The Office of Conflict of Interest Administration

Conflicts of interest and commitment are a normal part of an active and vibrant university. With the increasing emphasis of universities on outreach and economic development, more university personnel are becoming involved with external entities or starting their own companies. UConn encourages these activities. However, these activities bring with them conflicts of interest and commitment or perceptions of conflicts of interest and commitment that need management to avoid harm to the persons or entities involved.

The negative impacts of unmanaged or inadequately managed conflicts of interest and commitment or perceived conflicts of interest and commitment can include:

  1. The use or perception of use of state resources for personal benefit or the benefit of immediate family members.
  2. The use or perception of use of the employee's university position to influence university business in a way that benefits one's self or immediate family members.
  3. Confusion in the ownership of intellectual property.
  4. Questions about the integrity of one's university research or scholarly activity.
  5. Harm to vulnerable populations, such as graduate students and research subjects.

Perceived conflicts of interest and commitment can be as harmful as real conflicts of interest and commitment. The university manages both by the disclosure of the conflict (or perceived conflict) followed by the creation of a Conflict of Interest Management Plan that specifies how the individual will keep his or her non-university activities from causing harm.

The Office of Conflicts of Interest Administration serves as a central point of contact for faculty and staff across the University's campuses for matters dealing with conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment.

While units and committees from across the University address unique matters related to conflicts of interest and commitments, a central committee serves as an information-sharing body to discuss cases that intersect across various realms of conflict. 

Conflict of Interest

From the Employee Code of Conduct:

  • We, as employees of the State of Connecticut, adhere to the guidelines set forth in the Connecticut Code of Ethics for Public Officials, as well as the University’s Guide to the State Code of Ethics.
  • We will not engage in outside activities which will create an actual conflict of interest and will strive to avoid the appearance of a conflict. If faced with a potential conflict of interest, members of the university community shall disclose the nature of the conflict to the appropriate parties.
  • We do not accept gifts, including food and beverage, from vendors, lobbyists or any other person or entity that is doing business with or seeking to do business with the University unless permitted under the Connecticut Code of Ethics for Public Officials.
  • We do not accept secondary employment that will impair our independence of judgment as to our official duties or which will require us to disclose confidential information.
  • We will not use our state positions for personal financial gain beyond our official compensation, or for the financial benefit of our family members or domestic partners.
  • We will not use state resources for personal use or for use unrelated to our University responsibilities.

Conflict of Commitment

From the University By-Laws:

No employee in the service of the University shall devote to private purposes any portion of the time due the University without consent as may be provided in established University policy.  Faculty members may take on outside consulting and research activities after the specific project has been approved by the Provost.  Nothing herein contained shall be construed as authorizing any private practice by any full-time member of the faculty of either the School of Medicine or the School of Dental Medicine. (XIV.M)