Administration and Finance
 
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Administration and Operations Manual

1.01 Standards of Conduct and/or Workplace Violence

Last Revised: 16 May 2008
Refer Questions To: Director, Human Resources and Director, Department of Public Safety

Scope

This policy applies to faculty, teachers, staff, students, administrators, vendors, contractors, visitors, volunteers and other individuals who assert an association with Gallaudet University. The policy refers to all these persons as "members of the University community" or "community members."

Policy

This policy defines the University's Code of Conduct under the following headings:

  1. INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE
  2. STANDARDS OF INTEGRITY AND QUALITY
  3. CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY
  4. CONFLICT OF INTEREST/CONFLICT OF COMMITMENT
  5. HUMAN RESOURCES
  6. FINANCIAL REPORTING
  7. COMPLIANCE WITH LAWS
  8. USE OF UNIVERSITY RESOURCES
  9. REPORTING SUSPECTED VIOLATIONS

1. INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE

  • Introduction: As members of the Gallaudet University community, all faculty, teachers, staff, students, University Officers and affiliates are responsible for sustaining the highest ethical standards of this institution, and of the broader community in which we function. The University values integrity, honesty and fairness and strives to integrate these values into its teaching, research and business practices. Employees are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which at all times contributes positively to the health and welfare of the students and reflects well on the reputation and mission of the University.
  • Purpose: In that spirit, this policy is a shared statement of our commitment to upholding the ethical, professional and legal standards we use as the basis for our daily and long-term decisions and actions. We all must be cognizant of and comply with the relevant policies, standards, laws and regulations that guide our work. We are each individually accountable for our actions and, as members of the University community, are collectively accountable for upholding these standards of behavior and for compliance with all applicable laws and policies. The expression of dissent and the attempt to produce change may not be carried out in ways that injure individuals, damage institutional facilities or property, impede the functioning of programs and services, or evidence a complete disregard for authority and direction.
  • Violence: Gallaudet University has adopted a policy of zero tolerance with respect to violence in the workplace. Workplace violence includes the threat or actual infliction of physical violence as well as the threat or actual occurrence of psychological harm. The possession of firearms and other dangerous weapons is strictly prohibited. Any behavior which threatens the life or well-being of others will not be tolerated. Any individual who believes he/she has been subjected to or has observed or has knowledge of actual or potential workplace violence should immediately notify the Department of Public Safety. Reports of such acts or threats will be promptly investigated. Strong disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, will be taken against employees who commit workplace violence. Additionally, the University will support criminal prosecution of those who threaten or commit violence against its employees, students, and visitors in its facilities, programs, or activities.
  • Violations: Adherence to this policy also makes us responsible for bringing suspected violations of applicable standards, policies, laws or regulations to the attention of the appropriate cognizant office. Raising such concerns is a service to the University and will not jeopardize one's position or employment. Confirmed violations will result in appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment or other relationships with the University. In some circumstances, civil and criminal charges and penalties may apply.
  • Questions: Any questions regarding the intent or applicability of this policy should be directed to the Office of the Vice President, Administration and Finance, College Hall, Room 102, (202) 651-5075.

2. STANDARDS OF INTEGRITY AND QUALITY

Gallaudet University recognizes that it must earn and maintain a reputation for integrity that includes, but is not limited to, compliance with laws and regulations and its contractual obligations. Even the appearance of misconduct or impropriety can be very damaging to the University. The University must strive at all times to maintain the highest standards of quality and integrity.

Frequently, Gallaudet's business activities and the other conduct of its community members are not governed by specific laws or regulations. In these instances, rules of fairness, honesty, and respect for the rights of others will govern our conduct at all times.

In addition, each individual is required to conduct University business transactions with the utmost honesty, accuracy and fairness. Each situation needs to be examined in accordance with this standard. No unethical practice can be tolerated on the grounds that it is "customary" outside of Gallaudet or that it serves other worthy goals. Expediency should never compromise integrity.

3. CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY

Community members receive and generate on behalf of the University various types of confidential, proprietary and private information. It is imperative that each community member complies with all federal and state laws, agreements with third parties, and University policies and principles pertaining to the use, protection and disclosure of such information, and such policies apply even after the community member's relationship with Gallaudet ends.

Information on the University's "Principles of Privacy" or on specific privacy laws, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA - student records); Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA - personal health information); and the Privacy Act of 1974 (social security numbers) may be obtained from the Office of the Vice President, Administration and Finance, College Hall, Room 102, (202) 651-5075.

Additionally, any privacy rights in information stored on University computer systems are governed by University Policy 2.22, Use of Information Technology Resources, University Policy 3.06, Dissemination of Confidential Information, and University Technology Policy.

