The University of Nebraska not only permits but expressly encourages its employees to engage in outside professional activities with industry and other external constituencies. At the same time, the University is cognizant that an employee’s relationships with outside enterprises can engender opportunities for personal gain or financial advantage that may be at odds with the obligations the individual assumes as an employee of the University.
Conflicts of interest are situations where an employee’s direct or indirect personal financial interests may compromise, or have the appearance of compromising, the employee’s professional judgment or behavior in carrying out his or her obligations to the University. This includes indirect personal financial interests of an employee that may be obtained through third parties such as an employee’s immediate family, business relationships, fiduciary relationships, or investments.
Conflict of commitment occurs when the time devoted to external activities adversely affects, or has the appearance of adversely affecting, an employee’s capacity to meet University responsibilities.
No employee of the University shall engage in any activity that in any way conflicts with duties and responsibilities at the University of Nebraska. The University has established policies designed to identify, eliminate, and/or mitigate conflicts of interest and/or conflicts of commitment.
Prior to engaging in any activity which may result in an actual or perceived conflict of interest and/or conflict of commitment, all University employees shall disclose the activity to their supervisor via the online conflicts of interest and commitment disclosure form.
In addition to requesting administrative approval prior to participation in each outside professional activity, and disclosing potential or actual conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment as they occur, the following employees shall complete, review, and update (even in the absence of an actual or perceived conflict of interest or conflict of commitment) the online conflicts of interest and commitment disclosure form at least annually:
- All full-time faculty, including those with nine-month appointments.
- Managerial/professional staff and administrators.
- Anyone who is responsible for the design, conduct, administration, or reporting of research including all investigators and anyone listed as key personnel on sponsored projects, human subjects research, or animal subjects research.
- Anyone with an outside professional activity involving a foreign government, quasi-government, institution, or other foreign entity (including businesses):
- All employees who have been issued a University purchasing card.
- All employees with delegated signature authority.
- Anyone who is otherwise directed to complete the disclosure form.
All reporting of potential or actual conflicts of interest and commitment should be undertaken with the goal of full disclosure.