Compliance, Ethics, & Equity

Office of University Compliance

The Office of University Compliance promotes a University-wide culture of compliance and ethics by providing educational training and resources, assisting decentralized compliance areas with monitoring efforts, and by offering channels for individuals to ask questions and report concerns. In addition, University Compliance supports the University’s compliance program, which includes several decentralized offices with various compliance-related responsibilities. A full listing of compliance areas and their functions can be found on the University Compliance website.

University Policies

It is incumbent upon all University employees to familiarize themselves with the various University policies and procedures that guide the daily functions of the institution.

State Code of Ethics

As a State Employee, you are required to observe and comply with the provisions of the State Code of Ethics for Public Officials. Additionally, employees should review and be familiar with the University’s Guide to the State Code of Ethics, a policy applicable to all UConn employees. The Chief Compliance Officer is the University’s Ethic’s Liaison, and can assist University employees with questions or requests for guidance regarding compliance with the State Code of Ethics.

Annual Compliance Training

University Compliance coordinates the institution's Annual Compliance Training, which is required of all employees and is offered both online and in person each year.

This training provides a general overview of the requirements of the University’s Code of Conduct and requirements associated with the Guide to the State Code of Ethics. Annual Compliance Training also provides information on various compliance topics; informs employees about new or revised policies; educates on how to report concerns; illustrates consequences of violations of policy; and offers resources for further information and education.

University employees are required to complete additional compliance-related training based on their role and function at the University. A listing of those training sessions and who is required to take them can be found on the University Compliance website. Failure to comply with training requirements may violate both University policy and various regulations and laws. Therefore, incidents of noncompliance may lead to the initiation of disciplinary procedures.

Reportline

UConn is dedicated to the highest standard of ethical and professional conduct in its research, education, clinical service, and public services activities. Each individual associated with UConn is expected to conduct themselves according to this standard and ensure that their actions comply with UConn policies and relevant laws. Any individual may contact the Office of University Compliance Reportline directly regarding a request for guidance or to report a compliance concern.

Submit an anonymous report online To submit a report via phone, call 1-888-685-2637.

Information Privacy

The University’s Privacy Program serves as a central resource for privacy-related matters. UConn’s privacy staff are committed to assisting the University community in navigating applicable rules and best practices to support the proper access, use, management, and disclosure of personal information maintained by the University. Students, employees, patients, research subjects, and other individuals connected to the University community may contact the University Privacy Officer with privacy questions or concerns.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that affords students certain rights regarding access to and the protection of a student’s education records. The University Privacy Officer is available to assist with the interpretation of the University’s FERPA Policy, provide student privacy training, respond to privacy concerns, and help departments to enhance appropriate controls surrounding the proper management of student records and information.

Freedom of Information

As a public University and state agency, UConn is subject to the requirements of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act. Please visit the Public Records at UConn page, managed by University Communications, for further guidance.

Office of Institutional Equity

The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) ensures the University’s commitment and responsibility to foster diverse and inclusive working and learning environments. OIE's work focuses on ensuring compliance with the University’s non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, as well as state and federal laws and regulations related to equal opportunity and affirmative action. OIE provides support and advice to all University offices on equal employment opportunity recruitment and retention issues, provides sexual harassment prevention and diversity awareness training, and serves as a resource for responding to reports of discrimination and harassment, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Title I) compliance, and Title IX compliance. OIE investigates complaints of discrimination and recommends measures to mitigate discriminatory conduct that may be found to exist. The entire University community has a shared responsibility to promote affirmative action and provide equal opportunity. OIE helps ensure that the University complies with federal, state, and local affirmative action and equal opportunity laws.

Complaint Procedures

The Office of Institutional Equity is the neutral statutorily created entity within the University that investigates and manages resolution of matters alleging employee discriminatory conduct. OIE is charged, by statute, with responding to alleged discriminatory conduct by employees, and recommending remedial and disciplinary measures that mitigate harm and deter recurrence of discriminatory conduct. The Office of Institutional Equity details the reporting procedures for incidents of discrimination or discriminatory harassment.

Investigating Complaints

The Office of Institutional Equity is a neutral investigatory unit within the University that was created by statute and charged with investigating internal discrimination complaints to determine if employee conduct violates University policies, which have been construed to provide protections aligned with current law.

