CHAPTER SIX: 6240
OTHER GENERAL INSTITUTIONAL POLICIES
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST OR COMMITMENT
PREAMBLE: In June 2005, President White created
an ad-hoc Committee on Ethical Guidance and Oversight charged with reviewing,
revising and developing policies on conflicts of interest, nepotism and ethical
conduct. As a result, this policy was completely rewritten,
FSH 6241 and 6242
were created, and changes were made to FSH 3170 and
3260 in fall of 2007. Further information
may be obtained from General Counsel (885-6125) or the Office of the Faculty
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST OR COMMITMENT. In addition to
the requirements set forth below, all employees of the UI are also subject to
the Conflict of Interest and Ethical Conduct Policy of the
Board of Regents,
section II. Q., and to the Idaho ethics statutes applicable to public employees.
The Idaho ethics statutes are set out in the Idaho Ethics in Government Manual,
published by the Idaho Attorney General and available at
To the extent there is a conflict between this policy and the Board’s policy or
the statutes, the statutes and the Board’s policy shall control, in order of
C. Conflicts of Interest or Commitment Activities
D. Conflicts of Interest or Commitment Reporting and
A-1. Conflicts of Commitment refers to an
individual’s distribution of effort between one’s university appointment and
one’s outside activities.
A-2. Conflicts of Interest refers to an
individual’s involvement in activities in which financial or other personal
considerations may directly and significantly affect an employee’s
professional judgment in exercising any University duty or responsibility.
A-3. Apparent Conflict refers to an
individual’s involvement in outside professional activities, outside
employment. personal direct or indirect financial or other interests, or
acceptance of benefits from third parties that creates a perceived conflict
between the University’s mission and an individual’s private interests,
whether or not there is an actual conflict of commitment or interest.
An appearance of conflict exists when a reasonable person
would conclude from the circumstances that the employee’s ability to act in
the University’s best interests or perform contractual obligations is
compromised by outside interests. For example, an employee may have
an outside business interest that appears to influence judgment in
University decisions. There may not be an actual conflict, but the
situation may have the appearance of compromising a person’s professional
B. Policy. Employees
are expected to devote their primary professional, time and energy to the
University and to the mission of teaching, research and public service. Outside
activities and financial interests shall be reported on an annual basis in
accordance with this policy and must be arranged so as not to interfere with the
primacy of these University duties.
B-1. Employees shall avoid situations that may
result in a conflict of interest or commitment with the potential to
directly and significantly affect the University’s interests, compromise
objectivity in carrying out University responsibilities, or otherwise
compromise the performance of University responsibilities. Examples of
prohibited conflicts are set out in section C-3. Situations that may be
managed to avoid conflict are set out in section B-2; such situations may
proceed if approved in writing by the president or the president’s designee,
and subject to an authorized management plan that prescribes the necessary
steps and management to avoid the conflict.
B-2. University employees who have apparent
conflicts are expected to disclose them in compliance with this policy. In
all matters, employees are expected to take appropriate steps, including
consultation if issues are unclear, to avoid both conflicts of interest and
commitment and the appearance of such conflicts.
B-3. In furtherance of this policy, UI requires
that, absent circumstances that warrant sole source contracting as set out
by the University’s Purchasing Department, competitive bidding must be used
in the procurement of materials, supplies, equipment, and contractual
services over $5,000 in one time or cumulative value.
C. Conflicts of Interest
or Commitment Activities.
Activities that may involve conflict of interest or commitment fall into three
general categories that differentiate relationships according to potential for
adverse impact. These include but are not limited to:
C-1. Activities that are routinely allowable and
are not required to be disclosed pursuant to this policy include:
a. Membership in and service to
professional associations and learned societies; membership on professional
review or advisory panels, presentations, participation in conferences,
reviewing or editing scholarly publications, and service to accreditation
bodies as long as they do not conflict or interfere with the timely
performance of primary University duties. These activities are permitted
even if they are performed for nominal honoraria or reimbursement of
expenses, provided that payment or reimbursement is not in conflict with any
other applicable University, State, or federal policy, rule or regulation.
b. Receiving royalties for published
scholarly works and other materials or for inventions pursuant to the
University’s Patent and Copyright Policies.
C-2. Activities that may be allowable following
disclosure and development of an authorized management plan include but are not
a. Research Activities.
1. Participating in University research involving a
technology owned by or contractually obligated (by license, option,
etc.) to a business in which the individual or a family member has a
consulting relationship that meets the definition of significant
2. Receiving through contract or gift
University-sponsored research support (whether in dollars or in kind)
for research from a business in which the individual or a family member
has a consulting relationship that meets the definition of significant
3. Participating in University research involving a
technology owned by or contractually obligated (by license, option,
etc.) to a business in which the individual or a family member holds a
significant financial interest, excluding a consulting relationship.
4. Receiving, through contract or grant, research
support under University auspices (whether in dollars or in kind) for
research from a business in which the individual or a family member has
a significant financial interest, excluding a consulting relationship.
5. Assigning students, postdoctoral fellows, or
other trainees to University projects sponsored by a business in which
the individual or a family member has a significant financial interest.
