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Conflict of Interest Policy for Administrators, Faculty, and Staff


Purpose/Background

The purpose of this policy is not to avoid any and all conflicts.  Instead, the purpose of this policy is to make certain that all situations where conflicts (or the appearance of conflicts) arise are, at all times, handled in such a way as to (i) maintain the integrity and reputation of the university, (ii) safeguard the fairness of the university's decision making process, (iii) comply with all legal and regulatory requirements, and (iv) ensure that the best interests of the university and furthering its mission are the guiding principles in handling all conflict situations as they arise.

Applicability/Responsibility
 
Scope

This policy regarding conflict and/or apparent conflict situations with respect to the university's operations applies to all university administrators, faculty, and staff.  However, due to the complexity in the management and operations of the university, the wide variety of conflict of interest situations that may arise within the university, and the differing roles and authority administrators, faculty and staff each have with respect to university operations, the university has established separate procedures regarding conflict of interest situations based on a person's position as an administrator, faculty or staff employee in connection with the conflict. 

This policy and its procedures are intended to implement and supplement, but not replace, any applicable federal or California state laws governing conflict of interest matters applicable to California non-profit public benefit corporations and 501(c)(3) public charities.

Applicability

All Administrators, Faculty and Staff have the responsibility to act in the best interest of the university and not to act in their personal interest or the interest of others when exercising their duties and responsibilities as employees.  Administrators, Faculty and Staff may not use their positions, or non-public information they have about the university or the university's property, to secure any personal advantage, pecuniary gain or other material benefit for themselves or any Family Member (as that term is defined below). 

It is the duty of all Administrators, Faculty Members and Staff to follow this policy and its applicable procedures, including the Code of Conduct, in all Conflict of Interest situations.  Any failure by Administrators, Faculty Members, or Staff to comply with this policy and its procedures may constitute a breach of that employee's duty of loyalty, and may impair the integrity and reputation of the university.

Procedures that apply to Administrators, Faculty Member and Staff are kept by Office of Compliance.  With respect to the Faculty Handbook, only the procedures set forth for Faculty shall be considered part of the Faculty Handbook and subject to the approval of the Academic Council in accordance with the terms of the Faculty Handbook.  In the event a person has multiple roles with the university (e.g. the person serves both as an Administrator and a Faculty Member or the person is both a Faculty Member and a Staff Member), the position under which the Conflict of Interest Matter arises shall determine which of the procedures apply.

Definitions
For purposes of this policy and the procedures set forth in the attached exhibits, the following defined terms shall have the meaning as set forth below.

TermDefinition
Administrators

All Vice Presidents, Deans, and Directors. The President shall not be considered an “Administrator" for purposes of this Policy and the Procedures set forth under Exhibit A as the President is subject to the Board of Regents Conflict of Interest Policy.

 

Apparent Conflict of InterestAny Circumstance where a reasonable person would conclude from the circumstances that a Covered Person's ability to discharge his or her duties as an Administrator, Faculty Member or Staff are compromised by the Person's personal interests in the Circumstance.
 
Circumstance

A contract, transaction, proposal, plan, or arrangement.

 

Competing Interest(a) Any matter being considered by the university in which the Covered Person also has, is pursuing or would like to have an interest, or (b) any interest of a Covered Person that is incompatible with the Administrator, Faculty, or Staff member's duties and responsibilities to the university.
 
Confidential/Proprietary Information(a) Non-university owned or controlled information or information that the Interested Person did not learn of or became aware of as a result of his or her employment with the university; (b) has provided to the university as part of the Interested Person's disclosure of information under this policy; and (c) the Interested Person has clearly marked on the information or in the transmittal of the information “Confidential/Proprietary Information." For example, the confidential, proprietary information of a Non-University Entity would fit this definition.
 
Conflict of InterestAny Circumstance in which a Covered Person has a Competing Interest, a Substantial Financial Interest, or an Indirect Interest.
 

Conflict of Interest Matter

 

Any Conflict of Interest or Apparent Conflict of Interest.

 

Covered Person

A university employee who is an Administrator, Faculty Member or Staff Member

 

Faculty or Faculty Member

Professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, adjunct professors, lecturers, and clinical faculty, whether serving in teaching, scholarly and artistic activity, or administration appointments, whether serving part-time or full-time. Faculty Handbook 2.1

 

Family Member

A Covered Person's spouse, domestic partner, child, stepchild, brother, sister, parent, grandchild, grandparent or respective spouse or in-laws of any of the foregoing and any other person residing within the Covered Person's household.

 

Indirect Interest

A Competing Interest where the Covered Person's interest is held by a company or organization owned or controlled by the Covered Person or in which the Covered Person is a director, officer, or executive employee.

