What is “compliance and ethics?”

“Compliance” means much more than merely “following the rules.” We use the term “compliance and ethics” more broadly to describe the process through which we maintain a culture of integrity and assure ourselves and others that we operate in accordance with applicable rules, standards, and most importantly, our values. Laws, regulations, international standards, and AUC’s own policies all apply to education, research, finance, information security, human resources, environmental and safety activities, and many others, including our daily interactions with each other, both on campus and off.

What is the Code of Ethical Conduct?

The Code of Ethical Conduct is AUC’s statement of shared principles and expectations for the conduct of University activities. It articulates the basic principles and standards that guide us for ethical decision-making. We publish our Code on AUC’s policy website for all to know and to consult.

How do I know if there is a compliance issue? What should I do if I think there is a compliance issue?

Any situation, activity, or transaction that could potentially violate a law, regulation, or University policy or procedure, could be a compliance issue. If you are concerned that an activity is inappropriate under these guideposts, or if you encounter a situation that simply feels wrong or makes you uncomfortable, you should speak to your supervisor or contact the University official that manages the area in which the issue has arisen. If, for whatever reason, you are uncomfortable going through these informal channels, or if you have raised an issue with the appropriate people but feel that it has not been addressed, you can make a report through the AUC Ethics HelpLine.

Examples of the kinds of concerns that the AUC Ethics HelpLine can address include, but are not limited to:

  • Any forms of waste, fraud, abuse, or neglect whether rising to the level of potential illegality or at minor levels, that appear relatively easy to rectify for the general benefit of AUC and our community;
  • False claims, financial misstatements, or accounting or auditing irregularities;
  • Undisclosed or unmanaged conflicts of interest;
  • Physical, sexual, verbal, and mental abuse;
  • Retaliation;
  • Mismanagement or abuse of authority relating to a contract or grant, including the competition for or negotiation of a contract; and/or
  • A substantial or specific danger to public health or safety.

Note that the standard for reporting need not be at the level of criminal or legal concern. The AUC Ethics HelpLine exists to enable all who care about improving AUC to contribute their concerns, complaints, and recommendations in good faith.

Can I be punished for reporting something through the AUC Ethics HelpLine? What happens if someone files a false report (intentionally or unintentionally)?

Reports filed through the AUC Ethics HelpLine (and reports made through other University channels) are covered by the Policy on Reporting Unethical or Illegal Conduct [Link], which recognizes that reporting is a service to the University and prohibits retaliation of any kind for reports that are made in good faith. All filed reports will be fully investigated, and appropriate action will be taken based on evidence only. Intentionally filing false reports is seriously discouraged and, depending on the circumstances, may constitute a violation of this policy.

Where do these reports go? Who can access them?

The AUC Ethics HelpLine enters reports directly onto NAVEX’s secure server. NAVEX makes these reports available only to AUC’s Senior Director of Compliance and individuals designated by the University’s complaint procedures, who are charged to promptly evaluate the report and decide how to follow up for effective resolution. Depending on the nature of the report, the system will send it to the appropriate University official. Each of these individuals has had training in keeping these reports in the utmost confidence. If the report is about one of the report recipients, NAVEX, as an external provider, will send it to someone else instead for resolution.

It is my understanding that any report I send from a University computer generates a server log that shows every website that my PC connects with, and won’t this log identify me as a report originator?

The AUC Ethics HelpLine does not generate or maintain any internal connection logs with IP addresses, so no information linking your PC to the AUC Ethics HelpLine is available. The NAVEX system is entirely stand-alone and web-based, which means it does not link to AUC’s internal systems. In fact, NAVEX, as the provider, is contractually committed not to pursue a reporter’s identity.

What if I remember something important about the incident after I file the report?

When you file a report through the AUC Ethics HelpLine via the online system, you will receive a unique username and will be asked to choose a password. You will also be given a case key number. You can return to the AUC Ethics HelpLine system at any time to access the original report or add further information, which will help resolve issues you may have raised.

What if AUC has further questions for me concerning my report?

If you included your contact information when filing your report through the AUC Ethics HelpLine system, the Senior Director of Compliance will follow up with you directly to schedule an in-person or telephone meeting, if you so choose. If you filed your report anonymously, the NAVEX provider will send you an email when the Senior Director of Compliance responds to your report or asks you any follow-up questions. You will have the option to continue to respond anonymously via the AUC Ethics HelpLine.

Are these follow-ups on reports as secure as the first one?

All correspondence through the AUC Ethics HelpLine is held in the same strict confidence as the initial report, continuing under the umbrella of confidentiality and anonymity.

Can I still file a report if I don’t have access to the Internet?

Reports filed via the AUC Ethics HelpLine website require access to the internet. You can file a report from any computer that can access the Internet. You may also file a report in person to the Compliance Office, located in Room 2037 on the second floor of the Administrative Building.

What if I am a victim of a false report?

Any reports or complaints filed through the AUC Ethics HelpLine will be fully investigated, and actions will only be taken based on the evidence found, not just based on the report itself.

Will I be informed of the outcome of the report I filed?

Yes, the reporter will be notified of the outcome of any reports filed.

Who can file a report?

Any student. Faculty, staff, vendors, or visitors to the campus may file a report through the AUC Ethics HelpLine.

What about the other channels for filing reports that currently exist (Provost’s Office, Dean of Students, HR, etc.)?

You can still report through the other channels offered by the University to resolve your concerns. You may also file your report through the AUC Ethics HelpLine at your discretion. Please mention if you have already filed your report through the other channels and any outcomes in your report filed through the AUC Ethics HelpLine.