The University of North Carolina says it is taking steps to ensure ethical, high-integrity behavior throughout the university.
UNC is close to launching a new website that will allow individuals on campus to report “unethical behavior and questions of integrity,” according to a presentation from two working groups to the UNC Board of Trustees’ University Affairs Committee.
Chancellor Carol Folt said she feels good about where the university stands with the upcoming website.
“Universities are a work in progress,” Folt told reporters during an intermission of the full Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday. “We’re always changing and moving, but I feel really good about where we stand on that.”
Folt announced in February that the university would create a new Chief Integrity Officer at the joint recommendation from the Ethics and Integrity and Policy and Procedures Working Groups, which were commissioned by Folt after the release of the Wainstein Report in October 2014.
With a visit from SACS, UNC’s accrediting body, looming next month after the group placed the university on probation last year, Folt said it is important that these working groups have given a full overview before the agency is on campus.
“That was one of the committees that I said I was going to put in place, and so that’s part of our materials that we’ll be presenting to them,” Folt said. “They’ll be meeting with people from that committee.”
Folt said she believes the new website will be live before the agency is on campus as well.
“That website will probably be launched before we have our committee meeting,” Folt said, “which means that they’ll be able to come in and work their way through that.”
Folt said it can be more complicated to organize and streamline a reporting process at larger universities, and that it was a key for this group to find a way to make this into an accessible format.
“We wanted to create one stop,” Folt said. “You go to one place; you know where to go; you press that button and then you can find your way in so many different areas to make a report.”
Folt added that establishing the website is not a finish line from the university’s perspective.
“Because once they start using it, that’s, I think, when we’re going to find out if it’s really working or whether it needs new pieces to be put in,” Folt said. “But [I’m] pretty pleased with what they were able to accomplish very fast.”
The SACS committee will be visiting the UNC campus in mid-April and a decision will be made regarding UNC’s accreditation status at the agency’s June meeting.