OIE is further charged with making findings and recommendations designed to mitigate the harm caused by (and prevent recurrence of) discriminatory conduct. [Connecticut General Statutes § 46a-68(b)(4) (A)].

Audit and Management Advisory Services

Audit and Management Advisory Services

The Office of Audit and Management Advisory Services (AMAS) supports the mission of the University of Connecticut and UConn Health by assisting the Board, the President, and Senior University Administration in the effective discharge of their responsibilities by providing independent, objective assurance and consulting services designed to add value and improve the University’s operations.

The mission of AMAS is to enhance and protect organizational value by providing risk-based assessments, advice, and insight. AMAS helps the University accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of governance, risk management, and control processes. In consultation with the Joint Audit and Compliance Committee, the Chief Audit Executive plans, implements, reports upon, supervises, and is responsible for all internal audit activities, consulting services, and associated personnel.

Services offered by AMAS include, but are not limited to:

  • Compliance, operational, financial, and information technology audits based on an ongoing risk analysis, which includes management concerns
  • Consulting services, including advisory and related service activities, to add value and improve the University’s governance, risk management, and control processes
  • Investigations of possible theft, fraud, abuse of assets, or violations of rules/regulations
  • Interface with federal, state, and external auditors

University Compliance Investigations Protocol

University Compliance strives to prevent, detect, and assist management in correcting violations of law or policy, which may result from mistake, inadvertence, lack of information, or deliberate misconduct. This protocol outlines the administrative process observed in the review of reported allegations of misconduct.

Non-Retaliation

The University’s Non-Retaliation Policy defines how the University outlines how the University provides for the protection of any person or group within its community from retaliation who, in good faith, participates in investigations or reports alleged violations of policies, laws, rules, or regulations applicable to UConn.

Legal Representation and Liability

Office of the General Counsel

The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is responsible for the coordination and management of all legal issues affecting the University, including all of its campuses and UConn Health. The OGC advises the Board of Trustees, the President, and the University’s academic and administrative units regarding a wide range of issues, including contracts, regulatory compliance, employment law, intellectual property, student conduct, governance, and other matters impacting institutions of higher education. The OGC works with the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office on litigation and other matters.

Pursuant to state law, as an employee of the University, you generally are immune from personal liability as a result of acts or omissions taken in the discharge of your duties or within the scope of your employment. Further, if you are sued as a result of such actions, you will be provided a defense by the state through the Office of the Attorney General. There are exceptions to these protections if your conduct was wanton, malicious, or reckless.

If you are named as a defendant in a summons/lawsuit, you must immediately deliver the paperwork to the Office of the General Counsel.

Diversity and Inclusion

Office for Diversity and Inclusion

The Office for Diversity and Inclusion seeks to advocate for access and equity across all University units, to welcome and celebrate the experiences of individuals regardless of background through innovative educational programs, and to transform campus climate to build a more welcoming and inclusive community.

ODI sponsors campus employee affinity groups designated for the connection of faculty and staff. We are proud to support the following groups: African American Faculty & Staff Association; Asian American Faculty & Staff Association; Association of Latinx Faculty and Staff; LGBTQIA+ Faculty & Staff Affinity Group; Women of Color Group; Women’s Affinity Group.

ODI offers development programs to assist faculty and staff in enhancing their cultural knowledge and intelligence.
ODI Current Programs and Resources

Bias Reporting

The University of Connecticut values the freedom all members of our community have to express their opinions. It is only through such an environment that the educational values of our institution can be attained and our community can thoughtfully engage in the continual discourse that is necessary for the process of discovery and the creation of new knowledge.

The Bias Reporting Protocol is in place to assure that there are designated places to report incidents. Anyone can report bias incidents/graffiti/images by utilizing the Community Standards Referral Form.

These incidents in our community indicate the need for education, holding individuals accountable, and providing opportunities for reflection and healing. Appropriate staff on our campus work collaboratively to respond to incidents, communicate with the impacted community, and plan initiatives that support the values and expectations for living, learning, and thriving in our community.

University Diversity Council

The University of Connecticut Diversity Council is charged with the development and implementation of a multidimensional, strategic diversity and inclusion plan that supports the diversity core value as stated in the academic plan and the six core recommendations of the Diversity Task Force. The Council also supports the execution of initiatives that would further the University’s goals of becoming a more inclusive community and a leader in diversity and inclusion in higher education. The Council acts in an advisory capacity to University leadership on issues including, but not limited to, student outreach and programmatic initiatives; expanding options related to diversity in the curriculum and across academic units; increased recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups amongst the students, faculty, and staff; and utilizing metrics to monitor progress on diversity through analysis and assessment.

