A conflict of interest may occur when a person uses his or her position for personal or professional gain. All members of the University of Kentucky are to avoid even the perception of any conduct that might lead others to conclude they are using their position inappropriately to advance professional, private or familial interests. Common conflicts of interest are:
- Accepting gifts or incentives from vendors or organizations through one’s work with UK (Governing Regulation (GR) Part XIV; UKHC Policy A01-030).
- Nepotism, showing favor to relatives or friends, especially through hiring or promotions (GR Part X; GR Part XIV).
- Self-Interest, such as a personally- or family-owned company benefitting from the relationship to the university (GR Part XIV; UKHC Policy A01-030).
- Identifying oneself as an employee of the university in the public promotion or advertising of commercial products without prior written approval (GR Part XIV).
- A romantic relationship between a superior and a subordinate (GR Part XIV; UKHC Policy A01-030).
Competing interests can make it difficult to fulfill duties impartially. When conducting or participating in any transaction, full disclosure of any real or perceived conflict with personal interests is required. If there is a potential conflict, the party must be removed from further participation. After disclosure, the university can make a judgment about the activity and ensure appropriate oversight, restrictions, or prohibitions in accord with these policies. It is important to remember that each situation is different, and many factors will need to be considered to determine whether an actual conflict of interest exists.
For the convenience of university personnel, University of Kentucky Internal Audit has compiled this list of administrative regulations, policies and procedures related to conflicts of interest, gifts, confidentiality, and working relationships, as well as UK’s Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct and the UK Clinical Enterprise Code of Conduct Addendum.