Responsible Office – Department:
Effective Date of Policy:
December 1, 2005
Daemen University’s policy is to comply with all laws and regulations affecting its activities. This policy on conflict of interest is intended to satisfy compliance requirements and guide University personnel in avoiding those situations that can result in a conflict of interest.
It is the policy of Daemen University that employees must discharge their duties in the best interests of the University to the extent permitted by law. Therefore, each employee must:
- Refrain from any activity or transaction that could influence or cause an employee not to act in the best interests of the University, including, without limitation, any business transaction or private arrangement for personal profit which arises out of or relates to a position of authority with the University or upon confidential information which is obtained by reason of such position of authority. For purposes of this policy “personal profit” means profit to the employee, any member of his or her immediate family (spouse, parents, children, siblings) and any entity with which he or she may be associated.
- Disclose any financial, ownership, or management interest in any entity engaged either in the delivery of educational services, or in the delivery of goods or services of any kind to the University.
- Refrain from participation in a transaction with the University which could result in personal profit except upon the written approval of the President or his designee.
- Disclose any personal activity or business opportunity which is within the scope of the activities of the University and refrain from pursuing or exploiting such opportunity except upon written approval of the President or his designee.
- For Faculty specifically, as referenced in the Faculty Handbook section VIII, “Faculty Responsibilities” subsection B, “Before contemplating outside or additional employment, University faculty members should assess the status of their professional preparation and activity. Full-time faculty members should be thoroughly and efficiently fulfilling their responsibilities as stated in Section ‘A’ above. Chairpersons are also expected to fulfill their administrative obligations. For those in full compliance with the above, additional employment of one course per semester or its equivalent may be pursued upon notification to the VPAA/Provost. Additional employment above the level of a single course per semester or its equivalent shall require prior consultation with, and written approval from the VPAA/Provost. Those not in full compliance with the above shall be notified by the administration at the beginning of each academic year that they do not comply, and that additional employment may be pursued only with prior written approval from the VPAA/Provost. Any full-time faculty member who pursues additional employment without complying with the restrictions noted above or after being notified of objections and denial of approval, shall be in breach of contract and subject to Termination for Cause.”
- Refrain from accepting any gift, favor, service, compensation, or benefit of any kind from any person who can influence the exercise of the employee’s professional judgment on behalf of the University. This includes any person with whom the employee may transact business on behalf of the University, or whom the employee knows to be transacting, or seeking to transact, business with the University. Items of minimal value (e.g., $50 or less) are not included within this policy, and need not be reported, unless they occur more than twice per calendar year.
- Refrain from making or tendering payments, gifts or services to or for the benefit of any government or accrediting agency official, employee or designee who is in a position to influence directly or indirectly, any government or accrediting agency action or decision.
- Refrain from making or soliciting contributions in the name or on behalf of the University or with University funds, services or facilities in any form to, or in aid of, any political party, group, candidate or cause. It is not a violation of this Policy for an employee to contribute to a political party or campaign as a private citizen.
- Refrain from participating in any employment, salary, or other important decision regarding an immediate family member or person with whom the employee is in a close personal relationship. Members of the same family may not be employed in a situation where one member of the family works under the administrative supervision of another except with the approval of the appropriate vice president. Pertinent provisions of the Faculty Handbook will be observed in any cases involving faculty members.
- Comply with all established accounting and audit policies and practices to ensure the protection of University assets.
A conflict or a potential conflict of interest can arise at any time. It is therefore required that a situation encompassed by this Policy be disclosed before occurrence if that is possible, and in any event as quickly as possible after the situation is appreciated.
If any employee is in doubt about a situation, it should be fully disclosed to the appropriate vice president, so that a determination can be made as to what action, if any, needs to be taken. There is no harm in good faith, over-reporting; by contrast, failure to report may be a violation of this Policy.
The President of the University, or his designee(s), will administer the Conflict of Interest Policy. The President may, at his discretion, refer selected issues or matters to the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees.
- This Conflict of Interest Policy is to be communicated at least annually to all employees. New employees are to be given a copy of this policy.
- A Conflict of Interest Statement Attachment A, available in the Employee Engagement Office, must be executed by all University officers, Cabinet members, Deans, administrators and full-time faculty members. Cabinet members are to assure that all of their employees who are required to execute the Statements do so. Signed Statements must be submitted to the Vice President for Business Affairs. An employee may be asked to complete and sign a new Statement whenever a situation arises that may potentially involve this policy. Failure to complete or sign a Statement upon request will be deemed an admission of an actual conflict of interest.
- An employee who becomes aware at any time of a conflict of interest involving himself/herself should immediately obtain and complete a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form Attachment B, available in the Employee Engagement Office, and deliver it to the Cabinet member responsible for his/her area. The Cabinet member must deliver a copy of each Disclosure Form to the Vice President for Business Affairs.
- All Conflict of Interest Statements and Disclosure Forms should be delivered to the Vice President for Business Affairs. If a possible, perceived, or actual conflict is disclosed, the Vice President for Business Affairs will require the appropriate Cabinet member or dean to review the situation and contact the necessary people to develop an understanding of the situation. Thereafter, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will render a decision in those cases pertaining to faculty members and the Vice President for Business Affairs will render a decision in all other cases. All decisions and resolutions must be in the best interests of the University. If research is involved, the resolution must meet the granting institution’s requirements. Conflicts involving the Vice President for Business Affairs will be handled by the Board Audit Committee.
- An employee impacted by a resolution may appeal to the President by submitting a written statement explaining the disagreement. After consulting with the Board Audit Committee, if deemed necessary, the President will issue a final decision.
- A copy of all documents relating to the disclosure and the resolution will be retained by the Vice President for Business Affairs.
- In general, all Conflict of Interest Statements and Disclosure Forms are to be retained for four years. All Conflict of Interest documents and related actions for grants must be maintained at least three years beyond the termination of the related grant or resolution of any action with the granting organization, whichever is longer. Research related disclosure materials are to be maintained by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
- All Conflict of Interest documents will be available for review by the Board Audit Committee and external auditors.
- Conflicts involving senior management are to be resolved by the President in consultation with the Board Audit Committee and University legal counsel.
- Conflicts involving the President are to be resolved by the Board Audit Committee and the Executive Committee of the Board if deemed necessary.
Policy Violations and Retaliation:
A deliberate or grossly negligent violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, cessation or prohibition of business with a vendor, and other appropriate remedies. Any disciplinary action against an employee will be subject to review in accordance with the Dispute Resolution Procedure of the applicable handbook.
It is also a violation of University policy to retaliate against an individual who reports a potential or perceived violation of this conflict of interest policy. If an individual believes that retaliation has occurred or is threatened, he or she should report it immediately to the Cabinet member responsible for his/her area or to the President. It is also a violation of this Policy for an employee to file a Disclosure Form or give a statement that is made in bad faith. The identity of the person reporting conduct in accordance with this Policy will be kept confidential to the extent possible with an adequate investigation.