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Conflict of Commitment or Interest

Conflict of Commitment or Interest

The AY 2016-17 Report of Non-University Activities process begins September 19. This year employees will submit their disclosures online through STARTmyDisclosures. Contact the campus Conflict of Interest Office with any questions, concerns, or for assistance: 333-0034 or coi@illinois.edu.

The University of Illinois Policy on Conflicts of Commitment and Interest  mandates disclosure and pre-approval of income-producing outside activities for all paid academic staff members, whether part time or full time employees. 

For the Urbana campus, the Vice Chancellor for Research is responsible for the implementation of the policy. The Office of the Vice President for Acadmic Affairs oversees universty-wide compliance with state and federal requirements. The OVPAA website provides forms, answers to frequently asked questions, and other resources relating to our annual disclosure process, the Report of Non-University Activities.

  • Read the Chancellor's letter regarding our annual disclosure process.
  • Watch a brief overview video about the new STARTmyDisclosures reporting system: 

Read the STARTmyDisclosures video transcript.

Enter the STARTmyDisclosures Online System

Training Resources

Campus Training Sessions

Training sessions for Fall 2016 have concluded.  If you need assistance, please contact 217-333-0034.

STARTmyDisclosures Training Video

Please view the training video below to learn more about disclosure using START myDisclosures. If you need assistance, please email: coi@illinois.edu or call: 217-333-0034.

Read the STARTmyDisclosures training video transcript.

STARTmyDisclosures Training Presentation

Review the STARTmyDisclosures PowerPoint training presentation for disclosers or the Reviewer Training PowerPoint presentation for reviewers.

View instructions for updating your Report of Non-University Activities (pdf).

Additional Training Resources

View the list of College Conflict of Interest Contacts

College/Unit Contact Role
College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences Debbie Malloch RNUA Facilitator
College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences James Wade RNUA Facilitator/Policy Contact
College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences Robert Kessler RNUA Facilitator
College of Applied Health Sciences Robbin King RNUA Facilitator
College of Applied Health Sciences Bill Goodman Policy Contact
College of Business Roger Owens RNUA Facilitator/Policy Contact
College of Education TBA  
College of Engineering Robin Willoughby RNUA Facilitator
College of Engineering Martin Wong Policy Contact
College of Fine and Applied Arts Rebecca Nash RNUA Facilitator
College of Fine and Applied Arts Paul Redman Policy Contact
College of Law Jamelle Sharpe RNUA Facilitator/Policy Contact
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Samantha Veronda RNUA Facilitator
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Jennifer Jorstad Policy Contact
College of Media Jane Dowler RNUA Facilitator/Policy Contact
College of Medicine Debbie McCall RNUA Facilitator/Policy Contact
College of Veterinary Medicine Cindy Dillman RNUA Facilitator/Policy Contact
Facilities & Services Monisha Clements RNUA Facilitator
Facilities & Services Maureen Banks Policy Contact
Graduate College Catherine Ocen RNUA Facilitator/Policy Contact
Office of the Chancellor Katharine Galvin RNUA Facilitator/Policy Contact
Office of the Chancellor Mary Callaway RNUA Facilitator
Office of the Chancellor Phyllis Mischo RNUA Facilitator
Office of the Provost Bill Bernhard RNUA Facilitator
Office of the Provost Debbie Kemphues RNUA Facilitator
Office of the Provost Peggy Buchner RNUA Facilitator
Office of the Provost Abbas Benmamoun Policy Contact
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research Linda Lee Drozt RNUA Facilitator
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research Melanie Loots Policy Contact
Office of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Anna Tsai RNUA Facilitator/Policy Contact
School of Information Sciences J. Stephen Downie RNUA Facilitator/Policy Contact
School of Information Sciences Susan Lafferty RNUA Facilitator
School of Labor and Employment Relations Lynne Hoveln RNUA Facilitator
School of Labor and Employment Relations Joe Martocchio Policy Contact
School of Social Work Debora Huisinga RNUA Facilitator/Policy Contact
University Library Kimberley Matherly RNUA Facilitator
University Library Beth Namachchivaya Policy Contact

 

Familial Conflict of Interest - Policies and Resources

Many apparent conflicts of interest resulting from researcher family relationships can be managed by following standard University policies. Below are links to two relevant campus policies, and a sample letter that can be modified and sent to family members who serve as co-investigators or co-participants in a sponsored research project. Some cases may require additional management mechanisms or review, as in the case where human subjects are involved in the research.

