Reporting Suspected Misconduct

Responsible Officer
Joan Gabel
University President
Boyd Kumher
Chief Compliance Officer, Office of Institutional Compliance
Owner
Boyd Kumher
Chief Compliance Officer, Office of Institutional Compliance
Primary Contact
Boyd Kumher
Chief Compliance Officer, Office of Institutional Compliance
Last Revised
Effective Date

Policy Statement

Preamble: Standards of Conduct and Integrity

All members of the University community, regardless of their location, are expected to conduct University-related business with honesty and integrity, and must comply with all governing rules, regulations and policies. Members include:

  • employees (faculty and staff); and
  • students;
  • other 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.

Reporting Misconduct

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 (possible warning signs) of potential misconduct exist, must report their concerns in one of the following ways:

  • Report concerns to an appropriate University Administrator, e.g. supervisor, department head, etc. or other designated 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, U Report, either via the online reporting serviceor by calling toll-free at 1-866-294-8680. The U Report service allows for anonymous reporting.

The individual reporting need not know the details of a law or policy or be certain about a violation.

All employees are expected to comply with any mandatory reporting obligations established in other policies, such as reporting related to sexual misconduct or the safety of a minor.

For more detailed information on reports related to sexual misconduct, see  Administrative Policy: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence.

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; contacting the Chief Compliance Officer when unsure of next steps; and escalating matters as appropriate to the Chief Compliance Officer, General Counsel, and Chief Auditor that:

  • have the potential for serious or widespread legal or policy violations;
  • has the potential to cause significant harm to any individual;
  • significant accounting misconduct; or
  • involve other matters that in their judgement represents a significant compliance concern.

Participation in an Investigation

University community members 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.

Protection from Retaliation

University community members are prohibited from retaliating (taking an adverse action)  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
  • 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, investigated and resolved in the same manner in which other concerns of misconduct are handled. Individuals  who engage in retaliation may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or expulsion.

Confidentiality

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.

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 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 procedures 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.

Contacts

Subject Contact Phone Email
Primary Contact(s) Boyd Kumher 612-626-7852 [email protected]
Legal Questions General Counsel 612-624-4100 [email protected]
Reporting Service U Report 1-866-294-8680 U Report

Definitions

Adverse Action
Any action that might deter a reasonable person from engaging in reporting suspected or alleged misconduct, expressing opposition to alleged misconduct, participating in an investigation related to a misconduct allegation, or accessing Conflict Resolution Services. Examples of adverse action include, but are not limited to: impeding the individual’s academic advancement; departing from any customary academic or employment practice regarding the individual; firing, refusing to hire, or refusing to promote the individual; transferring or assigning the individual to a lesser position in terms of wages, hours, job classification, job security, employment or academic status; and threatening or marginalizing an individual. In some situations, retaliatory conduct may also include inappropriate disclosure of the identity of the individual who has made a complaint protected by this policy.
Good Faith Participation
Reporting, or otherwise expressing opposition to, misconduct based on a reasonable belief that misconduct has occurred. Or, honestly participating in an investigation of misconduct or accessing conflict resolution services.
Investigation
The steps taken to analyze all relevant information regarding suspected or alleged misconduct and then determine whether sufficient evidence exists to find that misconduct occurred.
Misconduct
A violation of local, state, or federal law or University policy, or noncompliance with sponsor regulations or requirements. This includes both Board of Regents Policies: Code of Conduct and Student Code of Conduct. A few examples of misconduct might include sexual harassment, theft, plagiarism, or a breach of the privacy policy.
Red Flag
A red flag is a set of circumstances that are unusual in nature or vary from the normal activity and may need to be investigated further to ensure that misconduct is not involved. Red flags do not indicate guilt or innocence but merely provide possible warning signs of misconduct.
Report in Good Faith
A report made by an individual who reasonably believes that misconduct has occurred or reasonably believes that red flag indicators of potential misconduct exist.
Retaliation
Taking an adverse action against an individual because of the individual’s good faith participation in reporting suspected or alleged misconduct, expressing opposition to alleged misconduct, participating in an investigation related to a misconduct allegation, or accessing Conflict Resolution Services. (See also Adverse Action.) A causal relationship between good faith participation in reporting and an adverse action is needed to demonstrate that retaliation has occurred. See Administrative Policy: Retaliation. For potential retaliation related to sexual misconduct, see an expanded definition in Administrative Policy: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Relationship Violence.
U Report
The University’s hotline where community members can report suspected misconduct. The report can be made anonymously.

