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K-State Today

May 21, 2021

Important conflict of interest reminder

Submitted by Charles Taber and Beth Montelone

Dear K-State Faculty and Staff,

K-State recognizes the value of faculty and staff interaction with business and industry, private foundations and government agencies to foster the university mission, facilitate professional development and promote expansion of knowledge. While these interactions can provide valuable experience, they can also result in an actual or perceived conflict of interest or conflict of time commitment. 

Federal agencies have been updating policies related to conflict of interest, conflict of time commitment, consulting and foreign financial interests. This is a dynamic and rapidly changing environment in terms of regulations and reporting requirements. We have been following these changes as they occur and are doing our best to keep K-State researchers apprised of the new developments.

Considering the current environment, it is critically important that all faculty and staff complete the electronic Declaration of Conflict of Interest and Time Commitment form when they sign their annual appointment letter. This form can be accessed through HRIS Employee Self-Service at https://hris.k-state.edu. (Path: Employee Self Service > Personal Information > Conflict of Interest).

When a conflict of time or interest is identified, either the conflict should be eliminated or a management plan should be developed and agreed upon by the employee and unit head or immediate supervisor. Supervisors/unit heads are responsible for determining whether a conflict can be adequately managed and are responsible for approving their employees' declarations in a timely manner.  

Improper reporting has been the basis for many federal cases of research and/or funding misconduct. Complete and accurate reporting of all potential conflicts of interest and time commitment is necessary to avoid the risk of violating state and federal regulations. 

K-State's policy on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Time Commitment is located in Appendix S of the University Handbook. Additional information is available on the Conflict of Interest website. If you have questions, please contact Craig Bourne, Office of the Provost, at cbourne@k-state.edu, or Cheryl Doerr, associate vice president for research compliance, at cdoerr@k-state.edu

Thank you for your attention to this important compliance requirement. 

Dr. Charles Taber
Provost and Executive Vice President  

Dr. Beth Montelone
Interim Vice President for Research