Tips for Avoiding Conflicts of Commitment & Interest

Stanford faculty members owe their primary professional allegiance to the University, and their primary commitment of time and intellectual energies should be to the education, research, and scholarship programs of the institution.   Outside professional relationships, can result in conflicts regarding time and energies which represent conflicts of commitment. In addition, these activities can result in conflicts of interest when there is a divergence between an individual's private interests and his or her University obligations such that an independent observer might reasonably question whether the individual's professional actions or decisions are determined by considerations of personal gain, financial or otherwise. A conflict of interest depends on the situation, and not on the character or actions of the individual.

Faculty members should conduct their affairs so as to avoid conflicts of commitment and avoid or minimize conflicts of interest, and must respond appropriately when conflicts of interest arise.   Disclosure of such interests is required under University, as well as School of Medicine policy. The complete set of University policies concerning conflicts of interest and commitment and related areas can be found at the following web sites:

These tips are meant to serve as a brief guide to faculty about issues that need to be considered when engaging in outside professional activities.

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