Personal Gifts

Sections VI & VII


  1. University faculty/staff who operate a private business may not state or imply that their business is operated, endorsed or approved by Central Michigan University, unless they have a written agreement with the University to do so. Faculty/staff must process their request for approval through their appropriate vice president. Such approval must be obtained from the Office of the President.
  2. Faculty/staff may not use Central Michigan University stationery in conducting their private business.
  3. Faculty/staff must not use CMU communication systems (e.g., telephones, telefaxes, electronic mail, copy machines) to regularly conduct a private business.
  4. Faculty/staff may not list a University address, phone number, fax number or electronic mail address on stationery, business cards, advertisements, etc. as a contact for their private business.

VII. Personal Gifts

A. Guidelines

  1. A gift or bequest is defined as anything of value except as excluded in VII B.1. For example, a gift or bequest may be in the form of money, goods (e.g., golf balls, candy), gift certificates, entertainment (theatre, concert tickets), lodging, services, and/or price concessions (discounted rates ).

  2. University faculty/staff shall not accept a gift or bequest from an individual or organization that has or may have a business interest with the University (i.e., is either currently engaged in business with CMU or may benefit in future business transactions or from a decision the faculty/staff member may make or influence).

    a. When circumstances require a gift or bequest to be accepted by a faculty/staff member, a disclosure statement must be filed with the President or her/his designee OR if the gift or bequest is accepted by the President or a Board member, a disclosure statement must be filed with the Board of Trustees Finance and Audit Committee. Disclosure statements shall describe the gift or bequest, its source, and its disposition (e.g. donated to CMU; donated to a charitable organization; kept by the recipient). If the recipient wants to keep the gift or bequest for her/himself, the aforementioned disclosure statement must also then include a justification for doing so. The disclosure statement then must be approved before the recipient will be allowed to keep the gift or bequest.

    b. The University recognizes that some faculty/staff members will receive gifts or bequests from personal friends who also do business with the University. The faculty/staff member shall file a disclosure statement with the President or designee if the value of all gift(s) or bequest(s) from a personal friend exceeds $150 during a University’s fiscal year (7/1/ - 6/30).

  3. University faculty/staff shall not accept a gift or bequest from a student or prospective student when the faculty/staff member is, or is likely to be, in a position to make or affect decisions about that student. This Guideline is intended to avoid the appearance of influence in the awarding of grades or other decisions affecting the student. The exception B.1.a. below does not apply to this specific guideline. Faculty/staff members may accept gifts from students after their relationship as faculty/staff – student is ended, so long as the gifts were not reasonably anticipated (flowers or a book or product of an international student’s home country, given as the student is graduating and after final grades have been posted and the degree or credential conferred).


B. Exceptions

  1. A gift or bequest for purposes of this Conflict of Interest Policy does not include:

    a. Items received from one specific individual or organization with an aggregate value less than $100 during the University’s fiscal year.

    b. Food, flowers, or other consumables or perishables which the recipient makes available to guests, visitors or the entire office.

    c. Items won at a conference, meeting, etc., where all attendees were given equal opportunity to win.

    d. Items made available to all faculty/staff or to the general public.

    e. Food or beverages consumed at a business function or entertainment which is included as part of a business function.

    f. Attendance at professional meetings and/or customer events, at which a faculty/staff member’s expenses are underwritten in whole or in part by a business or commercial enterprise, so long as attendance is not prior to a potential CMU purchase and the meeting/event is not being offered solely for CMU.

    g. Attendance/participation at a sponsored fundraiser (e.g. Lem Tucker, Development scholarship outings) which is underwritten in whole or in part by businesses or commercial enterprises.

    h. Staying or dining with a personal friend at his/her residence.

  2. The President or designee may approve additional exceptions to this Policy, which involve University faculty/staff. Faculty/staff must process their request for an exception through their appropriate vice president. Exceptions involving the President or Board member(s) must be approved by the Finance and Audit Committee of the Board. Approval of all exceptions must be in writing and include a disclosure of the parties to the gift, the nature of the gift, and reasons for the exception. If approved, the signed exception must be forwarded to the Contracting & Purchasing Services Department.