Conflict of Commitment Policy: Non-Faculty Employees
This Policy applies to all schools and divisions and all non-faculty full-time and part-time employees at Tufts University.
It is both appropriate and desirable that many Tufts employees be involved in professional and other outside activities, in consulting, guest lecturing at other institutions, and serving in professional and community organizations. Such activities extend the staff member’s professional competence, enrich the teaching such person can provide at Tufts, and contribute to the advancement of the profession.
Occasionally, however, questions arise about the extent of such involvement or the appropriateness of certain activities. This Policy is provided to assist individual staff in identifying (and, if possible, avoiding) possible problems in this area.
This Policy is consistent with and is in addition to relevant federal and state law and University policies listed below and with other relevant University policies not listed here. Academic or administrative division, department or units may require further disclosure and conflict of commitment management than mandated by this Policy as may be deemed appropriate by such division, department or unit and its supervising administrator.
Full-time non-faculty employees are prohibited from earning additional compensation, either from the University or from an outside party, for work performed during regular working hours.
When it is in the interest of the University, full-time professional and administrative staff may teach a maximum of one course per year during working hours with the approval of their supervisor. The employee must make up all work hours missed due to teaching; and conference hours, class preparation and other ancillary activities cannot be performed during regular work hours. (The Provost may approve an exception to this requirement where it is in the best interests of the University to do so.)
Supplemental employment, consulting or volunteer work performed by a full-time or part-time non-faculty employee outside the University may be undertaken only if it does not:
- Create a conflict of commitment by interfering with the obligation of the individual to carry out their University duties in a timely and effective manner;
- Create a conflict of interest with the individual's status as an employee of the University;
- Involve any use or exploitation of University supplies, materials, equipment, services, names or insignias;
- Claim, explicitly or implicitly, any University or institutional responsibility for the conduct or outcome of such activities (a specific disclaimer of University involvement may be required as a conduction of approval of an employee's supplemental activities); or
- Usurp an opportunity that would ordinarily be carried out directly by the University; or
No full-time or part-time employee may use University property or facilities for any business, professional or volunteer purpose not related to their position at the University without the written approval of the employee's senior manager and in compliance with the University’s Conflict of Interest Policies.
All employees are required to promptly report to his or her direct manager or senior manager any actual or perceived conflict of commitment (as defined in accordance with this Policy) which arises outside of the annual reporting period. The decision on whether to approve a reported conflict should be made by the Executive Vice President, after consulting with the employee's senior manager and such other University officials as the Executive Vice President may deem appropriate. Conflicts involving the Executive Vice President shall be reported to and approved or disapproved by the President and conflicts involving the President shall be reported to and approved or disapproved by the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee of the Board of Trustees.
Violations of this Policy as determined by the appropriate dean, director, supervisor, or Conflict of Interest Committee are considered misconduct on the part of a staff member and may be subject to institutional sanctions up to and including termination of appointment in accordance with applicable disciplinary procedures.
Violations include but are not limited to situations in which:
- A staff member knows of a situation that places such person in a potential or actual conflict of interest or conflict of commitment but fails to disclose it fully, according to the Questionnaire or the policies of such person’s division, department or unit; and
- A staff member discloses a potential or actual conflict of interest or commitment but fails to abide fully by the required plan for avoiding or managing the conflict.
Disputes and Appeals
When a staff member disputes any action or decision related to a potential conflict of interest or conflict of commitment, existing University policies for disputes of staff will be used. Disputes with decisions or actions taken by an established Conflict of Interest Committee for those projects for which the Committee is responsible must be through the processes established by the Committee. If a school or administrative division, department or unit develops additional procedures for handling disputes or appeals regarding any action or decision taken with respect to a staff member’s conflict of interest or conflict of commitment, the additional procedures must coordinate with and may not substitute for existing University policies for handling disputes.
Any act of retaliation or reprisal against an individual for reporting in good faith a potential institutional conflict of interest or a violation of this Policy shall be a violation of this Policy. Any use of this Policy to report in bad faith an alleged potential institutional conflict of interest shall be a violation of this Policy. Such violations will be dealt with through regular administrative processes for violations of University policies.
The University reserves the right to change this Policy from time to time. Proposed changes will normally be developed by those responsible for the policy with appropriate stakeholders. The approval entities have sole authority to approve changes to this Policy. Conflict of Interest Protocol may be modified, from time to time, by the Conflict of Interest Steering Committee.
Please contact email@example.com.
- Provost’s Office
- Executive Vice President
- Office of University Counsel
- Academic Council
- Office of the President
Separated from the Conflict of Interest Policy 2-1-2021
- Michael Howard, Executive Vice President
- Mary R. Jeka, General Counsel
Annually or as determined by the Conflict of Interest Steering Committee