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Policy on Conflict of Interest (BD-4)


Conflicts of interest can arise naturally from an employee’s personal relationships, as well as their engagement inside and outside the university. The mere existence of a conflict of interest does not necessarily imply wrongdoing on anyone’s part. Situations that give rise to a real or perceived conflict of interest must be recognized, disclosed and assessed. Examples of these circumstances include when:

  • a supplier offers a Concordia employee a free pair of hockey tickets
  • due to a recent promotion, a staff person is now their brother-in-law’s manager

The Policy on Conflict of Interest (BD-4) applies to situations such as these to help assess if a conflict of interest exists and how an employee should proceed.

Policy overview

All employees are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner. Employees are obliged to disclose any real or perceived conflict of interest. A conflict of interest is a situation in which an employee has a personal interest that conflicts or could conflict with their obligation to act in the university’s best interests. A personal interest may include:

  • business, commercial, or financial interests
  • relationship interests
  • private interests
  • career interests

The policy identifies potential conflicts of interest and helps employees evaluate situations to determine their best course of action.

Guidelines regarding consensual romantic or sexual relationships

Because of the unequal institutional power inherent to instructor-student relationships, the university strongly discourages any romantic or sexual relationships between instructors and students.

If a romantic or sexual relationship exists or develops between a student and an instructor, the guidelines explain when there is a strict obligation for the instructor to disclose the relationship in writing and the rules to follow to manage this conflict of interest. These guidelines apply to consensual situations. In situations of coercion, harassment or sexual violence, other resources and recourses will apply as per the Code of Rights and Responsibilities (BD⁠-⁠3) or the Policy Regarding Sexual Violence (PRVPA-3).


An employee who is not sure if their situation constitutes a conflict of interest can seek guidance and consult their supervisor. The policy explains the steps an employee can follow to disclose a conflict of interest to help manage such a situation.

The Conflict of Interest Disclosure Phone Line Information Page provides details regarding whom an employee should reach by phone. An employee wishing to report a conflict of interest in accordance with the Policy on Conflict of Interest (BD-4) may do so either in writing or by leaving a voicemail with their name and contact information. 

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