This ethics policy serves (1) to emphasize the University’s commitment to ethical
conduct and compliance with the law; (2) to set forth basic standards of ethical behavior;
(3) to provide reporting mechanisms for known or suspected ethical violations; (4)
to help prevent and detect wrongdoing.
Given the variety and complexity of ethical questions that may arise in the course
of carrying out the University’s business, this Code can serve only as a general guide.
Confronted with ethically ambiguous situations, employees should keep in mind the
University’s commitment to the highest ethical standards and seek advice from appropriate
levels of University administration so as to ensure that this commitment is honored
at all times.
This ethics policy has been adopted by the Board of Trustees and is to be administered
at the direction of the President. A campus, department, or area may implement more
specific associational or professional policies that supplement this policy, but each
must be approved by the President and each must have a higher (and not lower) ethical
requirement than this policy. In the event of a conflict between this policy and
those of a campus, unit, or area, this policy will control.
This ethics policy applies to all Arkansas Tech University employees. This policy
may be amended or supplemented from time to time by the Board of Trustees.
Public employment is a public trust. It is the policy of Arkansas Tech University
to promote and balance the objective of protecting government integrity and the objective
of facilitating the recruitment and retention of personnel needed by the university.
The policy is implemented by prescribing essential restrictions against conflict of
interest without creating unnecessary obstacles to entering public service.
The institution and its employees shall conduct themselves in a manner that strengthens
the public’s trust and confidence by adhering to the following principles:
- Conduct that is beyond reproach and integrity of the highest caliber;
- Act with honesty and fairness in good faith and professionalism;
- Accountability, transparency and commitment to compliance with statutory requirements;
- Being proactive in pursuing ethical conduct in future years.
- “Confidential information” means any information which is available to an employee only because of the employee’s
status as an employee of this state and is not a matter of public knowledge or available
to the public on request.
- “Employee” means an individual drawing a salary from the university and any non-salaried individual
performing personal services for the university.
- “Gift” is defined for purposes of this policy using the definition of the Arkansas Ethics
Commission rule §300(b), which is set forth in its entirety in attachment “A”.
- “Gratuity” means a payment, loan, subscription, advance, deposit of money, services, or anything
of more than nominal value, present or promised, unless consideration of substantially
equal or greater value is received.
- “Immediate family” means a spouse, children, parents, brother and sisters, and grandparents.
- “Personal gain” means a benefit or advantage that relates to a particular person rather than to a
business, group or organization.
General standards of ethical conduct
- Any attempt to realize personal gain through public employment by conduct inconsistent
with the proper discharge of the employee’s duties is a breach of a public trust.
- Employee Conflict of Interest
- It shall be a breach of ethical standards for any employee to participate directly
or indirectly in any proceeding or application, in any request for ruling or other
determination, in any claim or controversy, or in any other particular matter pertaining
to any contract or subcontract, and any solicitation or proposal therefore, in which
to the employee’s knowledge;
- The employee or any member of the employee’s immediate family has a financial interest;
- A business or organization has a financial interest, in which business or organization
the employee, or any member of the employee’s immediate family, has a financial interest;
- Any other person, business, or organization with whom the employee or any member of
the employee’s immediately family is negotiating or has an arrangement concerning
prospective employment is a party.
- “Direct or indirect participation” shall include, but not be limited to, involvement
through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, preparation of any part of
a procurement request, including the content of any specification or procurement standard,
rending of advice, investigation, auditing, or in any other advisory capacity.
- Gratuities and kickbacks
- It is a breach of ethical standards for any person to offer, give, or agree to give
any employee or former employee, or for any employee or former employee to solicit,
demand, accept, or agree to accept from another person, a gratuity or an offer of
employment in connection with any decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation,
preparation of any part of a purchase request, including the content of any specification
or procurement standard, rending of advice, investigation, auditing, or in any other
advisory capacity in any proceeding or application, request for ruling, determination,
claim, or controversy, or other particular matter, pertaining to any contract or subcontract
and any solicitation or proposal therefor.
- It is a breach of ethical standards for any payment, gratuity or offer of employment
to be made by or on behalf of a subcontractor under a contract to the prime contractor
or higher tier subcontractor, or any person associated therewith, as an inducement
for the award of a subcontract or order. Meals provided as part of a conference are
excluded from this provision.
