Code of Conduct
POLICY: CODE OF CONDUCT
POLICY NUMBER: OGC-5
Effective Date: November 11, 2004
Revisions: February, 2007, September 2007, July 2008, November 2009,
Responsible Officer: General Counsel
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. APPLICABILITY; COMPLIANCE OBLIGATIONS; REPORTING
III. CODE OF CONDUCT
Principle 1. Legal Compliance
1.1 Public Purpose/Non-Profit Status
1.2 Lobbying/Political Activity
1.5 Criminal Laws
Principle 2. Personal Relationships
2.1 Relationships with Students
2.2 Relationships between Employees
2.3 Relationships with Patients
Principle 3. Business Ethics
3.1 Honest Communication
3.2 Proper Use of Proprietary Information
3.3 Ethical Dealings
Principle 4. Confidentiality
4.1 Education Records
4.2 Personnel Actions/Decisions
4.3 Proprietary Information
4.4 Patient Information
4.5 Financial Information
Principle 5. Conflicts of Interest
5.1 Outside Financial Interests
5.2 Services for Competitors/Vendors
5.3 Participation on Boards of Directors or Trustees
Principle 6. Business and Professional Relationships
6.1 Gifts and Gratuities
6.2 Workshops, Seminars and Training Sessions
6.3 Business Inducements
6.4 Alumni/ae and Other Supporters of the University
Principle 7. Protection of Assets
7.1 Internal Controls
7.2 Financial Reporting
7.3 Travel and Entertainment
7.4 Personal Use of University Assets
IV. DIRECTORY OF OFFICERS
V. RELATED POLICIES & NOTICES
All members of the Drexel University community – this includes students, faculty, staff, trustees, directors, and others who act for or on behalf of the University - share responsibility for the welfare of the University. That obligation extends to all components of the University enterprise. Unique in our society, university communities depend in significant measure upon the integrity, honesty, good citizenship and professional conduct of their members.
Universities are also unique in requiring for their success a spirit of open and free inquiry, of pluralism, of creativity, and of appreciation and respect for difference.
Just as all citizens enjoy certain freedoms and owe certain responsibilities to society at large, those who benefit from their relationship with Drexel University owe obligations to it. Those obligations can be broadly summarized as follows:
Legal Compliance: The University and its members will strive to ensure that all activity conducted by, at, or on behalf of the University is in full compliance with local, state and federal laws, applicable professional standards, and the official policies of the University.
Confidentiality: The University and its members shall strive to ensure the confidentiality of any information given to it in trust, in accordance with applicable ethical and legal, professional and legal standards.
Respect for Difference: The University and its members will maintain an atmosphere welcoming to individual and social diversity in which ideological, intellectual, economic, gender, ability, sexual identity, religious, age, racial, cultural, ethnic, national and all differences are respected by others and treated as a valuable addition to and part of the intellectual and cultural life of the University.
Intellectual Integrity: The University shares a commitment to all others, and to society at large, to engage in the educational mission of the University in the spirit of free and open inquiry and with both personal and intellectual honesty and integrity.
Administrative Integrity: Those who are charged with responsibility for conducting the affairs of the University and administering its policies, programs, and divisions must perform their duties in a fair, honest, and consistent fashion, without regard to their personal preferences, biases or prejudices.
Business and Professional Ethics: Those who are part of the University community are representatives of the University, whether or not intending to be so. As such, they must conduct themselves in accordance with the ethical standards of their business or profession, and must not engage in any activity or scheme intended to deprive anyone unfairly of money, property, or services.
Business Relationships: The University and any of its members who are in a position of conducting business transactions with vendors, contractors and other third parties on behalf of the University shall not accept gifts or favors, or solicit such gifts or favors, or other improper inducements in exchange for exercising influence or providing assistance in a business transaction affecting the University.
Conflicts of Interest: The University and its members will not use their position at the University for the purpose of personal profit or to profit others at the expense of the University.
Protection of Assets: The University and its members will strive to preserve, protect, and enhance the University's assets by making prudent and effective use of University resources and property and by accurately reporting its financial condition.
These obligations, owed by each of us to each of us, are more fully described in the following Code of Conduct, which was created by a University Advisory Committee comprised of faculty, staff, and administrators in May 2003, submitted to the University community for comment, and approved by the Board of Trustees in December 2003.
This Code of Conduct contains Principles articulating the policies of the University and Standards which are intended to provide additional guidance to all members of the Drexel University community.
II. APPLICABILITY; COMPLIANCE OBLIGATIONS; REPORTING
This Code of Conduct applies to all members of the Drexel University community: this includes faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students, trustees, contractors, and volunteers.
As used in this Code of Conduct, the term the “University” is meant to include the whole of Drexel University: each of its colleges, schools, divisions, subsidiaries, operating and business units, its administration, its boards of advisors, and any Boards of Trustees or Directors of the University.
The terms “faculty,” “staff,” “student,” “trustee,” “contractor,” “volunteer,” “employee,” “director,” “officer” and “agent” include any person who fills such a role or provides services for or on behalf of any part of that whole University, whether full-time, part-time, per hour or per diem, employed or not employed, paid or unpaid.
