ASU Ethics Line FAQ's
- What is the ASU Ethics Line?
- Who is EthicsPoint and what is their involvement?
- Why do we need the ASU Ethics Line?
- May I report using either the Internet or the telephone?
- What type of situations should I report?
- If I see a violation, shouldn't I just report it to my supervisor, internal audit, or human resources and let them deal with it?
- Does the university really want me to report?
- Why should I report what I know? What’s in it for me?
- Does management really want me to report?
- Where do these reports go? Who can access them?
- Can I file a report from home and still remain anonymous?
- I am concerned that the information I provide EthicsPoint will ultimately reveal my identity. How can you assure me that will not happen?
- Is the telephone toll-free hotline confidential and anonymous too?
- What if I want to be identified with my report?
- Can students and the public participate by reporting through the ASU Ethics Line?
- I am aware of some individuals involved with unethical conduct, but it doesn't affect me. Why should I bother reporting it?
- I am not sure if what I have observed or heard is a violation of ASU policy, or involves unethical conduct, but it just does not look right to me. What should I do?
- What if my supervisor or other administrators are involved in a violation? Won’t they get the report and start a cover-up?
- What if I remember something important about the incident after I file the report? Or what if the company has further questions for me concerning my report?
- Are these follow-ups on reports as secure as the first one?
- Can I still file a report if I don’t have access to the Internet?
EthicsPoint, an expert in incident management systems, has been contracted by ASU to provide a confidential reporting system. As an outside company, EthicsPoint is outside the influence and control of ASU administrators. The ASU Ethics Line is a valuable tool to help identify and resolve sensitive issue by receiving information, and providing an intermediary to those individuals who wish to maintain their anonymity in reporting concerns. All telephone reports are taken by EthicsPoint staff and all report data is maintained on EthicsPoint servers. Access to incident report data is controlled by EthicsPoint; selected ASU staff has access to incident data only to the extent needed to adequately investigate reports while maintaining confidentiality. Providing incident management systems to others is the business of EthicsPoint. Their ability to provide incident management systems while maintaining the highest standards of confidentiality is critical to their business success.
- An effective reporting system will enhance our other efforts to foster a culture of integrity and ethical decision-making.
- In January 2005, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants recommended that all organizations develop an anonymous reporting system (preferably operated by a third party as ours is with EthicsPoint).
- Reporting systems are increasingly being viewed as a necessary best business practice in not-for-profit organizations.
The ASU Ethics Line is designed for employees to report any:
- violation of applicable state and/or federal laws and regulations
- a serious violation of University policy
- the use of University property, resources, or authority for personal gain or other non University-related purpose except as provided under University policy
When you observe some behavior that you believe violates state and/or federal laws and regulations or university policy, we expect you to report it. Ideally, you should bring any concerns forward to your direct supervisor, the next higher level of management and/or the Office of Internal Audit. We recognize, however, that there may be circumstances when you are not comfortable reporting the issue in this manner. It is for such circumstances that we have partnered with EthicsPoint. We would rather you report anonymously than keep the information to yourself.
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 university who are charged with evaluating the report, based on 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.
Alcorn State University chooses to promote ethical behavior. All unethical conduct, at any level, ultimately hurts the university and all of the ASU family, including you. You only have to consider what happened in recent corporate scandals to see the disastrous effects that a seemingly harmless lapse in ethics can have on an otherwise healthy company. So if you know of any incidents of misconduct or ethical violations, consider it your duty to yourself and your fellow bulldogs to report it.
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 add more detail or answer questions posed by a university representative and add further information that will help resolve open issues. We strongly suggest that you return to the site in 72 hours to answer questions submitted by the university representative. You and ASU now have entered into an “anonymous dialogue” where situations are not only identified but can be resolved, no matter how complex.
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. If you don’t have access or are uncomfortable using a computer, you can call the EthicsPoint toll-free hotline 877-310-0424 which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.