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Conflict of Interest

Ethical business standards shall govern all procurement transactions. Infractions of University procurement policy are to be reported to Procurement and Payment Services, the department chair, the NU Office for Audit and Advisory Services, and/or an Officer of the University. Disciplinary action for those violating ethical business standards will be taken in accordance with applicable University policy, up to and including the termination of employment.

University personnel shall not solicit a gift or accept a significant gift from any supplier or prospective supplier. A ‘significant gift’ is defined as any item, service, favor, monies, credits, or discounts not available to others which could influence purchasing decisions. University personnel may accept trivial items as a matter of courtesy, but may not solicit them. Acceptance of social invitations to occasional business meals, entertainment, and hospitality will be subject to prudent judgment as to whether the invitation places or appears to place the recipient under any obligation, the appropriateness of the occasion, frequency, and choice of facilities. Questions about the value of a gift or the appropriateness of an invitation should be referred to your supervisor to ensure compliance with the University’s conflict of interest policy.

The University values its suppliers and assumes that vendors, in turn, value the University's business. No token or display of appreciation is necessary or encouraged. All vendors are asked to comply with University standards by not offering incentives, gifts, or services to individual personnel. For additional information, see Standards for Business Conduct.

Northwestern’s reputation for impartiality and objectivity, as well as sound business practice, requires that employees not make decisions for the University if their personal economic interests are directly affected by the outcome. For additional information, see Policy on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment (PDF).