For questions about the ethical administration of an activity or operation at George Mason University, please contact:
University Ethics Officer and Outside Interests Manager
117 Northeast Module II
George Mason University
Office of University Audit
4400 University Drive, MS 1A2
Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444
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.
- Conflict of Interest. This policy relates to conflicts of interest between employees' institutional responsibilities and outside interests.
- 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.
- 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 interest 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 at 703-993-5115.