Skip to main content

Standards of Conduct

Standards of Conduct

A. General

The Standards of Conduct apply to all members of the University community including faculty and other academic personnel, staff, students, volunteers, contractors, and agents. In addition, these Standards apply to all University affiliated organizations. These standards of conduct highlight key Idaho statutes, Idaho State Board of Education rules and policies and University policies and procedures. Please refer to the appropriate statutes or policies for greater detail. Laws and policies do not need to forbid an action for it to be wrong. Our statement of values should guide you in how the decision you make affects others and how those decisions reflect on you and the University. In general, do the right thing! The values and standards are intended to be user-friendly and accessible; however, every situation cannot be addressed. Each of us has an obligation to familiarize ourselves with applicable laws, State Board of Education and University policies and practices, and to act responsibly. When in doubt, ask how your decision would look to your friends and family on the front page of a newspaper. Seek advice and talk to your colleagues to get their perspective. Talk to your manager, our University Counsel, or an expert from the appropriate support function. You have a duty to speak up if you think that you are being pressured to do or have knowledge of something questionable or wrong, or if you believe that your rights are not being respected. You also have an obligation to protect the University by reporting potential or apparent violations of law, policy or these values and standards. There may be circumstances in which you may wish to use the Boise State University Hotline, where you can make a confidential, anonymous report. There will be no retaliation against any person for making a report of a potential violation of law, of Boise State University policy or of this code.

B. Compliance with Applicable Laws and Regulations

Boise State University is subject to many of the same laws and regulations as other enterprises, as well as those particular to public entities. There are also additional requirements unique to higher education. Members of the University community are expected to become familiar with the laws and regulations bearing on their areas of responsibility. Many, but not all, legal requirements are embodied in University policies. Failure to comply can have serious adverse consequences both for individuals and for the University in terms of reputation, finances and the health and safety of the community. All University business is to be conducted in conformance with legal requirements, including contractual commitments undertaken by individuals authorized to bind the University to such commitments. The University’s General Counsel has responsibility for interpretation of legal requirements.

C. Compliance with Applicable University Policies, Procedures and Other Forms of Guidance

State Board of Education and University policies and procedures are designed to direct our everyday responsibilities, to set minimum standards and to give University community members notice of expectations. Members of the University community are expected to transact all University business in conformance with policies and procedures and accordingly have an obligation to become familiar with those that bear on their areas of responsibility. Each member is expected to seek clarification on a policy or other University directive he or she finds to be unclear, outdated or at odds with University objectives. It is not acceptable to ignore or disobey policies if one is not in agreement with them, or to avoid compliance by deliberately seeking loopholes. In some cases, University employees are also governed by ethical codes or standards of their professions or disciplines – some examples are attorneys, accountants, auditors, physicians and counseling staff. It is expected that those employees will comply with applicable professional standards in addition to laws and regulations.

D. Conflict of Interest or Commitments

Employee members of the University community are expected to devote primary professional allegiance to the University and to the mission of teaching, research and public service. Outside employment must not interfere with University duties. Outside professional activities, personal financial interests, or acceptance of benefits from third parties can create actual or perceived conflicts between the University’s mission and an individual’s private interests. University community members who have certain professional or financial interests are expected to disclose them in compliance with applicable conflict of interest/conflict of commitment policies. In all matters, community members are expected to take appropriate steps, including consultation if issues are unclear, to avoid both conflicts of interest and the appearance of such conflicts.

E. Scholarly Activity

All members of the University community engaged in research are expected to conduct their scholarly activity with integrity and intellectual honesty at all times and with appropriate regard for human and animal subjects. To protect the rights of human subjects, all research involving human subjects is to be reviewed by institutional review boards. Similarly, to protect the welfare of animal subjects, all research involving animal subjects is to be reviewed by institutional animal care and use committees. The University prohibits scholarly activity misconduct. Members of the University community engaged in scholarly activity are not to: fabricate data or results; change or knowingly omit data or results to misrepresent results in the research record; or misappropriate the ideas, writings, research, or findings of others. All those engaged in scholarly activity are expected to pursue the advancement of knowledge while meeting the highest standards of honesty, accuracy, and objectivity. They are also expected to demonstrate accountability for sponsors’ funds and to comply with specific terms and conditions of contracts and grants.

F. Individual Responsibility and Accountability

Members of the University community are expected to exercise responsibility appropriate to their position and delegated authorities. They are responsible to each other, the University and the University’s stakeholders both for their actions and their decisions not to act. Each individual is expected to conduct the business of the University with a commitment to perform at the highest standard of service at the lowest possible cost, while exercising sound judgment and serving the best interests of the institution and the community.

G. Workplace Conduct

1. Respect

The University is committed to the principles of treating each community member with respect and dignity and maintaining a supportive environment in which all community members can reach their fullest potential. Each employee is expected to do his or her utmost to promote a respectful workplace culture that is free from harassment, intimidation, bias, or discrimination of any kind.

2. Nondiscrimination and Harassment

Boise State University is committed to maintaining a working and educational environment which is free of discrimination and harassment. University policies have been put in place to address these issues.

