Conflict of Interest Officer

University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Aug 18, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The Conflict of Interest (COI) Program is seeking a Conflict of Interest Officer. The successful candidate will be responsible for building and maintaining a coordinated compliance program of conflict of interest policies and training, conflict of interest identification, review, reporting and management across a range of regulatory and statutory areas. The COI Officer reports to the Director of Research Ethics and Compliance.

The COI Officer leads a small team and is responsible for the effective development, implementation, and monitoring of UA’s COI policies and related processes in accord with state and federal laws and regulations, peer institution best practices, and federal compliance program standards. The COI Officer also ensures effective coordination for compliance with UA COI policies, including those that address objectivity in research.

The COI Officer works with senior administration and campus stakeholders to formulate new policies and revisions to existing policy that address regulatory and statutory requirements and that incorporate evolving national standards for best practice. The COI Officer is responsible for designing and implementing procedures, including creating and maintain systems for the collection and review of financial disclosures in compliance with UA policies.

The COI Officer is responsible for campus-wide training and outreach activities. This includes providing conflict of interest disclosure trainings for faculty, researchers, administrators and others, communicating changes to policies and procedures, and providing guidance, on both an individual and community wide basis, regarding conflict of interest issues.

The COI Officer regularly provides expert guidance to Senior Administrators, Deans, Department Chairs, faculty members, and staff regarding COI policies and procedures.

This position coordinates, advises, staffs, and manages the COI evaluation activities of UA’s COI faculty review committees; these committees review financial interests for potential conflicts of interest and make decisions to eliminate, manage, or reduce identified conflicts of interest. The COI Officer, in coordination with the COI Analyst, provides initial assessment of financial interest disclosures, deciding which interests should be presented to the committee for review. The COI Officer also coordinates and ensures the proper management of conflicts identified by these committees.

With more than $606 million in research and development dollars from federal, state, and private sources, The University of Arizona currently ranks #21 among public universities in the US in overall research expenditures and #2 in physical science research. With world class faculty in fields as diverse as astronomy and space exploration, plant science, biomedical science and biotechnology, anthropology, Native peoples, business, law, philosophy, music, and dance, the UA is one of only 62 members in the Association of American Universities. The University’s main campus is situated in the heart of Tucson. Surrounded by mountains and the high Sonoran Desert, Tucson boasts a distinctive southwestern feel and enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine each year.

The UA today has over 43,000 students, and nearly 15,600 employees. The main campus has grown from its original 40 acres to more than 350 acres, and boasts the oldest continually maintained green space in Arizona. The University of Arizona offers a broad range of educational programs and support services that attract an excellent and diverse student body.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

Accepting a new position is a big life step. We want potential candidates and their families to be able to make informed decisions. Candidates who are considering relocation to the Tucson or Phoenix area, and have been offered an on-site interview, are encouraged to use the free services offered by Above & Beyond Relocation Services (ABRS).Ask your department contact to be introduced to ABRS prior to your visit.

The University of Arizona has been listed by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers in the United States and WorldatWork and the Arizona Department of Health Services have recognized us for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona, please click here.


Duties and Responsibilities:

Conflict of Interest Program 
• Conducts or oversees initial review, analysis and summary of financial disclosures, determining which disclosures should receive committee review, and ensuring documentation is available for committee review.
• Maintains knowledge of current developments in laws, regulations, policies and best practices on conflict of interest, communicating with peer institutions and attending national conferences.
• Reviews and analyzes applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
• Conducts, directs, and supervises fact-finding inquiries and investigations of possible noncompliance or whistleblower complaints. Monitors implementation of corrective action. 
• Conducts internal audits or reviews to ensure compliance with the University COI policies and procedures.
• Prepares periodic reports on program activities or other special reports for management or outside agencies.

• Staffs committees assigned to review and manage conflicts of interest. Oversees the preparation of meeting packets, action letters, and committee-directed follow-up actions, including monitoring. Establish and assist with the appointment of additional committees as necessary (per regulatory, legal, and institutional requirements and needs).
• Oversees, develops and monitors COI management plans, including by serving as an oversight committee member.

• Manages COI Program staff. Establishes priorities, plans, organizes, and distributes tasks and regulates workflow in most effective manner. Provides guidance to staff for effective interaction with researchers and departments.

• Meets with individual faculty members to discuss COI issues.
• Serves as a campus resource for questions concerning the interpretation of the University’s COI policies and their application to individual circumstances. Also assists senior management officials in formulating COI policies and management procedures, resolving discrepancies between institutional policy and practical challenges.
• Provides training to faculty and staff about financial disclosure obligations.
• Develops and coordinates training material and training delivery for UA personnel to ensure that all administrators, faculty, and staff are knowledgeable about, and comply with, pertinent UA policies and federal and state law related to COI. This includes creating course content and conducting in-person seminars. 
• Creates, maintains and updates content for COI website.
• Develops and maintains COI disclosure process, including managing the University’s COI electronic financial disclosure system and any forms related to the COI Program. 
• Leads any future efforts to modernize the electronic disclosure system, including overseeing a transition to a new software provider.
• Additional duties and responsibilities as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications:


 • Bachelor’s degree with five years of directly related experience; OR an advanced degree in law, research area, or related field. 
• Strong analytical and problem solving abilities.
• Strong organizational skills.
• Experience managing a small team of direct reports.
• High degree of personal integrity.


Preferred Qualifications:

Preference will be given to candidates with the following qualifications: 
• Advanced degree in law, research area, or related field
• Experience in COI compliance or working within a university research or academic medical center compliance office, or healthcare organization with significant university research contacts
• Project management experience, especially in the area of process improvement and software implementation.
• Experience with Kuali Research software suite or other Kuali enterprise systems.
• Experience with UA Enterprise Systems: Analytics, Financials, Research, and Employee. 
• Experience with UA (or other research university) research processes and policies.
• Knowledge of federal conflict of interest regulations and guidelines.


Special Instructions to the Applicant:

The writing sample should be a business communication (email or letter) or other memorandum (full or partial) that provides an example of the candidate’s ability to explain a policy or procedure to an individual who is not familiar with that particular policy or procedure.