Use of Official Position


A UO employee may not use their university position for unauthorized personal financial gain, or to avoid an expense they would otherwise incur.

This rule applies to UO employees and their relatives. It also applies to anyone who receives benefits from an employee's UO employment, and to any private business that an employee (or relative) owns, works for, or where they serve on the board of directors (excluding non-profits). So, for example, if you own a small business and you decide, on behalf of UO, to enter a contract with that business, you are probably violating this rule if a) it makes you money (or saves you money), b) it’s a contract UO otherwise would not have entered into, and c) it’s unauthorized.

Use the But-for Test! The Use of Official Position rule prohibits private financial benefit that is only available to a person because of their work for UO. In other words, the question is whether this benefit is otherwise available to people who do not work for UO. This is called the “but-for” test.

The rule prohibits the use (or attempted use) of your UO position. Use can include making decisions on behalf of UO or even accessing non-public information that is available to you only because of your work at UO (think, for example, records indicating that certain students would make fantastic babysitters). If, for example, you work at UO and own a small business, but you don’t get to make any decisions at UO impacting whether UO contracts with your small business or not, then this rule is probably not at issue.

The rule prohibits use that results in a financial benefit to you. That means that you personally (or your relative or associated business) either makes money, saves money, or tries to do either.

Heads Up! 

There's an exception.  UO can authorize a receipt of compensation to allow you to accept some of the benefits described above, in certain situations. You can even run a business that carries on activities closely related to your UO duties. If you do, however, you need to disclose it and get prior approval in writing. ORS 352.232