Standards of Business Conduct

Revision Date: 
Friday, August 30, 2013

Standards of Business Conduct

Contents

Yale University’s Standards of Business Conduct. 2

Institutional Resources for Applying the Standards of Business Conduct. 5

Reporting Guidance and the University Hotline. 6

Yale University’s Standards of Business Conduct Agreement. 7

This document contains:

The Yale University Standards of Business Conduct articulates the ethical and legal principles that govern business dealings by Yale faculty and staff.

Institutional Resources for Applying the Standards of Business Conduct provides information sorted by nature of question or concern, the appropriate department to contact and the contact information.

Reporting Guidance and the University Hotline details the avenues available for faculty and staff to bring concerns to the University’s attention.

The Standards of Business Conduct Agreement states that a faculty or staff member has read, understands and agrees to adhere to the Standards of Business Conduct; is aware of the resources available for applying the Standards to particular situations; acknowledges the obligation to report concerns or possible violations; and recognizes the University’s prohibition against retaliation for any good faith report of possible violations of the Standards of Business Conduct.

It is important that each member of the faculty and staff read , understand and adhere to the Standards of Business Conduct throughout his/her tenure or employment at Yale. In order to document University – wide familiarity with the Standards, we are distributing them and asking each member of the faculty and staff to indicate that he/she has read, understand and agree to adhere to them. Each member of the faculty and staff is bound by and required to follow the Standards of Business Conduct, whether or not agreement is indicated.

If any faculty or staff member has questions about the Standards of Business Conduct, a representative of the Office of the Controller or the Office of General Counsel will contact him/her to discuss his/her questions.

 

Yale University’s Standards of Business Conduct

The University’s mission of advancing knowledge and educating citizens requires all members of the Yale community of faculty and staff to share a commitment to excellence. The excellence we prize in our work can be sustained, however, only if our actions as members of the Yale community are beyond ethical reproach. The success and reputation of the University in fulfilling its core mission depend on the integrity with which each community member — whether dean or faculty member, business manager or other staff — participates in our joint endeavor. Accordingly, each member of the faculty and staff of Yale University is expected to adhere to the University’s Standards of Business Conduct in dealings inside and outside of the University.

These Standards express the principles that have long governed the business dealings of all members of the Yale community. They are designed to serve as a useful distillation of well-established precepts and to re-emphasize the importance of adhering to them in all business dealings. These Standards are reflected in many separate policies and procedures of the University, whose definitive statements appear elsewhere — for example, in the Faculty Handbook, and the Personnel Policies and Practices Manual, both available on the University website. Web addresses for related policies are linked to the standard and provided in this statement. Questions about the applicability of the Standards or the referenced policies in particular circumstances may be addressed to the Institutional Resources for Applying the Standards of Business Conduct attached hereto.

Each member of the faculty and staff has a confidential channel to report any concerns:

Yale University Hotline: 1.877.360.YALE (9253).

  1. Ethical conduct

Yale faculty and staff should conduct themselves ethically, honestly, and with integrity in all dealings. They need to be fair and principled in their business interactions and to act in good faith in these matters with others both inside and outside the community. They should act with due recognition of their position of trust and loyalty with respect to the University and its students, research sponsors, and donors. When in doubt about the propriety of a proposed course of action, they should seek counsel from those colleagues, supervisors, or administrators who can assist in determining the right and appropriate course. (Guiding Principles for Business and Financial Administration, Policy 1101, http://www.yale.edu/ppdev/policy/1101/1101.pdf; Policies and Procedures for Dealing with Allegations of Academic Fraud, http://provost.yale.edu/node/732/attachment.)

  1. Respect for others

The Yale community is diverse — in race, background, age, religion, and in many other ways. The personal actions of each community member establish and maintain the culture of tolerance and respect for which we strive. While principles of free speech remain paramount at Yale, faculty and staff should respect the rights and dignity of others regardless of their differences, and must conscientiously abide by the principles of nondiscrimination adopted by the University. Harassment along sexual, racial, or political lines has no place in our community. (University Equal Opportunity Statement & Statement on Sexual Harassment, http://www.yale.edu/equalopportunity/policies/index.html; Information Technology Appropriate Use Policy, http://www.yale.edu/policy/itaup.html.)

  1. Conflicts of interest

As is more fully stated in the Yale Policy on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment, Yale faculty and staff must avoid improper conflicts of interest in conducting their work at the University. Financial conflicts of interest must be disclosed, reviewed, and appropriately managed or eliminated. Faculty and staff should demonstrate sensitivity in identifying potential conflicts of interest, whether of a financial, personal, or professional nature, and must follow the reporting and other provisions of applicable University policies. (University Policy on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment, http://www.yale.edu/provost/html/coi.html; Faculty Handbook, http://www.yale.edu/provost/handbook/; Personnel Policies and Practices Manual, Policy 505, http://www.yale.edu/ppdev/PersPracWeb/505.html.)

