Procedure 3-34

Ethics and Standards of Conduct

Responsible Officer: Vice President for Human Resources

Sponsoring Department: Human Resources

Revision Date: 08 August 2011

Errors or changes to: aim@uta.edu

Procedures
  1. Policy

    High ethical standards and compliance with the law are of critical importance to The University of Texas at Arlington. It is our obligation to the State of Texas, the UT System Board of Regents and ourselves to be good stewards of the resources that have been entrusted to us.

    Employees shall adhere to the laws, rules, regulations, and policies of applicable governmental and institutional authorities and the following standards of conduct. Failure to do so may be grounds for disciplinary action, immediate suspension or dismissal.

    • Employees shall maintain a working knowledge of all laws, rules, regulations, policies and procedures of related job obligations, duties and responsibilities.

    • Employees shall notify their supervisor, the University's Compliance and Ethics Officer, or the Ethics Hotline (by phone at 1-877-507-7314 or online) of all suspected ethical violations, fraud or breach of the Standards of Conduct. Employees who contact the Ethics Hotline may remain anonymous if they choose, but be aware that in some instances, anonymity may hinder a thorough investigation.

    • Employees of the University of Texas at Arlington may not have a direct or indirect interest, financial or otherwise, in a corporation or business, engaging in a professional activity, or incurring an obligation of any nature that is in substantial conflict with or might reasonably tend to influence the performance of their official duties at UT Arlington.

    • Employees shall furnish in a timely manner such written disclosures (direct or indirect interest) as may be required by state and federal authorities, UT System or University requirements. All employees are required to complete the Outside Employment and Outside Board Service Form annually. Additionally, all DEFINE Account Administrators and athletic coaches are requires to complete the Financial disclosure and Conflict of Interest Form by April 30 of each year.

    • Employees shall not accept other outside employment or dual employment or compensation that could reasonably be expected to impair the employee's independence of judgment in the performance of the employee's public duties.

    • If an employee is contacted by the media regarding official University business or an Institutional Policy matter, please direct the media representative to contact University Communications and to ask for a media relations officer for assistance.

    • If an employee is served with a warrant or a subpoena regarding official UT Arlington business, you should immediately contact the Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller for further instructions.

    • Employees shall cooperate fully with all University inquiries or investigations related to any suspected violations of the laws, of the State of Texas, Rules and Regulations of the University of Texas System, and/or the policies of The University of Texas at Arlington or any laws, rules, regulations, or policies affecting the operations of the University.

    • Employees are not authorized to sign a contract or agreement, including a gift agreement, which claims to bind UT Arlington unless that employee has official written delegated authority to do so. Only the University's President can delegate this authority.

    • Employees shall not accept or solicit any gift, favor, or service that might reasonably tend to influence the employee in the discharge of their official duties or that the employee knows or should know is being offered with the intent or influence to influence the employee's official conduct.

    • Employees are not authorized to accept gifts or endowments on behalf of the University. The Development Office handles this process.

    • An employee must not solicit, accept, or agree to accept any benefit from a person the employee knows may have a business relationship with UT Arlington or UT System except as permitted under Texas Penal Code Section 36.10.

    • Employees shall not disclose confidential information gained by reason of his or her official position or otherwise use such information for his or her personal gain or benefit. Unless specifically exempted from disclosure by the Attorney General or made confidential by law, all documents collected, assembled, or maintained by UT Arlington in the regular course of business are available to the public under the terms and conditions of the Texas Public Information Act. Requests for documents under the Texas Public Information Act should be made to the Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller.

    • Employees shall not transact any business in an official capacity with any business entity of which the employee is an officer, agent, or member, or which the employee owns a substantial interest.

    • Employees shall not make personal investments that could reasonably be expected to create a substantial conflict between the employee's private interest and the public interest.

    • Employees are not allowed to support or oppose legislation (orally or in writing) as representatives of UT Arlington. Additionally, political contributions from any source of University funds are prohibited.

    • Sexual Harassment and Misconduct: Sexual misconduct and sexual harassment are unacceptable behaviors. Such unacceptable behavior includes verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Incidents of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment should be reported to Equal Opportunity Services.

    Additional information can be found in A Standards of Conduct Guide for Employees.

  2. Use of State Resources

    The Law: State officers or employees commit a criminal offense if they intentionally or knowingly misapply any "thing of value" belonging to the government that is in their custody or possession as a result of their state employment in order to obtain a benefit or to harm another person.

    1. Telephone and Electronic Mail: Telephones and email are to be used for institutional purposes. Incidental use for local personal calls or messages, not interfering with work responsibility, however, is not a misapplication of state resources. Personal long distance telephone calls should not be charged to the institution and must be reimbursed by the employee if charged inadvertently. UT Arlington telephone logs, records, and email are public property and may be subject to open information requests.

    2. Equipment and Supplies: State-issued machines, office supplies, and other equipment are to be used for institutional purposes only, not for personal or private purposes.

    3. UT Arlington Vehicles: No UT Arlington employee shall use any UT Arlington vehicle for any purpose other than official business of the institution.

    4. Employee Time: Employee work time is a "thing of value" belonging to the state. Employees may not use work time for personal business.

    5. Political Campaigns and Elections: An employee shall not use institutional time, funds, equipment, or other resources to work on a political campaign or to influence the passage or defeat of legislation.

    6. Expense Claims: Vouchers for travel expenses must be accurate and requested only for expenses related to official business of the University.

    7. Liability for Property Loss: When UT Arlington property disappears, whether through theft or other cause, as a result of an employee failing to exercise reasonable care for its safekeeping, each person shall be liable for the loss sustained by UT Arlington.

    8. Institutional Credit Cards: Employees shall not use credit cards issued by the institution for personal expenses unrelated to UT Arlington business.

    9. Internet: Access to the internet via institutional computers is for institutional purposes. Incidental personal use not interfering with work responsibility, however, is not a misapplication of state resources. Improper or illegal use of the Internet by employees may subject them to disciplinary action.

    10. Software: Software licensed to the state is to be used for institutional purposes only, not personal purposes. Only properly licensed software may be loaded on institutional computers.

    11. Consulting Contracts with Previous Employees: No funds shall be used to enter into a consultant contract with any individual who has been previously employed by UT Arlington within the past 12 months.

    12. Purchases From/By Employees: Purchases are not permitted from an employee unless approved by the President, Executive Vice Chancellor or Chancellor as appropriate. Similarly, no employee may purchase equipment or property from UT Arlington without appropriate approvals.