There are hundreds of federal, state and local laws and regulations that Oregon State University must follow. Higher education is highly regulated, with requirements spanning across operations and activities related to research, health and safety, information security and privacy, financial, civil rights, employment, global activities, and athletics.

The benefits of a strong compliance program include creating and maintaining a healthy and safe environment for students, employees and visitors; ensuring the ethical and effective use of university resources; and improving operational efficiency and decreasing administrative burden. 

Long Description of Compliance table

Compliance process

Compliance work entails developing systems and procedures to ensure legal and regulatory requirements are understood and followed. Nationally-recognized elements of an effective compliance program provide a structure for managing the university’s compliance obligations.

Long description of Elements of Effective Compliance chart

Partners

There are dozens of compliance subject matters experts working across the institution in various units and areas. These experts are the heart of ensuring an effective compliance program at Oregon State University.

The Director of Compliance functions as a hub for compliance subject matter experts across the institution. The position coordinates with compliance partners to assess and prioritize compliance risks, and facilitates risk mitigation through policy development, process improvement, education and outreach, and effective governance. The director serves in a consultative role and aims to:

  • Create a compliance community of practice to share best practices and work together on common goals
  • Increase collaboration and encourage continuous improvement of operational processes to reduce administrative burden of compliance obligations
  • Strengthen compliance leadership and oversight, which includes encouraging appropriate ownership and decision-making.

Leadership

Board of Trustees Executive and Audit Committee
An effective compliance and ethics program requires a strong tone at the top to set expectations and standards for all of the members of the university. Oversight of the university's compliance and ethics program starts with the Board of Trustees through the Executive & Audit Committee, whose charter responsibilities include oversight of audit, risk and compliance functions.

Compliance Executive Committee (CEC)

Charged and chaired by the Provost and Executive Vice President, the CEC meets quarterly to help ensure alignment and effectiveness across compliance areas, including research, health and safety, information security and privacy, and technology, financial, civil rights, employment, and athletics. The CEC’s standing charge is to:

  • Champion a culture that builds ethical behavior, compliance, and a practice of systematic opportunity and risk assessment into the daily activities of university employees;
  • Provide input into institution-wide compliance risk assessment and annual priorities;
  • Ensure appropriate university response to major compliance incidents, including but not limited to follow-up on material reports of non-compliance to ensure that appropriate corrective and disciplinary actions are taken, and to provide support for continual improvements; and
  • Make recommendations to the Provost and Executive Vice President on the allocation of resources when necessary to mitigate activities determined to be a high compliance risk.

Standing members include:

  • Provost and Executive Vice President, Chair
  • Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Vice President for Research
  • Vice Provost for Student Affairs
  • Chief Audit, Risk and Compliance Executive
  • Faculty Senate President
  • General Counsel (advisory)

The Director of Compliance coordinates the committee’s agenda and facilitates meetings, and the Director of University Policy and Standards attends to assure alignment with policy development.

Ethics

Oregon State University relies on the University Code of Ethics and Oregon state law to govern ethical behavior and decision making. Information can be found on OSU's ethics webpage.