Overview

Administrative Officials are responsible for implementing policies and procedures to ensure that the university is well-managed and in sound financial condition.

Administrative Officials also are responsible for:

  • Implementing policies and procedures that allow the university to comply with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Upholding the public trust.
  • Reflecting appropriately the diversity of our society.

Administrative Officials may  delegate certain administrative and  financial duties to others. In
these instances, written goals and objectives that define accountability and responsibility should
be established in order to make clear the expectations and standards against which performance will
be evaluated. Employees delegated these duties should receive timely feedback on heir performance
as measured against established expectations and standards.

Note: Responsibilities listed for the Administrative Officials throughout this handbook are not
all-inclusive, nor do they replace a formal and comprehensive job description.
While Administrative Officials may delegate many of their responsibilities, they  cannot  delegate  
accountability. They retain accountability for the following activities in their area of
responsibility:

  • Compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, university policies, collective bargaining agreements, and the terms and conditions of gifts, contracts and grants.
  • Maintenance of a sound financial condition and good business practices for the department or business unit.
  • Establishment of an effective system of internal controls consistent with the UC Davis Principles ofAccountability and Regulatory Compliance.
  • Adherence to ethical principles consistent with the Statement of Ethical Values and Standards of Ethical Conduct.
  • Safeguarding and accounting for university assets.
  • Administration of human resource activities in a manner that fosters diversity in the work force and ensures due process.
  • Ensuring appropriate access to, and use of, university information and systems, including the integrity of data and transactions input and/or modified by staff in their area of responsibility.

Administrative Officials may assign duties to assist in carrying out administrative and financial responsibilities. Central administrative support units are available to assist Administrative Officials with questions or issues requiring in-depth knowledge of laws, regulations, policies and procedures. These support units act as resources by providing expertise and guidance in establishing the appropriate systems and procedures to help carry out administrative and financial responsibilities. In addition, they are available to advise Administrative Officials relating to matters of protecting the integrity and legal interests of the University.

Administrative Officials may have several reporting relationships.For example, the Business Officers for the School of Medicine (SOM) departments are accountable to both their department Chair and to the Health Sciences Chief Financial Officer.Each reporting relationship is important because it improves the information flow between various critical areas of campus and departmental administrators. It is important to understand these relationships and to foster open lines of communication.


STATEMENT OF ETHICAL VALUES

Members of the University of California community are committed to the highest ethical standards in furtherance of our mission of teaching, research and public service. We recognize that we hold the University in trust for the people of the State of California. Our policies, procedures, and standards provide guidance for application of the ethical values stated below in our daily life and work as members of this community. We are committed to:

Integrity

We will conduct ourselves with integrity in our dealings with and on behalf of the University.

Excellence

We will conscientiously strive for excellence in our work.

Accountability

We will be accountable as individuals and as members of this community for our ethical conduct and for compliance with applicable laws and University policies and directives.

Respect

We will respect the rights and dignity of others.

STANDARDS OF ETHICAL CONDUCT

Purpose
Pursuit of the University of California mission of teaching, research and public service requires a shared commitment to the core values of the University as well as a commitment to the ethical conduct of all University activities. In that spirit, the Standards of Ethical Conduct are a statement of our belief in ethical, legal and professional behavior in all of our dealings inside and outside the University.

Applicability
The Standards of Ethical Conduct apply to all members of the University community, including The Regents, Officers of The Regents, faculty and other academic personnel, staff, students, volunteers, contractors, agents and others associated with the University. Organizationally, the Standards apply to campuses, the National Laboratories, the Office of the President, the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, campus organizations, foundations, alumni associations and support groups.

1. Fair Dealing
Members of the University community are expected to conduct themselves ethically, honestly and with integrity in all dealings. This means principles of fairness, good faith and respect consistent with laws, regulations and University policies govern our conduct with others both inside and outside the community. Each situation needs to be examined in accordance with the Standards of Ethical Conduct. No unlawful practice or a practice at odds with these standards can be justified on the basis of customary practice, expediency, or achieving a “higher” purpose.

