Per UALR Policy #309.6 “Conflict of Interest,” employees are required to report any change in relationships resulting in a potential conflict of interest to the appropriate department chair or supervisor no later than Oct. 31 annually. If there are no changes, then there is no requirement to file a new statement.
What is a Conflict of Interest?
Conflicts of interest are situations in which university employees may have the opportunity to influence university administrative, business, or academic decisions in ways that could lead to personal gain, give improper advantage to self or others, or interfere inappropriately with the preservation, generation, or public dissemination of knowledge such that an independent observer might reasonably question whether the individual’s professional actions or decisions are influenced by considerations of personal gain, financial or otherwise. It can also be a conflict of interest for an individual to work for a competitor of the university. A conflict of interest depends on the situation, and not on the character or actions of the individual.
All employees are required to disclose any relationships or activities that might give rise to conflicts, or the appearance thereof, with their duties, responsibilities, or obligations to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Employees engaged in contracting for expenditure or receipt of funds shall not accept gifts or gratuities from persons or entities contracting with or otherwise engaged in business with the university except as allowed by the “Rules on Gifts” of the Arkansas Ethics Commission.
A potential conflict of interest may arise when a university employee’s extracurricular relationships interfere or compete with one another or with that individual’s relationship to the university. However, the nature of possible employee relationships outside the university varies widely. Therefore, a precise and exhaustive definition of all possible relationships with the potential for conflict of interest is not possible. Attachment A, however, offers a list of examples of potential conflicts of interest.
Conflicts of interest are not necessarily unwarranted, unethical, or illegal. Furthermore, conflicts of interest are not always avoidable.
Disclosures should be made as early as possible to enable those reviewing them to consider what action, if any, needs to be taken regarding any potential conflicts of interest. The failure to disclose situations that have the potential for or involve actual conflicts of interest, however, may be unethical and/or illegal.