Contents of this Section:
Conflict of Interest
The University of San Francisco is committed to pursuing "a common
good that transcends the interests of particular individuals or groups"
and to distinguish itself as "a diverse, socially responsible learning
community". Among its core values is the belief that "no individual or
group may rightfully prosper at the expense of the other". The Conflict
of Interest Policy primarily intends to guide members of the University
community to carry out their employment responsibilities in a manner
that reflects and reinforces the values of USF. It further aims to
ensure compliance with federal and state law and contractual
All University employees are obligated to conduct the affairs of the
University in a manner that promotes the University's mission, vision,
and values. A conflict of interest may exist on two levels: (1) when an
employee has financial, personal, or other considerations that may
affect or appear to affect his or her professional judgment in decision
making on behalf of the University or, (2) when the University itself
has financial or other considerations that may affect or appear to
affect its decision making as it relates to the University's values,
mission and/or business practices.
In general, the University expects all employees to:
i. Be aware of the potential for real or apparent conflicts of
interest in all their employment activities.
ii. Abide by the standards set forth in the policy (including any
additional procedures adopted by individual colleges or departments in
furtherance of this policy).
iii. Fully disclose professional and relevant personal activities
and relationships that create a real or apparent conflict of interest.
iv. Address conflicts of interest that arise.
v. Conduct University business with appropriate transparency.
Individual Conflicts of Interest
Each employee must:
1. Refrain from using University resources to further
employee's interests (or the interests of his or her immediate family)
or the interests of any individual or group above the best interests of
the University. For purpose of this policy, immediate family includes
spouse, partner, parents, children, siblings, in-laws.
2. Disclose any significant ownership, board service,
consulting relationship, management or financial interest in any entity
doing business, or proposing to do business with the University.
3. Refrain from participating in transactions with the
University (other than one's employment), which could result in personal
profit except upon the written approval of the appropriate Dean or Vice
President and the General Counsel.
4. Refrain from accepting (without disclosing to the
appropriate Dean or Vice President and the General Counsel) any gift
compensation, or benefit with a value of more than $250 from any person
or organization who aims to influence the employee's professional
judgment. This includes any person or organization with whom the
employee may transact business on behalf of the University. Items
valuing $250 or less are not included within this policy unless in the
aggregate the total value exceeds $250 per year, in which they must be
reported to the appropriate Dean or Vice President and General Counsel.
5. Refrain from making payments or providing gifts or
services in the name of, or on behalf of the University or with
University funds, services or facilities to anyone affiliated with a
government or accrediting agency who is in a position to influence an
action or decision related to the University.
6. Refrain from making or soliciting partisan
contributions in the name of, or on behalf of the University or with
University funds, services or facilities in any manner to, or in aid of,
any political party, group, candidate or cause, so as not to jeopardize
the University's tax exempt status which prohibits it from endorsing
any political party group, or cause.
Institutional Conflicts of Interest
An institutional conflict of interest may exist if the
University has commercial arrangements that provide collateral benefits
to the institution, such as when a vendor offers a gift to the
University or if the University shares in the revenue generated by sale
of the vendor’s product to students or employees. To ensure that the
University’s best interests are served, these situations should be
carefully reviewed by senior leadership. The appropriate Vice President
will consider the following questions:
i. Does the transaction entail a conflict between the USF’s values,
mission, and/or financial interests?
ii. Does the transaction entail receipt by the University of
financial benefit that may affect or appear to affect the quality or
price of goods or services offered to students or other constituents?
iii. Does the transaction entail the actuality or appearance that the
University is profiting to the detriment of students or other
iv. Would disclosure of the collateral benefit alleviate any actual
or apparent conflict of interest?
If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, the
President's Cabinet must resolve the matter.
A conflict or a potential conflict of interest can arise at any time.
Employees must disclose such situations to their supervisors before
occurrence, if possible, and in any event as quickly as possible after
it arises. The employee must complete section 1 of the Conflict of
Interest Disclosure Statement and give it to his/her supervisor. If an
employee is in doubt about a situation, he or she should fully disclose
the situation. There is no harm in over-disclosing; by contrast,
failures to disclose may subject the employee to disciplinary action.
