Conflicts of Interest

What is a conflict of interest?

  • Conflicts of interest (CoI) can be personal, financial, or political; they bring about ethical problems because they erode or undermine trust.  A CoI can affect a persons judgment, reasoning, motivation or behavior, and in doing so create a bias judgment or decision. The appearance or perception of a CoI can have similar consequences as an actual conflict to someone looking in from the outside.
  • A conflict of interest occurs when a person is in a position of influence either directly or indirectly related to University business, research, or other decisions in a that could lead them to advance their own interests or that of their family or others to the University’s detriment (e.g., to the detriment of the University’s integrity and its missions of teaching, research, and public service). When consulting privately with external entities, it must be clear that that the person is acting in an individual capacity and must make it understood that they are not acting on behalf of the University.
  • A conflict of commitment arises when external activities are so demanding of time or attention that they interfere with the individual responsibilities to Old Dominion University; must arrange outside obligations, financial interests, and activities so they do not impede or conflict with University duties or responsibilities.


From the Office of Research

All conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment must be disclosed (See form)