Policy Letter from Sara Gross Methner to All

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September 26, 2012

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As we kick off a new academic year, I want to remind you of some important policies and tools that help ensure the best possible environment for all of us who work at the University of St. Thomas.

St. Thomas is committed to conduct our work in accordance with the highest standards of ethics and integrity and in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations that apply to us. As faculty and staff, we have a shared responsibility to carry out this commitment in our daily work. When we all meet this commitment, it results in greater trust within our community, higher levels of employee dedication and effectiveness, responsible stewardship of university resources, and a more satisfying environment for us and our students.

As part of this commitment to high standards of ethics, integrity and legal compliance, St. Thomas maintains a number of policies and procedures that establish expectations for our employees’ actions and behavior related to our work. These include (but are not limited to) our:

• Code of Professional Conduct
• Confidential Nature of University Affairs (“Need to Know”) Policy
• Conflict of Interest Policy
• Hate Crimes and Bias-Motivated Incidents Policy
• Responsible Use of Computing Resources Policy
• Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policies
• Whistleblower Policy

Every faculty and staff member is expected to be familiar with and comply with these and all other personal conduct policies that apply to you. All of our policies are available on the university’s website at www.stthomas.edu/administration/policies/. Please take time in the next two weeks to visit the website and review the policies to make sure you know what is expected of you. If you have any questions about the policies, please contact your Human Resources (HR) partner.

In addition to complying with St. Thomas policies, each of us—regardless of position—has a responsibility to promote an ethical and legally compliant work environment by raising concerns about inappropriate activity and behavior. We strongly encourage you to discuss such concerns directly with your manager, HR partner, the General Counsel or another senior leader. However, we recognize there may be circumstances when you are not comfortable raising concerns in that manner. For such situations, we have adopted the EthicsPoint system.

EthicsPoint is a confidential tool that enables you to report or discuss any ethical question, concern, problem or violation related to the University of St. Thomas—including any violation or suspected violation of laws, regulations or St. Thomas policies—on a confidential and, if you wish, anonymous basis. With EthicsPoint, you may either call a toll-free telephone number or submit a report or question via a secure website.

EthicsPoint is managed by an independent third party to ensure that all communications are handled confidentially. When a question or concern is submitted, EthicsPoint records it and passes it along to designated individuals in our General Counsel and Human Resources Department. We follow up, provide responsive information to EthicsPoint, and EthicsPoint responds to you. 

EthicsPoint enables you to report misconduct that you observe, or gain clarity on whether or not something is cause for concern. We welcome your positive comments, too—things the university is doing well, along with things that could be improved. All reports will be reviewed and responded to appropriately. Please take a moment to review the attached Q&A, which further explains the EthicsPoint tool. 

St. Thomas has a no retaliation policy, meaning that you are protected from retaliation for reporting concerns in good faith.

We appreciate all of your efforts to maintain the integrity of our community, by familiarizing yourself with the university’s expectations, making decisions that are consistent with our mission and convictions, and reporting and addressing concerns about inappropriate activities and behavior. St. Thomas is a wonderful community, and we all have a responsibility to help ensure it remains so.

Sincerely,

Sara Gross Methner
General Counsel and Chief Human Resources Officer

 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT ETHICSPOINT (.pdf)

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