3.4 Outside Activities–Conflicts of Interest and Commitment

Faculty members’ professional activities are generally understood to encompass efforts that will enhance their professional stature. Teaching, research or creative work, writing and publishing, scholarship in action and other activities for the public good, participation in meetings of learned societies and professional associations, conduct of and participation in seminars, conferences, and workshops are included in professional activities encouraged by the University.

Policy Statement
The mission of the University is to promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishment, and service. As a natural outgrowth of the University’s mission, it may be appropriate and desirable that Members of the University (hereinafter defined as faculty and salaried employees of the University) be professionally involved in outside activities such as lecturing at other institutions, practicing their profession, consulting and serving in professional and community organizations. Such activities can enrich teaching, extend professional expertise, and contribute to the advancement of knowledge. In addition, it is recognized that faculty may from time to time have ownership interests in, compensation arrangements with, or various other relationships involving, third parties with which the University conducts business.

While outside activities are generally encouraged and other relationships may be permitted, in some circumstances they can give rise to apparent conflicts. These conflicts can exist when a faculty member has certain financial or other interests or relationships or when there is a commitment of time or effort to non-University activities that prohibits him/her from meeting his/her obligations to the University. For the purposes of this policy “Conflict of Interest” and “Conflict of Commitment” have been defined as follows:

a. Conflict of Interest occurs when a faculty member or salaried employee is in a position to influence a decision on University policies, purchases, programs or decisions from which he/she or a close family member or other associate might directly or indirectly receive a benefit. Such benefits can include, but are not limited to, receipt of a financial gain, gift, gratuity, favor, notoriety, or participation in nepotism or bribery.

b. Conflict of Commitment arises when a faculty member’s involvement in outside activities substantially interferes with his/her primary commitments to the University. Such interference can include, but is not limited to, performance of outside activities (i) during an employee’s work hours for the University, or (ii) other than during work hours to an extent that renders the employee incapable of satisfactorily performing his/her responsibilities to the University.

Conflicts of interest that relate to an investigator’s financial interests being affected by research, scholarship, education or other externally funded activity are covered under Section 3.4.

Conflicts of Interest or Commitment may occur even though a faculty member’s outside activities involve comparatively little time.

If a faculty member engages, or proposes to engage, in any activity which involves any actual, potential, or apparent Conflict of Interest or Conflict of Commitment, the activity and the conflict(s) must be promptly disclosed in writing to the University Administrator (i.e., supervisor, director, dean, department chairperson, vice president, senior vice president, or vice chancellor) having the most immediate supervisory relationship to the faculty member or salaried employee, before engaging in or continuing to engage in the activities which produce the conflict http://supolicies.syr.edu/fac_teach/conflict_int_staff.htm

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