SUNY Foundations Get Ethics Guidelines
by Buck Quigley
State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher sent a memorandum to SUNY Trustees at their September 20 meeting calling for all SUNY campus-related foundations to adopt new conflict of interest policies. State legislators insisted upon the measures when they voted in favor of the NYSUNY 2020 bill this summer, in response to the widespread appearance of nepotism and inside dealing at some SUNY foundations, notably the myriad UB foundations.
Here is the language of the board resolution:
The campus-related foundation of each State-operated campus shall adopt a conflict of interest policy applicable to such foundation and its affiliated corporations. Such conflict of interest policies shall provide (i) as a general principle, that service as a board member or officer of such foundation or affiliated corporation shall not be used as a means for private benefit or inurement for the board member or officer, a relative thereof, or any entity in which the board member or officer, or relative thereof, has a business interest; (ii) no board member or officer who is a vendor or employee of a vendor of goods or services to the foundation or its affiliated corporation, or who has a business interest in such vendor, or whose relative has a business interest in such vendor, shall vote on, or participate in the administration by the foundation or its affiliated corporation, as the case may be, of any transaction with such vendor; and (iii) upon becoming aware of an actual or potential conflict of interest, a board member or officer shall advise the chair of the foundation or its affiliated corporation, as the case may be, of his or a relative’s business interest in any such existing or proposed vendor with the foundation or its affiliated corporation.
For purposes of such conflict of interest policies, (1) a board member or officer has a “business interest” in an entity if the individual (i) owns or controls ten percent or more of the stock of the entity (or one percent in the case of an entity the stock of which is regularly traded on an established securities exchange), or (ii) serves as an officer, director or partner of the entity; and (2) a “relative” of a board member or officer shall mean any person living in the same household as the individual and any person who is a direct descendant of that individual’s grandparents or the spouse of such descendant.
Since some of these SUNY foundations and related entities have been in existence for half a century, it makes you wonder why a resolution like this wasn’t introduced a long time ago.blog comments powered by Disqus
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