University Whistleblower Policy
Fordham University (the "University") requires its directors, officers, employees, student workers, interns, and volunteers, [as well as all persons who provide the University with contracted services] to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the performance of their duties on the University's behalf.
The University is committed to protecting individuals from interference when making a "Protected Disclosure" (see definition below) and from retaliation for having made a Protected Disclosure or for having refused to follow an illegal instruction.
The principal objective of this Whistleblower Policy is to encourage and enable University representatives, without the fear of retaliation, to raise concerns regarding suspected unethical and/or illegal conduct or practices on a confidential and, if desired, anonymous basis, so that the University can address and correct inappropriate conduct and actions.
This policy is not intended to be the method for reporting violations of the University's applicable human resources policies, problems with colleagues, co-workers, or supervisors, or for reporting issues related to alleged employment discrimination or sexual or any other form of unlawful harassment, all of which should be handled in accordance with the University's Personnel and Student Conduct Policies. Those policies, found in the University Statutes, the Handbook for Administrators, the most current Collective Bargaining Agreements, and the Student Handbook, are designed to address individual grievances and personal complaints.
The University will exercise its authority to take whatever action may be needed to prevent and correct activities that are found to constitute wrongful conduct.
A. Wrongful Conduct Concern ("Concern")
A violation of University policies; a violation of applicable local, New York State, and Federal laws; or the use of University property, resources, or authority for personal gain or other non-University-related purposes.
B. Protected Disclosure
Communication about actual or suspected wrongful conduct engaged in by a University faculty member, staff member, student worker, volunteer, or contractor (who is not also the disclosing individual) based on a good faith and reasonable belief that the conduct has both occurred and is wrongful under University policies and/or applicable laws. Individuals who are aware of, or have reason to suspect wrongful conduct should report the conduct promptly.
Concerns should be reported either verbally or in writing as soon as practicable to any one of the following:
1. The Provost or Vice President to whom the disclosing individual reports;
2. The following offices responsible for institutional compliance:
Office of Internal Audit: 718-817-4074
Office of Legal Counsel: 718-817-5810
Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance: 718-817-3112
3. The EthicsPoint Integrity Hotline: 1-888-278-1501 (toll free)
Handling Reporting Concerns
The Provost, Vice Presidents and compliance offices receiving reports shall report them immediately to the Office of Internal Audit which, in consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel, has the responsibility for investigating concerns and issuing reports to the Board Committee on Audit and Risk Management ("Board Committee"). The Board Committee shall forward, as required, reports of all corrective actions to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.
The Office of Internal Audit will attempt to notify the disclosing individual (when identity is known) to acknowledge receipt of the reported concern. All reports will be promptly investigated, and appropriate corrective action will be taken when warranted by the investigation. The Office of Internal Audit shall determine the scope, manner, and parameters of any investigation and report to the Board Committee and appropriate University officers.
It is the responsibility of all University representatives to report, in good faith, concerns they may have regarding actual or suspected activities which my be illegal or in violation of the University's policies with respect to, without limitation, fraud, theft, embezzlement, accounting, or auditing irregularities, bribery, kickbacks, and misuse of the University's accounting or auditing irregularities, bribery, kickbacks, and misuse of the University's assets, as well as any violations or suspected violations of high business and personal ethical standards.
No University representative who in good faith reports a concern shall suffer intimidation, harassment, retaliation, discrimination, or adverse employment consequences because of such report. Any employee of the University who retaliates against someone who has reported a concern in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment.
Acting in Good Faith
Anyone reporting a concern must act in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing that the information disclosed may indicate a violation of a law, University policy and/or ethical standards. Any allegations that prove to have been made maliciously or knowingly to be false will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense.
The University takes seriously its responsibility to enforce this Policy, and therefore encourages any person reporting a concern to identify him or herself so as to facilitate any resulting investigation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in reporting a concern, University representatives can request that their report be treated in a confidential manner (including that the University takes reasonable steps to ensure that the identity of the reporting person remains anonymous). Concerns may also be reported on an anonymous basis through the Integrity Hotline using the toll-free number 1-888-278-1501 or https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/22342/index.html.
Concerns will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct a thorough and complete investigation.
The University will retain on a strictly confidential basis for a period of seven (7) Years (or otherwise as required under the University's Record Retention and Disposal Policies in effect from time to time) all records relating to any reported Concern and to the investigation and resolution thereof. All such records are confidential to the University, and such records will be considered privileged and confidential, subject only to a lawful subpoena or other recognized government authorities.
The University shall inform and provide a copy of this Policy to all University employees, officers, directors, student workers, and all other persons or contractors who provide substantial service to Fordham University.