The University expects each person to whom this Code of Conduct applies to abide by the Principles and Standards set forth herein and to conduct the business and affairs of and with the University in a manner consistent with the statement of principles set forth herein, and the standards thereunder. All members of the University community are responsible for ensuring that their behavior and activities are consistent with the Code of Conduct as well as University policies and procedures, and applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and professional standards (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Applicable Rules”).
The University encourages members of the Drexel community to consult this policy whenever they believe that they are, or might find themselves to be, in a situation where their actions might reflect poorly on the University, its integrity, mission, responsibilities to its students and patients, standing, or reputation. Because the obligation to act in a manner consistent with the Applicable Rules is owed by every member of the University community to every member, all members of the University Community are expected to report any activity or practice that may violate any Applicable Rule to their supervisor, the Chief Compliance Officer, the General Counsel, or the confidential Whistleblower Hotline available by phone or by web:
866-358-1010 (toll free)
Reports made to the Whistleblower Hotline will be kept confidential to the extent possible within the limitations of law, and the reporter acting in good faith will be protected from any retaliation, each in accordance with the provisions of the University’s Whistleblower Policy (OGC-7)..
In addition, if any person to whom this Code of Conduct applies is witness to, or has become aware of or reasonably suspects, a criminal act, whether it is a sexual assault, an incident of child sexual abuse or child pornography, or some other serious act (whether violent or not), that person should immediately contact law enforcement authorities at 911 or Drexel’s Office of Public Safety/Police Department at 215-895-2222.
Failure to abide by this Code of Conduct or the guidelines for behavior which the Code of Conduct represents may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination, tenure revocation, expulsion or cessation of working relationship. Appeals from any adverse personnel action taken under this Code of Conduct shall be taken in accordance with the Grievance/Complaint Resolution process set forth in Human Resources Policy No. HR-14 (below). In the event that an employee or agent is covered by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, discipline shall be in accordance with the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.
For departures from this Code of Conduct, the University will consider relevant facts and circumstances, including, but not limited to, the extent to which the behavior was contrary to the express language or general intent of this Code, the egregiousness of the behavior, the employee's history with the University, and other factors which the University deems relevant; and the University will recognize that those in positions of greater responsibility for the University owe a greater obligation, not a lesser one, to observance of the Code.
Nothing in this Code of Conduct is intended to or shall be construed as providing any additional employment or contract rights to any member of the University community. While the University will generally attempt to communicate changes concurrent with or prior to the implementation of such changes, the University has the right to modify, amend or alter this Code of Conduct without notice to any member of the University community.
Grievance/Complaint Resolution Policy
III. CODE OF CONDUCT
Principle 1 - Legal Compliance
The University will strive to ensure that all activities conducted by or on behalf of the organization are in compliance with Applicable Rules.
The following Standards are intended to provide guidance to members of the University community to assist them in their obligation to comply with Applicable Rules. These standards are neither exclusive nor complete. Members of the University community are required to comply with all Applicable Rules, whether or not specifically addressed in these policies. If questions arise regarding the existence, interpretation, or application of any Applicable Rule, they should be directed to the General Counsel or the Chief Compliance Officer.
Standard 1.1 – Public Purpose/Non-Profit Status
As a non-profit entity, the University has a legal and ethical obligation to act in compliance with applicable laws, to engage in activities in furtherance of its charitable purpose, and to ensure that its resources are used in a manner which furthers the public good rather than the private or personal interests of any entity or individual. Consequently, the University and members of the University community will avoid compensation arrangements in excess of fair market value, will accurately report financial matters to appropriate taxing authorities, and will file all tax and information returns in a manner consistent with applicable laws. All members of the University community will use their best efforts not to waste University resources, and to use them to their most efficient purposes.
Standard 1.2 – Lobbying/Political Activity
Federal, state and local laws require that Drexel University and its employees report to the respective government agencies any activity on the University’s behalf that constitutes lobbying. Because federal law restricts the amount of lobbying that a non-profit may do, it is essential that the University be aware of all activity which might be construed as lobbying. While the University encourages its members to be engaged in civic life, the University expects each member of the University community to refrain from engaging in activity which may result in fines or penalties or jeopardize the tax-exempt status of the organization, including lobbying and political activities which are not permitted by the Applicable Rules.
Standard 1.2.1 – Contacts with Government Officials, Staff, Agencies and Other Political and Governmental Bodies.
The primary purpose of this policy is to ensure that the University is aware of all contacts with publicly elected officials as well as representatives of various government offices, departments and agencies, so that the University may comply with the Applicable Rules relating to lobbying by properly reporting said activities. There are substantial penalties for violations of the applicable federal and state laws applicable to lobbying activities and the disclosure requirements associated with such activities. For these reasons, the following principles and guidelines have been established.
