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Eckerd College
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St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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Human Resources

Human Resources

Policies and Procedures

Code of Conduct

Effective 2/27/13

Introduction

As members of the College community, all employees are responsible for sustaining the highest ethical standards of the institution, and of the broader community in which we function. The College values integrity, honesty, and fairness and strives to integrate these values into its teaching, research and business practices. The College’s policies are intended to promote:

  • Honest conduct, including the ethical handling of actual or apparent conflicts of interest between personal and professional relationships;
  • Full, fair, and understandable disclosure in financial reporting;
  • Compliance with applicable College, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations;
  • Internal reporting to the appropriate parties for violations of the code;

Definitions

  1. "College" means Eckerd College.
  2. "Policy" means the written regulations of the College as found in, but not limited to, the Employee Code of Conduct and all other College Policies
  3. "Adverse employment action" shall be defined as actions including: discharge, demotion, suspension, being threatened or harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against with respect to compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment.

Proscribed Conduct

A. Harassment and Discrimination

Eckerd College is committed to fostering an environment that supports respect for individual and academic freedom and in which all members of the community can pursue careers and study free from harassment. The College prohibits discrimination, including harassment, against another community member, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, administrators, and independent contractors, on political grounds, or for reasons of race, religion, sex, age, disability, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation and any other basis prohibited by state, federal, and/or local law. Where actions are found to have occurred that violate this standard, the College will take action to cease the offending conduct, prevent its recurrence, and discipline those responsible.

Threats, intimidation, physical contact, physical abuse, harassment, coercion, and any other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person are strictly prohibited.

B. Confidential Information

College employees are required to respect individuals’ rights to privacy and to treat as confidential all information supplied to them on that basis. Eckerd prohibits disclosure of confidential information obtained from official records, either during or after employment with the College (unless an employee is authorized to do so). Such information includes:

  • Personal and official information about students which should be treated in accord with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • A confidentiality agreement will be signed by administrative offices that have access to personal and financial information about past, current, and prospective donors, as well as information about specific gifts and donations from alumni and other friends
  • Information regarding the College’s business transactions

C. Conduct – Rules and Regulations for Staff

Employees are required to comply with basic standards of conduct and professionalism as members of the College community. Failure to comply with the Employee Code may result in further action as outlined in section 5-10 of the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual. This list is non-exhaustive and the College reserves the right to discipline staff for conduct not listed below:

  • Neglect of duty and/or lack of due care and/or diligence in the performance of duties
  • Unsatisfactory job performance or failure to maintain reasonable standards of performance
  • Poor attitude and discourtesy toward others (for example, rudeness or lack of cooperation)
  • Excessive absenteeism or tardiness, or an unacceptable pattern of absences
  • Insubordination, including refusal to comply with a supervisor’s instructions unless the instructions are illegal, endangering, or unethical
  • Unauthorized use of the College’s name or letterhead for personal business
  • Theft, misappropriation, and/or unauthorized possession or removal of property belonging to the College, members of the College community, or other persons with whom the College has a business relationship
  • Concealing, falsifying, altering, misusing, or removing records, including electronic data records
  • Direct or indirect misuse of College resources, including property leased to the College, for other than officially approved activities (including, but not limited to, employees, facilities, mail service, supplies, equipment, and College computing and communication resources, including computers, networks, electronic mail services, electronic information sources, voicemail, telephone services, and other communication resources)
  • Violation of any section of the Code of Conduct Policy
  • Unauthorized or excessive use of alcohol while on College premises or working for the College
  • Staff members must comply with all federal laws, state laws, agreements with third parties, and College policies and principles pertaining to the use, protection, and disclosure of various types of confidential, proprietary, and private information. Such policies apply even after the staff member’s relationship with the institution ends
  • Violation of the Consensual Relationship Policy (section 1-16A of the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual)
  • Misuse or abuse of College resources, including funds, equipment and/or facilities
  • Attempted or actual theft, unauthorized possession, and/or damage to property of the College, any person, or any other entity
  • Unauthorized possession or use on the College premises of any weapon, dangerous instruments, explosive devices, fireworks, or dangerous chemicals
  • Unauthorized use of institutional resources or facilities for personal, commercial, political, or other improper purposes
  • Conviction of criminal acts which demonstrate unfitness as a staff member, including, but not limited, to crimes of moral turpitude
  • Possession, distribution, sale or use, or being under the influence of, illegal drugs while on College premises, participating in College-sponsored activities, representing the College, or performing job duties
  • Interference with disciplinary procedures, including but not limited to destroying or concealing evidence, providing false or misleading information, intimidation of witnesses, or inducing a witness to provide or withhold information or provide false information.

D. Standards for Faculty

Faculty are required to comply with basic standards of conduct and professionalism as members of the College community, as stipulated under "The Role of Tenure at Eckerd College": "The tenured faculty member has the obligation to serve as a model of academic excellence and personal integrity to his/her students and colleagues, and to act always with a sense of responsibility to the well-being of the college and the search for truth."

Standards governing academic excellence and personal integrity for all categories of faculty are detailed in The Personnel Policies & Procedures Manual: "The Role of Tenure at Eckerd College"  and "Auxiliary Employment."

