Code of Ethics

  • The Code of Ethics is the foundation of the Ethics and Compliance Program and embodies the Board of Trustee and University senior management expectation that we all act ethically and in compliance with applicable laws and policies in all our activities on behalf of the University.


    General Principles and Guidelines


    Purpose and Intent


    The University’s Code of Ethics is a statement of the University’s commitment to upholding the ethical, professional and legal standards used as the basis for its daily and long-term decisions and actions. Each community member is individually accountable for his/her own actions and, as such, are accountable for upholding these standards of behavior and for compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. 


    This Code of Ethics describes the standards that guide members of the campus community in daily University activities. In many cases these standards are already found in existing University policies. A key purpose of the Code of Ethics is to commit all applicable standards to writing and to ensure that they are understood and followed by the community. It is the responsibility of all members of the community to read the Code of Ethics and to disclose potential or actual conflicts of interest. Chief administrative officers are responsible for promoting the understanding of and compliance with the Code of Ethics.




    As members of the Saint Francis University community, all officers, trustees, faculty, staff, and students are responsible for conducting themselves with the highest ethical standards. As a Franciscan institution and in accordance with its mission statement, the University fosters values such as humility and generosity toward learning, respect, understanding of ethical issues, and reverence for all life. The University believes these are values to be lived and strives to integrate these values into its teaching, scholarship, business practices, and daily interactions among all members of the campus community. The necessary relationships that have evolved with outside entities, including but not limited to governmental agencies, community groups and business firms, require that persons representing the University conduct themselves in the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi and in a manner supporting its core values and guiding principles.




    This Code applies to the following members of the Saint Francis Community:

    • Individuals who have an employment relationship with Saint Francis whether full-time or part-time including faculty, staff and students;
    • Members of the Board of Trustees;
    • Consultants, vendors and contractors which have an on-going business relationship with Saint Francis; and
    • Individuals who perform services for Saint Francis as volunteers.

    The Saint Francis student body is required to abide by the Student Code of Conduct (student expectations and responsibilities) which is distributed by the Office of the Vice President for Student Development.

    Standards of Conduct


    Saint Francis University is committed to maintaining a reputation for the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct. The University holds itself and community members to the following standards of conduct:

    Act Ethically and with Integrity. Each member of the University community is expected to:

    • Commit to honesty and integrity in their work.
    • Accept personal responsibility for their actions. 
    • Exercise high ethical standards in their personal and professional lives. 
    • Demonstrate compassion towards all. 
    • Conduct University business transactions with the utmost honesty, accuracy and fairness.

    Each situation needs to be examined in accordance with this standard. No unethical practice can be tolerated.

    Related policies:
        Employee Code of Conduct
        Employee and Volunteer Background Checks
        Travel and Entertainment

    Be Fair and Respectful to Others. The University is committed to tolerance, diversity, and respect for differences. When dealing with others, community members are expected to:

    • Be respectful, fair, and civil.
    • Speak candidly and truthfully.
    • Avoid all forms of harassment, illegal discrimination, threats, or violence.
    • Provide equal access to programs, facilities, and employment.
    • Promote conflict resolution.

    Related Policies:
        Equal Opportunity, Nondiscrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Statement and Policy
        Threats and Random Acts of Violence
        Protection of Minors Policy
        Clery Act

    Manage Responsibly. The University entrusts community members who supervise employees or instruct students with significant responsibility. Managers, supervisors, instructors, coaches and advisors are expected to:

    • Ensure access to and delivery of proper training and guidance on applicable workplace and educational rules, policies, and procedures, including this Code of Conduct.
    • Ensure compliance with applicable laws, policies, and workplace rules.
    • Review performance conscientiously and impartially.
    • Foster intellectual growth and professional development.
    • Promote a healthy, innovative, and productive atmosphere that encourages dialogue and is responsive to concerns.

    Related Policies:
        Performance Reviews
        Formal Complaint Procedure

    Protect and Preserve University Resources. The University is dedicated to responsible stewardship. Community members are expected to:

    • Use University property, equipment, finances, materials, electronic and other systems, and other resources only for legitimate University purposes.
    • Prevent waste and abuse.
    • Promote efficient operations.
    • Follow sound financial practices, including accurate financial reporting, processes to protect assets, and responsible fiscal management and internal controls.
    • Engage in appropriate accounting and monitoring.

    Related Policies:
        Institutional Compliance with the Higher Education Act of 2008
        Acceptable Use Policies
        Purchasing Policies

    Promote a Culture of Compliance. The University is committed to meeting legal requirements and to fostering a culture of ethics and compliance.

