Ethical Guidelines

College employees must act at all times in a manner which is consistent with the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. Such standards include concern for the needs of students, respect for the dignity of fellow employees, commitment to the service of our community, and adherence to guidelines issued by the State.

On August 4, 2006, Governor Michael F. Easley signed the NC State Government Ethics Act (N.C.G.S. Chapter 138A) into law, which became effective January 1, 2007. Regulated by the NC State Ethics Commission, it is the most comprehensive and sweeping ethics law in the history of the State and makes many changes to the current ethics regulatory system in North Carolina.

The purpose of the NC State Government Ethics Commission is to protect the public interest and to maintain the public trust by helping public officials and the boards and commissions on which they sit, avoid conflicts of interest and appearances of conflict of interest as they perform their public duties.

The purpose of the Act is to raise ethical awareness, clarify ethical guidelines, ensure that systems/programs/policies are in place, and to heighten accountability within the employing entity when making decisions to promote the public good. As public servants, personnel are prohibited from use of a public position in a manner that will result in financial benefit to the person, a member of the person’s family, or a business with which he/she is associated.

Article 4 of the NC State Ethics Act (Ethical Standards for Covered Persons) contains a gifts provision (N.C.G.S. §138A-32). The approach is a general ban on gifts, with ten (10) enumerated exceptions. Specifically, public servants are prohibited from accepting gifts from persons doing or seeking to do business with their employing entity, persons engaging in activities that are regulated or controlled by the employing entity, or persons having a financial interest that may be substantially affected by the public servant’s official actions. Please see Article 4 for a full description.

Obtain further information at the Ethics Commission Website.

Basically, the State guidelines prohibit the use of one’s college position for unauthorized gain and any activities that would lead to conflicts of interest.

Sandhills Community College faculty and staff members must act in ways, which, if subjected to public scrutiny, would reflect well on their integrity and on the integrity of the college.

Board of Trustee Approval: August 6, 2007

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