3. Safe Work Environment

The University is committed to ensuring the health and safety of its employees, students, and visitors. It is committed to conducting all aspects of its operations in strict compliance with health and safety laws and regulations, University standards, and where applicable, best practices pertaining to workplace safety. All employees play a critical role in ensuring the quality and safety of campus and are expected to adopt a proactive, co-operative attitude towards health and safety. Boise State Management is responsible for workplace safety in their areas. Violence or threats of violence will not be tolerated.

4. Drugs and Alcohol

Boise State University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for members of the University community. The University recognizes the health risks associated with Drug and/or Alcohol Abuse and is committed to supporting Employees who seek treatment for these conditions. Policy violations may result in disciplinary action, but will also be considered an opportunity for the University to help Employees find appropriate services and treatment for Drug and/or Alcohol Abuse. All members of the University community have a personal responsibility to adhere to all applicable laws, policies, and regulations concerning the use of Alcohol or other Drugs.

H. Financial Stewardship

1. Maintaining Books and Records

Accurate and transparent financial reporting is a critical element of sound financial stewardship. To meet this standard it is essential to maintain detailed and accurate records and accounts to accurately reflect our transactions and to provide full, fair, accurate, timely, and understandable disclosure in all required financial reports and filings. If your job duties at Boise State University involve business transactions, you are required to follow University procedures for executing, reporting, and documenting those transactions. State law and University policies regulate how long financial records must be maintained. Employees responsible for financial record keeping are responsible for adhering to these policies.

2. Internal Controls

Internal controls are the processes and activities that provide reasonable assurance that financial reporting is accurate, reliable, and timely; that operations are effective and efficient; compliance with laws, regulations, and policies; and that assets and resources are safeguarded. The University has adopted the principles of internal controls published by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) of the Treadway Commission. The President and the Vice President of Finance and Administration are responsible for establishing internal controls at the University level. Some of these controls are mandated by the State Board of Education, by the Idaho State Controller or by State law. If needed, the Provost, Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors and Managers are also responsible for establishing, implementing, and documenting any additional controls within their area(s) of supervision. All employees are responsible for ensuring adherence to these established controls.

As part of its duties, Internal Audit and Advisory Services is responsible for auditing internal controls to ensure that they are properly designed and applied.

3. Reporting

All University accounting and financial records, tax reports, expense reports, time and labor reports, effort reports, and other documents must be accurate, clear and complete. All published financial reports will make full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable disclosures as required under generally accepted accounting principles for government entities, bond covenant agreements and other requirements. Certain individuals with responsibility for the preparation of financial statements and disclosures, or elements thereof, may be required to make attestations in support of the Standards.

4. Use of University Resources

University resources may only be used for activities on behalf of the University. They may not be used for private gain or personal purposes except in limited circumstances permitted by existing policy where incidental personal use does not conflict with and is reasonable in relation to University duties (e.g. telephones, copiers, faxes, etc). Even then, such use must be minimal and infrequent. Members of the University community are expected to treat University property with care and to adhere to laws, policies and procedures for the acquisition, use, maintenance, record keeping and disposal of University property. For purposes of applying this policy, University resources includes, but is not limited to the following, whether owned by or under the management of the University (for example, property of the federal government purchased on a grant):

  • Cash, and other assets whether tangible or intangible; real or personal property;
  • Receivables and other rights or claims against third parties;
  • Intellectual property rights;
  • Deliverables under contracted services;
  • Facilities and the rights to use of University facilities;
  • The University’s name and logo;
  • Personal information of students, employees, donors, customers, etc.; and
  • The University information technology infrastructure.

5. Fraud and Abuse

Any suspected fraud or abuse relating to the University assets or financial resources must be reported to University Counsel or Internal Audit and Advisory Services. Such instances will be reviewed by Internal Audit and Advisory Services and University Counsel. Depending on the results of such a review, the University may take appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination. University Counsel may also refer such activity to law enforcement and/or pursue legal action against persons who engage is such activity.

Interference with a review or investigation of this type is prohibited and is also subject to the same disciplinary action. Interference includes, but not limited to, such things as failing to cooperate with auditors or investigators; restricting access to University employees or property; and the destruction, alteration, or removal of documentation relating to the review or investigation.

I. Records: Confidentiality/Privacy and Access

Much of the information kept by the University is open to the public and subject to public records requests. All public records requests must be forwarded to the Office of Communications and Marketing. Employees are prohibited from responding to such requests until the Office of Communications and Marketing has reviewed the request and provided direction on responding. All requests will comply with state law.

The University is also the custodian of information that is confidential, proprietary, and/or private. Access and use of this information is subject to a variety of laws, regulations and agreements (FERPA, GLBA, HIPAA, PCI, etc.). This information is usually not subject to public records requests. Individuals who have access to such information are expected to be familiar, and to comply, with these laws, regulations, and agreements pertaining to access, use, protection and disclosure of such information. University policy may include additional restrictions. All University Managers are required to know what types of information is collected, kept, and stored in their area of responsibility. For confidential, proprietary or private information kept in their area, University Managers are required to put procedures in place in order to protect that information. This includes making sure that all computers and computer networks in their area have proper security, that information in hardcopy is properly secured, and that physical access to information is limited only to authorized personnel.

