Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Whistleblower Policy

  • College Policies

All members of the Franklin & Marshall community are expected to adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct in carrying out their duties and responsibilities for the College. The College is committed to operating in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and College policies.

Franklin & Marshall maintains this Whistleblower Policy in an effort to encourage good-faith reports of suspected wrongdoing without fear of retaliation. Employees and students are encouraged to present facts and express concerns about suspected wrongdoing as it pertains to the business operations of the College. The College encourages the reporting of suspected wrongdoing in a timely manner. The reporting procedure described below will best allow the College to promptly investigate claims.

This Whistleblower Policy pertains to the reporting and investigation of suspected wrongdoing committed by an employee of the College in the course of conducting College business.

For purposes of this policy, wrongdoing is defined as:

a) a violation of local, state, or federal law or regulation, or
b) a violation of College policy

when the violation involves accounting or financial matters or use of College resources.

Such wrongdoing may include but is not limited to:

  • theft of cash or of other College property
  • misappropriation of College funds / inappropriate use or misuse of College funds or College property
  • fraud or falsification of accounting or financial reports or records
  • falsification of work hours as reported on time sheets by employees, including student employees
  • inappropriate allocation or spending of College funds
  • inappropriate authorization of the use of College funds or resources

This Whistleblower Policy is not intended to be used to report general employment-related concerns. Faculty and professional staff are, however, encouraged to constructively discuss employment-related concerns and should see the Colleges Problem Resolution Procedure (www.fandm.edu/college-policies) for more information. Students should see the College Life Manual for information about reporting concerns not covered by this policy.

Making a Report

To make a report via this policy, an employee or student is asked to complete and sign a Disclosure Statement. The Disclosure Statement can be found below. The Disclosure Statement should be completed as soon as possible after the incident(s) leading to the allegation of wrongdoing.

Once the Disclosure Statement has been completed, the individual making the report is to mail or deliver the Statement to either the Director, Human Resources, or to the Assistant Director, Human Resources, Franklin & Marshall College, P.O. Box 3003, Lancaster, PA 17604-3003, fax (717) 291-3969. In the event an individual wants to make a report of suspected wrongdoing involving a member of the Human Resources staff, the individuals completed Disclosure Statement is to be submitted to the Vice President for Finance and Administration, Finance Office, Franklin & Marshall College, P.O. Box 3003, Lancaster, PA 17604-3003.

An employee or student who wishes to remain anonymous may mail the completed Disclosure Statement to one of the individuals listed above, and is not required to include his/her name or other identifying information on the report. However, anonymous reports may be more difficult to investigate and substantiate.

Employees and students may verbally report suspected wrongdoing in lieu of making a written report, and should be prepared to provide the types of information requested on the Disclosure Statement. To make a verbal report, the Director or Assistant Director, Human Resources, is to be contacted (717-291-3995). The Vice President for Finance and Administration may be contacted (717-291-3993) if it is not appropriate to contact a member of the Human Resources staff.

By submitting a Disclosure Statement or making a verbal report of suspected wrongdoing, an employee or student certifies that the information being provided accurately reflects the individuals full knowledge of the incident. The individual also acknowledges that he/she understands an investigation of the allegations will commence.

Protection from Retaliation

An individual who, in good-faith, makes a report as outlined in this policy will not suffer retaliation by the College as a result of making a report. Retaliation is defined as harassment, discrimination, or adverse employment or academic actions. An individual makes a good-faith report when he/she has no specific reason to believe the allegations are false, and when the report is made without consideration of personal gain.

An individual who participates in the investigation of an alleged wrongdoing will not be subject to retaliation by the College.

An employee or student who believes that he/she has been retaliated against after making a good-faith report via this policy, or after participating in an investigation, is to notify the Director, Human Resources, or the Assistant Director, Human Resources. If the individual feels he/she has been retaliated against by or because of actions of the Director or Assistant Director, Human Resources, the Vice President for Finance and Administration is to be notified.

An employee who harasses or otherwise retaliates against someone who has reported a suspected wrongdoing in good-faith, or who has participated in an investigation, will be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination of employment. Cases involving a member of the faculty will be handled per procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook. Cases involving a student will be referred to the Dean of the College.

Confidentiality

The identity of an individual who makes a report via this policy, as well as the identity of the individual(s) suspected of wrongdoing, will be kept confidential to the extent practical. Only those having a business-need-to-know the information and/or who are involved in the investigation of alleged wrongdoing will be informed of the report.

