Skip to main content

Conflict of Interest

Section 106

It is the college's intent to avoid conflicts between interests of the college and the personal interests of faculty and staff members. Therefore, when any college business transaction under consideration presents the potential for a conflict of interest, the faculty or staff member concerned shall not be involved in the transaction, and the college shall act in accordance with the guidelines below.

A conflict of interest is defined as incompatibility between an individual's private interests and his or her duties or actions as a college employee.

  • A potential for conflict of interest exists where a college faculty or staff member, or a close relative or member of that person's household, is an officer, director, employee, proprietor, partner, trustee, or stockholder in, or stands personally to profit in a material way from, an organization seeking to do business with the college.
  • A potential for conflict of interest also exists when a college faculty or staff member has an interest in an organization which is in competition with a firm doing business with the college and the faculty or staff member's position gives him/her access to proprietary or other privileged information which could benefit the firm in which he/she has an interest.
  • Those involved in the design, conduct, or reporting of research or educational activities supported by outside funding must disclose to the Vice President for Finance and Administration or his/her designee all financial interests they may have (including those of relatives or members of their household) (i) that would reasonably appear to be affected by the research or educational activities that are funded or are proposed for funding; (-ii) in entities whose financial interests would reasonably appear to be affected by their research activities.

College business transactions include but are not limited to procurement of goods and services (including consulting and contractual services), disposition of college materials or property, and agreements for the provision of services or use of college facilities or space.

Any college faculty or staff member, who is or is to be involved in a college business transaction in which a potential for conflict of interest exists, on his or her own part or on the part of another college employee, is required to promptly report such potential conflict to the Associate VP for Human Resources or the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

The Board of Trustees Policy on Conflicts of Interest requires an annual disclosure of financial interests. Employees with responsibilities for major contracting and financial relationships will also be asked to comply with this policy to complete an annual disclosure statement.

Please also see Code of Conduct (Conflict of Interest) for more information.

Employment of Relatives

Smith College is committed to hiring diverse, qualified candidates and to providing opportunity for transfer and advancement for employees in good standing. The college is equally committed to avoiding conflicts of interest and the appearance of favoritism and/or bias.

Smith College does not prohibit the employment of individuals with significant relationships within the college community. Significant relationships may include personal or family. It does, however, prohibit the supervision of an employee by an individual with whom he/she has a significant relationship who has or may have the ability to influence salary, promotion, work assignments, or other working conditions. Please also see Code of Conduct (Nepotism) for more information.

If an employee becomes involved in a significant relationship with another employee where there is supervisory responsibility, or if through reorganization or transfer an individual reports to someone with whom he/she has a significant relationship, both parties have an obligation to inform the Associate VP for Human Resources, who will work with the supervisor to resolve the conflict.