DuPage Co. (ECWd) –
For those that enrolled in the free online course “A lesson in ethical conduct” we thought some might need some extra credit options since the understanding of ethical conduct seems to be a concept people in positions of power fail to understand.
- Review COD Policy 15-27 and identify if any of the defined “wrongdoings” would be applicable to actions by Dr. Breuder referenced in the course curriculum.
- If you identify applicable wrongdoing as defined in the policy please provide in essay form an explanation of your findings to include the reasoning to support your position. An example of what we are looking for is provided.
- Identify a single major problem with this policy.
COD Policy 15-27 relates to the confidential reporting of wrongdoing. It claims that COD is committed to the highest ethical standards and conducting its operations in compliance with federal laws and regulations. Interestingly that introduction paragraph makes no mention of state laws however the list of wrongdoings would cover that deficiency.
- Wrongdoing may include, but is not limited to:
• Crimes, or violations of the law or governmental regulations
• Fraud or financial irregularity
• Improper use of College funds, property or assets
• Corruption, bribery or blackmail
• Endangering the health or safety of an individual
• Harming College property
• Abuse of students, staff, patrons, College guests, or visitors
• Other unethical conduct
Considering all the documentation points to Breuder using public credit for private purpose I believe that Article VIII section 1 of our state constitution has been violated, which is a felony official misconduct crime. That would then imply that the term “crime” listed in the first defined wrongdoing would be applicable as would the “violations of the law” since our state constitution is a law.
I also believe Improper use of College Funds, property, and assets would be applicable in this case. At a minimum, Breuder using the College hotel room and not paying for it would be considered improper use of college property or assets. However I believe the improper use of college funds also applies considering it was those funds he used for his food, booze and hotel nights.
An argument could be made for the wrongdoing listed as corruption. A system that allows its president to violate numerous policies to include using COD funds to purchase gifts for his staff, who accepted the gift that clearly violated the COD Board policy, points to a corrupted system. The president is the one who should be the top enforcer of those policies and by violating them and not enforcing them on his own staff has established corruption in his office.
Other unethical conduct is the final defined wrongdoing and most would agree, drinking during the day when your at work is not an ethical thing to do. Understanding the drunks will defend that action I simply point to the actions as a whole by Breuder indicate an overall pattern of unethical conduct, thus meeting the defined wrongdoing.
Although I see numerous problems with this policy the single biggest problem is that nowhere in the policy does it outline any police involvement. A policy that defines wrongdoing to include violations of the law should be investigated by an appropriate investigative division of law enforcement. The failure to include them in this process raises many concerns as it relates to real accountability. Crimes should be reported to the police, not some bureaucratic administrator that is violating the very rules they claim to be so important.
A perfect example why this should be a police matter is the claim: “if wrongdoer is found guilty, appropriate legal and/or personnel action will be taken”.
If found guilty? Found guilty by who? The policy appears to put the cart before the horse so to speak. Appropriate legal action should occur before a person is found guilty of anything. As a Republic we are bound by Constitutional and legislative laws. It ties back to the whole concept of Justice for All. That justice must follow a path consistent with our justice system and finding people guilty prior to proper investigative means is backasswards.
If the evidence is sufficient to point to guilt, then charge them accordingly and let the courts make the final determination. Failure to ever get it to the courts allows people to claim there was never anything wrong even though the evidence contradicts such a claim.
Scoring of the Extra Credit
The above example is to be used as a basic outline for you to present your arguments. Accuracy to the facts will be assessed and scored accordingly.
Lesson to the Board of Trustees of College of DuPage
- Ready your own Policy
- Amend them to be consistent with common legal practice
- ENFORCE THEM!