CWUP 1-50

CWUP 1-50-010 Board of Trustees Ethics Expectations

The board of trustees recognizes that ethics are expectations, not orders. The following statements are not meant as directives, but as guidelines observed by professionals in higher education that are endorsed by the trustees.

(1) Faculty members shall be guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, and recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end, they shall devote their energies to developing and improving scholarly competence. They shall accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They shall practice intellectual honesty and integrity. Although faculty may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise freedom of inquiry or excellence of performance.

(2) As teachers, faculty members shall encourage the free pursuit of learning in students. They shall hold before them the best scholarly standards of their disciplines. They shall demonstrate respect for students as individuals and shall adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. They shall make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to assure that their evaluation of students reflects their true merit. Faculty shall respect the confidential nature of the relationship between faculty members and students. They shall avoid any exploitation of students for private advantage and shall acknowledge significant assistance from them. Faculty shall protect students’ academic freedom.

(3) As colleagues, faculty members have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. They shall respect and defend the free inquiry of associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas, faculty shall show due respect for the opinions of others. They shall acknowledge academic debts and strive to be objective in professional judgment of colleagues. They shall accept their share of faculty responsibility for the governance of the institution.

(4) As members of the institution, faculty should seek, above all, to be effective teachers and scholars. Although they shall abide by the stated regulations of the institution, provided they do not contravene academic freedom, they shall retain their right to criticize and seek revision. Faculty shall determine the amount and character of the work they do outside the institution with due regard to the paramount responsibilities within it.

When considering interruption or termination of service, faculty shall be cognizant of the effect of their decision upon the program of the institution and shall give due notice of their intentions as provided in this code.

(5) As members of the community, faculty shall have the same rights and obligations of any citizen. They shall measure the urgency of these obligations in light of their responsibilities to their subjects, to their students, to their profession, and to their institution. When faculty speak or act as a private persons, they shall avoid creating the impression that they speak or act for the university. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, faculty members have a particular obligation to understanding academic freedom.

(6) At each regular meeting there shall be a pre-determined amount of time set aside for public comment.

[05/2012, Resolution 12-04]

[09/1999, Motion 99-33; 06/2008: Responsibility: Board of Trustees; Authority: Cabinet/UPAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/UPAC; Review/Effective Date: 05/2012; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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CWUP 1-50-020 Board of Trustees Ethics Statement

The Board of Trustees is subject to the laws of the state of Washington regulating ethical behavior.

(1) Open Public Meeting Act. The meetings of all multimember governing boards, councils and commissions, or any committees thereof, are open to the public, except for matters authorized to be conducted in executive session, or which are exempt from the act.

(2) Public Disclosure Commission Requirements.

(A) In order to prevent conflicts of interest, each trustee must file a detailed financial affairs statement with the Public Disclosure Commission prior to April 15 of each year.

(B) State agencies and institutions may expend public funds for lobbying by providing information or communicating on matters pertaining to official agency business, or by advocating the official position or interests of the agency to any elected official or officer or employee of any agency, but they may not use the facilities of a public office or agency for or against the election of any person or for or against any ballot proposition.

(3) Public Records Disclosure. All records relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, retained, used or owned by any state agency are available for inspection and copying, unless exempted by law.

(4) Ethics in Public Service

(A) Basic Concepts

1. A trustee is a “state officer” within the meaning of the ethics laws.
2. A state officer or employee may not use his/her public position for private benefit, gain, or advantage.
3. A state officer or employee may not have a financial interest in or engage in any business or professional activity which is in conflict with his/her official duties.
4. A state officer or employee may not use his/her official position to secure special privileges or exemptions for him/herself or any other person.
5. A state officer or employee may not receive any compensation, gift, reward or gratuity except from the state for performing official duties.

(B) General Rules on Receipt of Gifts. A state officer or employee may not accept any gift if it could be reasonably expected to influence the performance or nonperformance of his/her official duties.

