4-1: Workplace Ethics and Code of Conduct Procedures

A. Honesty and Integrity

1. SFCC employees must act with honesty and integrity at all times. For example, employees are required to be truthful, to maintain accurate records and to ensure that they meet the accounting, legal and ethical requirements set out by the College. Any fraudulent activity will be promptly investigated by the College (Policy 4-4 Fraud, Waste and Abuse).

B. Conflict of Interest

1. A conflict of interest may make it difficult or impossible for an employee to perform employment-related duties effectively or to act in the College’s best interests. Thus, employees must avoid any situation that may give rise to a conflict of interest, including financial conflict of interest. Employees must be diligent to ensure that they avoid even the appearance or potential for a conflict of interest to arise.
2. An employee should take appropriate measures to avoid any situation in which they have, or may be perceived to have, a conflict of interest arising out of a relationship with another employee, a student, a contractor or a vendor. Employees must avoid situations in which they would supervise or be supervised by another employee with whom they have, or have had, a personal, commercial, financial, familial or other significant relationship.
3. No employee who has authority to make recommendations or decisions regarding contracts with other business entities shall accept outside employment with, have a financial interest in, or accept gifts or favors from any business entity that has a contract with or is under consideration for a contract with the College.
4. All employees, especially faculty, must ensure that they do not find themselves in situations that would put them in a position of having to teach or supervise a student with whom they have, or have had, a personal, commercial, familial or other significant relationship.
5. If an employee becomes aware that a conflict of interest exists, or that there is a reasonable potential for a conflict of interest to occur in the course of their employment duties, the employee must notify their supervisor. The supervisor may consult with the person they report to and the Office of Human Resources to determine the best course of action to either prevent a conflict of interest from occurring or to institute changes so that the conflict of interest is diminished or eliminated.
6. See Policy 4-5 Conflict of Interest.

C. Gifts

1. Employees may not accept any gift that is offered based on the position that they hold at the College when it could reasonably appear that the gift is intended to influence their decision regarding any business or financial decision of the College (Policy 4-5 Conflict of Interest).

D. Employment of Near-Relatives

1. SFCC is committed to equal employment opportunity in hiring and appointing individuals to positions within the College based on their experience, credentials and expertise The College allows the hiring of near-relatives, under certain circumstances, provided that conflict-of-interest safeguards are in place. An employee may not, directly or through the chain of command supervise his or her near relative or a person with whom he or she has a consensual romantic relationship. The President may approve an exception to this prohibition under extraordinary circumstances, such as when a competitive hiring process has failed to find an equally
2. If a near-relative is applying for a job at SFCC, employees should make that relationship known to the Human Resources Department (Policy 4-6 Nepotism).

E. Visitors in the Workplace

1. SFCC discourages employees from being accompanied by friends, family, or children while working; including leaving children on campus in office areas while they are at work. This does not eliminate periodic, short visits from friends, family and children as appropriate. Anything other than short visits is not permitted due to safety and other workplace concerns.
2. SFCC desires to be a family friendly place of business to all employees as well as to students; however, the workplace is not the appropriate place for childcare. Even during short periodic visits, children must not be left unattended.
3. If an employee is faced with unusual circumstances regarding visitors at work, the employee should speak with their immediate supervisor.
4. See SFCC Policy 4-55 Employee Guests and Visitors in the Workplace.

F. Faculty-Student Relationships

1. The integrity of the faculty-student relationship is vital to the mission of the College. Faculty should make every effort to encourage learning and foster academic growth in their students. Employees with instructional responsibilities should demonstrate respect for students and use their best efforts to promote the highest standards of academic conduct. Any exploitation, harassment or discriminatory treatment of students is prohibited.
2. The unequal power inherent in the faculty-student relationship heightens the student’s vulnerability and increases the potential for coercion or inappropriate conduct. The instructional role sometimes goes beyond educator and evaluator and may include acting as a mentor, trusted adviser or counselor. While such extended contact can be valuable, it also increases the necessity of ensuring that employees respect and maintain the integrity of the relationship.
3. If an employee is responsible for academic or any other supervision of a student, a personal relationship of a romantic or sexual nature even if consensual is inappropriate. Any such relationship jeopardizes the integrity of the educational process. No employee who is romantically involved with a student may teach or supervise that student.
4. See Policy 4-7 Interpersonal Relationships.

