Compliance Matters

News and updates from the Office of Compliance, Risk, and Ethics
September 2019

Welcome to the first issue of the Compliance Matters newsletter for this academic year. This space is intended to keep you in the know about the latest developments in compliance and ethics. We trust you will find it not only informative, but also practical as you go about your work at the College. Happy reading!

Confidential Reporting for Athletic Concerns

The tragic death of a student athlete, Jordan McNair, at University of Maryland in 2018 has drawn greater scrutiny to college athletic departments nationwide. In response, the Maryland legislature passed a new law requiring all colleges and universities in the state to implement reporting and escalation mechanisms for concerns about athletic programs and activities.
To that end, the Montgomery College Board of Trustees adopted Policy 45005 – Student Concerns About Athletic Programs and Activities. Empowering students and employees to speak up about suspected wrongdoing in College athletic programs and activities is the chief purpose of this policy.
There are four options for confidential reporting:
  • Contact a coach or member of the Athletic Department;
  • Contact Christopher Moy, director of Title IX and ADA compliance;
  • Share the concern, anonymously if desired, through EthicsPoint, or 844-572-2198; or
  • Contact Public Safety and Emergency Management at 240-567-3333.
Please read the new policy and procedure to understand the responsibility that arises when you, as a College employee, become aware of suspected athletic wrongdoing or abuse. All faculty and staff are expected to promptly forward any concerns of this nature to Christopher Moy.
Join us in sharing this information with students to help promote awareness of the newly available reporting options.

New Guidelines for Preferred Names

In keeping with leading practices nationwide, Montgomery College has implemented a procedure to allow students and employees to designate a preferred or chosen name for use at the College. MC strives to use the chosen name wherever a legal name is not necessary. This not only empowers students and employees to use a name that affirms their gender identity, but also shows respect to other members of the College community who may:
  • identify themselves by a middle name instead of their first name,
  • use a nickname of a legal name, or
  • use an anglicized name.
The College’s preferred name procedure does not require a legal name change (although there are some circumstances where a legal name may be required by law, industry standard, or strong business need).
Chosen names will be used in:
  • MC class and grade rosters
  • Blackboard
  • MC student/employee ID cards
  • MC College Directory and email (employees only)
Legal names will continue to be used in official College records, including:
  • Student account statements (bills)
  • Financial aid and scholarship documents
  • Transcripts and diplomas
  • Enrollment verifications
  • Paychecks, W2s, and other payroll documents
  • Benefits enrollment
Employees may submit a preferred name change request in Workday, within the “Personal Information” widget located under “Applications.”
Students may submit a completed Student Preferred Name Request Form, along with a photo ID, to the Office of Admissions and Records, campus registrar.
You can help strengthen a culture of inclusivity and respect at the College by spreading the word about the option of identifying a chosen name, and by using the chosen names of those around you.

EthicsPoint Reporting Line: Not Just for Ethics Concerns

From last year’s ethics training, you probably recognize the College’s EthicsPoint reporting line as a resource for reporting ethical concerns.
But the confidential reporting line is available for much more than that. It is an open line of communication for you to speak up about:
  • conflicts of interest,
  • fraud,
  • retaliation,
  • noncompliance with an applicable legal or regulatory requirement,
  • impropriety in handling or reporting money or financial transactions,
  • safety concerns,
  • any conduct that does not follow College policy or procedure, or
  • questions or requests for guidance about how to handle an ethical dilemma.
At its heart, having a confidential reporting line is about encouraging a speak-up culture at the College. We encourage you to use EthicsPoint to voice any concern about a vulnerability, risk, or area of noncompliance at MC, ethics-related or otherwise.
Image of human shrugging shoulders with text stating is it accessible?

Tech Tip: Accessibility

While it may be easy to understand the “why” behind making our websites, class resources, and other forms of technology accessible, perhaps the sticking point for many is how to do so. Even if we embrace the need for digital accessibility, the practical reality of weaving it into our everyday work may be daunting. If you’ve ever wondered where to start, worry not: there’s now a toolkit at the ready to assist you.
This toolkit highlights automated accessibility checkers for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Acrobat, in addition to web accessibility testing tools. Many of these tools not only evaluate whether your materials are accessible, but also help guide you how to repair any inaccessible content detected.
Take advantage of these resources to help make your course content, website, or documents accessible to the widest possible audience. Still have questions about how to make accessibility a reality? Contact Accessible Technology Coordinator Stacy Keller.
Text reading: Focus on Conflicts of Interest
One of the most frequent inquiries to our office recently has been about conflicts of interest. We appreciate that people are seeking out guidance before acting; this is a positive indicator of MC’s ethical culture.
So what is a conflict of interest? It’s a situation in which an individual has competing interests or loyalties. Conflicts occur when our activities or personal interests don’t align with—or appear to diverge from—our responsibility to the College. This may arise when someone has a financial, political, or social interest that could motivate that person to act counter to the best interest of the organization.
What is your role, as an employee, when it comes to conflicts of interest?
  1. Know how to spot a conflict. Keep an eye out for competing loyalties or personal interests that might influence someone to make a decision not in the College’s best interest.
  2. Disclose to the Office of Compliance, Risk, and Ethics (OCRE) any potential conflicts of interest that you personally might have.
  3. Seek guidance from OCRE or through the confidential reporting line if you’re unsure whether something is really a conflict of interest.

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