Individuals submitting a report should be aware that their public testimony may be required if the matter is turned over to a law enforcement or other public agency.

An individual who makes a report via this policy, and all those involved in the investigation or who become aware of the report, must refrain from discussing the report and allegations, the investigation, and/or the outcome of the investigation with their colleagues, students, and anyone not directly involved in the investigation. This paragraph is not intended to prevent an individual from discussing the investigation as required or permitted by law.

Investigation

After receiving a Disclosure Statement or a verbal report of suspected wrongdoing, the Director or Assistant Director, Human Resources will promptly initiate an investigation, involving others as necessary. If the report has been made directly to the Vice President for Finance and Administration, he/she will initiate the investigation. Responsibility for the investigation may be delegated to another member of the College administration or to an outside agency as appropriate based on the allegations.

College employees and students may be questioned as part of an investigation, and will be expected to fully cooperate.

If the investigation establishes that a wrongdoing has occurred, the Director, Human Resources and/or the appropriate Senior Officer or College President will determine the applicable corrective action. Cases involving a member of the faculty will be referred to the Office of the Provost and handled per procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook. In the event a student is involved in wrongdoing, the case will be referred to the Dean of the College. An individual suspected of wrongdoing may be referred to law enforcement depending on the nature of the suspected wrongdoing and the facts and circumstances of the case.

The College administrator overseeing the investigation will be responsible for documenting the investigation, the outcome, and the facts and circumstances on which the outcome was based. Such documentation will be filed in confidential files located in the Human Resources office. In the event a report involving a member of the Human Resources staff was made, documentation pertaining to the investigation will be maintained by the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

The individual who made the report will be apprised of the outcome of the investigation, unless such individual has remained anonymous. It may not be advisable to share detailed information regarding the investigation or outcome, in which case a summary of the outcome will be provided to the extent possible.

Consequences of Making a False Report

A report made via this policy may have considerable impact on the personal and professional life of the individual accused of wrongdoing. While employees and students are encouraged to make good-faith reports per this policy, knowingly making a false or misleading report will lead to corrective action. Corrective action for an employee who has intentionally made a false or misleading report may include termination of employment. Additionally, knowingly providing false, incomplete, or misleading statements during the course of an investigation will lead to corrective action, up to and including termination of employment.

Cases involving a member of the faculty will be referred to the Office of the Provost and handled per procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook. Cases involving a student will be referred to the Dean of the College.

Other Employment-related or Academic Concerns, or Suspected Criminal Activity

As noted above, this Whistleblower Policy pertains to the reporting and investigation of suspected financial wrongdoing. Other employment-related concerns, academic concerns, concerns of students, or suspected criminal activity should be reported as outlined below.

Employment-related / Academic Concerns-- Faculty and professional staff are encouraged to constructively discuss employment-related concerns and should see the Colleges Problem Resolution Procedure, available at (www.fandm.edu/college-policies), for more information. Faculty may feel free to address concerns to their department chair, an Associate Dean, or to the Provost and Dean of the Faculty. Faculty members may see the Faculty Handbook for further information, including information about the role of the Grievance Committee. Students should see the College Life Manual for information about reporting general concerns, or may speak with their House Prefect or a member of the Office of the Dean of the College.

Harassment-- If a College employee feels he/she is being harassed in violation of the College's Sexual Harassment Policy or Anti-harassment Policy, the Director or Assistant Director, Human Resources, is to be promptly notified (717-291-3995). The College's Sexual Harassment Policy and the Anti-harassment Policy include further information regarding reporting workplace harassment. These policies can be downloaded from http://www.fandm.edu/humanresources/college-policies.

Students are to report harassment to the Senior Associate Dean of the College (717-291-4000) or to their House Prefect.

Safety-related Concerns-- Concerns pertaining to the safety of the work environment may be addressed as outlined in the Problem Resolution Policy (www.fandm.edu/college-policies). Additionally, such concerns should promptly be brought to the attention of the Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities and Operations (717-291-4153).

Suspected Criminal Activity-- Any suspected criminal activity involving or witnessed by a member of the College community is to be immediately reported to the Department of Public Safety (717-291-3939). Employees and students are also encouraged to report suspected criminal activity to the appropriate law enforcement official.

For the whistleblower policy disclosure statement form, click here.