Codes of Conduct

     
  • Professional Expectations 
  • Conflict of Interests 
  • Confidential Material 
  • Business Gifts 
  • Telephone Use 
  • Violence in the Workplace 
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and Job Safety 
  • Cell Phone Use 
  • Attendance and Punctuality 
  • Children at Work 
  • Dress Guidelines 
  • Non-Retaliation Policy 
  • Children at Work 
  • Use of Property 
  • Consensual Relationships 
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It is very important for you to remember that attitude and conduct are significant factors in work performance.  It is your duty to be courteous to co-workers, and to every person who visits the campus—students, parents, alumni, visitors and those who do business with the College.  Employee conduct has a direct bearing on the general public opinion of the College; therefore, it is imperative that you respect the rights of others and conduct yourself in a professional and business-like manner.  You are not to engage in any conduct or language that may be offensive to others.

You shall be considered to have a conflict of interest if you have an existing or potential financial or other interest that impairs or might reasonably appear to impair your independent judgment in the discharge of your responsibilities to the College.  Youshall disclose to your supervisor, department head, or appropriate college officer any possible conflict of interest at the earliest practicable time.  If you engage in activities that constitute or appear to constitute a violation of this policy you will be subject to a review and evaluation of these activities by the College’s administration.  Upon completion of this review, a determination will be made, and, if necessary, a course of remedial action will be outlined in order to secure good faith compliance with this policy.  It shall be the policy of the College that any such activity that results in a conflict of interest with employment responsibilities will be prohibited.  The judgment or opinion of the College’s administration will prevail should a difference of opinion exist.
  Your work for the College may give you access to academic, personnel, or budgetary information that is considered confidential.  You are expected to respect the confidentiality of such information and not disclose it to anyone who does not have an official need for it.  If you have any question about the confidentiality of information entrusted to you or to which you have access, ask your supervisor.  The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits, with certain limited exceptions, the release of information from a student’s educational records unless the student has given written consent.  Questions about compliance can be answered by the Registrar’s Office.  Personnel records of employees may be accessed by employees and supervisors only in the course of performing their job functions on a need-to-know basis, except pursuant to a subpoena or a request covered under the open record law of New York State.  Please see Appendix B for a copy of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
You are prohibited from accepting gifts or gratuities, whose worth is over $100, from individuals and firms with which the College does business.  The acceptance of such gifts is unprofessional and can compromise business decisions, which are not in the best interest of the College.
If there is any question as to the propriety of a gift it should be rejected or returned with the explanation that accepting it is contrary to College policy.
Although the College realizes that there are times when you may need to use the telephone for personal reasons, it is expected that good judgment will be used in limiting the length and frequency of such calls.  Additionally, no long distance personal calls, outside of the tri-state area, may be made on the College’s phones without prior approval from your supervisor.
  The safety and security of all College personnel, students, and visitors is of vital importance.  Therefore, acts or threats of physical violence including, but not limited to, intimidation, harassment, or coercion, which may be directed towards another employee, visitor, student or affect the College or occur on College property, shall not be tolerated.  Prohibited conduct includes but is not limited to: 
  • Threats of any kind;
  • Intimidating, menacing, hostile, physically aggressive, or violent behavior, including stalking and surveillance;
  • Behavior that suggests a tendency towards violence, including belligerent speech, excessive arguing or swearing, or a demonstrated pattern of refusal to follow university policies and procedures;
  • Defacing or damaging university property;
  • Bringing weapons or firearms of any kind, regardless of permit, on College property or while conducting College business (except law enforcement personnel);and
  • Any conduct that adversely affects the College's legitimate interests and that could potentially result in violation of any laws relating to threats or violation acts.
The College reserves the right to address behavior that suggests a tendency towards violence even before any violent behavior occurs.  Any employee who is found, after a proper investigation, to have been in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