G. Outside Work

1. If an employee engages in employment outside of SFCC, they must ensure that their outside work does not interfere with their expected shifts assigned or in any way compromise their ability to perform their responsibilities to the College. If an employee is in a position that requires flexible hours or shift work, they must be available to perform their duties at the College as needed.
2. Employees must also ensure that any outside work they engage in does not create a conflict of interest with employment at the College. If an employee has any concern that a conflict may exist or are aware that the appearance of a conflict may exist, they must immediately report the situation to their supervisor. If a supervisor becomes aware or concerned that an employee has a conflict of interest related to outside employment, the College reserves the right to require that the supervisor and employee take appropriate measures to remedy the situation.
3. See Policy 4-5 Conflict of Interest.

H. Representing the College

1. Employees should not represent themselves as speaking on behalf of the College unless expressly authorized to do so. The position of official spokesperson is usually reserved for the President and the Director of Marketing and Public Relations. Therefore, an employee must make clear when there is reasonable ambiguity that they are not acting as a representative of SFCC but speaking as a private citizen. Being mindful that the community may form a judgment about SFCC based on employees’ public statements, employees must take care to present College information honestly, accurately and respectfully.
2. See SFCC Policy 8-2 Space Rental, Political Activity, Solicitation and Vending on Campus, 8-3 Inspection of Public Records, and 8-6 Public Information/Notices and News Media Contacts.

I. Discrimination and Harassment

1. College employees are strictly prohibited from discriminating against or harassing any other person. Employees are expected to treat peers, subordinates, supervisors, students, administrators, board members and the members of the greater community with respect.
2. Prohibited discrimination includes actions made on the basis of race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability or handicap, serious medical condition, veteran’s status or spousal affiliation, and any other basis prohibited by law.
3. See Policies 2-22 Student Sexual Harassment, 2-23 Student Discrimination and Harassment, 4-9 Discrimination and Harassment, and 4-10 Sexual Harassment.

J. Sexual Harassment

1. SFCC is committed to maintaining an environment where students can pursue their education and where employees can conduct work free from sexual harassment including making any opportunity or benefit contingent upon engaging in sexual behavior, creating an unwelcome or hostile work environment through inappropriate sexual behavior, or any other unwelcome personal contact (SFCC Policies 2-22 Student Sexual Harassment and 4-10 Sexual Harassment).

K. Academic Freedom

1. Academic freedom is an important principle for institutions of higher learning. SFCC respects the right of faculty to academic freedom and the protection it offers in the exercise of teaching and conducting and publishing research. The College encourages and respects the right to pursue new, challenging and controversial ideas and the right to present those ideas in the classroom, so long as they are relevant to the subject matter of the course.
2. Faculty, in the exercise of their academic duties, must maintain and competently demonstrate expertise in their field. Faculty must ensure that materials introduced are relevant to the subject of the class. Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject (Policy 3-14 Academic Freedom).

L. Information Management

1. Employees must safeguard confidential information belonging to students, employees and the College. Employees must also be aware that the public has the right to access some information retained by the College. It is important to know the difference between confidential and public information and to be familiar with the policies related to information management.
2. Assistance in determining what is considered public information and what is confidential information should be sought from the Marketing and Public Relations Office, and in the case of students, the Registrar’s Office.
3. See SFCC Policies 2-12 Student Records, 4-33 Personnel Records, 7-3 Information Security, 8-3 Inspection of Public Records.

M. Public Information

1. Because SFCC is a public institution, certain records considered public information under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act must be provided to the public or to the media as requested.
2. All requests for public information must be filed by and responded to through the Marketing and Public Relations Department.
3. See Policy 8-3 Inspection of Public Records and 8-6 Public Information/Notices and News Media Contacts.

N. Confidential Information

1. Employees must respect the privacy of students and fellow employees and must protect the College’s confidential information. Confidential information includes student records, personnel records and information related to the operations of the College. Employees may not disclose or use information not available to the general public for personal benefit, or for the benefit of another person or business entity (Policies 2-12 Student Records, 4-33 Personnel Records, 8-3 Inspection of Public Records, 8-6 Public Information/Notices and News Media Contacts).

O. Intellectual Property

1. All property, including intellectual property, that an employee develops while carrying out their employment-related duties, belongs to the College. SFCC retains all rights, including patents, licenses or other forms of rights and authority to enter co-operative research development programs (Policy 3-16 Intellectual Property and Copyright).
2. Property created by an employee on their own time, without the use of College property, including facilities, equipment and materials, shall be considered the property of the employee.

