University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Board of Regents Governance

Regent Policy

No. 11

Policy Regarding Regent Conflicts of Interest

By state law and University policy, all decisions of the Board of Regents are to be made solely on the basis of promoting the best interests of the University. Therefore, regents are required to publicly disclose their significant personal financial interests and refrain from participating in any University transaction in which they have a personal interest.

1. Public Disclosure of Personal Financial Interests

Under the Washington Public Disclosure Act, Chapter 42.17 RCW, elected officials and certain state appointed officials (including the University President and Board of Regents) are required annually to file a Personal Financial Interest Statement to the Public Disclosure Commission.

2. Specific Transactions

In the event that the Board of Regents is called upon to consider a transaction involving the University in which a regent has a beneficial interest, such regent shall, as defined in and pursuant to the Ethics in Public Service Act, Chapter 42.52 RCW:
  • Disclose fully the precise nature of his or her beneficial interest in such transaction; and

  • Refrain from participating in or voting on the Board's consideration of the proposed transaction.
State law defines what constitutes a "transaction involving" the University and what is a "beneficial interest" in such a transaction. "Participate" means to participate in state action or a proceeding personally and substantially as a state officer or state employee, through approval, disapproval, decision, recommendation, the rendering of advice, investigation, or otherwise.

Members of the Board of Regents should also act in accordance with the general provision of RCW 42.52.020 stating that state officers and employees may not "have an interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in a business or transaction or professional activity, or incur an obligation of any nature, that is in conflict with the proper discharge of the state officer's or state employee's official duties."

Questions or complaints under this policy may be referred to the Chair of the Board of Regents, the Executive Director of Internal Audit, or University legal counsel, for appropriate action.

BR, June 7, 2012; [formerly numbered Regent Policy No. 13] July 11, 2019; March 9, 2023.

For related information, see:

  • Board of Regents Governance, Regent Policy No. 2, "Statement of Ethical Principles"
  • Board of Regents Governance, Regent Policy No. 10, "Customs and Protocols of the Board of Regents"