Reporting Suspected Misconduct
Frequently Asked Questions
- What kinds of concerns should I report?
You should report any good faith belief that there has been misconduct, including a violation of local, state, or federal law or University policy governing any University activity, or that red flag indicators of potential compliance violations exist. If you suspect something is wrong and are unsure whether or not to report, the better course of action is always to report it. Examples of issues to report include discrimination or sexual harassment; OSHA or environmental abuse concerns; theft; wage, benefit, or hours abuses; misuse of University property, or equipment; violation of safety rules; conflicts of interest; NCAA violations; and intentional misuse of the University’s network or computers.
- I’m not familiar with the “red flag indicators” concept. What are some examples?
Red flags are often, but not always, deviations from operating with transparency and following generally accepted best practices. For example, University employees working with minors on campus are expected to set professional boundaries on their interactions with those minors thus it would be appropriate to report an employee who is engaging in overly familiar behavior with minors. As another example, a common red flag of financial fraud is an employee that is defensive and secretive in regards to their business transactions thus reporting concerns of an employee that is unwilling to share their business is appropriate.
- What should I do if I think a minor has been abused?
All University employees, including student employees and volunteers, are required to report to the local police department (including the University Police Departments), county sheriff or local social services agency within 24 hours when they know or have reason to believe a minor (person under 18 years old, including minors enrolled in programs) is being physically or sexually abused or neglected, or has been within the past three years, including abuse and neglect by non-University persons. After reporting to authorities, individuals are encouraged to notify their supervisor, if appropriate.
If you have any questions about your reporting obligation, you can contact the Office of General Counsel at 612-624-4100.
- What are my reporting options?
Frequently, the best place to raise a concern or ask a question is within your own college or unit through ordinary supervisory or departmental channels. Many colleges and units also have identified a specific person to handle questions or reports about something you think may be wrong. These individuals include human resources professionals, equal opportunity liaisons, and certified approvers. You may also raise your concern with specific University offices established to handle certain types of issues. For a list of central offices see AppendixCentral Offices that Handle Concerns." You may also use UReport, the University's reporting service by calling toll-free 1-866-294-8680 or via the online reporting service. UReport allows for anonymous reporting.
- What are my responsibilities in making a report or in an investigation?
You are expected be acting in "good faith" in making a report. This means that you provide information you know or suspect is true. You are also required to cooperate in any investigation that may arise as a result of a report. Depending upon the allegations in your report, this could include discussions with you. All University employees are expected to be truthful and candid during any misconduct investigation. Providing information known to be false or intentionally misleading, either in a report or during the course of an investigation, is a serious matter that could result in discipline or termination.
- How soon should I make a report?
Reports should be made as soon as possible after a good faith concern arises. The sooner you file a report the better the chance that the investigator will be able to perform a thorough investigation.
- Will I be told about the details concerning an investigation or its outcome/result?
There are legal and other restrictions about what information the University is allowed to provide related to reported misconduct. In most cases, you will be told whether your reported issue was investigated, and whether based on the findings the matter was resolved.
- What should I do if I feel I am being retaliated against for making the report?
The University prohibits retaliation for making good faith reports. Retaliation concerns should be reported in the same manner as reporting other concerns of misconduct. Reports of retaliation will be reviewed and investigated in the same manner in which other allegations of misconduct are handled.
- Will my supervisor be told about the allegation? Who else in my unit might find out?
Your supervisor may or may not be told about your allegation, depending upon the particular circumstances of your report. In most cases, leadership within the department or unit where the wrongdoing is alleged to have occurred will be notified, as well as others who may have a need to know parts of a report in order to do their jobs or assist in any investigation. This notice typically includes general information about the nature of the allegation. This is necessary in many cases because employees in the unit or department may be interviewed, asked for documents, or otherwise involved in an investigation. In some cases, a supervisor may not be told about an allegation until an initial investigation has taken place, documents or evidence secured, or other actions are taken to ensure the matter is fully investigated and resolved.
- My report will say that a co-worker or supervisor is doing something wrong. Will that person learn I am the source of the report?
This depends in some degree upon the specifics of your allegation. For example, if you are reporting an incident that was observed by several people, or where documents or physical evidence exist, it may be possible to remain an anonymous reporter. However, if you are the only witness to an incident and there are no documents or other evidence available to support an allegation, the details of the report may implicate you as the reporter. In all cases, the University prohibits retaliation for making good faith reports. Retaliation concerns should be reported in the same manner as reporting other concerns of misconduct. Reports of retaliation will be reviewed and investigated in the same manner in which other allegations of misconduct are handled.
- How long will the investigation take?
The length of the investigation depends upon many factors, such as the complexity of the issue, the number of people involved, the nature and extent of documents or other evidence involved, and the urgency of the matter. The investigator should provide you with periodic updates as to the progress of the investigation. You may want to check in with the investigator if you have not received an update after a reasonable period of time.
- If I come across additional information or concerns, who should I contact?
You can always add additional information to your original report. You should contact the investigator working on your report and give that individual the additional information. If you have made a report through UReport you can log back into your report and add or upload the new information.