VIII. 801 - Business Ethics and Conduct

General Policy

Drury University strives to treat staff members with fairness. In return, the university expects staff members to adhere to standards of conduct and performance, which are established to enable all to work together effectively.

Supervisory counseling with staff members is designed to establish an equitable system of corrective action for staff members who do not adhere to these standards of conduct or to bring a staff member's performance to an acceptable level.

Each supervisor has the responsibility for counseling a staff member or administering corrective action and for the documentation of the counseling or corrective action.

These principles apply:

  1. The standards of conduct and performance must be communicated to the staff member. This may be accomplished in writing, by discussion or other reasonable means.

  2. Standards of conduct and performance must be reasonably related to the orderly, efficient or safe operation of the university.

  3. A timely, fair and objective review is made before any decision to take corrective action is made.

  4. Consultation with the Human Resources Department is required before imposing corrective action involving suspension or involuntary termination.


General standards of conduct and performance apply throughout the university. These standards include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. Each staff member is to conform to the regular work schedule of the university. Regular attendance, punctuality, and conformance to scheduled lunch break periods are a responsibility of each staff member.

  2. Efficient use of the normal workday.

  3. Staff members are to follow recognized departmental procedures or instructions in performing their jobs. Care should be exercised in performing job duties, in the use of university property, and in the use of the property of other staff members. Departmental safety policies and procedures are to be followed.

  4. University property is to be used only with proper authorization.

  5. Each staff member should have respect for confidential or sensitive information they receive during the conduct of their jobs. Confidential or sensitive information should never be repeated or discussed outside the university, and should be discussed with other staff members only as necessary to the processing of daily business.

Unacceptable Behavior

It is not possible to list all the forms of behavior that are considered unacceptable in the workplace. The following are examples of infractions of rules of conduct that may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment:

  • Theft or inappropriate removal or possession of property
  • Falsification of timekeeping records
  • Working under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Possession, distribution, sale, transfer, or use of alcohol or illegal drugs in the workplace, while on duty, or while operating employer-owned vehicles or equipment
  • Fighting or threatening violence in the workplace
  • Boisterous or disruptive activity in the workplace
  • Negligence or improper conduct leading to damage of employer-owned or customer-owned property
  • Insubordination or other disrespectful conduct
  • Violation of safety or health rules
  • Smoking in prohibited areas
  • Sexual or other unlawful or unwelcome harassment
  • Possession of dangerous or unauthorized materials, such as explosives or firearms, in the workplace
  • Excessive absenteeism or any absence without notice
  • Unauthorized use of telephones, mail system, computers or other employer-owned equipment
  • Unauthorized disclosure of business "secrets" or confidential information
  • Violation of employment policies
  • Unsatisfactory performance or conduct

Security Inspections

Drury wishes to maintain a work environment that is free of illegal drugs, alcohol, firearms, explosives, or other improper materials. To this end, Drury prohibits the possession, transfer, sale, or use of such materials on its premises. Drury requires the cooperation of all staff members in administering this policy.

Desks, lockers, and other storage devices may be provided for the convenience of staff members but remain the sole property of Drury. Accordingly, they, as well as any articles found within them, can be inspected by any agent or representative of Drury at any time, either with or without prior notice.

Drury likewise wishes to discourage theft or unauthorized possession of the property of staff members, Drury, visitors, and customers. To facilitate enforcement of this policy, Drury or its representative may inspect not only desks and lockers but also persons entering and/or leaving the premises and any packages or other belongings. Any staff member who wishes to avoid inspection of any articles or materials should not bring such items onto Drury's premises.

Code of Conduct

At Drury, high expectations of all students, administrators, faculty and staff include certain professional and ethical standards that are essential to the purpose of this institution. Listed below are certain standards that are important to follow. While Drury is a private institution, it also is very much a public trust, and every instance of conduct must reflect and represent trust.

  1. Vendor Relations: Purchasing decisions should reflect a combination of the "lowest cost and best service or product" for the university. Personal gifts or gratuities from vendors (other than small items of a promotional nature, such as calendars, pens, and pencils) are not to be accepted. Any favoritism or special consideration in awarding purchase orders must be avoided.

  2. Conflict of Interest: An actual or potential conflict of interest occurs when a staff member is in a position to influence a decision that may result in a personal gain for that staff member or for a relative as a result of Drury University's business dealings. For the purposes of this policy, a relative is any person who is related by blood or marriage, or whose relationship with the staff member is similar to that of persons who are related by blood or marriage.

    Staff members may not serve Drury well if they have an interest in an outside firm or organization with which the university is doing business. Moreover, appearances of conflict of interest may be similarly detrimental. When there is a circumstance where there is an actual conflict of interest or the potential for one, this should be disclosed to your supervisor for discussion and, if necessary, resolution. The resources of the university, including employees, facilities, supplies and equipment, are for exclusive use of Drury and may not be used for personal purposes, business or gain.

    Staff members have an obligation to conduct business within guidelines that prohibit actual or potential conflicts of interest. This policy establishes the framework within which Drury University wishes the institution to operate. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide general direction so that staff members can seek further clarification on issues related to the subject of acceptable standards of operation. Contact the Human Resources Director for more information or questions about conflict of interest.

    Transactions with outside firms must be conducted within a framework established and controlled by the offices of Drury University. Business dealings with outside firms should not result in unusual gains for those firms. Unusual gain refers to bribes, product bonuses, special fringe benefits, unusual price breaks, and other windfalls designed to ultimately benefit either the employer, the staff member, or both. Promotional plans that could be interpreted to involve unusual gain require specific officer approval.

    No "presumption of guilt" is created by the mere existence of a relationship with outside firms. However, if staff members have any influence on transactions involving purchases, contracts, or leases, it is imperative that they disclose to an officer of Drury University as soon as possible the existence of any actual or potential conflict of interest so that safeguards can be established to protect all parties.

    Personal gain may result not only in cases where a staff member or relative has a significant ownership in a firm with which Drury University does business, but also when a staff member or relative receives any kickback, bribe, substantial gift, or special consideration as a result of any transaction or business dealings involving Drury University.
  3. Personal Best: Each member of Drury's staff is expected to bring his or her best efforts to the job and to accord mutual respect and consideration to other members of the university community.

    Employment with Drury University is at the mutual consent of Drury University and the staff member, and either party may terminate that relationship at any time, with or without cause, and with or without advance notice.

  4. Employee Relationships: The university prohibits supervisors and managers from dating or otherwise entering into a personal relationship with any subordinate or any employee reporting to that supervisor or manager. Such relationship can become disruptive to the work environment, create a conflict or the appearance of a conflict of interest, and lead to charges of favoritism, discrimination, and claims of indirect sexual harassment. While the university has no desire to interfere in the private lives of its employees, or in their off-duty conduct, where such conduct negatively impacts the work environment, the university reserves the right to take appropriate action to protect its interests.