20-008 11/18/04 BOARD OF TRUSTEES CONFLICT OF INTEREST (POLICY) Article I. Definitions A. "conflict of interest" occurs when there is a divergence between a board member's private interests and their professional obligations to the Oglala Lakota College (hereinafter the "College"), such that an independent observer might reasonably question whether the board member's professional actions or decisions are determined by any considerations other than the best interests of the College. Article II. Disclosure Requirements The primary obligation to disclose any conflict of interest lies with the individual involved. If the conflict is not disclosed and another board member or staff member is aware of the circumstances giving rise to the conflict, they should ask the individual involved to disclose the information. If the person involved does not disclose the information prior to the next board meeting, the knowledgeable board member or staff member must disclose the information to the Board. Article III. Situations that may create a conflict of interest The following are examples of situations in which a conflict of interest may arise and which must be disclosed to the Board of Trustees for approval. 1. External Financial Interests. External financial interests create conflicts of interest when they provide, or appear to provide, an incentive to the board member to affect a College decision or other College activity (for example, because of the possibility for personal gain), and when the board member has the opportunity to affect the College decision or other College activity. If there is both sufficient incentive from the external financial interest and opportunity to affect the College activity, a conflict of interest exists. "External financial interests" are those financial interests that do not involve the College as an institution. Board members' external financial interests are of concern if, for example: . The outside entity's activities compete with those of the College, and the board member or members of their immediate family are in a position to control, direct, or influence the relationship between the outside entity and the College. . The outside entity has a present or prospective relationship with the College, e.g., as supplier of goods or services or as party to contracts - and the Board member or members of their immediate family are in a position to control, direct, or influence the relationship between the outside entity and the College. . The outside entity is engaged in activities that are inconsistent with the standards and purposes of the College and that may bring discredit to the College. 2. Consulting and other Compensated Professional/Commercial Activities. Compensated professional/commercial activities, including outside consulting activity, can generate conflicts of interest, regardless of the time involved. 3. Use of students/support staff on outside activities. Board members must ensure that the activities of students are not subordinated to the personal commercial interests of the Board member, and that the work of students, support staff, and collaborators is not exploited in the course of a Board member's outside obligations. It is inappropriate for a Board member to assign College tasks to students or support staff for purposes of financial gain for the Board member, rather than for the advancement of College. 4. Use of College resources. The College's name, facilities, and equipment are to be used solely for the furtherance of College goals and not for the benefit of, or to imply the College's support of, non-College activities. Board members may not use College resources, including facilities, equipment, or confidential information, for non-College purposes. The College may grant permission to a Board member to use College facilities in their pursuit of outside activities or interests, but only where there is evidence that the work of the Board member, supported by College resources, will be of significant benefit to the College. Inappropriate uses of College resources include the following: . Using the name of the College or its letterhead in sponsoring or recommending any commercial service or product, regardless of whether the Board member has any interest in the promotion, or in connection with an outside organization that the Board member established or of which they are a director, unless the participation in that organization is at the request of the College or is otherwise a part of the Board member's normal College duties. . Granting external entities access to the College's facilities or services for purposes outside the College's missions, or offering favors to outside entities in an attempt to influence them unduly in their dealings with the College. . Using confidential information acquired through conduct of College business for personal gain, or granting to others unauthorized access to such information. . Providing preferential access to College equipment or facilities to an outside entity for personal financial gain. 5. College dealings with entities with which Board members have a relationship. Arrangements between OLC and outside entities in which a Board member or members of their immediate family have financial interests, or any employment or consulting roles, raise particular questions of potential or apparent conflicts of interest which require special ad hoc disclosures, review, and approval. 6. New Contractual Relationships. After the Board member is seated with full disclosure of financial relationships with the College, there is a prohibition against any new contractual relationships with the College after the Board member is seated. Article IV. Implementation Before the College enters into any of the following arrangements, the involved Board member must submit to the Board of Trustees a complete written disclosure of their current or pending financial interest/relationship with the outside entity, the relationship of the proposed College activity to the entity, and the means by which the Board member will ensure separation of their College role from the role or interests of the Board member or members of their immediate family in the outside entity. . Procurement by the Board of materials or services from an outside entity in which the Board member or members of their immediate family have an employment or consulting relationship or a financial interest. . Any other arrangements in which a proposed activity involves an entity in which the Board member or members of their immediate family have a financial interest. . Current or prospective situations that may raise questions of conflicts of interest as soon as such situations become known to the Board member. . Changes in financial interests or external activities, including changes that alter the nature of or eliminate an actual or potential conflict previously disclosed. A. Disclosure reports may be submitted to the President for inclusion on the Board's agenda or to each Board member in writing. The Board member will be advised in writing or via e-mail at the next Board of Trustees meeting whether the activity has been approved and may be undertaken. Activities which may be subject to questions of conflicts of interest must be approved before the activity is undertaken. B. Decision When a board member becomes aware of involvement in a potential conflict of interest, they shall declare the nature and extent of the conflict or appearance of conflict for inclusion in the board minutes, and will abstain from voting or participating in the discussion of the issue giving rise to the conflict. If the Board determines the board member has effectively managed, reduced or eliminated the conflict of interest, the Board shall approve the transaction despite the apparent conflict. When a conflict of interest claim against a board member is brought to the board in writing, and is signed by another board member or a member of the public, and the board member against whom the claim is made does not concur that a conflict in fact exists, the following board procedures will be followed. 1. Upon a majority vote of the remaining board members, or upon order of the chair, the board will hold an informal hearing on the conflict of interest claim, giving the board member an opportunity to be heard. 2. At the conclusion of the informal hearing, the remaining board members will determine by majority vote to take one of the following actions: a. Issue a decision that the conflict of interest charge is not supported by the evidence and is therefore dismissed. b. Issue a decision that the conflict of interest charge is supported by the evidence and that the member should disqualify him or herself from voting or otherwise participating in the board deliberations or decision related to that issue. c. Issue a decision that the conflict of interest charge is supported by the evidence and, in addition to disqualification from voting or otherwise participating in the board deliberations or decision, the board member should be formally censured or subjected to such other action as may be allowed. Article V. Final Decision. The decision of the Board of Trustees as to the presence or absence of a conflict of interest shall be final.
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