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Conflict of Interest - Employee

LMC Revised Date

Office of Origin: Human Resources
Date Adopted: 04-27-99
Date Reviewed: 03-13-09, 07-14-18
Last Date Modified & Approved: 03-13-09, 09-25-18


  1. POLICY
    The intent of this policy is to avoid conflicts of interest.
     
  2. DEFINITION
    A conflict of interest exists when personal interests of a College employee conflict with job duties and College services.
     
  3. PRINCIPLES
    1. Compliance with State and Federal Laws
      Lake Michigan College employees shall comply with all state and federal laws with respect to conflicts of interest.
    2. Ethical Standards
      Good judgment and high ethical standards are constantly to be applied.  Practices resulting in a conflict of interest are prohibited. Proprietary interests will be observed.
    3. Disclosure
      All employees of the College are expected to disclose to the President through their immediate supervisors any personal interests or involvement or the appearance of conflict, which may be the subject matter of a potential conflict of interest under the terms of this policy.  The President is expected to disclose to the Chair of the College’s Board of Trustees.
    4. Policy Compliance
      The terms and conditions outlined in this conflict policy supersede any previous College policy.
    5. Exceptions
      The President or his /her designee may authorize exceptions.
       

    The following situations may cause or give the appearance of a conflict of interest and are described to assist employees to remain in compliance with Lake Michigan College’s Conflict of Interest Policy.  It is impossible to describe all situations.  Therefore, the prohibitions included in this policy are comprehensive, but not exhaustive.
     

  4. ETHICAL STANDARDS
    1. Misuse of Confidential Information
      Employees are not to disclose confidential or proprietary information to anyone either inside or outside the organization who does not have the authority to possess such information.
    2. Political Use of College Funds
      Authorizing the use of College resources, whether directly or indirectly, for the use or benefit of, and/or for the purpose of supporting or opposing, any political party, candidate, committee, interest or government or subdivision thereof is prohibited.
    3. Political Campaigning on Campus
      Employees will not actively campaign on College property to promote personal political issues or candidates for local, state, or national office while performing their employment or during normal work time.
    4. Use of Family Members
      Use of family members to perform acts of conflict of interest on the employee’s behalf is prohibited.
       
  5. RECEIPT OR FURNISHING OF GOODS, SERVICES AND BENEFITS
    1. Sale of Goods or Services to the College
      No employee is to furnish goods or services to the College or to its agents, employees or subcontractors for remuneration, except under such terms and conditions as are made available to the public in general in accordance with the College’s Purchasing Policy, and with approval of the President. This policy does not prevent employees from donating goods or services to the College. Such donations may qualify as charitable deductions under the Internal Revenue Code.

      Employees will not participate in, evaluate, or recommend the award of any College contract, property or benefit to any person or firm with which they or members of their immediate family (spouse, son, daughter, parent) possess an ownership interest of more than one (1) percent in any corporation, partnership, or unincorporated entity doing business with the College, except for businesses whose ownership interests are traded on a national securities exchange.
       

    2. Acceptance of Goods or Services Provided by College Any employee, or member of his or her immediate family or firm(s) in which the employee or his immediate family has an interest, who receives, obtains or uses goods or services from the College or its personnel will pay fair consideration in such amounts as are required by members of the public in general, and will adhere to the ordinary procedures and policies of the department or division of the College rendering the services or furnishing the goods, except for such discounts authorized by the College.
       
    3. Sales or Lease of Land and/or Property to the College
      No employee or member of his or her immediate family, nor firms in which the employee or the immediate family member has any interest, may enter into a conveyance or lease to the College unless full public disclosure of the relationship has been made to and approved by the President.
       
  6. OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES
    1. Supplemental Employment
      A full- or part-time employee (section does not apply to part-time faculty) may engage in outside employment provided that the following are observed. If there is any question of a conflict of interest, the employee should notify his/her immediate supervisor prior to engaging in the supplemental employment.