Intellectual Property and Copyright

Intellectual Property

UConn employees are obligated to promptly disclose their inventions and creative works to the University. The University owns all inventions created by employees in the performance of employment with the University or created with University resources or funds administered by the University in accordance with UConn’s Intellectual Property and Commercialization Policy. The University right to own such inventions is derived from the state of Connecticut statute 10a-98b. The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is the entity at the University primarily responsible for implementing and interpreting this Intellectual Property and Commercialization Policy, and is ready to work with faculty, staff, and students to explain this policy and make determinations in specific cases.

Research materials, inventions, or devices developed through the use of University resources and/or administered funding are the property of the University. Rights to such property may be transferred to other parties (such as commercial sponsors) only with express written authorization. Ownership of materials subject to copyright may not be the property of the University. The OVPR, in consultation with the faculty member, staff, student, and industry partner (if applicable), will determine the ownership of all inventions and trade secrets, whether a copyrighted work is a University Copyright and whether to seek patent or copyright protection for the intellectual property.

Research data are considered the property of the principal investigator or the joint property of collaborating individuals (including postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, research trainees, or others) who have had significant intellectual input when research data are generated by a principal investigator working in collaboration with one or more faculty colleagues unless otherwise governed by a research, services, or other contract. In such cases in which data is generated in projects supported by grants or contracts executed by the University, such research data shall be jointly owned with the University.

The OVPR’s Technology Commercialization Services (TCS) team supports UConn inventors and authors in the protection and commercialization of their inventions and or creative works (University Intellectual Property or IP). After securing the appropriate IP protections, TCS engages in marketing and licensing University IP. If those efforts are fruitful, TCS shares a portion of the commercialization income with the inventors/authors as compensation for their entrepreneurial efforts, according to UConn’s royalty sharing policy.

Copyright and Plagiarism

The University Code of Conduct section regarding scholarly integrity states that members of the University faculty and staff: do not tolerate plagiarism, falsification, or fabrication of research data, or other scientific misconduct. Information regarding copyright is maintained by the University Libraries.

Harassment and Discrimination

Commitment to a Harassment-free Environment

The University is committed to maintaining an environment free of discrimination or discriminatory harassment directed toward any person or group within its community — students, employees, or visitors. Academic and professional excellence can exist only when each member of our community is assured an atmosphere of mutual respect. All members of the University community are responsible for the maintenance of an academic and work environment in which people are free to learn and work without fear of discrimination or discriminatory harassment.

In addition, inappropriate amorous relationships can undermine the University’s mission when those in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their authority. To that end, and in accordance with federal and state law, the University prohibits discrimination and discriminatory harassment, as well as inappropriate amorous relationships, and such behavior will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University.

Resources for Victims of Sexual Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, and Stalking

The University provides numerous resources to survivors of sexual assault, stalking, sexual harassment, and dating or domestic violence. Assistance may include, but is not limited to, medical and counseling services, academic support, modifications to working and living situations, assistance with transportation, financial aid, visa and immigration issues, enacting University no-contact letters, referrals to legal and advocacy services, as well as referrals to the UConn Police Department and/or the campus student conduct system for adjudication of claims.

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Search Compliance and Recruitment

The Office of Institutional Equity is responsible for monitoring the search process for compliance with state and federal Affirmative Action (AA) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations. OIE provides support and guidance to search committees, hiring departments, and search administrators to ensure a fair and equitable search process.

In addition, OIE provides search committee training, which includes AA/EEO compliance information, search process steps, and overcoming implicit bias in the search and hire process. Search Committee training is required prior to serving on a committee

Accessibility

UConn is committed to providing equal access and full participation for individuals with disabilities within all University programs and activities. The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) monitors the University’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Associate Vice President of OIE serves as UConn's ADA Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator. These statutes prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in any service, program, or activity. In particular, OIE has responsibility for resolving allegations of discrimination based on disability; overseeing and ensuring University compliance with all relevant laws and regulations related to ADA and Section 504; providing consultation, information, and referral to appropriate resources for disability-related issues; and providing training regarding the ADA and Section 504.