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College Policy Number/Title:

Howard Community College expects that its employees will meet ethical and professional standards for personal conduct and work performance.  All students and employees have the right to learn and work in a positive learning environment which is free of harassment, threats, intimidation, violence or any other misconduct.  Any violent, intimidating, threatening or harassing behavior, or other misconduct, in any form, will not be tolerated in the classroom, workplace, or in any college location.*

These standards include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Adhere to all applicable laws and regulations  
  2. Adhere to college policies and procedures  
  3. Adhere to ethical standards  (see Policy 63.09)
  4. Adhere to job requirements in a professional and competent manner  
  5. Report to work on time and ready to work  
  6. Provide competent and efficient service to the college  
  7. Avoid real or apparent conflict of interest between responsibilities as an employee and any outside interests
  8. Maintain confidentiality of student, employee and college records  
  9. Avoid any actions to fraudulently influence, coerce, manipulate or mislead any auditor in the performance of the audit
  10. Disclose to the auditors any questionable accounting or auditing matters.  
  11. Follow “Standards of Conduct” of the Maryland Ethics Law which applies to state employees including Howard Community College employees

In addition, the following civil conduct and violence prevention standards apply:

  1. Employees will respect the rights, dignity and feelings of others.
  2. All actions and speech in the classroom, workplace, and any college location * will be civil and respectful. 
  3. Employees are not permitted to commit any violent act or threatening speech act against another student, employee, or any person (unless you are intervening to prevent a violent act).
  4. Employees are not permitted to harass or threaten a student, employee, or any person.
  5. Employees are not permitted to intentionally or maliciously damage or destroy the property of another person or employee.
  6. Employees are not permitted to obtain any type of personal loans from college funds whether the loan occur from a petty cash fund or a regular college checking  account.
  7. Employees are not permitted to bring weapons of any kind onto college locations*  with two exceptions:  (1) a weapon in the possession of an employee of a governmental law enforcement organization who is required by his/her employer to possess the weapon at a college location* and the law enforcement officer has registered his/her presence and weapon with Howard Community College’s department of public safety; or (2) a weapon in the possession of a faculty member or other designated instructor for instructional purposes and authorized by Howard Community College.

Note:  The definition of weapon includes fireworks, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or arms classified as weapons.  An instrument designed to look like a weapon, which is used to cause reasonable apprehension or harm, is expressly included within the definition of weapon.

Maryland Ethics Commission Standards of Conduct

The Ethics Law contains the following general types of prohibitions:  (Note this is a general summary only and should not be used as a substitute for the Law itself.)

  1. Employees and officials may not participate as an employee or official in a matter where they, certain relatives, or certain entities with which they are involved have an interest.
  2. Employees and officials may not participate in a matter which involves as a party a business entity in which they or certain relatives have employment, prospective employment, contractual, or creditor relationships.
  3. Employees and officials in most instances may not have financial interests in, or be employed by, an entity subject to their authority or of the agency with which they are affiliated. (Employment under the Ethics Law includes being a member of a private board having these relationships even if there is no compensation.)
  4. Employees and officials in most instances may not have financial interests in, or be employed by, an entity having or negotiating a contract with the agency with which they are affiliated.  
  5. Employees and officials may not hold any employment relationships which would impair their impartiality and independence of judgment.
  6. Employees and certain non-elected officials may not intentionally use the prestige of their office for their own private gain or that of another.  
  7. Employees and officials whose duties include matters substantially relating to the subject matter of any contract with the State may not be or become, while a State employee, an employee of the party contracting with the State.
  8. Employees and officials may not assist or represent any party for contingent compensation in any matter involving any State agency or political subdivision other than in a Judicial or quasi-Judicial proceeding. Employees in the Judicial branch are also prohibited from representing any party before a court or agency of the Judicial branch.
  9. Former employees and officials may not assist or represent any one other than the State for compensation in a case, contract, or other specific matter involving the State if that matter is one in which they significantly participated as an official or employee. 
  10. Employees and officials may not solicit any gifts. Subject to certain exceptions, officials and employees may not knowingly accept any gift directly or indirectly from any person whom they know or have reason to know:   

    a.is doing or seeking to do business of any kind with their agency;
    b.is engaged in activities which are regulated or controlled by their agency;
    c.

    has financial interests which may be substantially affected in a specific way by the employee; or 

    d.is a lobbyist with respect to the matters within the employee's functional jurisdiction.

    The exceptions to this prohibition are specifically outlined in State Government Article-Title 15, Section 15-505. (More detailed memos regarding gifts are available on request.)
  11. Employees and officials may not disclose or use for their own economic benefit, or that of another, confidential information acquired by reason of their public position.
  12. Persons or entities that assist the State in procurement specifications, in most instances, may not be involved in bidding or assisting a bidder in that procurement.    

Infractions

Infractions including but not limited to, violations of college policies, procedures and practices; incompetent or inefficient service; insubordination; illegal acts; willful neglect of duty; or unprofessional or unethical conduct constitute misconduct on the part of the employee. Misconduct will result in disciplinary action and may be cause for suspension and/or dismissal.

* Any college location includes any location where Howard Community College classes are held.

Effective Date:  10/7/2005