E. Conflicts of Interest

College employees shall be prepared to assist in the clarification of possible conflicts of interest that may arise in their individual departments, and to this end shall refrain from accepting duties, incurring obligations, accepting gifts or favors of monetary value, or engaging in private business or professional activities where there is, or would appear to be, a conflict between the employee’s private interests and the interests of the Eckerd College. Confidence in the College and its employees is put at risk when the conduct of an individual involves, or appears to involve, a conflict between his or her private interests and those of the institution.

College employees are to avoid specific actions that represent a clear conflict of interest:

  • Eckerd employees should not accept or solicit anything of value that might be perceived as influencing their College employment.
  • Eckerd employees are prohibited from corruptly using or attempting to use their position to obtain a special benefit or privilege for themselves or others.
  • Eckerd employees who participate in the decision making process involving a purchase request or who influence the content of any specification or procurement standard, or who render advice, investigation, or auditing, regarding his/her agency's contract for services, are prohibited from being employed with the person holding such a contract with Eckerd.

F. Internal Controls

All levels of management are responsible for establishing and maintaining proper internal controls that provide security and accountability for the resources entrusted to each department, unit, or subdivision.

All levels of management should be familiar with the risks and exposures inherent in their areas of responsibility and be alert for any indications of improper activities, misappropriation, or dishonest activity.

Reporting Suspected Wrongful Conduct

The general purpose of this section of the Code of Conduct policy is to set forth Eckerd College’s policy on disclosure of misconduct and to protect individuals from retaliation in the form of an adverse employment action for disclosing what they believe evidences certain unlawful or unethical practices. This policy is applicable to all employees of the College.

I. Reporter Protection

Eckerd will use its best efforts to protect employees reporting fraudulent or dishonest conduct against retaliation. Eckerd College does not guarantee confidentiality. The College will keep the reporter’s identity confidential, unless: (1) the person agrees to be identified; (2) identification is necessary to allow Eckerd College or law enforcement officials to investigate or respond effectively to the report; (3) identification is required by law; or (4) the person accused is entitled to the information as a matter of legal right in disciplinary proceedings.

The College is the recipient of federal funds awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Act).  Section 1553 of the Act provides protections for certain individuals who make specific disclosures about uses of Recovery Act funds. Please follow this link and see the posters below for rights and remedies.

Recovery Act Fraud Hotline
Know Your Rights Under the Recovery Act 

II. Reporting Procedure

The College has a responsibility to investigate and report to appropriate parties allegations of suspected improper activities, and to protect those employees who, in good faith, report these activities to the appropriate authority. A complaint procedure has been established for employees to report concerns about accounting, internal control, auditing matters, or other sections of this policy. 

The approved process for reporting suspected wrongful conduct is as follows:

  • Employees wishing to file a complaint about misconduct can call the President of the College. The President’s telephone number for this purpose is 1-727-864-8211.
  • The President or his/her designee shall consider the disclosure and take whatever action he or she determines to be appropriate under the law and circumstances of the disclosure.
  • In the case of disclosure of misconduct which involves or potentially involves the President of the College, the disclosure may be directed to the Chairperson of the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees. The Chairperson of the Audit Committee shall consider the disclosure and take whatever action he or she determines to be appropriate under the law and circumstances of the disclosure. The Chairperson of the Audit Committee is John G. Finneran, Jr. who can be reached at john.finneran@capitalone.com or 703-720-1035.
  • Reasonable care should be taken in dealing with suspected misconduct to avoid:
    • Baseless allegations
    • Reporting as fraudulent or dishonest differences of opinion regarding such day-to-day human resource issues as evaluation, promotion, raises and/or disciplinary actions
    • Premature notice to persons suspected of misconduct and/or disclosure of suspected misconduct to others not involved with the investigation.
    • Violations of a person’s rights under the law

III. Retaliation

The College does not support or condone retaliation against an employee that files a grievance, complaint, or report for violations of law, rule, policy, or other misconduct. Employees that come forward with a concern about a practice that they believe, in good faith, to be a violation of law, rule, policy, or otherwise constitute misconduct should be treated courteously and respectfully.

If an employee believes that he or she has been retaliated against in the form of adverse employment action for reporting possible misconduct under this policy, he or she may file a written complaint with the office of Human Resources. The complaint shall be filed within a time period not to exceed 90 days from the day of occurrence. Complaints should be in writing and shall include:

  • Name and work address of the complainant;
  • Name and title of the official(s) against whom the complaint is made;
  • The specific type(s) of adverse employment action(s) taken;
  • The specific date(s) on which the adverse employment action(s) were taken;
  • A clear and concise statement of the facts that form the basis of the complaint;
  • A clear and concise statement of the complainant's explanation of how his or her report of possible misconduct is related to the adverse employment action; and
  • A clear and concise statement of the remedy sought by the complainant

Within sixty (60) calendar days of receipt of complaint, the office of Human Resources shall consider the written complaint, shall conduct, or have conducted an investigation which, in his or her judgment, is consistent with the circumstances of the complaint and disclosure, and shall report to the complainant the conclusions of the investigation absent overriding legal or public interest reasons. The identity of the complainant and the subject of the complaint shall be kept confidential to the extent possible within the legitimate needs of law and the investigation.

IV. False Allegations of Wrongful Conduct

Any employee who knowingly makes false allegations of alleged wrongful conduct shall be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment, in accordance with College policies and procedures.