4. CONFLICT OF INTEREST/CONFLICT OF COMMITMENT

Community members who are Gallaudet faculty and staff owe their primary professional allegiance to the University and its mission to engage in the highest level of education, research and scholarship. Outside professional activities, private financial interests or receipt of benefits from third parties can cause an actual or perceived divergence between the University mission and an individual's private interests. In order to protect our primary mission, community members with other professional or financial interests shall disclose them in compliance with applicable conflict of interest/conflict of commitment policies, which are available on the following websites:

5. HUMAN RESOURCES

Gallaudet University is an institution dedicated to the pursuit of excellence and facilitation of an environment that fosters this goal. Central to that institutional commitment is the principle of treating each community member fairly and with respect. To encourage such behavior, the University prohibits discrimination and harassment and provides equal opportunities for all community members and applicants regardless of their race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status, age, disability (including HIV and AIDS), and medical condition. Where actions are found to have occurred that violate this standard the University will take prompt action to cease the offending conduct, prevent its recurrence and discipline those responsible. Specific policies in support of this standard are found at these locations:

The University shall also comply with all laws and regulations governing the circumstances under which former United States military personnel may be employed or retained as consultants.

6. FINANCIAL REPORTING

All University accounts, financial reports, tax returns, expense reimbursements, time sheets and other documents, including those submitted to government agencies, must be accurate, clear and complete. All entries in University books and records, including departmental accounts and individual expense reports, must accurately reflect each transaction. See Management Rights and Responsibilities Policy and Budget Responsibility Policy.

7. COMPLIANCE WITH LAWS

Members of the University community must transact University business in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and University policies and procedures. Management personnel are responsible for teaching and monitoring compliance. When question arise pertaining to interpretation or applicability of policy, contact the individual who has oversight of the policy. Unresolved questions and/or interpretation of laws and regulations should be referred to the Office of Vice President, Administration and Finance, College Hall, Room 102, (202) 651-5075. University-wide policy documents can be found at http://gallaudet.edu/af/ao_manual.xml.

  • Contractual Obligations: The acceptance of an agreement, including sponsored project funding, may create a legal obligation on the part of Gallaudet University to comply with the terms and conditions of the agreement and applicable laws and regulations. Therefore, only individuals who have authority delegated by an appropriate University official are authorized to enter into agreements on behalf of the University. See Authority to Approve Financial Documents Policy, Procurement Policy, and Sponsored Programs Policy.
  • Environmental Health & Safety, including Workplace Health and Safety: Members of the University community must be committed to protecting the health and safety of its members by providing safe workplaces. The University will provide information and training about health and safety hazards, and safeguards. Community members must adhere to good health and safety practices and comply with all environmental health and safety laws and regulations. See Risk Management Policy.
  • Non-University Professional Standards: Some professions and disciplines represented at the University are governed by standards and codes specific to their profession (such as attorneys, certified public accountants, and health professionals). Those professional standards generally advance the quality of the profession and/or discipline by developing codes of ethics, conduct, and professional responsibility and standards by which their members are guided. Those belonging to such organizations are expected to adhere to University policies and codes of conduct in addition to any professional standards. If a community member believes there is a conflict between a professional standard and University policy, he or she should contact the Office of the Vice President, Administration and Finance, College Hall, Room 102, (202) 651-5075.
  • Academic Policies: See http://academic.affairs.gallaudet.edu/resources/ for academic policies and guidelines.

8. USE OF UNIVERSITY RESOURCES

University resources must be preserved for business purposes on behalf of Gallaudet University. They may not be used for personal gain, and may not be used for personal use except in a manner that is incidental, and reasonable in light of the employee's duties. University resources include, but are not limited to, the use of University systems, such as telephone systems, data communication and networking services, and the Gallaudet domain for electronic communication forums; and the use of University equipment, such as computers and peripherals, University vehicles and other equipment; and the use of procurement tools such as purchasing cards and petty cash; and the time and effort of other staff, students and others at Gallaudet.

9. REPORTING SUSPECTED VIOLATIONS

  • Reporting to Management: Members of the Gallaudet community should report suspected violations of applicable laws, regulations, government contract and grant requirements or this policy. This reporting should normally be made initially through standard management channels, beginning with the immediate supervisor, instructor or advisor. If for any reason it is not appropriate to report suspected violations to the immediate supervisor (e.g., the suspected violation is by the supervisor), individuals may go to a higher level of management within their division or department.
  • Other Reporting: All violations of laws or regulations should be reported internally to the appropriate University administrator, or if an emergency, to the Department of Public Safety at dps@gallaudet.edu or (202) 651-5555. Reports can also be made to the Office of the Vice President, Administration and Finance, College Hall, Room 102, (202) 651-5075. Any suspected violations of rules regarding federal funds may also be reported to the Department of Defense Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline at (800) 424-9098. In addition, any suspected violations of federal or local statutes, rules or regulations may also be reported to EthicsPoint, Inc. at (888) 258-2820. The Office of the Ombuds does not serve as an agent of notice, but a reporting person may wish to consult with the Ombuds to discuss any concerns about reporting, which will be kept confidential and off-the-record. The Office of the Ombuds is located at Ely Center 113, (202) 448-7213 VP, ombuds@gallaudet.edu.
  • Confidentiality: Such reports may be made confidentially, and even anonymously, although the more information given, the easier it is to investigate the reports. Raising such concerns is a service to the University and will not in itself jeopardize employment.
  • Cooperation: All employees are expected to cooperate fully in the investigation of any misconduct.

Note: This document is based on in part on the policies of several non-profit organizations.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Board of Trustees
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