Ethics Guidelines for SSU Employees

The following guidance is intended to illustrate the application of Policy 5.32REV, Ethics: Conflicts of Interest & Nepotism, and the Ohio Ethics laws (PDF).

1. Employees are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that instills public trust in how they perform their jobs, ensuring public dollars are well spent, third parties are treated fairly and that the employee receives no personal benefits because of their public employment other than their contract wage or salary.

2. Employees are prohibited from accepting gifts of any kind that are of "substantial value" from any person or entity doing business or seeking to do business with the University. If an unsolicited gift is delivered, employees should immediately notify their supervisor of the gift. The supervisor should then determine an appropriate course of action, in consultation with the General Counsel. An appropriate course of action may include disposal, return, sharing or giving the gift to others. The decided action should be documented. See Ohio Ethics Commission Information Sheet: Accepting Gifts, Meals, Entertainment, or Other Things of Value (PDF).

3. Employees attending a national or regional conference may participate in luncheons, meals, and other functions that are sponsored by third parties, including vendors, if all attendees or a significant subset of attendees are invited. See Ohio Ethics Commission Information Sheet: Accepting Gifts, Meals, Entertainment, or Other Things of Value (PDF).

4. Employees are prohibited from selling goods or services to the University or influencing other university employees to make a university purchase that would benefit the employee or employee's family member. An exception may be made if the purchase or contract is pre-approved by an authorized Finance Department employee. See Ohio Ethics Commission Information Sheet: State Officials or Employees Selling Goods or Services (PDF).

5. Employees should not use their position or influence to have the University hire their family members. Even the appearance of influence should be avoided during the hiring process, or other employment action, by removing oneself from the process. See Ohio Ethics Commission Information Sheet: Restrictions on Nepotism or Hiring Family Members (PDF).

Additional Resources from the Ohio Ethics Commission:

Ohio Ethics Law Overview (PDF)

Ohio Ethics Commission E-Courses:

The Ohio Ethics Law and Conflict of Interest
What is a conflict of interest? Must it be avoided? How do I respond if I have a conflict?

The Ohio Ethics Law and Public Contracts
Definitions, examples and prohibitions.