Conflict of Interest - Staff Employees
A potential or actual conflict of interest exists when a person may benefit financially from a decision s/he could make in his/her role with the university, including indirect benefits such as to family members or businesses with which the person is closely associated, particularly if those interests or commitments are not disclosed. Although not all conflicting interests are prohibited, those that involve the person’s self-gain or gain by a third party to whom the person is related or closely affiliated may serve to compromise the person’s primary obligation to the university.
- No employee shall, for personal gain or for the gain of others, use any information not available to the public that was obtained as a result of service to the university (e.g., selling or divulging university phone records, etc., to outside parties).
- No employee shall solicit or accept for personal use, or for the use of others, any gift, favor, loan, gratuity, reward, promise of employment, actual employment or any other thing of monetary value that might influence or appear to influence that person’s judgment or conduct regarding university business or policy.
- Employees may accept occasional unsolicited gifts or favors (e.g., business lunches, Christmas baskets, etc.) provided the gifts or favors have a cumulative market value of under $250 or an individual market value of under $50, are customary in the industry, and will not influence or appear to influence that person’s judgment or conduct. The restrictions in this paragraph regarding a specific gift or favor may be waived, in writing, by the appropriate officer or by the Chair of the Fiduciary Committee or the Board of Trustees. Such an exemption must be in writing with a statement of the pertinent reasons for exemption.
Full and timely disclosure of potential or actual conflicts of interest will sensitize the entire university community to these issues and will promote resolution of actual conflicts. Each employee is expected to discuss with his/her supervisor any affiliation, interest or other matter that presents a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest.
Potential and Actual Conflict of Interest Disclosure
Each employee shall disclose any affiliation with any outside organization which may lead to the appearance of or actual conflict of interest as soon as s/he becomes aware of the conflict or potential conflict. Such an affiliation would ordinarily include (a) the holding of the position of officer, director, trustee, partner, employee or regularly retained agent of such organization: or (b) the expected receipt in the current or a future year of remuneration for services from such organization in excess of $500. For example, any employee who, in the course of his/her duties for the university, has control or influence over any decision to engage in a business transaction with such an affiliated outside organization, must disclose any relationships to that organization by him/herself or a close relative prior to the transaction. Additionally, any employee whose affiliation with another organization may impinge on that employee’s availability or ability to do his/her job must disclose the affiliation.
Close relatives include spouses, employee’s or spouse’s parents, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters (whether whole or half blood), children (whether natural or adopted), grandchildren, great grandchildren, as well as the spouses of brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Immediately upon adoption of this policy, all existing employees at the director or equivalent level, and any employees hired into positions at those levels, will complete the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form available at http://think.stedwards.edu/hr/node/184 and submit it to the appropriate vice president. Upon approval by the vice president, the signed form will be submitted to Human Resources.
All other employees who currently have, anticipate having, or develop an affiliation as described by this policy will complete the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form. The completed, signed disclosure must be reviewed and signed by the employee’s direct supervisor and submitted to Human Resources. The direct supervisor, in consultation with his/her supervisor (up to director, dean or equivalent level) is charged with determining if an actual conflict exists and making a determination as to any restriction that may be required, such as a prohibition from participating in deliberations and decisions related to the conflict of interest.
All employees are responsible for promptly providing notification to their supervisor, director, dean or appropriate vice president of any instances of actual or perceived conflict of interests whenever they may occur. In addition, every individual with supervisory responsibility is responsible for reporting potential or existing conflicts involving other personnel subject to this policy of which the individual may become aware. Failure to disclose any potential or existing conflict of interests will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Note1: Board of Trustees, Officers and Key Employees are covered by a different Conflict of Interest Policy and must comply with its guidelines and directives. Faculty are covered by the Conflict of Interest Policy described in the Faculty Manual.
Note2: This policy replaces the Secondary Employment Policy. While directors and equivalent employees must complete the Disclosure Form upon publication of this policy regardless, other employees need to complete it only if they may have an actual or potential conflict. Those staff members who completed the Secondary Employment form do not have to complete the Disclosure Form unless they will answer yes to any of the non-employment related questions.