03.006: Whistle-blowing and Retaliation




February 3, 2006

Initiated by:

Nicolette Dioguardi | Associate Director of Legal Affairs

Endorsed by:

Kathy Krendl | Provost

Approved by:

Roderick J. McDavis | President

Signatures and dates on archival copy
  1. Purpose

    Ohio University expects all of its employees, faculty, administrators, classified, and bargaining unit members to be honest and ethical in their conduct, comply with applicable government laws, policies, and regulations, deal fairly with other employees, students, customers, volunteers, and business associates, and protect and ensure the proper use of university assets.

  2. Plan

    Subsection III, below, provides definitions of terms used in subsections I and II.

    1. Whistle-blowing

      Ohio University encourages its faculty, staff, and students to make "good faith" disclosures of university-related misconduct. Internal and external reporting opportunities are available to all employees and students, as described in the Policies and Procedures section, below.

      Anyone who files a Whistle-blower report or complaint recklessly or with a willing disregard for the facts, so that the report or complaint is found to be lacking in "good faith," may be subject to disciplinary action.

    2. Retaliation

      No member of the university community may retaliate against a Whistle-blower with the intent or effect of adversely affecting the terms or conditions of employment or enrollment. Anyone who violates this anti-retaliation policy is subject to disciplinary action.

      The university will make every reasonable effort to stop retaliation immediately, to conduct a complete and through investigation of alleged acts of retaliation in a timely manner, to provide remedies to victims of retaliation, and to sanction the perpetrators of retaliation as appropriate.

      Whistle-blowers who believe that they have been retaliated against by a university employee should contact the Office of Legal Affairs, and may file a written complaint with the Office of Legal Affairs.

    3. Definitions

      "Good Faith Disclosure" means disclosure of university-related misconduct made with a belief in the truth of the disclosure that a reasonable person in the whistle-blower's situation could have believed based upon the facts. A disclosure is not in good faith if made with reckless disregard for -- or willful ignorance of -- facts that would disprove the disclosure.

      "University-related misconduct" includes any activity by a university department or by an employee that is undertaken in the performance of the employee's official duties, whether or not such action is within the scope of the individual's employment, and that is a violation of any state or federal law or regulation or university regulation or policy, including corruption, bribery, theft of University property, fraudulent claims, fraud, coercion, conversion of University assets, discrimination, sexual harassment, and violations of civil rights.

      "Whistle-blowing" means good faith reporting of real or perceived University-related misconduct.

      "Whistle-blower" means any visitor, student, faculty, or other employee who, in good faith, reports real or perceived University-related misconduct.

      "Retaliation" means any adverse action or creditable threat of an adverse action taken by the University, or member thereof, in response to a Whistle-blower's good faith disclosure of university-related misconduct.

  1. Policies and procedures

    1. Internal reporting avenues

      Internal avenues for reports and complaints include the following:

      1. Reports on alleged misconduct toward employees and students that is harassing or discriminatory in nature can be made to the Office of Institutional Equity.

      2. Complaints on any matter that alleges a violation of federal law, state law, governmental regulations, or Ohio University Policy can be made to the Office of Legal Affairs.

      3. Reports or complaints about inappropriate workplace behavior, work conduct, or violence related to the workplace can be made to Human Resources.

      4. Complaints about fiscal matters, fraud, conflict of interest, or other concerns about the mismanagement of University resources can be made to the Office of Audit, Risk, and Compliance.

      5. Allegations of criminal conduct that occurs within the geographic jurisdiction of Ohio University should be made to the Ohio University Police Department.

      6. Complaints about student-to-student misconduct or alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct should be made to University Judiciaries.

      7. Ethics Point is an anonymous, free, 24 hour, 365 day a year electronic and phone reporting service. Ethics Point will accept complaints and reports of misuse, mismanagement, mistreatment, or conflict of interest concerning any matter related to or affecting the administration of Ohio University and treatment of its assets, resources, or people.

    2. External reporting avenues

      External avenues for reports and complaints include the following:

      1. The Ohio Ethics Commission

      2. The Ohio Inspector General

      3. The Ohio Civil Rights Commission

      4. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

      5. The United States Department of Labor

      6. The United States Department of Education

      7. National Institutes of Health

      8. National Science Foundation

      9. The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association)

    3. Policy and procedure cross-reference

      The following policy and procedure statements should be consulted as appropriate:

      1. Policy and Procedure 03.003, "Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance"

      2. Policy and Procedure 03.004, "Harassment"

      3. Policy and Procedure 19.048, "Fraud and Misconduct in Professional Research"

      4. Policy and Procedure 19.058, "Conflict of Interest in Research, Educational, and Public Service Activities"

      5. Policy and Procedure 19.059, "Employee Participation in Authorized Private Companies Commercializing Research"

      6. Policy and Procedure 41.135, "Workplace Violence"

      7. Policy and Procedure 55.002, "Use of University Resources"

      8. Policy and Procedure 55.074, "Purchasing Card"

      9. Policy and Procedure 55.075, "Cell Phones"


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. President

  2. Provost

  3. Cabinet Officers

  4. Director of Internal Audit

  5. Director of Legal Affairs

  6. Policy and Procedure Review Committee