2. Individual Responsibility and Accountability
Members of the University community are expected to exercise responsibility appropriate to their position and delegated authorities. They are responsible to each other, the University and the University’s stakeholders both for their actions and their decisions not to act. Each individual is expected to conduct the business of the University in accordance with the Core Values and the Standards of Ethical Conduct, exercising sound judgment and serving the best interests of the institution and the community.

3. Respect for Others
The University is committed to the principle of treating each community member with respect and dignity. The University prohibits discrimination and harassment and provides equal opportunities for all community members and applicants regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran. Further, romantic or sexual relationships between faculty responsible for academic supervision, evaluation or instruction and their students are prohibited. The University is committed to creating a safe and drug free workplace. Following is a list of the principal policies and reference materials available in support of this standard:

  • The Faculty Code of Conduct
  • Academic Personnel Policy Manual
  • The Faculty Handbook
  • Personnel Policies for Staff Members
  • Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students
  • Policy on Sexual Harassment and Procedures for Responding to Reports of Sexual Harassment
  • University policies on nondiscrimination and affirmative action
  • Campus, laboratory and Office of the President Principles of Community

The University’s health sciences enterprises are committed to the ethical and compassionate treatment of patients and have established policies and statements of patient rights in support of this principle.

4. Compliance with Applicable Laws and Regulations
Institutions of higher education are subject to many of the same laws and regulations as other enterprises, as well as those particular to public entities. There are also additional requirements unique to higher education. Members of the University community are expected to become familiar with the laws and regulations bearing on their areas of responsibility. Many but not all legal requirements are embodied in University policies. Failure to comply can have serious adverse consequences both for individuals and for the University, in terms of reputation, finances and the health and safety of the community. University business is to be conducted in conformance with legal requirements, including contractual commitments undertaken by individuals authorized to bind the University to such commitments. The Office of the General Counsel has responsibility for interpretation of legal requirements.

5. Compliance with Applicable University Policies, Procedures and Other Forms of Guidance
University policies and procedures are designed to inform our everyday responsibilities, to set minimum standards and to give University community members notice of expectations. Members of the University community are expected to transact all University business in conformance with policies and procedures and accordingly have an obligation to become familiar with those that bear on their areas of responsibility. Each member is expected to seek clarification on a policy or other University directive he or she finds to be unclear, outdated or at odds with University objectives. It is not acceptable to ignore or disobey policies if one is not in agreement with them, or to avoid compliance by deliberately seeking loopholes.
In some cases, University employees are also governed by ethical codes or standards of their professions or disciplines—some examples are attorneys, auditors, physicians and counseling staff. It is expected that those employees will comply with applicable professional standards in addition to laws and regulations.

6. Conflicts of Interest or Commitment
Employee members of the University community are expected to devote primary professional allegiance to the University and to the mission of teaching, research and public service. Outside employment must not interfere with University duties. Outside professional activities, personal financial interests, or acceptance of benefits from third parties can create actual or perceived conflicts between the University’s mission and an individual’s private interests. University community members who have certain professional or financial interests are expected to disclose them in compliance with applicable conflict of interest/conflict of commitment policies. In all matters, community members are expected to take appropriate steps, including consultation if issues are unclear, to avoid both conflicts of interest and the appearance of such conflicts.

7. Ethical Conduct of Research
All members of the University community engaged in research are expected to conduct their research with integrity and intellectual honesty at all times and with appropriate regard for human and animal subjects. To protect the rights of human subjects, all research involving human subjects is to be reviewed by institutional review boards. Similarly, to protect the welfare of animal subjects, all research involving animal subjects is to be reviewed by institutional animal care and use committees. The University prohibits research misconduct. Members of the University community engaged in research are not to: fabricate data or results; change or knowingly omit data or results to misrepresent results in the research record; or intentionally misappropriate the ideas, writings, research, or findings of others. All those engaged in research are expected to pursue the advancement of knowledge while meeting the highest standards of honesty, accuracy, and objectivity. They are also expected to demonstrate accountability for sponsors’ funds and to comply with specific terms and conditions of contracts and grants.

