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Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Time Commitment


It is the intent of the university to promote open disclosure of opportunities and appropriate management of potential conflicts of interest and conflicts of time commitment. Conflicts of interest often arise innocently during the normal course of employment rather than by deliberate choice. Therefore, in dealing with conflicts of interest, the underlying philosophy of this policy involves their disclosure and management; however, understanding that the total elimination of the conflicts may not be possible. The purpose of having a conflict of interest and conflict of time commitment policy is to accomplish the following:

  1. Establish university employment as the primary work commitment of university personnel;
  2. Promote the achievement of primary or core activities of university employment;
  3. Assist personnel to maximize their unique contributions to the university;
  4. Promote self-disclosure and openness between personnel and line management concerning support and supplemental activities that might give rise to conflicts;
  5. Enhance professional attitude and increase the efficiency and productivity of personnel; and
  6. Manage to the extent possible both the fact and the appearance of conflicts among personnel.


2.1 Conflict of Interest

Whenever an individual’s university position or activities give an opportunity for significant personal or family monetary benefit beyond the compensation paid by the university, the circumstances of such potential benefit must be disclosed to the appropriate line management and an appropriate plan adopted.

Nominal personal use of university property is generally not considered inappropriate. “Nominal” refers both to amount of use and to the nature of the equipment of facilities used. The use is to be on BYU–Hawaii’s premises and of non-expendable items only. However, because of the expense involved, any personal use of a university vehicle or other major capital equipment is not considered nominal. Line management should be consulted in cases where there may be doubt about the nature and extent of proposed use. When proposed personal use might reasonably be considered more than nominal, permission should be obtained from line management. It is not intended to encourage personal use of university property, but rather to bring what use is made into the open.

Compensation to the university is required when personal use is extensive, substantial, or when expendable supplies (including use of copy machines and postage) are consumed. Where extensive or substantial use of university equipment is involved, arrangements should be made with line management for proper supervision of the use of the equipment. Such use of equipment and facilities should be covered by a reimbursement arrangement approved by the line management responsible for the equipment and by the dean or director of the individual’s college or department. This arrangement should be in writing for the protection of all involved parties.

Use for the benefit of a commercial or other private organization, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Church”), is inappropriate without approval from and compensation arrangements made with line management and the applicable dean or director.

Some proposed personal uses may be so extensive or substantial that neither permission nor compensation can make such use appropriate.

2.1.1 Other Potential Conflicts of Interest

Other sources of potential conflicts of interest that should be disclosed include the following:

Influencing University Negotiations: Except with express authorization to do so, negotiating, influencing or attempting to influence the negotiations of contracts or agreements between the university and a private or governmental organization.

Inside Information: Use for personal gain or other unauthorized purpose of privileged information acquired in connection with university business, e.g., confidential personal records, knowledge of forthcoming programs, site selections, or the selection of contractors, etc., before public announcements.

Commercial Use of “Know-How”: Making beneficial commercial use of unpatentable or non-copyrightable information or other know-how or trade secrets developed on university time. (See Consulting Restrictions section of this policy).

Personal Privileges: Using a university position to obtain personal privileges or gain (except privileges available to all personnel) from persons or firms outside the university, or, without authorization, from the university itself.

University Affiliation and Private Projects: Permitting the inappropriate use of an individual’s affiliation with the university to give credibility or other material support to a private undertaking. (See Promotional Activities Policy and Use of University Identity Policy).

Disclosure of Opportunities: For the purpose of personal gain, failing to disclose to the university information acquired in connection with employment by the university regarding financial, scientific, research, or other opportunities in which the university might reasonably be expected to have an interest.

Sponsored Research: Individuals involved with externally sponsored research must avoid or disclose any possible conflicts between interest of the sponsor and the university. In particular, any personal income outside the authorized salary payments must be disclosed and meet federal guidelines.

2.2 Conflict of Time Commitment

A potential conflict of time commitment exists when activities external to the university are performed on university time and exceed reasonable time limits or when primary professional responsibility is not to the university.

Primary Employment Commitment

Personnel are expected to understand the terms of their employment and give full measure of time, talent, and loyalty to the university. Any activity or work pattern that lowers productivity is in conflict with basic obligations; thus, any significant reduction in productivity attributable to other activities may itself suggest a conflict of time commitment. Except with written permission from line management, no individual should engage in the following activities:

  • Serve as a line officer (in title or in fact) in a private business;
  • Maintain a business or professional telephone listing;
  • Maintain an off-campus office (other than in an individual's home);
  • Be employed to teach or provide instructional or administrative services for other academic or non-academic institutions;
  • Be involved in significant government service other than jury duty, state legislature, or weekend national guard or reserve; or
  • Be employed in selling products or services not produced by the university.

Time Commitment

Time is only one factor to be considered in evaluating productivity. However, a minimum time commitment is a basic element in any individual's obligation to the university. In most cases, that minimum will be approximately 40 hours per week.