      1. The employment does not interfere with the employee’s contractual responsibilities to the College.
      2. The employee does not represent to others that his/her outside employment is in any way connected with his/her position with the College, or with the College itself, or that he/she is acting as an agent, representative, or employee of the College. Where appropriate, the employee must make affirmative disclaimers of any such connections.
      3. The employee does not use College equipment, materials or services in connection with his/her outside employment.
      4. When acting as a spokesperson for the College and providing public addresses and articles for publication during working hours, the employee may not accept a fee, salary, honorarium, or other compensation.  Reasonable reimbursement for travel, lodging, meals, or nominal courtesies may be accepted.
         
    2. Non-Compete Clause
      No full-time employees will receive financial or other remuneration for providing any goods or services to the public within the College’s service district which are provided by the College or for which the employee has been hired by the College to provide. If it is not clear whether the College is engaged in the sale of a service for which an individual may be remunerated, the faculty or staff member should consult with his or her supervisor and/or the appropriate executive officer.

      No full-time employee will engage in or accept outside employment or render services for a private or public entity when that employment or service is incompatible or in conflict with the discharge of his or her duties with the College, or when employment may impair his or her independence of judgment or action in the performance of duties.
       

    3. Personal Consulting
      Employees who engage in outside consulting duties or speaking engagements will not represent that they are rendering such services on behalf of the College, or in any other way acting in an official capacity with the College, unless expressly authorized in writing by an appropriate administrative officer or the President.
       
    4. Personal Opinion
      An employee will not represent his or her personal opinion as that of the College.
       
  7. SUPPLEMENTAL EMPLOYMENT WITH THE COLLEGE
    1. Supplemental Work at College
      Employees may undertake supplemental employment, for extra compensation, with the College only if the supplemental assignment does not interfere with the employee's primary assignment and as approved in writing by the employee’s immediate supervisor and forwarded to Human Resources.
       
    2. Instructional Assignments
      All instructional assignments for non-faculty employees must be approved in writing by the employee's immediate supervisor and the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.
       
    3. Supplemental Employment
      If a full-time employee’s supplemental employment interferes with job performance, the employee may be requested to end or modify such supplemental employment as a condition of continued employment by the College.
       
  8. PROPRIETARY RIGHTS
    1. Statement of Purpose
      It is the intent of the Board of Trustees to encourage innovation and increase productivity in the teaching and learning processes of the College. The academic prestige of the College will be enhanced through the generation by its staff and faculty of publications, patents, grants and similar public evidence of scholarly expertise.  The encouragement of activities specifically designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of teaching and of the College operation is in the best interests of the College and consistent with its mission.
       
    2. Areas of Proprietary Interests
      1. Any copyrightable material, process or product.
      2. Any patentable material, process or product.
         
    3. Circumstances Under Which the College WOULD NOT Claim Proprietary Interest
      It is recognized that any employee who, outside of the normal contract responsibilities, on his or her own time and at his or her own expense, develops or produces educational material, software or media for publication, maintains the full rights for patent or copyright and any royalties resulting from such publication unless other written agreements exist or unless such rights for patents, copyrights, or royalties conflict with the College’s proprietary rights policies.
       
    4. Circumstances Under Which the College MAY Claim Proprietary Interest
      1. If a full- or part-time employee is contracted by the College specifically to produce materials, processes or products, which are copyrightable or patentable, the College will retain all proprietary rights. This section is intended to include course development for credit and non-credit.
      2. An employee may, outside the scope of the employee’s primary duties, contract with the College to produce copyrightable or patentable materials, processes or products to be owned by the employee and/or copyright/patent holders other than the College.  If the employee receives from the College additional compensation equivalent to a three (3) credit course payment or more, or receives from the College support (copying, videotaping, graphics, word processing, etc.) valued at more than $400.00 in the course of such development, the employee will reimburse the College for such compensation or for the value of the services received. In order to secure such reimbursement, the College may claim a proprietary interest in the materials, processes or products until reimbursement is completed.  In addition, where the College has provided such additional compensation or support services, the College will retain the right to use internally that which was developed, without payment to the employee and/or copyright/patent holder and will receive twenty (20) percent of the net profits of all sales.
         
