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Code of Ethics for University of New England Council

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Section 1 - Policy

(1) The University of New England is established under the University of New England Act 1993, and under this legislation, the Council of the University is the governing authority of the University. Council's membership, functions, and since amendment of the Act in 2004, duties of Council members are included in the Act under Part 4A (Sections 21F and 21G) and Schedule 2A. This means that many aspects of ethical behaviour, previously covered only in the Council's Code of Ethics have now been given the full weight of legislation. Under Section 21G breach of these duties may result in dismissal from Council. Accordingly, Council members are required to behave ethically, in keeping with Part 4A and Schedule 2A (Click here to see the University of New England Act 1993).

(2) In addition to the general concepts expressed under Duties of Council Members are those that are expected of members of an organisation's governing body. These include, but are not limited to the following.

Conflict of Interest

(3) In addition to requirements under Schedule 2A, Council agreed that a clause be included in the Council's Standing Orders requiring that papers relating to a particular matter be withheld from a Council member after that Council member has declared a conflict of interest with respect to that matter.

Maintenance of Confidentiality

(4) The University Council and its Committees, through the course of their business are privy to information that may be sensitive or categorized as legal-in confidence, commercial-in-confidence, or personal-in-confidence. Members of Council are therefore in a position of trust and as well as showing respect for the activities of Council and its Committees, they owe a duty of confidentiality to the University and the individuals and organizations whose prospects may be affected by Council's decisions and actions.

Public Comment

(5) In all circumstances, when public comment is to be made on behalf of the Council, concerning matters discussed and/or resolved by Council, such comment shall only be made by the Chancellor, or in his/her absence, by the Deputy Chancellor or the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer.

(6) If a Council member makes a public comment about a matter that does not relate to the University Council business, it should be clear that the views expressed are those of the individual and there should be no suggestion that their comment reflects the views of Council.

Liabilities

(7) Despite the apparent protection provided under Clause 5, Schedule 1 of the Act (Click here to see the University of New England Act 1993), all Council members may be held personally liable for wrongful acts of the University in the area of statutory offences. Such offences are found in legislation relating to Occupational Health & Safety, Environmental Protection, Equal Employment Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination, Animal Research and Trade Practices, and may incur such penalties as heavy fines or incarceration. In addition to statutory liability, any Council member who does not act in good faith would also lose the benefit of the statutory protection in the University of New England Act 1993.

Code of Conduct for Staff

(8) Council members who are also staff of the University must also ensure that they are familiar with, and adhere by, the University Code of Conduct for Staff, which may be accessed through the University's policy web pages.