Policy B12 
Policy Name: Onondaga Community College Board of Trustees Conflict of Interest Policy 
Responsibility for Maintenance: Office of the President 

I. Policy Statement 

Trustees owe allegiance to the institution and must act in good faith with the best interest of the College in mind. They should not seek to benefit personally from any business derived from the institution without full disclosure to the Board. They must avoid conflicts of interest or even the appearance of such. Acts of self-dealing constitute a breach of fiduciary responsibility that could result in personal liability. All members of the Board of Trustees shall disclose any possible conflict of interest at the earliest practicable time.

Although no policy statement can specifically address every conceivable situation that might result in a conflict of interest, trustees should avoid any actions or situations that may result in or create the appearance of using their association with the College for private gain or adversely affecting the College’s reputation or public confidence in its integrity.

The purpose of the Conflict of Interest Policy is to protect the institution’s interest when it is contemplating entering into a transaction or an arrangement that may benefit the private interest of a trustee. This policy is intended to supplement but not replace any applicable state and federal laws governing conflict of interest applicable to nonprofit and charitable organizations.    

II. Reason for Policy 

To ensure that members of the Board of Trustees recognize potential conflicts of interests, disclose them as appropriate and protect themselves and the institution against the potential adverse consequences of such conflicts.

III. Applicability of the Policy 

This policy applies to all members of the Board of Trustees.

IV. Related Documents 

  • Onondaga Community College Board of Trustees Bylaws
  • New York State Public Officers Law Section 74
  • New York State General Municipal Law 800-810

V. Contacts 

 Subject Office Name Title or Position Telephone Number Email/URL
Questions regarding Policy Office of the President Assistant to the General Counsel (315) 498-2214 hartj@sunyocc.edu  

 VI. Definitions 

 Term Definition
Compensation Shall mean any money, thing of value or financial benefit conferred in return for services rendered or to be rendered.
Conflict of Interest Any actual or apparent conflict between individual interests and official responsibilities of a person in a position of trust. Perceived or potential conflicts of interests can be said to exist in situations where the Trustee, the Trustee’s family member or trustee’s close personal relation has financial interests, personal interests or professional associations with an individual, individuals, or outside organization, such that his or her activities within the College could appear to be biased against the College by that interest or relationship.
Financial Interest

A person has a financial interest in any entity if that person has, directly or indirectly, through business, investment or family:

(i) An ownership or investment interest in any entity with which the Organization has a transaction or arrangement

(ii) A compensation arrangement with the Organization or with any entity or individual with which the Organization has a transaction or arrangement, or

(iii) A potential ownership or investment interest in, or compensation arrangement with, any entity or individual with which the Organization is negotiating a transaction or arrangement.

VII. Procedures 

Upon appointment to the Board of Trustees, the Secretary of the Board shall provide the new trustee with a copy of the Board of Trustees Conflict of Interest Policy and Annual Disclosure Form. Subsequent to his or her initial appointment, on or about June of each year, the Secretary of the Board shall distribute the Annual Disclosure Form to each trustee. Trustees shall return the executed form to the Secretary of the Board of Trustees within 30 days. The Annual Disclosure Forms will be reviewed by the Chair of the Board, and as appropriate, with the President and General Counsel. Please note that an amended Disclosure Form should be filed promptly in the event of a material change in circumstances.

No trustee shall vote on any matter, under consideration at a BOT meeting, in which such trustee has a possible conflict of interest, but such trustee may be counted in determining the quorum at such meeting. Such trustee should excuse him or herself from the room while the matter is discussed and voted on. The minutes of such meeting shall reflect that a disclosure was made and that the member having a possible conflict abstained from voting. The foregoing requirements shall not be construed as preventing the trustee from briefly stating his or her position in the matter, nor from answering the questions of other committee members since his or her knowledge may be of great assistance. But trustees are prohibited from any attempt to influence improperly the deliberations or voting on the matter which is the subject of the conflict of interest.

VIII. Forms/Online Processes 

  • Onondaga Community College Board of Trustees Annual Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement


Approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 14, 2011