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Standards of Conduct

General Standards of Conduct

Marlboro College regards proper, ethical and professional standards of conduct as important elements of a functional community. As an employee, you are expected to act ethically, maturely and responsibly. You are expected to follow the policies and standards described in this handbook as well as use common sense with behaviors or actions not covered in this handbook.

Conflict of Interest Policy

Purpose. Marlboro College is committed to the principles of integrity, good faith and fair dealing, and professional accountability in all of its business associations and transactions, and employment practices. The College has confidence in the loyalty and integrity of all members of the faculty and staff, and recognizes that their high ethical standards have been demonstrated on many occasions. In furtherance of those high standards of conduct, the purpose of this policy statement is to provide guidance on the College’s expectations with respect to any conflict of interest.

Policy. In the course of conducting College business, actual and potential conflicts of interest are occasionally present. A conflict of interest is present whenever an individual’s professional duties or obligations are compromised, appear to be compromised, or have the potential to be compromised by outside interests or concerns, personal gain or personal relationships. In order to maintain the integrity of Marlboro College and its programs and practices, College employees are expected to observe the following guidelines:

  1. Employees shall disclose any interest in any business or financial investment that might influence or give the impression of influencing his/her official decisions or actions on College matters.
  2. Employees shall avoid any business activity or investments that may in any way conflict or compete with similar activities on the part of the College.
  3. Employees shall refrain from any business activity or purchase or sale of securities or property that is based on confidential information or special knowledge related to the College.
  4. Employees shall not disclose without prior authorization any confidential information concerning the intentions of the College regarding investments, property acquisitions, purchasing or contracting, or any other confidential intention.
  5. Employees shall avoid outside employment or business activities involving obligations that may in any way conflict with the interests of the College.
  6. Employees may not accept or benefit from any gift, travel, meal, lodging, service, entertainment, payment of expenses, or any other item with a value exceeding $25.00 from any person or entity doing business or seeking to do business with the College.

Each employee shall disclose any and all of his or her potential or actual conflicts of interest to his or her immediate supervisor or senior staff member. Employees should consult their immediate supervisor or senior staff member whenever they are in doubt as to whether a conflict exists. Following disclosure of a conflict of interest, employees, when necessary, should recuse themselves from direct involvement in any decision-making at the College in matters related to that interest.

Anyone found to be in violation of this Conflict of Interest policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination from employment.

Limits of Staff Relationships with Students

Staff members may not engage in sexual relations or romantic relationships with students.

Marlboro College will not tolerate the corruption of professional standards, authority, and duties by such relationships. This may be grounds for dismissal from the College. Complaints should be brought to the attention of the human resources office. (Also see the Discrimination and Harassment and Sexual Misconduct sections of the College Handbook.)

While both parties may consider the relationship a matter of mutual consent, the imbalance of power and authority and the potential for manipulation and misunderstanding inherent in such relationships can undermine the freedom and equity of the academic setting. All members of the Marlboro College community should be aware that initial consent to a sexual relationship does not preclude the potential for charges of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual assault should consent be withdrawn by either party.

Smoking Policy

To protect the health of all community members, and in accordance with state statutes, the College prohibits the possession of lighted tobacco products in any form in all indoor places of public access and in all indoor workplaces. Smoking shall be permitted outdoors and in any space specifically designated as a “Smoking Permitted Area”, such as the outdoor smoking pavilion.

Computer Use Policy

Expectations for reasonable and ethical use of Marlboro College computing resources are congruent with the mission of the College. Computing resources are primarily intended to support the educational goals of the College; therefore, uses for academic and administrative purposes have priority. Personal use of the College’s computing resources is not explicitly prohibited as long as it does not interfere with other users’ access to resources for academic or administrative work and is not excessive. Moreover, computer users at Marlboro should “act responsibly within a self-governing community.” Please see the appendix of this handbook for the computer use policy in full.

Mutual Respect Policy/Anti-Harassment

Marlboro College is committed to preserving an environment conducive to academic and professional excellence. This can only exist when every community member actively promotes an atmosphere of mutual respect. This policy is not intended to inhibit the free and open exchange of ideas, essential to Marlboro College’s principles, but rather to provide all community members the respect that will encourage their positive and honest participation.

Harassment is defined as any type of behavior that is so severe or pervasive that it interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or academic environment. Harassment may include any unwanted physical contact; use of epithets, inappropriate jokes, comments or innuendos; obscene or harassing telephone calls, e-mails, letters, notes or other forms of communication. Harassment in any form is against the policies of Marlboro College and in many cases, it is also illegal under state and federal law.

Those found to have violated this policy will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination of employment. Harassment complaints regarding a staff member should be reported to the compliance coordinator (senior human resource officer), who will initiate an investigation of the complaint. Upon gathering all information relative to the harassment complaint, the human resources office will convene a committee according to step four of the grievance policy procedure. Should the committee find that harassment has occurred; the human resources office and the individual’s supervisor will apply discipline according to the corrective action policy. Retaliation against an individual who complains of harassment under this policy is strictly prohibited. Intentionally making a false accusation of harassment is also strictly prohibited.

