Institutional Compliance

Standards of Ethical Conduct

 

Applicability

The Standards of Ethical Conduct enumerate University principles of general conduct and apply to all members of the University community, including the Board of Trustees, faculty and other academic personnel, staff, students, volunteers, contractors, agents and others associated with the University. These Standards are supported by specific University policies. The University policy website must be referenced for detailed information on policies and procedures. It is the responsibility of each university community member to learn and adhere to the policies that govern applicable areas.

 

Purpose

Pursuit of the University of Toledo mission requires a shared commitment to the core values of the University as well as a commitment to the ethical conduct of all University activities. As members of the University of Toledo community, all faculty, staff, students, members of the Board of Trustees, University Officers and affiliates are responsible for sustaining the highest ethical standard of this institution, and of the broader community in which we function. The Standards of Ethical Conduct is a statement of our belief in ethical, legal, and professional behavior in all our dealings inside and outside the University. Its primary purpose is to protect the well-being of the University community and to advance its mission by defining and establishing certain norms of behavior.

The Standards of Ethical Conduct promote the environment of respect that is central to the success of the University and the individuals who work here. It articulates the principles that govern interactions at the University and some of the basic expectations that flow from those principles. The Standards of Ethical Conduct does not replace specific interactions that are covered by University polices; rather it provides a framework for them.  While the Standards of Ethical Conduct does articulate a basic set of expectations it is not meant to be comprehensive. 

 

 1.      Fair Dealing

Members of the University community are expected to conduct themselves ethically, honestly and with integrity in all dealings. This means that each situation needs to be examined in accordance with the principles of fairness, good faith and respect consistent with laws, regulations, the Standards of Ethical Conduct, and University policies that govern our conduct with others both inside and outside the community. No unlawful practice or a practice at odds with these standards can be justified based on customary practice, expediency, or achieving a “higher” purpose.

 

2.      Individual Responsibility and Accountability

Members of the University community are expected to exercise responsibility appropriate to their position and delegated authorities. They are responsible to each other, the University and the University’s stakeholders both for their actions and their decision not to act.  Everyone is expected to conduct the business of the University in accordance with the Ethical Values and the Standards of Ethical Conduct, applicable laws and regulations and university policies and procedures, conducting themselves fairly, honestly, in good faith, exercising sound judgment and serving the best interests of the institution and the community.

 

3.      Respect for Others

Members of the University community are the most important resource for accomplishing its teaching, research, and service responsibilities.  All members of the community are expected to be committed to creating an environment that promotes academic freedom, diversity, fair treatment, dignity, and respect for others. At the same time, we strive to be a place where individuals and groups learn with and from each other. We aim to foster a sense of shared experience and common purpose, along with a collective responsibility for each other's well-being and for the well-being of the University as a whole. Two primary expectations that flow from this Standard are to act with civility and to refrain from abuse of power. Standards of Conduct policies are established as a guide to meet those expectations.

A positive working environment where everyone can receive respect and do their best work requires a respect and tolerance for difference and diversity. The University prohibits discrimination and harassment and provides equal opportunities for all community members and applicants regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.

The University’s health science campus, including the University of Toledo Medical Center, are committed to the ethical and compassionate treatment of patients and have established policies and statements of patient rights in support of this principle.

 

4.      Compliance with Applicable Laws and Regulations

Institutions of higher education are subject to many of the same laws and regulations as other enterprises, as well as those particular to public entities.  There are also additional requirements unique to higher education. Members of the University community are expected to become familiar with the laws and regulations bearing on their areas of responsibility.  Managers and supervisors are responsible for teaching and monitoring compliance. When questions arise pertaining to interpretation or applicability of policy, contact the individual who has oversight of the policy. Because UT is a public university, we are all subject to Ohio’s Ethics Laws. The Ohio Ethics Law is a criminal statute that sets forth ethical standards for public officials and employees. All members of the University community are expected to become familiar with the Ethics Law, administered by the Ohio Ethics Commission.

Many but not all legal requirements are embodied in University policies.  Failure to comply can have serious adverse consequences both for individuals and for the University, in terms of reputation, finances, and the health and safety of the community.  University business is to be conducted in conformance with legal requirements, including contractual commitments undertaken by individuals authorized to bind the University to such commitments. Refer all unresolved questions and/or interpretation of the laws and regulations to the Office of Legal Affairs.

 

5.      Compliance with Applicable University Policies, Procedures and Other Forms of Guidance

University policies and procedures are designed to inform our everyday responsibilities, to set minimum standards and to give University community members notice of expectations.  Members of the University community are expected to transact all University business in conformance with policies and procedures and accordingly have an obligation to become familiar with those that bear on their areas of responsibility.  Each member is expected to seek clarification on a policy or other University directive if one finds it to be unclear, outdated or at odds with University objectives.  It is not acceptable to ignore or disobey policies if one is not in agreement with them, or to avoid compliance by deliberately seeking loopholes. 

In some cases, University employees are also governed by ethical codes or standards of their professions or disciplines – some examples are attorneys, auditors, physicians and counseling staff. It is expected that those employees will comply with applicable professional standards in addition to laws and regulations.

