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Conflict of Interest – Fiscal Policy FI0125

Knoxville Campus Supplemental Policy August, 2012

The University of Tennessee Fiscal Policy FI0125 Conflicts of Interest sets forth policies related to conflicts of interest for University personnel and related parties.

Conflicts of interest and commitment, or perceptions of conflicts of interest and commitment, can occur in a variety of forms.  The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration is devoted to the management of situations that can arise when university employees have any external activity, significant financial interest, or management role that has the potential to:

Negatively impact objectivity in the execution of university duties (a “conflict of interest”), or

Reduce the time and attention an employee can devote to his/her university responsibilities, and thus negatively impact his/her performance or assigned university duties (a conflict of commitment”).

The negative impact of unmanaged or inadequately managed conflicts of interest and commitment or perceived conflicts of interest and commitment can include:

  1. The use or perception of use of state resources for personal benefit or the benefit of immediate family members.
  2. The use or perception of use of the employee’s university position to influence university business in a way that benefits one’s self or immediate family members.
  3. Confusion in the ownership of intellectual property.
  4. Questions about the integrity of one’s university research or scholarly activity.
  5. Harm to vulnerable populations, such as graduate students and research subjects.

Perceived or real conflicts of interest and commitment can be harmful. Disclosure and management are needed whether the non-university relationship is with a for-profit entity, a not-for-profit entity, or a charitable foundation.  The University of Tennessee manages both by the disclosure of the conflict or perceived conflict followed by the creations of a conflict of interest management plan that specifies how the individual will keep his or her non-university activities from causing harm.

All regular university employees are required annually to complete a Conflict of Interest form (Part 1) regardless of their disclosures the previous year.

Instructions and Link to Form

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