Representing the Univeristy
The actions of every member of the university community reflect on the institution itself. Employees and students at USU are strongly encouraged to apply sound moral judgment when making decisions, especially when those decisions are made on behalf of the university.
There are many occasions when faculty and other employees act as representatives of the university. Examples include recruiting meetings, meetings with peers from other institutions, government agencies, companies or foundations; presenting at or attending professional conferences; interviewing prospective faculty and staff, or participating as a member of a performing arts group. It is important that each such representation be characterized by professionalism, honesty and accuracy.
All faculty, staff, students and others acting on behalf of the university are expected to comply with relevant laws, grant and contract requirements, regulations, policies and practices and all applicable university and professional standards. Specific statutes, regulations and policies are enumerated in the section of this guide called “Regulations and Policies Related to the Administrative Code of Conduct.”
Any faculty, staff member or student may be considered an agent of the university whenever he or she is acting on behalf of the university and within the scope of his or her assigned duties at USU. Individuals, when acting within their assigned roles at the university, will be indemnified under the Utah Governmental Immunities Act when applicable, unless damages are caused intentionally or result from dishonesty, fraud or criminal acts or negligence. The Office of Compliance Assistance and other university resources are available to assist institutional officials, employees and students to understand and comply with university policies, and procedures, and to establish a productive work environment.
To effectively advance USU’s missions in learning, discovery and engagement, USU must maintain the public trust. The university relies on all members of its community to conduct themselves appropriately and in accordance with ethical principles and relevant regulations and policies.
Responsibilities of Institutional Officials
In addition to the responsibilities all members of the USU community bear for representing the institution with integrity and professionalism, institutional officials have a special duty in their oversight of the university’s administration. Under the direction of the Board of Trustees of the university, senior administrators are responsible for establishing and maintaining a climate of trust and respect, both through their personal conduct and through proper discharge of supervisory duties.
Institutional officials assume broad administrative responsibilities. They are expected to establish systems of operation that ensure appropriate accountability on matters of finance and resource utilization that are open and transparent, and that protect the rights of employees and students of the university. Institutional officials are stewards of resources that originate from governmental, student and other contributors, and should make decisions about the use of those resources impartially and in accordance with good business practices. Decisions should be made in an environment of open communication with university stakeholders and the public, helping to ensure that actions taken are in the best interest of the institution, and that they are not influenced by personal or institutional bias. In their deliberations institutional officials should exercise care to protect the rights and privacy of USU employees and provide a positive workplace environment.
Institutional officials and others in supervisory capacities in the university are expected to communicate clearly what is expected of those in the units they direct or manage. They should familiarize themselves with and communicate the principles of the Administrative Code of Conduct and other relevant material from statutes, policies, procedures and guidelines that have been adopted by the university. They are expected to communicate clear performance expectations to others under their supervision and to provide feedback to those they supervise through the formal evaluation process of the university and in other settings as necessary to allow employees and students to discharge their duties more effectively.
Institutional officials have special responsibilities with regard to institutional and individual conflicts of interest that arise from time to time. Whenever Institutional Officials have the responsibility for making a decision on behalf of the university, they should carefully consider whether their actions would constitute, or appear to constitute, a conflict of interest due to personal circumstances or circumstances within their assigned duties at the university. Institutional Officials also play a key role in identifying, monitoring and managing individual conflicts of interest that arise among those who are in their supervision. “Managing Conflicts of Interest” discusses this topic in more detail.