What does it take to weed out the rare examples of malfeasance in our workplaces? Everyone’s help.

That’s why the UNC System has just launched its new hotline to make it easier for any employee throughout the System to file a complaint about alleged misconduct.

The hotline promotes an ethical workplace culture across the UNC System. Each member of the University community has a responsibility to follow policies and procedures and to adhere to applicable laws and regulations. But responsibility doesn’t end there. Employees are also obligated to speak up when they suspect misconduct by colleagues, Board members, outside contractors, or vendors.

Red telephone with emergency sign.
Photo courtesy of eflon, flickr. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The UNC System Hotline is a tool anyone at any institution can use to file a complaint outlining alleged misconduct. Employees are encouraged to report any matter that could harm the UNC System’s reputation and operational efficiency, including noncompliance with laws, rules, regulations or university policy; fraud, waste, or misuse of resources or property; and conflicts of interest. In addition, employees should also report any matter that creates an unsafe or hostile work environment, such as unfair employment practices; matters that pose significant danger to public health or safety; or threatening behavior.

As a first course of action, concerned employees are encouraged to reach out directly to their supervisors, directors, or other senior officials at their home institution when feasible, or to reach out to their institution’s hotline. However, the UNC System Hotline is designed to support System Office staff and those employees who feel uncomfortable or unable to raise a complaint at their home institution.

State statute protects employees who, in good faith, report allegations of improper governmental activities from retaliation.

“The development of this new hotline is a real asset to the University. Not only does the hotline streamline our process for receiving and processing complaints, it also serves as a comprehensive resource, which will help every UNC System employee identify and contact the right audience to hear and respond to their concerns.”

Vice President for Compliance and Audit Services Lynne Sanders

While the hotline is not designed to receive reports of sexual misconduct or other Title IX-related issues, the landing page provides direct links to the institutions’ Title IX offices. The web page also provides links to each institution’s hotline, the State Auditor’s hotline, and the UNC System Office Human Resources department, which will receive concerns specifically related to personnel matters.

Reporting misconduct isn’t just the ethical thing to do. It’s also vital to our educational mission. Fraud and abuse of University resources can impact efficiency and drive up costs. This doesn’t just impact our colleagues in the workplace. It hurts our students and every North Carolinian.

The new UNC System Hotline gives every employee a platform to speak out against wrongdoing and poor judgement.