As UFOLIO enters second year, new program introduced to provide guidance, support
Since 2018, research institutions across the U.S. have faced increased scrutiny and concern from federal agencies over the threat of foreign influence in taxpayer-funded research. Earlier this year, Florida lawmakers proposed new legislation that imposes serious penalties on university employees for failure to timely disclose required outside activities and financial interests.
In this environment of heightened external pressure, UF has established a Conflicts of Interest (COI) Program to oversee the development and implementation of UFOLIO, UF’s new online disclosure system. The COI Program represents an important step in UF’s continued commitment to transparency, accountability and shared responsibility as a steward of the public trust.
In Spring 2019, UF leadership established a core project team and key advisory groups to develop a new outside activity disclosure system and centralized COI review process. Thanks to invaluable support from this team of stakeholders, UFOLIO was successfully piloted just six months later. UFOLIO replaces paper forms and streamlines, modernizes and standardizes the way UF employees disclose their reportable outside activities and interests. The COI Program administers UFOLIO, provides university-wide COI guidance and serves as a central hub for information about federal, state and institutional disclosure responsibilities.
On June 22, UFOLIO reached full implementation status and is now live for all UF employees with a .26 FTE or greater faculty appointment. The COI Program would like to thank everyone who participated in the UFOLIO pilot program. Without your critical feedback, it would not have been possible to reach this milestone before the end of the fiscal year.
About the COI Program
Led by Gary Wimsett Jr., JD, assistant vice president for conflicts of interest, and under the purview of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, UF COI is a centralized office dedicated to review of disclosures of outside activities and interests. In an environment of heightened external pressure, the COI Program represents an important step in UF’s continued commitment to transparency, accountability, and shared responsibility as stewards of the public trust.
The UF COI Program embraces professional ethics as an essential component of institutional integrity and is here to support the growth of UF employees engaged in important teaching, research, and public service activities. To assist UF employees in fulfilling their personal disclosure responsibilities under state and federal law, the COI Program staff has created a multitude of instructional materials and resources available on our website at www.coi.ufl.edu. If you have any questions about an actual or perceived conflict of interest, please reach out to anyone from our staff. For technical questions about using UFOLIO, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the Team
Gary Wimsett Jr., JD
Assistant Vice President
|Gary’s career at UF spans over 15 years. Gary most recently served as the Director of Compliance and Conflicts of Interest for the UF Compliance Office. Previously, Gary served as the Director of the Conflicts of Interest Program for the College of Medicine, the Interim Director of the Research Administration and Compliance Office, and as an Associate Director in the Health Science Center’s Office of Contracts and Related Services. For over 10 years, Gary has been involved in conflicts of interest process improvements and policy development at UF. On the national level, he is a member of the Steering Committee for the Association of American Medical College’s Forum on Conflict of Interest and is a frequent speaker on COI issues. Gary earned his Juris Doctor from UF Levin College of Law in 1997 and his B.A. in English Literature from USF in 1993.
Brian J. Power, JD
|Brian most recently served as the Director of Regulatory Compliance for the UF College of Medicine Compliance Office, focusing on enhancing the college’s conflicts of interest efforts and regulatory compliance program. Prior to that, Brian served as the Senior Compliance Legal Specialist for UF Health, providing compliance support for both the Gainesville and Jacksonville hospital systems. Brian earned his Juris Doctor in 2013 from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Law, and his B.S. in Business Administration – Accounting in 2008 from the University of Central Florida.
Administrative Specialist III
|Pam joined the Conflicts of Interest Program in February 2020. Previous UF experience includes Business Career Services and the Office of Clinical Research with over 10 years with experience in fiscal and administrative duties. Before working at UF, she worked at Nationwide Insurance for 26 years in an administrative capacity. She is a Columbus Ohio native, has been married almost 39 years and enjoys her church, traveling and her three beautiful grandchildren.
Elizabeth “Lyz” Lynch
|Elizabeth came to UF in 2013 with a background in retail management. Prior to her position in the COI Program, she served as the Director of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Shared Services Center, managing fiscal, human resources, and other administrative activities for the college. Her first positions with UF were in the Office of the Senior Vice President, Health Affairs, where she handled administrative, operational, and fiscal work. She also currently serves as a member of the Gator Business Administrator Services Advisory Council.
David S. Altman, JD
|After earning his Juris Doctor from UF Levin College of Law in 2012, David worked as a staff attorney for the 8th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida and later practiced law with a focus on fiduciary administration. Prior to starting with the COI Program, David returned to UF to complete a master’s degree in higher education administration. David’s experiences in higher education have helped him develop an appreciation for the many dimensions of compliance that are vital to (and should not undermine) the core educational mission of the institution.
Rocco Sementelli, M.Ed
|Rocco is a business analyst with UFIT and works on the UFOLIO application in partnership with the COI Program Office. Before becoming a business analyst, Rocco served in various administrative and technical roles while working in public and private education. Rocco earned his MEd from Florida Southern College in 2016 and his B.A. from UF in 2010. Currently, Rocco is pursuing his EdD in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies from Florida State University. Rocco also holds a Computer Programming Specialist certificate from Santa Fe College.