Faculty, staff required to report outside activities and financial interests

June 27, 2011

Faculty and staff are reminded that they are required to report outside activities and financial interests in accordance with University policy. The policies on Individual Financial Conflicts of Interest (X.2.3) and Conflicts of Commitment and Reportable Outside Activities (X.2.4) have been updated in order to comply with changing regulatory requirements and to provide detailed definitions, responsibilities and procedures.

In general, the financial affairs and relationships of University faculty and staff are to be conducted in a manner that does not interfere with or improperly influence their duties as employees of the University. Similarly, any outside activities that faculty and staff engage in may not create a conflict of commitment with respect to their University responsibilities. In order to ensure that conflicts do not arise or are managed, faculty and staff are to follow the reporting requirements outlined in the updated policies, which are available on the University Policies website at www.purdue.edu/policies.

Links to the necessary forms are provided in each policy's Related Documents, Forms and Tools section. Faculty and staff may fill out the forms online, but will then need to print them so that they can sign them before turning them in. To assist faculty and staff in determining what needs to be reported, the Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance has provided a list of frequently asked questions on the Resources page of its website at www.purdue.edu/ethics/vp/resources.shtml. Faculty and staff are encouraged to talk with their unit head if they have specific questions or refer to the contacts section of each policy for a list of campus-specific phone numbers.

Changes to the outside activities policy include bringing the decision-making down to the unit level to reduce turnaround time and adding an appeal option. The financial interests policy now delegates to a conflict of interest officer the responsibility for reviewing disclosures related to University purchases. The policy brings the procedures for review of disclosures related to sponsored projects in line with current practices and mirrors the reporting requirements for individuals working on sponsored projects to those proposed by the Public Health Service and National Science Foundation.

Purdue has had policies in place in one form or another to address these issues since 1932. The most recent update prior to this year was in 1995. In June 2010 a working group with representation from the faculty, APSAC and CSSAC was appointed to propose revisions to the policies. Feedback also was solicited from the University Senate, regional campuses, faculty and staff.

"The working group benchmarked peer institutions and solicited input from their colleagues," says Alysa Rollock, vice president for ethics and compliance. "These policies are stronger, more equitable policies thanks to the hard work and the willingness of the University community to provide constructive feedback."