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Conflict of Interest Procedure - Staff Authored Texts

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) This Procedure is intended to support academic staff and Colleges in decision-making where a perceived or actual conflict of interest in the use of staff-authored texts may reasonably be anticipated. It also reflects expected good practice in institutions across Australia and internationally.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to staff employed by the University who have the responsibility for text or resource selection in a required or recommended list of study materials for subjects at La Trobe University.

(3) This Procedure does not apply to texts and resources selected by staff that are provided free of charge to students.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) Refer to the Conflict of Interest Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Justification of Text or Resource Selection

(5) A conflict in text or resource selection may be in relation to a text authored by the person responsible for selection or by an individual with whom this person has a close relationship.

(6) Where a potential, perceived or actual conflict of interest exists in relation to texts or resources the staff member responsible for text selection must make a declaration through a submission to the College Academic Committee via the Head of School.

(7) The submission should include:

  1. the academic basis for the selection of the text, and why it is a better fit than others
  2. examples of a list of materials currently used at other institutions in similar or equivalent subjects
  3. an explanation of the value to learning and alignment of the text with the learning outcomes of the subject
  4. the activities and tasks that students will undertake that require them to use this text
  5. the cost of the materials to students
  6. evidence of inclusion of the text in the University Library collection
  7. all staff teaching the subject are agreed on the use of the text

(8) The College Academic Committee considers the texts or resources in relation to the supporting evidence provided, and makes a determination. Options for determinations may include:

  1. approval of the materials for required use, with an associated Course Register/Subject Register update as well as an update of the Subject Guide
  2. approval of the materials for recommended student use rather than required use
  3. a requirement for further advice outside the school or University on the suitability of the materials, or alternatives for required use
  4. a requirement for selection of one or more alternate materials.

(9) A record of the discussion and decision made is included in the minutes of the Committee.

Part B - Compliance

(10) The Executive Director, Quality and Standards, is responsible for oversight of compliance with this Procedure and will do so through periodic audits of College Academic Committee minutes and subject data.

(11) Breaches of this Procedure will be referred to the relevant College Academic Committee.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(12) Nil