Conflict of Interest


CONFLICT OF INTEREST

A conflict of interest arises when an individual’s private interests (such as outside professional or financial relationships) might interfere with his or her professional obligations to the University of West Florida. Such situations do not necessarily imply wrong-doing or inappropriate activities. However, in a university setting, they can compromise, or be perceived as compromising, important academic values, research integrity, or the University’s mission. This mandates that such conflicts or potential conflicts be disclosed and then managed, mitigated or eliminated.

A conflict of interest generally means a situation in which regard for a private interest tends to lead to disregard of a public duty or interest, including, but is not limited to the following:

  • Any activity which would result in an individual must choose between that person’s University and someone or something else that could result in neglect or a breach of duty to the University
  • Any activity that could result in personal gain or the gain of another entity at the expense of the University – includes benefits to relatives
  • No employee may have an interest (financial or otherwise, direct or indirect), engage in business transactions or professional activity, or incur any obligation that conflicts with the full and competent performance of that employee’s duties or conflicts with the best interest of the University

EXAMPLES CONFLICT OF INTEREST

  • Employee or his/her relative has a business that contracts to provide goods or services to UWF or provides funding for a UWF research project
    • Husband works for Office Depot and Office Depot supplies the college with supplies
    • Uncle provides funding for sponsored research that supports UWF, whether or not it directly benefits the employee
    • Son works for a construction company that is building or renovating a UWF building
  • Employee has a consulting job that requires him/her to leave their work incomplete or leave UWF during assigned work times
  • Employee uses UWF facilities, equipment, supplies, or services for his second job
    • Holding regular meetings in your office
    • Using UWF printer to print items for your outside activity on a regular basis
  • Employment or use of students, including research and teaching assistants, for other than UWF business
    • Utilizing students to support a consulting position

WHEN MUST A FORM BE SUBMITTED

  • Each year by July 1st for non-academic employees and August 8th for academic employees for activities of a continuing nature;
  • Each time an employee plans to engage in a new activity requiring disclosure; or
  • Any time there is a significant change in an activity which has previously been reported.

WHY DO I HAVE TO REPORT

  • Florida Statute requires that all employees must report conflicts and outside activities (See Fla. Stat. §112.313)
  • University Policy requires it
  • The policy and statute were instituted to create an environment of transparency and fairness to the citizens of the state
  • Also to prevent abuse, including bribery, nepotism, and exploitation of employment

USING UNIVERSITY FACILITIES, EQUIPMENT, OR SERVICES

An employee engaging in an outside activity shall not use the facilities, equipment, or services of the university in connection with the outside activity without prior approval of the appropriate supervisory authority. Approval of the use of university facilities, equipment, or services shall be conditioned upon reimbursement of the costs related to such use. In such instances, a Request for Approval of Use of University Resources in Conjunction with Outside Activity form must be submitted.

WHAT IF I DON'T REPORT

All employees, including those on any type leave, student employees and OPS employees engaging in outside activities requiring disclosure must complete an Outside Activity form during their employment with the University of West Florida.

An employee’s failure to fully and properly report outside activities and other interests or failure to follow any conditions imposed pursuant to the University’s approval of such activities may be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

PROCEED TO THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST FORM

  • If you are a Dean, AVP, or Department Head, click here to proceed to the form (1 approval signature).
  • If you are a Chair, Director, Supervisor, click here to proceed to the form (2 approval signatures)
  • All others, click here to proceed to the form (3 approval signature)

For additional guidance the University of West Florida Employee Code Of Ethics Policy HR 15.02-05/16 provides guidance to employees seeking to engage in outside activities. Employees in the Division of Academic Affairs should review the Academic Affairs policy – AC11.02-05/13.