Code of Ethics Policy

Wilkes University is dedicated to the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct and complies with all applicable laws and regulations related to all University affairs.

In order to maintain this dedication, all Wilkes University employees are required to maintain the same ethical standards and principles when conducting University business in a manner that excludes considerations of personal advantage or gain.

Some essential principles of responsible and professional behavior for all Wilkes University employees include (but are not limited to), honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, dignity, respect and fairness in dealing with others, a sense of responsibility toward others and loyalty to the ethical principles promoted by the University through our mission, vision and values.

Employee Expectations

This listing serves as an example of the principles of the Code of Ethics policy for employees and is not intended to be all inclusive. For the purpose of this document, employee(s) is defined as any faculty, staff or student who is employed by the University on a full-time, part-time, hourly or adjunct basis.

  • Employees have the obligation to respect, and to be fair to colleagues, students and employees they supervise, and to foster their intellectual and professional growth.
  • Employees must not engage in, nor permit, harassment and/or illegal discrimination.
  • Employees must not abuse their authority.
  • Employees must ensure that personal relationships do not result in situations that might interfere with objective judgment.
  • Employees are expected to conscientiously fulfill their obligations toward students, advisees, colleagues and performing their duties as part of the University community. Workplace and educational experiences must impart ethical standards of professional conduct through instruction and example.
  • Supervisors must ensure that their direct reports are informed about and comply with workplace regulations regarding health and safety; University Policies and Procedures and all applicable federal, state and local laws.
  • Employees are expected to understand and adhere to all University policies and procedures and comply with Local, State and Federal laws.
  • Employees involved in the maintenance of private human resources and/or student information must comply with all Local, State and Federal laws.
  • Employees are expected to maintain and protect the privacy of the University’s collected data and rights to intellectual property.
  • Employees should not have any interest (financial or otherwise, direct or indirect) or engage in any business, transaction or professional activity that substantially conflicts or could be perceived by others to conflict with the proper execution of their University responsibilities.
  • Employees are expected to spend funds provided for research / grants in ways consistent with the funding documents and in compliance with the guidelines on allowable costs.
  • To ensure compliance with University policies and procedures, employees with budgetary responsibilities are obligated to monitor expenditure records and allow these records to be viewed by appropriate parties. All Departmental files are the property of the University.
  • Employees in a position which requires certification or licensure are required to maintain the required credentials to continue employment in their position.
  • Employees should not use or attempt to use their official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for themselves or others.
  • Employees should not act on behalf of the University in any matter with direct or indirect personal financial interest that might impair their objectivity or independent judgment.
  • Employees should not undertake any employment or service, whether compensated or not, that would reasonably impair their ability to perform their official duties.
  • Employees should not offer, accept or solicit any gift, favor, service, or other item of value which might be construed to be given or offered to influence business decisions.
  • Employees should not use their position or employment or any information not generally available to members of the public for the purpose of securing financial gain for themselves or others.
  • Full time employees have a full-time responsibility and obligation to the University and may only engage in outside employment if it does not: constitute a conflict of interest; occur at a time when the employee is expected to perform their Wilkes University duties; or diminish efficiency in performing their primary work obligation.
  • Employees and/or their partners, and/or any corporation controlled by or owned/controlled by more than 5% interest of stock or more than 5% interest in the capital of a partnership or other business entity—shall not knowingly undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale or purchase with the University except when the contract, agreement, sale or purchase, is provided for by University Policies which includes competitive bidding.
  • Employees shall not directly or indirectly use or seek to use the authority or influence of their position to control or modify the political action of another person.
  • Employees shall not engage in political activity during working hours. Employees retain the right to vote as they choose and to express opinions on political subjects and candidates.
  • Employees shall not engage in the use of commissions, bonuses, or other incentive payment programs given to employees or contractors for the purpose of securing enrollments of Service members.
  • University resources, including but not limited to financial assets, facilities, equipment, supplies, materials, or services may only be used for University purposes. Employees are prohibited from using University resources for personal gain.

Compliance with Code of Ethics

All University employees are provided with a copy of The Code of Ethics policy during the annual performance appraisal process. To acknowledge receipt and understanding of the Code, employees must sign a compliance agreement at that time. Employees with questions or concerns or the need for additional guidance should contact their supervisor, department director or Human Resources to discuss.
Code of ethics policies will be incorporated into the faculty and staff performance reviews as acknowledgement and commitment by all employees to standards and principles of the code. Employees with questions, concerns or who require additional guidance should contact their supervisor or organization director for further discussion.

Reporting Suspected Violations or Concerns

Employees must adhere to the standards in this policy, recognize policy violations and report any violations or suspected violations/ concerns to their immediate supervisor or department head. The University recognizes that employees may not always feel comfortable reporting alleged violations of this policy to a supervisor or Human Resources. The University has established a confidential reporting mechanism to ensure all employees have the opportunity to make a report without revealing their identity (see Confidential Reporting Mechanism ). Failure to make a report may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Upon receiving a report, Human Resources, in conjunction with the appropriate department head(s) and Legal Counsel (when applicable), will investigate all alleged Code violations and take appropriate action(s) at the conclusion of the investigation. Disciplinary actions for code violations or retaliation against those reporting a possible violation will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may include termination of employment. Human Resources will maintain all investigatory records.

Effective Date: 2/1/2004
Revision Date: 1/26/2023
Reviewed: 1/26/2023