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Ethics

Illinois State Ethics Act
SIUE Employee Information

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(only for employees notified that they have been registered for on-line training)

Training Forms Used in Lieu of On-Line Training: Training form for Public University Employees PDF (only for employees not registered for on-line training by the Office of Human Resources), Training form for Illinois Board Appointees & Board Employees PDF

State Employee Training

STATE EMPLOYEES AND THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS LIVING IN THEIR HOMES MUST UNDERSTAND WHAT THE ETHICAL CHOICES ARE WHEN GIVEN OPPORTUNITIES TO:

  • Receive a gift or invitation to an event
  • Participate in political activities
  • Report violations of the State's Ethics Rules by other State employees
  • Identify and comply with reporting conflicts of interest


POINTS TO REMEMBER:

1. Do not accept a gift or ask for a gift from someone who could be affected by your State employer's actions. If you receive such a gift in the mail, return it immediately, or donate it to charity.

  • Example: An employee in the position to select a vendor for a State university should not accept a free vacation from the vendor; accepting such a gift could be viewed as a bribe.

Samples of gifts that may be accepted:

  • Promotional gifts that cost less than $100
  • Educational materials that apply to your profession with the State
  • Food and drinks consumed where they are purchased and cost no more than $75/calendar day

2. Invitations to events may be accepted if your presence is tied to your State job responsibilities. If the purpose of your trip is mainly recreation, your trip is not considered service to the State as an employee.

  • Example: As a State employee, you may accept an invitation to present State guidelines at a vendor conference and have your registration, meals, and transportation paid for by the vendor. After the presentation, you leave for home and do not extend your stay to include a personal vacation to be reported as time spent conducting State business.

An example of an unacceptable gift along with the above scenario is:

  • Free tickets from the vendor to a concert.

3. Do not use the State's property or time to work for volunteer or political activities. Examples of State property include desk phones and cell phones, other equipment, and e-mail accounts used by employees to perform job responsibilities.

State employees may not coerce other State employees to donate money to or work for political parties.

  • Example: A relative is running for city mayor. To save time later at night, you may make calls to some of the city's residents to encourage voting for your relative, but you use your personal cell phone during your scheduled lunch time while sitting in a park across the street from the office building you work in.

An example of unacceptable time spent on this project is:

  • Using a cell phone funded by the State during the hours you are being compensated for to complete your State job responsibilities.

4. You must report another State employee's violations of the State's Ethics Rules. Not reporting what you have witnessed is a violation and could result in the loss of your own job. Those who make false reports will be penalized and so will supervisors who try to prevent a co-worker from reporting violations. The names of those who report violations to the Inspector General will be kept confidential.

  • Example: You are employed at a State funded university and your son or daughter is looking for a job. The manager of an office supply vendor, who is also your friend, says he will hire your child if you use your clout to get the university you work for to start doing business with his supply company. A co-worker overhears the details of your plan during a phone conversation with your friend.

Based on the State's Ethics Rules, the co-worker must report what he or she heard.

To report violations or for more information, contact: The Office of Human Resources, (618) 650-2190 or The Office of Executive Inspector General, (866) 814-1113.

5. Report conflict of interest situations such as when the State is your employer, and you have another job that may keep you from completing your State job responsibilities. Other conflict of interest situations are when your relative or close friend is a manager of a company the State is or will be doing business with or when you have a financial interest in or serve as a board member of a company the State is or will be doing business with.

  • Example: You are scheduled to teach a full semester of a course that meets three mornings per week. You have also taken a free-lance job with another employer. Your free-lance employer does, however, require two business trips that will mean missing several class sessions.

LOSING YOUR JOB, BEING FINED, OR EVEN GOING TO JAIL ARE CONSEQUENCES STATE EMPLOYEES FACE FOR NOT ABIDING BY THE STATE'S ETHIC RULES.

