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CPO-5 Acceptance of Personal Gifts Policy

POLICY NUMBER: CPO-5
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2014
APPLICABILITY: This policy applies to Drexel University and its affiliates (the “University”), except for Faculty and Professional Staff in the College of Medicine, who must instead adhere to the “Business Relationships with Industry” policy (CPO-1.01) which is specifically tailored to healthcare and related laws and regulations.
RESPONSIBLE OFFICER:  Chief Compliance Officer

I. POLICY STATEMENT

Faculty and Professional Staff are expected to select vendors who will provide goods and services to the University based on objective criteria.  Specifically, it is the University’s objective to award business to Vendors on the basis of considerations such as quality, service, competitive pricing, and technical abilities.

Acceptance of personal gifts, gratuities or other special benefits can give the appearance of impropriety, compromise the employee's integrity, or potentially place an employee in a conflict of interest situation. In addition, such acceptance could be construed as a means of inducing current or future business with the University, is inconsistent with the foregoing objectives and serves no useful purpose.  All decisions pertaining to University business are to be made solely based on the best interests of the University, not based on any gain or potential gain, or the appearance thereof, to any Faculty or Professional Staff member or their immediate families.

 Prohibited Activities:

  • Faculty and Professional Staff may not, except as expressly permitted below under the list of “Exceptions,” accept gifts, gratuities, meals, event tickets, services or entertainment, regardless of value, from an individual, vendor, supplier, contractor, or other organization that provides goods or services to the University, or is being considered as a provider of goods or services (each, a “Vendor”).
  • Instead of accepting gifts, gratuities, meals, event tickets, services or entertainment not permitted by this policy, Faculty and Professional Staff should politely decline with reference to this policy.
  • Under no circumstances may Faculty and Professional Staff solicit from Vendors any gifts, gratuities, event tickets, meals, services or entertainment, regardless of value.

 Exceptions:

  • Faculty and Professional Staff may accept a meal from a Vendor in a business setting if the meal is offered or provided as a typical business courtesy and is intended to further University business; the value of any meal accepted personally from a given Vendor under such circumstances shall not exceed Fifty Dollars ($50.00) (exclusive of tax and tip), and the acceptance of more than one such meal from any single Vendor in any fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) is prohibited.  To the extent the total amount payable exceeds Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per attendee, then the excess amount attributable proportionately to the University attendees shall be charged to the University Purchasing card held by the most senior member of the academic or administrative unit who is in attendance.  
  • Notwithstanding the foregoing, Faculty and Professional Staff may accept a meal from a Vendor at an educational or business function or conference where multiple attendees or clients of the Vendor from other entities or organizations, in addition to University Faculty and/or Professional Staff, are present.  No specific dollar thresholds apply under such circumstances, as costs are often not readily ascertainable and it may be inappropriate and/or impolite to ask, particularly in such a group setting. 
  • Faculty and Professional Staff may accept unsolicited advertising or promotional materials from Vendors (e.g., pens, pencils, t-shirts, scratch pads and calendars) with a value of less than $25.
  • Faculty and Professional Staff may accept a ticket or invitation to an event directly benefitting Drexel and/or its affiliates (e.g., a golf outing or dinner to raise funds for a Drexel college or school); provided, however, that multiple such gifts from any single vendor in any fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) are prohibited. 
  • Perishable items typically given at the holidays such as ham, cookies, nuts, etc. may be accepted if they are shared within the respective college, school or administrative unit.
  • Faculty and Professional Staff should use good judgment in circumstances that may arise in contexts outside of relationships with Vendors. For example, employees are often offered goodwill gifts when on a mission or trip abroad, visiting other domestic institutions, or when officials from other institutions visit the University. Because a refusal of such a gift could offend the hosting or visiting officials, such gifts can be accepted.  To the extent that such items are of nominal value (under $25) and intended for personal use (for example a t-shirt or other similar item), they may be accepted and kept by the Faculty or Professional Staff Member.  Otherwise, such gifts (for example, artwork, plaques/awards or similar items) become the property of the University, to be used by the head of the relevant college, school or administrative unit to further University purposes.

II. WAIVER REVIEW PROCESS

The waiver review process provides assistance in considering this policy prior to acceptance of a gift that one is concerned might appear to be or may be contrary to this policy.  Faculty and Professional Staff encountering a situation that warrants a request for the waiver review process will contact the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) sufficiently in advance (preferably at least one week). The CCO will obtain the facts and present the waiver request to the Vice President for Internal Audit and Management Consulting Services and the Research Integrity Officer for prompt consideration by the three of them (the "Committee"); at least two (2) Committee members must be present (either in person or by phone) to consider the waiver request and at least two (2) of them must support the granting of a waiver.  The CCO will maintain a log of waiver requests and decisions to be reviewed annually at the President’s May Cabinet meeting.  

III. COMPLIANCE

All Faculty and Professional Staff are responsible for becoming familiar with and adhering to this policy.  University employees with authority to enter into contracts with Vendors shall endeavor to incorporate this Policy by reference or attachment to contracts with appropriate Vendors.  In addition, supervisors are responsible for ensuring that this policy is known by their employees and that all employees are following it.  Faculty and Professional Staff members and found to be non-compliant with this Policy may be subject to disciplinary action including but not limited to termination of employment.