  Wagner College is committed to providing all employees with a safe and healthy working environment that is free of recognizable hazards.  Furthermore, it is the policy of the College to comply with all applicable state and federal codes and regulations including those outlines in the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to maintain a log that details workers’ job-related illness or injuries, and to provide employees with a working environment that is free from safety hazards.  All job-related injuries must be reported to the Office of Human Resources.  If you have an emergency involving a hazardous chemical, or a question about anything you feel is creating an unsafe work environment, please contact your supervisor, campus security, or the Office of Campus Operations.  For more information on OSHA’s you may visit their website at:  http://www.osha.gov
  Employees who are issued cell phones for business use and whose job responsibilities include regular or occasional driving are expected to refrain from using their phone while driving.  Regardless of the circumstances, employees are strongly encouraged to pull off to the side of the road and safely stop the vehicle before placing or accepting a call.  Employees whose job responsibilities do not specifically include driving as an essential function, but who are issued a cell phone for business use are also expected to abide by the provisions above.  Under no circumstances are employees allowed to place themselves at risk to fulfill business needs.  Employees who are charged with traffic violations resulting from the use of their phone while driving will be solely responsible for all liabilities that result from such actions.  College issued cell phones must be used primarily for business calls; personal calls are restricted.  If personal calls are placed or received, and are listed on the billing, the individual must reimburse the College for the personal minutes, up to any total average charge shown.
  You are expected to report to work on time and to remain on the job throughout your regular work hours.  If you know you will be late or absent from work you must inform your supervisor as far in advance of the start of the workday as possible.  Please check with your department head for specific reporting procedures for your area.  It is your responsibility, either personally or through a close relative, to ensure proper notification is given to the supervisor.  Asking another employee or friend to give this notification is improper, except under emergency conditions, and does not release you from this responsibility.  Absence without notice for three (3) consecutive days is considered job abandonment and grounds for immediate termination.  If you have an urgent reason for leaving work you must have permission from your supervisor and/or department head.  Punctuality and regular attendance are important for job advancement and retention.  If you are repeatedly late for work you jeopardize future pay increases and you may be subject to dismissal.
  Wagner College recognizes the need to assist its employees with the balance between family and work commitments.  However, the College is also responsible for ensuring the safety of all students, staff and visitors on our campus, and our employees’ children are no exception.  Buildings that are safe for adults are not necessarily safe for children, nor are the safety standards for children and adults the same.  Although bringing one’s child to work may be a good solution for an individual employee, compared to the expense and logistics of external childcare, it is problematic for supervisors, co-workers, and the work environment of the College.  All children require some amount of adult supervision and any time spent on that supervision is time not spent at work.  The College reasonably expects employees to make their own arrangements for childcare on days when children may be sick, on snow days, during school holidays, or other occasions.  An employee may not bring a child to work because he/she does not want to use sick, personal or vacation time, or pay for day care or a babysitter, or simply because he/she prefers to have the child there.  Only under extenuating circumstances, where there is no other viable alternative and with express, prior approval from their Department Head will an employee be allowed to bring his/her child to work.  Each request will be assessed on its own merit.  The viability of other child care alternatives, workload requirements, safety risks, the impact on other staff and any other relevant issues will be taken into consideration at the time of the request.  Under no circumstances can the College allow children near any plant or equipment, within College vehicles, where there is no suitable space to accommodate a child or left unattended in any outdoor area.  Any Department Head who allows an employee to bring his/her child to work must notify the Offices of Human Resources and Public Safety of the child’s presence.  Department Heads must monitor and enforce this policy as they must all other health and safety policies.
  The key to dressing successfully is exercising good judgment and being neat and professional in appearance with regard to clothing, hair, and accessories.  Keep in mind the following when determining whether your dress is appropriate.

All members of the senior staff are expected to dress in formal business attire.  • Recommended for men: A suit, tailored sport coat with dress trousers to be worn with a dress shirt and tie.  • Recommended for women: Tailored dress or pant suit worn with a blouse, businesslike dresses, and coordinated dressy separates. When wearing separates, tailored jackets are required.


All administrative and staff office personnel are expected to dress in business attire.  • Recommended for men: Tailored separates, collared dress shirt, sweaters, and trousers. A blazer or business jacket or tie can optionally be added.  • Recommended for women: Tailored separates, such as reasonable length skirts, slacks, dress shirts, blouses, sweaters, sweater sets, cardigans, a dress with appropriate skirt length and jackets.


• Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Athletic Trainers, and others in similar jobs in the Athletics Department are permitted to wear Wagner College athletic clothing, approved by the department.  • Office staff should follow the same dress guidelines as the rest of the College.

 

• Staff who are issued uniforms are required to wear such clothing unless granted a specific exception, by the department’s management.  • Special requirements may be necessary for safety, health, sanitation and professional best practice reasons, including the use of protective gloves, goggles, and/or footwear, hard hats, and other specialized clothing or equipment.


• Considered inappropriate are jeans, sweatpants, exercise pants, shorts, overalls, leggings, spandex or other form-fitting pants, mini skirts, skorts, pedal pushers, clam diggers, Capri pants, spaghetti strap dresses, halter dresses, informal tank tops, midriff tops, halter tops, sweatshirts, muscle shirts, t-shirts, shirts with potentially offensive words, terms, logos, pictures, cartoons, or slogans, underwear as outerwear, sport sandals, beach sandals, slippers, flip-flops, athletic shoes, stiletto heels.  • When meeting with clients or other business associates, whether in your office or theirs, you should dress appropriately. If they wear suits, then you should wear one. When in doubt of their dress policy, formal business attire is appropriate.  • As a rule of thumb, if you are unsure whether a specific clothing or appearance is appropriate, then it is probably not. Be on the safe side and don’t wear it. If you would wear it to a club, you probably shouldn’t wear it to the work environment.  • Clothing should not be torn, dirty, frayed, wrinkled.  • Dress your size, avoid tight fitting clothes and tops that reveal too much cleavage.  • Make up, jewelry and accessories should not distract you from but rather complete your overall professional look.  • You should avoid wearing heavily-scented products, since many individuals have allergies or sensitivities to fragrances. You are expected to limit their use upon request.  • At its discretion, the College may allow employees to dress in a more casual fashion for special College events, or as appropriate for special departmental need with permission of their direct supervisor.

  When classes are not in session or students are not on campus, the College has approved Friday business casual instead of business attire. Casual dress still requires that the staff maintain an appearance that is appropriate.  Shirts, polo shirts and sweaters with the College logo are permitted.  Please avoid extremes—shorts, halter tops, inappropriate t-shirts, muscle shirts and dress of a similar nature are not permitted.  During inclement weather and at the College’s discretion employees may be permitted to relax standards in a way that is appropriate to the extreme weather condition.  However a professional appearance is still expected.  Wagner College will accommodate employees who, for religious reasons, must maintain a particular physical appearance or manner of dress in keeping with the tenets of their religion, as long as it does not pose a safety concern.
  Retaliation against any member of Wagner College’s community who makes a complaint of discrimination or harassment or raises any other concern to an administrator, or who refers a matter for complaint or investigation, or who participates in the complaint, investigation, or hearing process, is prohibited.  The term “retaliation” includes discriminating against, mistreating or taking adverse employment action against someone who has made a complaint of discrimination or harassment or raised any other concern to an administrator, or who referred a matter for complaint or investigation, or who participated in the complaint, investigation or hearing process.  Wagner College employees, faculty, and administrators who engage in retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion. 

• If a Board Member, employee, volunteer, student, vendor, alumni or applicant believes that he or she has been retaliated against in the form of an adverse employment or other action for disclosing information regarding misconduct under this policy, her or she may file a written complaint requesting an appropriate remedy.  • For purposes of this policy, an adverse employment action shall be defined as actions including: discharge, demotion, suspension, being threatened or harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against with respect to compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment. Other adverse actions include: dismissing, suspending or disciplining a student or changing or lowering a grade or evaluation of a student or in any other manner negatively affecting the student’s academic career; terminating or threatening to terminate a customer or vendor relationship; and discriminating against or mistreating an alumni or volunteer. This policy does not prohibit an employment action or any other action that would have been taken regardless of disclosure of information.