8. Records: Confidentiality/Privacy and Access
The University is the custodian of many types of information, including that which is confidential, proprietary and private. Individuals who have access to such information are expected to be familiar and to comply with applicable laws, University policies, directives and agreements pertaining to access, use, protection and disclosure of such information. Computer security and privacy are also subject to law and University policy.
Information on the University’s principles of privacy or on specific privacy laws may be obtained from the respective campus or laboratory information privacy office.
The public right to information access and the individual’s right to privacy are both governed by state and federal law, as well as by University policies and procedures. The legal provisions and the policies are based upon the principle that access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person, as is the right of individuals to privacy.

9. Internal Controls
Internal controls are the processes employed to help ensure that the University’s business is carried out in accordance with these Standards, University policies and procedures, applicable laws and regulations and sound business practices. They help to promote efficient operations, accurate financial reporting, protection of assets and responsible fiscal management. All members of the University community are responsible for internal controls. Each business unit or department head is specifically responsible for ensuring that internal controls are established, documented properly and maintained for activities within their jurisdiction. Any individual entrusted with funds, including principal investigators, is responsible for ensuring that adequate internal controls exist over the use and accountability of such funds. The University has adopted the principles of internal controls published by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) of the Treadway Commission


10. Use of University Resources
University resources may only be used for activities on behalf of the University. They may not be used for private gain or personal purposes except in limited circumstances permitted by existing policy where incidental personal use does not conflict with and is reasonable in relation to University duties (e.g. telephones). Members of the University community are expected to treat University property with care and to adhere to laws, policies and procedures for the acquisition, use, maintenance, record keeping and disposal of University property. For purposes of applying this policy, “University resources” is defined to include but not be limited to the following, whether owned by or under the management of the University (e.g., property of the federal government at the National Laboratories):

  • Cash, and other assets whether tangible or intangible; real or personal property;
  • Receivables and other rights or claims against third parties;
  • Intellectual property rights;
  • Effort of University personnel and of any non-University entity billing the University for effort;
  • Facilities and the rights to use University facilities;
  • The University’s name;
  • University records, including student and patient records; and,
  • The University information technology infrastructure.

11. Financial Reporting
All University accounting and financial records, tax reports, expense reports, time sheets and effort reports, and other documents including those submitted to government agencies must be accurate, clear and complete. All published financial reports will make full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable disclosures as required under generally accepted accounting principles for government entities, bond covenant agreements and other requirements. Certain individuals with responsibility for the preparation of financial statements and disclosures, or elements thereof, may be required to make attestations in support of the Standards.

12. Reporting Violations and Protection from Retaliation
Members of the University community are strongly encouraged to report all known or suspected improper governmental activities (IGAs) under the provisions of the Policy on Reporting and Investigating Allegations of Suspected Improper Governmental Activities (Whistleblower Policy). Managers and persons in supervisory roles are required to report allegations presented to them and to report suspected IGAs that come to their attention in the ordinary course of performing their supervisory duties. Reporting parties, including managers and supervisors, will be protected from retaliation for making such a report under the Policy for Protection of Whistleblowers from Retaliation and Guidelines for Reviewing Retaliation Complaints (Whistleblower Retaliation Policy).
[Adopted by The Regents of the University of California, May, 2005.]

INTERNAL CONTROLS

Internal Controls are processes, affected by UC and campus management and other personnel, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of the University’s objectives in the following categories:

  • Effectiveness and efficiency of operations.
  • Reliability of financial reporting.
  • Compliance with applicable laws, regulations and internal policies and procedures.

Internal controls are comprised of five interrelated components, listed in order of their importance and effectiveness:

Control Environment

The control environment sets the ethical and procedural tone for the organization. Factors such as integrity, ethical values, competency, management philosophy, and operating style form the foundation for other components of internal control, and for providing discipline and structure.

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment involves identifying circumstances that may impede the organization’s ability to achieve its objectives and evaluating the effectiveness of procedures in place that mitigate identified risks.

Control Activities

Control activities are the actions and directions that help ensure management goals are met and risks are properly managed. They include a range of activities, such as approvals, authorizations, verifications, reconciliations, reviews, security of assets, and separation of duties.

