Reporting Responsibility - Violations

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 2.5(15)
Updated/Revised: November 1, 2012
Reviewed and Updated: February 28, 2018
Contact: Office of General Counsel


The purpose of this policy is to explain the responsibility of students, employees, and visitors to report potential or suspected violations of policies, regulations, and laws.

Policy Statement

The code of business and fiduciary conduct (see Resources below) makes each of us responsible for bringing to the attention of the appropriate office (as indicated below) suspected violations of applicable—

  • University standards and policies
  • State and federal laws and regulations
  • Government contracts and requirements

Failure to report known or suspected violations and crimes as indicated in this policy is itself a breach of university ethical standards and can lead to discipline of employees and students, up to and including separation from the university.  As provided by the non-retaliation against persons reporting misconduct policy (see Resources below), reports made in good faith will not jeopardize the reporter’s position or employment.

Violations of Concern to the University

This policy applies to violations that:

  • Occur on university property, including leased facilities;
  • Interfere with any university obligation, whether legal, contractual or otherwise; or
  • Occur between members of the university community of students, faculty, staff and visitors to ISU property.


For purposes of this policy the term “employees” includes administrators, faculty, staff, graduate assistants and visiting or collaborating faculty subject to the faculty handbook.

All employees have the obligation to report under this policy except for professions which retain obligations of confidentiality under accepted codes of ethics. Such professions include:

  • Employees of the office of the ombuds, as required by accepted ombuds codes of ethics;
  • Clergy, including any chaplains, as required by accepted standards of ethics; and
  • Attorneys as required by the rules of professional responsibility and specifically applicable to attorneys employed to provide legal assistance to students.



Standard for Good Faith Reporting
To the extent known, reporters are expected to provide truthfully and in good faith the following information:

  • Name and/or description of the person engaged in misconduct;
  • Name and/or description of alleged victims;
  • Time and date;
  • Location; and
  • Information and evidence supporting the allegation that misconduct has occurred.

For emergencies, students, employees, and visitors should report by calling 911, whether they are on central campus or on other university property.

Criminal Misconduct and/or Violence
Members of the university community have a responsibility to report any suspected crime to the Iowa State University police.  In the case of incidents not on the Ames campus, local police authorities should also be called in order to avoid any delay in response.  It is especially important to report any suspected crime of violence or other crime that may result in significant harm to individuals or property loss or damage.

Physical and Sexual Abuse of Children

  • Consistent with Iowa Code §262.9(37), all university employees who in the course of employment receive information related to suspected physical or sexual abuse of children must immediately report such information to the Iowa State University police.  In the case of incidents not on the Ames campus, local police authorities should also be called in order to avoid any delay in response.
  • University employees who are mandatory reporters of all forms of child abuse (not just physical or sexual abuse) under state law must also fulfill their statutory obligation to report to the department of human services as provided by Iowa Code §232.67-70.
  • University employees, students and visitors who are not mandatory reporters may, and are strongly encouraged to report all forms of child abuse directly to the department of human services as provided under Iowa Code §232.67-70.

See Resources below for guidance on child abuse reporting.


Financial Misconduct
The university has obligations for proper expenditure of funds as prescribed by the source of funds.  Grant and contract funds must be expended consistent with the funding source and conditions of the grant or contract.  Expenditure of donated funds must be consistent with donor restrictions.

The university has an obligation to report to federal authorities a significant overpayment or violation of the civil false claims act or a federal criminal law involving fraud, conflict of interest, bribery, or gratuity when credible evidence exists that such conduct occurred in connection with a federal contract performed by the university or its subcontractors.

Employees should report such concerns to the:

These offices are responsible for making recommendations on reporting and other appropriate action.

Other Violations
Other violations should be reported as indicated below:

employee misconduct University Human Resources or Senior Vice President and Provost (faculty misconduct)
discrimination and harassment Office of Equal Opportunity
university policy Policy Administrator
research misconduct Office of Research Ethics
student disciplinary Office of Student Conduct
NCAA Athletics Compliance


Individuals may use the ISU compliance and ethics hotline to report matters other than serious crimes, student misconduct, employee misconduct and discrimination and harassment. Crimes involving harm or violence should be reported directly to the Iowa State University police to avoid further damage or endangerment to the