Preamble: Standards of Conduct and Integrity
All members of the University community are expected to conduct University-related business with honesty and integrity, and must comply with all governing rules, regulations and policies. This includes:
- employees (faculty and staff) and
- students and individuals employed by the University, using University resources or facilities, or receiving funds administered by the University and
- volunteers and other representatives when speaking or acting on behalf of the University.
Community members or other individuals who have a good faith belief that there has been a violation of local, state, or federal law or University policy governing any University activity, or that red flag indicators of potential misconduct exist, should report their concerns in one of the following ways:
- (Faculty and staff) Report concerns to a unit leader or other appropriate contact person within their unit.
- Contact the Central Office(s) responsible for handling the subject area directly.
- Contact the Office of Institutional Compliance directly
- Use the University’s reporting service, UReport, either via the online reporting service or by calling toll-free at 1-866-294-8680. The UReport service allows for anonymous reporting.
The reporter need not know the details of a law or policy or be certain about a violation.
All employees, including student employees, and volunteers, are required to report if their concern involves the safety of a minor. See Administrative Policy: Safety of Minors.
Investigating Concerns of Misconduct
Appropriate University administrators are responsible for addressing reported concerns or forwarding the matter to an appropriate central office; conducting investigations (where needed); communicating with the reporter; and escalating matters to the Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel that:
- have the potential for serious or widespread legal or policy violations;
- significant accounting misconduct; or
- involve other matters that in their judgement represents a significant compliance concern.
Participating in an Investigation
Employees are required to participate in investigations related to suspected misconduct so that the most complete information is available when determining if the claim of misconduct is substantiated.
Offices who receive concerns are responsible for keeping all related information, including information related to the investigation of the concerns, confidential to the extent provided by law.
Protection from Retaliation
No member of the University community may retaliate against an individual because of the individual’s good faith participation in:
- reporting or otherwise expressing opposition to, suspected or alleged misconduct;
- participating in any process designed to review or investigate suspected or alleged misconduct or non-compliance with applicable policies, rules, and laws; or
- accessing the Office for Conflict Resolution (OCR) services.
A causal relationship between the good faith participation in one of these activities and an adverse action is needed to demonstrate that retaliation has occurred.
Individuals who believe that retaliation is occurring or has occurred, as a result of their good faith participation in one of the above referenced activities, should follow the reporting options available to them in this policy.
Reports of retaliation will be reviewed and investigated in the same manner in which other concerns of misconduct are handled. Any University member who engages in retaliation may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or expulsion.
Intentionally False Reports/Information
Individuals who, knowingly or intentionally, file a false report or provide false or misleading information in connection with an investigation may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, or expulsion.
Reason for Policy
This policy implements Board of Regents Policy: Code of Conduct and supports the reporting requirements in Minnesota Statute Section 625.556 (Reporting Maltreatment of Minors.) The University community’s commitment to ethical conduct is detailed in Board of Regents Policies: Code of Conduct and Student Conduct Code. Board of Regents Policy: Code of Conduct addresses the University’s responsibility to promote a culture of compliance which includes efforts to prevent, detect, and correct violations of law or policy, which may result from mistakes, lack of information, or, deliberate misconduct. A reporting system and protection against retaliation promotes compliance with law and policy and fair treatment of employees. This policy and the procedure attached to it support existing University policies and procedures for responding to reports of misconduct, and do not establish any additional rights beyond those already provided by law.