The University Record, October 3, 1994

Regents amend Bylaw that details conflict of interest policy

At its September meeting, the Board of Regents approved an amendment to Bylaw 1.14, the Regents’ conflict of interest policy, to be “consistent with the ethical and moral principles that form the basis of the Regents’ policy.”

In July, the state conflict of interest act was amended to allow entities such as the University to enter into certain contracts that previously had not been permitted.

The Bylaw amendment, which was moved by Regent Rebecca McGowan and seconded by Regent Philip H. Power, clarifies that it is a conflict of interest for a Regent, in any capacity, to be employed by or associated with a professional service firm that directly or indirectly provides services to the Univer-sity.

If a firm is providing services to the University before an employee becomes a Regent, it may complete work-in-progress. It may not be engaged for further work until the Regent is no longer employed by or associated with the professional service firm.

Regents who may have a conflict of interest, the policy states, are required to “promptly and fully disclose the conflict to the secretary of the Board of Regents and shall refrain from participating in any way in the matter to which the conflict relates until the conflict question has been resolved.”

Regent Deane Baker unsuccessfully attempted to table the item until the January meeting, noting that while he supports a strong policy, the amendment needs further thought. Both he and Regent Shirley M. McFee abstained from voting.

Power noted that the response of the Board “makes clear our ethical and moral standards,” adding that approval of the amendment was “reasoned and precise, and reacts to correct loopholes” in the U-M policy.

In addition to McGowan and Power, Regents Paul W. Brown, Laurence B. Deitch, Nellie M. Varner and James L. Waters voted to approve the amendment.