All University employees who use University computers and/or computer networks are required to become familiar with the University’s information security policies. Employees are prohibited from sharing passwords with others.

All University employees are expected to abide by all rules and laws governing the use of copyrighted materials, patented ideas, licenses and propriety information. This includes the employee’s duty to disclose such ideas, inventions, concepts or property to which the University may lawfully claim an interest under Board and University policies. University employees are also expected to refrain from any activity that constitutes infringement of individual or Boise State University intellectual property and are expected to acknowledge the ideas and works of others.

K. Gifts and Gratuities

State law governs the acceptance of gifts by University employees. Generally, employees are not allowed to accept any gifts related to their employment or duties where the value of the gift is more than $50. University employees are never allowed to accept gifts or gratuities in exchange for official University action.

If a gift is given to the University, employees should direct the donor to deliver the gift to University Advancement. If a gift is accepted by an employee for the University, they are required to immediately report the gift to that office.

L. Personal, Political and Religious Activities

The University recognizes that employees participate in a variety of personal, political, social, religious, and other outside activities and organizations. Boise State University recognizes the right of individuals to participate in such activities.

However, subject to the appropriate application of academic freedom, participation in these activities must:

  • Not be conducted during working hours
  • Comply with federal and state law and State Board of Education and University policies.
  • Not interfere with the discharge and performance of the employee’s duties and responsibilities
  • Not involve the use of University personnel, equipment, supplies or services
  • Not involve the attempt to coerce faculty, staff or students to participate in or support the activity
  • Not involve Boise State University in partisan politics
  • Not depict the employee’s personal views as representing Boise State University.

M. Contacts with the Media and Elected Officials

Boise State recognizes the important role of the media in furthering the mission of the University. An open atmosphere where faculty members interact with the media regarding their areas of expertise is encouraged.

For matters or questions relative to institutional policy, procedure or position, the Director of Communications and Marketing is the official spokesperson for Boise State University. If an employee is contacted by a member of the media regarding an official matter, the media representative should be referred to the Director of Communications and Marketing.

Similarly, providing expertise and assistance to elected officials and government entities is an important part of our public service mission, and interaction is encouraged. When providing information to elected officials, notify the President’s Office or Director of Government Relations.

N. Environment

Boise State is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible way. All employees are expected to comply with applicable environmental laws, regulations, and University standards.

Environmental implications should be a component of business decisions. Particular attention should be paid to greenhouse gas and air emissions, solid waste disposal, water use, recycling, liquid discharge of waste, and use and handling of hazardous substances.

O. Violations, Reporting, and Enforcement

Violations of the Standards of Conduct constitutes grounds for discipline (up to and including dismissal) for employees, breach of contract for those in a contractual relationship with the University, or grounds for terminating the University’s relationship with the individual company or entity that violates this Code.

1. Reporting

Employees have an obligation to report to protect the University by reporting potential or apparent violations of law or of these standards. Violations can be communicated to your immediate supervisor. Violations can also be reported to the related Administrative unit (Human Resource Services, University Security, etc.), to Internal Audit and Advisory Services or to University Counsel. Violations related to academic instruction should be reported to the University Provost’s Office. Once reported, these areas have an obligation to follow-up on the reported violation. Confidential reports can be made using the University Reporting Line or using the Online Reporting Form. Confidential reports go to Internal Audit and Advisory Services for follow-up. These reports are received anonymously and will be followed-up on the basis of information provided.

2. Anti-Retaliation (Whistle Blower Protection)

Employees are protected against retaliation for reporting suspected violations of law or these standards. The “Idaho Protection of Public Employees Act” (Title 6, Chapter 21) provides protections from “adverse action” for state employees who, in good faith, provide information concerning the waste of public funds, resources or manpower or who report potential violations of laws and regulations (both state and federal). This law protects state employees who participate in investigations, court cases, or administrative reviews associated with such activity. It also protects employees who refuse to carry out or object to directives to commit an illegal act. State employees cannot be unreasonably restricted from documenting such cases.

3. Enforcement

Suspected violations of laws, policies, and procedures will be reviewed by the appropriate office depending on the nature of the violation. Disciplinary measures may be taken in accordance with University policy. The following offices may be involved in the review of violations and enforcement of University policies:
  • President’s Office
  • Provost’s Office
  • University Counsel
  • Internal Audit and Advisory Services
  • Vice President of Finance and Administration
  • University Controller
  • Human Resource Services
  • University Security
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Office of Information Technology
  • Research Administration

Violations of law may be turned over to law enforcement (Boise Police Department, Idaho Attorney General, etc.) for further investigation.

P. Abuse of This Policy

The University is committed to the protection of both the accused and the accuser in the reporting of a violation of this policy. Therefore, attempts by individuals to discredit others through inappropriate use of this policy are not permitted and will be considered for disciplinary action.

Q. Certificate of Compliance

The University is committed to the protection of both the accused and the accuser in the reporting of a violation of this policy. Therefore, attempts by individuals to discredit others through inappropriate use of this policy are not permitted and will be considered for disciplinary action.

Back To Top