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Code of Conduct

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Section 1 - Overview and Scope

(1) The Code of Conduct (the Code) for the University of New England establishes principles to be applied by UNE Representatives in their activities and behaviour. As the University is a public sector entity, UNE Representatives are expected to serve the public interest, including through showing leadership and contributing to the public good, promoting academic freedom and a supportive, respectful, safe and healthy environment for our staff and students and engaging in ethical business practices with our partners, aligned with our values as in our strategic plan.

(2) In applying the Code, the University of New England is committed to reconciliation and inclusivity by building collaborative, meaningful relationships of reciprocity. Our vision is to ensure our institution is a culturally safe and culturally aware workplace that recognises the value of improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Our inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan outlines our Reconciliation journey, which is inclusive of staff and students with a commitment to Relationships, Respect and Opportunities. We will continue to provide an environment that respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures and connections to country by encouraging staff, Students and communities to unify in our journey of Reconciliation.

(3) This Code is a University Rule and applies to all UNE Representatives.

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Section 2 - Rule


(4) The six principles outlined below align with our values, and are supported by the University's Policies, Procedures and Guidelines which provide the detail to inform our activities and behaviours.

Principle 1 - We treat others with respect, value difference and opinions.

(5) We observe this principle by:

  1. treating all people we deal with through our work at the University with courtesy, dignity and respect and maintaining a cooperative and collaborative approach to working relationships;
  2. never discriminating, harassing, or bullying any person we deal with through our work at the University within the meaning of the relevant laws;
  3. our commitment to open inquiry and academic debate as stated in the Freedom of Speech Rule and Academic Freedom Statement (the Statement);
  4. exercising freedom of speech and academic freedom in a manner consistent with the principles in the Statement; and
  5. making decisions based on merit, and not on attributes that are irrelevant to performance, employment, admission or other engagements with the University.

Principle 2 — In the performance of our duties, we serve the public good, including through our promotion of academic freedom and thereby also support the values and best interest of the University.

(6) We observe this principle by:

  1. promoting the exercise of academic freedom, intellectual freedom, free inquiry and free intellectual inquiry;
  2. undertaking our duties with care, diligence, and in alignment with the best interest of the University (not private interest);
  3. being accountable for the decisions we make and the actions we take;
  4. exercising our authorities responsibly and within our delegated limits;
  5. behaving in a way that takes into account our impact on the broader community and the environment in both the short and long term; and
  6. never wilfully, intentionally or negligently behaving in a way that may damage the University's reputation, whilst representing the University (noting that this is not a limitation of academic freedom or Principle 3).

Principle 3 - We act with honesty and integrity, transparency and openness.

(7) We observe this principle by:

  1. not making improper use of the information acquired to gain, directly or indirectly an advantage for ourselves or another, or to cause detriment to the University;
  2. being honest in all our communications and dealings with the University and its communities;
  3. acting lawfully, honestly and exercising due care and diligence in carrying out our duties;
  4. ensuring all dealings with UNE Representatives, students, suppliers and third parties are properly recorded and transparent;
  5. ensuring efficient use and management of University resources for University purposes and ensuring at all times resources are not misappropriated;
  6. reporting any suspicions of fraud, corruption, maladministration, theft or other dishonest behaviour;
  7. identifying, disclosing and managing conflicts of interest pertaining to ourselves and/or others; and
  8. behaving ethically and taking action to prevent unethical practices, including via public interest disclosure.

Principle 4 - We respect privacy and maintain confidentiality.

(8) We observe this principle by:

  1. keeping information secure and not disclosing personal or confidential information with anyone unless authorised to do so;
  2. taking all reasonable precautions to prevent unauthorised access to, or misuse of University records and information; and
  3. accessing and using information and information systems only for authorised purposes.

Principle 5 - We promote best practice in workplace health and safety.

(9) We observe this principle by:

  1. promoting a safe working environment, including taking responsibility for our health and safety and the health and safety of others, and reporting any issues as soon as practicable;
  2. complying with all applicable laws, policies, procedures, guidelines, protocols and standards relating to work, health and safety including University Rules, Policies and Guidelines; and
  3. cooperating with the University to ensure compliance with all relevant work, health and safety laws.

Principle 6 - We comply with all applicable laws, industrial instruments, University Rules, Policies and Guidelines.

(10) We observe this principle by:

  1. completing all required training and education programs, and building and maintaining our awareness and understanding of relevant laws (including by reference to UNE’s Compliance Register, enterprise (collective) agreements, Rules, Policies, Guidelines, Procedures and practices;
  2. seeking guidance about the interpretation of a particular law, enterprise (collective) agreement, Rule, Policy, Procedure, Guideline or practice from the appropriate UNE Representative; and
  3. honestly reporting all actual or suspected breaches of this Code, the law, enterprise (collective) agreement, or University's Rules, Policies and Procedures immediately to the relevant UNE Representative.
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Section 3 - Authority and Compliance


(11) The Council, pursuant to Section 29 of the University of New England Act, makes this University Rule.

(12) This Rule operates as and from the Effective Date.

(13) The Rule Custodian, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, is authorised to make Procedures and Guidelines for the operation of this University Rule. The Procedures and Guidelines must be compatible with the provisions of this Rule.

(14) The previous Code of Conduct Rule is replaced and has no further operation from the Effective Date of this Rule.

(15) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this University Rule, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer may approve an exception to this Rule where the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer determines the application of the Rule would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome. Approvals by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer under this clause must be documented in writing and must state the reason for the exception.


(16) All UNE Representatives must comply with this Rule. A failure to comply with this Rule may amount to misconduct/serious misconduct and/or unsatisfactory performance.

(17) To the extent of any inconsistency between this Code and UNE’s Freedom of Speech Rule and Academic Freedom Statement , the Statement prevails.