Public service policy

The law in brief

Required by Arizona Revised Statutes §38-591 and §38-592

Arizona state law requires that all university employees receive public service orientation. This training at ASU covers laws, policies and procedures relating to the proper conduct of business at the university. The training will include the following topics: bribery, conflicts of interest, contracting with the government, disclosure of confidential information, discrimination, nepotism, financial disclosure, gifts and extra compensation, incompatible employment, political activity, public access to records, open meeting laws, conduct after leaving one's position with the university and misuse of public resources for personal gain.

Note: You can meet this required training by reading and familiarizing yourself with the policies and procedures listed below.

Office of Human Resources

Kevin Salcido, 480-965-6608

Office of General Counsel, 480-965-4550

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Erin Ellison,  480-727-2728

Procurement Department

Nichol Luoma, 480-965-6532

Title IX Coordinator

Jodi Preudhomme,  480-965-0696

ASU Police, 480-965-3456

Emergency, call 911.

Dean of Students

Joanne Vogel, 480-965-6547

ASU Hotline, 1-877-786-3385

 

ASU policies define  the acceptable use of ASU computing and communication resources, including computers, networks, electronic mail services, electronic information sources, voice mail, telephone services and other communication resources. Additionally, Arizona law prohibits the use of any ASU computing and communication resources to access, download, print or store anything that depicts nudity or prohibited sexual materials except under certain limited circumstances as authorized by the president of the university. ASU’s policies reflect the goal of the university to foster academic freedom while respecting the principles of freedom of speech and the privacy rights of ASU students, faculty, employees and guests.

ASU’s computing and communication resources are the property of ASU. They are to be used for the advancement of ASU’s educational, research, service, community outreach, administrative and business purposes. ASU may inspect, monitor or disclose email, computer files and network transmissions when we: (a) are required or permitted by law or policy, (b) have a reasonable belief that a violation of law or policy has occurred or (c) determine that it is necessary to monitor and preserve the functioning and integrity of our computing resources.

Nepotism - Employees may not hire, evaluate, promote or influence employment of relatives. Relatives may work together, but a supervisor cannot make key decisions affecting a subordinate who is a relative. Relatives include children, spouses, parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents and grandchildren.

When a potential conflict presents itself, you must:

  • disclose the relationship to your supervisor; and

  • refrain from taking any action connected with key decisions regarding this person; another employee at the same or a higher level must be appointed to make key decisions.

Romantic or sexual relationships - has specific prohibitions against romantic or sexual relationships between employees and students.  Faculty are prohibited from engaging in a romantic or sexual relationship over whom the faculty member or academic professional exercises, or can reasonably be expected to exercise, academic or employment authority or influence.  All other employees, including volunteers, are prohibited from engaging in such relationships with a student over whom they exert control or influence, real or perceived. 

Awarding contracts/purchasing decisions

Arizona law lists prohibitive conflicts and states that you must disclose in writing and refrain from contracts and decisions when a conflict involving a substantial interest exists. Purchasing departments have disclosure forms.

Definition of substantial interest: any interest that is not a remote interest as defined by law and university policy. Substantial interests generally involve pecuniary or proprietary interests. Substantial interest in stock, for example, would be ownership of more than 3 percent of the shares of a company and/or if more than 5 percent of your income is derived from this interest.

Example: If you work in the area of scholarships and have a son or daughter applying for a scholarship, you may not serve on the committee that reviews your child's application.

Contracts are subject to cancellation if conflict of interest is determined to exist.

During ASU employment and for two years after leaving ASU, an ASU employee  may not disclose or use for his or her personal profit any information disclosed to him or her in the course of his or her official duties that has been clearly designated to him or her as confidential or that is declared confidential by law.

During ASU employment and for 12 months after leaving ASU employment, an ASU employee may not represent another person for compensation before ASU on a matter:

  • if the ASU employee was directly concerned with the matter while an ASU employee,

  • if the ASU employee personally participated in the matter during his or her ASU employment and

  • if the matter involved a substantial and material exercise of administrative discretion by the ASU employee.

Employees are permitted to accept nominal gifts and/or promotional materials from vendors. There is no specified dollar limitation. Purchasing directors should be consulted to determine if a gift is acceptable.

Examples:

  • Occasional lunches, free note pads and pens are acceptable

  • Expensive event tickets, airline tickets and gifts of office furniture are not nominal and cannot be accepted

In connection with a contract between ASU and another party, no employee may receive from or offer to other parties, or an employee of another party, any: money, fee, commission, gift, gratuity or other thing of value for the purpose of improperly obtaining or awarding favorable treatment.

Contact the Purchasing department if you have any questions or concerns.

Tickets for sporting or cultural events - ASU employees must be especially cautious before accepting tickets or paid admission to sporting or cultural events because of a law in Arizona commonly referred to as the “entertainment ban.” The language of the law is located at ARS §41-1232.08. The entertainment ban may apply to invitations for events or activities that are predominantly sporting or cultural where there is an admission charge that the ASU employee is not being asked to pay and the person, entity or government entity that is extending the invitation is a lobbyist, employs a lobbyist or is a public body that employs a lobbyist. The language of the law is nuanced, and if there is any doubt or question as to whether a gift or invitation is acceptable, confer with the Office of General Counsel prior to accepting.

ASU expressly prohibits harassment (including unwanted sexual contact), discrimination, sexual misconduct and retaliation by employees, students, contractors or agents of the university based on protected status, including race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and genetic information. If you want to learn more about the university's policy, available online training or if you have any concerns about conduct that you believe might violate university policy, please contact the Office of University Rights and Responsibilities.

