Code of Conduct

Institutional Compliance

compliance lines of defense from management through departmental, internal audit, external audit and regulator levels

USU has established a decentralized compliance approach with a network of leaders and managers providing subject matter expertise in a range of compliance areas. Oversight of the compliance efforts is provided by the Executive Committee with support from a compliance working group made of key compliance owners and other senior leadership. University Ethics & Compliance is situated in Legal Affairs, and coordinates university-wide efforts to develop and implement programs that support ethical and compliant operations.

USU has adopted a model common to many institutions of higher education, with three lines of defense to avoid non-compliance and misconduct. The first line of defense is the operational managers and subject matter experts throughout the university. The second line of defense is the combination of responsible executives and senior leadership of the institution. Our final line of defense internally is our team in Internal Audit Services.

Speak Up

We support a Speak Up Culture. When words and actions are not aligned with our values, we speak up. Several means of reporting suspected non-compliance or misconduct are available to USU employees and students. Normally a potential problem should be addressed through first-line supervisors or assigned administrators, as outlined in Central Offices that Respond to Misconduct & Non-compliance. However, we would rather receive an anonymous report than no report at all. USU works with Navex, a third-party vendor that maintains USU’s Reporting Hotline system. Employees can access the Hotline at Addressing Suspected Misconduct & Non-compliance.

Principles of Community

A USU initiative called Think, Care, Act is focused on fostering a caring community that enhances the learning environment for all Aggies. The initiative established USU’s Principles of Community to reflect three core values: Diversity, Human Dignity, and Social Responsibility.


We believe:

  • Diversity in our campus community can enhance critical thinking by challenging implicit bias.
  • All members of our community should feel respected and receive equitable treatment in order to flourish in our academic environment.

Human Dignity

We believe:

  • A sense of safety is fundamental to inclusion, free expression and personal health and wellness.
  • Mental health and wellness is important for academic success.
  • In a community of mutual support.

Social Responsibility

We believe:

  • Service and civic engagement elevate the academic experience.
  • Each of us can engage in sustainable practices that meet present needs without compromising the needs of future generations.

Past & Future

USU’s current Administrative Code of Conduct provides guidance on compliant and ethical practices in USU operations and leadership.

In the coming months USU’s leadership team will form a working group to refresh USU’s Code of Conduct so that it applies to all members of the Aggie community, and reflects the principles that guide us in our decisions and interactions. The new Code of Conduct will articulate foundational values related to USU’s core mission – that academics come first, and that we serve the public through learning, discovery and engagement.