D.4. Employee Conduct

D.4.a. Drug Free Workplace 

The Institute promotes a safe, health, and productive work environment for all individuals at the Institute.  We comply with federal, state, and local laws governing the possession, use, and distribution of unlawful drugs at the work place.   

It is the object of the Institute to have a workforce that is free from the influence of controlled substances (illegal drugs) and alcohol during work hours.  The sale, possession, distribution or use of illicit drugs will not be tolerated.  Any employee member may be demoted, suspended, or dismissed for noncompliance with these laws or Institute policy.  

The Institute complies with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (as amended in 1989) and prohibits the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by its students, staff and faculty members on Institute premises or as part of any of its activities. Furthermore, each and every member of the Institute community has the right and responsibility to pursue his/her academic endeavors in a safe, effective, drug-free environment. 

The Institute will impose discipline on faculty, students and staff members who violate the standards of conduct.  Students who violate the provisions of the drug-free campus policy may be subject to suspension or expulsion.  Faculty and staff members including administrators found to be in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including dismissal. Violating California state statutes may also subject the individual to criminal prosecution. 

D.4.b. Code of Conduct for Employees

The success of the Institute depends not only on the competence of its faculty and staff, but also upon its reputation for honesty, integrity, and lack of bias in conducting its affairs.  This Code of Conduct identifies basic policy and standards concerning ethical conduct and provides guidance in several areas of specific concern.  Each employee of the Institute is expected to adhere to these standards of conduct. 

Other expectations for the Middlebury Institute faculty and staff are covered in other sections of the Employee Handbook. 

A. General Principles

Institute faculty and staff should conduct themselves ethically, honestly, and with integrity in all dealings.  They need to be fair and principled in their official interactions and to act in good faith in these matters with others both within and outside the Institute community.  They should act with due recognition of their position of trust and loyalty with respect to the Institute and its students, fellow employees, research sponsors, and donors.  When in doubt about the propriety of a proposed course of action, they should seek counsel from those colleagues, supervisors, or administrators who can assist in determining the right and appropriate course of conduct. 

B. Proper Use of Institute Property and Funds

Institute faculty and staff must see to it that Institute resources are not used for other than their intended purposes.  Institute employees have an obligation to manage the Institute’s resources prudently, with a responsibility to those who provide those resources, including students, parents, alumni, foundations, other donors, and government agencies.  Faculty and staff are responsible for safeguarding the tangible and intangible assets of the Institute that are under their control.  Institute resources may not be converted to personal use, either for oneself or another person.  Institute funds may not be used to make contributions to candidates for public office, to political parties, or to other political organizations that are organized and operated primarily to accept contributions and make expenditures for the purpose of influencing the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of any individual to federal, state, or local public office or office in a political organization, or the election of Presidential electors.    

C. Accuracy of Records and Reporting

The records, data, and information owned, used, and managed by the Institute must be accurate and complete.  The accuracy and reliability of financial reports is of the utmost importance to the business operations of the Institute.  Faculty and staff must record, allocate, and charge costs accurately and maintain supporting documentation as required by established policies and procedures.  All reports, vouchers, bills, invoices, payroll information, personnel records, and other essential business records must be prepared with care and honesty. 

D. Grants and Contracts

Members of the faculty and staff requesting funding from government agencies, corporations, foundations, and other granting organizations have an affirmative obligation to make full, accurate, and honest representations concerning all relevant information submitted to or requested by the granting organization.  Accurate and complete records, including supporting documentation as required by the granting organization, of the uses to which grant funds are put must be maintained. 

E. Confidential Information

Members of the faculty and staff may be privy to confidential information in the course of their daily work.  This information may relate to, among others, students, parents, alumni, donors, employees, and candidates for positions on the faculty or staff.  All Institute employees must safeguard confidential information.  This includes insuring that confidential documents, in either paper or electronic form, are not left unattended; refraining from engaging in discussion of confidential information in forums where the information may be overheard; and protecting the privacy of past and present students, faculty, and staff by maintaining the confidentiality of student and employee records. 

F. Conflicts of Interest

Members of the faculty and staff should avoid improper conflicts of interest that might compromise the integrity and objectivity of the Institute.  Examples of situations involving potential conflicts of interest include working for the Institute as an outside vendor; using information that the Institute considers privileged or confidential for the benefit of a person or entity outside the Institute; utilizing discounts allowed to the Institute for personal gain; and soliciting for oneself or for a third party anything of value from any person or entity in return for any business or service provided by the Institute.  