P. Student Records

1. Federal law requires that employees take particular care to protect the confidentiality of student records. Employees may not release student records without the student’s prior written consent, except in certain limited circumstances. For detailed requirements regarding release of student records, consult the Registrar, who is responsible for administering student records in accordance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and SFCC Policy 2-12 Student Records.

Q. College Property

1. Employees shall make efficient, effective and ethical use of all College property. Employees may not use College property for personal use.
2. Campus telephones, computers and other office equipment are owned and maintained by the College solely for its educational and administrative purposes. Employees may not use College property for personal use except in occasional and/or brief situations, in which case the use must not interfere with College operations or with job duties.
3. If an employee requires assistance in determining what constitutes appropriate use of College equipment, they should ask their supervisor for clarification.

R. Office Space

1. Offices are college property. Employees do not have a right to the expectation of privacy within the office space assigned for their use. Employees may display personal items such as pictures or other small decorative pieces in personally designated office or work space, provided those items are appropriate and do not damage or interfere with college property or operations.

S. Computer Use

1. All students, staff, faculty and others who use College computers, electronic equipment and other information systems must do so in a responsible, ethical and legal manner.
2. Acceptance and use of access to computers carries with it an agreement to accept this policy and comply with all other security requirements.
3. Employees may not make use of computers, networks, or other information resources in a manner that may result in damage to any system, database, or operation. Unauthorized entry into or tampering with computers, networks, or other information resources is prohibited.
4. Because the College seeks to project a professional image to the community and outside agencies, email signature lines should be limited to name, job title, and business contact information, such as email and mailing addresses and telephone number.
5. See Policy 7-1 Information Technology Resources, Usage and Security.

T. Privacy

1. The College reserves the right to monitor internet usage to its users, in accordance with procedures, to review the content of internet communications and/or the extent to which the service is used. Communications, information, and data transmitted via SFCC’s computer system are SFCC’s property and may be considered public records. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is authorized to physically observe and electronically monitor, log and track the use of computer equipment and data without the knowledge or consent of the user. Therefore computer users do not have the right to the expectation of privacy to any communications, information, or data stored or transmitted on SFCC’s computer system (Policy 7-1 Information Technology Resources, Usage and Security).

U. Accessing Pornography Prohibited

1. Use of computers for accessing pornography is strictly prohibited. If an employee is conducting research needs to access sites that may contain pornographic material, written permission from their Dean is required (Policy 7-3 Information Security Policy).

V. Dress Code

1. All employees are required to present a professional image to students, other employees and the general public by dressing appropriately. Employees are expected to wear clean and neat attire appropriate to the type of job they perform. If an employee is required to wear a uniform, it must be clean and neat when the employee reports for duty. If a supervisor believes an employee is dressed inappropriately, the supervisor will meet with the employee and discuss that issue (Policy 4-19 Dress Code).

W. Smoking

1. Smoking is prohibited inside all college buildings. There are designated outdoor smoking areas identified on Campus Maps online.
2. If an employee notices anyone violating the non-smoking policy they should inform them that smoking is not permitted. If an employee feels uncomfortable doing this, they should inform a supervisor or the Campus Safety and Security Department staff who will take appropriate action (Policy 4-20 Smoking).

X. Animals on Campus

1. Students, employees and the public are prohibited from bringing animals on campus except Service Animals that assist an individual with a disability. The Service Animals of students and employees must be registered with the Office of Disability Services or the Office of Human Resources.
2. Dogs brought on campus to attend an approved dog obedience class or for other pre-approved special events or educational training are allowed.
3. See Policy 4-21 Service and other Animals on Campus.

Y. Fitness for Duty

1. The College strives to maintain a safe work environment for all employees. Employees are expected to be fit for duty while in active work status and are responsible for ensuring that they are capable of performing their job alertly, safely and effectively.
2. If employees are ill, they should coordinate with their supervisor and make arrangements to take sick leave or make other appropriate work adjustments. Employees are not required to disclose the underlying nature of their illness, but they must be prepared to discuss any adjustments to job duties or to explain the probable duration of sick leave so that their supervisor can make appropriate adjustments.
3. The College may require an employee to provide additional medical information sufficient to determine fitness for duty.
4. Employees must not report for work under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. If an employee is taking prescription medication prescribed by a physician, they must ensure that they are able to properly, competently and safely perform regular duties while using that medication. If an employee has an illness, injury or takes medication that interferes with the performance of job duties or causes a safety concern, they should not report to work or maybe required to leave campus.
5. See Policy 4-14 Fitness for Duty

