Senior administrators as defined in Board of Trustees Rule 106 shall disclose any potential conflict of interest as described in Board of Trustees Rule 106: “Ethics – Conflicts of Interest – Members of the Board of Trustees and Senior Administrators.”
A. Government-Sponsored Research
The University subscribes to and complies with the Joint Statement of the American Association of University Professors and the American Council on Education, “On Preventing Conflicts of Interest in Government-Sponsored Research at Universities” (See Appendix E).
The University has developed a policy on Conflict of Interest/Financial Disclosure in Research and Other Sponsored Programs (See Appendix F). The policy applies to all sponsored programs as well as to University of Alabama intellectual property licensed to an entity in which a UA investigator owns any interest or serves as an employee, officer, or member of the Board of the Directors, regardless of the source of funding.
B. Textbook Selection
The Code of Alabama, Section 36-25-5(a), 1995 (The Ethics Act), states “[n]o public official or public employee shall use or cause to be used his or her official position or office to obtain personal gain for himself or herself, or family member of the public employee or family member of the public official, or any business with which the person is associated unless the use and gain are otherwise specifically authorized by law.” Amendments to the Alabama Ethics law passed by the 1986 Legislature place faculty of state-supported institutions of higher education within the purview of the conflict of interest standards set forth in the law. Advisory Opinion No. 1130 issued by the Alabama Ethics Commission on August 21, 1987, concluded that a faculty member “…who is also an author is not permitted to make the decision as to whether his or her publication will be used.” The opinion approved a process by which “…the decision is made by either administrative officials of the institution or a textbook committee composed of other faculty members and administrative officials with the institution.”
Each academic department or division is expected to have a textbook selection committee. In cases in which a faculty member desires to use textbook(s), laboratory manuals, computer software, or other instructional materials from which the faculty member or any person or business associated with the faculty member’s family obtains direct financial gain, the faculty member shall submit this recommendation to the textbook selection committee at least three months prior to the beginning date of the semester in which the course(s) will be taught. The textbook selection committee is responsible for reviewing the recommendation, considering the appropriateness of the textbook(s) or other materials for the course, considering alternative textbooks or materials, and informing the faculty member and department chair or dean of its decision. Whenever possible, decisions should be made at least two months in advance of the beginning date of the semester in which the course will be offered. Decisions on selection of textbooks or other materials authored by a faculty member, or from which the faculty member receives royalties, are effective for all semesters beginning in the subsequent 12 months, if the faculty member elects to continue using the textbook(s) or materials.