10.2.1 Code of Ethics
Approval Authority: BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Responsible Executive: CHAIR OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Responsible Office: Secretary to the Board
Effective Date: October 5, 2006
1. Policy Statement
Stevens Institute of Technology is dedicated to education, research and the pursuit of creative scholarly endeavors following the strategic direction of Technogenesis®, which integrates learning and research with the establishment of new enterprises based on the Institute’s intellectual property. The Institute’s trustees, officers, faculty, staff and students (the Stevens Community or Community) firmly believe that honest, fair and ethical practices are necessary to sustain the public trust embodied in the mission of the Institute. In addition, ethical practices are essential to the advancement of the Institute.
2. Reason/Purpose for Policy
This Code (the “Code”) is a statement of commitment by the Stevens Community to uphold the ethical, professional and legal standards used as the basis for daily and long-term actions and decisions. All must be cognizant of and comply with the relevant policies, standards, laws and regulations that guide their work. Each individual is accountable for his or her own actions and all members of the Community are accountable collectively for upholding these standards. Members of the Stevens Community, as representatives of the Institute, shall not advance their personal interests at the expense of the Institute.
For these reasons this document has been adopted by the Stevens Board of Trustees with input from the Stevens community.
3. Policy Scope:
This policy applies to:
a. All Trustees of Stevens Institute of Technology
b. Individuals who are employed by Stevens, including officers, faculty, staff, and those students who are so employed, and
c. Consultants, vendors, and contractors when they are doing business with, or for, the Institute as required by contract.
4. Related Documents:
(incorporated by reference herein)
Conflict of Interest Policy
a. The Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees
b. Institute Auditor
c. Chair of the Dean’s Council
6. The Policy
The Institute relies upon each member of the Stevens Community for his or her honesty, integrity, good judgment and loyalty. Each member of the Community shall adhere to the applicable laws, rules, regulations and policies of government and Institute authorities, and to the following prescribed standards of conduct. Failure to do so may be grounds for disciplinary action, suspension, or dismissal. Adjudication will be based on the member’s particular role within the Community. (trustee, faculty, staff, etc.)
a) Conflict of Interest/Conflict of Commitment
The Institute has a separate Conflicts of Interest Policy (#10.5) which includes reporting requirements. Compliance with the Conflicts of Interest Policy is mandatory.
b) Confidentiality and Privacy
Community members receive and generate on behalf of the Institute various types of confidential, proprietary and private information. It is imperative that each community member complies with all federal and state laws, agreements with third parties, and Institute policies and principles pertaining to the use, protection and disclosure of such information. Such policies apply even after the Community member’s relationship with Stevens ends.
Information on specific privacy laws, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA – student records); Graham, Leach, Bliley Act (GLBA- financial information) and Civil Code section 3426 (trade secrets) may be obtained from the Institute’s website, or the Office of Audit Services. Additionally, any privacy rights in information stored on Institute computer systems are governed by Policy #70.1, Acceptable Use of IT Resources.
c) Protection and Proper Use of Institute Assets and Resources
Every member of the Stevens Community must protect Stevens’ property and other Institute assets. Use of Institute assets or resources for personal financial gain is not permitted. Assets and resources include, but may not be limited to: employees’ time, electronic communications and telephones, equipment and supplies, software, trademarks, copyrights, institute vehicles, institutional credit cards, and the Stevens name. Incidental uses of Stevens’ property may be allowed under certain circumstances. Sound judgment must be exercised as to when authorization by a supervisor may be needed for such incidental use. Incidental use that may be considered a violation of law is not permitted under any circumstances. (i.e. copyright infringement)
Other instances where incidental use is not permitted include: Stevens’ intellectual property and other proprietary information (including research data), patent disclosures, trade secrets, employee personnel files, unpublished financial data, business plans, and databases either in hard copy or electronic form.
d) Fairness and Dignified Treatment
Every member of the Stevens Community is expected to extend fair treatment to every other member and to respect the dignity of others. Harassment, malicious behavior, maltreatment, abuse, belittlement, harm and taking unfair advantage of others is not tolerated. In addition, the Stevens Community shall not tolerate plagiarism, scientific or administrative fraud, cheating, deliberate misrepresentation, discrimination or dishonesty. Members of the Community will respond with respect, courtesy, honesty, integrity and fairness, to appropriate inquiries from the general public, government entities, students, and coworkers.
e) Code Administration and Reporting Obligations
This Code of Ethics has been adopted by the Stevens Board of Trustees and shall be administered by the Audit Committee of the Board. The Audit Committee may delegate this responsibility to specific bodies created within the Institute to handle matters arising from the reporting of potential violations.
When any individual associated with the Institute becomes aware of a known or suspected irregularity, illegality or violation of this Code of Ethics, that person is obligated to promptly report it. Reporting should normally be made through the person’s immediate supervisor. If for any reason it is not appropriate to report such violations to the immediate supervisor, individuals may go directly to higher level management, to the Institute Auditor, or to the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees.
Reporting may be either oral or written; it may be done anonymously, and shall be kept confidential to the extent the law permits. The Board’s Audit Committee is responsible for enforcing a non-retaliation policy against persons that report in good faith suspected or known violations of this code. (Policy # 10.7) Failure to report a known or suspected ethical or legal violation, or reports not in good faith, may themselves be considered a violation of this code.