Code of Conduct
Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, an independent agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We are subject to numerous laws protecting the public interest. The following Code of Conduct is meant to be an overarching guide to the business practices of the University.
Organizational Code of Conduct
Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania (the University) and its employees must, at all times, comply with the policies of the Board of Governors, directives of the Chancellor and all applicable state and federal laws. The University will not condone the activities of employees who violate the law or engage in unethical business dealings. This includes any payments for illegal acts, indirect contributions, rebates, and bribery. It also includes misappropriation and theft of assets or services. The University does not permit any activity that fails to stand up to the closest possible public scrutiny.
All business conduct should be well above the minimum standards required by law. Accordingly, employees must ensure that their actions cannot be interpreted as being, in any way, in contravention of the laws, regulations and policies governing the University.
Employees uncertain about the application or interpretation of any legal requirements should refer the matter to their supervisor, who, if necessary, should seek the advice of legal counsel. The University encourages employees to report the activities of others if they appear to be in violation of the law, or otherwise contrary the code of conduct. The University stipulates that there will be no retaliation against employees for such reports made in good faith.
General Employee Conduct
The University expects its employees to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Drinking, gambling, fighting, swearing, and similar unprofessional activities are strictly prohibited while on the job. Employees must not engage in sexual harassment, or conduct themselves in a way that could be construed as such, for example, by using inappropriate language, displaying or posting inappropriate materials, or accessing inappropriate materials on a computer.
Conflicts of Interest
The University expects that employees will perform their duties conscientiously, honestly, and in accordance with the best interests of the University and the Commonwealth. Employees must not use their position or the knowledge gained as a result of their position for private or personal advantage. Regardless of the circumstances, if employees sense that a course of action they have pursued, are presently pursuing, or are contemplating pursuing may involve them in a conflict of interest with their employer; they should immediately communicate all the facts to their supervisor.
Outside Activities, Employment, and Directorships
All employees share a serious responsibility for the University’s good public relations, especially at the community level. Their readiness to help with religious, charitable, educational, and civic activities brings credit to the University and is encouraged.
Employees must, however, avoid acquiring any business interest or participating in any other activity outside the University that would, or would appear to:
- Create an excessive demand upon their time and attention, thus depriving the University of their best efforts on the job.
- Create a conflict of interest—an obligation, interest, or distraction—that may interfere with the independent exercise of judgment in the University’s best interest.
Employees should avoid investing in or acquiring a financial interest for their own accounts in any business organization that has a contractual relationship with the University, or that provides goods or services, or both to the University, if such investment or interest could influence or create the impression of influencing their decisions in the performance of their duties on behalf of the University.
Gifts, Entertainment, and Favors
Employees must not accept entertainment, gifts, or personal favors that could, in any way, influence, or appear to influence, business decisions in favor of any person or organization with whom or with which the University has, or is likely to have, business dealings. Similarly, employees must not accept any other preferential treatment under these circumstances because their position with the University might be inclined to, or be perceived to, place them under obligation.
Kickbacks and Secret Commissions
Regarding the University’s business activities, employees may not receive payment or compensation of any kind, except as authorized under the University’s remuneration policies. In particular, the University strictly prohibits the acceptance of kickbacks and secret commissions from suppliers or others. Any breach of this rule could result in immediate termination and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.
University Funds and Other Assets
Employees who have access to University funds in any form must follow the prescribed procedures for recording, handling, and protecting money. The University imposes strict standards to prevent fraud and dishonesty. If employees become aware of any evidence of fraud and dishonesty, they should immediately advise their supervisor or the Internal Audit Department, so that the University can promptly investigate further.
When an employee’s position requires spending University funds or incurring any reimbursable personal expenses, that individual must use good judgment on the University’s behalf to ensure that good value is received.
University funds and all other assets of the University are for University purposes only and not for personal benefit. This includes the personal use of organizational assets, such as computers, networks, copiers, telephones, and the like.
University Records and Communications
Accurate and reliable records of many kinds are necessary to meet the University’s legal and financial obligations and to manage the affairs of the University. The University’s books and records must reflect in an accurate and timely manner all business transactions. The employees responsible for accounting and recordkeeping must fully disclose and record all assets, liabilities, or both, and must exercise diligence in enforcing these requirements.
Employees must not make or engage in any false record or communication of any kind, whether internal or external, including but not limited to:
- False expense, attendance, production, financial, or similar reports and statements
- Failure to receive approval for leave, and other absences and overtime pay
Dealing With Outside People and Organizations
Employees must take care to separate their personal roles from their University positions when communicating on matters not involving University business. Employees must not use organization identification, stationery, supplies, and equipment for personal or political matters.
When communicating publicly on matters that involve University business, employees must not presume to speak for the University on any topic, unless they are certain that the views they express are those of the University, and it is the University’s desire that such views be publicly disseminated.
When dealing with anyone outside the University, including public officials, employees must take care not to compromise the integrity or damage the reputation of either the University, or any outside individual, business, or government body.
Last updated: 09/08/2009