This policy applies to:
- Members of the Board of Regents;
- Staff members of the Board of Regents; and
- Individuals employed by, or acting on behalf of, member institutions, including volunteers.
All individuals employed by member institutions in any capacity shall certify compliance with this Ethics Policy at the time of initial employment.
The Ethics Policy governs only official conduct performed by or on behalf of the OSU/A&M System. Violations of the Ethics Policy may result in disciplinary action including dismissal or termination.
The foundations of ethical behavior are a commitment to respecting the rights and dignity of all persons and a commitment to discharging our obligations to others in a fair and honest manner. Each person in the OSU/A&M System plays an important role in keeping these commitments by demonstrating integrity and respect in his or her daily activities and in the performance of his or her responsibilities. This policy establishes a statement of principles to guide the activities of all faculty, staff, students, and individuals acting on behalf of member institutions.
- We affirm the importance of academic integrity in all endeavors. We will be honest, fair, trustworthy, and respectful so as to promote an environment distinguished by the highest standards of academic honesty.
- We respect the rights and dignity of all persons and recognize that illegal discrimination or harassment in any form undermines the fundamental principles of member institutions. We support a respectful environment through our own actions, encourage respectful behavior in others, and speak out against hatred and bias.
- We recognize that when in positions of authority we have a responsibility to conduct ourselves in a manner that will maintain and strengthen the public’s trust in the integrity of the OSU/A&M System. We will set the example of fairness and honesty in all of our dealings, and not use our authority to influence others to perform inappropriate or illegal acts, or violate laws, regulations or institutional policies.
- We recognize that we are often the custodians of personal and institutional information we have a responsibility to protect. We will not abuse this trust or violate any applicable laws by allowing unauthorized access, disclosure and/or confidential information obtained from official records.
- We recognize our responsibility to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules and regulations; grant and contract requirements; professional standards; and Board of Regents and institutional policies and procedures; and to report instances of unethical and unprofessional conduct.
- We recognize that conflicts of interest or commitment can interfere with the best interests of the OSU/A&M System and erode our credibility. A conflict of interest occurs when an individual is in a position to influence a decision on policies, purchases, programs, or decisions from which he/she or someone within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity or other associate might directly or indirectly receive a substantial benefit. A conflict of commitment arises when an individual’s involvement in outside activities substantially interferes with his/her primary commitments to the OSU/A&M System or its member institutions. We will promptly disclose such conflicts and take steps to mitigate or eliminate any that compromise our integrity or that of the OSU/A&M System, in accordance with applicable law and policies.
- We recognize the importance of acting in good faith, responsibly, and with due care and diligence in the use and control of all institutional assets and resources entrusted to us. We will be efficient and economical in their use; ensure that all funds received are used prudently, ethically and for their designated purposes; and ensure accurate, complete, and reliable business records are maintained.
- We recognize that we have a responsibility to be scrupulous in our business dealings and to report known or suspected fraudulent activity or unethical behavior to the appropriate institutional official and/or through a confidential reporting process.
This Ethics Policy is not intended to address every situation, but instead to make each individual aware of the general scope of ethics and accountability expected from him or her as a member of the OSU/A&M System.