Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Marquette to Employees: Snitch On Your Lying, Cheating Cohorts

From an e-mail recently sent to all Marquette faculty and staff:
4. New reporting hotline, Web site for university financial operations available to faculty and staff

A new service being launched at Marquette today will continue the universitys effort to promote sound financial operations in departments and offices across campus. Providing an ethical workplace for every faculty and staff member helps fulfill the universitys mission of excellence as well as our obligation to students, colleagues and others with whom Marquette has contact.

All Marquette faculty and staff share in the responsibility of promoting a positive working environment. As part of the effort, Marquette has chosen a third party, EthicsPoint, to provide the university with a phone and Web reporting system that employees can use to report any concerns or issues about financial operations they may have in an anonymous and confidential way. Among the reporting categories are accounting and auditing issues, improper actions and waste of university resources.

The new service is available anywhere around the clock and while university areas will respond as appropriate, the system is managed by EthicsPoint for Marquette in order to keep correspondence confidential. Further, Marquette will not tolerate any action taken against an employee for making a good faith report.

Please see the Web site or call (800) 445-7068 to learn more.
When one goes to the link provided, one finds a list of the infractions being asked about. They include:
  • Accounting and Auditing Matters
  • Falsification of Contracts, Reports or Records
  • Fraud
  • Improper Disclosure of Financial Records
  • Improper Giving or Receiving of Gifts
  • Improper Supplier or Contractor Activity
  • Theft/Embezzlement
  • Waste, Abuse or Misuse of University Resources
  • Donor Stewardship
People who visit the site are asked to submit a report of wrongdoing, and are assured that they will remain anonymous.

Are all of these activities rife around the University?

We know where several bodies are buried, and a few closets that have skeletons in them. We talked to a couple of colleagues who know about more bodies and skeletons than we do.

Our conclusion: corruption is pretty rare around Marquette. There have been a few cases, and those have pretty much been small potatoes.

Most departments and programs have very little discretionary money that could be used for corrupt purposes. Those that do should be audited routinely and efficiently.

We are all for “blowing the whistle” on unethical and corrupt actions. But this initiative sends the wrong message. It appears to be yet another policy that serves the interests of University bureaucrats -- justifying their salaries, staking a claim to bigger budgets, and augmenting their résumés.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much overhead to you think a policy like this takes?

What wrong message?

I mostly enjoy reading your blog, but why do you waste my time with garbage like this?

10:26 AM  

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