Conflict of Interest Policy

The Conflict of Interest Policy is designed to allow faculty to determine if a potential or actual conflict of interest, hereafter COI, exists in their professional life with respect to the financial operation of the College.

If there is a potential or actual financial or other COI, there is an expectation that the faculty member will disclose it so that a proper management process can be implemented. Disclosing a potential COI does not mean that the faculty member will need to sever the relationship, but it may require the faculty member to minimize potential problems. Overall, COI is about disclosure and management, not about prohibitions.

The policy below applies to both faculty members who engage in regular financial transaction of the College, and to those who, on occasion, might find themselves with a potential or actual financial COI. 


Entity - Any person, firm, corporation, or organization that currently does business with, or is attempting to do business in the future with the College.

Faculty - The Faculty of the College consists of the teaching Faculty (each of whom holds a Faculty rank and whose primary responsibility is classroom teaching), the President, the Provost, Emeritus Faculty, Professional Librarians, and College Administrators.

Family Member - Family Members are defined as spouses, parents, siblings, children, and any other person that resides in the same household as the Faculty member.

Financial Interest - The receipt or expectation of anything of greater than nominal monetary value, including salary or other payment for services, equity or other ownership interest.

Controlling Interest - As used in this section, means 50 percent or more ownership, directly or indirectly, of the stock of a corporation, profits interest in a partnership, or equitable interest in an estate or trust. An individual shall be considered as owning the stock, partnership interest, or estate or trust interest, owned directly or indirectly by the Faculty member or by a Family Member, as defined in this policy.


  • Such Faculty member has actual or potential financial or other interests which impair or might reasonably appear to impair her/his independent, unbiased judgment in the discharge of her/his responsibilities to the College;
  • Such faculty member is aware that a member of her/his family, or any organization in which such faculty member (or member of her/his family) is an officer, director, employee, member, partner, trustee, or stockholder who has a Controlling Interest in such organization, and has such existing or potential financial or other interests which impair or might reasonably appear to impair her/his independent, unbiased judgment in the discharge of her/his responsibilities to the College;
  • “Interest” includes having interest in an organization which is in competition with Saint Mary’s College and/or having an interest in an entity seeking to do business with the College. In either case, the potential conflict arises when the faculty member’s position gives her/him access to proprietary or privileged information which could benefit the entity in which the faculty member or her/his family member has an interest.

A faculty member must disclose in a timely fashion when duties exercised on behalf of Saint Mary’s College bring one into business negotiations with an entity in which they or members of their family have a material financial interest or significant indebtedness. 

A faculty member must disclose in advance and in a timely fashion her/his participation in decisions or actions on behalf of Saint Mary's College which may result in personal gain or greater than normal value for the faculty member or the faculty member’s family. 

Faculty members also have a duty to disclose all solicitations to or offers from entities outside the College for financial support for their programs of study, research or scholarship. Faculty members involved with the design, conduct, or reporting of research or educational scholarly activities supported by outside funding of any significant value must disclose this involvement.  

The COI Policy disallows the following unless approved in advance by the Provost: Acceptance of gifts, entertainment, payments, loans, or favors of greater than nominal value involving more than social amenity from suppliers or goods or services to the College, or from persons associated with or seeking association with the College. 


Faculty authorized to sign for expenditures, acting as principals on grants, or involved in making purchases on behalf of the College are required to complete a Conflict of Interest Questionnaire. The forms are kept in the Purchasing Office. These individuals are under an obligation to update information on this form annually.

Any faculty member who is uncertain whether a COI may exist in any matter will discuss said matter with her/his Department Chair. The faculty member’s Department Chair will consult with the Provost regarding the need for the faculty member to further disclose said matter on the Questionnaire.
The Provost, in consultation with the Faculty Affairs Committee of the Faculty Assembly and the Vice President for Strategy and Finance, shall determine if a potential or actual financial COI exists for a faculty member. If such a conflict is found to exist, an acceptable management plan or other appropriate means for resolving a potential or actual COI will be developed by the faculty member in consultation with the Department Chair and Provost.

If a faculty member wishes to appeal the determination of a potential or actual COI, she/he may do so to the Grievance Committee of the Faculty Assembly.

Applies To: 
Last Updated: 
Maintained By: