What type of situations are appropriate to raise via EthicsPoint?

You may use EthicsPoint to seek clarity about how to interpret St. Thomas policies or applicable law, to ask whether particular conduct may violate our community standards, to report suspected or known violations of our community standards, or to raise other questions or concerns you may have about decisions, activities or conduct that seem likely to adversely affect our community.

Why should I tell you what I know?

Helping to ensure the integrity of our community is the right thing to do. Letting questions go unasked, or potentially inappropriate activities or conduct go unchecked, can harm our students, employees or the university, and breaks down trust. Action by one or a small group of people that is inconsistent with our community standards can have a significant adverse impact on the entire community.

What if someone retaliates against me for raising concerns?

St. Thomas prohibits retaliation against any person who raises questions or concerns in good faith. If you believe someone is retaliating against you for raising a question or concern, contact Human Resources, the Dean of Students, or the Office of General Counsel.

Where do my EthicsPoint communications go? Who can access them?

Your communications with EthicsPoint are entered directly on the EthicsPoint secure server and are provided only to designated individuals within the university, who have responsibility to evaluate and address the question or concern, based on the specific circumstances. The Office of General Counsel is the direct liaison with EthicsPoint. All communications you make via EthicsPoint will be anonymous unless you choose to disclose your identity, and confidentiality is maintained to the extent consistent with a thorough review and resolution. OGC will involve other appropriate individuals at St. Thomas only to the extent they need to know the information to address and resolve the matter and prevent the recurrence of improper activities.

If I use my work computer to submit an EthicsPoint report, won’t the server log identify me as the originator of the report?

EthicsPoint does not generate or maintain internal connection logs with IP addresses, so no information linking your computer to EthicsPoint is available. If you feel uncomfortable submitting a communication from a personal or work computer, you can use a computer at the library or outside the St. Thomas environment. Plus, EthicsPoint is contractually committed not to pursue a reporter’s identity.

Can I submit a communication from home and still remain anonymous?

A communication made from home or any internet portal will remain secure and anonymous, unless you choose to disclose your identity. An Internet portal never identifies a visitor by screen name, and the EthicsPoint system strips away Internet addresses so that anonymity is totally maintained. Plus, EthicsPoint is contractually committed not to pursue a reporter’s identity.

Is the toll-free telephone hotline anonymous too?

Yes. You will be asked to provide the same information that you would provide in an Internet-based communication, and an interviewer will type your responses into the EthicsPoint website. These communications are covered by the same security and anonymity measures as web communications.

What if I want to be identified with my communication?

You always have the option to identify yourself, if you wish.

I am aware of some individuals involved with conduct that violates our community standards, but it doesn’t affect me. Why should I bother reporting it?

St. Thomas is committed to maintaining an educational and work environment that meets high standards of integrity. Conduct that violates our community standards ultimately hurts St. Thomas, our employees and students. Raising questions and concerns about potentially inappropriate activities and conduct, even if they don’t directly affect you, helps ensure the integrity and well-being of our community.

I am not sure if what I have observed or heard is a violation of policy, or involves unethical conduct, but it just does not look right to me. What should I do?

Tell an appropriate university leader, or communicate your concern through EthicsPoint. We’d rather you let us know about a situation that turns out to be harmless than let concerns go unchecked because you weren’t sure.

What if my supervisor or other managers are involved in a violation? Won’t they learn about my communication?

EthicsPoint communications are provided only to designated individuals in OGC and administrators who have a need to know in order to conduct a thorough review and resolution. Implicated parties will not be notified except in the context of an investigation, and they are subject to our policy prohibiting retaliation.

What if I remember something important about the incident after I submit the communication? Or what if St. Thomas has further questions for me concerning my communication?

When you submit a communication using the EthicsPoint website or phone number, you will receive a unique user name and will be asked to choose a password. You can return to the EthicsPoint system again either by Internet or telephone and access the original communication to add more detail or answer questions posed by an investigator and add further information that may help resolve open issues. We strongly suggest that you return to the site in the time specified to obtain updates and respond to follow-up questions. Using this process, you and St. Thomas can conduct an “anonymous dialogue” that makes it more likely the situation can be appropriately addressed and resolved.

Are these follow-up communications as secure as the original one?

All EthicsPoint communications are held in the same strict confidence as the initial report, with anonymity unless you choose to disclose your identity.

How can I submit a communication if I don’t have access to the Internet at work?

You can submit an EthicsPoint communication from any computer with Internet access, such as a home computer. Many public locations, including the public library, offer Internet access to the public. If you don’t have access or are uncomfortable using a computer, you can call the EthicsPoint toll-free hotline 1-800-ETHICAL (1-800-384-4225) which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.