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ECHotline Reporting Procedures

Purpose

The purpose of the EC Hotline is to provide a confidential way, outside of normal reporting procedures, for students and employees to report suspected violations of college policy and illegal activities.

The following is a list of examples of actions and violations that may be reported through the EC Hotline

  • Fraud;
  • Theft of cash or college property;
  • Willful damage, abuse, or destruction of College property or systems;
  • Verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of a co-worker, student, supervisor, or other member of the College community, including violation of the College's Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, or Bullying Policy;
  • Bias-related incidents;
  • Violation of the College’s Code of Conduct and other college policies;
  • Various college policies and procedures such as Standards of Conduct, Whistleblower Policy,   Drug-free Workplace, etc;
  • Violation of local, state, or federal laws and regulations;
  • Any act which may endanger the safety of others;
  • Any act that may cause harm or danger to a minor on campus;
  • Inappropriate authorization, allocation, or spending of college funds;
  • Falsification of payroll, accounting, or financial records, including accounting omissions;
  • Falsification of college documents or files;
  • Improper misrepresentation of one’s self;
  • Misappropriation of grant or gift funds;
  • Violation of NCAA guidelines;
  • Computer security violations or unauthorized access;

Supervision of Hotline

To insure anonymity, the College has contracted with The Network, an outside service provider, to manage its compliance hotline.  Upon receipt of a call, The Network forwards the information to the respective college staff members who will determine an appropriate response.

Confidentiality

Students and employees who contact the EC Hotline may remain anonymous.  College staff members have a responsibility to ensure the security and confidentiality of the supporting documentation received from the hotline.  If a student or employee requests anonymity, no attempt will be made to identify the individual reporting the concern.  Information provided by the student or employee will be treated as confidential and privileged to the extent permitted by applicable law.  Please note:  In some cases, depending on the allegation, maintaining strict anonymity may make an arrest, charging, and/or prosecution of the individual(s) of concern not possible.

Non-retaliation

Students and employees who submit information to the hotline will not be retaliated against. 

General Complaints

The EC Hotline is not a general complaint hotline.  Only matters involving suspected illegal activities or violation of college policies or procedures, or federal, state, local law or regulation, will be investigated.

How the ECHotline Works

Reporting :

The EC Hotline is a safe and secure process for students and employees to report suspected instances of illegal, noncompliant, or improper conduct.  Information regarding a suspected concern of illegal, noncompliant, or improper conduct may be submitted either by calling the EC Hotline Number (855) 696-1899 , via website https://www.reportlineweb.com/Welcome.aspx?Client=etown, or by sending, a letter specifically addressed to The Network, Inc., c/o Elizabethtown College, 333 Research Court, Norcross, Georgia USA 30092.  All calls, website submittals, and letters may be submitted anonymously.  At no time will the College or The Network agency try to determine who submitted information through the hotline.

When a caller calls into the hotline number or via the website, the receiver of the call (a Network Representative) or the website program will walk the submitter through a step-by-step process to retrieve the necessary information from the submitter. The submitter will receive a code number that can be used when calling back or accessing the website to inquire as to the status of the information reported or resolution to the matter of concern.

Students and employees are warned of making knowingly false or misleading reports through the ECHotline.  Should it become known or reported to the College that a student or employee has been found to make knowingly false or misleading reports, he/she will be subject to disciplinary action including possible termination of employment for employees.

Students and employees may also go through the regular reporting channels using the policies and procedures outlined in the Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, and Employee Handbook to report a concern.

Information received through the hotline will be channeled by The Network to the appropriate college staff members, outlined below.  Once a concern has been reviewed and found to merit investigation, the procedures in the Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, or the Employee Handbook will be followed as with any other investigation arising from information submitted in a manner other than through the ECHotline.

The College will typically notify an employee regarding a complaint and investigation; however, there may be incidents when the College will delay notification in order to protect data, electronic files, or college property or when the investigation could be jeopardized in other ways.

Dissemination of Information Received through the ECHotline

  1. Information received through the ECHotline will be reviewed by no less than three college staff members.  (Anonymous letters and any other information received outside the normal reporting procedures will be managed in the same way as information received through the hotline.)
  2. Under normal circumstances, the Provost/ Senior Vice President and the Associate Vice President for Human Resources will review the information from the ECHotline.  The Vice President for Administration will assist with personnel and facilities issues, the Vice President for Finance will assist with matters involving financial matters, and the Dean of Students will assist with matters involving students.  (The President would determine alternates as necessary.)
  3. If the information received deals directly with Human Resources, the Provost and Sr. Vice President, the Vice President for Administration, and the Vice President for Finance will receive the information.
  4. If the information received deals directly with any member of Senior Staff, the President will receive the information and will review it with the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and one other member of Senior Staff, to be determined by the President.
  5. If the President is the subject of information submitted to the hotline, the Chair of the Board of Trustees will receive the information as well as the Provost and Associate Vice President for Human Resources, and the appropriate Vice President, depending on the issue.
  6. The Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Vice Presidents/Dean of Students will be informed as to whether the information submitted to the hotline was submitted anonymously, with the name of the submitter, or with the name withheld at the submitter’s request.
  7. The Vice Presidents/Dean of Students and Associate Vice President for Human Resources will determine the appropriate process by which to address the concern.
  8. If it is determined that an investigation is appropriate, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources (or staff under the AVP direction) will conduct a thorough and impartial investigation and report the results to the appropriate Vice Presidents/Dean of Students addressing the matter.  The investigation results will be shared with the appropriate Senior Staff member for action provided the concern does not involve the Sr. Staff member.  If the concern involves another Senior Staff member, the matter will be referred to the President for action.
  9. The Human Resources staff member investigating a concern will make every attempt to protect the source of the information as coming from the hotline.
  10. If the concern submitted to the hotline involves Human Resources, the President will determine the appropriate Senior Staff member to investigate.
  11. In the case of sensitive issues, questions about the process of the investigation may be referred to the President and/or the Chair of the Board as necessary.

Resolution

All hotline concerns submitted will be resolved as quickly as possible.  Employees who contact the EC Hotline may use the code given to them through the process to follow up after two weeks regarding any actions taken on the submittal of the information.  The Human Resources staff member investigating the concern may also utilize the hotline as a mechanism to communicate additional questions through the system to the anonymous individual who reported the concern.  In all cases, every effort will be made to ensure resolution to each concern submitted through the EC Hotline.

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