Family relationships can sometimes create conflicts of interest relative to the procurement of goods and services. It is important to work with University Purchasing to seek appropriate approvals of a procurement of goods or services when there is a familial relationship between a University employee and the vendor.

Guidance on Faculty Appointments and Conflicts of Interest

Pursuant to the University Statutes (Article IX, Section 5, c, d), full-time members of the academic staff shall fulfill the responsibilities associated with the rank and terms of their appointment.  Active participation in external activities, however, can enhance professional skills and/or constitute public service that is beneficial to the university and the individual.  To ensure that tenure-system faculty and other full-time academic staff members are primarily committing their time and intellectual energies to the teaching, scholarly research, service, and public engagement activities of the university, prior written approval must be obtained before engaging in non-university activities.

It is the responsibility of each full-time faculty and academic staff to ensure that external activities do not interfere with the interests of the University of Illinois.  To permit the university to monitor the activity on an ongoing basis, the faculty must follow the process set forth in the Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy (COCI)

According to the Conflicts of Commitment and Interest (COCI) Policy, “[a]cademic staff members are required to obtain prior written approval for all non-university income producing activities, to disclose promptly relationships which may give rise to a potential conflict of interest, and to respond fully and in a timely manner to inquiries from [their unit executive officer] in connection with these requests and disclosures.” The Policy explains that:

  • A conflict of commitment arises when the external activities of an academic staff member are so demanding of time or attention that they interfere with the individual's responsibilities to the university. 
  • A conflict of interest occurs when the academic staff member is in a position to advance his or her own interests or those of a third party, to the university's detriment.

Examples of situations that potentially can create a conflict of commitment/interest include: (a) outside teaching by full-time faculty, other than that assigned or approved by the department; (b) outside consulting that takes a significant amount of time away from university responsibilities; and (c) an honorary faculty title or appointment (whether paid or unpaid) that could result in intellectual property/citations or other scholarly accomplishments of Illinois faculty being attributed to another institution.  Please note that these examples are by no means exhaustive. 

Faculty relationships (e.g., employment, appointments and other income producing activities) with other institutions of higher education pose particularly sensitive conflict of interest and commitment issues.  All such outside activities must be disclosed and pre-approved. Please note, however, that a faculty member who accepts a tenure-track or tenured position at the University of Illinois may not hold a tenure-track or tenured position at another institution of higher education.  Exceptions to this policy are extremely rare and must be approved by the unit Executive Office, the Dean, and the Provost.

Failure to obtain written permission prior to engaging in non-university activities may violate University policy (see Policy on Conflicts of Commitment and Interest for information regarding activities requiring prior approval) and also could violate Illinois law  (University Faculty Research and Consulting Act, 110 ILCS 100/1).  Such violations could result in appropriate employment action.

Source:
University Faculty Research and Consulting Act (110 ILCS 100/1)
University Statutes, Article IX, Section 5, c, d)
Policy on Conflicts of Commitment and Interest (COCI)

Creating Conflict Management Plans

Letter Templates for Conflict Management

Below are templates for letters that may be useful in managing apparent conflicts of interest.  Please contact the Conflict of Interest Office, 333-0034, coi@illinois.edu, if you have questions, or if you would like assistance in revising a letter.

Unit Executive Officer Confirmation of Conflict Management

This letter may be sent by a Unit Executive Officer (UEO) to acknowledge an employee’s acceptance of the Terms and Conditions for conflict management. Together, the letter to the employee and the Report of Non-University Activities may constitute a plan for the management of conflicts of interest. 

Familial Conflict of Interest

This letter may be sent to family members who collaborate on research projects, or who may be paid on the same sponsored research agreement. 

University Interest in Employee Consulting

This letter may be sent to an employee by the UEO to document that the University has no interest in any intellectual property developed in the course of faculty outside consulting, provided that certain conditions are met.

Contact the campus Conflict of Interest Office with any questions, concerns, or for assistance: 333-0034 or coi@illinois.edu.

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