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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University September 2, 2003 | Vol. 33 No. 1
A Letter to Faculty and Staff from President William R. Brody

In a letter being sent this week to all full-time and part-time faculty and staff, President William R. Brody addresses the need for all members of the Johns Hopkins community to adhere to the university's statement of ethical standards. The text of both items follows.

Dear Johns Hopkins Colleague:

In fulfilling the university's purposes of research, education and patient care, there is an even more fundamental principle that undergirds all that we do--unimpeachable comportment of ourselves professionally. I commend to you the enclosed Statement of Ethical Standards, which sets forth standards of conduct to which all members of the Johns Hopkins community are expected to adhere.

In an institution founded for the betterment of human life and funded through philanthropy and the public trust, we all have a responsibility to conduct ourselves in an ethical manner. Johns Hopkins is committed to upholding its reputation for integrity. All members of the Hopkins community contribute to, and are responsible for, maintaining and fostering that reputation. I am confident that all Hopkins faculty and staff will take these standards to heart and observe them with care and diligence.

William R. Brody


The Johns Hopkins University Statement of Ethical Standards

The mission of The Johns Hopkins University is to improve the quality of human life. Hopkins people accomplish this mission through research, teaching, public service and the administrative support for these efforts. In order to succeed in this mission, the university must maintain the confidence of its constituencies, and, to do this, it is essential that the employees of the university maintain the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct, both in fact and in appearance.

Ethical conduct cannot be defined specifically in advance of every situation, and the university relies on the good judgment of its employees to maintain the high standards required of a great university. Perhaps the best assessment we can make is to ask ourselves if we would like to have our involvement in the activity in question discussed on the front page of the morning paper. If not, then we probably shouldn't be doing it.

The following principles are the standards of ethical behavior required of Johns Hopkins employees.

1. Hopkins employees are expected to obey all federal, state and local laws including those pertaining to equal opportunity, nondiscrimination and harassment.

2. Employees may have no financial interest in the outcome of any business dealings in which they participate on behalf of the university, except as permitted and approved pursuant to the university's conflict of interest policy.

3. Employees may not accept gifts, entertainment or meals from any organization with which the university has a current or potential business relationship if such offerings could be construed as influencing or attempting to influence business decisions. In no case should employees accept gifts of more than nominal value, and then only if it is a common business practice or if it is a reciprocal arrangement.

4. People in a supervisory capacity should not accept gifts from individuals under their supervision. This prohibition does not include group gifts for special occasions, such as religious holidays, weddings, births, etc., or long-standing reciprocal arrangements based on relationships outside the work environment.

5. The confidentiality of information, deemed so under university policy and applicable laws, including personnel, patient medical records and proprietary information, must be maintained.

6. Employees may not use university resources, including their own paid time, for any purposes other than those that benefit the university.

7. Employees may not use their university positions to gain rewards, favors or positions in outside endeavors.

8. Employees may not use university letterhead in the furtherance of their personal interests.

9. Only individuals designated by the board of trustees are authorized to identify the university with any particular organization or cause.

10. Individuals should report ethical standards violations, as indicated in the university's policy on reporting fraud located on the Office of Internal Audits Web site. The university's Hot-Line phone number is 877-932-6675.

11. Retaliation or retribution against an employee who has in good faith reported an alleged unethical practice will not be tolerated.

Questions concerning ethical behavior should be directed to one's supervisor, the Office of Internal Audits or the Office of General Counsel.

Individuals found to be in violation of ethical standards in university dealings will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include dismissal.
Sept. 1, 2003


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