6. Serving on the board of directors or scientific
advisory board of a business from which that individual or a family
member receives research support under University auspices or with which
the University has a substantial contractual relation know to the
7. Assuming an executive position in a
not-for-profit business engaged in commercial or research activities in
a field related to the individual’s University responsibilities.
b. Other Activities.
1. Possessing a significant financial interest in a
business that competes with the services provided by the University as
part of its academic, research, or training mission.
2. Assuming an executive position having a
significant financial interest in a for-profit business engaged in
activities in an area related to one’s University responsibilities.
3. Possessing a significant financial interest in a
business that is in a field related to one’s University
4. Engaging in any other activity that has the
potential for creating a conflict of interest or commitment as defined
5. Ownership of or equity in a corporation used
solely for one’s consulting activities.
6. Requiring or recommending one’s own or one’s
related individual’s (as defined in FSH
6241) textbook or other teaching aids, materials, software, equipment,
or the like to be used in connection with University instructional
programs from which the person receives income.
C-3. Activities that are presumptively not
allowable include but are not limited to:
a. Public Disclosure Activities
1. Accepting support for University
research under terms and conditions that results be held confidential,
unpublished, or significantly delayed in publication.
2. Publishing or formally presenting
results of research under University auspices, or providing expert commentary on
a subject, without simultaneously disclosing any significant financial interest
relating to such results or such subject.
3. Unauthorized use
of privileged information acquired in connection with one’s University
responsibilities. This is not intended to apply to standard publication
b. Administrative Responsibilities
Taking administrative action in the course and scope of University
responsibilities that is beneficial to a business in which the
individual or a family member has a significant financial interest.
Influencing the negotiation of contracts between the University and
an outside organization with which the individual or a family member
has a significant financial interest.
1. Assigning or allowing the participation of students in any consulting
relationship of the individual that meets the definition of significant
referrals of University work to an external business or professional office in
which such individual or family member has a significant financial interest.
3. Associating one’s name or one’s work with an external activity in such a way as
to profit monetarily by trading on the reputation or good will of, or implying
sponsorship or endorsement by, the University. Mere identification of the
University as one’s employer and of one’s position at the University is
permitted, provided that such identification is not used in a manner that
implies sponsorship or endorsement by the University.
4. Accepting or soliciting any gift favor, or service that might influence or
appear to influence the employee in the discharge of his or her official duties,
or that the employee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is being offered
with the intent to influence their conduct. Notwithstanding this prohibition,
employees may accept trivial benefits that are not in excess of $50.00 provided
that such benefit is incident to personal, professional or business contacts and
involves no substantial risk of undermining their impartiality.
D. Conflicts of Interest
or Commitment Reporting and
D-1. Disclosure of Potential Conflicts: All
employees are required to complete and submit a Disclosure of Potential
Conflicts of Interest and Commitment on an annual basis whether or not the
employee has any situation that presents an actual or potential conflict to
disclose. The disclosure form shall be included with the performance
evaluation. Persons who disclose a conflict on their performance evaluation
shall complete Form 6240A. An updated
Form 6240A, must be submitted
throughout the year within 30 days of any change that arises that may either
create a potential conflict, or eliminate a potential conflict previously
a. Employees without potential conflicts: All
employees shall complete the disclosure included in the performance
evaluation on an annual basis. If an employee does not have any actual or
apparent conflicts to report, then the employee need only complete the
disclosure that is included with the performance evaluation.
b. Employees with potential conflicts: Any
employee who has an actual or apparent conflict of interest or commitment to
disclose must complete Form 6240A and include a proposed management plan
with the submission of their completed disclosure form to their supervisor
or department head/chair. The proposed management plan must be reviewed and
signed off on by the supervisor and the dean or unit head, and submitted to
the Committee on Ethical Guidance and Oversight. The committee shall review
the proposed plan and make a recommendation to the president or the
president’s designee as to whether to approve the proposed plan and allow
the situation to proceed under the management plan. The president or
president’s designee shall make the final decision of whether to approve a
proposed plan. The committee during its review shall work with the
employee and the employee’s supervisor and/or unit head or dean to amend the
proposed plan as needed. The management plan must be approved by the
president or president’s designee prior to any party thereto implementing
any part of a proposed plan.
D-2. Disclosure of Outside Employment and
Consulting: All employees who work more than 20 hours per week for the
university and who have outside employment of more than 20 hours per week or
who perform consulting for compensation, pursuant to FSH 3260, must complete
the Disclosure of Outside Employment or Consulting for Compensation form
(Form 3260B/6240B on an annual basis. An updated Form
3260B/6240B must be
submitted throughout the year if a person accepts outside employment or
D-3. Disclosure forms are available
Disclosure of Conflicts
(Management Plan Template)
Annual Disclosure of Outside
D-4. The membership and staff of the Committee
on Ethical Guidance and Oversight shall be appointed by the president.
Membership of the Committee shall be made up of a minimum of four faculty
members and two staff members. Committee members shall serve a term of
three years, and may be appointed to consecutive terms. Staff to the
committee shall serve as directed by the president.
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