Whistleblower Policy

WMU Reporting Hotline

Western Michigan University Whistleblower and Retaliation Policy

This Whistleblower and Retaliation Policy applies to all students, employees, members of boards, contractors, volunteers, and other individuals acting on behalf of or providing services to Western Michigan University.

Western Michigan University encourages all students, employees, members of boards, volunteers, contractors, and other individuals acting on behalf of or providing services to the University to report acts they in good faith perceive as being a violation of law and/or University policy, rules, or other requirements. This policy is intended to encourage the disclosure to the appropriate officials so that prompt and appropriate action can be taken.

The University is committed to protecting individuals from interference in making a good-faith report of violation under this policy and from retaliation as a result of such good-faith reporting.  Individuals may not retaliate against any other individual on the basis of that individual making a good faith report of a violation.  Individuals may not use or attempt to use authority or influence related to their University position or association to interfere with another individual’s rights to make a report of violation as provided for in this policy.

Reporting and Additional Policy Requirements

False or misleading information or report of violation

Individuals who knowingly or with disregard for the truth give false or misleading information in conjunction with a report of violation, or knowingly make a false report of violation, are not entitled to the protections of this policy, and shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary, law enforcement, and/or other action.  Reports of violation made pursuant to this policy that are not eventually substantiated, yet are still made in good faith, do not subject the reporting individual to such disciplinary action.

Retaliation prohibited

In accordance with the provisions of applicable law, an individual shall not be discharged, receive or be threatened with adverse employment action, or otherwise be retaliated against regarding the individual’s compensation, terms, conditions, location, or privileges of employment on the basis that the individual, or a person acting on behalf of the individual, makes a good faith report of violation, or because an individual is requested by a public body or court to participate in an authorized investigation, hearing,  inquiry, or court action.

An individual whom the University finds to have taken such retaliatory action against an individual who has filed a report of violation is subject to action deemed appropriate by the University, which may include discipline up to and including termination from the University.

Confidentiality; Anonymous and Other Reporting

A report of violation may be submitted anonymously. However, without sufficient information or a contact who can provide additional needed information, an investigation may not be able to be successfully concluded.  Good faith reports of violation will be kept confidential except on a need to know basis and in order to investigate and take appropriate action in response to the report of violation as determined by the University. In some instances, reporting may also be required under law or University policy.

In the event individuals are uncertain about their reporting obligation, they should consult with the University’s Office of Internal Audit.

Procedures; Implementation; Clarifications and Revisions

The president or his/her designee is authorized to enact procedures to implement this policy and to make interpretations and clarifications and revisions of this policy in accordance with applicable law; provisions of collective bargaining agreements consistent with law and University policy; and other policies, rules, and requirements applicable to the University. Nothing in this policy shall be interpreted to preclude anyone from reporting criminal matters to law enforcement agencies or exercising any reporting rights protected by applicable law.

Required cooperation

To the greatest extent allowed by law, policy, and contract, all individuals are required to cooperate and provide requested information to University personnel authorized under this policy or procedures enacted to implement this policy, and/or to investigate and determine the merits of reports of violation and/or complaints of retaliation. Any individual in violation of this policy is subject to action deemed appropriate by the University, which may include discipline up to and including termination from the University.

Approved by the WMU Board of Trustees July 8, 2015.