USC Office of Compliance

Conflict of Interest in Professional and Business Practices

Conflict of Interest in Professional and Business Practices


The Conflict of Interest in Professional and Business Practices policy (see link at left) requires all university employees to devote their primary professional loyalty to the university.  A conflict of interest arises under this policy when financial or other personal considerations compromise, or have the appearance of compromising, an individual’s professional judgment and ability to perform his or her responsibilities to USC.  Examples of covered conflicts under the Conflict of Interest in Professional and Business Practices policy include:

  • Soliciting or conducting university business with an entity in which a USC employee has a financial interest
  • Maintaining a consulting or other employment relationship with an existing or potential vendor or supplier of the university
  • Hiring or supervising a family member
  • Engaging in any other outside activity that creates a conflict of commitment by interfering with the employee’s primary professional responsibility to the university

Conflicts of interest covered by the Conflict of Interest in Professional and Business Practices policy must be disclosed to a faculty member’s chair or dean or a non-faculty member’s supervisor, who will make the determination of whether the conflict is manageable.