One new policy and another revised one are open for comment through April 19 on the Office of Policy Development’s website.
Institutional conflict of interest policy
The proposed new Institutional Conflict of Interest Policy would cover both institutional interests and the interests of its senior officials. It’s intended to assure that the financial interests of both Pitt and its officials do not compromise the University's business decisions or integrity of its core missions.
For example, if Pitt licenses intellectual property developed by a faculty member (e.g., a new medical therapy) to a company, and that company proposes to sponsor research at Pitt to test the therapy, the proposed Institutional Conflict of Interest Committee would formulate a management plan to assure that potential profits that the University could earn from the therapy do not influence the integrity of the research.
As another example, the committee would evaluate whether a major corporate gift to Pitt could influence the integrity of any research sponsored by the company. In addition, the revised policy would state that University officials do not use their official University positions or influence to further gain advancement for themselves, immediate family or other personal and business associates, at the expense of the University.
Tuition exchange policy
The draft Tuition Exchange Policy intends to clarify the University's participation in the Tuition Exchange Program and authorizes the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid to administer that participation, according to the policy office.
The revised policy would clarify that the tuition exchange scholarship is not a guaranteed benefit to University employees, but rather a scholarship opportunity available to eligible employees. Those eligible, as the draft policy proposes, are those employees who also are eligible for education benefits as defined in the University’s policies.