Agenda Item No. IV. B. 1. a.
Washburn University Board of Regents
SUBJECT: Washburn University Conflict of Interest and Standards of Conduct Policy and Annual Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement
College and university officers and employees increasingly are held to high standards of personal behavior, as are members of other nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations. Higher education is receiving its share of adverse public and media attention, and as public scrutiny becomes more intense, ethical issues grow more complex, more difficult, and therefore, necessary to resolve.
According to the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, governing boards must develop sound conflict of interest and disclosure policies to guide individual chief executives, senior administrators, and other university employees. Consistent adherence to such policies by these individuals will go a long way to preserve the integrity of institutions.
To accomplish this end, the Washburn Board of Regents charged the Board of Regents Audit Committee with the task of developing a conflict of interest policy and annual disclosure statement for the University.
The university administration and Audit Committee members provided background information from other universities and state agencies for consideration in developing the Washburn policy. These documents were reviewed and a draft conflict of interest and annual reporting statement crafted. These documents have been reviewed and revised numerous times during the past few months.
The Washburn University Board of Regents Audit Committee has reviewed the attached documents and will act on them at the Audit Committee meeting prior to this meeting of the Board of Regents.
FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
President Farley and the Audit Committee recommend the Board of Regents approve the Washburn University Conflict of Interest Policy and Standards of Conduct Policy and the Annual Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement.
Date Jerry B. Farley, President
CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
This policy for conflict of interest and standards of conduct is adopted to ensure University business is conducted fairly and impartially and that confidence in the University is maintained by its many constituents.
.2. Standards of Conduct
Employees and others acting for and/or on behalf of the University shall conduct themselves in an ethical manner, beyond reproach, exemplifying the principles of professionalism, honesty, trustworthiness, respect, and accountability.
.3 Conflict of Interest
No employee or other person acting for or on behalf of the University shall engage in any activity which is in conflict with, or appears to be in apparent conflict with, the interests of the University in dealing with any person or entity having or seeking to have any relationship with the University. A conflict of interest may arise in any situation in which an individual compromises or appears to compromise such individual's judgment in the performance of his/her duties in a manner that could lead, directly or indirectly, to the financial or personal gain of the individual, his/her family or others with whom the individual has a personal or business relationship or give improper advantage to others to the detriment of the University. A conflict of interest typically involves any situation in which an individual exploits her or his position for personal or financial gain or for the benefit of others.
All persons involved in projects receiving federal funds shall review and comply with applicable federal laws, regulations and/or federal agency conflict of interest policies.
.4 Supervisor's Role
Each supervisor shall ensure all persons acting for or on behalf of the University under his or her supervision are familiar with this policy and with the policies and procedural requirements of his/her position.
Each person acting for or on behalf of the University shall promptly and fully disclose any conflict, or potential conflict, of interest she or he has or may have individually, as a family member or through other relationship with others and refrain from participating in any matter to which the conflict pertains until the conflict has been resolved in the best interests of the University. Certain designated employees of the University shall, on an annual basis, make a disclosure of all business interests, affiliations, or relationships which could reasonably give rise to a conflict of interest, or an apparent conflict of interest with the University.
.6 Disciplinary Action
Violations of this policy by an employee shall subject such person to disciplinary action resulting in a sanction which may range from verbal counseling to reprimand to suspension or termination from employment.
Enforcement of this policy is the ultimate responsibility of the President who may delegate authority for enforcement to other University officials.