Responsibilities

All Individuals
Report good faith concerns about possible misconduct, including violations of local, state, or federal law or University policy governing any University activity. Be truthful and cooperative in investigations of alleged wrongdoing.
Central Offices that Receive Reports
Follow procedures for handling reported concerns. Consult with the Chief Auditor, Chief Compliance Officer, and General Counsel as appropriate.
Collegiate/Unit Administrators
Follow procedures for handling reported concerns. Consult with the Chief Auditor, Chief Compliance Officer, and General Counsel as appropriate.
Chief Auditor
Investigate concerns of financial and operational misconduct. Communicate information regarding concerns received to proper administrators. Consult with the Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel as appropriate. Communicate with the President and the Board of Regents regarding potential serious financial or operational misconduct.
Chief Compliance Officer
Administer the U Report reporting service. Work collaboratively with responsible offices to address concerns of misconduct and communicate results of these efforts according to established procedures. Consult with the Chief Auditor and General Counsel as appropriate. Communicate potential serious misconduct to the President and the Board of Regents. Annually notify employees of their responsibility to report concerns and where to report them.
General Counsel
Conduct investigations where the assertions of the attorney-client privilege and/or other legal issues require the General Counsel’s involvement. Consult and coordinate with the Chief Auditor and Chief Compliance Officer as appropriate. Communicate with the President and the Board of Regents regarding potential serious legal violations.
Human Resource Consultant or Local Human Resources Professional
Investigate concerns of retaliation not related to EEOA and academic misconduct, including research, related misconduct. Investigate concerns of non-compliance as appropriate. Communicate information regarding concerns received to appropriate administrators. Consult with the Chief Compliance Officer, General Counsel as appropriate, and Chief Auditor as appropriate.
Vice President for Human Resources
Appoint Human Resource Liaison to protect against retaliation when appropriate. Respond to concerns of retaliation.

Related Information

History

Amended:
August 2021 - Comprehensive Review, Minor Revision:
  1. Added a definition for misconduct.
  2. Other minor changes were made to improve clarity.
Amended:
July 2017 - Major Revision - Title revision. 1. Expands on the prohibition on retaliation for the reporter to also include prohibiting retaliation for individuals participating in an investigation. 2. Includes new language on the expectations for standards of conduct. 3. Provides new language on reporting red flag indications of potential misconduct. 4. Requires employees to participate in investigations related to suspected misconduct. 5. Specifies that the information related to these reports and investigations are kept confidential to the extent provided by law.
Amended:
July 2013 - Minor Revision - Added paragraph about Mandatory Reporting for the Protection of Minors to Statement, added FAQ: University Employees Reporting Child Abuse, Neglect, and Sexual Assault. Updated definitions and responsibilities sections.
Amended:
July 2012 - Comprehensive Review, Major Revision - 1. Incorporates a new section on mandatory reporting for the protection of minors. 2. Clarifies the section on retaliation and incorporates a definition of retaliation that could be used across the multiple policies that prohibit this behavior.
Amended:
May 2007 - Amended Policy and added related information to meet new requirements in section 1902(a)(68) of the Social Security Act.
Amended:
July, 2005 - Changed policy title from "Dealing with Financial and Operational Misconduct" to current title, expanded scope, amended responsibilities, and revised procedures to reflect expanded scope and outside reporting service.
Amended:
March 2002 - Added procedure on Reporting NCAA Violations. Policy Statement, Contacts and Responsibilities sections revised to reflect the inclusion of NCAA violations in the policy scope.
Effective:
March 2000

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