Employee Handbook

12.16 Whistleblower Policy

Purpose

This policy is intended to encourage, enable, and protect faculty, staff, students, and volunteers who report good faith concerns about suspected wrongful conduct, to a College official or public body.  More specifically, it:

  • Encourages individuals to disclose suspected wrongful conduct to the appropriate College official so that prompt, corrective action can be taken;
  • Informs individuals how to disclose allegations of wrongful conduct;
  • Protects individuals from reprisal as a result of having disclosed alleged wrongful conduct; and
  • Provides individuals who believe they have been subject to reprisal, a process for obtaining relief.

This policy does not protect individuals who make unsubstantiated, malicious, or false allegations of wrongful conduct nor does it interfere with standard employment decisions.

Examples of concerns that should be reported

The following list provides examples of the types of alleged improprieties that should be reported as suspected wrongful conduct.  This list is intended to be representative, not complete.

  • Fraud, dishonesty, or deception regarding accounting, financial controls, financial reporting, audit, and other financial matters.
  • Discrimination or harassment in violation of federal or state law or Macalester policy.
  • Unauthorized alteration or manipulation of personal or Macalester data.
  • Misappropriation or misuse of Macalester resources.
  • Violation of the College’s Conflict of Interest policy.
  • Facilitating or concealing any of the above or similar actions.

Policy terms

An individual who has reasonable grounds to suspect a violation of law or Macalester policy is expected to act in good faith and disclose that information to an appropriate College administrative representative.  Please see the “How to report…” section for specific recommended contacts.

The College’s Director of Employment Services will acknowledge receipt of a report of suspected wrongful conduct within ten (10) working days.  Macalester will promptly investigate all reports and take appropriate corrective action, as warranted.  Individuals reporting concerns are encouraged to provide as much detail as possible to enable a full and complete investigation.  Protected disclosures and investigatory records will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.

An individual who makes a protected disclosure is protected from retaliation, harassment, or adverse employment consequences.  Accordingly, any person who retaliates against an individual who has made a protected disclosure is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

An individual who knowingly provides false information regarding either wrongful conduct or retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

How to report suspected wrongful conduct or retaliatory acts

A. Individual’s responsibility

An individual who suspects wrong-doing on the part of a faculty member, staff, student, volunteer, agent, or contractor is expected to share this information with their Supervisor or a designated College administrator who can address and properly act on the disclosure. Suggestions could be:

  • Faculty could report issues to the Provost.
  • Students could report to the VP for Student Affairs.
  • Staff could report to the VP for Administration and Finance.

However, the individual with information to report should pass the information to the person they are most comfortable contacting.  A more expansive list includes: 

Authorized College Administrators:

  • Director of Employment Services x6268
  • President x6145
  • VP for Administration & Finance x6011
  • Provost x6160
  • VP of Student Affairs x6220
  • Chair of the Audit Committee: See the Board of Trustees website at macalester.edu.

B. Responsibilities of the party to whom the alleged wrongdoing is reported

Supervisors and administrative representatives who receive protected disclosures are required to alert authorized College administrator to the allegations so that proper action can be taken.

C. College’s responsibilities

  • Accept and investigate protected disclosures.
  • Accept and investigate complaints of retaliation in response to protected disclosures.
  • Provide campus training about this policy.
  • Provide information about this policy during New Employee Orientation.

Definitions and terminology

  • Protected disclosure: Communication about actual or suspected wrongful conduct engaged in by a College faculty, staff, student, volunteer, agent, or contractor based on good faith belief and reasonable indications.
  • Retaliation or Reprisal: Adverse actions, threats, and/or discrimination against an individual because he or she made a protected disclosure or participated in an investigation related to a protected disclosure.
  • Wrongful conduct: Actual or suspected violation of Macalester policy, applicable state or federal law, or use of College property or resources for personal gain, except as permitted under Macalester policy.

Questions about this policy?

Please contact the Director, Employment Services (x6268)