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Business Policy and Procedure Manual
University of Missouri-Columbia
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April 1998
Chapter 1
GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION
Section: 1:140
Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest

The Conflict of Interest policy, approved by the Board of Curators January 5, 1990 (Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 330.015) follows. [See also 1:141 Conflict of Interest and Requirements for Public Disclosure.]

Conflict of Interest - General Provisions

Policy

University employees shall faithfully discharge their duties and shall refrain from knowingly engaging in any outside matters of financial interest incompatible with the impartial, objective and effective performance of their duties. They shall not realize personal gain in any form which would influence improperly the conduct of their University duties. They shall not knowingly use University property, funds, position or power for personal political gain. They shall inform their supervisors in writing of reasonably foreseen potential conflicts.

Sanctions

Conduct by an employee that violates the University's policies, regulations or rules pertaining to conflict of interest shall constitute breach of the employment contract and may lead to disciplinary action.

Use of Confidential Information

Employees shall not use confidential information about the University obtained by reason of their employment with intent to cause financial gain to themselves or unfair advantage for another person.

Outside Business Interests of University Personnel

An employee's outside employment or business activities and interests must not interfere with the employee's regular duties nor represent a conflict of interest.

Grants and Contracts

When it is proposed that the University Missouri enter into (1) contracts for the sale of goods or services, or (2) research contracts or grants, or (3) other contracts, including those for technological transfer, with private firms or corporations in which a University employee knows he or she has a direct or indirect financial interest, the following procedure shall be followed:

  1. Before the proposed contract is executed by the University, the University employee shall make a full disclosure shall be forwarded to the official having contract approval authority. This disclosure shall also be filed in a registry appropriately located for public scrutiny for a period of at least 10 days prior to the approval of the contract. [See 1:141 Conflict of Interest and requirements for Public Disclosure.]
  2. If there is a change in the financial interest of a University employee during the term of the contract, the change shall be reported immediately in writing, and forwarded to the official having contract approval authority; and shall also be filed as required in the above paragraph.
  3. If the financial interest of the University employee in the private firm or corporation is such that it could influence the decision-making process of the private firm or corporation, and the employee could also influence the decision-making process of the University in entering into or performing the contract:

    • The University shall not enter into the contract, or shall cancel the contract, if the terms of the contract so permit; or
    • The University employee shall take such action as is necessary to remove her or him from a relationship with the private firm or corporation that could influence the decision-making process of the private firm or corporation; or
    • The University shall establish a procedure to remove any opportunity for the University employee to influence the entering into the contract by the University of the manner in which the contract is performed by the University.

Overlapping Business Activities

Before an employee enters into a business activity that overlaps with the University's teaching, research or service missions, the employee shall make full disclosure to her or his immediate chairperson/supervisor, and such disclosure shall be filed as required in 1:141 Conflict of Interest and Requirements for Public Disclosure. The chairperson/supervisor and her or his dean/director/supervisor must approve or disapprove in writing the proposed activity.

Full-Time Employment: Faculty and Exempt Personnel

Full-time faculty and full-time exempt personnel may not be concurrently employed full-time with another employer.

NOTE: Effective September 1, 1983, an employee classified at least 75 percent full-time equivalence with an indicated appointment duration of at least six months and who is regularly scheduled to work a minimum of 30 hours per week is considered a full-time employee.

Teaching

An employee of the University who teaches either credit or non-credit courses not connected with the University may have a conflict of interest. To avoid conflicts of interest an employee must disclose the proposed teaching activity and secure written approval in advance from her or his department chairperson/supervisor and dean/director.

  • Approval for such teaching shall be granted unless the proposed teaching in not in the best interest of the University. In reaching the decision, the department chairperson/supervisor and dean/director should consider all relevant matters including such concerns as duplication of University courses or programs and accreditation standards.

Faculty-Authored Textbooks & Other Educational Materials

Textbooks, tapes, software and other materials authored by the course instructor may be assigned to be purchased by students for a course taught by the author if the royalties arising from the purchase of the assigned materials are returned to the University of Missouri, another educational institution, a charitable organization, or a not-for-profit foundation.

  • Any proceeds from other University uses of such materials, such as purchase by the library, shall be the property of the faculty member.

Faculty and Exempt Personnel Consultation

Consultation, whether income-producing or otherwise, is the application of professional and scholarly expertise in the external community. It is a significant means of professional improvement as well as a form of community service. However, consultation may, in some instances, also constitute a business interest requiring disclosure and approval when the entity for which the employee consults transacts business with the University or is in competition with the University, or where the consultation itself competes with the work of the University. In these instances the procedure in 1:141 Conflict of Interest and Requirements for Public Disclosure is applicable.

It is the policy of the University to permit consulting activities that:

  • Are related to the professional interest and development of the faculty member or other exempt person.
  • Do not interfere with regular duties.
  • Do not utilize University materials, facilities or resources except as provided in Sections 6:060 Use of University Property & Equipment and 6:070 Use of University Equipment & Resources in Non-University Work (UM Business Policy Manual, Section 405).
  • Are in agreement with the American Association of University Professors/American Council on Education (AAUP/ACE) Statement on Conflict of Interest and with the requirements of accreditation for the particular school or unit in question.
  • Do not compete with the work of the University, and are not otherwise contrary to the best interest of the University.
  • Do not violate federal or state law.
  • Do not represent a conflict of interest under other policies of the University.

NOTE: Each division shall make an annual report to the Chancellor, or appropriate Vice President, indicating the aggregate time and the nature of the service performed for each individual engaged in consulting, including the area of technological transfer. These reports shall be transmitted annually to the President.

Use of University Stationery

Official University stationery may not be used in outside business, personal and other private or political activities of employees. However, for use in such activities, faculty may have printed at their own expense personal business stationery carrying their academic title, University address and telephone number.

Use of University Logo

It is a violation of University policy to employ the name of the University or any of it graphic identification symbols in printed material intended to endorse or promote individual enterprises or to other wise enhance private gain without the written permission of the University President. [See also: 5:100 University Identification.]

Appeals

Appeals of decisions made under these procedures should be brought to resolution informally and at the lowest possible administrative level. Should attempts to resolve appeals informally fail, procedures set forth in Collected Rules and Regulations, Sections 370.010 and 380.010 shall be followed.