Q: Why did the College establish an ethics and integrity policy?
The Ethics and Integrity Policy is intended to encourage and enable employees and other members of the College community to raise questions or concerns regarding violations of federal and state rules and regulations or policies of the College within the College setting rather than seeking resolution outside the College.
Q. What do I do if I suspect fraud or a violation of College policy?
Ithaca College strongly urges members of the campus community to report possible misconduct through the normal lines of communication established in the Ethics and Integrity Policy and the other policies and procedures included in the Ithaca College Policy Manual.
Q. So, what is EthicsPoint and why do we need such a system?
An effective reporting system can be the most useful tool in reducing losses due to fraud and abuse. EthicsPoint is a comprehensive and confidential reporting tool designed to allow members of the Ithaca College community to work together to address fraud, abuse, and misconduct at the College, all while cultivating a positive working and learning environment.
The EthicsPoint reporting system is not a substitute for existing reporting channels already established by Ithaca College. The College has elected to provide this service as an additional means of reporting, where maintaining the reporter's anonymity and confidentiality is important, or when an individual is not satisfied or comfortable with raising questions and concerns internally.
Q. What type of situations should I report?
EthicsPoint is a communications tool providing an avenue for sharing information of any kind.
Q. Can students and vendors take advantage of this reporting tool?
Yes. This system can be used by all members of the Ithaca College community in an effort to maintain a safe and ethical environment.
Q. Does Ithaca College really want me to report?
We certainly do. In fact, we need you to report. You know what is going on at the College - both good and bad. You may have initial knowledge of an activity that may be cause for concern. Your reporting can minimize the potential negative impact on the College and its people. Also, offering positive input may help identify issues that can improve the culture and performance of Ithaca College.
Q. Why should I report what I know? What’s in it for me?
We all have the right to work and learn in a positive environment and with that right comes the responsibility of acting in an ethical manner and letting the appropriate people know if someone is not acting appropriately. By working together, we can maintain a healthy and productive environment. Ethical misconduct can threaten the livelihood of the entire College.
Q. I am aware of some individuals involved with unethical conduct, but it doesn't affect me. Why should I bother reporting it?
Ithaca College chooses to promote ethical behavior. All unethical conduct, at any level, ultimately hurts the College and all employees, including you. You only have to consider what happened in recent corporate scandals to see disastrous effects that a seemingly harmless lapse in ethics can have on an otherwise healthy community. So if you know of any incidents of misconduct or ethical violations, consider it your duty to yourself and everyone else to report it.
Q. I am not sure what I have observed or heard is a violation of College policy, or involves unethical conduct, but it just does not look right to me. What should I do?
File a report. EthicsPoint can help you prepare and file your report so it can be properly understood. We'd rather you report a situation that turns out to be harmless than let possible unethical behavior go unchecked because you weren't sure.
Q. How do I go about filing a report with EthicsPoint?
You may report either using the Internet or by telephone. By giving choices, EthicsPoint helps ensure that everyone can file a report anonymously and in the manner most comfortable or convenient to them.
You can file an EthicsPoint report from any computer that can access the Internet. You can file from home. Many public locations, including the public library, have Internet computers. (Navigate to ithaca.edu/ethics and click on the “File a Report with EthicsPoint” link.)
If you don’t have access or are uncomfortable using a computer, you can call your EthicsPoint toll-free hotline 888-274-8495 (in the U.S.) which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (Additional dialing information for places outside the U.S. can be found at ithaca.edu/ethics.) You will be asked to provide the same information that you would provide in an Internet-based report and an interviewer will type your responses into the EthicsPoint Web site. These reports have the same security and confidentiality measures applied to them during delivery.
Q. It is my understanding that any report I send from a College computer generates a server log that shows every website that my PC connects with, and won’t this log identify me as a report originator?
EthicsPoint does not generate or maintain any internal connection logs with IP addresses, so no information linking your PC to EthicsPoint is available.
With fewer than 12% of reports generated during business hours, most people prefer to report from the comfort of their home after hours and on the weekend.
Q. Can I file a report from home and still remain anonymous?
A report from home, a neighbor’s computer, or any Internet portal will remain secure and anonymous. An Internet portal never identifies a visitor by screen name and the EthicsPoint system strips away Internet addresses so that anonymity is totally maintained. Plus, EthicsPoint is contractually committed not to pursue a reporter’s identity.
Q. I am concerned that the information I provide EthicsPoint will ultimately reveal my identity. How can you assure me that will not happen?
The EthicsPoint system is designed to protect your anonymity. However, you as a reporting party need to ensure that the body of the report does not reveal your identity by accident, for example, “From my cube next to Jan Smith…” or “In my 33 years…”
Q. What if I want to be identified with my report?
There is a section in the report for identifying yourself, if you wish.
Q. Where do these reports go? Who can access them?
Reports are entered directly on the EthicsPoint secure server to prevent any possible breech in security. EthicsPoint makes these reports available only to specific individuals within the organization who are charged with evaluating the type of violation and location of the incident. Each of these report recipients has had training in keeping these reports in the utmost confidence.
Q. What if my supervisor or other managers are involved in a violation? Won’t they get the report and start a cover-up?
The EthicsPoint system and report distribution are designed so that implicated parties are not notified or granted access to reports they have been named in. At Ithaca College, the vice president and general counsel is responsible for receiving all complaints filed with EthicsPoint and investigating and resolving all reported complaints and allegations concerning violations of federal and state laws and regulations and policies of the College. In the event of a complaint filed with EthicsPoint against the vice president and general counsel, EthicsPoint shall forward the complaint directly to the executive committee of the board of trustees.
Q. What if I remember something important about the incident after I filed the report? Or what if the College has further questions for me concerning my report?
When you file a report at the EthicsPoint Web site or through the EthicsPoint Call Center, you receive a unique user name and are asked to choose a password. You can return to the EthicsPoint system again either by Internet or telephone and access the original report to answer questions posed by a College representative and add further information that will help resolve open issues. We strongly suggest that you return to the site in 2-3 days to answer College questions. You and the College now have entered into an “anonymous dialogue” where situations are not only identified but can be resolved, no matter how complex.
Q. Are these follow-ups on reports as secure as the first one?
All EthicsPoint correspondences are held in the same strict confidence as the initial report, continuing under the umbrella of anonymity.
Q: Isn’t this system just an example of someone watching over me?
The EthicsPoint system concentrates on being a positive aspect of the College’s overall philosophy, assuring a safe, secure, and ethical place to work and learn. Members of the IC community are encouraged to seek guidance on ethical dilemmas, provide positive suggestions, or communicate a concern. Effective communication is critical in today’s world and this is a great tool to enhance that communication.
Ithaca College has carefully chosen the best reporting tool to meet its compliance obligations while maintaining a positive reporting environment.