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Institutional Code of Conduct

Our institution commits itself to high ethical standards. The OTC established the institutional code of conduct as a guideline for appropriate professional behavior. This code is for members of the college community to promote and enhance this goal. College actions are to reflect the interests of all internal and external stakeholders. They are also to support compliance with all legal, social and other expectations.

As a statement, individuals shall use the institutional code of conduct as a resource for decision-making processes. It applies to all individuals who are associated with the college community. Community members include faculty, staff, students, volunteers, outside providers and trustees.

Compliance, Risk Management and Institutional Effectiveness

Individuals should conduct business in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and internal policy and procedures. Examples include ethical conduct, donor gift restrictions, health and safety, human resources, intellectual property, privacy, purchasing, research, workers’ compensation, overall internal control and risk management and general institutional effectiveness.

OTC expects those individuals belonging to professions to adhere to the institutional code of conduct specific to their discipline. They should comply with this code in addition to college policies and procedures.

Only individuals who have appropriately delegated authority should enter agreements on behalf of the college.

Confidentiality and Privacy

Individuals should respect and protect information both externally and internally.

Services of the Office of Public Information and Publications include the facilitation and providing of news releases, statements and images to the news organizations for reproduction in the news media. Only the Director of Public Information, the Chancellor or their designees should release public information.

The internal or external release of personal information throughout the college should only be in those instances that are “need to know.” There are applicable laws and regulations that establish the guidelines for what constitutes “need to know.” Benchmark legislation shall include the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Graham Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), and the Missouri Revised Statutes.

Institutional surveillance should only take place in those areas where there is not an expectation of privacy.

See also OTC 4.02(q) Publications Uniformity, and 4.02(i) Computer Security.

Conflict of Commitment

Activities and economic and professional interests should be free of conflicts of interest and also of the appearance of impropriety. Individuals should not compromise professional values for personal goals, they should make an appropriate disclosure in those instances where conflicts occur. See also OTC 1.09 Conflicts of Interest and Substantial Interests Disclosure, 3.52 Inappropriate Relationships and 4.02(p) Conflict of Interest.

Finance

All entries into college records should accurately reflect each transaction.

Fraud is a misrepresentation of a fact by words, conduct or the concealment of that which should be disclosed which individuals intend to deceive another so that ethical or legal injury results as a result of the action or omission. OTC expressly prohibits acts of fraud of any kind.

Acts may be illegal or unethical and may take for the benefit of or to the detriment of individuals and the organization and by persons outside as well as inside the organization. Fraudulent acts may include, but are not limited to:

  • Alteration or falsification of documents.
    See also OTC 4.02(f) Falsification of Official Records.
  • Claims submitted for services or goods not actually provided to the organization.
  • Concealment, destruction, misappropriation or removal of assets. Note that assets include proprietary information, as well as money and tangible property such as supplies and equipment.
    See also OTC4.02(g) Protection of College Property, and 4.02(h) Care of College Property and Documents.
  • Intentional, improper representation or valuation of transactions, assets, liabilities or income.
  • Misrepresentation of facts.
  • Prohibited business activities that violate government statutes, rules, regulations or contracts.
  • Providing or accepting material benefits that are intended to unduly influence business decisions.

Human Resources

Each community member should be treated fairly and with respect. The college prohibits discrimination and harassment and provides equal opportunities for all community members, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran status and disabilities that include HIV and AIDS and other medical conditions. Bona fide occupational qualifications will be allowed in those instances where age, gender or physical requirements apply to the appropriate and efficient administration of the position.

See also OTC 3.02 Equal Employment Opportunity, 3.39 Discrimination, 3.40 Sexual Harassment, 3.47 Drug-Free Workplace, 3.52 Inappropriate Relationships, and 4.02(m) AIDS and Other Contagious Diseases.

Integrity

In those instances where business activities and other conduct of community members are not governed by specific laws or regulation, rules of fairness, genuineness, honesty, objectivity and respect for the rights of others should govern conduct.

Decision making should reflect a commitment to long-term benefit and sustainability as opposed to making improvements in short-run performance designed to provide the appearance of unrealistic immediate gain.

Business conduct should not be damaging to the reputation of the institution.

Use of College Resources

Resources should be used for business purposes on behalf of the college and should not be used for personal use except in a manner that is incidental and reasonable.

See also OTC 6.06 Loan of Equipment and 6.07 Personal Use of District Employees by Other District Employees.

Violations

Adherence to the institutional code of conduct involves communicating suspected violations of applicable standards, policies or laws. Speaking to concerns about adverse behavior is a service to the college, and the reporting of activities is not to jeopardize employment.

Reporting should normally be made initially through standard management levels. Other contact offices include: human resources, safety and security, sexual harassment and compliance and internal audit. Confirmed instances of violation are subject to disciplinary action.

2/13/06

-Institutional Code of Conduct

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