Z. Drug and Alcohol Use

1. SFCC is committed to providing an environment that supports the educational pursuits of the College community and promotes the good health and welfare of its members. The College prohibits the possession, use, dispensing, distribution and manufacture of any illegal substance both on campus and at any College-hosted function held off campus property.
2. The College also prohibits the possession, use, dispensing, distribution and manufacture of alcohol on campus.
3. The President may make an exception by granting prior written consent. All laws relating to the sale, purchase and distribution of alcohol must be observed, including age limits.
4. See Policy 4-17 Drug Free Campus and Workplace

AA. Violence in the Workplace

1. The College is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment in which its students and employees can learn and work. Although violence in the workplace cannot always be prevented, the College is committed to providing a workplace as free from violence as possible for its students and employees. Violence, including verbal or physical threats, coercion and intimidation, is prohibited.
2. All employees are advised to report any threats or intimidating behavior immediately to Campus Safety and Security and/or Human Resources.
3. The College is committed through its communications and actions to be supportive and keep any domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking information confidential to the extent permitted by law and College policy. The College will actively provide information and strengthen support to employees who are victims of such abuse.
4. Employees, students and visitors to the College are prohibited from carrying or using any type of weapon, including firearms, and explosives, on campus or to any College-hosted function off College property except when expressly authorized by the President in writing.
5. See Policies 2-28 Sexual Violence, Sexual Misconduct, etc (Student),4-9 Discrimination and Harassment, 4-10 Sexual Harassment, 4-50 Sexual Violence, Sexual Misconduct, etc. (Employee) 5-6 Firearms Control on Campus and 5-7 Weapons Possession on Campus

BB. Safety

1. Employees must carry out their duties safely and in strict compliance with all safety policies and laws.
2. If an employee has a concern about the safety of the environment they work in, or while performing specific job duties, they should stop working immediately and report their concern to their supervisor. A review of the condition or activity will be undertaken by the supervisor and the Human Resources Department. If there is a legitimate safety concern, the employee will not have to continue that activity until the situation is remedied. The employee must return to their duties once the issue has been addressed to the satisfaction of the College.
3. See Policies 4-14 Fitness for Duty and 4-29 Uniforms, Clothing and Protective Gear.

CC. Gambling

1. Gambling of any kind, including computer gambling, is strictly prohibited on campus.
2. See Policy 4-13 College Property.

DD. Conduct outside of Work

1. An employee’s conduct outside of work may result in discipline if it brings discredit to SFCC or casts significant doubt on the employee’s reliability, trustworthiness or ability to work safely and securely. Examples of such unacceptable conduct include the harassment of other employees off site or after hours, illegal possession of controlled substances or proven criminal misconduct of a nature so serious as to bring the College into disrepute.
2. See Policies 4-9 Discrimination and Harassment, 4-10 Sexual Harassment, and 4-17 Drug Free Campus and Workplace.

EE. Political Activity

1. The College encourages public involvement and responsible participation in civic activities and in fulfilling one’s responsibilities as a citizen. The decision to participate and the extent of participation in political and civic activities is completely up to each individual. If an employee chooses to participate in civic or political activities, they must not imply that they are acting on behalf of the College.
2. If an employee decides to contact a member of the SFCC Governing Board or a political official, they must do so in a way that makes it clear that they are doing so as an individual and not as a representative of the College. The use of College stationery, employee job title, and the use of College equipment to make such a contact is prohibited.
3. As private citizens, employees are free to make political contributions. However, employees are strictly prohibited from soliciting or receiving political contributions on College property or while on working status, or providing or using any College-owned equipment to engage in political activity.
4. See Policy 8-2 Space Rental, Political Activity, Solicitation and Vending On Campus.

FF. Employee Discipline

1. An employee who violates any SFCC policy or procedure may be subject to Corrective Action or Disciplinary Action up to, and including, termination. The discipline imposed will depend on the severity of the violation and the circumstances of the situation. If appropriate, the College will report any activities that appear to violate any local, state, or federal law to the appropriate authorities (Policy 4-2 Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action.

Contact: Terence Donaldson
Executive Director of Human Resources
505-428-1203
terence.donaldson@sfcc.edu

Updated: 11/11/15

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