(C) Confidential Information. A state officer or employee may not disclose confidential information or use it for personal gain or private advantage.

(D) Use of State Resources. State resources may not be used for personal gain or private advantage. The Executive Ethics Board has authorized the “de minimis” use of resources under limited circumstances.

(E) Compensation for Outside Activities. A state officer or employee may not receive any compensation except from the state for performing official duties.

(F) Honoraria. “Honoraria” means money or anything of value for a speech, appearance, or article. Honoraria may not be received unless specifically authorized by the state officer’s or employee’s agency.

(G) Post-State Employment. Post-State employment is limited with those with whom the agency has had contractual relations.

(H) Assisting in Transactions. State officers or employees may assist persons or entities only in the course of their official duties.

(I) Outside Financial Interests/Financial Interests in Transactions. A state officer or employee may not be beneficially interested in a contract made by, through, or under his/her supervision.

(5) Over expenditure of Funds.

(A) The Budget and Accounting Act contains severe penalties for the intentional or negligent over expending or over encumbering of any appropriation made by law, for failing to properly account for any expenditure by fund, program or fiscal period, or for expending funds contrary to the terms, limits, or conditions of any appropriation made by law.

(B) The Washington Constitution prohibits gifts or loans of public funds to private entities, including private college foundations, with exceptions for intergovernmental transfers, support for the “poor and infirm” and for pension and other trust funds.

[09/1999, Motion 99-33: Responsibility: Board of Trustees; Authority: Cabinet/UPAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/UPAC; Review/Effective Date: 06/2008; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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CWUP 1-50-030 Trustees Conflict of Interest Standards Policy    

The following standards apply to each member of the Board of Trustees of Central Washington University.  

(1) Fiduciary Responsibilities. Members of the board serve the public trust and are obliged to fulfill their responsibilities in a manner consistent with this fact. All decisions are to be made solely on the basis of a desire to promote the best interests of Central Washington University and the public good. The university’s integrity must be considered and advanced at all times.  

Trustees are often involved in the affairs of other institutions, businesses, and organizations. An effective board may not always consist of individuals entirely free from perceived, potential, or real conflicts of interest. Although most such conflicts are and will be deemed to be inconsequential, it is every trustee’s responsibility to make the Board chair and staff aware of situations at CWU that may involve the trustee’s personal or business relationships.  

(2) Affirmation and Disclosure. The board requires each trustee annually to affirm adherence to the following standards:  

(A) Board disclosure of personal or business interests and relationships. Each trustee will disclose to the Board any personal or business relationship or interest that reasonably could give rise to a perceived, potential, or real conflict of interest.  

1. Public disclosure. Trustees are required by RCW 42.17.240 to file annual statements with the Public Disclosure Commission relating to business interests and receipt of gifts.  

(B) Disclosure of potential or real conflict of interest. In the event there comes before the Board a matter for consideration or decision that raises a potential or real conflict of interest for any trustee, the trustee shall disclose to the Chair of the Board the existence of a potential, perceived, or real conflict of interest as soon as possible.  

(C) Recording of disclosure in minutes. The disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting in which a vote by the Board will occur on the matter.  

(D) Seeking counsel regarding disclosure. In the event a trustee is uncertain as to the need to make disclosure in a particular instance, the trustee should seek counsel from the Board Chair or Secretary to the Board.  

(E) Trustee recusal on Board actions on issues where conflicts exist. A trustee who is aware of potential or real conflict of interest with respect to any such matter shall not vote or participate in discussion in connection with the matter.  

(3) Situations that Constitute Conflicts of Interest. While it is difficult to list all circumstances that may create a conflict of interest for individual trustees, the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 28B.35.120 defines the following situations as prohibited actions:  

(A) Use authority of trusteeship to influence the outcome of a business transaction.  

(B) Use of university resources for personal benefit.  

(C) Use of official authority for personal gain.  

(D) Receipt of gifts, gratuities, and favors.    

[02/2018, Motion 18-05: Responsibility & Authority: Board of Trustees]

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