Financial conflicts of interest (for example, an employee's participating in the ownership or management of an entity that regularly does business with the Institute) should be disclosed, reviewed, and appropriately managed or eliminated.  No member of the faculty or staff may approve, recommend, or promote a business transaction with a firm in which that person is an officer or senior management employee, or holds more than a 5 percent equity interest, unless such person first discloses in writing the business relationship and the circumstances of the contemplated activity to the Senior Director, Middlebury Business Information Systems/MIIS Operations. 

No member of the faculty and staff shall solicit anything of value in return for influencing or exercising his or her discretion in a particular way on an Institute matter.  Faculty and staff should not accept any material gift, gratuity, or other payment, in cash or in kind, from a vendor currently doing business with the Institute or seeking to do so.  Members of the faculty and staff may not solicit or receive discounts or rebates on goods and services offered to them in their private capacity by vendors to the Institute that exceed those generally available to other customers. Exceptions to this general provision include unsolicited gifts of a nominal value given at holidays, birthdays, weddings, and other commonly recognized social occasions. 

G. Antitrust

Members of the faculty and staff may not improperly collude with other entities, including other colleges and universities, in matters affecting the financial or administrative decisions of the Institute. 

H. Compliance with Laws and Regulations

Members of the faculty and staff are expected to transact Institute business in compliance with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations related to their positions and areas of responsibility, including, but not limited to, equal employment opportunity, fair employment practices, and nondiscrimination laws; laws regarding the privacy and confidentiality of employee and student records; and laws regarding workplace safety, workplace policies and regulations, and occupational health.  Members of the faculty and staff whose programs operate internationally are expected to comply with the laws of the nations in which those programs operate, including foreign corrupt practices acts. 

I. Obligation to Report Suspected Violations

Faculty and staff are obligated to report suspected violations of these standards promptly to their supervisor, department chair, the Manager of Human Resources or the VP for Human Resources and Chief Risk Officer.  A supervisor or department chair to whom a report of a violation is made is obligated to follow up the report with the appropriate administrative authority.  In investigating claims of inappropriate activities, care will be taken to maintain confidentiality.  The Middlebury Institute will protect from retaliation anyone who makes a good faith effort to appropriately disclose perceived wrongdoing.  However, the Institute reserves the right to distinguish between retaliation and ongoing performance management related to the "whistleblower." Employees who feel that they have been subject to retaliation as a result of compliance with this policy should communicate their concerns to Human Resources. 

J. Consequences of Violation

Material violations of this code or related Institute policies and procedures will be considered under the Institute's established disciplinary practices and procedures for members of the faculty and staff and may carry disciplinary consequences, up to and including dismissal from employment.  Such violations may also subject individuals to civil or criminal actions in state or federal courts. 

K. Supervisor's Obligations

Individuals who supervise others should ensure that their direct reports have received adequate instruction and explanation with respect to their obligations under this code. 

D.4.c. Other Prohibited Conduct 

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey expects satisfactory job performance and appropriate professional conduct of every employee. The Institute also considers these to be important factors in retention, promotion, and salary decisions. 

In addition to the expectation of high ethical standards as defined in the Code of Conduct, employees are expected to be polite, courteous, prompt, and attentive in their dealings with colleagues, students and members of the public, and to avoid conduct injurious to security, personal safety, employee welfare, and the Institute's operations.


Prohibited conduct includes but is not limited to:

  • Possession, distribution, sale, use, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs while on Institute property, while on duty, or while operating a vehicle or potentially dangerous equipment leased or owned by the Institute.
  • Breach of confidentiality.
  • Falsification of employment records, employment information, time reports, or other Institute records.
  • Unsatisfactory performance or conduct.
  • Theft, deliberate or careless damage or destruction of any Institute property, or the property of any employee, student, or customer.
  • Removing or borrowing Institute property without prior authorization.
  • Unauthorized use of Institute equipment (including computer systems and software), time, materials, or facilities.
  • Provoking a fight or fighting during working hours or on Institute property.
  • Carrying firearms or any other dangerous weapons on Institute premises, including parking lots, at any time.
  • Engaging in criminal conduct, whether or not related to job performance.
  • Causing, creating, or participating in a disruption of any kind during working hours on Institute property.
  • Insubordination, including but not limited to failure or refusal to follow the orders or instructions of a supervisor or a member of management, or the use of abusive or threatening language toward a supervisor or member of management.
  • Threatening, intimidating, coercing, harassing, or interfering with other employees.
  • Violating the Middlebury Anti-Harassment/Discrimination and/or Sexual Misconduct policies.
  • Failure to work cooperatively with others.
  • Failure to notify a supervisor when unable to report to work, unless a reasonable excuse is offered and accepted by the Institute.
  • Excessive absenteeism.
  • Unreported absence of three (3) consecutive scheduled workdays, unless a reasonable excuse is offered and accepted by the Institute.
  • Failure to observe working schedules, including rest and lunch periods.
  • Leaving the job during working hours without permission.
  • Failure to provide a physician's certificate when requested or required to do so.
  • Sleeping or loitering on the job.
  • Conducting excessive personal business on Institute time.
  • Working overtime without authorization or refusing to work assigned overtime.
  • Violation of any safety, health, security, or Institute policies, procedures, or mandates.
  • Violation of Human Resources policies and procedures.
  • Failure to cooperate in an investigation.
  • Committing a fraudulent act or a breach of trust under any circumstances.
  • Attempting any of the above actions. 

Institute action in a particular case might depend on its judgment or consideration of, among other things,

  • the severity of the conduct,
  • the circumstances surrounding the matter,
  • the past employment record of the employee, and
  • the needs of the Institute. 

It should be remembered that employment is for an unspecified term and is at the mutual consent of the employee and the Institute. Consequently, the employment relationship can be terminated at will, at any time, either by the employee or the Institute, with or without cause or notice. 

D.4.d. Personal Business, Telephone Use, and Personal Mail 

We recognize that there are times when a staff employee may need to conduct personal business while in the office, such as scheduling an appointment or checking with a family member. We expect that employees will keep these times to a minimum and that they will plan personal business to impact their time at work as little as possible. If an employee incurs charges for long-distance calls, personal photocopies, personal mail, etc., the employee is responsible for reimbursing the Institute for these charges. 

Staff employees are not permitted to conduct business for another employer during scheduled working hours. 

D.4.e. Employer Property 

Desks, vehicles, and other Institute property and equipment must be maintained according to Institute rules and regulations. Institute property is to be used only for work-related purposes. The Institute reserves the right to inspect its property to ensure compliance with its rules and regulations, without notice to the employee and at any time, not necessarily in the employee’s presence. 

Prior authorization must be obtained before any Institute property may be removed from the premises. 

Terminated employees should remove any personal items at the time they leave the Institute. Personal items left in the workplace are subject to disposal if not claimed at the time of an employee’s termination. 

D.4.f. Housekeeping 

All employees are expected to keep their work areas clean and organized. People using common areas such as lunchrooms, locker rooms, and restrooms are expected to keep them sanitary. 

D.4.g. Confidentiality 

The protection of confidential information is vital to the interests and success of the Institute. Such confidential information includes, but is not limited to, the following examples:

  • Compensation data
  • Donor information
  • Employee personal information
  • Student records and information
  • Financial information
  • Marketing strategies
  • Pending projects and proposals
  • Research and development strategies 

Any employee who misappropriates for her/his own use or discloses confidential information to other persons or organizations will be subject to disciplinary action (up to and including discharge) and legal action, even if s/he does not actually benefit from the disclosed information.

Confidential information may be exchanged among Institute employees on a need to know basis in connection with official responsibilities. If an employee has any uncertainty as to whether someone is authorized to receive certain confidential information, the employee should contact her/his supervisor to discuss the matter before any such disclosure is made. 

Since it can be difficult to distinguish legitimate inquiries from invasions of others' privacy, no information about an employee is to be divulged in response to outside inquiries without proper authorization. Refer verification of employment inquiries to the Human Resources Office. Human Resources will verify employment, job title(s), and dates of employment, and additional information authorized by the employee, if the employee completes an Information Release Waiver. This form is available from, and must be completed and filed with the Human Resources Office. HR will also verify employment information if it receives a written request accompanied by a waiver prepared by the requestor and signed by the employee. Specific references will not be provided without a completed Information Release Waiver.

All other requests for information (i.e. those involving private attorneys, or state or federal agency representatives) should be directed to Human Resources. 

