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WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION

About This Policy

Responsible Officer
University President

Policy Owner
Director of Human Resources

Policy Contact
Kate Ketterling

Issued
2019-09-12

Policy Statement


North Central University encourages all members of the university community, acting in good faith, to immediately report suspected or actual misconduct. The university considers such reporting, inquiring, or participating in an associated investigation to be protected activities in which all members of the university community may freely engage. Individuals who, knowingly or intentionally, file a false report or provide false or misleading information in connection with an investigation may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, or expulsion.

Retaliation
The university prohibits any form of retaliation against any individual because of the individual’s good faith participation in reporting or otherwise expressing opposition to, suspected or alleged misconduct, or participating in any process designed to review or investigate suspected or alleged misconduct or noncompliance with applicable policies, rules, and laws. No employee will be adversely affected because they refused to carry out a directive which constitutes fraud or is a violation of local, state, federal or other applicable laws and regulations.

Individuals who believe that retaliation is occurring or has occurred, as a result of their good faith participation, must report those acts to the appropriate university administrator. Any university community member who engages in retaliation may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment status or expulsion.

Confidentiality
The Office of Human Resources and individuals who receive concerns of misconduct including those concerns are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the concerns to the extent allowed by law. The Office of Human Resources will hold documentation of concerns received confidential to the extent allowed by the law. Information about reports, including the outcome of any review of those reports, are shared on a need-to-know basis or as otherwise required by law. The university president will determine when a public report will be issued.

Reason For Policy


North Central University is committed to operating with fairness and integrity and expects members of its community to act legally, honestly, and ethically. The purpose of this policy is to promote an academic, research, and work environment that encourages community members to report any activity they believe in good faith to be wrongful or unlawful.

Policy Scope


This policy applies to all university faculty, staff, students, volunteers, visiting scholars, contractors, visiting researchers, consultants and other individuals who work or visit the university campus.

Forms


  • There are no forms associated with this policy.

Appendices


  • There are no appendices associated with this policy.

Additional Contacts

SubjectContactPhoneEmail
Primary ContactKate Ketterling612.343.4442kaketter@northcentral.edu
All claims of retaliationOffice of Human Resources612.343.4442hr@northcentral.edu
Claims of misconductOffice of Human Resources612.343.4442hr@northcentral.edu
Sexual harassment, discrimination, or equal opportunity claimsKate Ketterling, Title IX Coordinator612.343.4442titleix@northcentral.edu

Breach of data privacy or securityNathan Stuart, Associate Director of IT612.343.4170incident@northcentral.edu
Scholarly misconductGreg Leeper, Chief Academic Officer612.343.4161provost@northcentral.edu
Misuse of university fundsBrian Li, Chief Financial Officer612.343.4165bdli@northcentral.edu
Environment, health, or safety issuesJordan Robertson, Executive Director of Operations612.343.4440jmrobert@northcentral.edu
NCAA violationsSteph Jeska, Associate Director of Athletics612.343.3542sfjeska@northcentral.edu

Definitions


Adverse Action
Any action that might deter a reasonable person from engaging in reporting suspected or alleged misconduct, expressing opposition to alleged misconduct, participating in an investigation related to a misconduct allegation, or accessing the Office for Conflict Resolution services. Examples of adverse action include, but are not limited to: impeding the individual’s academic advancement; departing from any customary academic or employment practice regarding the individual; firing, refusing to hire, or refusing to promote the individual; transferring or assigning the individual to a lesser position in terms of wages, hours, job classification, job security, employment or academic status; and threatening or marginalizing an individual. In some situations, retaliatory conduct may also include inappropriate disclosure of the identity of the individual who has made a complaint protected by this policy.

Community Life Standards
North Central University’s baseline standards for its community members.

Good Faith Participation
Reporting, or otherwise expressing opposition to, misconduct based on a reasonable belief that misconduct has occurred. Or, honestly participating in an investigation of misconduct or accessing conflict resolution services.

Investigation
The steps taken to analyze all relevant information regarding suspected or alleged misconduct and then determine whether sufficient evidence exists to find that misconduct occurred.

Misconduct
A violation of university policy; a violation of applicable state and federal laws; or the use of university property, resources, or authority for personal gain or other non-university-related purpose except as provided under university policy.

Protected Activities
Protected activities: include (i) reporting (whether internally or externally) or inquiring, in good faith, about suspected wrongful or unlawful activity; (ii) assisting others in making such a report; or (iii) participating in an investigation or proceeding related to suspected wrongful or unlawful activity.

Report in Good Faith
A report made with an honest and reasonable belief that a university-related violation of law or policy or other instance of non-compliance or related misconduct may have occurred.

Retaliation
Adverse action against an individual because she or he has made a protected disclosure or has participated in an investigation, proceeding or hearing involving a protected disclosure.

Protected Disclosure
Communication about actual or suspected misconduct engaged in by a university employee, student volunteer, agent, or contractor (who is not also the disclosing individual) based on a good faith and reasonable belief that the conduct has both occurred and is wrongful under applicable law and/or university policy.

University Community Member
All university faculty, staff, students, volunteers, visiting scholars, contractors, visiting researchers, consultants and other individuals who work or visit the university campus.

Responsibilities


University Community Members
Report in good faith concerns about misconduct and retaliation. Be truthful and cooperative in investigations of alleged retaliation.

Directors and Supervisors
Follow procedures for handling reported concerns. Escalate reports to appropriate university staff as needed.

Deans and Vice Presidents
Ensure timely follow-up and resolution of reported retaliation in the respective college or unit. Ensure that retaliation in response to the good faith reporting of violations of law or university policy does not occur. Ensure that supervisory staff are appropriately trained on how to prevent retaliation.

Office of Human Resources

  • Accept and investigate protected disclosures regarding employment matters and take action as needed.
  • Accept and investigate complaints of retaliation for making protected disclosures and take action as needed.
  • Maintain findings of misconduct or false allegations.
  • Provide training for managers and departments about this policy.
  • Provide information about this policy during New Employee Orientation and Human Resource Professional training.

Departments

  1. Familiarize employees, students, and volunteers with this policy and incorporate into your orientation materials.
  2. Implement action steps as necessary after the investigation.
  3. Schedule training for leaders, supervisors and manage

RELATED INFORMATION


Related Policies & Procedures

History


Issued
2019-09-12