Dear Fellow Members of the Campus Community:

I am writing with an annual reminder about the University of Puget Sound's Code of Conduct and toll-free University Compliance Helpline number: 866.943.5787. It is important for members of our community to be familiar with the Code of Conduct and to know that a University Compliance Helpline is in place.

Calls to the University Compliance Helpline are answered and initially handled by a third party administrator, who will notify the university to seek the proper resolution for the issue raised. Members of the community should report possible violations of the standards in the University of Puget Sound's Code of Conduct through avenues specified in the applicable university policies and codes discussed below or, in their absence, to the University Compliance Helpline.

What is Puget Sound’s Code of Conduct?
As members of the campus community, all faculty, staff, students, members of the board of trustees, university officers, volunteers, and affiliates are responsible for sustaining the highest ethical standards of this institution and of the broader community in which we function. The university values honesty, integrity, fairness and responsible stewardship, and strives to integrate these values into all that we do, as reflected in the Faculty Code and Bylaws, Student Integrity Code, Staff Policies and Procedures, Policy Prohibiting Sex-Based Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct, and Campus Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment, as well as all other published university policies.

Why is a Code of Conduct needed?
In order to comply fully with responsible and ethical business practices and respond to increased scrutiny of nonprofit organizations at the state and federal levels, in May 2005 the University of Puget Sound Board of Trustees adopted a Code of Conduct applying to students, faculty, staff, officers, trustees, and others with whom we work. During 2005–06, a working group of faculty and staff recommended changes to the code, which were approved by the board at its May 2006 meeting. The code has been reviewed annually since then.

The board most recently reviewed the Code of Conduct in May 2021 and approved amendments that:

  • Fix technical issues, such as capitalization and title changes (see introduction; Sections 1.e. and 7);
  • Update policy references and align our nondiscrimination language with other university policies (see Sections 1.a. and 5);
  • Add a clear statement prohibiting retaliation against any member of the university community for reporting a good faith concern or complaint regarding a possible violation of applicable standards, policies, laws or regulations, for requesting a reasonable accommodation, or for participating in any university investigation into a complaint or concern (see new Section 1.d.);
  • Add another reference to the University Compliance Helpline as a place where members of the campus community can submit confidential or anonymous questions about the Code itself (see Section 1.e.); and
  • Reinforce that all members of the university community must conduct themselves in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and university policies and procedures as well as conducting all university business transactions and university activities in this same way (see Sections 2 and 7).

Does the Code of Conduct replace other university policies?
Please note that the Code of Conduct provides an overarching general statement that supplements—but does not replace—existing university policies and codes. Remember that specific university policies and codes provide more specific guidance than the Code of Conduct and must be used whenever appropriate.

How do I report concerns under the Code of Conduct or other university policies?
Members of the University of Puget Sound community should report possible violations of these standards through avenues specified in the applicable policies and codes or, in their absence, to the University Compliance Helpline by calling the toll-free telephone number 866.943.5787. Reports may be made confidentially, and even anonymously, although the more information given, the easier it is for those responsible for policy enforcement (generally the Associate Vice President for Human Resources, the Provost, or the Dean of Students—for staff, faculty and students, respectively – or the Chief Risk Management Officer or other administrator charged with specific policy oversight) to investigate the reports.

Who receives the calls made to the Compliance Helpline?
Calls to the Compliance Helpline are received by a third-party administrator, who then notifies the Vice President and University Counsel and Director of the Office of the President of any contacts.  University personnel responsible for resolution receive information in writing, and do not hear the calls.  

How does the university respond to reports to the Compliance Helpline?
The university will make every effort to honor confidentiality and anonymity to the extent it does not conflict with external regulations and laws. Each report will be reviewed by the appropriate university officer in as timely a manner as possible, and at the appropriate level within the university. If a report is made through this avenue, but involves an issue that can be dealt with through processes identified in other published university policies and codes, an appropriate and timely referral will be made.

For additional information, please see the attached FAQ from our third party administrator about the helpline.

I am pleased to answer any questions you may have with regard to the Code of Conduct and the University Compliance Helpline at any time.


Joanna Carey Cleveland | Vice President and University Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Trustees