A secondary, but no less important, purpose of this policy is to make sure that the University’s lobbying activities are consistent and effective, which can only occur if they are coordinated. For this reason, it is necessary to keep the President and Vice President for Government and Community Relations (“OGCR”) as well as other chief administrative officers informed about the nature of such contacts with representatives of federal, state and local governments.
This policy is also designed to help members of the University Community understand the importance of lobbying laws as well to differentiate between official actions on behalf of the University and personal actions. Members of the University Community are expected to confirm at all appropriate times that they are acting as individuals rather than in an official capacity on behalf of the University. On occasions when duties as an official member of the University community call upon an individual to contact governmental officials, agencies, or other political and governmental bodies, the following procedures are designed to aid the individual and the University to more effectively present an authorized, accurate, and persuasive presentation.
The United States government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and certain localities have laws requiring registration and reporting by lobbyists and, in some cases, by the lobbyist’s employer. The definition of what constitutes “lobbying” varies according to jurisdiction, but can be generally defined as any effort, whether direct or indirect, to influence legislative or administrative action.
“Lobbying,” more broadly defined, is the attempt to influence federal, state, or local officials involved in the preparation, research, drafting, introduction, consideration, modification, amendment, approval, passage, enactment, tabling, postponement defeat or rejection of legislation, legislative motions, rules, regulations, funding or other forms of governmental (agency) directives through direct or indirect communications, use of office resources (expenditures) and/or providing gifts, hospitality or transportation or lodging for the purpose of advancing the interest of the lobbyists or principal.
To ensure that Drexel University and the Members of the University Community are in compliance with these laws, the only agent of the University authorized to retain third party lobbyists is the OGCR, without exception.
Where its experience may be helpful, the University, through its authorized agents, may publicly offer recommendations concerning legislation or regulations being considered. In addition, it may analyze and take public positions on issues that have a relationship to the operations of the University when the University's experience contributes to the understanding of such issues. Such activities further the purpose of the University and demonstrate its commitment to the public good.
If the University takes an institutional position on an issue, however, this must be approved by the applicable Departmental Dean or Departmental Vice President. The President and the Vice President for Government and Community Relations, or their respective designees, are the only University representatives authorized to express University positions to elected officials, congressional and senate staff, political appointees, and representatives of government agencies.
The University has many contacts and dealings with governmental bodies and officials. All such contacts and transactions must be conducted in an honest and ethical manner in accordance with all Applicable Rules. Any attempt to influence the decision-making process of governmental bodies or officials by an offer of any benefit is absolutely prohibited. Any requests or demands by any governmental representative for any benefit should be immediately reported to the Office of the General Counsel.
Personal and professional contacts with governmental groups, in person or in writing, should be done in the name of the individual or professional group, and should not make reference to Drexel University or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries, including without limitation the Drexel University College of Medicine. University letterhead, title, personnel or any other resources of the University may not ever be used with respect to such personal or professional contacts, and it should be made clear that the request is not being made on behalf of the University.
When an individual wishes to make an appearance before a legislative body to request support, or wishes to issue invitations to elected officials or agency officials to make official visits to the University, such action requires prior authorization under the following procedures:
Appearances on behalf of the University before federal or state, or local bodies require prior approval from both the appropriate Departmental Dean/Vice President and the Vice President for Government and Community Relations. When University employees appear before such bodies as representatives of other agencies, such as professional societies, the employee must give prior notice to the appropriate Departmental Dean/Vice President and the Vice President for Government and Community Relations.
A request to an elected official for support of grant proposals and other University interests requires knowledge of existing and/or past relationships between the University and the official or the relevant granting agency. In order to present requests at the federal, state and local levels most effectively, approval must be obtained from both the applicable Departmental Dean/Vice President and the Vice President for Government and Community Relations prior to submission.
The University welcomes visits by elected officials, whether they visit as private citizens or in their capacities as government officials. Invitations to elected officials to visit the campus of the University in their official capacity are to be approved in advance by the Dean of the sponsoring College in consultation with the Vice President of Government and Community Relations.
Responses to requests for information, reports, and statistics from elected officials and their staffs are to be promptly shared with and coordinated through the Vice President for Governmental and Community Relations and the applicable Departmental Dean/Vice President.
After approved contacts or visits have been made with federal, state, or local officials by a person on behalf of Drexel University or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries, including the Drexel University College of Medicine, a written report on the contact and its outcome(s) is to be provided to the Vice President for Government and Community Relations.
Standard 1.2.2 – Political and Campaign Activities
The University and its affiliates and subsidiaries, including without limitation the Drexel University College of Medicine, are required to comply with a variety of legal requirements, including those applicable to organizations that have tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Among those legal requirements are the laws that prohibit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations from participating in certain political fundraising or campaign activities. Institutions that are found to have engaged in impermissible political campaign activity are subject to fines, loss of federal grants and loss of their tax-exempt status. Moreover, the institution can be put at risk by the activities of individuals with real or perceived authority to bind the institution, if their activities do not comply with the Applicable Rules. Therefore, it is extremely important that the Principles and Guidelines of this policy be followed.
