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. 

Table showing areas of higher education compliance

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.


graph and descriptions on elements of an effective compliance and ethics program

Long description of Elements of Effective Compliance chart


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 Deputy Chief Executive of Compliance and Ethics 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 role 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.


Board of Trustees Executive, Audit and Governance Committee (EAGC)

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 EAGC, whose charter responsibilities include oversight of audit, risk and compliance functions.

Compliance Executive Committee (CEC)

The CEC meets quarterly to help ensure alignment and effectiveness across compliance areas, including research, health and safety, information security and privacy, finance, civil rights, employment, athletics and global operations. The CEC’s standing charge is to:

  • Champion a culture that builds ethical behavior, compliance, opportunity and risk identification, and risk assessment and mitigation strategy, into the daily activities of university employees;
  • Provide input into institution-wide compliance risk assessment and annual priorities;
  • Ensure alignment and effectiveness across the university's compliance areas;
  • Maintain awareness of major compliance focus areas and incidents, including risk owners' response to material reports of non-compliance to support continuous improvement across the institution;
  • Provide information to support appropriate university responses 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 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
  • Chief Executive of Audit, Risk and Compliance, Co-Chair
  • Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Vice President for Research and Innovation
  • Vice Provost for Student Affairs
  • Faculty Senate President
  • General Counsel (advisory)

The Deputy Chief Executive of Compliance and Ethics coordinates the committee’s agenda and facilitates meetings.


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.