Conflict(s) of Interest
All Virginia Tech employees must be committed to conducting themselves in accordance with the highest standards of integrity and ethics. University policy requires all employees who have outside employment, additional Virginia Tech employment or other external activities to disclose to the university each fiscal year (July 1-June 30).
Policy 13010: Individual Conflicts of Interest and Commitment provides policy and procedural guidance for disclosure and approval of employee involvement with external activities or to report financial interests. These disclosures are made through the online COISystem at https://secure.research.vt.edu/coi. Policy 13010 must be read in conjunction with additional university guidance on consulting and conflicts of interest and commitment as outline below:
For more guidance on conflict of interest and commitment visit the COI Office website at http://www.research.vt.edu/conflict-of-interest.html.
A conflict of commitment arises when the external activities of employees are so demanding of their time, attention or focus that they interfere with the individual’s responsibilities to the university. For more information on Conflict of Commitment, please see the relevant section of the Faculty Handbook and Staff Handbook.
An individual conflict of interest occurs when an employee is in a position to advance one’s own interest or that of one’s family or others, to the detriment of the university.
The Virginia State and Local Government Conflict of Interest Act prohibits employees, spouses, and immediate family members from engaging in contracts and/or individual transactions with the university for goods or services of greater than $500.
- Consulting with faculty who may be considering engaging in an external activity
- Balancing the predicted pros and cons of any given request to engage in external activities, and to assess the possible public perceptions of those activities. In any event, and in all requests to participate in outside activities, the benefits to the university should be evident
- Assuring that the motivations of a faculty-owner seeking a contractual arrangement with the university are also to net benefit of the university
- Implementing or imposing any necessary conditions or restrictions to manage, reduce, or eliminate actual or potential conflicts of interest
- Managing conflicts of interest for classified staff
- Safeguarding the interest of students employed by or assigned to projects involving a faculty-owned business or other entity in which the faculty member has a financial interest
- Reviewing and approving (or disapproving) applications for in the COISystem at https://secure.research.vt.edu/coi.
- Reviewing and approving all approved management plans developed to mitigate the appearance or actually conflict presented by any identified or potential conflict of interest
- Assuming fiduciary responsibility for research projects where the Principal Investigator has a conflict of interest, if such projects are approved
- Ensuring completion of required annual disclosures to the university and as appropriate disclosures to the state.