Faculty Handbook: Academic Responsibilities of Faculty
2.29  Conflicts of Interest and Commitment

(Campus Council, February 13, 1992)

University employees need to be sensitive to the possibility that outside obligations, financial interests, or employment may affect their responsibilities and decisions as members of the university community. Involvement of university employees in outside activities, both public and private, often serves the interests of the individual, university, and general public. Participation of individuals in activities outside the university is encouraged to the extent that they do not interfere with the mission of the university in preserving, generating, and disseminating knowledge.

University employees may be faced with situations that conflict with their obligations, responsibilities, and decisions related to the mission of the university. These conflicts can generally be categorized as conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment. Conflicts of interest are situations in which university employees may have the opportunity to influence university administrative, business, or academic decisions in ways that could lead to personal gain, give improper advantage to self or others, or interfere with the preservation, generation, or public dissemination of knowledge. Conflicts of commitment are situations in which university employees’ time and effort given to outside activities and interests interfere with their obligations and responsibilities to the university. Conflicts of interest and commitment are not necessarily unwarranted, unethical, or illegal. Furthermore, conflicts of interest and commitment are not always avoidable. The failure to disclose situations that have the potential for or involve actual conflicts of interest or commitment, however, may be unethical and/or illegal.

See the full text of the Conflict of Interest and Commitment at the Research Support and Sponsored Programs web site, http://vpred.uark.edu/units/rssp/.

To download and print the form for prior approval of outside employment and the form for disclosure of potential conflict of interest and commitment, see the web site for Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 404.0, http://vcfa.uark.edu/policies/fayetteville/vprs/4040.php.