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Ethics

Employment by Virginia Union University® carries with it a responsibility to be constantly aware of ethical conduct. Employees must refrain from taking part in, or exerting influence in, any transaction in which their own interests may conflict with the best interests of the University. Exactly what constitutes a conflict of interest or an unethical business practice is both a moral and a legal question.

The University recognizes and respects the individual employee’s right to engage in activities outside of his/her employment which are private in nature and do not in any way conflict with or reflect poorly on the University. Management reserves the right, however, to determine when an employee’s activities represent a conflict with the University’s interest and to take whatever action is necessary to resolve the situation, including terminating the employee.

It is not possible in a general policy statement of this sort to define all the various circumstances and relationships that would be considered “unethical”.  The list below suggests some of the types of activity that would reflect in a negative way on the employee’s personal integrity or that would limit his/her ability to discharge job duties and responsibilities in an ethical manner:

  • Conducting University business with a firm in which the employee, or a close relative of the employee, has a substantial ownership or interest.
  • Holding a substantial interest in, or participating in the management of, a firm from which the University makes substantial purchases.
  • Accepting substantial personal gifts or excessive entertainment from an outside organization or agency that does business with the University.
  • Speculating or dealing in materials, supplies, services, or property purchased by the University.
  • Participating in civic or professional organization activities in a manner whereby confidential University information is divulged.
  • Misusing privileged information or revealing confidential data to outsiders.
  • Using one’s position in the University or knowledge of University affairs for personal gain.
  • Engaging in practices or procedures that violate Anti-Trust Laws or other policies, procedures and regulations of the University. Engaging in any of these activities could lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Virginia Union University® requires its employees to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. As employees and representatives of the University, we must practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling our responsibilities and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

II. Reporting Responsibility It is the responsibility of all employees to comply with and to report violations or suspected violations of the VUU’s Ethical Standards, VUU policies, or laws in accordance with this policy.

III. No Retaliation No employee who in good faith reports a violation of VUU’s Ethical Standards, VUU policies, or law shall suffer harassment, retaliation or adverse employment consequence. An employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a violation in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment. This Whistleblower Policy is intended to encourage and enable employees and others to raise serious concerns within VUU prior to seeking resolution outside the University.

IV. Reporting Violations Employees should share their questions, concerns, suggestions or complaints with someone who can address them properly. In most cases, employees, contractors and volunteers should report to the Human Resources Director. However, if an employee is not comfortable speaking with the Human Resources Director or is not satisfied with the response, that employee is encouraged to report to any Director or Vice President of the University.

V. Acting in Good Faith 18 Any good faith report, concern or complaint is fully protected by this policy, even if the report, question or concern is, after investigation, not substantiated. Anyone filing a complaint concerning a violation or suspected violation must be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates a violation of VUU’s Ethical Standards, VUU policy, or law. Any allegations that prove not to be substantiated and have been made maliciously or with knowledge that they were false will be treated as a serious disciplinary offense.

VI. Confidentiality Upon the request of the complainant, VUU will use its best efforts to protect the confidentiality of the complainant for any good faith report. Violations or suspected violations may be submitted on a confidential basis by the complainant or may be submitted anonymously. Reports of violations or suspected violations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.

VII. Handling of Reported Violations All reports will be promptly investigated and appropriate corrective action will be taken if warranted by the investigation. The complainant will be informed that follow-up has or is occurring within two weeks after the Human Resources Director or University official has received the complaint or report. The President of the University shall be informed of all such complaints or reports.