Forms, Policies, & Guides

103 - Whistleblower

Subject: Whistleblower

Section: U103

Date: June 15, 2007


Purpose:

To communicate adherence to the University's policies and procedures and to encourage good faith reports of allegations of misconduct concerning compliance with University policies and procedures.

Policy:

The University relies on its employees to perform their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the University's policies and procedures. The University provides various mechanisms to assist and encourage employees to come forward in good faith with reports or concerns about suspected compliance issues. Employees may report suspected non-compliance issues without fear of reprisal or retaliation.

Guidelines:

  1. An employee should follow all University policies and procedures in carrying out his/her duties and responsibilities for the University.
  2. An employee who has a question about the propriety of any practice under University policies and procedures, should seek guidance from his/her supervisor or the University official who has responsibility for overseeing compliance with the particular policy or procedure.
  3. An employee who becomes aware of a potential or actual material violation of University policies or procedures, should report such potential or actual conduct, regardless of whether the employee is personally involved in the matter.
  4. An employee may request that such a report be handled as confidentially as possible under the circumstances, and the University will endeavor to handle all such reports with discretion and with due regard for the privacy of the reporting employee.
  5. An employee may make anonymous reports, with the understanding that any investigation may be hampered due to the inability to identify the employee in order to obtain a full and complete account of relevant and necessary facts from the employee or to ask additional questions or seek clarification as any investigation proceeds.
  6. An employee who comes forward in good faith with reports or concerns about compliance with University policies or procedures shall not be subject to reprisal or retaliation for making such a report. Any employee who believes that he/she is being retaliated against for making such a report should immediately bring it to the attention of his/her dean or the Provost’s Office (for an academic employee) or to the Office of Employee/Labor Relations – Human Resources (for a staff employee) for immediate investigation.

Points of Contact:

An employee is encouraged to make such a report to his/her immediate supervisor. If the employee feels unable to do so or if there is any reason why this may not be appropriate, the employee should raise the issue with his/her manager, department chair, dean, director or the University office or official who has responsibility for overseeing compliance with the particular policy or procedure in accordance with the guidelines below. An employee who is unsure to whom he/she should make a report or address his/her concerns should consult with the Employee/Labor Relations Office, the Institutional Compliance Committee or the office listed below.

  • In the event of any claim of financial misconduct or inappropriate expenditure(s) of funds (including all grant funds, federal, and non-federal), or any claim regarding questionable internal controls, accounting practices or auditing matters, the employee should follow the guidelines above, but should also make such a report to the University Comptroller or the Assistant Vice President for Risk Management and Audit.
  • An employee with reports or concerns about the University's labor relations policies and procedures (including such policies as 601-Treatment of Confidential Information, 604-Substance Abuse, 703-Progressive Correction Action, 704-Employee Complaint Resolution Procedure, and 705-Access to Personnel Records) is encouraged to consult with the Office of Employee/Labor Relations - Human Resources.
  • An employee with reports or concerns about the University’s non-discrimination policy (including 201-Equal Employment Opportunity) is encouraged to consult with the University's Affirmative Action Officer.
  • An employee with reports or concerns about sexual assault or unlawful discrimination and harassment (including sexual harassment) is encouraged to consult with any of the Complaint Advisors, the Coordinator of the Complaint Advisors, and/or the University’s Affirmative Action Officer.
  • An employee with reports or concerns about conflict of interest (including the policy on Outside Professional and Commercial Interests of Faculty/Conflict of Interest for Academic Employees and 600-Conflict of Interest for Non-Academic Staff), should consult with his/her manager, department chair or director, but, in the case of questions concerning such supervisory personnel, the employee should also feel free to consult with the dean, or University Officer who is responsible for the unit.
  • An employee with reports or concerns about workplace safety issues is encouraged to consult with the University's Environmental Health and Safety Department.
  • An employee with reports or concerns about academic fraud or scientific research misconduct should consult with the appropriate department chair, dean or University Officer.
  • An employee who is unsure to whom he/she should make a report or address his/her concerns should consult with the Office of Employee/Labor Relations - Human Resources.
  • Institutional resources for guidance on compliance with University policies and procedures are listed on the Risk Management website under Points of Contact.

Hotline:

An employee should report concerns as discussed above, however, if he/she is concerned about doing so, the employee may file a report with "The Network" — an independent ethics and compliance hotline contracted by the University. Calls to The Network made within the U.S. may be placed by dialing 800-971-4317; collect calls made outside of the U.S. may be placed by dialing 770-776-5641. The Network provides an alternative way to report activities which may involve misconduct or violations of University policy confidentially. This service is not a substitute for, nor does it supersede, any existing reporting methods or protocols already in place at the University for reporting suspected problems or complaints. Any suspected problems or complaints reported via The Network will be reviewed in accordance with current University procedures.



Employees represented by a bargaining unit may be governed by the appropriate bargaining unit agreement.