1. What is compliance?

All Princeton employees are responsible for maintaining high ethical standards in their work. They have a responsibility to understand, respect and follow federal, state, and local laws and, as appropriate to their jobs, to follow all applicable policies and procedures of the University. Compliance is not a new responsibility for any of us; it is central to how we all do our jobs.

Commonly accepted standards of conduct within Princeton University are described in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities, as are core institutional policies.
Other key policy manuals and guidelines are maintained by the Office of the Dean of Faculty, the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Finance & Treasury (Business Expense Policy) and the Office of Information Technology (Information Security Policy). Since rigid codification and relentless administration of rules and regulations are not appropriate to an academic community, we rely on managers to inform staff of relevant policies that are important in the conduct of their operations.
Of paramount importance are issues that:
  • Have been the subject of recent litigation or major settlements in higher education.
  • Have been identified as issues of interest by the federal government and other oversight agencies.
  • Could be the basis for an allegation of criminal conduct, false statements, fraud or other misconduct.
  • Involve significant dollar exposure or reputational risk.
       Back to the Top
2.  What service does the compliance office provide?
The compliance office helps to ensure that the University maintains the highest levels of integrity in its daily operations as it pursues its overall educational mission.   The compliance office focuses on:
  • Building awareness of compliance issues by disseminating information.
  • Educating managers about policies and procedures regarding compliance.
  • Providing academic chairs or directors and their managers with “best practices” in terms of defining appropriate internal controls, developing customized reports for financial planning and reviewing the administrative organizational structure to assure departmental programs and research initiatives are well supported.
  • Monitoring compliance issues campus-wide, identifying risk areas, and assigning priorities.
  • Identifying and removing institutional barriers to compliance, such as policy gaps, lack of data or inadequate systems, lack of resources, organizational problems, or skewed incentives.
  • Providing institutional oversight and support to administrative operations in academic departments.
       Back to the Top
3.  What is the role of the manager regarding compliance?
The ultimate test is whether your operations are effective and efficient and whether a knowledgeable, independent monitor would conclude that the work you are responsible for is in major compliance with laws and regulations.

As a manager, compliance means:
  • Leading with conduct that is ethical and honest.
  • Being proactive regarding the health and safety of others.
  • Demonstrating understanding of, respect for, and adherence to rules and regulations.  
As a supervisor, you must convey similar expectations of conduct for your staff to:
  • Ensure they understand principles of conduct as described in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities and the applicable policies and procedures necessary to conduct their work duties.
  • Create an environment of trust that encourages all employees to make intelligent and responsible decisions.
  • Set and maintain priorities.
  • Identify and address problems.
  • Take prudent risks.
       Back to the Top