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Policy Title Reporting Potentially Illegal Activity
Responsible Executive Dean of the Faculty Sanjeev Kulkarni and Vice President for Human Resources Lianne Sullivan-Crowley
Responsible Office Office of the Dean of the Faculty
Office of Human Resources
Contact Dean Sanjeev Kulkarni: (609) 258-3021
Vice President Lianne Sullivan-Crowley: (609) 258-2430
Effective Date May 29, 2012
Last Update July 1, 2017

I. Policy Statement

Princeton University is committed to conducting its academic and administrative responsibilities in an ethical and lawful manner and in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and University policy. The University depends on its faculty, academic professionals and staff to share in this responsibility through the timely reporting of suspected illegal activity.

“Illegal activity” ranges from conduct commonly and clearly understood to be criminal in nature and potentially punishable by imprisonment, such as burglary and assault, to acts which may more likely result in fines or penalties under federal, state or local law, such as improper disposal of hazardous waste and improper financial transactions. While faculty and staff should report any potentially illegal activity, such activity which poses a threat to the safety of anyone is of particular concern, and should be reported immediately to the Department of Public Safety.

Members of the University community who engage in illegal activity are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or student status, in addition to possible criminal prosecution. The University reserves the right to refer for prosecution activity of any kind for any reason.

No Retaliation All reports of potentially illegal activity made in good faith are viewed by the University as a service that will not jeopardize employment nor result in retaliation of any kind.

II. Policy

In accordance with the standards of the Princeton University community and federal, state and local laws, Princeton University is committed to the investigation of and necessary corrective actions for all potentially illegal activity that is reported.

All members of the University faculty and staff who suspect or observe potentially illegal activity (including activity reported to them by others, and not observed or verified by the faculty or staff member) are responsible for reporting their concerns immediately, in this manner:

Suspected Crimes in Progress, and Imminent or Serious Threats to the Safety of Anyone:

Faculty and staff should immediately report the matter to the Department of Public Safety by dialing 911 from an on-campus telephone or 609-258-3333 from an off-campus telephone or cell phone.

Other Potentially Illegal Activity:

University faculty and staff should promptly report the matter to:

  1. a department chair or supervisor (if applicable), the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, or the Office of Human Resources; or
  2. the University’s Hotline at 1-866-478-9804 or https://princetonuniversity.ethicspoint.com.

At their earliest opportunity, department chairs and supervisors who receive a report of potentially illegal activity are required to forward the report to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty or the Office of Human Resources.

If an individual has “reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse or acts of child abuse,” New Jersey law requires the individual to report the situation immediately to the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (“DYFS”). The Offices of the Dean of the Faculty and Human Resources may be consulted to help members of the University community understand and fulfill their DYFS reporting obligations.

Certain University faculty and staff have a related responsibility under the federal Clery Law to bring to the University’s attention specified on-campus crimes witnessed by them or reported to them. These individuals, who are deemed Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) under the Clery Law, are notified of their responsibility on an annual basis.

In keeping with current practice, where potentially illegal activity comes to the attention of staff in the Offices of the Dean of the College, Dean of Undergraduate Students, and Dean of the Graduate School and involves a student, either as a victim or a perpetrator, such staff should ensure that this activity is brought to the attention of the Vice President for Campus Life.

III. Procedures

Reporting Suspected Crimes in Progress and/or Imminent or Serious Threats to Individual Safety

Faculty, academic professionals and staff who suspect, observe or have reported to them a crime in progress, or an imminent or serious threat to individual safety should immediately contact the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 911 (on-campus phone) or (609) 258-3333 (off-campus or cell phone).

In addition, New Jersey law requires all individuals who have “reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse of acts of child abuse” to report the situation immediately to the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (“DYFS”) at (877)-NJ Abuse (652-2873). The Offices of the Dean of the Faculty and Human Resources may be consulted to help members of the University community understand and fulfill their DYFS reporting obligations.

Reporting Potentially Illegal Activity in Non-emergency Situations

Faculty, academic professionals and staff who suspect, observe or have reported to them non-emergency potentially illegal activity should promptly report the matter to their department chair or supervisor (if applicable), the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, or the Office of Human Resources; or to the University’s Hotline at 1-866-478-9804 or https://princetonuniversity.ethicspoint.com

At their earliest opportunity, department chairs and supervisors who receive a report of potentially illegal activity are required to forward the report to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty or the Office of Human Resources.

IV. Who Is Affected by This Policy

All Princeton University faculty, academic professionals and staff are expected to be familiar with and comply with this policy.

V. Definitions

Potentially illegal activity Conduct or behavior that may violate statute, regulation, ordinance or law, which may or may not be criminal in nature.

VI. Related Policies

VII. Update Log

May 29, 2012: Policy issued.
April 17, 2013: Policy revised.
April 23, 2014: Policy revised.
July 1, 2017: Policy revised – Updated contact information and hyperlinks.