Productivity Factors

Factors to be considered in evaluating productivity should include, in addition to time, the quality of work and the extent to which the terms of the employment agreement have been fulfilled. For faculty, the annual stewardship interview with the department chair should include a discussion and understanding of the assignments for teaching, counseling of students, administrative duties, creative activity, permissible outside activity, and such other projects or activities as may be agreed upon. The annual performance review of administrative/staff employees should include a similar discussion of primary responsibilities, professional development activities, committee involvement, etc.

Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Time Commitment

All full-time personnel are responsible to inform line management of any outside professional or other activities that may constitute a conflict of time commitment on the Conflict of Interest/Conflict of Time Commitment form.

Evaluation of Outside Activity

Factors to be considered by the individual and line management together in evaluating the desirability of, and managing the risks of involvement in, outside interests include the following:

  • The degree to which an outside interest (including professional, business, church, and community service) materially and adversely affects an individual's performance at the university. Such adverse effects could include reduced productivity, divided loyalties, distraction of interest, or inappropriate appearances.
  • Whether the activity is consistent with the goals of the university.
  • Whether the nature of the activity is in competition with the activities of the university.
  • Whether the activity enhances the individual's professional competence in a way that benefits the university.

Accommodation for Activities or Interests

When line management concludes that a certain activity is inappropriate because it reduces an individual's productivity below the level of expected job performance, but the individual nevertheless wishes to continue the activity, salary reduction and/or conversion from full-time to part-time status (if approved by Human Resources) may represent an appropriate temporary solution.

Other University Employment

No individual should be paid twice for performing the same service. Therefore, additional employment by an organizational unit of the university or the Church, other than the unit in which a person is regularly employed, should take place only with the consent of line management of the unit in which he or she is regularly employed. Such employment also requires the approval of Human Resources if the result would be more than full-time employment. The Fair Labor Standards Act and the restriction to 40 hours per week should be reviewed for non-exempt employees. Participation in BYU–Hawaii or Church Educational System Continuing Education programs will not be regarded as a conflict of time commitment, assuming compliance with existing policies governing participation by university personnel in such programs.

Consulting Restrictions

Consulting should be distinguished both from moonlighting and from acting as a principal. Consulting is defined to include only that outside activity that brings professional enrichment and benefit (financial or otherwise) both to the consultant and to the university, whereas moonlighting ordinarily benefits only the individual. Thus, while moonlighting is not prohibited, it is not encouraged. Examples of moonlighting include after-hours employment by other firms, farming, the operation of a part-time business, etc., under circumstances in which such additional income-producing activities are unrelated to or interfere with the university assignment.

A consultant often advises other professionals who may be trained in the same field as the consultant. The other professionals are usually principals who are responsible to third parties for the performance of a complete project. Frequently, a principal's commitment is so open-ended and so large that the principal cannot control the exact nature or extent of involvement in completing the project. Retention of control over one's involvement is not only possible but essential for a consultant whose principal open-ended professional commitment is to the university. An individual should avoid becoming more a principal than a consultant. Even then, consulting must not materially and adversely affect the consultant's primary or core obligations to the university.

No personnel may voluntarily testify as an expert witness adverse to the university, its affiliated sponsor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or other institutions within the Church Education System or entities which are affiliated with, owned or controlled by the Church. University personnel are not precluded in any way from testifying as lay witnesses. For purposes of this policy, an expert witness is a witness testifying in an adversarial or administrative proceeding, whether retained for compensation or acting as a volunteer, and qualified by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education to provide a scientific, technical, or other specialized opinion that will assist the finder of fact. A lay witness is a witness testifying in an adversarial or administrative proceeding who is not retained for compensation by a party, who is not testifying as an expert witness, and who therefore only provides testimony concerning the facts of the case based upon firsthand knowledge.

Church Service Conflicts

In general, the Church sponsorship of the university does not justify any different attitudes about the use of university time or university property for Church service. At the same time, the university is sympathetic to the need for flexibility on this subject. The kinds of activities that would not ordinarily raise conflicts of interest or conflict of time commitment questions include use of an office during off-duty hours, working on Church assignments on a rare "emergency" basis during regular hours, or the compensated use of university property such as copying machines. Special circumstances should be discussed with line management when particular needs arise. (See Church Duties and University Obligations Policy.)


3.1 Applicability

This policy applies to all full-time university personnel. If special circumstances warrant, line management may need to apply some portion of this policy to part-time personnel on an individual basis.

3.2 Annual Survey

Annually, Human Resources will provide to all faculty, administration, and staff employees, a Conflict of Interest/Conflict of Time Commitment (“COI”) form with instructions for employees to review the potential for such conflicts and disclose any such conflicts of which they are aware. If no conflicts exist, employees must review and sign the COI form and return it to Human Resources as requested. If a conflict is identified, the employee must review the conflict with their supervisor and document on the COI form the plan developed by the employee and their supervisor to manage the conflict. Both the employee and supervisor must then sign the COI form and return it to Human Resources as requested.

If a plan to manage a reported conflict cannot be agreed upon, the issue will be referred through the levels of line management, as needed, for resolution.

COI forms will be maintained in the employee’s file according to university retention policy.




Policy Owner: Director of Human Resources

Executive Sponsor: Administrative Vice President

Original Approval by President's Council: 06/04/2002

Modified: 02/07/2022

Full revision history maintained by Human Resources.