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State Ethics Legislation

I. Key elements of the bill relevant to SIUE:

1. Includes University employees and members of the Board of Trustees in the category of "state employees."

2. Amends previous Gift Ban provisions by reducing the number of exceptions.

3. Introduces restrictions on activities such as:

a. Political Activities during work time.

b. Lobbyist activity and service on boards and commissions.

c. Employment by outside vendors of ex-State employees who formerly were
involved in procurement decisions.

4. Strengthens protection for "whistle blowers."

II. Ethics Training

The law requires that each employee complete, at least annually beginning in 2004, the ethics training program conducted by the university.

The training program can be internet based.

III. Personnel Policies

The University must have personnel policies in place that control the documentation of work time, compensation, and the earning/accrual of State Benefits.

IV. Specific Policies

1. Employees of Southern Illinois University can not perform work for an outside vendor for one year after leaving the university's employ if he/she participated personally and substantially in decisions to award contracts to that vendor that exceeded $25,000.00. This prohibition can only be waived by the State Ethics Commission.

2. University employees shall not intentionally perform any prohibited political activity during any compensated time, (other than vacation, personal, or compensatory time off).

3. University employees may not intentionally misappropriate any State property or resources by engaging in any prohibited political activity for the benefit of any campaign for elective office or any political organization.

4. University employees may not require other persons in the employ of the state to participate in prohibited political activities. (Prohibited political activities are defined to include: planning or holding a political meeting, rally, etc.; distributing campaign literature; soliciting or making campaign contributions; managing or working on a campaign; campaigning itself; conducting political polls or surveys for a specific campaign or political organization; and soliciting votes on behalf of a candidate, political organization, or referendum question.

5. No University employee may solicit or accept a gift from a prohibited source. Prohibited sources are defined to include any person or entity that does business or seeks to do business with the university, or persons who are registered lobbyists. Exceptions to the gift ban include: anything for which the recipient pays the "market value"; items from one prohibited source during one calendar year with a cumulative value<$100.00; food and refreshments catered or consumed on premises not exceeding $75.00 per day; intra-governmental and inter-governmental gifts, which are gifts from persons within or between these groups: General Assembly members, Constitutional officers, and employees of State agencies; lodging, transportation or other benefits resulting from outside business employment activities that are customarily provided to others in similar circumstances.

6. The recipient of a gift that is included in the ban always has the option of returning the gift to the source or giving the gift or an amount of money equal to the gifts value to the SIUE Foundation.

7. For the purpose of the ethics bill, members of the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees are considered employees of the university and, therefore, state employees.

8. Upon appointment to the Board of Trustees of the university, an appointee must file with the Secretary of State, a disclosure of all contracts the person or his or her spouse or immediate family members living with the person have with the state and all contracts between the state and any entity in which the appointee, (or spouse or immediate family member living with the appointee) have a majority financial interest.

9. In addition to the prohibited conflict of interest stated in article 8, it is unlawful for an appointed member of the Board of Trustees (or spouse or immediate family members living with the appointee) to have or acquire a contract or have or acquire a direct pecuniary interest in a contract with the state that relates to the Board of Trustees during and for one year after the conclusion of the person's term of office.

10. A person required to be registered under the Lobbyist Registration Act, their spouse, and/or their immediate family members living with that person may not serve on the Board of Trustees.

11. Retaliatory action is prohibited against any University employee because that employee engaged in the following activity:

i. Discloses or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or public body an activity, policy or practice the employee reasonably believes violates a law, rule or regulation.

ii. Provides information to/testifies before any public body conducting an investigation, hearing, etc into any violation of a law, etc.

iii. Assists or participates in a proceeding to enforce the Whistle Blower Protection statute.

12. Southern Illinois University shall designate an ethics officer.

13. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville shall designate a campus contact person to assist that ethics officer, provide ethics training to the campus, and answer questions regarding Public Act 93-617.

14. A University employee who intentionally violates the State's ethics bill is subject to discipline or discharge by the appropriate authority within the university administration.