 

Interested Person

Any Covered Person that is the subject of a Conflict of Interest Matter.

 

Internal Auditor

The university's Chief Audit Executive.

 

Key Employees

Those employees of the university identified by the administration and the university's Internal Auditor as requiring an annual disclosure statement by the Key Employee to be filed with the university's annual Internal Revenue Service Form 990.

 

Non-University Entity

Actual and prospective granting agencies, donors, government agencies, contractors, suppliers, consultants, and other entities or persons, other than University of the Pacific and its subsidiaries.

 

Staff or Staff Members

All employees of the university that are not Administrators or Faculty Members.  Student employees are included among Staff.

 

Substantial Financial Interest

An interest arising from the Covered Person or a Covered Person's Family Member (a) being actual or beneficial owner of more than 1% of the outstanding shares of a publicly traded company, or 5% of the voting stock or controlling interest of a privately held company; (b) having a compensation arrangement of any kind with a Non-University Entity, ( c )  having any Circumstance with a Non-University Entity that provides the Covered Person with a significant income or portion of his or her net worth; or (d) receiving $10,000 or more per year from any Non-University Entity.

 

 
Policy Statement
 
Ethical and Legal Responsibilities

As noted in the Board of Regents' Conflict of Interest Policy, University of the Pacific is a California non-profit public benefit corporation, tax-exempt as a public charity under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). As a result, all members of the Board of Regents, officers, administration, faculty, and employees of the University serve the public trust and have a clear obligation to fulfill their responsibilities in a manner consistent with this fact. All decisions relating to the University made by the Board of Regents, officers, administration, faculty, and employees of the University are to be made solely on the basis of a desire to promote the best interests of the University and further its mission. The integrity and reputation of the University must be protected and advanced at all times.

At the same time, the university recognizes that conflicts of interest (or the appearance of conflicts of interest) will arise in any organization's decision-making process. In the university's case, the likelihood that conflicts (or the appearance of conflicts) will arise may actually be increased due to the fact that, in order to successfully execute its mission, the university must employ Administrators, Faculty Members and Staff with diverse backgrounds and a wide variety of skills, expertise and experiences. Those employed by the university are often responsibly involved in the affairs of other institutions and organizations. Therefore, an effective Board, administration, faculty, and staff cannot consist of persons entirely free from possible conflicts of interest.

Although most potential conflicts are and will be deemed to be inconsequential, everyone has the responsibility to ensure that the appropriate parties within the university are made aware of situations that involve personal, familial, or business relationships that may present an actual or perceived conflict of interest, and could present risk for the university. At the same time, confidential or proprietary information owned by people or entities other than the university must be handled with care, and should only be shared with the university as permitted by the information owner, with clear notice to the university as to its confidential/proprietary nature.

The Board requires each Regent and Key Employee to annually disclose any personal, familial, or business relationships that reasonably could be thought to give rise to an actual or potential conflict involving the university. All persons employed by the university shall report any actual or potential conflict as set forth in this policy. This policy addresses disclosure and compliance requirements as to university Administrators, Faculty Members, and Staff.  This policy recognizes that a conflict of interest can also arise if an interest is owned or controlled by an employee's family member.

Restraint on Participation

Covered Persons who have declared or have been found to have a Conflict of Interest shall refrain from participating in the consideration of the related Circumstance, unless as further set forth in applicable procedures.

Violations

If the Chief Audit Executive has reasonable cause to believe a Covered Person has failed to disclose actual or possible conflicts of interest or failed to comply with the restrictions of this policy, (s)he shall inform the person of the basis for such belief and allow the Covered Person an opportunity to explain the alleged failure to disclose. If after such notice and opportunity to disclose is provided, the Chair of the Audit Committee determines that a failure to make the required disclosure continues, the matter will be referred to the Audit Committee of the Board of Regents, which may take any necessary action to remove the conflict to protect the interests of the university. Nothing in this policy shall detract from the authority of the university to take disciplinary action against any Covered Person for violating this or other university policies.

Contact Information

DepartmentPhoneEmailWebpage
Internal Audit(209) 946-7613   
President(209) 946-2222  
VP for Business & Finance(209) 946-2345  
Provost(209) 946-2551  
General Counsel(209) 932-3014  

 

Related Information

ItemDescription

University Links

 

Internal Audit Website – Conflict of Interest

Forms

 

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form

 

Procedures

 Conflict of Interest Procedures for Administrators

 Conflict of Interest Procedures for Faculty

 Conflict of Interest Procedures for Staff



About This Policy
Last Updated
5/4/2021
Original Issue Date
10/6/2006

Responsible Department
Compliance