What is the Office of Compliance, Ethics and Regulatory Affairs?

This office is designed to support the various compliance efforts throughout the University community and its resources. It strives to ensure ethical, professional and compliant standards of behavior.

Why have an Office of Compliance, Ethics and Regulatory Affairs?

The purpose of this office is to protect the University community members and its resources. It promotes the values of respect, integrity, honesty and fairness and strives to integrate these values into its daily and long-term decisions and actions related to teaching, research service, and business practices.

What are the elements of an effective Compliance and Ethics Program?

The elements of an effective Compliance and Ethics Program are:

  • Policies and procedures to outline expectations for compliance;
  • Governance, organization and reporting;
  • Proactive efforts to facilitate and promote ethical and compliant behavior;
  • Training and education on compliance requirements;
  • Program monitoring and auditing, evaluating program effectiveness, and systems for reporting suspected wrongdoing;
  • Consistent enforcement and appropriate discipline;
  •  Responding to noncompliance and modifying the program as necessary.

Who is a member of the UA community?

All faculty, staff, students, members of the Board of Trustees, University Officers, and affiliates, consultants, vendors, contractors, volunteers and others who associate with the University are members of the UA community.

University Policies

Which University policies apply to the UA Community?

Many University policies and guidelines affect the UA community.  A list of University policy documents can be found on the UA Policies website or the FA Policies website.

Individual schools and departments also may maintain additional policies. Such policies, however, do not override university-wide policies.

Compliance and Ethics Helpline

What is UA’s Ethics Helpline?

A reporting system by which an organization’s employees and agents may seek guidance confidentially or anonymously regarding potential or actual ethical questions or concerns without fear of retaliation.

What is UA’s Compliance Hotline?

UA’s Compliance  Helpline is a reporting mechanism that can be used by members of the UA Community who have concerns regarding misconduct or inquiries regarding compliance obligations or non-compliant behavior. Concerns and inquiries can be reported confidentially, anonymously if desired, and resolution will be made by knowledgeable individuals.


What is reporting?

Reporting occurs when someone has a concern, or a good faith knowledge or suspicion of wrongdoing and reports it to an appropriate authority.

If any person suspects or observes anything that they believe might be a serious ethical concern or violation of law or policy, they are obligated to report it and cooperate in any investigation if requested.

What is an investigation?

An investigation is an information gathering process that is conducted by an impartial fact finder, known as an “investigator.” It is used to establish the facts and circumstances relating to a concern, complaint, question, grievance or allegation of misconduct.

Who is a Complainant?

A person who files a complaint or reports a concern or alleged wrongdoing is called the complainant. This individual may also be called a whistleblower, reporter, relator or victim.

Who is a Respondent?

An individual or group against whom a complaint or concern is filed is called the respondent. This individual or group may also be called the accused or the alleged perpetrator.

What is retaliation?

Retaliation refers to a situation when someone suffers negative consequences as a result of reporting a concern, misconduct, or policy violation to an appropriate party.

Retaliation may include intimidation, the denial of appointment or promotion, a threat of disciplinary action, a poor performance evaluation, involuntary transfer, or any other form of adverse action.

What is non-retaliation?

Non-retaliation is the prohibition of retaliation. The University of Alabama is committed to ensuring that members of the community can speak up with confidence if they have any concerns or need to ask for guidance, and will not tolerate retaliation against any person who makes a good faith report or participates in an investigation of a suspected violation.

Conflict of Interest / Commitment

What is a Conflict of Interest?

University faculty and staff owe their primary professional allegiance to the University.  A conflict of interest exists if an independent observer might reasonably question whether an individual’s professional decisions or actions at UA are influenced by a personal financial interest.

What is a Conflict of Commitment?

University faculty and staff owe their primary professional allegiance to the University.  An actual or perceived conflict of commitment can arise when faculty members and staff attempt to balance University responsibilities with external activities–such as consulting, public service or pro bono work.  Conflicts of commitment usually involve issues of time allocation.

Financial Fraud, Waste and Abuse

What is Fraud?

Fraud is intentionally, knowingly and willfully attempting to execute a scheme to falsely obtain payment from a federal, state or other governmental organization. Fraud involves knowingly perpetrating a scheme to defraud a governmental agency, The University of Alabama, or any of its affiliates.

What is Waste?

Waste is spending that can be eliminated without reducing quality of the service or product. Waste entails carelessly using governmental resources or the resources of the University or any of its affiliates.

What is Financial Abuse?

Financial abuse is improper behavior or billing practices that create unnecessary costs. Abuse is improperly using governmental resources or the resources of the University or any of its affiliates so as to raise the costs of a service or product.

Clery Act

What is the Clery Act?

The 1990 Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, aka the Clery Act, is intended to provide potential and current students and their families, staff, and faculty information on the safety and security of an institution’s campus(es).

What does UA need to do in order to comply with the Clery Act?

In general, the University:

  1. collects, classifies, counts and reports crime statistics to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) each year;
  2. issues timely warnings and emergency notifications for situations that represent an immediate or ongoing threat to the safety of the UA community; and
  3. publishes an annual safety report that contains specific policy statements and three years of crime statistics for specified crimes.

How does the University notify or alert the University Community of an emergency event or event affecting campus?

The University utilizes many resources to keep the University Community appraised of any emergency or dangerous situation that poses an ongoing or continuing threat to the health or safety of the campus community. Those resources include:

  • UA Alerts
    • Mass Notification System that sends messages via SMS text message, email, and/or phone
    • Outdoor Warning System composed of multiple sirens positioned throughout main campus that emit alert tones and verbal instruction intended to reach those who are outdoors
  • Campus and local newspapers
  • E-mail lists
  • University’s Facebook or Twitter accounts

Where can I go to maintain my UA Alerts contact information?

Each semester the myBama database will automatically update, dropping and adding students based on their enrollment status, and ask for individuals to verify contact information maintained in the system.  Similarly, employees will be added or dropped from the system as their employment status changes.

Background Checks

What is a background check?

A background check provides independent verification of information about a job finalist before the offer to hire is final. The background check always includes a criminal court record search, and may also include independent verification of the highest level of education.

Why do we do background checks?

Background checks of employees facilitate a safer and more secure environment for all members of the University’s community. UA wants to ensure hiring of the best talent, and background checks provide independent verification of the accuracy of the information a candidate has submitted for evaluation in the hiring process.

Does the University conduct criminal background checks as part of its youth protection program?

Yes, the University conducts criminal background checks as part of its youth protection program.  .

Where is information on UA’s University’s policy for the youth protection program policy?

Information on UA’s University’s policy for the protection of youth participants, and additional details such as program information, registration and application forms, is available at the Youth Protection Program website.

Title IX

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (gender) in educational programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. The University of Alabama is committed to providing an environment free of discrimination on the basis of sex (gender), including sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, and relationship (dating and domestic) violence and stalking.

What if I am involved in a Title IX related incident and/or investigation?

If you are involved in a Title IX related incident and/or investigation, you can seek assistance from the Title IX office.

How do I report an incident?

Learn more about reporting and submit your report through the UAct website.

Where can I find more information on UA’s Title IX activities?

You can find more information on UA’s Title IX activities at the Title IX Office website.