Although all members of the Drexel community are encouraged to take part in civic activities, including voting and participation in the electoral process, individuals must be mindful not to engage in activities that could jeopardize the tax-exempt status of the University or its affiliates or subsidiaries. A 501(c)(3) organization is viewed as participating in political fundraising or campaign activities whenever the reasonable consequences of the activity have the potential to influence voter opinion or to provide financial or volunteer aid to a candidate.
As private citizens, members of the University community are entitled to participate in and contribute to political organizations or campaigns, but they must do so as individuals, not as representatives of the University, and they must use their own funds, without reimbursement. Accordingly, no member of the University community at the University's expense may make any agreement to contribute any money, property or services of any other member of the University community to any political candidate, party, organization, committee, or individual in violation of any Applicable Rule.
Individuals on their own time, and not as representatives of the University, may engage in political fundraising activities and support political candidates. They are not permitted, however, to utilize their University position or title, or the names, logos, symbols, websites, email accounts, letterhead, assets, equipment, personnel, mailing lists, owned or leased facilities, or other resources of the University or any of its colleges or schools; to ask others in the University to do so; or to otherwise engage in such activities in a way that might give the impression they are acting as a representative of, or on behalf of, the University. In determining whether an individual has acted in an individual capacity or as a representative of the institution, the Internal Revenue Service looks at a variety of factors including the use of the institution’s assets, personnel or resources; whether the political campaign activity occurred on the premises of the institution; whether political views were expressed in the institution’s publications; and whether political views were expressed at functions sponsored by the institution.
Employed personnel of the University, its affiliates or subsidiaries, including without limitation the Drexel University College of Medicine, shall be free to participate in political activities on the national, state, or local level such as running for political office, managing political campaigns, and assuming leadership roles in political organizations, provided that the participation does not prevent the full discharge of their obligations to the University. In any such activities the individual must make clear that he or she is acting as a private citizen and is in no way representing the University.
Any appearances by individuals seeking elective office at University-sponsored functions or at University owned or leased facilities must be approved by and coordinated under the direction of the President or the Vice President of Government and Community Relations. While such appearances are allowed by law, the law also requires that equal opportunities be given to others seeking the same office, the University or its representatives cannot show support for a particular candidate, and no political fundraising may occur at the appearance.
Retaliation by any member of the University community who engages in political activities against any other member of the University community who makes a good faith complaint of having been coerced or asked improperly to support or participate in such activities, or having been subject to adverse employment, academic or other consequences or decisions as a result of not supporting or participating in such political activities, is a violation of this policy and will not be tolerated by the University.
Standard 1.3 – Environmental
It is the policy of the University to manage and operate its business in the manner which respects our environment and conserves natural resources. Members of the University community will strive to utilize resources appropriately and efficiently, recycle when possible, handle all hazardous materials and dispose of all waste in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and work cooperatively with the appropriate authorities to remedy any environmental contamination for which the University may be responsible.
Standard 1.4 – Discrimination
The University believes that the fair and equitable treatment of members of the University community, patients, and all persons who come in contact with the University is essential to fulfilling its mission, vision and goals.
It is a policy of the University to provide its services and to recruit, hire, train, promote, assign, transfer, lay off, recall, and terminate without regard to the race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or any other classification prohibited by law.
The University welcomes diversity, and honors its Founders' vision through its policies of inclusion and respect for differences. All forms of harassment are prohibited. Any allegation of discrimination or harassment will be promptly investigated in accordance with applicable University policies.
OED-1 Equality and Non-Discrimination Policy and Procedures
Standard 1.5 – Criminal Laws
Through this Code of Conduct, the University requires all members of the University community to comply with all applicable criminal laws. Given the University’s strong commitment to safety and to compliance with Title IX as well as all laws relating to the protection of minors on campus, members of the University community to whom this Code of Conduct applies must immediately inform their immediate supervisor if they are arrested (or charged) with any violation of a criminal law constituting a felony and/or if they are the subject of any restraining order or custody denial/removal order involving criminal behavior, particularly involving violence, sexual misconduct, child abuse or child exploitation (e.g., possession of child pornography). Such information must be disclosed to the immediate supervisor as soon as the person is made aware of the information but in no event later than three (3) business days after the event (e.g., arrest, conviction, issuance of custody denial/custody removal order) has occurred. Failure to timely disclose this information shall subject the member of the University community to discipline, up to and including termination or expulsion.
HR-52 Background Checks
Principle 2 – Personal Relationships
A core principle of any university is respect for personal dignity. While the University respects the privacy of its members, it recognizes that there exists the opportunity for the inappropriate use of power, trust or authority, for example, of a teacher over a student, of a supervisor or administrator over an employee, or of a physician over a patient. Abuse of such power will not be tolerated, and the appearance of impropriety must be avoided.
