Linked below are Board of Trustees’ Policies that will be proposed for amendment at the upcoming meeting of the Board of Trustees on May 26-27. Also included is one new Board Policy regarding the employment of residents at UAMS. Below is a listing of the proposed policies with explanations regarding the reasoning for the proposed revisions. The linked PDFs show the proposed changes in red. Members of the UA System community can comment on the proposed changes by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The proposed policy changes include:
Revised Board Policy 215.1: Service on Boards of Financial Institutions – The proposed amendments allow positions below the President and the Vice President for Finance to serve on boards of financial institutions with certain disclosure and reporting requirements related to compensation and conflicts of interest.
Revised Board Policy 375.1: Inter-Institutional and Inter-Fund Loans – The proposed amendments allow for more flexibility in term and repayment of inter-institutional loans. The changes have been shared with the campus CFOs for comment.
Revised Board Policy 420.1 Annual Leave for Academic and Other Non-Classified Employees – The proposed changes address the transition of certain hourly positions to non-classified positions, providing the positions will continue to accrue leave at the classified leave rate. The amendments also address special leave needs for UAMS resident/housestaff employees.
Revised Board Policy 420.3 Sick Leave – a proposed footnote makes clear that residents employed at UAMS are subject to the sick leave policy in the Resident Handbook through the Graduate Medical Education Resident/Fellows program.
Revised Board Policy 410.1 Nepotism and Conflicts of Interest – This policy was originally proposed for amendments to be considered at the March 2021 board meeting; however, after feedback was received from individuals at UA-Fayetteville, the proposal was delayed for further consideration. Feedback included concern about the conflict of interest language in the policy specifying that former spouses or domestic partners should abide by the same restrictions as those currently in such a relationship. In order to better define this section, the language has been revised to specify the conflict of interest provisions are applicable to “former spouses or domestic partners with continuing contractual or financial obligations to each other.”
A search of nepotism and conflict of interest policies in other states found similar language applying such provisions to individuals who “share a child” (University of Alabama) or those who “share a common ancestor” (University of Texas System) or “any personal relationship – financial or not” that “reasonably appears to affect” one’s university duties (University of Oklahoma).
Additionally, a concern was raised that the revised policy could prevent a faculty member from voting in certain elections. However, when an election occurs (such as at a department or unit level) and involves hiring, promotion, or otherwise has possible implications for salary, voting participation by a spouse, domestic partner, or the other types of close personal relationships covered under the policy creates a potential conflict of interest that should be addressed through nonparticipation. Other elections, such as those for campus-wide governance, may not raise the same conflict of interest issues. For clarification, a provision was added to the policy stating: “Campuses, divisions, and units shall address situations covered under this policy through their respective conflict of interest policies.” For example, campus policies may establish a process for the development of a conflict management plan to address such situations.
New Board Policy 1240.1 Employment Status for Graduate Medical Education Programs – This new policy simply states that the employment terms for interns, residents and fellows employed through graduate medical education programs at UAMS are described in annual appointment contracts and subject to applicable University policies.