Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a conflict of interest?

A conflict of interest is a situation in which a personal interest may compromise or bias an employee's professional judgment and objectivity when performing research or making decisions on behalf of the university. Every year, employees must complete a COI disclosure to either confirm that they do not have any personal interests that require disclosure or declare any personal interests they do have.

What is a conflict of commitment?

A conflict of commitment exists when your outside interests, relationships, or activities have a reasonable potential to compete or interfere with the UNT's educational, research, or service missions, or your ability or willingness to perform the full range of your institutional responsibilities at the university. See UNT policy 05.008 - Dual Employment and Other Activities for guidance and reporting responsibilities.

How do institutional responsibilities and outside activities relate to a conflict?

Officers and employees shall not have direct or indirect interests or commitments, including financial and other interests and commitments, engage in business transaction professional activities, or other outside activities, or incur any obligation of any nature that is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of the officer's or employee's duties for UNT.

Why do I need to file a COI disclosure?

All members of the UNT community are expected to ensure that conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment are reported in one's annual COI disclosure, and subsequently reviewed and appropriately managed, if necessary. Having a COI disclosure on record ensures that you are in compliance with federal, state, and university requirements.

Who has access to the information I submit in the COI System?

The information provided in your disclosure is confidential and is only used for the purposes of administering the policy by the university offices with oversight responsibilities, as appropriate. Under certain circumstances, UNT is required to make personal financial information publicly available to comply with federal and state law.

When do I need to complete my COI disclosure?

At UNT, COI disclosures are required annually in order to adhere to university regulations, even if you have nothing to disclose. If your circumstances change, you must file a revised COI disclosure within 30 days of the change to notify the university accordingly. New employees must file a COI disclosure within 30 days of their start date. COI disclosure periods run from September 1st to October 1st of each year.

What information do I need to disclose on my COI disclosure?

Your COI eDisclosure form will provide detailed guidance on what kinds of circumstances you should disclose. You can also find this information on UNT's University Integrity & Compliance webpage for Conflict of Interest.

Who is considered a “Family Member”?

“Family Member” means anyone related to the officer or employee within the second degree of consanguinity (related by blood) or affinity (related by marriage). The second degree of consanguinity includes a parent, child, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild. The second degree of affinity includes a spouse, stepparent, stepchild, or spouse of a person within the second degree of consanguinity. It also includes anyone related to the officer's or employee's spouse by the second degree of consanguinity.

What is “Financial Interest”?

“Financial Interest” means an interest—other than a retirement plan, a blind trust, insurance coverage, or ownership interest of less than one percent in a corporation—where the officer or employee or officer's or employee's “Family Member”:

1. Owns or controls, directly or indirectly, an ownership interest of at least one percent, including the right to share in profits, proceeds, or capital gains, in an entity that provides goods or services; or
2. Could reasonably foresee that a contract with an entity that provides goods or services could result in financial benefit to the officer or employee or the officer's or employee's "Family Member".

The percent of interest owned may be calculated using either voting stock, shares owned, or the market value of shares.