15. The State Ethics Commission may levy an Administrative fine of up to $5000.00 against any person who:

i. Violates the Act

ii. Intentionally obstructs or interferes with investigations conducted under the Act by an Inspector General.

iii. Intentionally makes a false, frivolous or bad faith allegation.

16. The criminal penalties for intentional violations of the State's Ethics Act consist of either a Class A felony or business offense.

17. Any person who intentionally makes a false report alleging a violation of the Act to an Ethics Commission or other specified law enforcement officials is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

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State Ethics Law Requirements

On December 9, 2003, the Governor of the State of Illinois signed into law a bill outlining the ethical requirements of all State employees.

This bill now known as the State Ethics Act or Public Act 93-617 implements procedures to increase ethics awareness, oversight, and enforcement. The Act also strengthens the previous gift ban provisions of State law by reducing the number of exceptions that were contained in the rules governing the acceptance of gifts by State employees. In addition, the Act introduces restrictions on activities such as:

  • Political Activities during work time.
  • Lobbyist activity and service on Boards and commissions.
  • Employment by outside "vendors" of ex-State employees who formerly were involved in procurement decisions regarding those vendors.
  • Finally, the Act strengthens protection for legitimate "whistle blowers."

As part of the Act, employees are expected to be informed about the Act and to, in general, receive information concerning ethics. The general outline of how Public Act 93-617 impacts Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the policies that result are included in this document and should be read by all employees.

Employees with questions about how the Act affects them or with requirements for more information, should contact the Office of Human Resources and, specifically, the Director.

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Earning of Compensation & Accrual of State Benefits

Requirements for documenting the earning of compensation for services and accrual of State benefits such as vacation, sick leave, bereavement leave, leaves of absence, holidays, unpaid personal leave, disability, and retirement shall be maintained in accordance with applicable University policies, procedures, and interpretations. Eligible leave time utilization shall be documented on the applicable University forms.

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Travel Reimbursement for Official University Business

Documentation requirements for reimbursement of official University travel expenses must comply with rules of the Higher Education Travel Control Board and relevant SIU Board of Trustees policies, rules, and regulations.

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Work Time Requirements & Reporting

The work schedules for staff and faculty are designed to complete the tasks required to fulfill the University's responsibilities regarding instruction, scholarship, public service, organizational and administrative functions, and all operations required to meet Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's mission.

Unless otherwise required to meet the needs of the University community, normal department office hours are 8:00a.m. to 4:30p.m., Monday through Friday, with closures for lunch or other necessities as determined by the individual departments. Work hours for staff and faculty as they pertain to instruction, service, and scholarship, as well as administrative responsibilities, extend throughout the 7-day, 24-hour work week as necessary to maintain operations and to complete the tasks needed to fulfill the university's mission.

Work schedules applicable to all full-time staff and full-time faculty assume a minimum schedule of 37.5 hours of work per week. Expectations for part-time schedules are assigned proportionately.

The university is guided in its compensation methods by its adherence to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which generally exempts professional and administrative staff and faculty from maintaining specific and limited work hours as necessary to fulfill their assigned responsibilities. It is assumed that administrative and faculty employees normally extend their work week past the 37.5 hour minimum standard.

For the purpose of adhering to Public Act 93-617, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville employees are divided into three groups - the FLSA Non-exempt Group, the FLSA Exempt group, and Faculty/Instructional Employees group:

1. FLSA Non-Exempt Group

This category includes all hourly paid civil service, extra help, student, and non-status employees of SIUE. For these positions, the Documentation of Time Worked requirements of the State Officials and Employees Ethic Act, (Public Act 93-617) shall be fulfilled by adherence to the following SIUE policy:

No political activity prohibited by the Public Act 93-617 shall be conducted on University-compensated work time, (other than "vacation, personal or compensatory time off"), or involve the use of University property or resources by any University employee or member of the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University.

Nothing in this policy statement prohibits activities that are otherwise appropriate for a University employee or Trustee to engage in as a part of his or her official University duties or activities that are undertaken by a University employee or Trustee on a voluntary basis as permitted by law.