Standard 2.1 – Amorous Relationships with Students
Students of all ages and maturity levels come to the University to learn. The special relationships they are able to form with members of the faculty are the best of what a university can offer. Such close academic relationships, however, are susceptible to being misconstrued as inviting social or sexual relationships, or may suggest to others that such a relationship exists. It is strictly forbidden for any employee of the University (faculty or staff) to have an amorous (romantic or sexual) relationship with any student on any campus operated by the University who is a minor (under the age of 18). Any such relationship with a minor shall be cause for immediate termination (and revocation of tenure, if applicable). The University also prohibits any amorous relationships between employees in the Athletics Department (including coaches, athletics department staff) and any student-athletes subject to the provisions of the University’s Amorous Relationships Involving Athletics Department Personnel and Student Athletes policy (HR-46.01). Furthermore, the University prohibits an employee (faculty or staff) from having a romantic or sexual relationship with a student who is subject to that employee's direct or indirect authority or control (that is, anywhere within the chain of academic responsibility for that student, from advisor or teacher, through department head, college/school director or dean, and provost). In the event a relationship of this nature develops and there is direct or indirect reporting between the employee and student, it is the responsibility of the employee to disclose the relationship immediately to his/her immediate supervisor, in the manner described in this Code of Conduct and in other University policies, such as the Nepotism and Employment of Relatives and Consensual Amorous Relationships policy (HR-46), and through the Conflict of Interest Program, so that any and all steps are taken to eliminate any real or perceived authority or control the employee has over the student. Failure of an employee to report such a relationship is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination and revocation of tenure, if applicable.
Standard 2.2 – Familial or Amorous Relationships between Employees
It is prohibited for any employee (faculty or staff) of the University to have a familial, romantic or sexual relationship with any other employee who is subject to that employee's direct or indirect authority or control (that is, anywhere within the chain of responsibility for that employee), including financial control affecting a department, division or office for which the other employee has responsibility. In the event a relationship of this nature develops and there is direct or indirect reporting between the two employees, it is the responsibility of both employees to disclose the relationship immediately to University officials, either through the employees’ supervisors, in the manner described in this Code of Conduct, or through the Conflict of Interest Program, so that any and all steps are taken to eliminate any real or potential authority or control one employee has over the other. Such steps must be set forth in writing by the applicable senior administrator and filed in both employees’ personnel files. Failure to report these relationships is grounds for disciplinary action (up to and including termination and revocation of tenure, if applicable) for both employees involved.
HR-46 Nepotism and Employment of Relatives and Consensual Amorous Relationships
Standard 2.3 – Relationships with Patients
Romantic and sexual relationships between health care providers and current patients are prohibited. Romantic or sexual relationships with former patients are strongly discouraged because they may be unduly influenced by the previous health care provider - patient relationship. Such relationships should be entered into only with extreme caution and sensitivity. Before embarking upon such a relationship, the health care professional must ensure that the professional/patient relationship has ceased, that the patient has an alternate health care provider, and that the applicable ethics and codes of conduct of the profession are fully observed.
Principle 3 – Business Ethics
In furtherance of the University's commitment to the highest standards of business ethics and integrity, members of the University community will accurately and honestly represent the University and will not engage in any activity or scheme intended to defraud or unfairly deprive anyone of money, property, or services.
The Standards set forth below are designed to provide guidance to ensure that the University's business activities reflect the highest standards of business ethics and integrity. The conduct of members of the University community not specifically addressed by these standards must still be consistent with Principle 3.
Standard 3.1 – Honest Communication
The University requires candor, honesty, and cooperation from individuals in the performance of their responsibilities and in communication with our attorneys, auditors and consultants. No member of the University community shall make false or misleading statements to any patient, student, employee, law enforcement official, or person or entity doing business (or seeking to do business) with the University.
Standard 3.2 – Proper Use of Proprietary Information
Members of the University community shall not misappropriate confidential or proprietary information belonging to another person or entity or utilize any publication, document, computer program, information, idea or product in violation of another person's or entity's interest in or rights to such property. All members of the University community are responsible to ensure they do not improperly copy or use documents or computer programs in violation of applicable copyright laws or licensing agreements.
Members of the University community shall not utilize confidential business or scientific information obtained from competitors or other parties, including customer lists, price lists, contracts or other information, in violation of prior employment agreements, nondisclosure or confidentiality agreements, or in any other manner likely to provide an unfair competitive advantage to the University.
Conduct of Research Policy, Part VI, Peer Review and Privileged Information
Acceptable Use Policy
Standard 3.3 – Ethical Dealings
In addition to this Code of Conduct, professional employees of the University are obligated to perform their duties in full compliance with the codes of conduct that apply to their profession. In addition, certain departments (e.g., Finance/Treasurer's Office and Institutional Advancement) have adopted detailed codes of conduct that apply more particularly to the functions they perform; and those codes also must be followed.
See: Principle 5 – Business and Professional Relationships – below.
Principle 4 – Confidentiality
All members of the University community shall strive to maintain the confidentiality of all proprietary information (electronic or hard copies) in accordance with applicable legal and ethical standards.
