A fundamental principle of ethics is that any person who exercises discretionary authority on behalf of the University may not use, or appear to use, this authority for his or her own personal benefit.
It is, therefore, the basic policy of Southeast Missouri State University that all members of the University community have a duty to be free from the influence of any conflicting interests (as well as free from the influence of any interests which may appear to be conflicting) when they act on behalf of the University or represent it in negotiations or advise others within the University community with respect to dealing with third parties. Members of the University community are expected to act on behalf of the University on the sole basis of that which is in the best interests of the University without favor or preference (and without prejudice) to the third parties based on personal considerations.
The Regents, faculty, employees and agents of the University shall faith- fully discharge their duties and shall refrain from knowingly engaging in any outside matters of financial interest incompatible with the impartial, objective and effective performance of their University duties. They shall not realize personal gain in any form which would influence improperly the conduct of their University duties. They shall not knowingly use University property, funds, position, or knowledge gained as a result of association with the University for personal or political gain. They shall be alert to and abstain from conduct which has the "appearance" of conflict of interests. They shall inform their supervisors in writing of reasonably foreseen potential conflicts. The faculty and staff members are expected to use their best judgment in carrying out their duties and responsibilities as deemed appropriate to the individual's profession and the University's mission.
Confidential information about the University obtained by reason of position or employment by the University shall not be used for personal financial gain or to the unfair advantage of another person.
Employees of the University, whether employed full time or part time, should avoid outside business interests or employment which may interfere with the performance of their duties to the University.
Commercial transactions with students should be avoided, particularly if the employee has decision-making authority over a student with respect to University matters, such as grades, advisement, academic probation, disciplinary sanctions, scholarships, loans, or student employment.
Notification of outside employment for remuneration or of outside business interests requiring substantial personal attention (including consultation requests and employment at other academic institutions) must be given in writing in accordance with the applicable personnel policy.
Consultation, whether income-producing or otherwise, is the application of professional and scholarly expertise in the external community. It is the policy of the University to permit consulting activities that
Textbooks, tapes, software, and other learning materials, or property or equipment, for which a patent or copyright is held by an employee of the University or members of the employee’s family, may be purchased for use by the University so long as the employee involved does not participate in the decision to make such purchase and any royalties for the purchase or use of such material, property or equipment are returned to the University, and provided such purchases or use shall not be in violation of R.S. Missouri Sec. 174.220. Also see Patents and Copyrights Policy as printed in the Southeast Missouri State University FACULTY HANDBOOK.
Neither the name of the University nor any of its graphic identification symbols are to be used in printed materials intended to endorse or promote individual enterprises or to otherwise enhance private gain without the prior written permission of the University President. Official University stationery may not be used in outside business, personal and other private or political activities of employees.
University employees shall not participate in the selection, hiring, promoting, job assignment, demotion, disciplining, or supervision of another employee who is related within the fourth degree of consanguinity of affinity.
University personnel shall promptly notify the appropriate supervisory authority in writing of known conflict of interests situations and shall refrain from participation in the matters involved. This reporting requirement is in addition to, and does not relieve University personnel from, the responsibility of making disclosures required by Chapter 105 of the Missouri statutes pertaining to conflict of interests.
Conduct by University personnel that violates state law or the University’s policies, regulations or rules pertaining to conflict of interests shall constitute a breach of duty to the University and shall be subject to disciplinary action, including possible termination of employment. Such conduct may also be subject to criminal prosecution under Chapter 102 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.
Complaints concerning conflict of interests shall be presented in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School officer of the University, who shall investigate the complaint and attempt to bring about an informal resolution of the matter. If the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved informally, the matter shall be referred to the Provost (in case of academic personnel) or the Personnel Director of the University (in case of non-academic personnel), and the matter shall then be handled under the appropriate disciplinary procedures applicable to the employee involved.
The University shall not discharge, threaten, or otherwise discriminate against any person because of report, verbal or written, of a violation or suspected violation of this policy or of the law relating to conflict of interests.
This policy may be amended at any time, and from time to time, as the Board of Regents
may deem necessary or appropriate or as may be required by law. To the extent necessary,
any other policies of the University which are in conflict with this policy are deemed
amended so as to conform to this policy, and this policy shall be deemed amended,
in necessary, so as to conform to applicable law.
Approved by Board of Regents – December 5, 1991
State of statues as related to conflict of interests policy approved by Board of Regents on December 5, 1991.
All University policies are subject to the requirements of applicable state and federal laws and regulations. Personnel dealing with state and federal authorities in connection with grants, contracts, or other matters are responsible for inquiring into the possibility of conflict of rules or regulations applicable to the particular matter and acting appropriately. Principal applicable Missouri statutory requirements are summarized below, but reference to the full text should be made in the event of questions: