Effective Date: 09/01/2010
No federal appropriated funds will be paid by or on behalf of Michigan Technological University, to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the making of any Federal grant, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, or the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any Federal grant or cooperative agreement. If any funds other than Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or any employee of a Member of Congress, the Registration and disclosure forms required by the Federal Lobbying Disclosure Act and any other applicable law, shall be completed and submitted.
- 07/15/2010: Was previously Policy 3.10. Renumbered, deleted Standard Form LLL and added registration and disclosure forms required by Federal Lobbying Disclosure Act and any other applicable law.
Effective Date: 04/29/2011
Conflicts can be divided into two basic categories. The first covers what many people traditionally associate with the term conflict of interest--opportunities for inappropriate personal gain during the pursuit of official duties. These gains may be financial, but other forms of benefit (power, political advantage, etc.) might also be involved. Another form of conflict has been labeled conflict of commitment, and refers to the choices individuals make about their professional priorities, especially the allocation of their time to the different institutions and organizations they serve as professionals. Conflicts of commitment may emerge when outside professional activities take priority over other professional responsibilities of members of the Michigan Technological University community to the University.
With respect to paid members of the Michigan Technological University community, the term "conflict of interest" as used herein is intended to include "conflicts of commitment." With respect to volunteers such as members of the Board of Trustees, the Tech Fund and Alumni Boards, only those conflicts of a pecuniary nature are encompassed by the term "conflict of interest."
Statement of General Principles
Upon becoming a member of the Michigan Technological University community, which includes members of the Board of Trustees and other volunteer boards, every individual makes a commitment to the University. Those who accept full-time University appointments or employment are expected to accord the University their primary professional loyalty. Every paid member of the community is expected to arrange their personal interests and activities so as not to conflict with their commitment to the University.
This does not mean that members of the Michigan Technological University community should avoid involvement in outside activities both public and private. To the contrary, such involvement often serves the University as a whole and the greater public interest. A state-funded, public university such as Michigan Tech is expected to be broadly engaged in meeting the needs of society for its improvement and enrichment, including the application of new knowledge and improved technologies. Therefore, Michigan Tech strongly encourages outside professional activity by faculty, staff, and administrators, for such efforts usually complement the other responsibilities of members of the Michigan Tech community. Nothing in this policy should be interpreted as discouraging such efforts.
Nonetheless, the efforts of members of the Michigan Technological University community to balance their commitments of time to the University and to outside professional interests must result in their primary professional commitment of time being made to the University. Similarly, avoidance of conflict of interest requires that individuals not realize gain, financial or otherwise, from the inappropriate use of University property, funds, equipment, or prestige. Also, individuals should not realize gain from outside professional interests that would improperly influence the conduct of their University duties.
Conflicts of interest are inherent in the requirements and expectations placed on members of academic communities such as Michigan Technological University.
Because conflicts are unavoidable in many instances, this conflict of interest policy is designed to assist members of the Michigan Technological University community to recognize and deal with those real and perceived conflicts that arise. The most basic and important procedure for achieving both a balance of commitment and preventing or enabling the University to manage conflicts of interest with financial implications is full and open disclosure of significant interests and potential conflicts between an individual's public and official obligations and responsibilities on the one hand, and outside professional goals and interests on the other.
Recognizing and disclosing the existence of conflicts of interest and commitment must be, primarily, the responsibility of individual members of the Michigan Tech community. Individuals have to be guided by a sense of professional responsibility, which must include the recognition that they have a public trust as employees of a public university and must be sensitive to potential conflicts. A standard that should be applied in thinking about conflicts of interest is how matters will appear to an outside third party. In this respect, actions by individuals should protect the integrity of Michigan Tech. To that end, periodic and transactional disclosure of significant financial interests (as defined by applicable state or federal regulations) by individual members of the Michigan Technological University community allows the objective determination of whether a financial conflict of interest exists in any given situation.
Members of the Michigan Technological University community engaged in research and scholarly activities have an additional need to maintain objectivity and to insure that inappropriate bias is not introduced into their scholarship. Agencies providing support for research and scholarly activities may have conflict of interest disclosure and training requirements, and it is the intent of the University to be in compliance with those external requirements.
Michigan Technological University has a responsibility to help individuals resolve, or at least minimize, conflicts of interest. Administrators have a special responsibility of creating both an environment and the conditions that encourage full disclosure and the mitigation of conflicts.
Mitigation of Conflicts
No individual having a direct or indirect financial interest in the outcome of any decision to be made on behalf of the University, or having a close relative (as defined by applicable state or federal regulations) with a direct or indirect financial interest in the outcome of any decision to be made on behalf of the University will participate in making that decision, except to the extent the individual's advice or opinion is requested by others charged with the responsibility for making such a decision.
Efforts to resolve and ameliorate conflict of interest shall be handled at the lowest appropriate administrative level. In most instances, members of the Michigan Technological University community will not need authorization or approval from their immediate supervisors before engaging in outside professional activities. Certain cases, however, may require detailed scrutiny and greater care in handling to protect the rights of all parties.
The University Provost shall designate a Conflict of Interest Coordinator. This individual shall act in accord with this conflict of interest policy as well as guidelines established by external granting agencies. Additionally, a University level review committee may be established on a case-by-case basis to examine the circumstances and provide direction aimed at insuring the amelioration of inappropriate conflicts of interest.
Violations of University Policy
Michigan Tech has the authority to take action against individuals who violate conflict of interest policy. Sanctions, which may include termination, are to be graduated to reflect the seriousness of the violation. In enforcing this policy it should be recognized that conflicts are not always blatant; they are not always easily defined in terms of obvious or absolute rights and wrongs. Distinctions must be made between neglect, honest oversights, or ignorance of procedures on the one hand and willful violations on the other, especially deliberate failures to disclose interests or relationships that create conflicts of interest.
- 04/20/1917: Senate Resolution, no work for firm, or person in litigation with the State
- 09/18/1992: Changed responsibility
- 09/22/1995: Rescinded policy dated 9/18/92 and adopted new policy
- 08/03/2000: Changed Executive Vice President and Provost title to Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
- 03/14/2003: Changed Vice President for Finance and Administration to Vice President for administration and added Chief Financial Officer.
- 07/15/2010: Was previously Policy 3.13. Renumbered and changed Vice Presidential title to match current titles.
- 04/29/2011: Eliminated categorization of conflicts and annual report.
Effective Date: 09/01/2010
An Office of the Ombuds shall be established by the Senate of Michigan Technological University. Its purpose shall be to provide confidential, impartial, informal conflict resolution services to faculty, staff and students prior to the filing of any formal grievance. The Ombuds office seeks to resolve conflicts through informal mediation efforts. Ombuds mediation efforts are to be terminated upon the filing of a formal grievance, at the request of the member of the university community seeking Ombuds services, or by the judgment of the Ombuds officer. Consultation with the Ombuds Officer will not preclude or impair other avenues of grievance, investigation, or adjudication available to faculty, staff and students. Included in the office is the processing of student complaints when other recourse has been exhausted and matters arising under the Board of Trustees Sex Discrimination/Sexual Harassment Policies.
The Ombuds Officer shall report to the President, and may recommend policy changes to the President for consideration.
The Ombuds Officer shall be appointed by the appointing committee which shall consist of the following members of the Michigan Tech community: one member appointed by the President; one member elected by the Senate from among its members; one member elected by the Academic Faculty; and one member elected by Michigan Tech enrolled students. The choice of the appointing committee must be unanimous. The term of the Ombuds Officer shall continue until his/her resignation or until terminated by a two-thirds majority vote of the entire University Senate membership or until terminated or suspended by the President, whichever first occurs.
Release time and resources required to successfully execute the duties of the Ombuds' Office shall be provided by the University as determined by the President.
- 01/27/1984: Changed general faculty to academic faculty
- 02/24/2006: Rescinded former policy; new policy broadens the scope of the office to include faculty, staff and students.
- 07/15/2010: Was previously Policy 6.4. Renumbered and changed by adding suspension or termination power in the President to comply with State law prohibiting non-terminable employment. Staff council member deleted as position no longer exists.
Effective Date: 09/01/2010
All employees of Michigan Technological University are subject to social security tax pursuant to Act 205 of the Public Acts of 1951 and the federal social security act, with exceptions from coverage as provided by law.
- 07/15/2010: Was previously Policy 14.2. Renumbered only.