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Conflicts of Interest: What are they and how should they be handled?

Workshop by Dr. Lisa Freeman, Dr. Sandra Arntz and Ms. Dara Little,Division of Research and Graduate Studies, NIU

Thursday, February 3, 2011
8:00 am to 12:00 pm
Capitol Room, Holmes Student Center



This interactive workshop will examine the sometimes confusing topic of conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest issues often confront faculty, chairs, deans, and administrators in the course of their daily activities. There has been an increase in the media’s focus on this topic, and misunderstandings about what exactly a conflict of interest really is seem to be prevalent.

This workshop will focus on understanding the various types of conflicts as well as focusing on potential ways of avoiding and/or managing conflicts that may arise. Northern Illinois University’s Conflict of Interest policy will also be discussed. In addition to being presented with relevant information on this important topic, participants will also have the opportunity to explore various case study scenarios with other course attendees. The objective of this workshop is ultimately to encourage open dialogue and further one’s expertise regarding conflicts of interest.

The presenters for this workshop include Dr. Lisa Freeman, Vice President for Research, Dr. Sandra Arntz, Assistant Vice President for Research, and Dara Little, Associate Director, Office of Sponsored Projects.

Lisa Freeman recently joined Northern Illinois University as the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. As Vice President for Research, Dr. Freeman is the senior academic officer for research, artistry, and graduate programming. Previously, Dr. Freeman spent 16 years at Kansas State University, and in 2008 became the Associate Vice President for Innovation for the K-State Olathe Innovation Campus.

Sandra Arntz is head of the Office of Research Compliance. As Assistant Vice President for Research, Dr. Arntz is responsible for research activities involving human subjects, live vertebrate animals, recombinant DNA as well as the area of responsible conduct of research.

Dara Little is the Associate Director of the Office of Sponsored Projects. As Associate Director, Ms. Little manages all of the day to day operations of OSP including final approval authority of all proposals and agreements flowing through OSP and development and implementation of policies affecting pre-award operations.

Listed below is the tentative agenda for the workshop:

Session (8:30 am - 12:00 pm)
8:00 to 8:30 am
Check-in and Refreshments
8:30 to 8:45 am
Welcome and Overview by Provost Alden
8:45 to 9:45 am
Presentations on: “Conflicts of Interest” by Lisa Freeman,
“NIU’s Conflict of Interest Policy” by Sandra Arntz, and
“Handling of Conflicts of Interest Associated with Sponsored Research” by Dara Little
9:45 to 10:00 am
10:00 to 10:45 am
Small group discussions involving case study scenarios
10:45 to 11:45 am
Large group discussion – moderated by Freeman and Arntz
11:45 to 12:00 pm
Closing Remarks and Workshop Evaluation

Sponsored by:
The Division of Research and Graduate Studies
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center

Registration Information:

The workshop is open to faculty and and administrators only. Registered participants will receive workshop materials and refreshments. Register online at: or by emailing to the workshop title, your full name, department name, and your NIU email address. Advanced registration is required.

Registration Deadline: January 14, 2011.

Due to the expensive nature of the program and the advanced notice needed for arranging food and materials, please register by the deadline and plan to attend the entire workshop, if you register. After you register, if you are unable to attend, please inform the Center by January 17, 2011 by emailing to so that those on the waiting list may be given the opportunity to attend the workshop or program costs can be reduced.

Please complete the form below to register.

Faculty Registration Form:

Registration is now closed.

Last Updated: 11/24/2015