Trustees approve new Code of Conduct

After several changes, the SIU Board of Trustees agreed to a new Code of Conduct policy.

Members voted unanimously to approve the code during the Nov. 8 meeting. Ed Hightower, vice-chair of the board, said it caused debate during earlier sessions.

The Code of Conduct policies were recommended by consulting firm Deloitte, said Duane Stucky, vice president for administrative and financial affairs and board treasurer. He said the university began to work with Deloitte several years ago.

“(Deloitte’s) recommendations have guided us since that time,” he said.

Stucky said two of Deloitte’s recommendations applied directly to the BOT. Deloitte recommended the university establish an administrative committee to develop policies and create a Code of Conduct that could be patterned after similar plans as the University of Texas.

The university followed the first recommendation by creating a committee with five members from the Edwardsville campus and five from the Carbondale campus.

Stucky said the conduct review process took a considerable amount of time and was stalled as both campuses changed chancellors.

“That review process was not swift,” he said. “It did represent several challenges to respond to a number of comments received (about the policy).”

Several changes were made to the policy before it was voted on. Jeffrey McLellan, university general counsel, said two sentences were added. The first sentence is in the code’s second paragraph. It lists trustee responsibilities and states BOT members are responsible for code adherence.

The second sentence states the university president has the power to enforce the Code of Conduct, he said.

McLellan said the language pertaining to the BOT’s power needed to be clearer.

“(The language) was not refined enough in the original draft,” he said. “That was pointed out. We made that change just to make sure there was no mistake in language of where the authority lies.”

Chancellor Rita Cheng said faculty committees also offered code input and current campus policies are similar to the new, overarching university policies.

“(The process) was quite intense for a period of time,” Cheng said. “It was underway when I started, and I’m beginning my third year, so you can appreciate the amount of input, the amount of dialogue and opportunities to review drafts.”

University President Glenn Poshard said Trustee Marquita Wiley represented the BOT on state committees to design the code.

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About Karsten Burgstahler

Karsten Burgstahler can be reached at kburgstahler@dailyegyptian.com or 536-3311 ext.255.

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