 

6.      Conflicts of Interest or Commitment

Objectivity and integrity are essential qualities for employees of a public institution such as the University of Tennessee. For the University to carry out its missions with unquestioned credibility, employees are expected to maintain the highest levels of integrity and objectivity as they perform their duties. Employees are expected to take all reasonable precautions and seek appropriate guidance to ensure that their outside interests do not place them in conflict with carrying out their duties and responsibilities as UT employees. Employees must disclose outside interests in accordance with university policies so that they can be reviewed and managed or eliminated, as appropriate.

All members of the University community are expected to devote primary professional allegiance to the University and its mission. Outside employment must not interfere with University duties.  Outside professional activities, personal financial interests, or acceptance of benefits from third parties can create actual or perceived conflicts between the University’s mission and an individual’s private interests.  University community members who have certain professional or financial interests are expected to disclose them in compliance with applicable conflict of interest/conflict of commitment policies.  In all matters, university community members are expected to take appropriate steps, including consultation if issues are unclear, to avoid both conflicts of interest and the appearance of such conflicts. All members of the University community are expected to become familiar with University of Toledo policies as well as the Ohio Ethics Law as it pertains to conflicts of interest.

 

7.      Ethical Conduct of Research

All members of the University community engaged in research are expected to conduct their research with integrity and intellectual honesty at all times and with appropriate regard for human and animal subjects.  To protect the rights of human subjects, all research involving human subjects is to be reviewed by the Institutional Review Boards.  The Department of Laboratory Animals Resources is responsible to facilitate compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations governing animal utilization in teaching, research, and testing. 

 The University prohibits research misconduct.  Members of the University community engaged in research are not to: fabricate data or results; change or knowingly omit data or results to misrepresent results in the research record; or intentionally misappropriate the ideas, writings, research, or findings of others. All those engaged in research are expected to pursue the advancement of knowledge while meeting the highest standards of honesty, accuracy, and objectivity.  They are also expected to demonstrate accountability for sponsors’ funds and to comply with specific terms and conditions of contracts and grants.

 

8.      Records:  Confidentiality/Privacy and Access

The University is the custodian of many types of information, including that which is confidential, proprietary and private. The University’s Information Security Policy provides the general framework for protecting confidentiality, integrity and availability of information owned by or entrusted to the University of Toledo.  Individuals who receive and generate such information are expected to be familiar and to comply with applicable laws, University policies, directives and agreements pertaining to access, use, storage, transfer, administration/maintenance, protection and disclosure of such information. 

 The University of Toledo, recognizes and values the privacy of the university community members and its guests. UT is committed to protecting your privacy and is taking a proactive approach to appropriately manage, secure, and keep private and confidential the personal data entrusted to us. The public right to information access and the individual’s right to privacy are both governed by state and federal law, as well as University policies and procedures.  These include but are not limited to: HIPPA, FERPA,  and GDPR. Refer to the UToledo Policy website for other policies relating to security, confidentiality and web privacy. The legal provisions and the policies are based upon the principle that access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person, as is the right of individuals to privacy. 

 

9.      Internal Controls

Internal controls are the processes employed to help ensure that the University’s business is carried out in accordance with these Standards, University policies and procedures, applicable laws and regulations and sound business practices.  Internal controls help to promote efficient operations, accurate financial reporting, protection of assets and responsible fiscal management. All members of the University community are responsible for internal controls.  Each business unit or department head is specifically responsible for ensuring that internal controls are established and properly documented and maintained for activities within their area of responsibility. Any individual entrusted with funds, including principal investigators, is responsible for ensuring that adequate internal controls exist over the use an accountability of such funds.  The University has adopted the principles of internal controls published by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) of the Treadway Commission.

 

10.  Use of University Resources

University resources may only be used for business activities on behalf of the University.  They may not be used for private gain or personal purposes except in limited circumstances permitted by existing policy where incidental person use does not conflict with and is reasonable in relation to University duties (e.g., use of telephones).  Members of the University community are expected to treat University property with care and to adhere to laws, policies and procedures for the acquisition, use, maintenance, record keeping and disposal of University property.  University resources is defined to include, but is not limited to, the following:

    • Cash and other assets whether tangible or intangible; real or personal property.
    • Receivables and other rights or claim against third parties.
    • Intellectual property rights.
    • Effort of University personnel and of any non-University entity billing the University for effort.
    • Facilities and the rights to use University facilities.
    • The University’s name.
    • University records, including student and patient records.
    • The University information technology infrastructure.

 

11.  Financial Reporting

All University accounting and financial records, tax reports, expense reports, time sheets and effort reports, and other documents including those submitted to government agencies must be accurate, clear and complete, in accordance with applicable laws, these Standards, and University policies.  All published financial reports will make full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable disclosures as required under generally accepted accounting principles for government entities, bond covenant agreements and other requirements.  Certain individuals with responsibility for the preparation of financial statements and disclosures, or of elements, may be required to make attestations in support of the Standards.

