Overview of Laws and Policies
The College of William & Mary’s Code of Ethics, adopted by the Board of Visitors in 2009, obligates all members of the university community to report any illegal or unethical conduct that comes to their attention, “so the university can investigate and take corrective steps.” The Code of Ethics is focused on illegal or unethical conduct by members of the W&M community relating to the W&M community. Examples include:
- Theft of university funds or assets (which can be reported internally or through the Commonwealth’s Fraud, Waste and Abuse hotline)
- Refusal by a faculty member to adhere to lab safety protocols, exposing students to unsafe research conditions
- A procurement employee selecting a particular vendor after receiving valuable gifts from the vendor.
Criminal conduct that poses a threat to the safety of the campus must also be reported; these reports should be made to the William & Mary Police.
There are many ways to make reports, file complaints, or otherwise bring to light violations or concerns. The Office of Compliance and Policy has information about the different reporting and complaint mechanisms. The Chief Compliance Officer can accept reports and provide information.
In addition to the general reporting requirement in the Code of Ethics, there are specific reporting requirements imposed on all university employees by law and university policy, for
- suspected child abuse (abuse of a minor),
- certain types of criminal conduct (“Clery Act crimes”) occurring on campus or W&M-controlled property,
- convictions of certain drug or alcohol law violations,
- sexual harassment including sexual violence such as sexual assault and non-consensual sexual intercourse, and
- threats and acts of violence.
These are the only reporting requirements imposed on all university employees. University employees in certain positions or who are engaged in certain activities, such as grant-sponsored research, may be subject to additional reporting requirements.
1. Child Abuse - Virginia Law Requiring Reporting of Suspected Abuse of a Minor
Information about this legal obligation is available on the Compliance Resources webpage.
All university individuals designated as Campus Security Authority are subject to the university’s Crime Reporting Policy. Guidance on Campus Security Authorities' obligations is provided on a Compliance Resource page.
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Human Resources policy requires self-disclosure of certain alcohol or drugs law conviction. This policy applies to all W&M employees, including faculty.
Employees must report, in writing within five days after the conviction, to their supervisors of any conviction of:
- violation of any criminal drug law, based upon conduct occurring either in or outside of the workplace; or
- violation of any alcohol control law, based upon conduct occurring in the workplace or while the employee is performing university duties, including driving while intoxicated. If you are not on the job or performing W&M duties when you get a DUI or DWI, you do not need to report it.
If you are appealing a conviction, you still need to report it.
Any employee who fails to report will be subject to the full range of discipline, including discharge.
The State Department of Human Resources Management makes available a one-page summary of the policy [pdf].
Information about this reporting obligation is provided in the Sexual Harassment Guidance for Employees.
To help William & Mary satisfy its obligation under the Virginia law on threat assessment and to maintain a safe and secure campus community, all students and employees – including faculty – are required to report acts of violence, threats and threatening behavior, under the university Campus Violence and Threat Management Policy[pdf].
The Policy lists university officers to whom reports can be made. Additional information about identifying and responding to threats and concerning behavior is available on the university’s violence prevention and education website.