The supervisor to whom an employee discloses a possible conflict of
interest must complete section 2 of the Conflict of Interest Disclosure
Statement and send it to Human Resources for resolution.
Once submitted by the employee, Human Resources will evaluate the situation and report its results on
section 3 of the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement within ten business days. If more time is needed for fact gathering, this time period may be extended to 20 business days. If no conflict of interest is found, Human Resources will send the Conflict of
Interest Disclosure Statement to the supervisor, and the supervising
Dean or Vice President, and General Counsel. The supervisor will
communicate the result to the employee.
If Human Resources finds a potential conflict of interest, this
finding is indicated on section 3 of the Conflict of Interest Disclosure
Statement and sent to the Dean or Vice President, and General Counsel
for joint resolution. Human Resources will then notify the supervisor
who will communicate this to the employee. The Dean or Vice President
and General Counsel will advise Human Resources of the resolution. Human
Resources will then notify the supervisor who will communicate this to
The office of Human Resources is responsible for notifying all
employees of the requirements of this policy annually. Questions about
this policy should be directed to the Associate Vice President of Human
The Office of General Counsel is responsible for enforcement of this
policy. The General Counsel will review all violations of this policy,
including (a) failure to comply with the disclosure process (by refusal
to respond or by deliberately responding with incomplete, inaccurate, or
misleading information, or otherwise): (b) failure to resolve conflicts
of interest; and (c) failure to comply with the terms of any resolution
reached pursuant to this policy. The General Counsel will consult with
the Vice President, and the Associate Vice President for Human Resources
regarding appropriate action. Violation of this policy will result in
disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Any exception to this policy must be approved in writing by the,
appropriate Vice President and the General Counsel. The Conflict of
Interest Disclosure Form is available here.
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confidential information concerning past and present employees,
students, clients, donors and firms with which the University does
business is to be maintained in strict confidence. However, the Office
of Human Resources will confirm dates of employment. Administrators
should, therefore, never share or discuss such information without clear
and prior authorization. Failure to protect confidential information
could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of
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Counseling and Discipline
Any employee conduct that violates University of San Francisco
policies or procedures or, in the opinion of the University, interferes
with or adversely affects University business warrants disciplinary
These actions may include but are not limited to the following:
- verbal warnings;
- written warning(s); and
The University may suspend an employee without prior notice. Actions
that may warrant this action include but are not limited to:
- timesheet violation;
- endangerment of oneself or another person.
Administrative leaves may be with or without pay, and are usually
reserved for situations in which subsequent actions are dependent on the
outcome of an investigation or review. Administrative leaves must be
approved by the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.
In choosing the appropriate action, the University may consider any
number of factors, including:
- the seriousness of the employee’s conduct;
- the employee’s performance history;
- the employment record;
- the employee’s length of employment with the University;
- the employee’s willingness and ability to correct the conduct;
- the employee’s attitude about the conduct;
- actions the University has taken for similar conduct by other
- how the employee’s conduct affects the University, its
students/customers, and his/her coworkers; and
- any other related circumstances.
The University will assign any of the above factors whatever
significance it deems appropriate.
As noted above, some conduct may result in immediate termination,
including but not limited to the following:
- theft of University property;
- excessive tardiness or absenteeism;
- arguing or fighting with customers/students, coworkers,
managers, or supervisors;
- brandishing a weapon at work;
- threatening the physical safety of customers/students,
coworkers, managers, or supervisors;
- physically or verbally assaulting someone at work;
- illegal conduct at work;
- using, possessing, or being under the influence of illegal
drugs at work;
- inappropriately using alcohol at work;
- failing to complete reasonable job assignments;
- inappropriate use of University assets including inappropriate
- making false statements on a job application; and
- discrimination and harassment.
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on the part of administrators in the style of dress and personal
appearance is essential to the image and efficient operation of the
University. Administrators are expected to dress in a manner appropriate
to their work environment and to the type of work performed. Some
departments may have their own policy or dress code appropriate to the
nature of the work done within that department. Administrators should
consult with their supervisor regarding any dress code requirement
specific to their department.
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are provided with a process for resolution of employees' rights
violations as specified in this handbook. (See Appeal Procedure Appendix
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University of San Francisco strives to make the working environment as
safe as possible in order to eliminate or reduce conditions which may
result in personal injury and property loss to administrators, visitors
and students. Administrators must abide by the safety policies and
procedures of their department and carry out their job functions in a
safe and productive manner. It is the duty of every administrator to
remove hazards when they can and to report those hazards which they are
unable to remove.
Working safely is no accident. It is each administrator's
responsibility to perform his/her work in a manner safe for the
administrator and others. Any item or article of dress that could
restrict the administrator's sight or sound or restrict movement is
prohibited. This may include, but is not limited to, shaded glasses
meant for outdoors and personal audio equipment with head sets or ear
Administrators failing to adhere to these standards are subject
to performance counseling.
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Prevention of Sexual and Other
Unlawful Harassment Policy
Click here for more information about USF's Prevention of Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment (PSOUH) Policy.
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Solicitation by Administrators for
any commercial purpose is not permitted during the working time of the
soliciting administrator or the employee being solicited. Working time
does not include break periods, meal times, or other specified periods
during the workday when administrators are not engaged in performing
their work tasks. Distribution of circulars, handbills, or literature of
any type during working time is not permitted.
Violation of this rule will subject an administrator to discipline up
to and including discharge. Solicitation and distribution by any other
person is prohibited at all times on University premises.
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accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free
Schools and Campuses Act of 1990, the University of San Francisco has
established the following policy guidelines regarding substance abuse in
- Unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use
of a controlled substance is prohibited on University premises or other
workplaces if individuals performing work on these premises are
compensated by the University of San Francisco.
- Failure to abide by the University's Drug-Free Workplace Policy
may result in suspension from work without pay and mandatory
participation in a drug rehabilitation program on the first offense and
termination on the second.
- If convicted of any criminal drug statute violation occurring
in the workplace, you are obligated to notify the Office of Human
Resources in writing within five (5) calendar days after conviction.
copy of the USF Drug-Free Workplace Policy is available from the
Office of Human Resources.
The University of San Francisco recognizes drug and alcohol
dependency as treatable conditions and offers an employee assistance
program for University faculty/staff with substance dependency problems.
Faculty and staff are encouraged to seek assistance for drug and
alcohol-related problems and may request leaves of absence for this
purpose, in addition to using approved vacation or sick leave, or
attending the employee assistance programs outside regular working
hours. Information obtained regarding an employee during participation
in an employee assistance program will be treated as confidential.
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Employees who resign with 72 hours of notice or more will receive
their final paychecks on their last day of work. Employees who resign
with less than 72 hours notice will be paid within 72 hours. Paychecks
of employees who have given less than 72 hours notice will generally be
mailed to the employee’s home address. Final paychecks will include all
compensation earned but not paid prior to resignation, and all accrued
and unused vacation, less appropriate deductions.
Employees who are terminated involuntarily will receive their final
paychecks on their last day of work. Final paychecks will include all
compensation earned but not paid through the date of termination, and
all accrued and unused vacation, less appropriate deductions.
Continuing Health Insurance Coverage
The University of San Francisco offers full-time employees health
insurance coverage as a benefit of employment. If an employee is no
longer eligible for insurance coverage because he/she is no longer
employed by the University, the employee has the right to continue
his/her health insurance coverage for up to 36 months through COBRA. The
employee will have to pay the cost of the coverage.
The employee receives an initial notice of his/her right to continued
health insurance coverage when the employee first becomes eligible for
health insurance under the University’s group plan. The employee will
receive an additional notice about his/her COBRA rights when the
employee is no longer employed with the University. This second notice
will tell the employee how to choose continuation coverage, what his/her
obligations will be, and how much the insurance will cost. Only
employees who have been continuously insured for the previous three
months are entitled to COBRA health insurance coverage under this
The University will schedule an exit interview with every departing
full-time employee requesting an interview. We strongly encourage
employees to request an exit interview from the department of Employment
Services. During the interview, the employee will have an opportunity
to tell the University about his/her employment experience at the
University. The University greatly values these comments.
The exit interview also gives the University a chance to handle some
practical matters relating to the end of employment. The employee will
also have an opportunity to ask any questions he/she might have about
insurance, benefits, final paychecks, references, or any other matter
relating to his/her employment.
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