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900.15 - Conflict of Interest for the WSSU Board of Trustees

University Group Policy #900.15

I.    Executive Summary

The Winston-Salem State University Board of Trustees is the governing board for Winston-Salem State University and as such, is obligated to serve the public trust. As a member of the Board, each Trustee agrees to keep the welfare of the University at all times paramount, putting aside any and all personal, social, and business conflicts of interests thereby assuring that a Trustee’s independence of judgment is not compromised, that the public’s and the University’s confidence and respect in the integrity of the Board are preserved, and that the public mission of Winston-Salem State University is protected and well served. Trustees shall be governed by the policies of the Board of Governors of North Carolina as set out in BOG Policy number 200.1 and all other North Carolina conflict of interest policies for public Boards and Commissions. Trustees shall pay particular attention to avoid solicitation or acceptance of gifts; doing business with the University; conflicting employment or contractual relationship; disclosure or use of confidential and financial information, and shall make fair and impartial decisions free of bias or prejudice.

II.  Policy Statement

Trustees shall use proper channels when dealing with conflicts of interest, use of official authority, hiring of employees, handling of grievances and complaints of students, staff, faculty, or citizens, and handling special interest groups. The Board of Trustees has the legal authority to give direction to only one employee – the Chancellor of Winston-Salem State University. Unless specifically referred by the Chancellor, Trustees are not to intervene in relations with other administrators, faculty, staff, or students. Complaints made to any Trustee are to be referred directly to the Chancellor, or his designee.

A Trustee has a conflict of interest whenever the Trustee, a Trustee’s family member, or a business associated with a Trustee or a Trustee’s family member has an existing or potential financial/personal interest in a matter pending before the Board of Trustees or the University. Any potential conflicts of interest or uncertainty regarding a conflict shall be brought to the immediate attention of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, for resolution.

  1. Family Member includes spouse, parents, siblings, aunts/uncles, children, domestic partner, and any person residing in a Trustee’s household;
  2. Business Associated with a Trustee means an organization, corporation, partnership, joint venture, proprietorship or other entity or associate(s) with respect to which either the Trustee or a member of the Trustee’s family;
  1. Receives compensation or has any contractual right to future income (excluding compensation from the University), or any governmental source, investment or savings income, retirement or insurance benefits, rents or alimony, or non-financial consideration and benefits;
  2. Serves as an officer, director, partner, or employee; or
  3. Holds a foreseeable financial interest, which may result from a Trustee’s official authority as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Other Issues

  1. A Trustee shall not use the authority, title, influence, or prestige of his or her position to solicit business for others or otherwise obtain a private financial, social, or political benefit, which in any manner would be inconsistent with the interest and mission of the University, nor shall a Trustee disclose confidential information gained by reason of the Trustee’s position for personal gain, benefit or to secure special privileges or exemption for him or herself or others.
  2. Except as allowed by the BOG policy allowing Management Flexibility to Winston-Salem State University, no trustee shall attempt to influence the hiring decision of other University employees.
  3. Board members and committee members should not receive and review the information that might be provided by individuals and/or groups interested in affecting the outcome of a personnel matter (hiring, conferral of permanent tenure, or similar matter) or a grievance appeal or similar matter. Any such outside information should be submitted to the Chair of the Board.
  4. Significant and material complaints and issues received directly from students, staff, faculty, or citizens are to be referred directly to the Chancellor, or his designee.
  5. When confronted with issues supported by special groups including but not limited to civic groups, economic groups, racial or ethnic groups, and political parties a Trustee’s obligation is to represent and act only in the best interests of the University.

III.     Applicability

The policy applies to the Winston-Salem State University Board of Trustees.

Responsible Division: Office of the Chancellor

Authority: Board of Trustees


  • Adopted: June 17, 2005