Certain kinds of treatment based on gender, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or veteran status are also covered under the Marlboro College non-discrimination policy. Please refer to this policy in the appendix if the harassment is relative to employment or employment decisions.

Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking

Sexual harassment is against the policies of Marlboro College and illegal under state and federal law. This applies to any employee or student, male or female. Marlboro College is committed to providing a workplace and educational environment free from this unlawful conduct. It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint of sexual harassment or for cooperating in an investigation of sexual harassment. Please see this policy in full online.

Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy

Substance abuse is of great concern to the Marlboro College community. Among the many health risks attendant to substance abuse is accidental overdose, physical and/or psychological dependence, organ damage, depression and increased susceptibility to accidents leading to serious injury. Because the College stresses the importance of preventative measures in dealing with any potential health problems, and in order to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, the College has adopted the following policy.

The unlawful or improper use of alcohol within the workplace and on all campus property is prohibited. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of illegal drugs within the workplace and on all campus property is prohibited. Such action shall result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. No employee may be under the influence of alcohol or any illegal drug or controlled substance while in the workplace, while on duty or while operating a vehicle or equipment owned or leased by the College.

College Penalties for Violation of the Policy. Failure to abide by this policy will lead to disciplinary action, which could include:

  • Referral to the Employee Assistance Program for evaluation and treatment, including required participation in a drug/alcohol rehabilitation program
  • Written warning
  • Suspension
  • Termination
  • Referral for prosecution

Legal Sanctions. Employees are responsible for obeying all local, state and federal laws concerning alcohol and other drugs. Legal sanctions, as a result of conviction for unlawful possession, use or distribution of illegal drugs or alcohol, could include fines, community service work, required participation in a local, state or federally approved rehabilitation program and/or imprisonment.

Available Resources for Treatment. The primary interest of the College is in the well-being of its employees. For that reason, we urge any employee who may be suffering from substance abuse or related problems to seek appropriate counseling and rehabilitation immediately. Such counseling is available through the College’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), through the College’s health insurer and through public and private drug and alcohol agencies throughout Windham County and surrounding areas. The human resources office maintains a list of specific resources. Please refer to the appendix for a more detailed description of College policy regarding alcohol and other drugs.

Whistleblower Policy

Purpose. Marlboro College has a responsibility for the stewardship of College resources and compliance with the laws and regulations to which it is subject. The College has further obligation to investigate allegations of suspected wrongdoing and to correct or curtail improper activities.

The purpose of this policy is to affirm the principle of protected disclosure and enable faculty, staff, students and others of the College community to identify or raise concerns about suspected wrongful conduct without the risk of retaliation. “Protected disclosure” is any communication about actual or suspected wrongful conduct engaged in by a College employee, student, volunteer, agent or contractor that is based on a good-faith and reasonable belief that the conduct both occurred, or is about to occur, and is contrary to law and /or College policy. “Wrongful conduct” is defined as serious violation of College policy; a violation of applicable state and federal laws; or the use of College property, resources, or authority for personal gain or other non-College-related purpose.

Policy. Any individual who has made a protected disclosure of wrongful conduct or has participated in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing involving a protected disclosure shall not be subject to harassment, retaliation, or adverse employment consequences by the College because of that disclosure. Any employee of the College who retaliates against any individual who makes a protected disclosure shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Any student who engages in acts of retaliation shall be subject to judicial action.

Any employee or volunteer who knowingly gives false information of wrongful conduct or a subsequent false report of retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Any student who makes false allegations will be subject to the judicial action of Community Court. Allegations that are not substantiated, but made in good faith, are not subject to disciplinary action.

In most cases, faculty members should direct concerns regarding wrongful conduct to the Dean of Faculty. Staff members should share such concerns with their immediate supervisor. Students should refer such concerns to the Dean of Students. If individuals are not comfortable discussing or reporting suspected wrongful conduct with those persons, or they are not satisfied with the responses that they receive from those persons, they may direct their concerns to any member of the Senior Staff or to the President. If individuals perceive no appropriate channel within the administrative structure of the College for reporting suspected wrongful conduct, they may direct their concerns to the chair of the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Protected disclosures may be made on a confidential basis or may be submitted anonymously. Confidentiality of the reporter will be maintained to the extent practicable within the limitations of the law, College policy and the legitimate needs of an investigation. Employees should not discuss allegations of wrongful conduct outside of the reporting and investigative process. If reporters self-disclose their identities directly or indirectly through their own actions outside the official investigation process, the College cannot maintain their confidentiality.

Representatives of the College who receive reports of suspected wrongful conduct will acknowledge receipt of those to the disclosing individual (if that person’s identity is known) within ten working days for most issues and within 24 hours for alleged criminal violations. Investigations of alleged wrongful acts will be coordinated by the Chief Planning and Budget Officer, or by the President or presidential designee. All reports will be promptly investigated within 45 calendar days and appropriate corrective action will be taken if warranted by the investigation.


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)