• A Board Member, employee, volunteer, student, vendor, alumni or applicant must file a complaint with the President or his/her alternate Chair of the Board within ninety (90) days from the effective date of the adverse employment action or from the date on which the employee, volunteer, student, vendor, alumni or applicant should reasonably have had knowledge of the adverse action.  • Complaints shall be filed in writing and shall include:  o Name and address of the complainant;  o Name and title of individual(s) against whom the complaint is made;  o The specific type(s) of adverse actions taken;  o The specific date(s) on which the adverse action(s) were taken;  o A clear and concise statement of the facts that form the basis of the complaint;  o A clear and concise statement of the complainant’s explanation of how his or her previous disclosure of misconduct is related to the adverse employment or other action; and  o A clear and concise statement of the remedy sought by the complainant.  • Within sixty (60) calendar days of the receipt of the complaint, the President or his/her alternate Chair of the Board shall consider the written complaint, shall conduct or have conducted an investigation which, in his or her judgment, is consistent with the circumstances of the complaint and disclosure, and shall provide the complainant with a determination regarding the complaint.  • The determination shall be in writing and shall include the findings of fact, the conclusions of the investigation, and, if applicable, a specific and timely remedy consistent with the findings. The decision of the President or his/her alternate Chair of the Board shall be final.

  Wagner College recognizes the need to assist its employees with the balance between family and work commitments.  However, the College is also responsible for ensuring the safety of all students, staff and visitors on our campus, and our employees’ children are no exception.  Buildings that are safe for adults are not necessarily safe for children, nor are the safety standards for children and adults the same.  Although bringing one’s child to work may be a good solution for an individual employee, compared to the expense and logistics of external childcare, it is problematic for supervisors, co-workers, and the work environment of the College.  All children require some amount of adult supervision and any time spent on that supervision is time not spent at work.  The College reasonably expects employees to make their own arrangements for childcare on days when children may be sick, on snow days, during school holidays, or other occasions.  An employee may not bring a child to work because he/she does not want to use sick, personal or vacation time, or pay for day care or a babysitter, or simply because he/she prefers to have the child there.  Only under extenuating circumstances, where there is no other viable alternative and with express, prior approval from their Department Head will an employee be allowed to bring his/her child to work.  Each request will be assessed on its own merit.  The viability of other child care alternatives, workload requirements, safety risks, the impact on other staff and any other relevant issues will be taken into consideration at the time of the request.  Under no circumstances can the College allow children near any plant or equipment, within College vehicles, where there is no suitable space to accommodate a child or left unattended in any outdoor area.  Any Department Head who allows an employee to bring his/her child to work must notify the Offices of Human Resources and Public Safety of the child’s presence.  Department Heads must monitor and enforce this policy as they must all other health and safety policies.
  You are responsible for the care and security of any College property while it is under your control.  Unauthorized use or removal of College property is prohibited and may be cause for dismissal.  Property should be used only for the specific purpose for which it was designed.  College property issued to an employee  may not be transferred to another employee without authorization.  Property assigned to you must be returned to the College by the last day of employment.
  The Consensual Relationships Policy is published in the Wagner College Employee Handbook and in the Wagner College Faculty Handbook under "Policy on Instructor-Student and Staff-Student Consensual Relationships". The policy has three components: 
  • Policy on Supervisor-Employee Consensual Relationships
  • Policy on Instructor-Student Consensual Relationships
  • Employee Fraternization
Policy on Supervisor-Employee Consensual Relationships 
  1. For the purposes of this policy:
  • a "Supervisor" is any College faculty member, staff member, or appointee who oversees, directs or evaluates the work of others.
  • an "Employee" is anyone employed by the College as a faculty member or staff member, including a post-doctoral fellow or student employee, and any holder of a College appointment.
  
  1. Wagner College is committed to maintaining a fair and professional work environment in which faculty and staff members carry out their responsibilities in an atmosphere free of conflicts of interest. Where a College Supervisor uses a position of authority to induce an Employee to enter into a non-consensual romantic or sexual relationship, the Supervisor's conduct violates law and College policy and can subject both the Supervisor and the College to legal liability.
   Even where the relationship is consensual, however, the conduct of a romantic or sexual relationship between a Supervisor and a subordinate Employee may raise issues of conflict of interest, abuse of authority, or favoritism, with potential to adversely impact not only the subordinate Employee involved in the relationship but other Employees who may see themselves as disadvantaged by the romantic or sexual relationship. Moreover, because of the real or perceived power imbalance that may exist, such a relationship may also raise questions about the mutuality of consent. Such situations may cast doubt on the objectivity and fairness of the workplace, damage workplace morale, and place the College in a legally vulnerable position.    
  1. For these reasons, except as provided below, no College Supervisor should participate in the hiring, promotion, supervision, or evaluation, or in the setting of wages or salaries, for any College Employee with whom the Supervisor has or has had a romantic or sexual relationship.
  