    5. General Provisions
      1. The person(s) producing the product shall be acknowledged as the author(s) and all appropriated credits shall be given to all primary and support personnel. The author(s) shall identify themselves as employees of Lake Michigan College.
      2. If a project is supported in whole or in part by a grant from an external agency, the conditions of the grant will prevail. If no conditions are specified, the appropriate sections of this policy will apply.
      3. In all cases, it shall be the obligation of the author(s) when entering into any other agreements, to make known the provisions of this policy and preserve the rights and provisions of this policy in any other agreements.
      4. The internal use of developed material shall be without charge to the College and shall be housed and used as other materials. The College may distribute such materials to other institutions for the purpose of demonstration and review. External distribution by the College for any other reason shall be only with written consent of the author(s). The author(s) may use such materials for professional activities such as workshops, etc. In cases where the College has gained proprietary rights, the author should preserve these. The author(s) retain the right to review recorded material in order to update or otherwise improve its quality or accuracy. If significant costs are associated with such changes, a separate agreement may be negotiated or, at the discretion of the College, the material may be removed from circulation.
         
  9. UNDUE INFLUENCE
    1. Acceptance of Gifts
      Except for natural and ordinary social courtesies, employees will not accept gifts, gratuities, services or payment of any nature in order to influence, or as a result of, business done with the College, or from any student or prospective student of the College without supervisor’s approval.

      Employees in attendance as a College representative or in a setting where discussions involving or beneficial to, the College may occur or at organized functions which have been considered appropriate and important ones to attend because of the recognized benefits of such attendance to College operations may accept food, refreshments, and entertainment of nominal value on infrequent occasions.
       

    2. Solicitation of Funds or Gifts
      Solicitation of funds or gifts for the benefit of the College, or any College group or organization, by employees will be made only with the consent of the Executive Director, Lake Michigan College Foundation. No employee may solicit, directly or indirectly, for oneself or for the benefit of any relative or friend any gift or favor from an organization with which the College does business or that seeks to do business with the College. Employees will not be unduly influenced to contribute funds or gifts for the benefit of a group or organization external to the College.
       
  10. DISCIPLINE
    Violations of this policy will be addressed through due process as outlined in the College’s policies and procedures for each College employee classification.
     
  11. PROCESS FOR REVIEW
    Employees are required to familiarize themselves with and to abide by the contents of this Conflict of Interest policy. The policy requires that all College employees file a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form with Human Resources at the time of hire. Employees will update the completed form and forward to Human Resources as changes warrant. Any conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest will be immediately reported to the appropriate administrator.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form

The following questions are to be answered by all College employees.

  1. Do you have knowledge of any proposed action, which may place you in conflict with the Conflict of Interest – Employee policy as adopted by the Board of Trustees? (Check appropriate answer).
    NO______________YES_______________ If yes, please explain full details on a separate sheet of paper.
  2. Are you a director, employee or agent of any business entity, which, during the performance of your duties with that agency, might place you in a position of being in conflict with the Conflict of Interest – Employee policy as adopted by the Board of Trustees? (Check appropriate answer).
    NO_____________YES________________If yes, please list the business entity by name on a separate sheet of paper and attach to this questionnaire.
  3. Do you or any member of your immediate family own an interest of more than one (1) percent in any entity identified as doing business with the College?
    NO______________YES_______________ If yes, please list the business entity by name on a separate sheet of paper and attach to this questionnaire.

Date____________________ Signature_____________________

Responsibility: Vice President, Administrative Services

References: Purchasing Policy, Gifts & Gratuities Policy

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