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Ethics Policy

University of Central Missouri Policy

Policy Name:  Ethics Policy

Date Approved:   June 21, 2006; revised and approved April 28, 2017

Policy Category: Board of Governors – University Operations

Date Effective:  April 28, 2017

Policy Number: 1.2.180

Date Last Revised:  April 28, 2017

Approval Authority: UCM Board of Governors

Review Cycle: 4 years

Responsible Department: Office of Human Resources

 

Purpose/Policy Statement

The purpose of the ethics policy is to clarify the university’s standard of ethical conduct for all University of Central Missouri employees.

The University of Central Missouri is committed to the enforcement of the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity in an effort to provide the public it serves with the utmost confidence in our organization, educational services, administrative business processes, financial management and the quality of our reported information.  Furthermore, university employees have a responsibility to the students, parents, donors and other citizens of the state of Missouri to use university resources prudently, ethically, for the purposes for which they are intended and in full compliance with all laws and regulations.  All members of the university community are expected to adhere to the University of Central Missouri policies and procedures as approved by the university Board of Governors and university president and to federal and state law. 

Every employee is responsible for ethical conduct consistent with university policy and procedures and with the law.  Every employee is responsible for becoming familiar with university policies and procedures, the terms and conditions of each university grant or contract on which he or she is working, those laws and regulations applicable to his or her position and duties, and to comply with their letter and spirit.  Activities undertaken on behalf of the university, whether with the public, other governmental entities, suppliers, students or one another, must reflect honesty, integrity and fairness.  The benefit of any individual may not be placed above the benefit of the university.  Even the appearance of impropriety should be avoided because it can damage public confidence in the university.

All employees designated as a decision-making public servant, as determined by the president, are required to file a financial statement with the Missouri Ethics Commission annually.  Forms prescribed by the commission shall be utilized and filed by the deadlines established by Missouri state law.

Scope

This policy clarifies the standard of ethical conduct for employees.

Definitions

Employee.  For purposes of this policy, “ employee”  includes persons presently or formerly acting on behalf of the university, with or without compensation, including:  officers, agents, individual governors, persons employed by the university, and volunteers when their work is accepted, contracted for, or consented by the university and who are under the direction and control of the university. 

Senior administrator. Employees holding the position of president, provost/chief learning officer, senior vice president, vice president, or vice provost. 

Procedures

I. Introduction

University employees are responsible for being knowledgeable of policies and procedures of the university which include, but are not limited to: "Ethics Policy," Board of Governors Policy 1.2.180; "Conflict of Interest or Commitment Policy – Employees and Board of Governors," Board of Governors Policy 1.2.200 and "Fraud Procedures."

II. Resources

Policy and procedures are included in the following manuals (which may be available only in electronic form accessible online):

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 policy director, the Office of General Counsel, or the relevant university office or division when questions arise regarding university policy and procedures.

III. Reporting

University employees with knowledge of a violation of the Board of Governors "Ethics Policy," 1.2.180 must promptly report such violations, in writing, to the appropriate administrator*. Should an employee with a duty to disclose such a violation have reasonable cause to believe disclosure to the appropriate administrator will be ineffective, the person should disclose the violation to the Office of Human Resources. No retaliatory action will be taken for any such report made in good faith. The employee reporting a suspected violation, or the administrator to whom the report is submitted should not undertake any investigation, confrontation or disclosure of this matter, but should instead report such information to the Office of Human Resources.

When a written report is received by an administrator alleging a possible, potential, or apparent violation of the Ethics Policy it shall be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources. The administrator shall include a brief statement detailing the possible violation, the date the written report was received from the employee, any immediate action taken by the administrator, and their recommendation, if any, for future action in regards to the allegation(s). The administrator’s brief shall be signed and dated.

IV. Fact Finding

If the Office of Human Resources, after consultation with the appropriate senior administrator(s), determines that a possible violation of the policy has occurred, the associate vice president of human resources will appoint a disinterested party/committee to investigate the facts of the statement and will notify the subject of the investigation, within 10 (ten) 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 associate vice president of human resources who will notify the appropriate senior administrator(s) as to whether a violation has occurred.

V. Enforcement
If it is determined by the associate vice president of human resources that a violation of the "Ethics Policy" has taken place, a summary of findings 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 applicable UCM policies, procedures, and/or memorandums of understanding.

VI. Appeal Process

Appeals may be provided pursuant to applicable existing avenues for grievance or appeal. Allegations against the president will be reported to the Board of Governors. The decision of the final step in the appeal process, the president’s decision, or the board’s decision, as applicable, 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 Human Resources for assistance.