  1. With specific regard to hiring, situations may arise in which one party to a romantic or sexual relationship seeks a position supervised by the other party. (Because of the College’s small size, this situation is more likely to arise at Wagner than at larger institutions.) In some instances, academic or administrative considerations may make it desirable that one party be allowed to work in a setting supervised by the other, subject to appropriate conflict management procedures.

Accordingly, no Supervisor should hire a person with whom he or she has or has had a romantic or sexual relationship unless: 

(a) the hiring has been approved in advance by the responsible Vice President, 

(b) the Vice-President has determined that procedures to avoid or reasonably manage conflicts of interest are feasible, and 

(c) such procedures have been put into place. Such procedures should ordinarily include arrangements to exclude the Supervisor from decisions concerning promotion, setting of wages or salaries, evaluation, or promotion of the other party to the relationship. 

For example, when a Supervisor has responsibility for supervising an Employee with whom he has a romantic relationship, the Vice President may, if feasible, arrange for an administrator senior to the Supervisor to perform these functions.    

  1. In unusual circumstances, responsible superiors, in their discretion, may permit departures from this policy provided that procedures designed to minimize the risk of conflicts of interest are feasible and are put into place. For example, a College Employee may be a candidate for a position that would involve supervision of someone with whom that Employee has or has had a romantic or sexual relationship. In all such cases, the candidate should disclose the relationship to the hiring officer in advance so that the conflict issues can be addressed.
  
  1. If, notwithstanding this policy, a relationship prohibited by this policy develops, the Supervisor should immediately disclose it to his or her superior, who should take steps to address any conflict of interest posed by the relationship. Violation or failure to promptly disclose and correct violation of this policy is grounds for disciplinary action.
  
  1. This policy should be interpreted in accordance with its objective of avoiding even the appearance of unfairness in the workplace. Even where particular situations are not prohibited by this policy, Supervisors should avoid relationships that would cause observers to question the Supervisor’s ethics or professional judgment. Supervisors are urged, in doubtful cases, to consult with their respective superiors or Vice Presidents. Questions about this policy may also be directed to the Provost and the Office of Human Resources.
   Policy on Instructor-Student and Staff-Student Consensual Relationships  Introduction    
  1. For purposes of this policy:
  • an "Instructor" is any member of the instructional staff, including any faculty member (regardless of rank or permanent or visiting status), post-doctoral fellow who supervises or evaluates students. Undergraduate and graduate student teaching assistants also are considered “Instructors” with respect to students over whom they have academic responsibility (see paragraph 5).
  • a “Staff member” is any person who is not an Instructor but who has authority over students, including deans of any rank, athletic coaches, advisers and directors of student organizations, and others who advise, mentor or evaluate students.
  1. The integrity of the educational process depends upon the maintenance of a professional relationship between Instructors and Staff members, on the one hand, and the students whom they supervise or advise, on the other. Where an Instructor or Staff member uses a position of authority to induce a student to enter into a non-consensual romantic or sexual relationship, the Instructor’s or Staff member’s conduct violates law and College policy and can subject both the individual and the College to legal liability. Even where the relationship is consensual, however, the conduct of a romantic or sexual relationship between an Instructor or Staff member and a student he or she supervises or advises may raise issues of conflict of interest or abuse of authority, with potential to adversely impact not only the student involved in the relationship but other students as well. Such situations may diminish confidence in the College and place it in a legally vulnerable position. For these reasons, the College strongly discourages such relationships and has adopted this policy concerning Instructor-student and Staff-student consensual relationships.
  
