The University of Washington has comprehensive policies concerning the broad spectrum of ethics issues that emerge in the complex and varied environment of University life. These policies reflect the underlying rationale, University expectations, and designated procedures for appropriate disclosure and review of conflicts of commitment and conflicts of interest, including financial interests that might bias or otherwise threaten the integrity of the results of sponsored projects.
Policies guide but are not sufficient in themselves to capture the essential qualities that should characterize the collegiality of the academic community. The University is first and foremost a community of scholars charged with the responsibility of educating the next generation. The institution provides the framework within which that task is carried out. To do so successfully and harmoniously requires that all cooperate in a spirit of mutual support and interest. To this end, the University provides modest incentives designed to encourage employees to go beyond their traditional responsibilities and engage in activities such as technology transfer, consulting, and other acts of creative productivity. But those incentives are not intended to be, nor can they be permitted to become, ends in themselves, lest the primary purpose of the academy be subverted. Whether in the context of consulting relationships that could bypass established institutional policies on transferring intellectual property or in negotiating personal rewards for a given intellectual contribution, every University citizen should make extra efforts to protect the interests of the institution. In this way, the larger goals of the educational enterprise will be sustained. To do otherwise would violate the spirit of the academy and the integrity of the task we accept as members of the academy. Such violations are avoided through adherence to University conflict-of-commitment and conflict-of-interest policies. Employees are encouraged to err on the side of protecting the interests of the academic community, even if doing so would in some small measure disadvantage them individually.
Basic PrinciplesIn conformity with the Ethics in Public Service Act (Chapter 42.52 RCW), this policy sets forth basic principles of that act for reference for all University employees.
|A.||No employee shall have an interest, financial or otherwise,
direct or indirect, that is in conflict
with the proper discharge of his or her official duties.
No officer or employee shall incur an obligation, of
any nature, or engage in a business, transaction, or
professional activity that is in conflict with the proper
discharge of his or her official duties.
|B.||No employee, except as
provided by law, shall have a beneficial interest in
a contract, sale, lease, purchase, or grant that may
be made by, through, or is under the supervision of the
employee, in whole or in part. No employee may accept,
directly or indirectly, any compensation, gratuity, or
reward from any other person beneficially interested
in the contract, sale, lease, purchase, or grant; except such
prohibition shall not apply to University officers and
employees who have, with respect to that beneficial interest,
complied fully with the provisions of Executive Order No. 57, Section 6, "Involvement
with Commercial Enterprise, Deeper than Consulting,"
University of Washington Grants Information Memorandum 10,
and, as applicable, National Science Foundation (GPM 510) 1995, and Public Health Service Regulations, 42 C.F.R., Part 50
and 45 C.F.R. Subtitle A.
|C.||No employee shall, except in the course of
official duties or incident to official duties, assist
another person, directly or indirectly, whether or not
for compensation, in a transaction involving the University:
|1)||In which the employee has participated, or
|2)||If the transaction has been under the official responsibility
of the employee within a period of two years preceding
|No officer or employee may share in compensation
received by another for assistance that the officer or
employee is prohibited from providing by law.
|D.||A business entity of which
an employee is a partner, managing officer, or employee
shall not assist another person in a transaction involving
the University if the employee is prohibited from doing
so by Subsection C.
|E.||No employee shall, directly
or indirectly, ask for, give, receive, or agree to receive
any compensation, gift, reward, or gratuity for performing,
omitting, or deferring the performance of any official
duty, unless otherwise authorized by law. See Board
of Regents Governance, Standing Orders, Chapter 1, Section 8; Executive Order No. 62,
and Executive Order No. 41.
|F.||No employee shall employ
or use any person, money, or property under the employee's
official control or direction, or in his or her custody,
for the private benefit or gain of the employee or another.
|G.||After termination of employment
with the University, no former employee shall, within
a period of one year from the date of termination of
such employment, accept employment or receive compensation
from an employer if the former employee, during the two
years immediately preceding termination of University
in a substantial and significant way in the negotiation
or administration on behalf of the University of one
or more contracts with a total value of at least $10,000
with that employer;
|2)||Was, as a consequence
of such substantial and significant involvement in such
negotiation or administration, in a position to make
discretionary decisions affecting the outcome of such
negotiation or the nature of such administration; and
|3)||Will have duties of employment
with the employer or the activities for which the compensation
would be received that include fulfilling or implementing,
in whole or in part, the provisions of such contract(s)
or include the executive supervision or high-level managerial
control of actions taken to fulfill or implement such
may accept an offer of employment or receive compensation
from an employer if:
|1)||The employee knows,
|2)||The employee has reason to believe, or
|3)||The circumstances would
lead a reasonable person to believe that the offer of
employment or offer of compensation was intended, in
whole or in part, to influence the performance or nonperformance
of duties by the employee during the course of University
|I.||No former employee
may subsequent to his or her University employment assist
another person outside the University, whether or not
for compensation, in any particular transaction involving
the University in which the former employee participated
during University employment.
|The above statements
summarize provisions of the Ethics in Public Service
Act and are provided for descriptive purposes only. In
matters where the possibility exists of conflicts, reference
should be made to one's supervisor, to the text of the
Ethics in Public Service Act, and to the applicable federal
regulations, particularly NSF Investigator Financial
Disclosure Policy (GPM 510) 1995 and the PHSR, 42 C.F.R.
Part 50 and 45 C.F.R. Subtitle A, and University of Washington
Grants Information Memorandum 10.
Employment of More Than One Member of
|A.||In the appointment
of its faculty and staff members, the University seeks
those persons most qualified to fulfill the institution's
teaching, research, and service obligations.
|B.||Accordingly, members of the
same family or household may be appointed to University
faculty and staff positions when it has been determined
that they are qualified for the position. Such determination
as to qualification may not be made by the member of the
candidate's family or household.
may not supervise another member of the employee's family
|D.||RCW 42.52.020 provides
in part as follows: "No
state officer or state employee may have an interest,
financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage
in a business or transaction or professional activity...that is in conflict with the proper discharge of
the state officer's or state employee's official duties." RCW 42.52.070 further
provides that "no state
officer or state employee may use his or her position
to secure special privileges or exemptions" for
himself or herself, his or her spouse, child, parent,
or other family or household member.
considers the following as among the institutional transactions
that involve a beneficial interest: appointment, termination
of appointment, promotion, demotion, approval of salary
increase or decrease.
|F.||The restrictions made in Subsections 2.D and 2.E above and in Faculty Code, Section 24-50, "Conflict of Interest," do not themselves prohibit members of the same family or household being appointed to positions in the same unit of the University, but the restrictions of conflict of interest as defined in Subsection 2.D above must in all cases be fully observed.|
BR, February 1971; S-A 38, March 1971, S-B 126, December 1975: both with Presidential approval; BR, September 19, 1977; Executive Order No. 32 of the President, February 27, 1998.
For related information, see: