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Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust has competing professional or personal interests. Such competing interests can make it difficult to fulfill his or her duties impartially. Sometimes, a particular circumstance may appear to compromise professional judgment. Even if there is no evidence of improper actions, this appearance of impropriety can undermine confidence in the ability of that person to act properly in his/her position. In such a situation, FORM 700U must be completed by the appropriate personnel. Nevertheless, Form 700u must be filled by all persons employed by UC or CSU who have principal responsibility for a research project if the project is to be funded or supported, in whole or in part, by a contract or grant (or other funds earmarked by the donor for a specific research project or for a specific researcher) from a nongovernmental entity. Research funding by certain nonprofit entities will not trigger disclosure on the Form 700-U. For a list of these exempt nonprofits, refer to

The California State University Conflict of Interest Handbook states “Conflict of Interest law seeks to minimize the extent to which public employees pursue their own financial interests at the expense of the public interest.  The law of conflict of interest sets forth the means by which the collision of public interest with self interest is diminished. California’s principal conflict of interest law is the Political Reform Act of 1974 (Gov’t Code § 81000 et seq.).  This Act and other conflict of interest laws with which California State University employees should be familiar are summarized in this Handbook.”  For a link to the Handbook, please go to
"Financial Interest” in the sponsor means

1) any investment in the sponsor in which you, your spouse, or your dependent children have a direct, indirect or beneficial interest totaling $2,000 or more;

2) a position as director, officer, partner, trustee, employee of or any other position of management with the sponsor;

3) your gross income and your community property interest in your spouse’s gross income totaling $500 or more;

4) gift income with a fair market value of $50 or more received within the last twelve months; or

5) loans received or outstanding totaling $500 or more received in the last 12 months. The university requires Form 700U be completed by any CSU employee when any of the above noted situation is present.



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