Dear Campus Community:
I am writing today to update you on the progress made by two very important working groups I commissioned after the release of the Wainstein Report in 2014. Both the Ethics and Integrity Working Group and the Policy and Procedures Working Group, created in May 2015, have either completed their work or have made substantial progress and are nearing completion.
The Ethics and Integrity Working Group conducted an exhaustive review of the full range of the University’s existing ethics-related programs, training, practices, regulations, and reporting and compliance mechanisms. The working group was co-chaired by Norma Houston, the Albert and Gladys Coates Term Distinguished Lecturer for Teaching Excellence at the School of Government, and Jean Elia, Associate Provost for Strategy and Special Projects in the Office of the Provost, and included University-wide representation. This group submitted their final report in late November and the full report as well as my response, is posted on the Carolina Commitment website.
The Policy and Procedures Working Group was asked to oversee an institution-wide review of policies and procedures, develop recommendations for improvements, and create a mechanism for their periodic re-evaluation. This group was chaired by Dr. Todd Nicolet, Associate Dean of Operations for the School of Government, and also included representation from across the campus. The group plans to submit their final report by the end of February.
Both groups conducted extensive reviews and confirmed that the campus already has in place a strong array of programs and resources related to ethics and integrity. They did not identify any significant gaps in programs, resources, or reporting mechanisms. However they did make a number of recommendations for continuous improvement and ways to make existing resources more visible and accessible to our campus community. In the coming weeks, we will thoroughly review and prioritize the recommendations from both groups and share our progress with the campus community.
While the two working groups had different charges, their efforts had overlap that resulted in a joint recommendation – to create the position of Chief Integrity and Policy Officer, a new senior administrator position reporting directly to the Chancellor. This person would serve as the University’s lead for policy management practices that underlie our ethics and integrity efforts, allowing Carolina to continually implement best practices in those areas in a coordinated manner across the campus.
After reviewing this joint recommendation and the extensive national benchmarking provided by the working groups, I have approved this new position and plan to begin a search for a Chief Integrity and Policy Officer. It is my hope that we will have a person in this job by June 2016.
In the meantime, to move forward now with some of the recommendations coming from the two working groups, Dr. Nicolet has agreed to serve as the Interim Chief Integrity and Policy Officer. We are fortunate that Todd is so committed to these efforts that he accepted my request that he assume the position at this critical phase of our work. He will start February 8 as he also transitions from his role at the School of Government to Senior Associate Dean at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. He will devote half of his time to the interim position until the permanent Chief Integrity and Policy Officer is hired and on board.
I am very grateful to the members of both working groups for taking on this significant assignment and working through the summer and fall to ensure Carolina could accomplish these important tasks in a timely fashion.
Carol L. Folt