Members of the University community are in possession of and have access to a wide variety of confidential, sensitive and proprietary information. The inappropriate release of such information could be injurious to individuals, affiliated institutions and parties with which the University does business, and the University itself. Each member of the University community has an obligation to actively protect and safeguard confidential, sensitive and proprietary information in a manner designed to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of information.
See: HR-50 Confidentiality
Standard 4.1 – Educational Records
Student educational records will be maintained in accordance with all Applicable Rules. Students of the University who have reached the age of 18 have the right to inspect and review their own educational records. Generally, the University may not disclose information contained in education records without the student's written consent or legal process. If questions arise regarding an obligation to maintain the confidentiality of information or the appropriateness of releasing information, members of the University community should seek guidance from business unit management, the Registrar (who serves as the University's Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Officer (“FERPA Officer”), or the General Counsel.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Policy
Standard 4.2 – Personnel Actions/Decisions
Salary, benefit and other information relating to the employment of members of the University community shall be treated as private and confidential. Personnel files, payroll information, disciplinary matters, and similar information shall be maintained in a manner designed to ensure confidentiality in accordance with Applicable Rules. Members of the University community will exercise due care to prevent the release or sharing of information beyond those persons who need such information to fulfill their job function, and shall give notice to the employee if any confidential information is required to be given to third parties.
Standard 4.3 – Proprietary Information
Information, ideas and intellectual property assets of the University are important to organizational success. Information pertaining to the University's competitive position or business strategies, payment and reimbursement information, trade secrets, research, inventions, and information relating to negotiations with members of the University community or third parties should be protected and shared only with members of the University community having a need to know such information in order to perform their job responsibilities. Members of the University community should exercise care to ensure that intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and software, are carefully maintained, preserved and protected.
Conduct of Research Policy
Standard 4.4 – Patient Information
All members of the University community have an obligation to conduct themselves in accordance with the principle of maintaining the confidentiality of patient information in accordance with all Applicable Rules, and especially the Healthcare Information Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). Members of the University community shall refrain from revealing any personal or confidential information concerning patients unless supported by legitimate business or patient care purposes. If questions arise regarding an obligation to maintain the confidentiality of information or the appropriateness of releasing information, members of the University community should seek guidance from business unit management, the Chief Privacy Officer, or the General Counsel.
Standard 4.5 – Financial Information
The risk of “identity theft” is real. All members of the University community must ensure that personally identifying information provided to the University by employees, students, potential students, and their families (especially parents and spouses) be kept confidential. This includes social security numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers, drivers license numbers, location of bank accounts, and any other personal financial information (including but not limited to such information which is provided in connection with financial aid applications or alumni fund gifts). Protecting the confidentiality of that information from unauthorized access is a matter of state and federal law.
Security of Enterprise Systems Policy
Information Security Plan Policy
Principle 5 – Conflicts of Interest
All members of the University community are expected to carry out their responsibilities with the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior and to discharge their duties in the best interests of the University, and may not use their position to profit personally, or to assist others in profiting, in any way at the expense of the University.
The University relies on employees (both faculty and staff) to safeguard the University's assets in dealings with third parties. Before any transaction occurs, every member of the University community is required to disclose personal relationships and business activities with contractor personnel who may be construed by an impartial observer as influencing the member's performance or duties. Employees are expected to regulate their activities so as to avoid actual impropriety and/or the appearance of impropriety which might arise from the influence of those activities on business decisions of the University, or from disclosure or private use of business affairs or plans of the University.
Employees must disclose any and all actual or perceived conflicts of interest whenever they arise pursuant to the Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy. If any person is in doubt about whether a situation constitutes a conflict of interest, the matter should be fully disclosed to that person's supervisor or the Chief Compliance Officer so that a determination can be made. Employees may also contact the General Counsel, Director of Internal Audit, Vice President for Research, or the Ombudsman regarding a question in this area. Failure to disclose actual or perceived conflicts will result in appropriate disciplinary action up to and including, termination of employment, cessation of business with a vendor, and other appropriate remedies. The University will not represent or defend employees from any claim arising out of a matter not disclosed pursuant to the Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy.
See: OGC -1 Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy
Standard 5.1 – Outside Financial and Ownership Interests
While not all inclusive, the following will serve as a guide to the types of activities by an employee, or member of an employee’s immediate family member (e.g., spouse, parents, children, siblings), which might cause actual or perceived conflicts of interest:
- Financial and ownership interests in or employment by any outside concern which does business with the University. “Ownership interests” include interests in a partnership or closely held corporation in which the employee has more than a 5% ownership interest (including spouse and children) in a partnership or closely held corporation. The University may, following a review of the relevant facts, permit ownership interests which exceed these amounts if management concludes such ownership interests will not adversely impact the University's business interest or the judgment of an employee.
The University considers a significant financial interest to be anything of monetary value, including an equity interest. An equity interest creates a conflict of interest when, aggregated for the applicable employee, spouse and dependent children, it either exceeds $10,000 in value and represents more than a 5% ownership interest in a single entity, or generates salary, royalties, or other payments in a twelve-month period.
- Conduct of any business not on behalf of the University, with any of the University's vendors, suppliers, contractors, or agencies, or any of their officers or agents.
