Conflict of Interest

The Employee Relations Team is available to help managers and staff address matters that might have a conflict of interest, or a potential or perceived conflict of interest. 

Overview 

Princeton University faculty and staff have a broad range of expertise, talents, interests and knowledge, and many engage in various professional and/or other outside activities. A conflict of commitment or an appearance of conflict of commitment occurs when the commitment to external activities of a faculty or staff member adversely impacts, or appears to impact, his or her capacity to meet University responsibilities. This form of conflict is typically recognizable through a perceptible reduction of the individual’s time, focus and/or energy devoted to University activities.
 
Princeton’s policies on conflict of interest prohibits employees from using their University positions to influence outside organizations or individuals for the direct financial, personal or professional benefit of themselves, members of their families or others with whom there is a personal relationship across a wide range of activities in all areas of the University. 

Annual Review & Disclosure

Each year, typically in late December or early January, office heads receive an annual memo from the vice president for Human Resources in December to remind everyone  that all employees are expected to review the University’s conflict of interest policies and complete and submit the Annual Disclosure and Certification Form for the preceding 12-month period ending December 31.  
 
Circumstances surrounding employee actions and decisions may be complex, and judgments on whether a conflict exists may be difficult to make. Policies and Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment: Understanding Your Obligations can provide guidance to employees and supervisors.
 
Employees and managers have an affirmative obligation to examine carefully any situation where there is potential for conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest or conflict of commitment. Staff members in the Office of Human Resources are available throughout the year to help employees and their supervisors assess each situation.
 
You can count on support from knowledgeable and responsive HR staff. Just call or send us an email. We’re here to help!