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Conflict of interest & conflict of commitment

The identification and proper management of conflicts is critical to ensuring fair process and protecting the reputational interests of faculty members and librarians, academic and operational units, and the University as a whole.

Under the Collective Agreement, faculty and librarians are obliged to report any conflict of interest or coflict of commitment. Disclosure Statements must be submitted by Feburary 1 with salary evaluation materials. An Update for Research Purposes form must be submitted prior to the commencement of any new research project. Additionally, new potential and actual conflicts must be declared as they arise.

Information on conflict of interest and conflict of commitment (external professional activities) can be found in Articles 48 and 49 of the Collective Agreement.

Conflict of interest

The existence of a Conflict of Interest involves two elements: the Member’s or a related party’s personal interest(s), and the Member’s obligations to the University. Personal interests may include business, commercial or financial interest, as well as personal matters. A Member is obligated to act in support of the University’s integrity and fundamental mission, which includes avoiding circumstances that may undermine public trust.

Since the possibilities for Conflict of Interest are almost limitless and cannot all be covered in procedures, Members are expected to exercise sound judgement and are responsible for seeking guidance where there is ambiguity as to whether a Conflict of Interest exists. The University will facilitate appropriate and confidential channels for those seeking guidance.

Conflicts of Interest are defined as real, perceived or potential situations in which an impartial observer might reasonably question whether actions or decisions taken by the Member on behalf of the University are influenced by considerations of private interest. In the research context, a Conflict of Interest includes a situation where financial or other personal considerations may compromise, or have the appearance of compromising, an investigator’s professional judgment in conducting or reporting research.

In the teaching context, a Conflict of Interest may include a situation in which course materials in use at the University are sold to a competitor or external tutorial or resource service. Members should consult with the University prior to selling course materials in use at the University. Course materials created for additional compensation or with substantial use of University resources that are sold commercially are subject to Appendix B: Intellectual Property Policy (GV0215). Publication or sharing for non-commercial academic purposes is not a Conflict of Interest.

Conflict of commitment

External professional activity includes any activity whether paid or unpaid, which employs the Member’s professional skill or arises out of their academic status, whether or not the activity is academic in nature or discipline-related.