An employee shall not, through his or her position with the Board of Trustees or the university, (a) coerce, command, advise or solicit anyone to pay, lend, or contribute money or other thing of value to any partisan party, committee, organization, agency, or person for political purposes; (b) use Board or University funds, resources, or time for any political candidate or partisan purpose other than educational.

Any time utilized during the designated work schedule for activities which fall under the policy stated above, shall be recorded on the Hourly Time Sheet and Benefit Usage Report with applicable leave or unpaid time recorded on at least a quarter-hour basis and maintained in either paper or electronic format by the applicable fiscal officer for a period of at least two (2) years.

2. FLSA Exempt Employees Group

The FLSA Exempt category of employment includes all salaried support staff, administrative, civil service, and other employees appointed for time frames that do not correspond with the academic calendar (i.e., greater than 10 month appointments eligible for vacation accrual). For these positions, the Documentation of Time Worked requirements of the State Officials and Employees Ethic Act, (Public Act 93-617) shall be fulfilled by adherence to the following SIUE policy:

No political activity prohibited by the Public Act 93-617 shall be conducted on university-compensated work time, ( other than "vacation, personal, or compensatory time off"), or involve the use of University property or resources by any University employee or member of the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University.

Nothing in this policy statement prohibits activities that are otherwise appropriate for a University employee or Trustee to engage in as a part of his or her official University duties or activities that are undertaken by a University employee or Trustee on a voluntary basis as permitted by law.

An employee shall not, through his or her position with the Board of Trustees or the university, (a) coerce, command, advise, or solicit anyone to pay, lend, or contribute money or other thing of value to any partisan party, committee, organization, agency, or person for political purposes; (b) use Board or University funds, resources, or time for any political candidate or partisan purpose other than educational.

Any time utilized during the designated work schedule for activities which fall under the policy stated above, shall be recorded on the Administrative/Represented Professional Staff Salary Time Record with applicable leave or unpaid time recorded on at least a quarter-hour basis and maintained in either paper or electronic format by the applicable fiscal officer for a period of at least two (2) years.

3. Faculty/Instructional Employees Group

This group includes all tenured and tenure-track faculty, full-time and part-time non tenure-track faculty, instructors, lecturers, and visiting faculty members, and any other employees appointed for time frames that correspond with the academic calendar (i.e., 9- or 10-month appointments not eligible for vacation accrual). For these positions, the Documentation of Time Worked requirements of the State Officials and Employees Ethic Act, (Public Act 93-617) shall be fulfilled by adherence to the following SIUE policy:

No political activity prohibited by the Public Act 93-617 shall be conducted on University-compensated work time, ( other than "vacation, personal, or compensatory time off"), or involve the use of University property or resources by any University employee or member of the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University.

Nothing in this policy statement prohibits activities that are otherwise appropriate for a University employee or Trustee to engage in as a part of his or her official University duties or activities that are undertaken by a University employee or Trustee on a voluntary basis as permitted by law.

An employee shall not, through his or her position with the Board of Trustees or the university, (a) coerce, command, advise or solicit anyone to pay, lend, or contribute money or other thing of value to any partisan party, committee, organization, agency, or person for political purposes; (b) use Board or University funds, resources, or time for any political candidate or partisan purpose other than educational.

No faculty/instructional group employee may engage or be required to engage in prohibited political activity that would interfere with the normal execution of their duties and responsibilities, nor involve the use of University property or resources for any time period during the employee's appointment with SIUE. Faculty/instructional employees are first expected to resolve with supervisor/department chair approval, any interference with normal execution of their regularly assigned duties and responsibilities. Whenever such activity results in an interference with normally scheduled academic responsibilities, which could not be resolved, utilization of available benefits or declaration of personal time off without compensation should be recorded. The faculty/instructional group employee should account for this time in writing to their department chair who should file a copy of the account with the appropriate Dean's office. Those employees in this group that seek outside employment are still required to notify the Provost's office.

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