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Conflict of Interest

All employees (faculty/staff) and members of the Board of Trustees of Central Michigan University serve a public interest role and must conduct all affairs of the university in a manner consistent with this concept. Decisions made in the course of employment or as an official or representative of the university are to promote the best interests of the university. This policy is designed to foster high ethical standards of performance by ensuring that actual or apparent conflict of interest situations are avoided.

Every university faculty/staff member is expected to accord the university his/her primary professional loyalty, and every faculty/staff member and trustee is expected to arrange outside obligations, financial interests, and activities so as not to conflict with their commitment to the university. At the same time, trustees and faculty/staff have the right to acquire and retain interests of a professional, personal or economic nature. These outside involvements often serve not only the employee, but also the university and the public interest as well. In a community as diverse and complex as the university, there is always the possibility that the pursuit of individual interests may conflict with the interests of the university. Every individual, especially those with significant exposure to potential conflict of interest situations, should develop a sensitivity to this issue and seek guidance when appropriate.

Honesty and professional integrity are expected of all faculty/staff and the Board of Trustees, and it would be a serious violation of this trust if the interests of the university were to be disregarded in the course of performing professional duties. The use of official position and influence to further personal gain or that of families or associates is considered to be unacceptable behavior and in direct opposition to university policy.

University faculty/staff and members of the Board of Trustees should not normally have a personal financial interest in transactions involving the university. However, when they do, full disclosure of the interest is necessary in advance of university action, and where appropriate, special approval of the transaction is required to insure that the university's best interests are the paramount consideration.

Since 1984, Michigan Public Act No. 184, MCLA 15.323 has allowed public universities to contract with their own employees. This change generated several policy alternatives. The university has elected to allow contracting with university faculty/staff, but with some limitations.

It is not expected that every faculty/staff member would have a complete and current knowledge of the laws and regulations which apply to conflict of interest. Advice is available from the Office of General Counsel through the faculty/staff member's vice president regarding specific situations.

The President is directed to issue guidelines on specific areas of potential conflict of interest, and to distribute these guidelines to university faculty/staff.

SOURCE: Central Michigan University Chapter 3, Manual of Board of Trustees; Policies, Practices and Regulations Pages 3-18.

More information can be found on Contracting and Purchasing's website.