March 15, 2007
Vol. 26 No. 12

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    Hotline addresses compliance issues

    The University has instituted a Whistleblower Hotline to provide employees with an additional means to report compliance concerns.

    In an e-mail sent to all University employees, Donald Reaves, Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer, wrote: “Each of us is obligated to know what to do and to do what is right. Unfortunately, occasionally an employee’s actions may be inadvertently or intentionally inappropriate. It is the responsibility of employees who are aware of inappropriate actions to make sure the University is aware so the situation can be properly addressed.”

    Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the hotline can be reached at (800) 971-4317. The hotline is intended to supplement existing reporting options, which include reviewing applicable policies, seeking departmental help, contacting an organizational executive and communicating with an institutional resource. Additionally, the University emphasizes that the optimal method to address compliance concerns is through an ongoing dialogue with one’s supervisor.

    Professionals trained to investigate compliance concerns with University rules and regulations staff the hotline. Concerns regarding the misappropriation of University assets, accounting irregularities and fraud also will be investigated. Each call results in a report sent to Internal Audit and Legal Counsel within one business day.

    The University’s Whistleblower policy prohibits retaliation against any employee who, in good faith, reports an instance of suspected wrongdoing.

    The hotline is for compliance issues only and should not be used for employee grievances (such as complaints regarding wages, hours or working conditions). Those who have employee grievances can contact the University’s Human Resources Employee/Labor Relations Office.

    Whistleblower hotlines are becoming increasingly more common at universities; Northwestern, Columbia and DePaul universities are among those that have instituted similar programs. Secure complaint mechanisms are encouraged by federal legislation, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.