Human Resources

Wesleyan University Conflict of Interest Policy

APPLICATION: Trustees, Officers, Faculty, Staff, Employees and Agents
ISSUED: Final - 100907
REVISED: 110207 


I. Policy Statement. Wesleyan University, its trustees, officers, faculty, staff, employees and agents (collectively "Individuals") have an obligation to conduct all University related affairs in accordance with the highest ethical standards, in accordance with applicable statutes and regulation and in accordance with the standards set forth in this policy with respect to conflict of interest.

II. Policy Elements.

a. No Conflict of Interest. Individuals must not allow a personal, Affiliate or non-University interest to interfere or appear to interfere with their Wesleyan responsibilities or duties. Any situation which might give rise to such a conflict should be disclosed in accordance with this Policy. While it is not possible to provide a fully comprehensive list of conflicts, some examples are provided in Schedule A

b. No Compensation Except as Employee. No Individual or Affiliate of an Individual may serve in a paid role with the University (e.g. consultant, vendor, etc.) except in his or her capacity as a University employee or as otherwise approved pursuant to this Policy.

c. Wesleyan Commitment. Individuals owe a duty of loyalty and trust to the University and shall be alert to the possibility that non-University obligations and ventures might affect the Individual’s commitment to Wesleyan. Any involvement by an Individual in personal business ventures shall be conducted outside the University work environment during times which the Individual is not required or expected to perform duties or responsibilities related to his or her University employment. 

d. Disclosure. Each Individual is required to discuss with his or her supervisor (or, in the case of a Trustee, the Board of Trustees) any situation or activity that is or might be considered a conflict of interest under this Policy before participating in that situation or activity and refrain from participating in that situation or activity unless and until expressly allowed to do so by their supervisor or the Board of Trustees as applicable.

Any supervisor receiving notice of a potential conflict of interest shall determine whether the situation presents a potential conflict of interest under this policy and document their determination in writing. Unless the supervisor is able to clearly determine that no such conflict exists or in the case that the Individual disagrees with the supervisor’s decision, the supervisor shall require the Individual to disclose the situation in writing and the supervisor and/or Individual shall forward that description to an appropriate Vice President or Senior Officer of the University. The supervisor shall not permit any Individual to participate in the questionable activity unless and until a Vice President or Senior Officer of the University has reviewed the activity and confirmed in writing that the activity may continue and/or that there are relevant safeguards in place to protect the University. Any Individual who disagrees with a conflict-related decision of any Vice President or Senior Officer may seek review by the President of the University whose decision shall be final.

e. "Affiliate" means:

i. An organization of which the Individual is an officer, director, trustee, owner, employee, etc. which competes with the University or from which the Individual would benefit if such organization were involved in a contractual relationship with the University;

ii. An organization in which the Individual owns more than 5% ;

iii. An organization with which the Individual has any other dealings from which he/she benefits; or

iv. Any family member of the Individual

f. Annual Confirmation. On an annual basis, the University shall distribute and require Individuals to complete a statement a) confirming that they have read and understood this Policy and b) that they have no knowledge of any conflict of interest except for those appropriately disclosed under this Policy.


Schedule A
Examples of Potential Conflicts of Interest

1. Accepting cash gifts of any amount from any person or entity doing business or attempting to do business with the University;

2. Accepting non-cash gifts of any type, including services or entertainment, at no cost or discounted cost from any person doing business with the University, particularly in situations where a person might infer that the intention of such gift was to influence an Individual’s actions in their University capacity. The acceptance of an occasional and not extravagant lunch or dinner is not prohibited, nor is the receipt of an occasional holiday or other gift with a value not to exceed $100.00;

3. Any violation of the Connecticut Financial Aid Code of Conduct Dated July 30, 2007 (the "Code") (neither the President nor any Vice President, Senior Officer or Supervisor shall have any discretion with respect to violations or conflicts set forth in the Code);

4. Doing business with the University through an Affiliate;

5. Using a University position to gain private benefit;

6. Accepting an outside position that would impair the Individual's ability to fulfill his or her obligations to the University;

7. Undertaking or orientation of University research or disclosure or use of University business information to serve Individual, personal or other entity needs;

8. Personal indebtedness to the University or its Affiliates; or

9. Negotiating or entering into a business relationship relating to the University in which a party is giving or receiving a benefit which would be relevant to members of the University community.*


* This example is the most difficult to describe. A problem is most likely to arise where a University service is negotiated and an element of the transaction is a) not disclosed to and b) would be relevant to end users of the service (e.g. students and favored financial aid providers).