No Code of Conduct can list all prohibited conduct. The following information, which is not all-inclusive, illustrates some examples of specifically prohibited conduct that may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including, termination, as either unsatisfactory work performance or work-related behavior, or gross misconduct, under university policy.


Respect for Persons

  1. Disorderly conduct, including, but not limited to, using discriminatory, abusive, or threatening language; fighting, provoking a fight, or attempting bodily harm or injury to another employee or to any other individual or threatening physical action or injury on university property or during university activities; or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health, safety, or well-being of any person.
  2. Violation of any university policy or law prohibiting harassment, discrimination, or retaliation against students or employees.

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Respect for Property

  1. Willful or negligent damage to university property.
  2. Theft or dishonesty.
  3. Tampering with or wantonly destroying university data, records, or other information; gaining unauthorized access to such information; disclosing confidential information; or otherwise misusing university data or information.
  4. Unauthorized use of university vehicles, mail services, identification and credit cards, telephones, computers, computer equipment, or other university equipment or materials. Computers and computer accounts are provided to employees to assist them in the performance of their jobs. Employees do not have a right to privacy in anything they create, send, or receive on a university computer. The University has the right to monitor, for business reasons, any and all aspects of any university computer system, including employee e-mail.
  5. Soliciting, collecting money, or circulating petitions on university property at any time without permission of the chief business officer or designee.

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Standards of Safety

  1. Possessing or carrying a firearm in violation of Safety Policy SA0875 Firearms.
  2. Possessing explosives or other dangerous materials on university property or during university activities, unless the employee is authorized either by university policy or law to carry such materials and it is also necessary to do so in the course of employment (police officers, R.O.T.C. personnel, etc.).
  3. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of alcohol, illegal drugs, intoxicants, or controlled substances; abuse of prescription drugs while on duty; use of alcohol in a university vehicle on or off university property; possession or use of alcohol while on duty (except at university-sponsored events and other events an employee is expected to attend as part of his or her duties); or reporting to work under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol or while unlawfully using controlled substances.
  4. Refusal to obey security officials, Emergency Management personnel, or other proper authorities in emergencies.
  5. Failure to comply with safety rules, regulations, or common safety practices.
  6. Failure to report an accident involving on-the-job injury or damage to university property.
  7. Smoking in violation of university policy.

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Compliance with Laws and University Policies

  1. Falsification of university records.
  2. Misrepresentation of academic credentials, which is defined by Tennessee law as follows: “A person commits the offense of misrepresentation of academic credentials who, knowing that the statement is false and with the intent to secure employment at or admission to an institution of higher education in Tennessee, represents, orally or in writing, that such person1) has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one or more degrees or diplomas from an accredited institution of higher education; 2) has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one or more degrees or diplomas from a particular institution of higher education; or 3) has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one or more degrees or diplomas in a particular field or specialty from an accredited institution of higher education.” Misrepresentation of academic credential is a Class A misdemeanor.
  3. Behavior or conduct unacceptable to the University or the community at large.
  4. Violation of federal government security regulations as outlined in contracts.
  5. Any violation of any law in the performance of duties or that affects the ability to perform duties satisfactorily.
  6. Failure to comply with Tennessee laws on mandatory reporting of child abuse and child sexual abuse.
  7. Failure to comply with laws regarding mandatory reporting requirements applicable to health care professionals’ interactions with patients while acting within the scope of university employment.
  8. Failure to comply with the University’s conflict of interests policy.
  9. Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other serious unethical or illegal deviations from accepted practices in proposing, conducting, reporting the results of or reviewing research of service activities, in violation of university policy or state or federal law or regulations.
  10. The access, use, or disclosure of a person’s financial, personal, protected health information, or other confidential information without authorization or legal justification, in violation of university policies or law, e.g., privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  11. Gambling on university property or during university activities.
  12. Flagrant violation or failure to observe traffic or parking regulations.
  13. The University will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because such employee or applicant has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the compensation of the employee or applicant or another employee or applicant.

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Work Performance

  1. Insubordination or refusal of an employee to follow instructions or to perform designated work or to comply with directives of authorized university officials.
  2. Failure to wear proper uniform or identification in the prescribed manner as may be required by the University.
  3. Sleeping on the job.
  4. Failure or refusal to maintain or obtain required licensure, certification, or registration.
  5. Instigating or participating in deliberate low productivity and/or interfering with another employee’s work.

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Standards of Attendance

  1. Unexcused Absence
    • An absence without proper notification or satisfactory reason is unexcused. An absence of three consecutive days without notification or satisfactory reason is considered a voluntary termination.
  2. Repeated Tardiness
    • Tardiness is defined as arriving at work past the appointed starting time without supervisory approval.
  3. Other Absences
    • Such absences include the failure of employees to report to their work place at the beginning of the work period, leaving work before the end of the work period, and failure to inform the supervisor when leaving the work area.

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