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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Conflict of Interest

Ohio State University Extension Conflict of Interest Policy Statement

OSU Policy 1.30: Conflict of Interest and Work Outside the University states “A conflict of interest exists if financial interests or other opportunities for personal benefit may exert a substantial and improper influence upon an employee's professional judgment in exercising any university duty or responsibility. Staff shall not use their positions to secure anything of value, financial gain, or personal benefit that would not ordinarily accrue to them in the performance of their official duties. Nor shall they accept any compensation from any other agency or individual for work performed in the course of their employment by the university, except under the limited circumstances permitted in a formal conflict of interest management agreement.”

Also remember to follow the university's Guidelines Regarding Political Activity by Employees of the University. As employees of a public institution, there are restrictions on exercising these rights in a manner than suggests university endorsement of a cause or candidate. See the complete guidelines at

Conflict of interest issues must be addressed by the supervisor and appropriate administrators.

OSU Extension employees may not:

  • Serve as a voluntary (paid) expert witness in a civil or criminal case. This is different from serving as a fact witness as a result of a subpoena;
  • Hold an elected partisan government position;
  • Engage in any activity (paid or unpaid) that creates the perception Extension endorses the products or services of any organization or business;
  • Use one’s professional expertise to provide services that compete with services provided by a unit in the university such as teaching or developing curriculum for another university; and/or
  • Accept personal compensation for any educational or professional service and concurrently charging Extension for your time, mileage or other expenses.

The examples are not exhaustive, and are provided as illustrations.

Specific Ohio State and OSU Extension policies that relate and/or apply include:

Approved by OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet – October 1, 2001
Revised March 2012; approved by OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet – April 12, 2012
Revised/approved by OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet December 13, 2012

Revised – April 2015