UNION COUNTY COLLEGE
CODE OF ETHICS
Adopted January 23, 1996, amendments adopted January 24, 2006 and December 2, 2014.
COLLEGE BOARD MEMBERS
- Article II of this code of ethics is applicable to members of the board of trustees and board of governors of the College.
- The provisions of Executive Order No. 65, signed by Acting Governor Richard J. Codey on November 15, 2005, are incorporated herein and made a part of this code of ethics
When used in this Article II, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
“Board” means the board of trustees and board of governors of the College.
“College matter” means any application, award, bid, claim, contract, license, proceeding, resolution or transaction made by, to, against or with the College, or which requires any official action by the Board, officers or employees.
“Employee” means any person compensated for full or part-time employment services rendered to the College.
“Immediate family member” means the spouse, natural or adopted child, grandchild, parent or sibling of the board member.
“Interest” means any personal, financial, economic, property or other concern amounting to a right, advantage, share or portion inuring either directly or indirectly to a board member or to an immediate family member of a board member, either singly, or in affiliation with any person or party as defined herein.
“Person or party” means any natural person, association, corporation, estate, partnership, proprietorship, trust or other legal entity.
3. Duty of Loyalty and Independence
A board member’s fiduciary duty of loyalty and independence to the College includes the following:
- To diligently and honestly discharge his/her duties as a board member by attending meetings of the Board, becoming knowledgeable and informed about matters before the Board and using independent judgment to make objective decisions in the College’s best interest.
- To place the College’s interests in any transaction ahead of their personal interests, and attempt to avoid or resolve any potential conflict of interest related to any transaction.
- To exercise his or her powers as a member in the interest of the College, rather than in the member’s own self-interest or the interests of any other person or group, including the member’s appointive authority. A member taking action on a particular item must be independent, meaning that he or she can consider the issue of what is in the best interests of the College on its merits, free from any extraneous influences.
4. Duty of Confidentiality
Any information regarding the College, a College matter (as defined above), obtained by a board member in a non-public session of the Board or in a Committee meeting of the Board, or in a non-public discussion with a College officer, fellow board member or trustee, cannot be disclosed to any other party other than other board members, the President, other College administrators, if appropriate, unless the board member is authorized by the Board to do so or until such College matter becomes disclosed publicly at a public meeting of the Board or by a duly authorized officer of the College.
5. Standards of ethics
- No board member shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business or transaction or professional activity, which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of the board member’s duties to the College.
- No board member shall use his or her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself or herself or others.
- No board member shall act in his or her official capacity in any College matter in which the board member or an immediate family member of the board member has a direct or indirect financial interest that might reasonably be expected to impair the board member’s objectivity or independence of judgment.
- No board member shall undertake any employment or engage in any business, transaction, service or professional activity, whether compensated or not, which might be reasonably be expected to impair the board member’s objectivity or independence of judgment in the exercise of his or her official duties as board member.
- No board member shall accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, favor, service, or other things of value under circumstances from which it might be reasonably inferred, or which the board member knows or has reason to believe, is offered for the purpose of influencing the discharge of his or her duties as board member.
- No board member shall knowingly act in any way that might reasonably be expected to create an impression or suspicion among the public having knowledge of the board member’s acts, that he or she may be engaged in conduct violative of his or her trust as a public official.
- No board member, nor any member or employee of a firm or corporation with which the board member is affiliated, shall appear or negotiate on behalf of a party not affiliated with the College, in any matter before the College or in any cause or proceeding involving the College.
- No board member shall use, or allow to be used, his or her public office, or any information not generally available to members of the public, which the board member receives in the course of or by reason of the board member’s office, to secure financial gain, unwarranted privileges, advantages or employment for himself or herself, his or her immediate family members, or others with whom the board member is associated.
- A board member should devote time, thought and study to the duties and responsibilities of a College board member so as to render effective and creditable service.
- As an individual, a board member has no legal authority outside of the meetings of the Board and should conduct himself or herself accordingly with the College staff, local citizens, and all facets of the local community.
- An important function of the Board of Trustees is to establish the policies and the goals of the College and to audit the performance of the administration in the fulfillment of these policies and the progress towards the goals. However, board members should leave the conduct of the educational program and the College’s business to the President and administration of the College.
6. Disclosure of potential conflict
- At first knowledge of a transaction involving the College that reasonably could give rise to a conflict of interest, a board member shall disclose to the Board the precise nature of the interest or involvement of the board member or the board member’s immediate family member in any College matter to be considered by the Board or College administration.
- Upon notification of the appointment or reappointment of a board member, the President of the College shall provide the board member with a copy of this code of ethics. Within thirty (30) days after the organizational meeting of the Board, each board member shall file with the secretary of the Board, a form of statement specified by the Board which discloses the nature of any financial interest or business relationship which the board member has which relates to the College or which the board member is otherwise required to disclose under this code of ethics.
Violations of this code of ethics may constitute cause for removal of a board member pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:64A-55 or imposition of other sanctions determined by the Board to be appropriate.