3.5.6 Code of Ethics

adopted: May-1990
last revised: Nov-2008

In order to ensure public confidence in the College, Board members and employees must perform their duties in a proper and ethical manner and avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Thus, in the best interests of the College, the Board and College employees shall subscribe to the following Code of Ethics:

Definitions: The following terms shall be given the definitions as set forth in 5 ILCS 430/1-5:

  • Campaign for elective office
  • Candidate
  • Collective bargaining
  • Compensated time
  • Compensatory time off
  • Contribution
  • Gift
  • Leave of absence
  • Political activity
  • Political organization
  • Prohibited political activity
  • Prohibited source

For the purposes of this policy, “officer” shall mean any member of the Board of Trustees and “employee” shall mean any person employed by the Board, whether on a full-time or part-time basis, or pursuant to a contract, whose duties are subject to the direction and control of the Board and/or its administrative employees with regard to the material details of the work performed. The term “employee” does not include a volunteer or an independent contractor. “Employer” shall mean the Board of Trustees (sometimes referred to herein as the “Board”).

Prohibited political activities

  • No officer or employee shall intentionally perform any prohibited political activity during any compensated time. No officer or employee shall intentionally use any property or resources of the Board in connection with any prohibited political activity.
  • At no time shall any officer or employee intentionally require any other officer or employee to perform any prohibited political activity as part of that officer’s or employee’s duties, as a condition of employment, or during any compensated time off (including holidays, vacations, and personal time off.
  • No officer or employee shall be required at any time to participate in any prohibited political activity in consideration of that officer or employee being awarded additional compensation or any benefit, whether in the form of a salary adjustment, bonus, compensatory time off, continued employment, or otherwise, nor shall any officer or employee be awarded additional compensation or any benefit in consideration of the employee’s participation in any prohibited political activity.
  • Nothing in this section shall prohibit activities that are permissible for an officer or employee to engage in as part of such employee’s official duties or activities.

Gift ban
Subject to the exceptions set forth herein, no officer or employee and no spouse or immediate family member living with any officer or employee (collectively referred to herein as “Recipient”) shall intentionally solicit or accept any gift from any prohibited source or which is otherwise prohibited by law. No prohibited source shall intentionally offer or make a gift that violates this provision. The following exceptions shall apply to this section:

  • Opportunities, benefits, and services that are available on the same conditions as for the general public.
  • Anything for which the Recipient pays the market value.
  • Any contribution that is lawfully made under the Election Code or activities associated with a fund-raising event in support of a political organization or candidate.
  • Educational materials and missions.
  • Travel expenses in connection with any meeting for business purposes.
  • Any gift from the following relatives of the Recipient: father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister (including corresponding in-laws, step-relations, and half-relations), uncle, aunt, great-aunt, great-uncle, first cousin, nephew, niece, spouse, fiancé, fiancée, grandparent, grandchild.
  • Any gift from an individual on the basis of a personal friendship unless the Recipient has reason to believe that, under the circumstances, the gift was provided because of the official position or employment of the Recipient and not because of the personal friendship. In determining whether a gift is provided on the basis of personal friendship, the Recipient shall consider the circumstances under which the gift was offered (such as the history of the relationship between the parties, including any previous exchange of gifts, whether, to the actual knowledge of the Recipient, the individual who gave the gift personally paid for the gift or sought a tax deduction or business reimbursement for the gift, and whether, to the actual knowledge of the Recipient, the individual who gave the gift also gave the same or similar gift to other Recipients).
  • Food or refreshments not exceeding $75 per person in value during a single day, provided that the food or refreshments are consumed on the premises where they were purchased or prepared or catered.
  • Food, refreshments, lodging, transportation, and other benefits resulting from outside business or employment activities if the benefits have not been offered or enhanced because of the official position or employment of the officer or employee and are customarily provided to others in similar circumstances.
  • Intragovernmental and intergovernmental gifts. For the purposes of this section, “intragovernmental gift” means any gift given to an officer or employee from another officer or employee and “intergovernmental gift” means any gift given to an officer or employee by an officer or employee of another governmental entity.
  • Bequests, inheritances, and other transfers at death.
  • Any item or items from any one prohibited source during any calendar year having a cumulative total value of less than $100.

Ethics Advisor

  • The President may appoint an Ethics Advisor for the College and in such event shall advise the Board of such appointment. In the absence of such appointment, the attorney serving as general counsel to the College shall serve as Ethics Advisor. The Ethics Advisor shall provide interpretation and guidance to officers and employees of the College concerning compliance with this policy and the Act, and shall perform such other investigative and reporting requirements as the President and/or Board shall authorize from time to time.

Ethics Commission

  • The Board may from time to time appoint and constitute no less than three of its members to serve as an Ethics Commission to investigate any complaints arising under this policy. Such Commission shall discharge its duties in accordance with this policy and shall make recommendations to the full Board as it shall deem appropriate.
  • Board members and employees shall keep in confidence information that has been obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure is required by law or is otherwise authorized by the Board.
  • Board members and employees shall not use College facilities, equipment, or property for personal financial gain.
  • Board members and employees shall not seek to unduly influence personnel decisions.
  • Board members and employees shall not seek to influence the purchase of products or services by the College when such influence may result in personal gain.
  • Board members shall not be interested directly or indirectly in any contract, work, or business of the College except as provided by law.
  • Employees owe their first responsibility to fulfilling the terms of their contracts or employment obligations to the College. Employees may not obligate themselves for additional services inside or outside the College if such obligations would interfere with fulfilling their primary responsibilities to the College.
  • In the deliberation of any matter to come before it, the Board encourages Trustees to express individual and differing points of view. Once a decision is reached, however, Trustees shall accept such decision as the official Board position on the matter.