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Policy Manual – Ethics Code and Conflict of Interest
GOVERNANCE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS
Section 206 Board of Trustees – Ethics Code and Conflict of Interest
Last Revised: 11/6/95; 7/13/09; 11/20/17
Responsible Office: Clerk of the Board
A Trustee is in potential conflict of interest when an action by the University of Maine System, whether isolated, recurring or continuous, is to the financial or other advantage of the Trustee, the Trustee’s employer or client, the Trustee’s spouse, parent, or child, to a degree greater than to the Maine citizenry taken on the whole.
A Trustee who is an attorney or a firm or partnership of which the Trustee is a part may not represent or provide legal advice or services to the University of Maine System or knowingly represent clients in litigation or other contested matters which involves the assertion of any claim against the University of Maine System or which is adverse to its interests or are otherwise prohibited by the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct.
Except to fill a temporary vacancy in a position on an interim basis, a Trustee may not seek or hold a position in the University of Maine System prior to one year following the end of their service as a member of the Board. This prohibition does not apply to the Student Trustee or the Commissioner of Education serving in an ex officio capacity, provided however that those Trustees remain otherwise subject to the Board’s conflict of interest policies and requirements during their service as Board members.
1. When there is a potential conflict of interest, the Trustee upon becoming aware of a conflict shall declare such conflict at the earliest opportunity and either eliminate the conflict or refrain from debate and discussion at Board Committee meetings or Board meetings unless invited to participate by a majority vote of the Board Committee or by the Board. Further, the Trustee shall register an abstention when a vote is taken on the matter by the Board or Board Committee.
2. Each Trustee, upon appointment to the Board, and, as a minimum, for each Annual Meeting thereafter, shall file a Financial Disclosure Form (copy of which may be obtained from the Clerk’s Office) with the Clerk of the Board. Such a form shall include, when completed, a listing of all:
a. continuous conflicts of interest known to the Trustee.
b. real and personal property owned by the Trustee, the Trustee’s spouse, or minor child with a value of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or more. The homestead, household furnishings, personal effects, life insurance, and bank deposits may be excluded, and no monetary valuations need be included.
c. personal liabilities of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more, excluding loans secured by the homestead and by life insurance.
d. positions of Trustees and spouses as officers, directors, partners or employees of any non-profit or profit making corporation, partnership, labor union, or association, together with an indication with respect to each relationship whether the service is gratuitous or compensated.
3. The Financial Disclosure Form shall be available for public inspection in the Office of the Clerk of the Board.
4. Alleged violations of this policy, from whatever source presented, shall be received by the Clerk of the Board. The Chair, or the Vice Chair if the Chair is involved, shall appoint a three person ad hoc committee to investigate the allegations and report its findings and recommendations to the Board of its determination.