What are Outside Activities “Closely Related” to my UO Position?

I have an outside business and I see that the Conflict of Interest Policy requires us to report outside activities that are “closely related” to our UO duties. What does this mean?

Employees who own or manage a side business closely related to their UO position usually must report that business in writing to their supervisor.

Employees cannot use their UO position for personal benefit. For example, without permission:

  • the employee cannot spend UO’s money to purchase goods or services from the employee’s side business.
  • the employee cannot use their UO position to benefit personally, for example, by using it to influence students to buy goods or services from the employee’s side business.
  • the employee cannot use confidential information they learned about because of their UO position for personal gain. For example, if the employee has access to information about students that is not available to the public, such as detailed contact lists for students, the employee cannot use that information to benefit the side business.

Additionally, the employee’s side business cannot substantially interfere with their duties as a UO employee. This would present a “conflict of commitment.”

These rules also apply where:

  • the employee participates significantly in the day-to-day operations of the business.
  • the business is owned or operated by the employee’s relative.

All of this assumes the business does activity that’s closely related to the employee’s UO duties.

Heads Up! 

Having a business that’s closely related to your UO work does not mean you have a conflict!  If you have a business, but think you do not have a conflict of interest, you are still required to disclose it.