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Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy - Employees and Board of Governors

University of Central Missouri Policy

Policy Name:   Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy – Employees and Board of Governors

Date Approved:  This policy combines the previous “Conflict of Interest Policy for Members of the Board of Governors,” 1.1.040, approved on September 25, 1996, and “Conflict of Interest or Commitment Policy for Employees,” 2.1.050, approved on April 19, 1989; revised and approved April 28, 2017

Policy Category:  Board of Governors – University Operation

Date Effective:  April 28, 2017

Policy Number: 1.2.200

Date Last Revised:  April 28, 2017

Approval Authority: UCM Board of Governors

Review Cycle: 4 years

Responsible Department: Office of Human Resources

 

Purpose/Policy Statement

The purpose of this policy is to define conditions constituting a conflict of interest or commitment and interpret that definition as it applies to University of Central Missouri employees and members of the Board of Governors.

I.          Prohibited activity

A.        Prohibitions for all employees

An employee shall not:

II.        Prohibitions for employees in executive or administrative capacities

            Employees in executive or administrative capacities shall not:

III.       Conflict of commitment for employees (excluding members of Board of Governors)

University employees, excluding members of the Board of Governors, are expected to devote their primary professional loyalty, time and energy to their university responsibilities. Accordingly, outside professional activities of such employees must be arranged so as not to interfere with the primacy of university responsibilities. 

Such employees may devote a reasonable amount of time to outside activities provided it will not interfere with their responsibilities to the university. Staff will be required to use available leave time when conducting outside activities during university work hours. Faculty members' outside activities shall not exceed 25 percent of their full-time workload.

Employees, excluding members of the Board of Governors, shall obtain prior approval from the appropriate senior administrator or designee when committing university resources, including employee time commitments, beyond the level that is typically available to said employees for outside activities. During those times that they are under contract or have appointment with the university, full-time employees shall obtain written consent of the appropriate senior administrator or designee prior to accepting outside compensated teaching responsibilities; such consent must be obtained prior to each occurrence.

IV.       Annual review and disclosure (member of Board of Governors only)

Each year annually, each member of the Board of Governors must:

Scope and Definitions

Benefits to and relationships withThis policy refers to certain (1) benefits (including financial gain, enrichment, payments, gifts, consideration, etc.) to employees and members of the Board of Governors and (2) relationships with employees or members of the Board of Governors.  For purposes of this policy, such references also extend to benefits to and relationships with an employee’s or member’s spouse or domestic partner or dependent child. 

For example,

Business relationships.  Business relationships include relationships with corporations, associations, firms, partnerships, proprietorship, or business entity of any kind of which an employee is

See § 105.450, RSMo.

Conflict of commitment.  Any professional activity that interferes with an employee's ability to adequately perform the employee’s university duties at the expected level of job performance.

Conflict of interest.  Any situation in which an employee’s judgment or conduct in the performance of their official duties for the university could be influenced, or would give the appearance of being influenced, by the employee’s familial, personal or business relationship with a third party, or any situation that would be deemed a conflict of interest under the laws of the United States or the laws of the State of Missouri, including RSMo §§ 174.220, 105.450 et. seq., Mo. Const. Art. VII, Section 6. Employees with conflicts of interests must recuse themselves from acting as required by law.

Dependent child. Children, stepchildren, foster children, and wards under the age of eighteen, residing in the employee’s household and who receive in excess of fifty percent of their support from the employee.

Employee.  For purposes of this policy, “employee” includes persons presently or formerly acting on behalf of the university, with or without compensation, including:  officers, agents, individual governors, persons employed by the university, and volunteers when their work is accepted, contracted for, or consented by the university and who are under the direction and control of the university.  “Employee” does not include an independent contractor.

Employees in executive and administrative capacities.Employees in positions including responsibilities for material decision-making in any segment of university operations, management, or oversight of business, including board membership.

Outside activity. Consulting or other non-university activities, including but not limited to:

Senior Administrator. Employees holding the position of president, provost/chief learning officer, senior vice president, vice president, or vice provost.

Procedures

I.          Procedures for employees (excluding members of the Board of Governors)

A.        Reporting

When a report is received by any supervisor, director, department chair, dean, vice provost, or vice president that a possible, potential or apparent conflict of interest or violation of this policy may have or has occurred and cannot be resolved through the appropriate administrator, a statement shall be made detailing the possible violation, in writing, signed, dated, and submitted to the office of the university’s Office of Human Resources after the alleged conduct has taken place.

B.        Fact finding

If the Office of Human Resources, after consultation with the appropriate senior administrator(s), determines that a possible violation of the policy has occurred, the associate vice president of human resources will appoint a disinterested party/committee to investigate the facts and will notify the subject of the investigation, within 10 days, unless notification would limit the effectiveness of the investigation. The disinterested party/committee will present a copy of those relevant facts found to the general counsel who will notify the appropriate senior administrator(s) as to whether a violation has occurred.

C.        Enforcement

If it is determined by the associate vice provost of human resources that a violation of the policy has taken place, a summary of findings will be presented to the appropriate senior administrator(s) for appropriate action. Action will be based on the extent of the violation and the position held by the employee. Action will be consistent with applicable UCM policies, procedures, and/or memorandums of understanding.

D.        Appeals

Appeals may be provided pursuant to applicable existing avenues for employment grievance or appeal. Allegations against the president will be reported to the Board of Governors. The decision of the final step in the appeal process, the president’s decision, or the board’s decision, as applicable, will be final.

II.        Procedures for members of the Board of Governors 

A.        Disclosures

All members of the Board of Governors are requested to list on the disclosure form only those substantive relationships that the member, the member’s spouse, the member’s dependent child, or any business with which the board member has a business relationship, maintains with organizations that do business with the university or otherwise could be construed potentially to affect the member’s independent, unbiased judgment in light of the member’s decision-making authority or responsibility. Business transactions or relationships that follow the university's competitive bidding procedures and/or are not acted upon by the Board of Governors are exempted from disclosure, as are loans to members of the board from financial institutions that have substantially the same terms as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions by the bank with other persons who are not members of the board. Also exempted from disclosure are voluntary gifts to members of the board of nominal value. Examples of such nominal gifts include but are not limited to: a donation, tribute or gift made on a special occasion such as marriage, illness, holiday or retirement; promotional gifts such as pens, pencils, calendars, etc.; items such as meals during the normal course of business pursuits; and awards for meritorious public contribution or achievement given by a non-profit or quasi non-profit organization.

In the event a member of the Board of Governors is uncertain as to the propriety of listing a particular relationship, the president of the Board of Governors and/or the university president should be consulted. They, in turn, may elect to consult legal counsel or the Board of Governors in executive session. Such information, including information provided on the disclosure form, shall be held in confidence except when, after consultation with the member of the board, the institution's best interests would be served by disclosure, unless otherwise required by law.

B.        In cases of conflicts of interest

Members of the Board of Governors who have declared or been found to have a conflict of interest shall excuse themselves from participation in or consideration of related transactions, unless for special reasons the board requests the member of the board to provide information or interpretation on the transaction. Members of the board with conflicts shall not vote nor participate in discussion of the related transaction prior to the vote of the board.