Conflict of Interest

About Conflict of Interest

What is a conflict of interest?

Conflicts of interest are a normal part of an active and vibrant university. Conflicts of interest do not necessarily represent any impropriety if they are disclosed and properly managed. The key to identifying a conflict of interest is to evaluate whether there is a potential for personal gain and/or improper advantage to others to the University's detriment resulting from the dual roles an employee plays. Put another way, if an employee has an interest that could reasonably appear to affect his/her teaching, research, or other University activities, or could affect the interests of the external entity in which the employee has an interest, a conflict of interest may exist.

A conflict of interest may arise regardless of an employee’s intentions. Perceived conflicts of interest can be as harmful as real conflicts of interest. Therefore, it is the University of Missouri’s policy that all outside interests of an employee related to their institutional responsibilities must be disclosed. The Conflict of Interest Committee will review the disclosures and inform the employee if they feel there is a potential risk that needs further management.

How do I disclose my outside interests?

To disclose, follow the link at the top of this screen or go to eCompliance.missouri.edu and create/update an Outside Interest Disclosure Form. If additional guidance is needed, please reference the step-by-step guides found here.

If I have a conflict of interest, who determines what management is needed?

The Conflict of Interest Committee has been charged by the Chancellor with the responsibility for management of all conflicts of interest on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. The Deputy Chancellor coordinates Committee activities and is considered the campus’ designated official for purposes of compliance with federal regulations. The Committee works to assist faculty and staff to appropriately structure their various interests to reduce and eliminate potential risks. No two situations are the same. Therefore, the Committee works diligently to understand each scenario to find custom solutions that best meet the needs of the parties involved.

What happens if I ignore a possible conflict of interest situation?

The University of Missouri's policy requires disclosure of outside interests annually and/or whenever an outside interest arises or changes. Violation of this policy constitutes a breach of the employment contract and may lead to disciplinary action. In some cases, the failure to disclose and manage conflicts of interest is also a violation of state and federal regulations and mandated sanctions apply. Furthermore, failing to file an Outside Interest Disclosure Form can result in slowing down grant proposals and other approval processes on campus.