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, 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, and
- threats and acts of violence.
The requirements summarized here are the only requirements of general applicability – 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.
Information about this legal requirement is available on the Compliance Resources webpage.
All university individuals designated as Campus Security Authority are subject to the university’s Crime Reporting Policy. A Campus Security Authority is defined in the federal regulation as any individual with significant responsibility for student and campus activity, including but not limited to student housing, student discipline, and judicial proceedings.
This Policy requires each Campus Security Authority to report to William & Mary Police when he or she becomes aware of information that indicates that a Clery Act incident may have occurred. Clery Act incidents include sex offenses, robbery, other violent crimes, drug abuse violations and liquor law violations that result in either an arrest or a disciplinary referral, and so-called “hate crimes”; more information is available in Appendix A to the Crime Reporting Policy.
The reporting requirement is triggered by the location where the incident occurred. It only applies to criminal incidents occurring
- on campus. For Clery Act purposes, W&M has several campuses:( 1) the main, Williamsburg campus, (2) the Washington, D.C. campus, (3) the VIMS campus and (4) the Newport News campus. "On campus" includes all residence halls and all other property owned or controlled by W&M.
- on public property adjacent to and accessible from on-campus property. This means sidewalks and streets adjacent to one of the W&M campuses.
- on off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by William & Mary. Typically, criminal incidents are included in the Crime Report only if the off-campus property is frequently used by students.
The reporting obligation arises when the Campus Security Authority becomes aware of information or allegations of criminal behavior; the Campus Security Authority may not wait for criminal charges to be brought, arrests to be made, etc. Similarly, the Campus Security Authority should not attempt to prove or decide whether the alleged incident actually occurred. The Campus Security Authority employee must report even if the information regarding the incident was shared with him or her in confidence (confidentially), although he or she may report the information without identifying him or herself or the individuals involved in the incident. The Clery Act reporting obligation is not about who committed a crime -- it is about where and when criminal incidents occurred. Additional guidance in the form of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) is available online. CSAs also receive a memorandum notifying them of their reporting obligations.
The crime information must be reported to the William & Mary Police. The Police can answer questions about the reporting requirements and determine whether the incident in question is a Clery Act crime or occurred on property controlled by the university.
The U.S. Department of Education enforces the Clery Act, and provides helpful regulatory guidance including the 2011 Clery Act Handbook [pdf].
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.
An employee’s appeal of a conviction does not affect the employee’s obligation to report.
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].
To help W&M meet its legal and ethical obligation to provide a harassment-free environment, the university recently enhanced its sexual harassment policy. Under the policy, all employees – including both faculty and staff – are required to report allegations and reports of and observed incidents of sexual harassment.
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.