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Delegation of Authority and Potential Risk: Conflict of Interest

Read the Administrative Responsibilities Handbook's section on conflict-of-interest responsibilities and delegation of authority.

Administrative officials can delegate certain duties to staff. Even so, administrative officials remain accountable for all activities in their areas of responsibility and should take appropriate precautions to avoid risk.

Responsibilities that cannot be delegated by administrative officials

  • Implementing systems that manage conflict-of-interest activities
  • Ensuring that their area of responsibility does not include a significant individual, near relative, or personal financial benefit

Responsibilities that can be delegated by administrative officials

  • Establishing departmental policies and procedures to meet conflict-of-interest codes and disqualification requirements
  • Monitoring, preventing, and reducing any potential conflict-of-interest situation

Practices that should be in place to avoid risk

  • Non-disclosure of financial interest: Designated employees must report their financial interests. Those who do not are in violation of the university's Conflict of Interest (COI) policy as well as federal or state laws and are subject to disclipinary action.
  • Sponsored projects: Principal investigators, co-principal investigators and/or key personnel must disclose any financial interest prior to the acceptance of gifts, contracts, or grants from certain governmental and non-governamental sponsors.
  • Purchased goods, leased goods, or contract services from university employees or near relatives: University employees should not participate in any business decisions that could lead to personal gain or give an advantage to firms in which employees or a near relative have an interest.
  • Use of university resources: Supplies, equipment, facilities and staff time may not be used for the benefit of a company without proper compensation.
  • Potential issues: Academic appointees and employees should be encouraged to discuss any potential conflicts of interest with the appropriate department officials.

If a situation involving conflict of interest occurs or seems likely to occur, involve the appropriate office immediately.