Solicitation and Acceptance of Personal Gifts and Relationships with Vendors

Boston University is committed to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and fairness in both actuality and appearance.  Consistent with this commitment, University employees and members of their immediate families are prohibited from soliciting any personal gift, gratuity, favor, service, or other benefit (collectively, a “gift”) from individuals or companies seeking any advantageous action by, or relationship with, the University.

The acceptance of a personal gift, even if unsolicited, is also prohibited in most instances.  A gift valued in excess of $50 or of undetermined value, unless employed for a University purpose or shared widely within the University or a unit thereof, must be declined or returned immediately.  Multiple gifts from a single source in any calendar year are prohibited.  Gifts of promotional items without significant value that are routinely distributed by vendors to clients, and courtesy copies of professional printed matter, may be accepted.  However, employees are prohibited from accepting gifts of money or their equivalent, regardless of the amount, at any time.

Employees are prohibited from accepting a vendor’s offer to pay for travel to and/or attendance at a conference, business meeting, or similar function without the prior written approval of the president, provost, or executive vice president.

Customary business dealings involving payment for a meal or local entertainment are acceptable, provided that they are not excessive in frequency or amount and do not otherwise create the appearance of impropriety.

Employees involved in awarding or administering grants or contracts using federal or other government funds are prohibited by law from soliciting or receiving gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from current or potential contractors or sub-contractors.

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that this policy is communicated to and understood by the employees in their unit and that it is effectively enforced.  Any employee who receives an unsolicited gift from an individual or company seeking any advantageous action by, or relationship with, the University should immediately submit a written report to his or her supervisor specifying the date the gift was received, the donor, the estimated value, and other relevant information.

Any employee who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.