All members of the campus community are encouraged to report non-compliant, unethical, illegal or dishonest behaviors. Employees are responsible for reporting instances of financial misconduct or misuse of Davis & Elkins College’s resources. Campus community members may report anonymously to the Campus Conduct Hotline (866-943-5787), directly to the compliance officer or through other established reporting mechanisms. To protect individuals from intimidation or retaliation, campus community members are encouraged to report directly to the Campus Conduct Hotline or the compliance officer. Davis & Elkins College offers whistleblower protection.
Whistleblower Protection Policy
Davis & Elkins College has a responsibility for the stewardship of College resources and the public and private support that enables it to pursue its mission. The College’s internal policies and operating procedures are intended to detect and prevent or deter improper activities. However, intentional and unintentional violations of laws, regulations, policies and procedures may occur and may constitute unlawful activities. The College has a responsibility to investigate and report to appropriate parties allegations of suspected improper activities, and to protect those individuals (“whistleblowers”) who, in good faith, report these activities to the appropriate authority. This policy is not intended to replace or supersede any existing College policies, which may outline the normal courses of reporting specific infractions.
Reporting and Investigation
All employees of Davis & Elkins College (including Board of Trustees members, employees, volunteers, faculty and vendors) are responsible for reporting instances of alleged financial misconduct or misuse of Davis & Elkins College resources that they reasonably believe to be illegal, dishonest, unethical, fraudulent or not in compliance with College policy or local, state and federal laws.
Allegations of suspected improper financial activities or misuse of Davis & Elkins College resources may be made to the compliance officer, the appropriate cabinet member or via the College’s Campus Conduct Hotline at 866-943-5787. All whistleblower reports received via the Campus Conduct Hotline will be forwarded to the executive assistant to the president and other College administrators.
The executive assistant to the president, cabinet member, compliance officer or designee will investigate all complaints promptly and with discretion, and all information obtained will be handled on a “need to know” basis. In conducting an investigation, the Board may enlist outside legal, accounting or other advisers, as appropriate, to conduct any investigation of complaints regarding financial statement disclosures, disclosure concerns or violations, accounting, internal accounting controls, auditing matters or violations of the College’s policies. At the conclusion of the investigation, corrective action, up to and including termination, will be taken where the allegations are verified and/or otherwise substantiated. In addition, if illegal activity is suspected, the case may be referred to local law enforcement agencies.
Davis & Elkins College employees and/or Board of Trustees members may not retaliate against a whistleblower with the intent or effect of adversely affecting the terms or conditions of employment or enrollment. If the whistleblower has made a confidential report, the College will exercise reasonable care to keep the whistleblower’s identity and the report confidential, unless:
- The whistleblower agrees to the disclosure;
- Disclosure is necessary to allow the College or law enforcement officials to investigate or respond effectively to the report;
- Disclosure is required by law; or
- The person(s) accused of violations by the whistleblower are entitled to the information as a matter of institutional due process in disciplinary proceedings.
When a person reports allegations of suspected improper activities to an appropriate authority, the report is known as a protected disclosure. Davis & Elkins College employees and applicants for employment who make a protected disclosure are protected from retaliation. A whistleblower who reasonably believes that a College employee or Board of Trustees member has acted in a retaliatory manner may file a written complaint with the president who will provide a copy to the chair of the Board of Trustees. Each retaliation complaint will be reviewed and investigated in a timely manner. A valid retaliation complaint will result in appropriate disciplinary action. Such disciplinary action may include termination, suspension, expulsion, cancellation of the applicable vendor contract, removal from campus and/or any other action the College deems necessary.
The prohibition against retaliation is not intended to prohibit managers or supervisors from exercising legitimate supervisory responsibilities in the usual scope of their duties, other institutional policies and valid performance-related factors.
False or Malicious Claims
A false or malicious claim is made when an allegation is made with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity. A Davis & Elkins College community member who makes such a claim may be subject to disciplinary action by the College and/or legal recourse by individuals who are falsely accused.
Other Remedies and Appropriate Agencies
In addition to the internal complaint process set forth above, any member of the Davis & Elkins College community who has information concerning allegedly unlawful conduct may contact the appropriate government agency or the West Virginia State Attorney’s Office.