Campus Resources

Human Resources

Whistleblower Policy

WHISTLEBLOWER POLICY: DISHONEST, FRAUDULENT OR OTHER CONDUCT THAT MAY BE CRIMINAL

Types of Conduct: Saint Joseph’s University, reflecting its Jesuit, Catholic values, expects that its faculty, staff and students will act in a manner that is consistent with those values in their use of University resources and property.; To protect the integrity of Saint Joseph’s learning community and to ensure ethical and lawful standards of conduct by and among members of that community, the University will investigate any possible dishonest or fraudulent use or misuse of University resources or property or other reported conduct that may also be criminal by faculty, staff, or students in connection with their employment or attendance at the University.

Steps Required: All members of the University community are expected to communicate such possible conduct.; To do so, employees and students have available several avenues for reporting their concerns:; the conduct can be reported to a supervisor, department chair, program director or can be reported anonymously by calling the University’s Whistleblower Hot Line at 1-877-307-1208, which is found on the Saint Joseph’s University Human Resources website at http://www.sju.edu/int/resources/humanresources/index.html and is also posted at several campus locations including the Office of Student Life, the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Public Safety, the Office of Facilities Management, the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office, the College of Professional and Liberal Studies Office and the Erivan K. Haub School of Business Dean’s Office.; If for any reason an employee finds it problematic or uncomfortable to report his or her concern(s) to a supervisor or department or program chair and does not want to call the Hot Line, the employee should report it directly to the area Vice President or Dean of the employee’s school or division.; Students should report any concerns to the Assistant Vice President for Student Development.; Vendors and the general public may also utilize the Hot Line to communicate conduct that concerns them under this policy.; Those receiving reports of suspected dishonest, fraudulent or other conduct that may be criminal involving employees should not undertake an investigation of the reported conduct on their own, but, rather, are required to communicate such conduct to the Director for Internal Audit; in the case of students, those receiving such reports (e.g., the Assistant Vice President for Student Development is required to communicate such conduct to the Vice President for Student Life).

Sanctions:; Anyone determined to have more likely than not engaged in the type of conduct described above is subject to disciplinary action by the University up to and including dismissal or expulsion, and civil action or criminal prosecution when warranted.;

Definitions:

Whistleblower: An employee or student who informs one or more of the individuals identified in the policy statement above or an external entity about an activity or conduct that the employee or student in good faith believes to be fraudulent, dishonest or criminal.

Good Faith Allegations: Allegations reasonably founded on factual observations and not made exclusively because of personal bias against the person who are the object of the complaint.; Individuals making allegations that are not in good faith may be subject to the appropriate University disciplinary action and/or legal claims by the individuals accused of such conduct.

Dishonest, Fraudulent or Other Conduct That May Be Criminal: Examples of such conduct include, but are not limited to:

  • Forgery or fraudulent alteration of documents
  • A deliberate act or failure to act with the intention of obtaining an unauthorized personal benefit
  • Unauthorized alteration or manipulation of computer files
  • Fraudulent financial reporting
  • Pursuit of a benefit or advantage that would create a conflict of interest with one’s responsibilities or obligations as a member of the University community
  • Misappropriation or misuse of University resources, such as funds, supplies, or other assets or property
  • Authorizing or receiving compensation for goods not received or services not performed
  • Authorizing or receiving compensation for hours not worked
  • Pursuit of a benefit or advantage through means of extortion or bribery
  • Knowingly engaging in a cover-up of dishonest, fraudulent or other conduct that may be criminal
  • Destruction of evidence or information related to any threatened or actual legal action or investigations by a federal or state agency
  • Violations of environmental or safety regulations
  • Scientific misconduct

WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS:;

Retaliation against whistleblowers is prohibited.; The University will investigate separately any communications of conduct that may constitute retaliation against an employee or student who has made a good faith allegation of conduct prohibited under this policy (see below).; The University cannot guarantee confidentiality, however, and there is no such thing as an “unofficial,” “informal,” or “off the record” report.; The party to whom such conduct is reported, will keep the whistleblower’s identity confidential, unless:

1. the whistleblower(s) agrees to be identified;

2. identification is necessary to allow the University or law enforcement officials to investigate or respond effectively to the report;

3. identification is required by law; or,

4. the individual accused of violations of this policy is entitled to the information as a matter of procedural and/or legal right in disciplinary actions.

University employees and students may not retaliate against a whistleblower, including with the intent or effect of adversely affecting the terms or conditions of employment or enrollment (for example, but not limited to, threats of physical harm, loss of job, punitive work assignments, or impact on salary or wages, or the access to educational benefits).

Whistleblowers who believe they have been retaliated against shall file a written complaint with the Director of Internal Audit, if an employee is involved, or with the Assistant Vice President for Student Development, if a student is involved.; This protection from retaliation is not intended to prohibit the individuals identified above (for receiving such reports of improper conduct) from taking action, including disciplinary action, in the usual scope of their duties and responsibilities that are based on valid employment- or student-related factors.

Whistleblowers must be cautious to avoid allegations which are not made in good faith (as described earlier in this policy).

PROCEDURES:

The Director for Internal Audit shall conduct or oversee the investigation by her/his designee of all suspected dishonest, fraudulent or other conduct that may be criminal with the assistance of such University officials as may be necessary or appropriate at the discretion of the President or Vice President for Financial Affairs.; In the case of suspected student conduct reported under this policy, the Assistant Vice President for Student Development shall investigate the suspected conduct, consistent with policies and procedures in place to investigate allegations of violations of student conduct policies.; Cases involving possible violation of criminal law will be investigated in cooperation with the Director of Public Safety and will be reported to appropriate government authorities.; Employees, students and others providing services to the University are obligated to cooperate, tell the truth and disclose related information known to them in any such investigation, and will be subject to disciplinary action or other sanctions for failing or refusing to do so.; The outcome of the inquiry will be shared with the Whistleblower, the Provost (when involving faculty), the President and Vice President for Financial Affairs (all cases), the Vice President for Student Life (when involving students) and the Chairperson of the Audit Sub-Committee of the Board of Trustees (all cases). The outcome of any investigation may also be shared with others within the University community, as necessary and appropriate, on a confidential business need-to-know basis.

If the facts reported could be conduct prohibited by this policy, the Director for Internal Audit or her/his designee or, in the case of students, the

Assistant Vice President for Student Development will provide the individual making the accusation with a copy of this policy and review its terms.; If the Director for Internal Audit or her/his designee or, in the case of students, the Assistant Vice President for Student Development determines that it is more likely than not that dishonest, fraudulent or other conduct that may be illegal has occurred, the appropriate University disciplinary steps will be invoked consistent with applicable University policies.; If it is determined that it is more likely than not that the conduct communicated was not dishonest, fraudulent or otherwise criminal, the Director for Internal Audit or the Assistant Vice President for Student Development will explain to the person who has reported the concern or conduct the reason for the determination and advise the person of any other available reporting channels (administrative (to appropriate government agencies) or criminal (to appropriate law enforcement agencies)).; The University also posts in the Office of Human Resources, among other locations, toll free numbers for reporting a violation of a state or federal statute or regulation to a government or law enforcement agency, or retaliation by the University for making such reports.