Code of Ethics and Conduct
While integrity includes compliance with laws and regulations, employees of the University of Mississippi are expected to go beyond mere compliance and to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct. Rules of fairness, honesty, accuracy, and respect for the rights of others should govern conduct when acting in the scope of one’s employment or when representing the University in the greater community. Employees are cautioned that even the appearance of misconduct or impropriety can damage the reputation of the University. An important statement of values for members of the University community is the University of Mississippi Creed.
Employees who have a reasonable belief that misconduct may be occurring have a duty to report their concerns. Suspected misconduct may be reported to an employee’s immediate supervisor, the chair or dean of their department (or another individual in the employee’s chain of command), the Office of Internal Audit, the Department of Human Resources, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Regulatory Compliance, or the Office of General Counsel. Employees who wish to report anonymously may do so at the EthicsPoint Hotline. Employees who report in good faith alleged improper action are protected from retaliation as outlined in the University’s Whistleblower Policy.
Employees are expected to act in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, the policies of the University of Mississippi and the policies of the Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Education (“IHL”). The requirements of these authorities are incorporated into this Code of Ethics and Conduct. Depending on the severity of the violation, employees who are thought to be in violation of these authorities may be placed on suspension during an investigation. Employees found to be in violation are subject to discipline, including termination.
Mississippi’s State Conflict of Interest Law for state officials and employees can be found at Mississippi Code Annotated, Sections 25-4-101 et seq. The Ethics Policy for IHL is policy number 1201 in the IHL Policies and Bylaws handbook.
Numerous questions about appropriate conduct can be answered by consulting the University of Mississippi Policy Directory. The following is a non-exhaustive list of policies governing employee conduct – and some policies address student conduct as well. Questions about the applicability of any particular law, policy or regulation may be directed to the Office of General Counsel at 662-915-7014.
- Employee Conflict of Interest: Provides guidelines for determining whether an employee has a conflict of interest in regard to a business transaction or relationship.
- Fiscal Misconduct: Defines fiscal misconduct and outlines responsibilities for detecting and dealing with fiscal misconduct.
- Non-Institutional Employment Practices: (Outside Employment): Requires employees to complete HR Form 9 and receive supervisory approval before engaging in employment outside the University.
- Objectivity in Research: Provides standards for avoiding conflicts of interest when conducting research and guidelines for protecting the credibility and integrity of research at the University.
- Responding to Allegations of Research Misconduct: Outlines the University’s procedure for responding to allegations of research misconduct.
- Responsibilities of Signatory Officers: Explains the attestations made by an employee approving an expenditure request for a department.
- Travel Reimbursement: Provides guidelines for travel reimbursement and applicable penalties for fraudulent claims.
- Procurement Card Violations: Describes five activities that are illegal uses of University procurement cards and the penalties for each.
- Policy on Selling Surplus Equipment: Provides rules for avoiding a conflict of interest when selling surplus equipment.
- Inappropriate Use of Funds: Outlines basic guidelines for using University funds.
- Purchases Misrepresented as Personal: Prohibits purchasing personal items under the University’s name.
- Contractual Authority: Defines who may sign a contract binding the University.