D.4.h. Conflicts of Interest and Supervision of Related Individuals 

It is the Institute's policy not to discriminate against an individual because of that individual's marital status, because the individual may be related to another Institute employee, or because of any legal off-duty conduct of employees that does not bear on the fitness for duty of the employee and/or does not affect adversely the interests or reputation of the Institute. However, the Institute reserves the right to take appropriate action if familial or personal relationships between employees interfere with the safety, security, or morale at the Institute or create actual or apparent conflicts of interest. 

For example, relatives of employees may be ineligible for employment positions with the Institute if the related employee works in a direct supervisory relationship or in job positions in which a conflict of interest could arise. 

"Relatives" include spouses, domestic partners, children, siblings, parents, grandparents, in-laws, and step-relatives. Employees who become spouses or domestic partners of each other will be permitted to continue working in the positions held only if they do not work in direct supervisory relationship with one another or in job positions involving conflict of interest. 

Conflicts of interest may include initiating and/or participating in, directly or indirectly, decisions involving a direct benefit (e.g. initial employment or appointment, retention, promotion, evaluation, salary, work assignments, research funds, leave of absences, etc.) to members of the employee’s immediate family. 

In general terms, a conflict of interest exists when an employee or a member of the employee's immediate family has a personal or financial interest in a person or company dealing with the Institute which is of such a nature that it might affect or appear to affect decisions made on behalf of the Institute. It is a serious violation of trust if the interests of the Institute are subordinated in the course of performing professional duties. If there is any doubt as to the propriety of an existing or planned relationship, which could create, or appear to create, a conflict of interest, an employee should consult her/his supervisor or the Manager of Human Resources. 

No employee may conduct Institute business with a person with whom s/he is related, or with a business organization with which the employee or related individual has a significant association, without first having the written approval of the Manager of Human Resources. 

No employee or any member of her/his household shall accept gifts or gratuities or other favored treatment from any person associated with a present or prospective customer, competitor, or supplier of the Institute. Routine gifts of nominal value (i.e., advertising novelties or holiday gifts) are generally acceptable and should be shared with fellow employees. Similarly, no employee may give money or gifts of significant value to a customer, competitor, or supplier if it could be reasonably viewed as being done to gain an unfair advantage.

D.4.i. Technology Policies 

In matters pertaining to privacy, security, and responsible use of computing facilities, Institute faculty, staff and students are subject to Middlebury Library and Information Services policies. 

In particular, the following policies related to shared resources, as described in the Middlebury Handbook, apply to Middlebury Institute faculty, staff, and students:

D.4.j. Dress Code and Other Personal Standards 

Employees are expected to wear clothing appropriate for the nature of the type of work performed and reflecting a high standard of professionalism. Employees should avoid clothing that can create a safety hazard or that restricts their ability to perform work. Supervisors will inform employees of any additional requirements regarding acceptable attire. In consideration of professional image, as well as in consideration of colleagues, good habits of grooming and personal hygiene are expected. 

D.4.k. Media Contacts 

On occasion, employees may be approached for interviews or comments by the news media. Only contact people designated by the VPAA may comment on Institute policy or events that have an impact on the Institute. Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to the director of communications. 

D.4.l. Punctuality and Attendance 

While absences may be unavoidable for some acceptable reasons, attendance is an important factor in judging a staff employee's value to the Institute. Regular, quality attendance is an essential function of all faculty and staff positions. 

Staff employees are expected to report to work as scheduled, on time and prepared to start work. Late arrival, early departure, or other absences from scheduled hours are disruptive and should be avoided. If an employee is unable to report for work on any particular day due to illness or emergency, s/he must call her/his supervisor before or at the time he or she is scheduled to begin work. In all cases of absence or tardiness, it is expected that an employee will provide her/his supervisor an accurate reason or explanation. 

Excessive and repeated absences, early departure from the employee's work station and/or tardiness is cause for termination. Tardiness is defined as being away from the assigned workstation at the start of the workday or being late in returning from an allotted rest or meal period. 

D.4.m. Supplementary Employment ("Moonlighting") 

While the Institute does not seek to interfere with the off-duty and personal conduct of its staff employees, certain types of off-duty conduct may interfere with the Institute's legitimate business interests. While employed by the Institute, full time staff employees are expected to devote their energies to their jobs with the Institute. Other employment that conflicts with work schedule, duties, and responsibilities, or that impairs work performance with the Institute is not acceptable. The hours and expectations of the job at the Institute will not be altered to accommodate supplemental employment.