Laws and Policies
Mason sets a standard for principled behavior by its faculty, staff, and students. We follow a code of conduct that demands that the highest criteria be met.
University Policies Relating to Ethics
- Data Stewardship. This policy governs the privacy, security, and confidentiality of university data.
- Responsible Use of Computing. This policy sets forth the responsibilities of users of Mason’s computing resources.
- Financial Policies. These policies govern Mason's financial reporting and transactions.
- Financial Conflicts of Interest in University Contracts with Businesses. This policy relates to conflicts of interest which could exist in contracts between Mason and businesses.
- Cost Transfer Policy. This policy applies to cost transfers on federally funded sponsored projects.
- Misconduct in Research and Scholarship. This policy governs research misconduct proceedings against individuals at Mason engaged in teaching, research, or scholarship, or under the control of, or affiliated with, Mason.
- Financial Conflicts of Interest in Federally Funded Research. This policy sets forth the principles and processes that Mason employs to ensure conflicts of interests do not take place pursuant to requirements for the receipt of federal funds.
- Administrative/Professional Faculty Handbook. This handbook sets out the expectations and responsibilities of administrative and professional faculty at Mason.
- Classified Employee Handbook. This handbook sets out the expectations and responsibilities of classified employees at Mason.
- Faculty Handbook. Section 2.10 of this handbook sets out faculty duties and responsibilities.
Commonwealth of Virginia Ethics Laws and Policies
- State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act of the Virginia Code. A law that defines and prohibits inappropriate conflicts of interests by Commonwealth of Virginia employees and requires disclosure of certain economic interests.
- Virginia Public Procurement Act. A law that controls governmental procurement and requires that procurement be conducted in a fair and impartial manner with avoidance of any impropriety or appearance of impropriety.
- Virginia Department of Human Resources Management Standards of Conduct Policy. Standards professional conduct for all Commonwealth of Virginia employees.
Conflict of Interest Waivers
A conflict of interest can occur when there is a personal interest in a contract with the university other than your own employment contract, or a personal interest in a transaction in which you have authority as part of your job duties at Mason. These conflicts are prohibited by law and cannot exist without a waiver.
Waivers are available for some conflicts of interest, under certain circumstances.
- If two immediate family members work at Mason, but neither has any supervisory authority over the other.
- If there is a planned contract between Mason and a business for which an employee of Mason works part time, when the employee has no involvement in the procurement or future administration of that contract.
To request a Conflict of Interest Waiver, contact Ethics Officer Elizabeth Woodley, JD, at 703-993-5115.