The latest work-life information at IU

No. 31
May 2004

University Human Resource Services

Inside this Issue:

IU Fee Courtesy Plan Benefit Provisions Reconfigured

Tax Saver Benefit (TSB) Plan Options During a Leave of Absence

2004 PPO Medical Care Plan Booklets Available

When a Death Occurs

PPO Medical Care Plans Provide Information to Stay Well and Healthy

Personal Accident Insurance New Underwriter

IU-sponsored Health Plans HIPAA Privacy Practices

PERF Early Retirement Incentive Results

Investment Fund Performance



The Informed Employee is published 2-3 times a year by University Human Resource Services for approximately 16,000 full-time appointed staff and academic employees across the eight Indiana University campuses.

Human Resource
Indiana University
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Bloomington, IN 


Conflicts of Interest and Conflicts of Commitment Policies

New polices regarding Staff and Hourly employees

Employees are encouraged to participate in external activities that enhance their professional skills or constitute public service. External activities provide an opportunity to discover and pass on new knowledge and to form alliances that enhance the university’s mission. However, external activities can lead to “conflicts” that adversely impact the university.

As a basic principle, it is wrong for an employee to use her/his position to influence university operations for personal financial benefits. It is also wrong for an employee to accept payment from the university for time or services that are not an official university function. (Both of these actions may be a violation of Indiana state law.)

Indiana University feels so strongly about these basic business principles that specific policies have been approved to articulate expectations of employees and managers.

Conflicts of Interest–occur when an employee or employee’s immediate family member receives personal financial benefit from the employee’s position in a manner which may:

  • Inappropriately influence the employee’s judgment, or
  • Compromise the employee’s ability to carry out
    university responsibilities, or
  • Could be a detriment to the university’s integrity.

Staff and Hourly employees are required to avoid conflicts of interest. If a conflict of interest cannot be avoided, then employees are required to disclose in writing any real or potential conflict of interest to her/his manager.

Managers are required to take affirmative actions to manage conflicts of interest, up to and including removing associated responsibilities from the employee. In the event of no other alternative, an employee may be separated from the university to eliminate a conflict of interest.

Other types of conflicts of interest, which are prohibited:

  • Using university property, facilities, equipment, or other resources in any manner that results in personal financial benefit
  • Using university stationary, letterhead, name or
    trademark in connection with an activity that is not associated with university business
  • Using university data or information for personal financial benefit
  • Participating in the awarding of a contract with any entity with which the employee is seeking or has been offered employment

Conflicts of Commitment–occur when the time or effort that an employee devotes to external activities interferes with the fulfillment of assigned university responsibilities, or when an employee makes unauthorized use of university resources in the course of an external activity. (This may also be considered ghost employment or theft.)

Staff and Hourly employees are expected to devote their university work activities to official functions of the university. Non-university-related services for or provided to another entity shall take place outside of the employee’s designated work activities or during periods of authorized leave, such as:

  • Services to a corporation, business, association, agency or not-for-profit organization
  • Services as a voluntary or paid expert witness in a civil or criminal case
  • Private lessons in art, music or any field of study
  • Private consulting for financial aid, academic consideration, career development, etc.

Staff and Hourly employees shall not accept any compensation from another agency, entity, or individual for work performed in the course of their university employment, except under very limited circumstances such as payment from government or not-for-profit entities for participation on advisory committees or review panels.

Staff and Hourly employees shall not use university resources for external activities that have a material cost to the university.

The full provisions of these two policies are located here. Staff employees and department heads will receive a brochure with more information and Q&A regarding these policies.

In the event of a question about what constitutes a conflict of interest or commitment, it is essential that employees ask their manager for clarification and direction. Managers should maintain a working environment that encourages employees to ask questions.

Related laws and policies:
Indiana Code 35-44-1-3, Conflict of Interest
Indiana Code 35-44-2, Ghost Employment
IU Policy on Financial Conflicts of Interest in Research
IU Purchasing Department Policy, Conflicts of Interest

Tobacco Use and Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States today. An estimated 264,000 men and 178,000 women die each year in the United States from cigarette smoking. Based on current cigarette smoking patterns, the CDC estimates that 25 million Americans alive today will die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses, including 5 million people under the age of 18.

The CDC reports the following findings regarding tobacco-related mortality in the February 2004 fact sheet:

  • The largest number of smoking-related deaths include lung cancer (124,000), heart disease (111,000), and chronic lung diseases including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airways obstruction (82,000).

  • Since 1950, lung cancer deaths among women have increased by more than 600 percent. Since 1987, lung cancer has been the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women.

  • Cigarette smoking results in a two- to three-fold increase risk of dying from coronary heart disease.

  • Pipe smoking and cigar smoking increase the risk of dying from cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, and oral cavity. Smokeless tobacco use increases the risk for developing oral cancer.

  • On average, adults who smoke cigarettes die 13 to14 years earlier than nonsmokers.

Source: Tobacco-Related Mortality Fact Sheet, 2004-02

Next Article: IU Fee Courtesy Plan Benefit Provisions Reconfigured

Last updated: 26 May 2004
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