Affirmative Action programs - As a federal contractor, ASU must have an affirmative action plan. Hiring decisions should target individuals who fall within a protected class, where appropriate. The goals and objectives contained in this program are complemented by action-oriented commitments and internal monitoring of application, selection, promotion and retention rates that will highlight job groups and organizational units. Consult with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for further guidance.

Sexual harassment (including unwanted sexual contact) and sexual misconduct

Sexual harassment (including unwanted sexual contact) and sexual misconduct are forms of sex discrimination and are prohibited by university policy. Sex discrimination can be between individuals of the same or different sex. Sex discrimination can occur between a supervisor and a subordinate or can create a hostile environment. Sex discrimination includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. All employees have a duty to report allegations of sexual discrimination. Reports or concerns regarding sex discrimination should be made to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (if the matter involves an employee who has allegedly violated policy), to the Dean of Students (if the matter involves a student who has allegedly violated policy) or the university’s Title IX coordinator (if you are unsure where to report).

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in any educational program or activity operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. As required by Title IX, ASU does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education programs or activities that we operate, including in admission and employment.  Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator or to the U.S. Department of Education, Assistant Secretary, or both. 

ASU is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination based on sex and provides a number of resources and services to assist students, faculty and staff in addressing issues involving sex discrimination, including sexual violence

Disabilities - The university complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination, harassment or retaliation based on disabilities and also require reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals. Any questions regarding the ADA or accommodations should be directed to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion's disability resources. For disability and accommodation questions or issues involving students, confer with the ASU Disability Resource Center.

Employees and students may not misuse university assets and have a responsibility to report activities or incidents that appear to be a misuse of university assets.  University assets include money, equipment, supplies, furniture, electronic resources, software, tools, vehicles and paid employee time.  Misuse includes using university assets for personal or non-ASU purposes, fraud, theft and embezzlement.  If there is a finding of misuses of university assets, then appropriate disciplinary action will be initiated.

Please contact any of the following if you have questions or concerns:

Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR)

Meetings of the Arizona Board of Regents are subject to the state's open meeting law. The board is required to do the following:

  1. Post agendas 24 hours in advance.

  2. Make all decisions and take all actions in the open sessions of meetings.

ABOR may hold closed sessions for certain discussion purposes. No votes or actions, however, can be taken in these sessions.

University meetings

University meetings are not subject to the open meeting law unless they involve a committee appointed by ABOR or a committee that advises the Board. By tradition, Faculty and Academic Senate meetings are open to the public. Meetings in which discussion occurs regarding individual students' educational information, individual personnel matters and other topics that are confidential in nature must be conducted in closed meetings.

ABOR has a policy regarding outside employment and each university has its own internal rules as well. In general, employees may work elsewhere as long as their outside employment does not interfere with their positions at ASU.

Exception: Tenured and tenure-track faculty or continuing status and probationary  academic professionals employed in institutions in the Arizona University System may not be simultaneously employed in similar capacities in any other post-secondary institutions. This restriction does not preclude brief consulting or research efforts that are conducted in accord with the provisions stated in ACD 510-01.

Restrictions

  • You may not make use of confidential information gained in your position at the university.

  • There are restrictions on representing another entity before ABOR.

As a university employee, you can lawfully:

  • run for public office
  • campaign for others on your own time
  • lobby on your own time, but you must separate your interest from that of the university; you must represent only your position and not suggest you represent the position of ASU.

A university employee, except faculty, may not serve on the legislature without resigning the public position or taking a leave of absence. Faculty may serve without resigning their positions at ASU; however, the faculty member must consult with his or her dean to resolve any conflict of commitment issue that may exist.

University employees cannot use university resources to attempt to influence the outcome of any election (political candidate or ballot initiative) or to advocate support for or opposition to pending or proposed legislation. While it is permissible to receive emails with political content, it is impermissible for you to use your university email account to send or forward such emails. Violation of this state law can result in civil penalties.

Institutional lobbying

Lobbying is defined as attempting to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation. ASU is required by state law to register its designated public lobbyist and all authorized public lobbyists with the Secretary of State. All lobbying on behalf of ASU must be coordinated through those individuals. There is an exemption in the law for persons who appear before the Legislature on their own behalf in support of or in opposition to the legislation. Such individual lobbying must be conducted on personal time without institutional subsidy or support.

§ARS 39-121 - As a public university, ASU is subject to the Arizona public records law, which grants the public access to information regarding the operations of the university. When a public records request is made, a review is conducted to determine whether the records are subject to inspection. Certain categories of records are exempt from disclosure under the Arizona public records law. They include:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) requires that student records be kept confidential. There are certain exceptions that include, but are not limited to:

  • individuals within the university who are determined by the appropriate university official to have a need to know;

  • directory information as defined by the university that  may be disclosed unless the student asks for it not to be released; and

  • records subject to a valid subpoena.    

Contact the Registrar's office for more information.

Disclosure of employee records is governed under Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) policy.  While personnel records of employees are generally private, there are exceptions under the policy and by law, such as providing access to employee records to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena.  Employee disciplinary records may be subject to inspection and copying under the public records law pursuant to state statute.  If ASU receives a request under the public records laws for employee records, the university will make reasonable efforts to provide notice to the affected employee(s) and will ascertain what, if any, privacy interests may exist.

Special considerations:

  • PDP 204 - The release of information contained in campus police reports depends on the nature of the incident and status of the investigation.

  • SPP 1101 or FERPA - Employees and students have the right of access to their own files, with certain exceptions.

If you receive a request for access to records or information, seek advice prior to releasing any records or information. The Office of General Counsel and/or the Registrar's office can provide guidance and information.  

If you wish to obtain access to records and information, submit a written request to the official custodian of the records. If you are unsure of who the custodian is, contact the appropriate Vice President’s Office or the Office of General Counsel.

Pages