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Conflict of Interest

It is inappropriate and possibly illegal for University employees to use University resources or time for private purposes or to benefit the interests of outside persons or organizations.

Examples of such misuse include:

Personal telephone calls, especially those that involve a cost to the University.  While brief personal local calls are acceptable, personal calls that last more than a few minutes are not.  Staff should avoid calls that will be charged to the University.  If there is an emergency reason for making such a call, the charge must be reimbursed.  The Administration monitors the monthly telephone bills and will question suspicious charges.

  1. Use of University stationary, postage or computing services for private purposes.
  2. Use of University email to solicit sales for or donations to private persons or entities.
  3. Use of a staff member’s relationship to the University to reinforce political opinions.
  4. Use of a University-sponsored event to benefit a private business or organization.
  5. Engaging in compensated work for an outside entity on University time.

Obviously, there are gray areas.  If in doubt, contact your supervisor or the Dean’s office for clarifications and approval.

A full explanation of conflict of interest activities that apply to staff are found at the website of the Office of Human Resources (http://hr.osu.edu/policy/).

Faculty may engage in consulting activity (see “Consulting”). All faculty must file a financial conflict of interest screening form each year. Grants and research proposals will not be processed by OSURF unless the faculty member’s conflict of interest status is shown to be “in compliance.”