in support of the employee's University activities.  According to the McNeese State University Faculty/Staff Handbook (Section 130), employees should not accept anything of value from individuals or companies that are in financial relationships or would like to be in financial relationships with the university. 
    9. Memberships on boards of directors, committees, advisory groups (or similar bodies) of governmental non-profit or for-profit entities.
    10. Limiting the rights to publish the results of research and scholarly activity.
    11. Creating the impression that the university has sanctioned the outside activity.
    12. Undermining the faculty member's responsibility to students (example- limitations on the student's right to publish results in a thesis).
    13. Overextending ownership and intellectual property rights.
    14. Use of information received as a University employee for personal purposes.
    15. Performing activities that interfere with institutional/State policies or job expectations as a McNeese employee:
      1. An individual should not receive remuneration for the conduct of his or her research and scholarly activities at McNeese or other McNeese activity except through University channels. 
      2. An individual should not conduct research at McNeese or carry out other McNeese business under circumstances in which a reasonable person would infer that the McNeese activity could have been distorted by the desire for or expectation of direct or indirect external economic advantage.
      3.  McNeese researchers, including students, must not be precluded from publishing their work by agreements with external sponsors or on account of the interest of an external organization in which a faculty/staff mentor or supervisor has an economic interest.
      4. Undergraduate and Graduate students must not be held to non-disclosure of any aspect of their work in their meetings with individuals at McNeese. 
      5. McNeese facilities, equipment, and personnel should be used only for McNeese activities and purposes, except when other uses are specifically authorized by the University. 
      6. An individual should not participate directly in the negotiation of research agreements, license agreements, equipment purchases, contracts or other arrangements between the University and an organization in which the individual has a financial interest.  Such agreements or activities must be coordinated with the Office of Research Services and Sponsored Programs.

  3. Disclosure
    All McNeese employees must complete on an annual basis an Outside Employment/Income, Conflict of Interest, and Conflict of Commitment Disclosure Form.

    All employees must complete the disclosure form each year and must update this form if there are any significant changes in outside interests or commitments or McNeese position during the year.  All employees have a responsibility to report on an annual and ad hoc basis when professional activities, financial interests and relationships could have, or could be perceived to have,  an impact on his/her University responsibilities.


    The Form requires the individual to report any and all leadership roles, secondary commitments and financial interests, as well as any and all leadership roles, secondary commitments and financial interests that the individual's immediate family may have that could reasonably be expected to affect, or appear to affect, the professional judgment of a McNeese employee.


    Faculty and Staff must submit completed disclosure forms to their immediate supervisor. Immediate supervisors must review and sign every disclosure form received from each employee before submitting to the Dean/Administrative Supervisor responsible for their unit. Deans (in consultation with their department heads where appropriate) and Administrative supervisors will review and forward to the Vice President/President responsible for their units the following items:(i) the completed Disclosure Form, (ii) a Disclosure Review and Management Plan concerning the management of any disclosed conflicts, and (iii) a list of the names of individuals who fail to provide a disclosure form. Vice Presidents/President will review disclosures and management plans, and forward all forms with apparent conflicts of interest to the Committee on Conflict of Interest for evaluation.

    Newly hired or affiliated employees must submit an Outside Employment/Income, Conflict of Interest, and Conflict of Commitment Disclosure Form within the first three months of employment or affiliation, and must thereafter comply with the annual filing deadline each year.


    The following are a few examples of which an employee must update his/her disclosure:

    Special Disclosure Requirements for Grant Proposal Submission

    Employees should review the Office of Research Services and Sponsored Program's "Conflict of Interest Policy Related to Externally Sponsored Projects" and the associated "Conflict of Interest Assurance and Disclosure Form for Externally Sponsored Projects" for disclosure requirements related to external funding.

