Conflict of Interest and Commitment
Virginia Tech recognizes that external activities congruent with the professional expertise of faculty and consistent with the mission of the affiliated department can enhance professional development of the faculty member and enrich the academic experiences of students. Activities such as licensing of technology, consulting, or business start-ups can be critical to promoting economic development and meeting society's needs. Given these potential benefits, Virginia Tech has encouraged innovation and entrepreneurial activity in support of the broad missions of the institution. However, the primary professional allegiance of the faculty must be, both in fact and in perception, to the university, and the primary commitment of the faculty member’s time and intellectual energies must be devoted to the education, research/scholarship, and outreach programs of Virginia Tech.
While external activities are encouraged, the integrity of the institution and of the research conducted by individual faculty members and students depends on a high degree of transparency and appropriate oversight of relationships with outside entities. Elimination or careful management of disclosed potential conflicts of interest provides assurance to research sponsors, subjects, and the broader public that possible personal gain has not influenced the design, conduct, or outcomes of the research, nor inappropriately biased decision making in other university activities.
Virginia Tech’s policies and procedures are designed to promote and safeguard the interests, integrity, and reputation of the University and its faculty and students and their research.