  1. Compliance with applicable laws and regulations

The University is in a heavily regulated environment. Compliance with laws is important as a matter of principle. Faculty and staff should also recognize that noncompliance can have severe adverse financial and other consequences, potentially affecting the reputation and operations of the entire University. Yale faculty and staff must comply rigorously with federal, state, and local laws and regulations that apply to the performance of their responsibilities at the University. All have a duty to inform themselves, through University sources and independently, about relevant legal obligations and to keep current with changes in applicable law. When in doubt about the interpretation of applicable law, they should seek advice from the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel.

  1. Compliance with applicable University policies and procedures

The University has established policies and procedures for managing its business and other operations. Some are required by law; some are prudential; and some are managerial, designed to ensure smooth and coordinated business operations. Yale faculty and staff are expected to inform themselves about and comply with applicable University policies and procedures. (See Policy compilations and links at, e.g., http://www.yale.edu/ppdev/; http://www.yale.edu/ocr/pfg/policies/index.html (Cooperative Research, for intellectual property policies); http://www.yale.edu/grants/policies and http://info.med.yale.edu/ysm/grants/policies/ (Grant and Contract Administration); http://www.yale.edu/provost/html/policies.html (Provost’s Office, for Faculty Handbook and other policy statements).

  1. Compliance with contractual, grant, and other private obligations

In the course of its operations, the University frequently undertakes contractual and other formal obligations to outside entities. These obligations are embodied, for example, in commercial contracts for the purchase of goods or services, software licenses, gift indentures, and memoranda of understanding with other organizations. Yale faculty and staff are expected to adhere closely and act in good faith with regard to all applicable private obligations assumed by the University.

  1. Individual responsibility and accountability

Yale faculty and staff should assume and exercise responsibility appropriate to their positions and roles. They are accountable to each other, to the University, and to themselves for their actions and their decisions not to act. When roles or responsibilities are unclear, they should take it upon themselves to obtain clarity. They should exercise sound business judgment in the performance of their responsibilities, to the best of their ability.

  1. Stewardship of property and funds

As stewards of University property and funds with a responsibility to contributors to the University, including federal, state, and local governments, Yale faculty and staff should treat University property with care, as if it were their own property, and must expend funds prudently. They should avoid waste and improper use, and should not use University funds, property, or facilities for their personal benefit or for the benefit of a non-University organization without proper approval. Their acts should reflect the recognition of a special obligation to use University property responsibly and consistent with the tax-exempt status conferred on the University in light of its educational, research, and clinical mission.

  1. Appropriate treatment of confidential information

In their various capacities, Yale faculty and staff become privy to confidential information of many different types. Such information may concern students, patients, employees, or research sponsors, for example, or it may be proprietary information of an enterprise licensing Yale intellectual property or otherwise subject to contractual or legislated obligations of confidentiality. Yale faculty and staff are expected to inform themselves about applicable obligations and to maintain the confidentiality of such information, safeguarding it and using it only as any applicable restrictions permit. (See HIPAA, http://info.med.yale.edu/hipaa/)

  1. Recording, allocating, and charging costs and effort

The accuracy and reliability of financial and effort reports is of paramount importance to the business operations of the University. At all times, Yale faculty and staff must record, allocate, and charge costs and effort accurately and maintain supporting documentation as required by established policies and procedures.

  1. Internal controls

Internal controls provide the keystone of sound business practices. These controls include adequate segregation of duties, diligent application of preventive and detective control systems, and conscientious compliance with authorization, reporting, and other established processes. Internal controls are critical to ensuring efficient operations, responsible financial management, accurate financial reporting, careful protection of assets, and satisfactory compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Faculty and staff are expected to maintain and support internal controls structures at the University.

  1. Gifts, gratuities, and “kickbacks”

Relationships between Yale and its vendors must be free of any taint. Yale faculty and staff should not personally accept any material gift, gratuity, or other payment, in cash or in kind, from any vendor seeking to do business with Yale or currently doing business with Yale. If questions arise about the materiality of a proposed gift or gratuity, the proposed recipient should seek advice from the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel. (See Policy 2201, Gifts from External Parties to Employees, http://www.yale.edu/ppdev/policy/2201/2201.pdf Regarding student lending relationships, see Yale Student Lending Code of Conduct and Connecticut State Financial Aid Code of Conduct, http://www.yale.edu/sfas/finaid/student-loan-info)

  1. Antitrust

Yale faculty and staff may not improperly collude with other entities in matters affecting financial decisions of the University. The University’s standards in this regard can be found in the Yale University Antitrust Compliance Guidelines at http://www.yale.edu/provost/Yale_Antitrust_Compliance.pdf.

  1. Obligation to report suspected material violations

Yale faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to report suspected material violations of these Standards, of laws and regulations, or related University policies and procedures, both to the Director of University Auditing and to a supervisor, Dean, the Controller, or the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel, depending upon the nature of the violation. Individuals charged with supervising others at the University should do so actively, making sure that supervisees have received adequate training with respect to their obligations and are meeting their obligations under these Standards. Supervisors are expected to take appropriate disciplinary action to address noncompliance. An employee shall not be disciplined or otherwise penalized for reporting, in good faith, an allegation that these Standards have been violated. (See: Institutional Resources for Guidance on the Standards of Business Conduct, http://www.yale.edu/resources/pyramid.html.)

  1. Consequences of violation

Violations of these Standards, of laws and regulations, or of related University policies and procedures may carry disciplinary consequences, up to and including dismissal.

Institutional Resources for Applying the Standards of Business Conduct

Because the University is a multifaceted institution operating in a complex environment, it may at times be difficult to know how to apply the Standards of Business Conduct in particular circumstances. To assist you in this regard, the table below lists University resources that are available if you have questions or concerns about any aspect of the Standards of Business Conduct. These are the University‘s subject matter experts in their respective areas and will address your questions and concerns professionally and discreetly.

University Department

Phone #

Academic Fraud/Research Misconduct

Provost’s Office

432-4444

Animals Used in Research/Teaching

IACUC Office

785-5992

Conflict of Interest – Faculty, Faculty Administrators, Research Staff

Conflict of Interest Office

785-4255

Conflict of Interest – Non-Faculty, Non-Research Staff

Office of the Vice President and General Counsel

432-4949

Construction/Facilities

Facilities Operations, Construction and Renovation

432-6754

Discrimination/Harassment

Human Resources

Office for Equal Opportunity Programs

432-5775

432-0849

Environmental Health & Safety*

Environmental Health & Safety*

785-3550*

Ethics

Office of the Vice President and General Counsel

432-4949

Financial Policies/Internal Controls

Controller’s Office

YSM Finance

432-5524

785-2436

Fraud

Office of the Vice President and General Counsel

University Auditing

432-4949

436-0497

Research Administration – General Concerns

Office of Research Administration

785-2518

Grants & Contracts

Grant & Contract Financial Administration

Grant & Contract Administration

785-3630

785-4689

HIPAA

University Privacy Officer

436-3560

Human Subjects in Research

Human Research Protection Program

785-4688

Information Technology

Information Technology Services

YSM Information Technology Services

432-6500

785-3200

Medical Billing

Yale Medical Group – Compliance Office

Medical Billing Hotline

785-3868

877-360-9253

Personnel Issues

Human Resources

432-5775

Security/Theft*

University Police*

432-4400*

Student Issues

Applicable Dean’s Office

See University Directory

Yale School of Medicine – Various Issues

YSM Ombudsperson

737-4100

Other

Office of the Vice President and General Counsel

University Auditing

432-4949

436-0497

For Fire/Security/Medical Emergencies or Environmental Health/Safety Emergencies, call 911 or 432-4400

Reporting Guidance and the University Hotline

Typically, a concern about a possible violation of the Standards of Business Conduct is resolved by a faculty or staff member referring the concern to a supervisor or to a person of greater authority within the University’s organizational structure. Alternatively, a member of the faculty or staff may choose to report a concern to a central University department such as Human Resources, General Counsel, Controller or University Auditing.

As another option, if a member of the faculty or staff does not feel comfortable speaking with a supervisor or other resource, or where anonymity is desired, the Yale University Hotline is available to any member of the faculty or staff to bring the concern to the University’s attention, either by calling the toll-free number at 877-360-YALE (9253) or filing an online report at www.mycompliancereport.com/yale.

Key characteristics of the Yale University Hotline are:

  • The toll-free Hotline 877-360-YALE(9253) and online reporting is available to University faculty and staff as well as the general public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.
  • Calls and reports to the Hotline are handled by a third-party vendor, not by a University employee.
  • The reporting person may provide his or her name and contact information, or may choose to remain anonymous.
  • To ensure confidentiality, calls to the Hotline are not recorded or traced.

All members of the faculty or staff should be aware that University policy prohibits retaliation against any member of the faculty or staff who in good faith reports possible violations of the Standards of Business Conduct.