Conflict of Interest

April 1998
Chapter 1

GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION
Section: 1:140

Conflict of Interest

Effective:04/1998

Revised:  01/05/1990; 08/22/2018

Conflict of Interest

Policy

In accordance with the Collected Rule 330.015, 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.

Procedure for Disclosure

All faculty and exempt personnel are required to disclose outside interests, both paid and unpaid, annually and as new interests arise or changes occur.  All other employees regardless of title, position, or involvement in research activities shall disclose Outside Interest as such interests arise (e.g. transactional reporting) (CRR 330.015)

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 Interests must not interfere with the Employee’s University Responsibilities nor represent a conflict of interest that is not or cannot be Managed.  Exempt staff and faculty Employees shall disclose all Outside Interests annually, and shall disclose any changes or acquisition of a new Outside Interest, as such interests arise.   All other Employees shall disclose Outside Interests as such interests arise.

Grants and Contracts

When it is proposed that the University enter into (1) contracts for the sale of goods or services, or (2) research contracts or grants (CRR 420.030 and CRR 410.020), or (3) other contracts with individuals, private firms or business entities in which an Employee knows he or she has a direct or indirect financial interest, the following procedure shall be followed:

  1. Before the proposed contract is negotiated by the University, the Employee shall make a disclosure of such financial interest, in writing, which disclosure shall be forwarded to the official having contract approval authority.
  2. If there is a change in the financial interest of the Employee during the term of the contract, the change shall be disclosed immediately by the Employee, in writing, and forwarded to the official having contract approval authority.
  3. Except as provided in Paragraph 4, if the financial interest of the Employee in the private firm or business entity is such that it could influence the decision-making process of the private firm or business entity and the Employee could also influence the decision-making process of the University in entering into or performing the contract:

A. The University shall not enter into the contract or shall cancel the contract, if the terms of the contract so permit;

B. The University and Employee shall enter into a Conflict of Interest Management Plan which shall, among other things require that:

1. The Employee shall take such action as is necessary to remove her or him from a relationship with the private firm or business entity which could influence the decision-making process of the private firm or business entity; and/or

2. The University shall establish a procedure to remove any opportunity for the Employee to influence the entering into the contract by the University or the manner in which the contract is performed by the University.

  1. If the financial interest of the Employee is as an owner or employee in a private firm or business entity that is proposing to license or otherwise acquire University-owned intellectual property, then the University may enter into such transaction upon the approval of the applicable campus technology transfer office and Chief Research Officer, and upon the adoption of a Conflict of Interest Management Plan.

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 in writing. The chairperson/supervisor and her or his dean/director/supervisor must approve or disapprove in writing the proposed activity and such activity must be Managed.

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-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. Course instructors or any other Employee responsible for selecting, ordering, assigning course materials cannot accept Gifts, development grants, or other compensation from any company or organization for the adoption of course textbooks, software or other educational material.

  •  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. The chairperson/supervisor and dean/director/supervisor must approve or disapprove in writing the proposed activity.  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, confidential or proprietary information, intellectual property, or resources except as provided in the University Business Policy Manual (see Sections 6:060 Use of University Property & Equipment and 6:070 Use of University Equipment & Resources in Non-University Work), or any campus-specific policies.
  • 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.
  • Are not otherwise contrary to the best interest of the University.
  • Do not violate federal or state law.
  • Any conflicts are Managed.

Each division shall make an annual report to the Chancellor, vice president or other appropriate administrative officer indicating the aggregate time and compensation for each individual involved. Chancellor and vice presidents shall annually transmit these reports to the president (CRR 360.020).

 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, except for decisions made by the Chancellor in applying a sanction (CRR 330.015, Section A.3.), should be brought to resolution informally and at the lowest possible administrative level. Should attempts to resolve appeals informally fail, procedures set forth in CRR 370.010 and CRR 380.010, shall be followed. Appeals of sanctions issued by the Chancellor shall be governed by the procedures set forth in Section 370.010.C.3.b through 370.010.D.