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Administration and Operations Manual

1.12 Conflict of Interest

Last Revised: 16 May 2008
Refer Questions To: Manager, Risk Management and Insurance

Scope

This policy applies to all members of the Board of Trustees and to all administrators, faculty, teachers, and staff of Gallaudet University.

Policy

All members of the Board of Trustees and all administrators, faculty, teachers, and staff of the University must avoid any conflict between their personal interests and the interests of Gallaudet University. Individuals are expected to avoid even the appearance of impropriety in the performance of their duties and must never use their positions or knowledge gained on the job to inappropriately influence decisions for their advantage, or for that of their family and friends.

Members of the Board of Trustees
All Board members must disclose, at the earliest practicable time, any possible conflict of interest to the Secretary of the Board. To facilitate this policy, each member will complete and file with the Secretary of the Board information about possible conflicts of interests affecting Gallaudet University, including interests of immediate family members and organizations in which the Board member has a significant management function or a significant ownership interest. These statements will be filed by October 1 of each year.

A Board member will be considered to have a possible conflict of interest if: a) he/she has an existing or potential financial or other interest which impairs or might appear to impair the member's independent and unbiased judgment in the discharge of his/her responsibility to the University; b) he/she has a business relationship with any person or firm engaging in, or seeking to engage in, business with the University; c) he/she is aware of an immediate family member's ownership of, interest in, or employment with a firm engaging in, or seeking to engage in, business with the University; d) he/she is an officer, director, trustee, partner, controlling stockholder, or employee of a firm engaging in, or seeking to engage in, business with the University; or e) he/she may receive a material financial or other benefit from knowledge of information confidential to the University.

If a Board member is uncertain whether a conflict of interest exists, a determination may be requested by the Board. These matters will be resolved by majority vote, with the interested Board member excluded from participation.

All candidates for membership on the Board will be advised of this policy prior to assuming their responsibilities as members.

Administrators, Faculty, Teachers, and Staff
All administrators, faculty, teachers, and staff must exercise the utmost good faith in the fulfillment of their duties at Gallaudet University. These individuals will be held to a strict rule of honest and fair dealing between themselves and the institution. They may not use their positions, or knowledge gained from their positions, in a way that may create a conflict of interest or even the appearance of a potential conflict of interest. Administrators, faculty, teachers, and staff will sign a "Conflict of Interest Policy Compliance Statement" each October 1 indicating that they understand their fiduciary responsibility to the University and reaffirming their commitment to fully disclose any potential conflict of interest which may exist. An administrator, faculty, teacher, or staff member will be considered to have a possible conflict of interest if: a) he/she has a current or potential financial or other interest which impairs or might appear to impair his/her independent and unbiased judgment in the discharge of his/her responsibilities to the University; b) he/she has a business relationship with any person or firm engaging in, or seeking to engage in, business with the University; c) he/she is aware of an immediate family member's ownership of, interest in, or employment with a firm engaging in, or seeking to engage in, business with the University; d) he/she is an officer, director, trustee, partner, controlling stockholder, or employee of a firm engaging in, or seeking to engage in, business with the University; or e) he/she may receive a material financial or other benefit from knowledge of information confidential to the University.

Disclosures of any potential conflict of interest will be made promptly in writing to the President of the University with a copy to the unit administrator, senior administrator, and Human Resources Services. The disclosure statement will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the President to determine if a conflict of interest exists. A disclosure by the President will made to the Secretary of the Board and will be reviewed by the Secretary and the Chairman of the Board. If it is determined that a conflict of interest exists, the President (or in the case of a finding against the President, the Chairman of the Board) will take appropriate action to eliminate the conflict and safeguard the interests of Gallaudet.

All Board members, administrators, faculty, teachers, and staff must be cognizant of the following provision of the Education of the Deaf Act Amendments of 1992: "Neither the University nor NTID may invest its Federal endowment fund corpus or income in real estate, or in instruments or securities issued by an organization in which an executive officer, a member of the Board of Trustees of the University or of the host institution, or a member of the Advisory Board of NTID is a controlling shareholder, director, or owner within the meaning of Federal securities laws and other applicable laws.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Board of Trustees
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