Standard 2: Ethics and Integrity FAQ Synopsis

Ethics and integrity are central, indispensable, and defining hallmarks of effective higher education institutions. In all activities, whether internal or external, an institution must be faithful to its mission, honor its contracts and commitments, adhere to its policies, and represent itself truthfully.

OCC has a commitment to its mission and values and equitably and transparently puts them into practice on all levels of the institution in a way that supports its mission by creating an ethical, impartial, and transparent environment that allows for the discovery and address of important ethical issues as they arise.

Standard 2 focuses on the various ways the principles of ethics and integrity are demonstrated and communicated at OCC, and how these help to benefit students, employees, and the functioning of the College.

Questions to help understand OCC’s fulfillment of Standard 2

  • In what ways has the College’s attention to ethics and integrity benefitted students?
    • Legislative developments and compliance with regulatory mandates emphasizes commitment to social justice
      • Students know what textbooks will be used earlier
      • All campus locations accessible to everyone
      • No Space for Hate campaign
    • Financial aid efforts
      • Policies clarified and software tools made available to students
      • Staff trained to be able to help students on multiple issues
      • “Knowledge-base” data repository created to help staff have access to answers
    • Student complaint process has been centralized

  • What have the Conversation Circles done to support the College’s commitment to ethics and integrity?
    • Conversation Circles are broad-based employee and student dialogs about highly sensitive topics. This initiative serves as a strategy to build awareness, empathy, and advance social justice on campus.

  • What are examples of the College’s commitment to academic freedom and academic integrity?
    • Faculty handbook includes statement that College encourages full freedom of inquiry, teaching, and research, and provides guidelines that pertain to “fair use” of copyrighted materials.
    • The college has an Academic Integrity policy that is clearly stated in the Academic Rules. Web-based forms ensure that the maintenance and enforcement of academic concerns will be standardized. Faculty are reminded about the policy each year. Students are also informed of the policy in different ways, and efforts are being made to make this communication more consistent and standardized.

  • How do the College’s communication policies reflect its commitment to ethics and integrity?
    • Regular communication of critical information through email, social media, and updates to the website, as well as notification from the President’s Office of any changes following the annual policy review.
    • Faculty and Employee handbooks are accessible sources of policy information and guidance

  • What does the College do to remain consistently compliant on issues related to ethics and integrity?
    • College policies are reviewed annually by Executive Council to make sure compliance with external regulations is maintained.
    • The Board of Trustees’ Finance, Audit, and Compliance Committee kept updated six times a year on College’s compliance activities. Meetings are open to the public and help keep everyone informed on a range of topics.

  • In your role at OCC, how do you contribute to ensure that ethics and integrity are upheld, and what resources exist to help you to do this?

  • Are there any other examples that illustrate the College’s commitment to ethics and integrity?