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Johnna Doyle Deputy Legal Counsel The Colorado State University System Conflict of Interest And Commitment Disclosure and Management.

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Presentation on theme: "Johnna Doyle Deputy Legal Counsel The Colorado State University System Conflict of Interest And Commitment Disclosure and Management."— Presentation transcript:

1 Johnna Doyle Deputy Legal Counsel The Colorado State University System Conflict of Interest And Commitment Disclosure and Management

2 Working Together, Creating Knowledge Conflicts of interest, or at least potential conflicts of interest, never will be entirely removed from our modern and increasingly complex society. The goal for universities and companies should be to recognize and pragmatically manage conflict-of- interest issues in a way that preserves the core values of academia and fosters the benefits of innovation for all society. -- Business-Higher Education Forum, American Council on Education & the National Alliance of Business University-Industry Research Collaboration Initiative

3 Why should we care so much about conflict of interest?

4 Undisclosed or unmanaged COI can: Undermine the public trust in CSU-Pueblo Compromise data and/or interpretation of research results Have an adverse impact on students’ progress toward degree Create hard feelings/problems in the workplace Violate State and Federal laws

5 Colorado State Law C.R.S. 18-8-308 A public servant commits failing to disclose a conflict of interest if he exercises any substantial discretionary function in connection with a government contract, purchase, payment or other pecuniary transaction without have given seventy two hours’ actual advance written notice to the secretary of state and to the governing body of the government which employs the public servant of the existence of a known potential conflicting interest of the public servant in the transaction with reference to which he is about to act in his official capacity. A “potential conflicting interest” exists when the public servant is a director, present, general manager, or similar executive officer or own or control directly or indirectly a substantial interest in any nongovernmental entity participating in the transaction. Failure to disclose is a call 2 misdemeanor


7 Potential for Real or Perceived Conflict of Interest Arise: Financial/ Other Transaction Equity or stock in an outside entity Benefit from a family member’s company that provides services to university Gifts and awards Nonfinancial Personal Advancement Career Advancement Favoritism Scientific Bias

8 Potential for Real or Perceived Conflict of Interest Arise: Conflict of Commitment Opting to submit a proposal through an external entity instead of university w/o cause Accepting external commitments that significantly burden/interfere with primary university obligations Institutional COI External relationships with significant financial or other impact to the university – funding research at the university – making substantial gifts to the university – funding endowed chairs at the university – developing/marketing IP licensed from CSU-Pueblo

9 University Policy & Guidance Conflict of Interest/Conflict of Commitment Public employment and appointment is a public trust, and any effort to realize personal gain through official conduct, other than as compensation set through established processes, or disclosure of confidential information, is a violation of that trust. All decisions of the Board of Governors, the University and an individual faculty member in their role as faculty are to be made solely on the basis of a desire to promote the best interest of the institution. From Section Handbook

10 Conflict of Commitment A conflict arising to the degree to which an employee’s outside activities overlap with his/her workplace obligations; exists when a faculty member or admin pro undertakes external commitments that substantially interfere with his/her primary obligations and commitments to the University.

11 Disclosure of COI When are disclosures to be made? Upon hire Annually--by October 1 Event—By occurrence.

12 How are Conflicts Disclosed? Conflict of Interest Form Submit to Department Chair for Review If a COI then management plan submitted Plan goes to the Dean for review Provost has final approval of plan

13 Management Plans Should describe the situation giving rise to the actual or potential conflict of interest and consider addressing the following issues as appropriate to the specific situation: Conflict of Interest Summary Role in Contracts Disclosures Use of University Resources within University Policy. Regulatory Approvals Reaffirm Commitment to CSU- Pueblo Conflicts related to student/advisor roles Designate Administrator for Oversight Responsibility Documentation of work performed provides for others to replicate, evaluate quality and outcome Reporting Timelines

14 Supervisors’ Role: Review annual survey responses Question answers that don’t seem right or ask for additional information Sign form to certify that information is true and correct to the best of Supervisor’s knowledge

15 Actual Conflicts of Interest The initial or orientation of a faculty member’s research with the use of University resources to serve the needs of a private firm or public agency without approval of the University. Transmission to a private firm or use of personal gain of the information, records, results, material or products which have been acquired through University research or employment when such disclosures are not made generally available. Failure to inform the appropriate office of the University about licensing agreements and inventions in which the University might have equity.

16 Actual Conflicts of Interest cont’d The use of University resources in sponsored research or in consulting by an employee without referring to the appropriate administrative office the questions whether appropriate costs should be defrayed by the outside agency. The use of students, without recompense from salary or academic credit, for work on behalf of an outside agency.

17 Actual Conflicts of Interest cont’d The use of the University’s name, facilities, or equipment for personal purposes, or for which the employee receives remuneration for private gain. Personal use of University resources to support political candidates or non-profit organizations even though not for remuneration. The purchase of equipment, instruments, or supplies for University teaching or research from a private firm with which the employee is affiliated.

18 Actual Conflicts of Interest Cont’d Negotiation or influence upon the negotiation of contracts between the University and outside organizations with which an employee has consulting or other significant relations of material benefit to the employee. Hiring of members of the immediate family by employees.

19 Actual Conflicts of Interest cont’d Adoption of one’s own textbook or other teaching aids, which would entail acceptance of royalties as personal income. Certain types of outside employment as offers of employment involving assignments that have the potential to compromise the institutional position of the faculty member. For example teaching courses for another institution that directly compete with courses at CSU-Pueblo.

20 Actual Conflicts of Interest cont’d Performing work for clients for pay when the work in questions falls within the regular assignment of the faculty member. Any outside relationship that conflict with the teaching, scholarly, and services responsibilities of the faculty member.

21 Actual Conflicts of Interest cont’d Consulting relationships involving activities with the potential to compromise the institutional position of the faculty member. Financial interest in companies and other kinds of organizations doing business with the University. Financial gain to the individual that results from involvement in University decisions.

22 Wrap-Up Conflicts of interest are not necessarily unwarranted, unethical, or illegal; nor are they always avoidable. Disclosure/management protects the individual and the institution. As entrepreneurial activities increase so will the opportunity for real/perceived COI. COI management is an ongoing process; one plan doesn’t fit all. Failure to identify, disclose, and managed COI appropriately can damage careers and undermine reputations.

23 Bottom line Use common sense When in doubt, DISCLOSE!!!!

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