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University faculty, staff required to complete online ethics training

University faculty, staff required to complete online ethics training

UGA faculty and staff have until June 30 to complete an online ethics training module required by the University System of Georgia.

Available on eLearning Commons or at, the module should take about 30 minutes to complete. It explains the university system’s ethics policies and core values through slide presentations and videos.

The module is required for all faculty and staff, even temporary employees, but not students, student workers, graduate assistants or anyone whose primary role at the university is to be a student.

“Certainly, as state employees, we should be good stewards of public resources and act in an ethical manner,” said Becky Lane, a senior director in Human Resources who is helping to report participation in the ethics training to the university system.

The USG training contains information on accepting gifts, using system property, participating in political campaigns and conflicts of interest. There are even hypothetical examples of situations employees may face.

The training includes video vignettes of a professor making inappropriate, unprofessional remarks to his student worker; a friend pressuring an employee for a job for an unqualified relative; an assistant following her boss’ orders to buy a departmental laptop for his son’s birthday; and an example of safety protocol not being followed in a lab.

The situations show examples of ethics policy violations as well as what employees should do to report violations. A segment also discusses the university system’s anti-retaliation policy.

The module includes review questions after some of the segments and a 15-question assessment at the end. Employees must answer 12 of the questions on the assessment correctly to pass.

The training is complete only after agreeing to the ethics policy. This last step will appear on the course home page only after the employee has passed the test.

Lane said that almost 3,000 employees have started the module, but many of those have yet to actually agree to the policy and complete the training. They should log back in to the course and select step four to complete the agreement.

Employees without computer access should check with their department to see how the training is being facilitated. These employees may be able to complete the training in a group setting.

A reminder e-mail will be sent to the campus community closer to the June deadline.

The system-wide training comes from the board of regents’ 2008 adoption of the USG Ethics Policy, a unified set of ethics rules to govern the actions of the entire system.

“In pursuit of our mission to create a more educated Georgia, we must all commit to the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct,” said Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr., in a video portion of the module. “Accomplishing our mission will require integrity, good judgment and dedication to public service from all members of the USG community at all times.”