CERT Standards and expectations of conduct
To help maintain a safe and trusting environment for everyone associated with Northern Arizona University, all members of the university community, while acting in the course and scope of their employment, are responsible for maintaining the highest ethical standards of conduct. With regard to conduct, members of the university community are expected to practice:
- Integrity by maintaining honesty and responsibility in all of their dealings, and by avoiding conflicts of interest;
- Trustworthiness by acting in a reliable and dependable manner;
- Respect by treating others with fairness, civility, and decency;
- Stewardship by protecting and safeguarding university property and resources;
- Compliance by following local, state and federal laws and regulations and Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) and university policies and procedures;
- Confidentiality by protecting the security, and privacy of university information such as student records, employee files, patient records, and contract negotiation documents; and
- Responsibility by being accountable and fulfilling all obligations to the university.
The purpose of these guidelines is to reinforce current Northern Arizona University policies regarding the conduct of those acting on behalf of the university, including administrators, faculty, staff, and student employees, as well as authorized volunteers and representatives acting as agents of the university (the “university community”). Members of the university community must be cognizant of and comply with all relevant policies, procedures, standards, laws, and regulations, and must be accountable for their own actions.
The university values integrity, honesty and fairness and strives to integrate these values into its teaching, research and business practices. Members of the university community have a general duty to conduct themselves in a manner that will maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the university and to take no actions incompatible with their obligations to the university.
Given the variety and complexity of questions regarding ethical conduct that may arise within the university community, these guidelines do not define specifically what each individual should and should not do, but rather communicate the university’s expectations of proper conduct and provide guidance regarding what conduct the university values. As needed, members of the university community should seek clarification from administrators or supervisors to ensure that the actions they take as members of the university community reflect the expectations of conduct set forth in this policy.
Standards of integrity & trustworthiness
Northern Arizona University recognizes that it must maintain a reputation for integrity that includes, but is not limited to, compliance with applicable laws and regulations as well as its contractual obligations. Even the appearance of misconduct or impropriety can be damaging to the university.
In cases where the university’s activities and the conduct of its community members are not governed by specific laws or regulations, the principles of fairness, honesty, and respect for the rights of others govern the conduct of the university community.
Moreover, all university business transactions must be conducted with honesty, accuracy, and fairness; each situation must be examined in accordance with this standard. No unethical practice can be tolerated even if it is “customary” outside of the university or because it might serve other worthy goals. Expedience should never compromise integrity, and the ends do not justify the means.
Employees owe their primary professional allegiance to the university and its mission to engage in education, research and service. The university does not intend to prohibit members of the university community from freely pursuing teaching, research, and professional and public service activities which do not result in conflicts of interest. However, outside professional activities, private financial interests or the receipt of gifts or benefits from third parties can cause an actual or a perceived divergence between the university’s interests and an individual’s private interests.
In order to protect the public trust and the integrity of the university, members of the university community with other professional or financial interests shall disclose them in compliance with applicable conflict of interest policies, and appropriate conflict management plans may be put into place to protect the university’s interests.
Standard of respect
Northern Arizona University is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence and facilitation of an environment that fosters this goal. Central to that institutional commitment is the principle of civility, of treating each community member fairly and with respect. In furtherance of this principle, the university is committed to prohibiting discrimination and harassment and providing equal opportunities for all community members and applicants regardless of their race, color, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Standard of stewardship
University resources must be used primarily for business purposes on behalf of the university and the state of Arizona. Such resources may not be used for personal gain, and generally may not be used for personal reasons. University resources may only be used for personal reasons when: 1) the resources are being used in a manner that is incidental and reasonable in light of the employee’s duties; and 2) the employee has his or her supervisor’s permission to do so. Examples of university resources include, but are not limited to, the use of university systems (e.g., telephone systems, data communication, and networking services) and the use of university equipment (e.g., computers and vehicles). The use of procurement tools such as purchasing cards and petty cash, and/or the use of the time and effort of staff, students, and others for personal reasons, is strictly prohibited.
All university accounts, financial reports, tax returns, expense reimbursement forms, time sheets and other documents, including those submitted to government agencies must be accurate, clear, and complete. All entries to university books and records, including departmental accounts and individual expense reports, must accurately reflect each transaction.
Standard of compliance
Obeying the law, both in letter and spirit, is a basic principle of the university and is required of all members of the university community. All individuals must transact business in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and university policies and procedures. Although all community members are not expected to know the details of applicable laws and regulations, it is important that each community member seek guidance when needed and refer to applicable policies. Administrators and supervisors are responsible for training and monitoring compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and ABOR and university policies and procedures.
Standard of confidentiality
Members of the university community receive and generate various types of confidential, proprietary and private information. It is imperative that each member of the university community complies with all applicable local, federal and state laws, agreements with third parties entered into by the university, and with ABOR and university policies and procedures pertaining to the use, protection and disclosure of such information. Members of the university community must protect and must not share any confidential information entrusted to them, except when disclosure is authorized by applicable laws, regulations, or ABOR and university agreements, policies or procedures.
Standard of responsibility
All members of the university community are responsible for fulfilling their obligations to the university, whether those obligations are set forth in policy, procedure, or a contractual document.
As public employees, all members of the university community have a duty to bring violations of these guidelines or related policies (whether such violations stem from the actions or inactions on the part of the individuals) to the attention of their supervisor, another member of the university administration, or a resource office on campus. Retaliation against an individual because that individual makes a good-faith effort (i.e., the individual has a sincere belief or motive for making the report, with no malicious motive or intent to defraud others) to report suspected violations of these guidelines or related policies is strictly prohibited.
The determination of appropriate consequences for failing to act within the scope of these guidelines and the applicable policies will be reviewed based on the specific circumstances and addressed in accordance with the applicable set of faculty and staff conditions of service. Serious violations may result in disciplinary action or termination.
A list of related policies and key resources offices to help you clarify these standards is listed at our CERT program website