Faculty, staff and applicants shall be free without fear of retaliation to report conduct within Wittenberg University that they reasonably believe may constitute misconduct including, but not limited to, the following: wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, or questionable accounting and internal controls, auditing matters, harassment, discrimination, hostile workplace, safety and security issues, illegal or unethical business practices, wrongful termination, hate messages, faculty and staff handbook violations, violations of laws, mismanagement, waste of institution resources, and abuse of authority.
At least on an annual basis, the university will provide the Audit and Compliance Committee of the Board of Directors a summary of all reports under this policy.
I. Process for Reporting Misconduct
A. Faculty, staff or applicants should disclose all relevant information regarding evidence of misconduct to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Special Assistant to the President who also serves as the Assistant Secretary to the Board of Directors. The initial complaint made to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Special Assistant to the President may be in written, electronic, or verbal form. However, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Special Assistant to the President may request the individual to subsequently file the complaint in writing and to include a clear and concise statement of the facts that form the basis of the disclosure and the name and title of any university official(s) involved in the misconduct.
The Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Special Assistant to the President will forward a copy of the complaint to the University President. If the faculty or staff member or applicant would rather contact a source outside of the university, he or she may contact the confidential Campus Conduct Hotline service, Behavior Health Response Worldwide (BHR). Effective Feb. 2011, to make a report through the Campus Conduct Hotline program, please call: 1-877-576-0089
B. The Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Special Assistant to the President will ensure that the complaint is promptly investigated, that the investigation is carried out in a fair and unbiased manner, that those making complaints and/or reporting compliance concerns are treated fairly, that their confidentiality is protected to the extent the law allows, and that no retaliation takes place. Upon completion of the investigation, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Special Assistant to the President will file a findings report with the President and the appropriate Vice President. They will jointly consider the disclosure and take appropriate action in accordance with University policy.
C. In the case of disclosure of misconduct involving the President, the disclosure will be directed to the Chair of the Board of Directors. The Chair will consider the disclosure and take whatever action he or she determines to be appropriate under the law and circumstances of the disclosure. In the case of disclosure of misconduct involving the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and the Special Assistant to the President, the disclosure should be directed to the Vice President of Business and Finance. In the case of disclosure of misconduct involving a member of the Board of Directors, the disclosure will be handled by the Chair of the Board of Directors with advice of the Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee.
II. Filing a Retaliation Complaint for Reporting Misconduct
A. If a faculty or staff member or applicant believes that he or she has been retaliated against in the form of adverse employment action for reporting possible misconduct under this policy, he or she may file a written complaint requesting an appropriate remedy.
B. For purposes of this policy, an adverse employment action is defined as actions including: discharge, demotion, suspension, being threatened or harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against with respect to compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment. This policy does not prohibit an employment action that would have been taken regardless of a disclosure of information.
C. An employee or applicant must file a complaint with the President or his/her designee within ninety (90) days from the effective date of the adverse employment action or from the date on which the employee or applicant should reasonably have had knowledge of the adverse employment action.
D. Complaints should be filed in writing and should include:
E. Within sixty (60) calendar days of receipt of complaint, the President or his/her designee (or the Chair of the Board of Directors in the case involving the President) will consider the written complaint, will conduct or have conducted an investigation which, in his or her judgment, is consistent with the circumstances of the complaint and disclosure, and will report to the complainant the conclusions of the investigation absent overriding legal or public interest reasons. The identity of the complainant and the subject of the complaint will be kept confidential to the extent possible within the legitimate needs of law and the investigation.
F. The determination will be in writing and will include the findings of fact, the conclusions of the investigation, and, if applicable, a specific and timely remedy consistent with the findings. The decision of the President or Chair of the Board of Directors will be final.
III. False Allegations of Wrongful Conduct
Any member of the faculty or staff who knowingly makes false allegations of alleged wrongful conduct will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment, in accordance with university policies and procedures.
This is an institutional policy formally adopted by the board of directors on May 9, 2009. The policy is to be maintained in the faculty manual and the staff manual.