Salish Kootenai College is committed to ensuring that research and scholarly activities are carried out under the highest standards of ethical conduct and adhere to Federal and State regulations. All research and contract work must align with the College mission and related policies.
The College’s overall policy on conflict of interest is that none of its faculty, staff, or administrators shall engage in any activities that place them in a conflict of interest between their official activities and any other interest or obligation. Salish Kootenai College’s responsibilities in this area include the identification of the potential for conflicts of interest and the assurance that they do not improperly affect the College’s integrity in its relationship to activities involving sponsored research, education, and public service activities. This policy provides the mechanism for the proper review of such interests in order to determine whether a conflict of interest exists and, if so, whether action must be taken to eliminate, reduce or manage the conflict before the contract, grant or gift supporting the research or other activity may be accepted.
Faculty and staff relationships with outside entities must support the College mission. This includes professional responsibilities on behalf of the College including, but not limited to, activities such as research, consultation, teaching, professional practice, committee memberships, and service on panels such as Institutional Review Boards or Data and Safety Monitoring Boards. Additionally, this policy is intended to meet and conform to written federal conflict of interest regulations as required for institutions of higher education that receive grant and contract funds. Compliance with this policy is required by all Salish Kootenai College employees.
Conflict of Interest, or potential conflict of interest, occurs when there is a divergence between the employee’s private interests and professional obligations to SKC, such that an independent observer might reasonably question whether the employee’s professional actions or decisions are determined by considerations of personal gain, financial or otherwise. The following list provides examples of activities or actions that merit case-by-case review to determine whether they create a material conflict of interest.
- Consulting activities that use College resources (laboratories, equipment, and/or human resources) and/or place the individual in a position to influence business decisions between the College and the hiring agency.
- The purchase of goods or services for the College from businesses in which the employee, or his or her family, has a financial interest, or as a result of such purchase, may directly benefit.
- Receipt of gifts, gratuities, loans, or special favors (including trips or speaker’s fees) from research sponsors or vendors.
- Holding of an equity, royalty, or debt instrument interest by the employee or the employee’s family in an entity providing to College financial support, including research or other support or services, when such support will benefit the employee or persons supervised, directly or indirectly, by the employee.
- Some memberships on board of directors, committees, advisory groups (or similar bodies) of governmental, for-profit or not-for-profit entity.
- Use of information received as a College employee for personal gain.
All College employees are required to disclose to the V.P. of Business Affairs potential conflicts of interest related to sponsored activities including research, creative, or scholarly activities receiving external funding or other activities that might potentially create a conflict of interest between the SKC employee and their professional activities. The statement of disclosure will be forwarded to the SKC Institutional Review Board and/or the Grants Management Office for review.
(Adapted from University of Montana Policy 42.0, Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure)
Adopted: November, 2010
Reviewed January 2017