    (a) Expectations – Community members are expected to:

    • Learn and follow the laws, regulations, contracts, and University policies and procedures applicable to University activities.
    • Be proactive to prevent and detect any compliance violations.
    • Report suspected violations to supervisors or other University officials.
    • Ensure that reports of violations within their area of responsibility are properly resolved, including disclosure to sponsors or other state or federal authorities as appropriate.

    (b) Prohibition – Community members are prohibited from retaliating against another community member for reporting a suspected compliance violation.

        Confidential Report Procedure For Suspected Code of Ethics Violations
        Confidential Report Procedure For Suspected Improprieties in Accounting, Auditing or Internal Control Practices

    Preserve Academic Freedom and Meet Academic Responsibilities. Academic freedom is essential to achieving the University’s mission. Community members are expected to:

    • Promote academic freedom, including the freedom to discuss all relevant matters in the classroom, to explore all avenues of scholarship, research, and creative expression, and to speak or write as a public citizen without institutional restraint or discipline.
    • Meet academic responsibilities: to seek and state the truth as they see it; to develop and maintain their scholarly competence; to foster and defend intellectual honesty, and freedom of inquiry and instruction; to respect those with differing views; to submit their knowledge and claims to peer review; to work together to foster the education of students; and to acknowledge when they are not speaking for the institution.

    Related Policies:
        Academic Freedom

    Ethically Conduct Teaching and Research. University researchers have an ethical obligation to the University and to the larger global community as they seek knowledge and understanding. Community members are expected to:

    • Propose, conduct and report research with integrity and honesty.
    • Protect people involved in research or teaching.
    • Humanely treat animals involved in research or teaching.
    • Learn, follow, and demonstrate accountability for meeting the requirements of sponsors, regulatory bodies, and other applicable entities.
    • Faithfully transmit research findings.
    • Protect rights to individual and University intellectual property.
    • Ensure originality of work, provide credit for the ideas of others upon which their work is built, and be responsible for the accuracy and fairness of information published.
    • Fairly assign authorship credit on the basis of an appropriate array of significant intellectual contributions, including: conception, design, and performance; analysis and interpretation; and manuscript preparation and critical editing for intellectual content.

    Related Policies:
        Ownership of Intellectual Property Policy
        Research Misconduct Policy

    Avoid Conflicts of Interest and Commitment. Community members have an obligation to be objective and impartial in making decisions on behalf of the University. To ensure this objectivity, community members are expected to:

    • Avoid actual individual or institutional conflicts of interest.
    • Disclose potential conflicts of interest and adhere to any management plans created to eliminate any conflicts of interest.
    • Ensure personal relationships do not interfere with objective judgment in decisions affecting University employment or the academic progress of a community member.
    Related Policies:
        Conflict of Interest Policy
        Outside Employment, Commitments, and/or Business Interests
        Hiring Relatives
        Preferred Lender List University Code of Conduct

    Carefully Manage Public, Private, and Confidential Information. Community members are the creators and custodians of many types of information. The public right to access and the individual’s right to privacy are both governed by laws and University policies. To meet these responsibilities, community members are expected to:

    • Learn and follow laws and University policies and agreements regarding access, use, protection, disclosure, retention, and disposal of public, private, and confidential information. 
    • Follow document preservation and retention guidelines.
    • Maintain data security using electronic and physical safeguards.
    Related Policies:

        Confidentiality of University Records
        Privacy of Student Records and Release of Information

    Promote Health and Safety in the Workplace. Community members have a shared responsibility to ensure a safe, secure, and healthy environment for all University students, faculty, staff, volunteers, and visitors. Community members are expected to:

    • Follow safe workplace practices, including participating in applicable education sessions, using appropriate personal safety equipment, and reporting accidents, injuries, and unsafe situations;
    • Maintain security, including securing University assets and facilities;
    • Report suspicious activities.
    • Protect the environment, including carefully handling hazardous waste and other potentially harmful agents, materials, or conditions.
    Related Policies: 
        Drug Free Schools and Community Act Policy Statement
        Environmental Health & Safety

    Delegation of Authority

    The president or delegate shall ensure that appropriate administrative policies are maintained to support this Code, and shall effectively promulgate this Code and any supporting administrative policies or procedures through appropriate and periodic explanation, education, and evaluation.

    The Code of Ethics was approved by the Board of Trustees – June 2009.
    Revised and reaffirmed by President’s Council - November 2011