Whistleblower Policy

Hartwick College endeavors to operate in an ethical and lawful manner and expects all employees and volunteers to conduct their business activities in accordance with College policies and applicable federal, state and local law.

Employees have a responsibility for the stewardship of Hartwick College resources and the private support that enables it to pursue its mission. The College’s internal controls and operating procedures are intended to prevent, deter, or detect improper, unethical or illegal activities. Intentional and unintentional violations of laws, regulations, policies and procedures by employees may occur and may constitute improper activities. The College has a responsibility to investigate and report to the appropriate parties allegations of suspected improper activities, and to protect those employees who, in good faith, report such activities to the College.

Examples of activities that are illegal or fraudulent, and actions which are inconsistent with, or in violation of College policies include, but are not limited to:

  • Authorizing or receiving payment for hours not worked
  • Billing fraud, expense account mishandling, forgery
  • Embezzlement, theft or misappropriation of funds or other College assets
  • Improprieties in the approval and management of contracts
  • Inappropriate use or distribution of College resources
  • Practices that present substantial and specific danger to the health and safety to others
  • Wrongful use, disclosure or appropriation of an individual’s personal/private information such as identity theft or disclosure of a student’s education records (violation of FERPA)
  • Other threats to the College’s assets, unethical behavior or violation of law

Reporting

All members of the Hartwick College community have a responsibility to report violations or suspected violations in accordance with this policy. Such reports will be handled with discretion and confidentiality to the extent allowed by the specific circumstances and the law. Generally, this means that whistleblower reports will only be shared with others on a need-to-know basis so that the College can investigate the claims and take appropriate action, including legal action and disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment if allegations are founded.

The Director of Human Resources is the designated administrator of the Whistleblower Policy who will receive and investigate (or oversee) complaints regarding violations of the College’s policies, employment discrimination, or any form of unlawful harassment. The Director of Human Resources shall notify the Chair of the Board Audit and Compliance Committee regarding complaints of improprieties. The Chair of the Board Audit and Compliance Committee may solicit internal or external assistance in order for the College to conduct an appropriate investigation and to remedy the matter.

To report violations or suspected violations involving an employee of the College including staff, faculty and vice presidents, please contact: Suzanne Janitz, Director of Human Resources, 607-431-4319. You may also report violations or suspected violations by sending a sealed envelope addressed to the Director of Human Resources, One Hartwick Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820.

To report violations or suspected violations involving the Director of Human Resources, please contact: Dr. Margaret Drugovich, President, 607-431-4990. You may also report violations or suspected violations by sending a sealed envelope addressed to the Hartwick College President, One Hartwick Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820.

To report violations or suspected violations involving the President, please send a sealed envelope to the Chair of the Board Audit and Compliance Committee, Hartwick College Board of Trustees, c/o Human Resources, One Hartwick Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820.

Anonymous reports of violations or suspected violations will be handled in the same manner as signed reports.

Non-Retaliation

No individual who reports a violation or suspected violation in good faith shall suffer harassment, retaliation or adverse employment or academic or educational consequence. Any attempt by an employee of the College to intimidate, penalize or retaliate against an individual who makes a good faith report of a violation or suspected violation is prohibited. An individual who believes they have been the victim of retaliation for reporting wrongdoing should immediately contact the Director of Human Resources. An individual who retaliates against a person in response to a report of wrongdoing will be in violation of this policy and will be subject to the appropriate discipline up to and including termination of employment.

Policy Misuse

Employees shall not intentionally misuse the College’s Whistleblower policy. Intentional misuse includes, but is not limited to: frivolous claims; attempts to treat a personal grievance or dispute as an allegation of wrongdoing; or malicious or misleading statements made at any time under this policy or procedures. An individual who intentionally misuses the College’s Whistleblower policy may be subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment.

Tracking

On an annual basis, the Director of Human Resources shall provide the Chair of the Board Audit and Compliance Committee, a report on the results of whistleblower reports.

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