 

12.  Reporting Violations and Protection from Retaliation

Adhering to the Standards of Ethical Conduct makes all members of the university community are responsible for reporting, in good-faith, suspected violations of applicable laws, regulations, standards, or policies. Initially, reporting should be made through standard management channels, beginning with the immediate supervisor, instructor or advisor.  Managers and persons in supervisory roles are required to report allegations presented to them and to report suspected activity or conduct that come to their attention in the ordinary course of performing their supervisory duties.  If the manager or person in the supervisory role is involved in the questioned conduct, bring it to the attention to the person at the next supervisory level. You may also report and discuss your concerns with a responsible administrative officer in Human Resources, Institutional Compliance, or report the conduct to the Anonymous Reporting Line.

The procedure for Compliance Incident Reporting is set forth in the policy.  Reporting parties, including managers and supervisors, will be protected from retaliation for making such a report under the Non-retaliation policy. Direct any questions regarding the intent or applicability of this Code to the Chief Compliance Officer or the Office of the Legal Affairs.

 At the University of Toledo, disciplinary proceedings have a role that is subordinate to positive guidance, rational admonition and reasonable appeal to members of the University to observe its stated norms.  That said, confirmed violations will result in appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment or other relationships with the University. In some circumstances, civil and criminal charges and penalties may apply.


 Where should I go with a concern?

The first recommended resource for a clarification on a policy, regulation or law is your direct supervisor. If a direct supervisor cannot serve as a resource, below are other suggested resources.

Your Supervisor

The first recommended resource for a clarification on a policy, regulation or law is your direct supervisor. If a direct supervisor cannot serve as a resource, below are other suggested resources to assist you.

Human Resources

419-530-4747; http://www.utoledo.edu/depts/hr/

Human Resources provides guidance and support for staff on policies that govern employment at the University. Faculty and officers of research should contact the Office of Faculty Relations and Academic Inclusion with relevant concerns.

Anonymous Reporting Line

888-416-1308; www.mycompliancereport.com

The Anonymous Reporting Line is a confidential channel for employees to report or seek guidance on potential wrongdoing with the option to report anonymously. The University prohibits retaliation against individuals who report or seek guidance on possible ethical or compliance issues in good faith.

For more information about the Reporting Line and/or to file a report online, please refer to the University Internal Audit and Compliance website, http://www.utoledo.edu/offices/internalaudit/institutional-compliance/Anonymous%20Reporting.html,  or call the Reporting Line directly. Reporting parties, including managers and supervisors, will be protected from retaliation for making such a report under the Non-retaliation policy.

 Institutional Compliance

http://www.utoledo.edu/offices/internalaudit/institutional-compliance/ 

The Institutional Compliance Office promotes the University's commitment to adhering to the highest standards of ethics, integrity, and responsibility by providing independent oversight over the University of Toledo's compliance programs. It works to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations as well as University policies. The Office covers compliance with the Title IX, Clery Act, ADA, and Athletics

 UTMC Compliance and University Privacy and Security

419-383-6933

http://www.utoledo.edu/offices/compliance/

The office is responsible for with HIPAA compliance, privacy, and security at the medical center. The office interacts closely with the IT Security Office, and enforces University policies involving privacy and security

 Research Compliance and Training

Main Campus: 419-530-2844; Health Science Campus: 419-383-4252

http://www.utoledo.edu/research/RCMain.html

The Office of Research Compliance and Training provides support for University of Toledo faculty and staff to help ensure compliance with the complex web of regulatory requirements that govern research and to develop programming that promotes understanding of compliance issues.

Office of Legal Affairs

419-530-8411

http://www.utoledo.edu/offices/legal/

 The Office of Legal Affairs advances the University's educational, patient care, research, and community activities by providing responsive counsel while striving to minimize legal risks and costs, reduce litigation, and ensure compliance with state and federal laws and University policies and procedures.

 Faculty Labor Relations and Inclusion

419-530-4017

http://www.utoledo.edu/depts/hr/facultylabor/facultylabor.html

The Office is committed to working with the University of Toledo chapter of the AAUP and all levels of the administration to ensure fair and equitable treatment of faculty members. The Office addresses issues related to the faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement, the University Policy Manual, and various grievances filed by faculty

 Office of Faculty Affairs on the Health Science Campus

419-383-4457

http://www.utoledo.edu/depts/facaffairs/  

 On the Health Science Campus, the Office of Faculty Affairs provides services to the faculty, academic departments, and administration to support and facilitate the mission of The University of Toledo. The Office maintains the faculty database and personnel records. It also serves as a resource for general faculty affairs issues such as appointment, promotion and tenure processes, questions concerning the Faculty Rules and Regulations, UT policies and benefits.

 University of Toledo Police Department

Police/Fire/Medical Response: 419.530.2600

Main Campus Non-Emergency: 419.530.2601
Health Science Non-Emergency: 419.383.2601

Fax: 419.530.4505

utpolice@utoledo.edu

 Any threat against persons or property should be directed immediately to the University of Toledo Police Department.

 

Last Updated: 2/19/21