There is nothing against faculty and other employees holding equity in for profit companies. Equity is, however, subject to disclosure to the Health Science Center through the Annual COI Report. Significant increases in equity, or if the equity is with a company in which the employee also has research funding, must be reported at any time.
If the equity is received from a “start-up”** venture it must be disclosed at the time of acquisition. Employees must recognize that their ability to work at the Health Science Center while funded by that venture, especially when conducting research involving human subjects, will be restricted because of the conflict created by their ownership interest in the sponsoring entity.
** A relatively newly formed, privately held, for profit company that is generally based on intellectual property developed at the Health Science Center.