University Resources, Operations and Policies

Whistleblower Policy


Policy Description

Adelphi University (the “University”) is committed to compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations and expects its trustees, officers, employees, students and volunteers to act in an honest, ethical and lawful manner at all times. This Whistleblower Policy (this “Policy”) sets forth the  procedures established by the University for the reporting and handling of concerns regarding action or suspected action taken by the University or any trustee, officer, employee, student or volunteer of the University on its behalf that is or may be illegal, fraudulent or in violation of any University policy, as well as any other matter that could cause serious damage to the University’s reputation (each, a “Concern”), and prohibits retaliation against any trustee, officer, employee, student or volunteer who reports a Concern (a “Whistleblower”) in good faith.  The University investigates all reported Concerns promptly, fairly, and in accordance with this policy. 


Reason for Policy

In accordance with federal, state and local laws, individuals who in good faith report a Concern will not be subject to any form of retaliation, intimidation, harassment, or adverse employment action by the University.      


Who Is Governed by this Policy

This policy applies to Adelphi University trustees, officers, faculty, staff, students and volunteers.


Policy

The University encourages good-faith reporting of activity suspected of being illegal, fraudulent, or in violation of governmental regulations or University policy. Reports will be fully investigated by the University.

Policies to which whistleblower protection applies include:

  • Policies designed to prevent financial improprieties, such as accounting policies
  • Policies prohibiting fraud, theft, embezzlement, bribery, kickbacks, and abuse of University assets
  • Conflict of interest policies
  • Policies that address unethical conduct

No Retaliation:  

Individuals, who in good faith, report activity suspected of being fraudulent, illegal, or in violation of governmental regulations or University policy will not be subject to retaliation, intimidation, harassment, or adverse employment action by the University.  For the purpose of this policy, an adverse employment action includes failure to promote, adverse impact on compensation, termination, discharge, suspension, or demotion, other change in responsibilities, whether formal or informal, or other negative consequences.

If a Whistleblower believes he/she has been retaliated against, he or she should inform the Director of Internal Audit immediately.

Individuals who engage in retaliatory actions against Whistleblowers will be subject to discipline, up to and including separation from the University.

A Whistleblower is not necessarily granted immunity from consequences that are a result of participating or being complicit in the violation or suspected violation that is the subject of the report. Individuals may be the subject of discipline or an adverse personnel action for reasons unrelated to the making of a report.  Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, this Whistleblower Policy is not an employment contract and does not modify the employment relationship between Adelphi University and its employees, nor does it change the fact that employees of Adelphi University are employees at will.

Acting in Good Faith:

Anyone filing a report about a Concern must be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates a violation. Any allegations that prove not to be substantiated and which prove to have been made maliciously or with knowledge that the allegation is false will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense.

Confidentiality:

Concerns may be submitted on a confidential basis by the complainant or may be submitted anonymously. Reports of Concerns will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.


Procedures

A member of the Adelphi University community who has a good faith suspicion of a violation of law or Adelphi University policy is encouraged to report the concern promptly to the Director of Internal Audit or to his or her supervisor or a Human Resource representative, who shall report such suspicion to the Director of Internal Audit. Any member of the University who is uncomfortable reporting suspected violations to the Director of Internal Audit may report the concern via the link below to the University’s confidential reporting hotline which is managed by a third party. 

https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/44298/index.html

Whistleblower complaints reported via the confidential reporting hotline will be provided to the Director of Internal Audit and handled with sensitivity, discretion and confidentiality to the extent allowed by the circumstances and the law. Generally, this means that whistleblower complaints will only be shared with those who have a need to know so that an effective investigation can be conducted and a determination made as to what action to take based on the results of any such investigation; and, in appropriate cases, with governmental and/or law enforcement personnel. Should disciplinary or legal action be taken against a person or persons as a result of a whistleblower complaint, such persons may have a right to know the identity of the whistleblower and records and information maintained by the University and the whistleblower may be subject to disclosure.

A supervisor or other University Management should promptly contact the Director of Internal Audit if he or she receives a complaint relating to:

  • Financial improprieties, such as accounting policies
  • Fraud, theft, embezzlement, bribery, kickbacks, and abuse of University assets
  • Noncompliance with the University’s Conflict of interest policies
  • Other unethical conduct

The Adelphi University Director of Internal Audit is designated as the compliance officer with respect to this policy. The Director of Internal Audit will receive reports of Concerns and will notify the person who submitted a complaint and acknowledge receipt of the reported violation or suspected violation within five business days. All reports will be promptly investigated and appropriate corrective action will be taken if warranted by the investigation. If the reported suspicion implicates the Director of Internal Audit, he or she shall immediately recuse him/herself from the investigation and inform the Chair of the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees immediately in writing. The Audit Committee may investigate the reported suspicion or appoint impartial attorneys or outside auditors to complete the investigation. The Director of Internal Audit shall report to the Audit Committee annually at regular meetings of the Audit Committee on all compliance activity with respect to this Whistleblower Policy.

The person who is the subject of a whistleblower complaint should not be present at or participate in Board or committee deliberations or vote on the matter relating to such complaint, provided that nothing in this subparagraph prohibits the board or committee from requesting that the person who is subject to the complaint present information as background or answer questions at a committee or Board meeting prior to the commencement of deliberations or voting relating thereto.

The Audit Committee shall address all reported suspicions regarding corporate accounting practices, internal controls or auditing (“Accounting Concerns”). The Director of Internal Audit shall promptly notify the Audit Committee of any Accounting Concern and shall work with the committee until its resolution. Promptly upon receipt, the Audit Committee shall evaluate whether a reported suspicion constitutes an Accounting Concern and, if so, shall promptly determine what professional assistance, if any, is needed by the Director of Internal Audit in order to conduct an investigation. The Audit Committee will be free in its sole discretion to engage outside auditors, counsel or other experts to assist in the investigation and in the analysis of results


Records

The Director of Internal Audit will retain on a strictly confidential basis for a period of seven years (or otherwise as required under the University’s record retention policies in effect from time to time) all records relating to each report received of a violation or suspected violation of a law or University policy. Such records shall include (i) the nature of the Concern (including any specific allegations made and the persons involved); (ii) the date of receipt of the Concern; (iii) the current status of any investigation into the Concern and information about such investigation (including the steps taken in the investigation, any factual findings, and the recommendations for corrective action); and (iv) any final resolution of the Concern. All such records are confidential and such records will be considered privileged and confidential.


Distribution

A copy of this Policy will be distributed to each trustee, officer, employee, student and volunteer promptly following the adoption of or any amendments to this Policy, and at such time as a person becomes a trustee, officer, employee, student or volunteer. This distribution requirement may be satisfied by posting a copy of this Policy on the Organization’s website or at the Organization’s offices in a conspicuous location accessible to employees and volunteers.


Forms

This policy does not have forms associated with it at this time. Upon periodic policy review this area will be evaluated to determine if additional information is needed to supplement the policy.


Policy Owner

Patricia Mantay, Director
Office of Internal Audit
516.877.3285
pmantay@adelphi.edu


Secondary Contacts

Ellen Caravella, Director
Office of Enterprise Risk Management, Ethics and Compliance
516.877.3283
ecaravella@adelphi.edu


Document History   

  • Last Reviewed Date: September 9, 2019
  • Last Revised Date: September 9, 2019
  • Policy Origination Date: July 2015            
 
 
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