Conflict of Interest

3.11  CONFLICT OF INTEREST

conflict of interest occurs when a faculty member engages in self-dealing or in other activities which prevent him or her from exercising independent judgment in the best interests of the University and the Commonwealth.  The Virginia Conflict of Interests Act prohibits such activities.  Questions about these matters should be directed to the University’s represen­tative in the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia.

.1  No policy at the University prohibits the appointment of more than one member of an immediate family to the same academic department, or to another position within the University. However, no immediate family member may serve as an administrator, supervisor, instructor of record, or designated academic advisor of another, nor be permitted to make judgment on the other family member concerning such matters as appointment, on-going employment, promotion, tenure, salary adjustment, or academic work, including grading and/or submitting grades on the latter.  Immediate family member shall mean spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, child, and grandchild–all relationships are included whether full-, half-, step-, foster-, adopted, or in-law.

.2  Additionally, no employee of the university may have a “personal interest” in a contract with the University other than his or her own contract of employment. A “personal interest,” for example, might entail an employee’s financial interest in a company that does business with the University. The Code of Virginia contains exceptions to this prohibition, including one determined by the size of the employee’s financial interest. Any faculty member who may have such a personal interest in a contract with the University other than his or her own contract of employment should report the potential conflict of interest to the Provost.  Additional details about the Commonwealth of Virginia’s conflict of interest and economics interests disclosure policies may be found at:  http://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/StateGovernment/Conflict/conflict.cfm.

.3  Outside employment and involvement in consensual amorous relationships potentially create additional conflict of interest difficulties.  See the following sections of this Handbook for additional information regarding university policies in regards to “Outside Employment and Consulting” (§5.6.2) and “Amorous Relationships” (§5.3.5.3).

.4  Any member of the staff holding academic rank who desires to undertake public office which will require absence from the University for any substantial period of time must inform the President of the intention to seek such office before publicly announcing for it. Subsequently, should such member become elected to such office, she/he will ask the President to recommend that the Board of Visitors grant her/him a leave of absence from the University, without salary, for a period of time mutually agreed upon by the President and the staff member who holds academic rank.