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Principles of Employee Conduct

Policy Number T96-136
Effective Date December 04, 1996
Responsible Office/Person Board of Trustees

DOC. T96-136, as amended

Passed by the BoT


Institutions of higher education are entrusted with great resources and commensurably great responsibilities. They must meet their mission of research, teaching, and service in ways that truly enrich the society that supports them and truly serve the students, parents, and alumni who in joining the university community become life-long members of the extended university learning family. College and university leaders play a key role in assuring that high standards of ethical practice attend to the delivery of services to their various constituents and to the custody and use by all their faculty, staff and students of the resources entrusted to them. The University of Massachusetts embraces the values expressed in these Principles of Employee Conduct and expects their observance by all its employees.

University employees are entrusted with public resources and are expected to understand their responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and to behave in ways consistent both with law and with University policy.

University employees are expected to be competent and to strive to advance competence both in themselves and in others.

The conduct of University employees is expected to be characterized by integrity and dignity, and they should expect and encourage such conduct by others.

University employees are expected to be honest and conduct themselves in ways that accord respect to themselves and others.

University employees are expected to accept full responsibility for their actions and to strive to serve others and accord fair and just treatment to all.

University employees are expected to conduct themselves in ways that foster forthright expression of opinion and tolerance for the view of others.

University employees are expected to be aware of and understand those institutional objectives and policies relevant to their job responsibilities, be capable of appropriately interpreting them within and beyond the institution, and contribute constructively to their ongoing evaluation and reformulation.

The University is responsible for communicating to University employees the content of these Principles of Employee Conduct and for ensuring that the standards of conduct contained herein are met.

The University expects to provide its employees:

  • a work environment that is professional and supportive;
  • a clear sense of the duties of their job, the procedures for performance review, and access to relevant University policies and procedures;
  • within the scope of each employee's assigned areas of authority and responsibility, the duty to exercise appropriate judgment and initiative in performing duties;
  • the right to seek appropriate review of matters that violate the ethical principles contained in these Principles.