- Use of confidential information
- It shall be a breach of ethical standards for any employee or former employee knowingly
to use confidential information for actual or anticipated personal gain or for the
actual or anticipated personal gain of any other person.
- Any effort to influence any public employee to breach the standards of ethical conduct
set forth herein is also a breach of ethical standards.
Violations of this policy may constitute violations of law as set forth in A.C.A.
§19-11-701 et. seq.
- Reporting suspected violations
Employees wishing to report a suspected violation of this ethics policy may report
it anonymously to the Human Resources department or the Office of University Counsel. Submit a suspected violation.
All employees must work together to ensure prompt and consistent enforcement of this
Ethics Policy. In some situations, it may be difficult to know if a violation has
occurred. Because it is impossible to anticipate every situation that will arise,
it is important to approach a new question or problem with confidence. Employees
having questions about their obligations under this Code should consult the University’s
administration and/or the University Counsel.
Gift - As used in these rules, the term “gift” means any payment, entertainment, advance,
services, or anything of value, unless consideration of equal or greater value has
been given therefor. It does not include:
- Informational material such as books, reports, pamphlets, calendars, or periodicals
informing a public servant regarding his or her official duties (NOTE: payments for
travel or reimbursement for any expenses are not informational material);
- The giving or receiving of food, lodging, or travel which bears a relationship to
the public servant's office and when appearing in an official capacity;
- Gifts which are not used and which, with in thirty (30) days after receipt, are returned
to the donor;
- Gifts from an individual's spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother,
sister, parent-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephew, niece, aunt, uncle,
or first cousin, or the spouse of any of these persons, unless the person is acting
as an agent or intermediary for any person not covered, by this paragraph;
- Campaign contributions;
- Any devise or inheritance;
- Anything with a value of $100 or less (NOTE: The value of an item shall be considered
to be less than $100 if the public servant reimburses the person from whom the item
was received any amount over $100 and the reimbursement occurs within ten (10) days
from the date the item was received.);
- Wedding presents and engagement gifts;
- A monetary or other award presented to an employee of a public school district, the
Arkansas School for the Blind, the Arkansas School for the Deaf, the Arkansas School
for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, a university, a college, a technical college,
a technical institute, a comprehensive lift-long learning center, or a community college
in recognition of the employee's contribution to education;
- Tickets to charitable fundraising events held within this state by a non-profit organization
which is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
- A personalized award, plaque, or trophy with a value of one hundred fifty dollars
($150) or less;
- An item which appointed or elected members of a specific governmental body purchase
with their own personal funds and present to a fellow member of that governmental
body in recognition of public service;
- Food or beverages provided at a conference scheduled event that is part of the program
of the conference;
- Food or beverages provided in return for participation in a bona fide panel, seminar,
speaking engagement at which the audience is a civic, social, or cultural organization
- A monetary or other award publicly presented to an employee of state government in
recognition of his or her contributions to the community and State of Arkansas when
the presentation is made by the employee's supervisor or peers, individually or through
a non-profit organization which is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c) of the
lnternal Revenue Code, and the employee's receipt of the award would not result in
or create the appearance of the employee using his or her position for private gain,
giving preferential treatment to any person, or losing independence or impartiality.
(NOTE: This exception shall not apply to an award presented to an employee of state
government by a person having economic interests which may be affected by the performance
or nonperformance of the employee's duties or responsibilities.);
- Any work of art, contracted for prior to January 1, 1998, for public service recognition
for members of the Arkansas General Assembly; or
- Racing passes provided to and accepted by members of the General Assembly and other
constitutional officers for redistribution to their constituents and persons residing
outside the State of Arkansas to promote tourism and advance the economic interests
of the State.
- Anything of value provided by a political party under § 7-1-101 or § 7-7-205 when
serving as the host of the following events to all attendees as part of attendance
at the event:
- The official swearing-in, inaugural, and recognition events of constitutional officers
and members of the General Assembly; and
- An official event of a recognized political party so long as all members of either
house of the General Assembly affiliated with the recognized political party are invited
to the official event.