The Webster Vienna Private University (WVPU) Code of Conduct provides guidance and
sets the baseline for the standards of ethical behavior of WVPU community members.
Rooted in the notions of honesty, integrity and respect, it covers matters of academic
performance, interpersonal communication, behavioral and professional integrity and
responsibility, and conflicts of interest.
The WVPU Code of Conduct applies to all university employees, students, and contractors whose conduct should be in accordance with university regulations and applicable laws. It is the responsibility of every member of the community to familiarize one’s self with relevant policies and guidelines. Noncompliance with this Code may result in sanctions.
Faculty and students are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity and familiarize themselves the WVPU’s Academic Policies. The university does not tolerate acts of cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, or the facilitation thereof.
All communication must be conducted with respect to the values of the WVPU community and the cultural sensitivities of its members by avoiding:
- National, racial, ethnic, or religious slurs
- Words of discrimination or gender bias
- Intimidation, insults, or innuendo
- Ad hominem attacks toward any individual
While the university respects the right of all individuals to peaceful, lawful exercise of free speech, it will not tolerate conduct that endangers the health and safety of others or incites violence.
All behavior must be conducted with respect to the values of the WVPU community and the cultural sensitivities of its members. Members of the WVPU community are expected to respect the dignity of others. This expectation of respectful behavior includes conduct outside the workplace or classroom.
Members of the WVPU community are expected to conduct themselves at all times with
due regard to the interests and reputation of the university, both during and after
their hours of employment.
The university is committed to providing an environment free of implicit and explicit harassment and coercive sexual behavior. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated at WVPU and may lead to sanctions under applicable laws.
Employees should carry out their duties free of bias and without unnecessary delay, particularly in matters that directly affect the progress of students and operations of the university.
Disclosure of conflicts of interest
Conflicts of interest are very common. Any person employed by the university needs to take special care not to expose themselves, their colleagues, or the university to such conflicts by disclosing any and all relationships, transactions, or dealings that may be interpreted as compromising one’s judgement or giving the appearance of unfair preference or personal gain.
Relationships and recusals
Any employee that has a private or commercial relationship with another employee or student should recuse him/herself from any decision process involving the status of the other.
While consensual relationships happen in the workplace, supervisor - subordinate relationships and relationships of a commercial nature heighten the need for disclosure. Employees entering into commercial or intimate relations with a subordinate should notify Human Resources as soon as possible in order to find a solution leading to relevant recusals or service providers.
Between employees and students
In general, university employees should eschew sexual relationships with students who they are required to assess or to whom provide support services due to the inherent power imbalances involved and potential for abuse and/or coercion. Private relationships with students, particularly those of a commercial or intimate nature, could call into question the objectivity of grading for faculty, damaging the reputation of both the student and the faculty member, and call into question the fair provision of services if with a member of the administrative staff.
When consensual relationships develop between faculty and student, the faculty member, not the student, must notify the Office of the Director and as soon as possible in order to eliminate any possible interpretation of bias. Actions to eliminate any conflicts of interest may include changes in teaching assignments, alternative assessors, or even changes to the student’s course selection, but in all cases will aim to remove the role of faculty to formally evaluate, assess, or supervise the student.
Based on the principle of subsidiarity, conflicts should be resolved as close to the source of the conflict as possible. Parties to disputes should work to resolve conflicts in a respectful, objective, and solution-oriented manner with the supervisor in charge, develop a solution that is transparent and fair to all parties.
Employees and students should not utilize the material resources of the university or the efforts of its employees during working hours for purposes of personal use or commercial gain.
What To Do, and When
Suspected cases of breach of the Code of Conduct should be addressed to the immediate supervisor, head of the respective academic department, or if involving the supervisor or head of department, the Office of the Director.
The university will not respond to anonymously reported cases. All cases will be handled with utmost confidentiality.