    Conflict of Interest (COI) Committee

    If an initial determination is made that there may be a potential for conflict of interest covered by this policy, then the disclosure packet will be referred to the Conflict of Interest Committee (COI). Committee members are appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Faculty will be selected from a cross section of academic disciplines that can add to the discussion of issues of management or research such as philosophy, nursing, social science, science, engineering, senior faculty members who are active in research, as well as those with some experience in consulting relationships and industry sponsored research or start-up companies.  Additionally, the committee will include the Director of Research, and the Internal Auditor will be a resource member.  Primary responsibilities of the COI are evaluation of the disclosure and approval of the management plan or conditional approval with amendments, as well as monitoring management plans for the purposes of overseeing compliance with the conflict of interest or conflict of commitment policy.  The responsibilities of monitoring may include: 1) reviewing publications and presentations for accurate disclosure and/or data integrity; 2) meeting with the PI of the research project and the scientific collaborators, and the responsible Department Head/Dean on an as needed basis; 3) reporting to the appropriate Vice President/President at least annually with respect to the management of the conflicts; and 4) reporting any significant concerns it identifies to the appropriate Vice President/President immediately.   A recordkeeping system will be maintained for all disclosures.

    Conflict of Interest or Conflict of Commitment Management Plan

    In many cases, a discussion between the reviewer/s and employee can result in steps taken by the employee to eliminate or mitigate the conflict of interest or conflict of commitment. The Dean/Administrative supervisor or his/her designee will designate an individual with sufficient knowledge regarding the potential conflict to draft a conflict management plan and forward it to the appropriate Vice President/President for review and approval.  The Vice President/President will review and forward to the COI for further review and deliberation.  While each case will present unique circumstances, there may be certain management components that can be adapted to each case, and it will be important to maintain an appropriate degree of consistency in each plan. Written plans may consist of a description of the potential conflict, the delineation of criteria that may lead to risk, the justification for proceeding with management (vs. elimination of the conflict), and the management strategies addressing each of these criteria and the requirements for modification and updating the plan.  The following are examples of conditions or restrictions that can be put into place to either manage or eliminate conflicts:


    The committee shall recommend what conditions or restrictions, if any, should be imposed by the institution to manage actual or potential conflicts of interest arising from disclosed significant financial interests.  Each Vice President/President, in consultation with the COI, will give final approval of the plan and is responsible for overseeing their area for implementation of this policy and assuring ongoing compliance with its terms.


    Each Vice President/President may, given the recommendations of the committee and in consultation with appropriate individuals, decide that given its financial interest it will

    Criteria for deciding what is unallowable and what can be conditionally allowed may include but is not limited to:

    The extent and nature of the involvement

    1. He/she develops or discovers a conflict of interest/commitment or potential conflict of interest/commitment;
    2. There is a change in financial interest which could affect research or scholarly activities being undertaken;
    3. A disclosure is requested by the dean of his/her college or immediate supervisor;
    4. He/she is involved with a grant or other externally supported project that requires disclosure;
    5. A disclosure is required by Federal regulation;
    6. Any other changes in financial or business interests and relationships.
    7. At the time a grant application is submitted, any individual who has a responsibility for the design, conduct, or reporting of activities proposed for external funding must comply with Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment reporting.
    8. The Principal Investigator and all co-Principal Investigators must make a reasonable search and disclose to the University all current financial interests and interests that existed in the past three (3) years in specified categories that would or might reasonably appear to be affected by the activities or to impact his or her work on the project or duties at the University.
      • Higher reporting standards exist for those proposing or participating in a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) or Public Health Service (PHS).  Further, special conditions pertain to projects funded by CDBG like 24 CFR 570.611 (b) Conflicts prohibited. The general rule is that no persons (employee, agent, consultant, officer, elected official or appointed official of the recipient, or of any designated public agencies, or of subrecipients that are receiving funds under this part) of this section who exercise or have exercised any functions or responsibilities with respect to CDBG activities assisted under this part, or who are in a position to participate in a decision making process or gain inside information with regard to such activities,
        1. May obtain a financial interest or benefit from a CDBG-assisted activity,
        2. Or have a financial interest in any contract, subcontract, or agreement with respect to a CDBG-assisted activity, or with respect to the proceeds of the CDBG-assisted activity,
        3. Either for themselves or those with whom they have business or immediate family ties,
        4. During their tenure or for one year thereafter.
    9. Public disclosures of significant financial interest,
    10. Monitoring of research by independent reviewers,
    11. Disqualification from participation in all or a portion of the research funded by the agency,
    12. Divestiture of significant financial interests, or
    13. Severance of relationships that create actual or potential conflicts
    14. Not enter into sponsored research with an entity,
    15. Not purchase goods from an entity, or
    16. Not allow secondary commitments or activities that compromise the University's reputation or integrity
    17. Require revisions to the management plan or
    18. Terminate ongoing research studies, scholarly activities, or the University's business relationship to the activity to address concerns relating to research objectivity or subject safety, or
    19. Other appropriate action.
    20. The openness of the activity
    21. The freedom of communication about the activity
    22. The control of the intellectual property arising from the activity, and
    23. The use of university resources, including the involvement of students.