- Representation of the University by an employee in any transaction in which the employee or immediate family member has a substantial personal interest.
- Disclosure or use of confidential, special or inside information of or about the University, particularly for the personal profit or advantage of the employee or his/her family member.
- Competition with the University by employee, directly or indirectly, in the purchase, sale or ownership of property or property rights or interests, or business investment opportunities.
- Any personal activity or business opportunity which is within the scope of the activities of the University and exploitation of such opportunity.
- Participation in a transaction with the University for personal profit..
See: OGC -1 Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy
Standard 5.2 – Services for Competitors/Vendors
No employee shall perform work or render services for any competitor of the University or for any organization with which the University does business or which seeks to do business with the University outside of the normal course of his/her employment with the University, without the approval of the employee’s supervisor. Nor shall any such employee be a trustee, officer, or consultant of such an organization, nor permit his/her name to be used in any fashion that would tend to indicate a business connection with such organization.
Standard 5.3 – Participation on Boards of Directors or Trustees
1. Employees must obtain approval from their supervisor prior to serving as a member of the Board of Directors or Trustees of any organization whose interests may conflict with those of the University. The University retains the right to prohibit membership on any Board of Directors or Trustees where such membership might conflict with the best interest of the University.
2. An employee who is asked, or who seeks, to serve on the Board of Directors or Trustees of any organization whose interest would not reasonably be expected to affect the University (for example, religious, civic, charitable or fraternal organizations) will not be required to obtain such approval.
Standard 5.4 – Honoraria
Employees, with the permission of their supervisor, are encouraged to participate as faculty and speakers at educational programs and functions. However, any honoraria in excess of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) shall be turned over to the University unless the employee used approved personal time to attend the program or that portion of the program for which the honoraria is paid.
Principle 6 – Business and Professional Relationships
Business with vendors, contractors and other third parties shall be transacted free from offers or solicitation of gifts and favors or other improper inducements in exchange for influence or assistance in a transaction.
The Standards set forth below are intended to guide members of the University community in determining the appropriateness of the listed activities or behaviors within the context of the University's business relationships, including relationships with vendors, providers, contractors, third party payors, and government entities. It is the intent of the University that this Principle be construed broadly to avoid even the appearance of improper activity. If there is any doubt or concern about whether specific conduct or activities are ethical or otherwise appropriate, you should contact the Chief Compliance Officer or the General Counsel.
See: OGC -1 Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy
Standard 6.1 – Gifts and Gratuities
It is the University's desire to at all times preserve and protect its reputation for fair and ethical dealing, and to avoid the appearance of impropriety, through implementation of the following standards:
- Gifts Influencing Decision Making. It is in the nature of people to be nice, and to give gifts or provide courtesies as part of human interaction. Even so, the gift or courtesy might be misinterpreted, and give the appearance that it is intended to influence decisions by the person or organization. To avoid this possibility, members of the University community shall not accept gifts, favors, services, entertainment, or other things of value in any situation where decision-making or actions affecting the University might be influenced. Similarly, the offer or giving of money, services or other things of value with the expectation of influencing the judgment or decision-making process of any purchaser, supplier, customer, government official or other person by the University is absolutely prohibited and should be reported to the employee's supervisor or Chief Compliance Officer. For the same reasons, administrators shall not accept gifts from faculty and staff beyond those of a nominal value. Nominal value shall be defined as less than one hundred dollars ($100).
Guidance as to what constitutes an acceptable gift, or one that should be disclosed, may be sought from the Chief Compliance Officer or the General Counsel.
- Gifts From Existing Vendors. Members of the University community may accept gifts from vendors which have a nominal value. Examples of nominal valued gifts include meals or refreshments, occasional attendance at a local theater, outing or sporting event or similar event at the vendor’s expenses. If a member of the University community has any concern as to whether a gift should be accepted, that person should consult with his/her supervisor. To the extent possible, these gifts should be shared with the employee's co-workers.
Subject to the foregoing, members of the University community shall not accept excessive gifts, meals, expensive entertainment, or offers of other goods or services which have more than a nominal value nor may they solicit gifts from vendors, suppliers, contractors, or other persons.
Nothing in this Standard shall prohibit a University department, business unit or supervisor from establishing stricter rules relating to the acceptance of gifts, gratuities or other things of value from vendors.
- Gifts from Patients and Students. Members of the University community are prohibited from soliciting tips, personal gratuities, or gifts from patients and students and are further prohibited from accepting gifts of money. Members of the University community may accept gifts of a nominal value from patients and students, but, in the case of students, faculty should not accept gifts of more than a nominal value while the student is enrolled in their class or while the faculty member has (or may appear to have) influence or control over the student's grades or academic career. If a patient or another individual wishes to present a monetary gift, (s)he should be referred to the appropriate business unit development office or the Office of Institutional Advancement.
Standard 6.2 – Workshops, Seminars and Training Sessions
Attendance at local, vendor-sponsored workshops, seminars, and training sessions is permitted. Attendance, at vendor expense, at out-of-town seminars, workshops, and training sessions is permitted only with the written approval of an employee's supervisor.
