What is Conflict of Interest?
The University's relationship with the public and private sectors is an important part of its mission. Such relationships are encouraged. It is recognized, however, that such relationships can lead to a variety of competing interests (perceived, potential, or real) that may result in risks to compensation or personal gain. Major risks to the reputations of faculty, staff, students, and the University can result when external relationships are not fully disclosed or when potential conflicts are not appropriately managed.
Public awareness of conflict situations and involvement in their investigation has increased greatly in recent years. The reputation of the University is one of its most important assets, and we must safeguard it from even the appearance of a conflict.
The University, however, also recognizes that it has an obligation to guarantee faculty members a free climate in which to carry out their research and scholarly activities. It recognizes that consulting, starting new businesses, licensing technology, and other forms of commercialization are necessary to serve the needs of society, as well as to enhance research and educational experiences of students.
In the face of these competing goals, the University must provide a structure and policies to balance between the individual and the University.