  1. This policy should be interpreted in accordance with its objective of preserving the integrity of the educational process. Even where particular situations are not prohibited by this policy, Instructors and Staff members should avoid relationships that would cause observers to question the Instructor’s or Staff member’s professional judgment. Instructors and Staff members are urged, in doubtful cases, to consult with their respective department chairs, deans (or their designees), or supervisors. Students are urged to consult with the Dean of Campus Life. Questions about this policy may also be directed to the Provost and the Office of Human Resources.
  
  1. If, notwithstanding this policy, a relationship prohibited by this policy develops, the Instructor or Staff member should immediately disclose it to his or her chair or supervisor, who should take steps to address any conflict of interest posed by the relationship. Violation or failure to promptly disclose and correct violation of this policy is grounds for disciplinary action.
   Instructor-Student Relationships 
  1. The pedagogical relationship between Instructor and student must be protected from influences or activities that can interfere with learning and objective evaluation. Accordingly, no Instructor shall enter into a romantic or sexual relationship with a student over whom that Instructor has academic responsibility or is likely to have academic responsibility in the future (for example, because of that student’s intended major), regardless of whether the relationship would be consensual. Conversely, no Instructor shall exercise academic responsibility over a student with whom the Instructor has or has had a romantic or sexual relationship, regardless of whether the relationship is or was consensual. For purposes of this paragraph 5, “Instructor” includes an undergraduate or graduate student who is serving as a teaching assistant.
  
  1. In addition, because of the heightened risk of a real or perceived power imbalance where undergraduate students are involved, no Instructor shall have a romantic or sexual relationship with a Wagner undergraduate, regardless of whether the Instructor has or is likely to have academic responsibility over the student.
   Staff-Student Relationships 
  1. Staff members working in the student life area and other areas are often called upon to work closely with and advise students with respect to student’s personal lives. Objectivity and trust are essential. Staff members in such positions cannot perform their duties effectively if they become romantically or sexually involved with students who they are responsible for advising or mentoring. Accordingly, no Staff member shall have a romantic or sexual relationship, regardless of whether the relationship is consensual, with a student for whom that Staff member has advising, mentoring, evaluation, or student organization management responsibility.

Similarly, no Staff member shall exercise such responsibility with respect to a student with whom that Staff member has had a romantic or sexual relationship in the past, regardless of whether the relationship was consensual.    

  1. Even where a Staff member does not have direct responsibility for a student as described above, romantic or sexual relationships between Staff members and students at the College are discouraged.
  
  1. In unusual circumstances, Senior Staff, in their discretion, may permit departures from this policy provided that appropriate conflict management procedures, such as transfer of evaluation responsibility, are feasible and are put into place. For example, where a student’s academic program requires a course that is taught only by the student’s spouse or partner, the Provost may, in his or her discretion, allow the student to take the course so long as the conflict has been disclosed and arrangements have been made for a person other than the spouse/partner Instructor to evaluate and grade the student’s work, provided such arrangements are feasible for the particular course involved.
   Policy on Employee Fraternizing  Introduction  Wagner College strives to provide a work environment that is collegial, respectful and productive. This policy establishes rules for the conduct of personal relationships between employees, including supervisory personnel, in an attempt to prevent conflicts and maintain a productive and friendly work environment. 
  1. A “personal relationship” is defined as a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
  
  1. An employee who is involved in a personal relationship with another employee may not occupy a position in the same department as, work directly for or supervise the employee with whom he or she is involved.
  
  1. Wagner College reserves the right to take prompt action if an actual or potential conflict of interest arises concerning individuals who engage in a personal relationship that may affect terms and conditions of employment. Supervisors and managers are prohibited from dating subordinates and may be disciplined for such actions, up to and including termination.
  
  1. When a conflict or the potential for conflict arises because of a personal relationship between employees, even if there is no line of authority or reporting involved, the employees may be separated by reassignment, or terminated from employment. If such a personal relationship between employees develops, it is the responsibility and obligation of the employees involved to disclose the existence of the relationship to the department director or manager.
  
  1. When a conflict or a potential for conflict affecting terms or conditions of employment arises because of the relationship, the individuals concerned will be given the opportunity to decide who is to be transferred to another position, or terminated, if no position is available. If no decision is made within 30 calendar days of the offer to resolve the situation, Wagner College will determine who is to be transferred or, if necessary, terminated from employment.