Extension 2005, Extension Conflict of Interest Policy, Extension

Approved by CSREES 1992
Reviewed by CSREES 2005

Extension employees must abide by both the University's Conflict of Interest Policy and Extension's Conflict of Interest Policy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires Cooperative Extension in every state to abide by a conflict of interest policy that is approved by the Cooperative States Research Education and Extension Service (CSREES). Wherever Extension's policy is more strict than the University's policy, Extension's policy will take precedence.

I. Introduction

The nature of Extension work requires considerable direct contact with a public who generally view Extension employees as the educational outreach component of their land-grant institution. Many of the University's policies and procedures are written primarily for resident instructional and research faculty and do not address the possible conflict of interest that Extension faculty and staff may confront. Whenever the potential conflict of interest arises, the Director of Extension should be consulted promptly. The following situations are likely candidates which may cause problems.

II. Extension Service Consulting

Individuals accepting an assignment with Extension have, in effect, agreed to provide their professional service without additional compensation to the people of Nevada according to the staff member's position description and area of assigned responsibility.

Compensation for educational services within the State of Nevada provided by Extension is prohibited. In exceptional cases, when compensation cannot be refused, the compensation should be returned to the Board of Regents.

Extension campus and community staff may receive compensation for work performed for individuals and/or groups outside the State of Nevada. Advanced written approval from the Director of Extension is required.

III. Ownership or Operation Personal/Private Business

Extension personnel who own or operate a business are to ensure that time spent in such business is on the employee's own personal time. Use of annual leave is allowed.

There must be no conflict between these activities and the person's regular activities as a member of Extension faculty or staff.

If the Extension employee's job assignment is closely related to the employee's business interest(s) or if the business could create a potential time conflict he/she needs to identify their involvement in the business and obtain written approval from the Director of Extension. The approval request should contain the following:

1. Required time commitments to manage, operate or be involved in such a business.

2. Explanation of how time commitments identified will be met outside of hours obligated to fulfill Extension position responsibilities.

3. Statement ensuring that the outside business does not enjoy an unfair competitive advantage gained from the employee's University position.

IV. Buying, Selling, Trading, Commodities

Where the Extension employee's job assignment closely involves the commodity in question, he/she needs to identify the involvement in trading activities and seek the authorization of the Director of Extension. The activity must not conflict with the employee's job assignment.

V. Holding Elected or Appointed Public Office

Extension employees may not use their position to gain unfair advantage over other candidates or use University time, facilities and materials to run an election campaign. Extension employees seeking election to public office are required to document that only personal time and resources are used to conduct a political campaign. If elected, employees must fulfill the responsibilities of their office using personal time (annual leave or leave without pay).

VI. Providing Testimony

Extension employees may provide expert testimony outside of Nevada as private consultants under the provisions previously detailed in the Professional Consulting Services section and in accordance with Extension's expert witness policy. Extension employees who are served with a valid subpoena will provide expert testimony as University employees. Whenever possible, the employee should appear as "Juris amici" (friend of the court). Under this arrangement the employee will not be required to take personal leave, but will be required to return any fees received to the Board of Regents. The fee received will be calculated on the basis of salary plus fringe benefit reimbursement.