Case Scenarios - Scenario 4
Professor Smith arrives on campus at 7 AM, teaches two classes, and then leaves. He owns several apartment houses and prides himself on taking care of all repairs, from plumbing and electrical work to roofing and laying carpets. In addition, he mows the grass and keeps driveways and walks clear of snow. Since the total number of units runs to about 45, Professor Smith is kept busy most of the year.
In addition, Professor Smith rents apartments to his graduate students. Sometimes, when pressure connected with maintenance and repair work becomes too great, Professor Smith requests graduate students to help him with various projects.
Is this a conflict of interest or a conflict of time commitment?
What to consider: Case 4
This potentially could be a conflict of time commitment issue. Professor Smith should indicate the time committed to these activities to assure they are not interfering with his ability to perform his university responsibilities. It may be necessary to determine the hours of the day in which Professor Smith is expected to perform university duties.
If Professor Smith hires his own graduate students, the students should be assured in writing that involvement, or lack thereof, with the Professor Smith’s rentals will not in any way adversely affect their academic progress or employment status.