As one of his first acts in office, President Santa J. Ono announced the University of Michigan will create an independent central ethics, integrity and compliance office for the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses, including Michigan Medicine.
The focus of the new Ethics, Integrity, and Compliance Services Office will be to examine trends, processes, areas of concern, and overall ethics, integrity and compliance issues.
It will be led by a highly qualified ethics, integrity and compliance officer.
The office will have a dual reporting structure to the president and the vice president and general counsel. It also will have a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Board of Regents, and will regularly report to regents.
“I’ve heard the concerns about how we address compliance and prevent issues of misconduct on campus,” Ono said Oct. 20 during his first Board of Regents meeting as president.
“I see this new office as an opportunity to widen our focus on an institutional basis. I want it to support the many efforts already underway and the staff who do this important work every day.”
In any situation involving a complaint against the president or a member of the president’s office staff, the compliance office will report to both the regents and to the vice president and general counsel, independently and directly.
The president underscored that the office will not have investigatory powers, nor will it serve as a mechanism to hear case appeals or to review decisions by the Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office, Human Resources, deans, and Academic Human Resources, among others.
As a next step, a detailed plan outlining the office’s structure will be developed with input from the campus community, and will be presented to the Board of Regents in the coming months.
“I need to hear from the community about how best to structure this office. Over the next months, I will be listening to deans, executive officers, faculty, and the broader university community to help inform my decisions,” Ono said.
“We’ve made important progress, and a central compliance office will be one more step toward keeping our community safe. All this work makes a positive difference.”
Board of Regents Chair Paul Brown applauded Ono for announcing plans to create a central ethics, integrity and compliance office covering all campuses.
“This office, combined with the many other recommendations that have been implemented, will create a comprehensive approach to addressing misconduct and other matters,” Brown said.
Regents Jordan Acker, Mark Bernstein and Denise Ilitch also praised the new office as the capstone of recent initiatives.
“This announcement, the changes we’ve already implemented and President Ono’s leadership give me enormous confidence in our future,” Ilitch said.
A welcome change that has been a long time coming. Wonderful news.