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University Policy Office

Shelly G. Gonzalez, Policy Officer
Administration 208
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660.543.4730
Fax: 660.543.8022
sgonzalez@ucmo.edu





WHISTLEBLOWER PROCEDURES

Approval: Approved by the President on April 19, 2006.

Authority: Board of Governors Policy 1.2.180

Responsibility: All University Employees

PROCEDURE

I. Introduction

The purpose of this procedure is to protect a person who witnesses or has evidence of personal appropriation of university resources or a violation while employed with the university and who communicates, in good faith, or testifies to, the appropriation of university resources or violation, verbally or in writing, to one of the employee’s superiors, to an agent of the university or to an appropriate authority, provided that the communication is made prior to any adverse action by the employer. More specifically it:

  1. encourages persons to disclose serious breaches of conduct covered by university policies, procedures or law

  2. protects employees from reprisal by adverse employment action as a result of having disclosed wrongful conduct (employees who self report misconduct are not afforded protection by this procedure)

  3. provides individuals who believe they have been subject to reprisal a fair process to seek relief from retaliatory acts

The "Whistleblower Procedures" are intended to encourage and enable employees and others to raise serious concerns within the university prior to seeking resolution outside the university. It is intended to complement and supplement existing policies, procedures and legal requirements. Nothing in this procedure is intended to interfere with legitimate employment decisions.

II. Resources

Policies and procedures are included in the following manuals:

  • Board of Governors Policy Manual

  • UCM Procedures and Guidelines

  • Human Resources Procedure Manual

  • Faculty Guide

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Central Missouri and Missouri Educations Workers Local No. 1/AFSCME, Local 577

  • Student Handbook

The above-referenced manuals and handbooks have been listed for the convenience of employees but should not be considered an inclusive list. Employees are encouraged to contact the University Policy Office, the Office of the General Counsel or the office responsible for the policy or procedure when questions arise regarding university policy and procedures.

III. Reporting

All members of the university community are encouraged to report any suspected retaliation, harassment or adverse employment consequences as a result of his or her reporting personal appropriation of university resources. An employee should report his or her concerns to a supervisor or manager. If for any reason an employee finds it difficult to report his or her concern to a supervisor or manager, the employee can report it directly to the Office of the General Counsel.
Directors, officers, supervisors and managers are required to report suspected violations to the Office of the General Counsel, who has specific and exclusive responsibility to investigate all reported violations. Reasonable care should be taken in dealing with suspected misconduct to avoid:

  1. publication of baseless allegations

  2. premature notice to persons suspected of misconduct and/or disclosure of suspected misconduct to others not involved with the investigation

  3. violations of a person’s rights under law

Accordingly, a director, officer, supervisor or manager who receives a report of suspected retaliation:

  1. should not contact the person suspected to further investigate the matter or demand restitution

  2. should not discuss the case with anyone other than the Office of the General Counsel, internal auditor or a duly authorized law enforcement officer

  3. should direct all inquiries from an attorney retained by the suspected individual to the general counsel

  4. should direct all inquiries from the media to University Relations.

No director, officer or employee who in good faith reports a violation of policy, procedure or law shall suffer harassment, retaliation or adverse employment consequence. An employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a violation in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment. The university will use best efforts to protect whistleblowers against retaliation. In matters of disclosure, the university will make all reasonable efforts to maintain the identity of the employee making the disclosure confidential, as long as maintaining confidentiality does not interfere with conducting an investigation of the specific allegations or taking corrective action. Whistleblowers should be cautious to avoid baseless allegations.

IV. Fact Finding

If the general counsel, after consultation with the appropriate senior administrator(s), determines that a possible violation has occurred, the general counsel will appoint a disinterested party/committee to investigate the facts of the statement and will notify the subject of the investigation, within 10 (ten) business days, unless notification would limit the effectiveness of the investigation. The disinterested party/committee will present a copy of those relevant facts found to the general counsel who will notify the appropriate senior administrator(s) as to whether a violation has occurred.

V. Enforcement

If it is determined by the general counsel that a violation has taken place, a written finding will be presented to the appropriate senior administrator(s) for appropriate action. Action will be based on the extent of the violation and the position held by the employee. Action will be consistent with the Board of Governors Policy Manual; UCM Procedures and Guidelines, "Progressive Discipline Procedures"; Faculty Guide; or Memorandum of Understanding Between the University of Central Missouri and Missouri Educations Workers Local No. 1/AFSCME, Local 577 whichever applies as determined by the Office of the General Counsel.

VI. Appeal Process

Appeals will be provided per applicable existing avenues for grievance or appeal. Allegations against the president will be reported to the Board of Governors. The president’s decision, or the board’s decision in a case of allegations against the president, will be final.

* If an employee is unsure of their appropriate administrator they may refer to the University of Central Missouri's organizational chart or contact the Office of the General Counsel for assistance.