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Resources and Reports

CWUR 1-30-080 Conflict of Interest in Relationships

Central Washington University policy CWUP 2-40-050, Ethics in Public Service, and the Washington State Ethics in Public Services law (RCW 42.52) provide guidance on ethical standards for university employees. These procedures give specific guidance on the management of conflicts of interest which may occur. See corresponding policy (CWUP 2-40-070 Conflict of Interest).

Faculty and staff should avoid a conflict of interest in relationships. If a conflict occurs, the first possibility for eliminating the conflict of interest is to discontinue the consensual relationship with an inherent power differential. If discontinuing a personal relationship or eliminating the conflict of interest is unachievable, the employee will disclose to his/her supervisor (such as director, chair, director, or dean) the nature of the conflict of interest. Other persons who perceive a conflict of interest may also bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate supervisor.

The employee, in consultation and cooperation with the supervisor, will eliminate or manage the power differential in the relationship to prevent or eliminate a conflict of interest. Alternative means for supervision, teaching, advising, or evaluation of the subordinate employee or student is generally required.

Supervisors are responsible for documenting the disclosure and resolution of the conflict of interest. This documentation should be signed by the employee with the power differential over the subordinate employee or student. The supervisor will inform the director of equal opportunity of the conflict of interest and resolution. Failure to comply with these guidelines constitutes unprofessional conduct. Responsibility for implementation, monitoring and execution of the conflict of interest policy and procedures rests with the director of equal opportunity, Human Resources, Bouillon 205, 509-963-2205, oeo@cwu.edu.

[Responsibility: President’s Office; Authority: Cabinet/UPAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/UPAC; Review/Effective Date: 11/02/2011; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]