  4. Audit and Sanctions for Non-Compliance
    Appeal of COI decision

    An employee who disagrees with the committee's findings or required management strategies may appeal in writing to the Vice President/President responsible for that individual's unit. A copy of the appeal must be sent to the Conflict of Interest Committee. The applicable Vice President/President may agree with the COI Committee's findings and/or management strategy, or may amend such findings and/or strategy. The applicable Vice President/President shall promptly notify the individual and the COI in writing of the conclusions of his or her review, including the actions that must be taken by the individual to comply with this policy. Upon receipt of the applicable Vice President/President's written report, the individual must promptly comply with the actions specified in that report.

    Non-Compliance

    At the request of a Vice President/President of the University, an employee may be audited for the purpose of verifying whether the individual truthfully and accurately disclosed his or her leadership roles, secondary commitments, and financial interests in the annual Outside Employment/Income, Conflict of Interest, and Conflict of Commitment Disclosure Form (and in any updates thereto), and for the purpose of verifying whether the individual is complying with the actions, if any, that were specified in the written report of the COI Committee (or the applicable Vice President/President where there has been an appeal). An employee who fails to file a completed Outside Employment/Income, Conflict of Interest, and Conflict of Commitment Disclosure Form with the COI Committee or applicable Vice President/President by the annual deadline, or who fails to comply with any other action specified by the COI Committee or applicable Vice President/President, will be subject to potential sanctions in accordance with applicable University policy and procedures. These sanctions may include formal admonition or censure; restrictions on the individual's external professional relationships; restrictions on the individual's supervision of other faculty, staff, students, and/or trainees; restrictions on the individual's research activities; elimination of the individual's research activities; removal of the individual from University administrative positions; suspension; non-renewal of appointment; and/or dismissal.


Notes

A number of external organizations have developed policies requiring disclosure of potential and actual conflicts of interest. In particular, the Public Health Service ("PHS") and the National Science Foundation ("NSF") have issued proposed or final rules on this subject. Research sponsored by PHS, NSF or any other Federal agency must be conducted in accordance with applicable Federal regulations.

This policy implements recommendations and guidelines issued by AAU Report on Individual and Institutional Financial Conflict of Interest, AAMC-AAU Report on Managing Conflicts of Interest, AAMC Guidelines on Individual Financial Conflict of Interest, AAU/AAMC-Protecting Patients, Preserving Integrity, Advancing Health: Accelerating the Implementation of COI Policies in Human Subjects Research , ACE White Paper Providing Guidance on Dealing with Campus Conflicts of Interest, COGR Recognizing and Managing Personal Financial Conflicts of Interest,1940Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure and Interpretive Comments of 1970, as well as the requirements of agencies such as NSF, NIH, and CDBG and language outlined by Harvard University, Yale University, Tulane University, and WUSTL. This policy statement, effective October 18, 2010, replaces all previous written, unwritten, or uncollected University conflict of interest policies.

Association of American Universities Framework Document on Managing Financial Conflicts of Interest

Other Resources- This document reflects the language and practices of such universities as listed below:

Harvard University

Tulane University

Yale University

Outside employment procedures