Employees should be wary of signing any forms while attending such events to the extent that they seek to impose confidentiality requirements on the visitor/attendee; third parties seeking to enter into confidential relationships with the University must follow the University's procedures.
Standard 6.3 – Business Inducements
Members of the University community shall not seek to gain any advantage through the improper use of payments, business courtesies, or other inducements. Offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving any form of bribe or other improper payment is prohibited.
Appropriate commissions, rebates, discounts, and allowances are customary and acceptable business inducements provided that they are approved by the University management and that they do not constitute illegal or unethical payments. Any such payments must be reasonable in value, competitively justified, fully disclosed, properly documented, and made to the business entity to which the original agreement or invoice was made or issued. Such payments may not be made to individual members of the University community or agents of business entities.
In addition, members of the University community may provide gifts, entertainment, and meals of nominal value to University customers, current and prospective business partners, and other persons when such activities have a legitimate business purpose, are approved by the appropriate supervisor, are reasonable under the circumstances, and are consistent with all Applicable Rules.
Standard 6.4 – Alumni/ae and Other Supporters of the University
The University is privileged to have the financial support of its alumni, alumnae, and of businesses that recognize the value and importance of the University and its various programs.
It is the policy of Drexel University to enter into contracts for the purchase of goods and services solely on the merits of each transaction. In doing so, the University will consider several factors, including the experience, reputation and credentials of the seller; the suitability and “fit” of the good or service to the specific need and requirements of the University; and the commercial reasonableness of the terms. Among those suppliers who meet these objective criteria, it is also the policy of the University to do business whenever possible with those who have established themselves as supportive of the University and its mission. The fact that a graduate of the University, or a vendor or potential vendor, has not given a gift to the University shall not be used as a factor to preclude or burden the opportunity to do business with that person or vendor.
See Drexel University Board of Trustees Reaffirmation of Procurement Policy (part of Introduction to Procurement)
Principle 7 - Protection of Assets
All members of the University community should strive to preserve and protect the University's assets by making prudent and effective use of University resources and properly and accurately reporting its financial condition.
The Standards set forth below are intended to guide members of the University community by articulating the University's expectations as they relate to activities or behaviors which may impact the University's financial health or which reflect a reasonable and appropriate use of the assets of a nonprofit entity. In connection with this Principle, the University has adopted certain best practices which are consistent with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
Standard 7.1 – Internal Controls
The University has established control standards and procedures to ensure that assets are protected and properly used and that financial records and reports are accurate and reliable. All members of the University community share the responsibility for maintaining and complying with required internal controls.
Standard 7.2 – Financial Reporting
All financial reports, accounting records, research reports, expense accounts, time sheets, and other documents must accurately and clearly represent the relevant facts or the true nature of a transaction. Improper or fraudulent accounting, documentation, or financial reporting, or reporting that is intended to hide, obfuscate or mislead, is contrary to the policy of the University and may be in violation of Applicable Rules.
Standard 7.3 – Travel and Entertainment
Travel and entertainment expenses should be consistent with each member of the University community's job responsibility and the University's needs and resources. It is the University's policy that a member of the University community should not suffer a financial loss or a financial gain as a result of business travel and entertainment conducted on behalf of the University. Members of the University community are expected to exercise reasonable judgment in the use of the University's assets and to spend the University's assets as carefully as they would spend their own. Members of the University community must also comply with University policies relating to travel and entertainment expenses.
Standard 7.4 – Personal Use of University Assets
No member of the University community shall convert assets of the University to private business or personal gain. All University property shall be used and business shall be conducted in a manner designed to further the University's interest rather than the personal interest of individual Members. Members of the University community are prohibited from the unauthorized use, possession or control of the University's equipment, supplies, materials, or services. Prior to engaging in any activity during working hours, or the use of the University's equipment, supplies, materials, or services, which will result in remuneration to a member of the University community, the Member must obtain the approval of the supervisor, appropriate business unit or other management of the University.
IV. DIRECTORY OF OFFICERS
Chief Compliance Officer
James K. Seaman, PH.D., CPA, CIA, CFE
Chief Privacy Officer
Edward G. Longazel
Joseph J. Salomone
Michael J. Exler
Senior Vice Provost for Research
Deborah L. Crawford, Ph.D.
Vice President for Internal Audit
James K. Seaman
V. RELATED POLICIES & NOTICES
Acceptable Use Policy
Conduct of Research Policy
Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy
Drexel University Board of Trustees Reaffirmation of Procurement Policy
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Policy
Reasonable Accommodation of Individuals with Disabilities
Equality and Non-Discrimination Policy
Grievance and Complaint Resolution Policy
Faculty Mediation and Grievance Policy
Performance Improvement Process
Amorous Relationships Involving Athletics Department Personnel and Student Athletes
Nepotism and Employment of Relatives and Consensual Amorous Relationships
Information Security Policy
Security of Enterprise Systems