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Ethics Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The following are frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding Rutgers Ethics Program.
How do I access RU Learning?
How do I access RU Learning?
You can access via your desktop or mobile device:
How do I begin my required training?
Check out the To-do List section of your app (see image below) and select the training you wish to complete.
When I log on, my screen is blank.
You may need to clear your cache and cookies via the following steps:
- Navigate to the Lock icon on your browser near the web address at the top of the screen.
- Navigate to “cookies”
- Select “app.learnermobile.com” and click “Remove”
- Select “learnermobile.com” and click “Remove”
- Click Done
- Close the tab
- type app.learnermobile.com in the address field
- Try to login again
- If this doesn't work for you please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I register for the RU Learning Training?
Individuals who require training are automatically added to the system. If you require training and you are unable to login please contact email@example.com.
When is the Training Due?
HIPAA Basics and Best Practices is due June 30th for all individuals who interact with protected health information. However, your school or unit may set an earlier due date. New hires are required to complete the training within thirty days.
Where do I find the certificate after completing the Training?
You can view your completed trainings on the achievements page by clicking on the crown in the top right corner of your profile page.
Who should I contact for further information about the Training?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Gifts from Vendors
What is the rule on personal gifts from vendors?
The New Jersey State Ethics Commission has interpreted the State Conflicts of Interest Law that any personal gift from a current or prospective vendor to public employees is inappropriate. Minor exceptions are discussed below.
What about snacks and meals at a meeting at a vendor location for university business?
Snacks, coffee, juice, and similar items are allowed. Accepting meals from a vendor is not permissible under the rules established by the Ethics Commission. However, it is all right if the university pays for the meals or if the employee reimburses the vendor for the meal. If there is an important approved occasion which university employees are attending as part of their job, then the university will make arrangements to reimburse the vendor for the cost of the meals.
Can university employees receive meals from vendors when attending free vendor training on complex systems, which is usually an all-day event with meals served?
The State Ethics Commission will not allow public employees to accept meals from vendors under any circumstances. If attendance at the training event is deemed valuable to the skills of university employees, then the university will pay the vendor for the cost of the meals.
I attend conferences for which Rutgers has paid an attendance fee. I know that some of the meals are subsidized by vendors. Is it all right to accept those meals at the conference?
Yes. The meals are included in the conference fee.
At a conference, am I able to accept "give aways" from vendors?
Certainly you can accept anything that might be evaluated for possible university use as vendors often give samples of their products away for these purposes. You may accept items of truly nominal value, such as give-away pens, hats, and cups. On the other hand, you will not want to use vendor-branded items at work as it could convey a bias and closer association with the vendor than is the case. Here you are expected to use your best judgment.
Can I attend special vendor events at a conference at which food and liquor are generally served without charge? These are largely networking events for the sales staff of the vendor?
No. This is essentially socializing with vendors with the vendor paying for the food and drink. Remember, vendor staff are sales people. Vendors are interested in selling their products, so the purpose of any vendor event is to create a favorable impression in order to have an employee buy their product. Your attendance at such an event creates an appearance of impropriety. The State Ethics Commission regularly underscores this as a significant potential minefield for creating problems of bias in public-sector procurement. Even when a public employee is not actually biased when participating in a subsequent decision respecting a vendor, there is still the problem of these events creating an appearance of impropriety including receiving a personal benefit on account of one's public employment.
Can I accept holiday gifts from vendors?
No. Vendors will be advised by email that these gifts are inappropriate and that vendors should make their best efforts to inform their staff that gifts to Rutgers employees are inappropriate. This notice will become part of all purchase orders and will be on the procurement website which should curtail offers of holiday (or other) gifts.
What should I do if I receive a gift from a vendor?
If you receive a gift from a vendor, immediately contact the ethics office at email@example.com or (732) 743-3344. The gift will either be returned by the ethics office or donated to a charitable organization identified by the University. The ethics office will instruct on the proper method for disposing of the gift and send a letter to the vendor.
Can vendors give gifts to the university?
Yes. Vendors often support the university with gifts of equipment or make financial gifts, but individual employees should not be the beneficiaries of these gifts. See the University Donor Gift Policy 40.2.13 (PDF).
Outside Activity Questionnaire
Does this apply to me if I’m a student/part-time employee/adjunct/etc.?
The OAQ is required for anyone receiving compensation (in any capacity) from the University including but not limited to all full-time faculty and staff, part-time faculty and staff, those receiving a stipend, and temporary employees.
Why does the University want this information?
In addition to being a requirement under the New Jersey Conflict of Interest Law, Rutgers requires you to complete the OAQ to ensure the integrity and reputation of the University and to help our faculty and staff avoid potential conflicts of interest. The OAQ is also designed to allow a supervisor or department chair to identify overlap with duties and responsibilities or conflicts with employee time. Also know that Rutgers will never ask for your personal political or religious affiliations as part of the OAQ.
Is the OAQ a public record?
The OAQ is NOT A PUBLIC RECORD; it is part of your personnel record.
Where can I find the form?
Go to http://ethics.rutgers.edu and login with your NetID in the top right corner. The form will say, Annual Outside Activity Questionnaire for [YOUR NAME].
I’m logged in, but I can’t find the form I completed before. What do I do?
If you have submitted the OAQ in the past and need to update the form because of a change of circumstance, it will appear under your “Submissions” tab when you login. Otherwise it should appear in your Inbox when you login at http://ethics.rutgers.edu
What is secondary employment?
Secondary employment is any compensated activity that you perform in addition to your University employment. Examples: per diem; consulting; part-time; family business.
Past employment is not considered secondary employment; there is no need to list former employers.
Do I need to disclose Volunteer Activity or other unpaid activities?
If you are in a leadership position with a volunteer/non-profit organization, please disclose that affiliation. Examples: Executive Board Member; Appointed to a Board or Commission; Treasurer for a charitable organization, etc. even if the organization has no affiliation with the University.
Can I have my assistant fill out my OAQ for me?
No. The OAQ is personal to each individual and requires your individual NetID and login information.
I have several consulting jobs, do I have to list them all separately?
You may fill out the form including a general description of your outside activities and approximately how much time you spend on these activities on a weekly basis.
I’m a supervisor/department head/chair, and I don’t feel comfortable approving this form, what should I do?
We ask supervisors/department heads to review the forms for “operational concerns.” Because you work with these individuals on an everyday basis, we rely on you to let us know if someone’s outside activity may interfere with or create the perception that it may interfere with the employee’s job duties. For example, an outside job may conflict with an employee’s regular hours at the University. The Ethics Office will then complete a more thorough review for potential conflicts of interest. If you have concerns you may also log a private comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org