Wednesday, April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

Oregon State University Community Members,

Together, we create and maintain an ethical environment that encourages honesty, integrity and responsibility in our decision-making and actions, respect for others, and stewardship of the resources entrusted to us to fulfill OSU’s mission of teaching, research, outreach and engagement.

Each year, we provide an official reminder to university employees and other community members of Oregon State University’s commitment to accountability, ethics and integrity. We also share how community members may report concerns regarding possible misconduct. My message today underscores OSU’s ongoing commitment.

The University Code of Ethics, adopted by the OSU Board of Trustees in 2014, also demonstrates the university’s commitment to maintaining a strong ethical tone in all its activities. University employees are considered public officials under Oregon state law and are subject to its provisions, including those regarding conflicts of interest, receiving gifts, nepotism and use of an OSU position for personal financial benefit. University policies provide important guidance for behavior and decision-making.

You can learn more in the ethics module of the employee critical training program. This training includes information about the University Code of Ethics; how the state of Oregon ethics law applies to employees; how to be a good steward of OSU resources; and where to seek guidance for tough decision-making or to report unethical behavior. Information can also be found on the university’s ethics webpage.

OSU Accountability and Integrity Hotline

All employees are expected to report known or suspected violations of law or university policy, including illegal or fraudulent activity, misuse of university assets, theft of university property, discrimination or harassment, or unsafe working conditions. Additional examples are available on the OSU Accountability and Integrity Hotline website. The OSU Accountability and Integrity Hotline is confidential and anonymous, and is run by EthicsPoint, an independent, third-party vendor. All actionable reports made through this hotline will be reviewed by the Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance, an independent unit, and investigated by the appropriate office. Employees who provide a good faith report of fraud, waste or abuse are protected from retaliation under Oregon state law. The hotline is online at www.oregonstate.ethicspoint.com and can also be reached by calling (855) 388-4971.

Other investigation offices

Other university offices are set up to receive topic-specific reports or complaints and conduct investigations regarding environmental health and safety, bias incidents, human resources, research misconduct, and other matters. Reports of harassment or discrimination, including sexual misconduct should be reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access. Links to these and other offices are found on the OSU home page via the Sexual Misconduct, Hotline and Other Reporting and Services button. You are welcome to seek support services or report directly to these other offices, or through the Accountability and Integrity Hotline and the report will be routed to the appropriate office for investigation.

Please help OSU remain an ethical and honest place to work. Thank you for the service and important contributions you provide to Oregon State University and to the communities across Oregon and beyond.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Johnson

Interim President