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Campus ethics: A case study

September 22, 2010
Arrow Buff


By Pamela Rypkema, Office of Risk Management

People on campus are ethical. We try to do the right thing and look out for each other. To support these good intentions, members of the Gallaudet community can report activities that are inconsistent with policy, or that we can manage better.  Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center have contracted with EthicsPoint to support the Board of Trustee’s mandate to report possible misconduct, also known as a “whistleblower policy.” The board’s overarching goal is for people to speak up for a better Gallaudet — to come forward with rule or policy violations or safety concerns so we can correct them.

Last month, EthicsPoint co-sponsored a webinar about ethics with the Association of College and University Auditors. The webinar described the journey of Texas Tech University (TX Tech) through an institutional ethics movement. TX Tech’s initiative was prompted by its accreditation body, but it expanded into an aspect of the educational program offered to students. Ethics is included in the curriculum and student integrity policies, and a proactive discussion of ethics ensures that activities are consistent with the values stated in the institution’s strategic plan. By doing so, ethics better permeates the whole campus at Texas Tech.

Several Gallaudet faculty and staff participated in the webinar. A summary of the content is below, and a copy of the PowerPoint presentation is available on request.

Main points from the presentation:

·         TX Tech has a Statement of Ethical Principles in addition to its Code of Conduct.

·         The ethics initiative was a multi-year process that went beyond paper statements and included a wide range of activities that were designed to make ethics a priority. 

·         Institutional policies were subjected to a detailed review to ensure consistency with the Statement of Ethical Principles and the annual audit plan was expanded to include conflicts of interest.

·         TX Tech sponsored an Ethics Day, with events and competitions for students, including the Matador Ethics Video Challenge.

·         The discussion of ethics was tailored to various audiences, and in different forums, including:  new student orientation, required inclusion in syllabi and curriculum, a “sportsmanship” campaign, frequent articles in the student newspaper about various ethical issues, and an Ethics Series to discuss ethics and academic dishonesty.

There were many great new ideas to enrich our ethics programming at Gallaudet University.  For more information, contact the Office of Risk Management at




22 September 2010


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