SUBJECT:     Conflict of Interest Disclosure Review Committee

1.0 Establishment of a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Review Committee

The Committee has been formed, pursuant to TBR Policy 1:02:03:10.  The general responsibilities of this Committee are defined in TBR Policy 1:02:03:10.  Additional details associated with the Committee are defined herein.

2.0 Duties

2.1 As described in TBR Policy 1:02:03:10, the committee shall evaluate conflict of interest disclosures, except as noted in 2.2 below, and make determinations  regarding what actions may be required to manage, reduce or eliminate conflicts of interest.  If a member of the committee is the subject of the disclosure, that person shall not be entitled to vote regarding disposition of the disclosure.

2.2 All federal agencies and many private foundations that fund university projects by means of grants or contracts require that East Tennessee State University has responded to this requirement by implementing Faculty Handbook Policy 1.17, “Policy on conflict of interest for externally sponsored research, service or instruction.”  All university employees who submit grant proposals to external agencies must be aware of this policy. Potential conflicts governed by this policy will be reviewed by the Vice Provost for the University Standing Committee on Research and the Academic Freedom and Faculty Ethics.  Additionally, potential conflicts of interest arising in research with human subjects must be reviewed by one of the East Tennessee State University Institutional Review Boards.

3.0 Number of Members

The Committee shall consist of three members, with at least one member selected from the faculty and at least one member selected from administrative or support staff personnel.

4.0 Selection of members

Members of the Committee shall be as follows: Director of Human Resources (chair of the Committee), one member appointed by Faculty Senate, and one member appointed by Staff Senate.

5.0 Duration of Membership

The Director of Human Resources is a permanent member of the committee.  Faculty and Staff Senate appointees will be appointed for a one year term.  They may be appointed for successive terms.

6.0 Meetings

The committee shall meet as frequently as necessary to conduct its business, but no less than once per semester.

Source:  Tennessee Board of Regents Policy No. 1:02:03:10

TO:  All Faculty and Staff
FROM:  Dr. David D. Collins, Vice President for Finance and Administration
SUBJECT:  Conflict of Interest Disclosures
DATE:  August 24, 2009

All employees of East Tennessee State University serve the interests of the State of Tennessee and its citizens, and have a duty to avoid activities and situations which, either actually or potentially, put personal interests before the professional obligations which they owe to the State and its citizens. The Conflicts of Interest Policy is intended to 1) define the general principles which should guide the actions of employees, 2) offer illustrations of activities which potentially constitute a conflict of interest, 3) make employees aware of disclosure requirements related to conflicts of interest, 4) describe the process by which those disclosures shall be evaluated and decisions rendered, and 5) describe the appeals process regarding such decisions. The policy may be found at Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Policy No. 1:02:03:10, and within the ETSU Faculty Handbook .

Faculty and staff who believe that a conflict of interest may exist either personally or with respect to another person covered by the Conflicts of Interest Policy shall make a written disclosure of the facts and circumstances surrounding the situation. Disclosures shall be submitted to the employee’s immediate supervisor, or directly to the Disclosure Review Committee, Office of Human Resources, Box 70564. The Disclosure Review Committee will receive and evaluate all disclosures and render a decision regarding the issue(s) presented by the disclosure. Any disclosure which indicates an actual violation of law shall be forwarded to the President along with the Committee’s findings. Persons potentially committing a conflict of interest violation under consideration by the Disclosure Review Committee shall receive notice of the Committee’s evaluation and be given an opportunity to appear before that committee. Failure to observe restrictions imposed as a result of review of a conflict of interest disclosure, or a knowing failure to disclose a conflict of interest may result in appropriate disciplinary actions. Decisions made by the Disclosure Review Committee may be appealed to the President. Decisions of the President shall be final and binding. Please find the Conflict of Interest, Disclosure Review Committee policy, at PPP-72.

Contact the Office of Human Resources at extension 9-5825 if you have additional questions or concerns.

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