POL - 80.01.2 NCCU Employee Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy

Board of Trustees
Responsible Office:
Human Resources
Office of Human Resources, 919-530-5214, [email protected]
Effective Date: April 28, 2021 (BOT Approval)

1. Purpose

The NCCU Employee Code of Conduct and Ethics (“Code of Conduct”) is intended to serve as a guide regarding the decision-making, behavior and performance of all individuals acting on behalf of North Carolina Central University (“NCCU” or “University”). The Code of Conduct outlines the professional standards and expectations of NCCU employees. The Code of Conduct does not address every situation in the daily conduct of the University’s many varied activities, nor can it substitute for individual judgment, personal integrity or common sense. All University employees are enjoined to adhere to legal, moral, and professional standards of conduct in the fulfillment of their professional responsibilities. The conduct of individuals acting on behalf of the University affects public perception and trust in the institution. Individuals are expected to act in the best interest of the University and to not use their office for their personal benefit.

2. Scope

This Code of Conduct applies to all employees at every level of the University, including senior leadership and other administrators, faculty, staff (full-time or part-time), student and temporary employees.
Employees also have a responsibility to ensure, to the best of their ability, that contractors, vendors, and volunteers act with the same integrity and ethical standards in their dealings with or on behalf of the University. The University shall cease to do business with or seek the services of those individuals or entities that refuse to adhere to the expectations set forth in the Code of Conduct.

3. Expectations

3.1 Personal Standards

3.1.1 Employees of the University shall maintain and demonstrate a courteous and professional demeanor in all public and personal relationships to merit the respect, trust, and confidence of governing officials, other officials, employees, and of the public.

3.1.2 Employees shall devote their time, skills, and energy to their office, both independently and in cooperation with other employees and professionals.

3.1.3 Employees shall abide by any approved professional practices and recommended standards applicable to their respective offices.

3.2 Responsibility as Public Employees

3.2.1 Employees shall recognize and be accountable for their responsibilities to their respective office/position.

3.2.2 Employees shall be responsive to the rights of University members and those individuals or entities with whom the University conducts business.

3.2.3 Employees shall exercise good judgment and integrity in their respective positions and avoid any such activities that would be detrimental to the reputation of the University.

3.2.4 Employees shall uphold both the letter and the spirit of the constitutions of the United States of America and the State of North Carolina, as well as any legislation and regulations governing their actions and report violations of the law to the appropriate authorities.

3.2.5 Employees shall respect and be in compliance with all applicable University policies, regulations, rules, procedures, and other forms of guidance. The Code of Conduct is supplemental to, and not in lieu of, specific policies, regulations, rules and procedures of NCCU and other codes of conduct enforced within specific departments or units of the University. Employees must perform their duties in accordance with all such applicable directives.

3.3 Professional Development

3.3.1 Employees shall be responsible for maintaining the requisite knowledge to adequately fulfill the roles of their office.

3.3.2 Employees must maintain, protect, and be responsible stewards of the property and assets of the University, including but not limited to, its intellectual property and proprietary information, data, facilities, equipment, supplies, and University funds.

3.4 Professional Integrity – Information

3.4.1 Employees shall demonstrate professional integrity in the issuance and management of information.

3.4.2 Employees shall not knowingly sign, subscribe to, or permit the issuance of any statement or report which contains any misstatement or which omits any material fact.

3.4.3 Employees shall respect and protect privileged and/or confidential information to which they have access by virtue of their office.

3.4.4 Employees shall report concerns about improper conduct to their direct supervisor or another appropriate NCCU office or official in good faith without fear of retaliation. There shall be no retaliation for reports of potential noncompliance, concerns, or questions.

3.4.5 Employees shall cooperate fully with inquiries, audits, and investigations conducted by any department on campus, including, but not limited to, the Office of Internal Audit, the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs and the Office of Legal Affairs.

3.4.6 Regarding internal audits conducted by the Office of Internal Audit, employees should be particularly mindful of the provisions of N.C. General Statute §143-749 (Obstruction of audit), which provides that it shall be a Class 2 misdemeanor for any officer, employee, or agent of a State agency, to willfully make or cause to be made to a State agency internal auditor or the internal auditor's designated representatives, any false, misleading, or unfounded report for the purpose of interfering with the performance of any audit, special review, or investigation or to hinder or obstruct the State agency internal auditor or the internal auditor's designated representatives in the performance of their duties.

3.5 Professional Integrity – Relationships

3.5.1 Employees shall act with honor and integrity in all professional relationships.

3.5.2 Employees shall exhibit loyalty and trust in the affairs and interests of the University, within the confines of this Code of Conduct.

3.5.3 Employees shall not knowingly be a party to or condone any illegal or improper activity.

3.5.4 Employees in a leadership role shall manage all personnel matters within the scope of their authority so that fairness and impartiality govern their decisions.

3.5.5 Employees shall promote equal employment opportunities, and in doing so, oppose any discrimination, harassment, or other unfair practices.

3.6 Conflict of Interest

3.6.1 Employees shall actively avoid the appearance of or the actual existence of a conflict of interest.

3.6.2 Employees shall discharge their duties without favor and shall refrain from engaging in any outside matters of financial or personal interest incompatible with the impartial and objective performance of their duties.

3.6.3 Employees shall not, directly or indirectly, seek or accept personal gain, which would influence, or appear to influence, the conduct of their official duties.

3.6.4 Employees shall disclose and appropriately manage conflicts of interest. Each employee has a duty to adhere to applicable NCCU and UNC System policies regarding conflicts of interest or commitment and must report actual or perceived conflicts that have the potential to adversely affect the University’s interests, to compromise objectivity in carrying out University responsibilities, or otherwise compromise the performance of University responsibilities.

4. Violations

Employees who violate the provisions of the Code of Conduct will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, consistent with applicable policies, regulations and rules of the University.