Information and Communication
Quality information must be communicated to the right people at the appropriate time to ensure employees effectively discharge their responsibilities. Effective communication must also occur in a broader sense flowing in all directions throughout the organization. Everyone must understand their own role with internal controls and that control responsibilities must be taken seriously.

Monitoring
Processes for assessing the quality of performance over time through ongoing monitoring of activities, and/or separate evaluations provide assurance that controls are in place and functioning as intended. Monitoring includes regular management and supervisory activities and actions taken by people in performing their duties.

Establishing an ethical environment and setting the tone at the top of the organization are the most important elements of the accountability and control environment. Each of the components work together to create a comprehensive system capable of deterring fraud and preventing, detecting and correcting problems based on an overall assessment of risk and exposure.


Statement on Auditing Standards 115
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 2008 published Statement on Auditing Standards 115 (SAS 115) titled “Communicating Internal Control Related Matters Identified in an Audit.” SAS 115 establishes standards and provides guidance to auditors on communicating matters related to an entity’s internal controls over financial reporting in an audit of financial statements. The university contracts with an external accounting firm to perform an annual audit of the UC financial statements. The standard:

  1. Defines the terms significant deficiency and material weakness.
  2. Provides guidance on evaluating the severity of control deficiencies identified in an audit of financial statements.
  3. Requires the auditor to communicate, in writing, to management and those charged with governance, significant deficiencies and material weaknesses identified in an audit.

SAS 115 lowers the threshold for reporting control deficiencies. The significance of a control deficiency as determined by the auditor depends on the reasonable possibility for a financial misstatement, not on whether a misstatement has actually occurred.
Significant deficiencies and material weaknesses may result in our external auditors rendering a qualified opinion regarding the university’s financial statements. Such an opinion would bring into question our stewardship responsibilities and have a significant financial impact.
The US General Accounting Office included SAS 112 in their July 2007 revision to the Government Auditing Standards, which federal auditors follow in performing audits of sponsored projects. The new standards could result in disallowances and penalties.

Fiscal Close Certification Letters
Annual certifications from management have been included in the fiscal closing processes to strengthen internal controls to assure a higher level of integrity in financial reporting. Deans, vice chancellors, vice provosts, department chairs and MSO/CAOs sign Fiscal Close Certification Letters to acknowledge their responsibility for and confirm to the best of their knowledge and belief:

  • All transactions and agreements, including the accrual of liabilities, have been recorded properly in campus accounting records.
  • Communications from regulatory agencies, donors, or other entities concerning noncompliance have been disclosed in writing to the Campus Controller.
  • They are responsible for the application of university policies and procedures to ensure the efficient and effective use of resources and to prevent and detect fraud in their areas of authority.
  • They are responsible for establishing and maintaining an effective system of internal controls in their areas of authority.
  • All known allegations of fraud or suspected fraud, particularly with regard to management or staff with internal control responsibilities, have been disclosed to the appropriate university official or work group.
  • Their unit’s funds are managed in compliance with the laws, regulations, provisions of contract and grant agreements, and donor restrictions
CENTRAL ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS

Central administrative units provide a variety of support services, including expertise and assistance in interpreting policy and legal requirements, formal and informal training, and compliance monitoring. Administrative Officials are encouraged to contact the appropriate department whenever information and assistance is required.

Many of the central administrative units discussed in this handbook are accessible on the Administration website.

INFORMAL CONFLICT MANAGEMENT PROCEDURE

UC Davis is committed to providing individuals a safe and neutral process for the resolution of conflict. An important element of this commitment is the Informal Conflict Management Procedure, which encourages addressing problems and/or concerns early, before they escalate into larger issues.

If problems and/or conflicts arise that cannot be addressed satisfactorily by the parties themselves, Administrative Officials should seek assistance from Mediation Services, the Human Resources Employee & Labor Relations Unit, and/or other applicable employee support offices in Human Resources.


Recognizing that individuals have both a personal interest in and a share of the responsibility for managing their conflicts, UC Davis encourages and facilitates the use of an informal conflict management process. For additional information relating to this process, please refer to the Informal Conflict Management information.

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