The Disclosure of Wrongful Conduct and Protection from Reprisal Policy, also known as the “Whistleblower Policy”, protects employees, faculty and students from reprisal if they make good faith disclosures of university-related misconduct. All employees, students and faculty are encouraged to report any university-related misconduct, including, but not limited to bribery, theft of NLU property, fraud, discrimination, unlawful harassment, violation of NLU policies, and other misconduct. Faculty and staff are encouraged to report university-related misconduct to their immediate supervisor or if they are reluctant to report the misconduct to their supervisor, they can raise the issue with the department chair, dean, Legal Affairs Office or the Office of Human Resources. Students may report misconduct to the department head, Director of Student Experience, the University Ombudsman, NLU’s Chief Legal Officer or any NLU official responsible for overseeing compliance with the particular policy. The University will promptly investigate reports of misconduct and take appropriate action. Faculty, staff and students who report university-related misconduct are protected under the policy against any retaliation for having made a good faith report of any misconduct.
Whistleblower Hotline: 312.261.3820
“Good Faith Disclosure” means disclosure of University-related misconduct made with a belief in the truth of the disclosure which a reasonable person in the whistleblower’s position could hold based upon the facts. A disclosure is not in good faith if made with reckless disregard for or willful ignorance of facts that would disprove the disclosure.
“University-related misconduct” or “misconduct” includes any activity by an NLU department or by an employee that is undertaken in the performance of the employee’s official duties, whether or not such action is within the scope of the individual’s employment, and that is in violation of any state or federal law or regulation or NLU regulation or policy, including but not limited to corruption, bribery, theft of NLU property, fraudulent claims, fraud, coercion, conversation, discrimination, sexual or other unlawful harassment, civil rights violations, misuse of NLU property and facilities or willful failure to perform one’s job duties.
“Whistleblowing” means, good faith reporting of real or perceived Universityrelated misconduct.
“Whistleblower” means, any student, staff or faculty who in good faith reports real or perceived University-related misconduct.
“Retaliation” means, any adverse action or credible threat of any adverse action taken by NLU or member thereof, in response to a whistleblower’s good faith disclosure of University-related misconduct. It does not include NLU’s decision to investigate a good faith disclosure of University-related misconduct.
NLU relies on its faculty, staff and students to perform their duties and responsibilities in accordance with NLU’s policies and procedures. NLU provides various mechanisms to assist and encourage faculty, staff and students to come forward in good faith with reports or concerns about University-related misconduct. Faculty, staff and students may report suspected University-related misconduct without fear of reprisal or retaliation.
Faculty, staff and students should follow all NLU policies and procedures in carrying out his/her duties and responsibilities for NLU. Faculty, staff and students who have a question about the propriety of any practice under NLU policies and procedures should seek guidance from his/her supervisor or an NLU official who has responsibility for overseeing compliance with the particular policy or procedure.
Faculty, staff or students who become aware of a potential or actual material violation of NLU policies or procedures, should report such potential or actual conduct, regardless of whether the faculty, staff or student is involved in the matter. Faculty, staff or students may request that such a report be handled as confidentially as possible under the circumstances, and NLU will endeavor to handle all such reports with discretion and with due regard for the privacy of the reporting employee.
Faculty, staff or students may make anonymous reports, with the understanding that any investigation may be hampered due to the inability to identify the whistleblower in order to obtain a full and complete account of relevant and necessary facts from the faculty member, staff or student or to ask additional questions or seek clarification as any investigation proceeds.
Faculty, staff or students who come forward in good faith with reports or concerns about University-related misconduct shall not be subject to reprisal or retaliation for making such a report. Any faculty member, staff member or student who believes that he/she is being retaliated against for making such a report should immediately report the retaliation as follows:
This policy does not apply to reports of concern over how a faculty or staff member is performing his/her job duties where the conduct in question does not rise to the level of University-related misconduct. Faculty, staff or students who are concerned about the conduct of a University faculty or staff member which does not rise to the level of University- related misconduct (e.g., concern about the style or manner in which the faculty or staff member is performing his/her job duties) are encouraged to discuss these concerns with the person whose conduct is the subject of concern. If a student, faculty or staff member does not feel comfortable talking directly with the faculty or staff member whose conduct is the subject of concern, the concerned party is encouraged to talk with Chief Legal Officer.
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and staff are encouraged to report University-related misconduct to his/her immediate supervisor. If the faculty member or staff member is unable to do so or if there is any reason why this may not be appropriate, the faculty member or staff member should raise the issue with his/her manager, department chair, dean, director, NLU’s Chief Legal Officer, the Office of Human Resources or any NLU office or official who has responsibility for overseeing compliance with the particular policy or procedure in question.
Students are encouraged to report misconduct to a Department Head, the Director of Student Experience, University Ombudsman, NLU’s Chief Legal Officer or any NLU office or official who has responsibility for overseeing compliance with the particular policy or procedure in question.
If a faculty member, staff member or student is concerned about reporting misconduct using the procedure described above, the individual may use the local Whistleblower Hotline — 312.261.3820 or call the Chief Legal Officer — 312.261.3935 to report the misconduct. The person may also call the Office of Human Resources 847.947.5275.
NLU will endeavor to keep the whistleblower’s identity confidential to the extent possible within the limitations of law and policy and the need to conduct a competent investigation. If any member of NLU’s faculty, staff, board of directors or other NLU official receives a complaint about University-related misconduct, that individual should encourage the complaining individual to document the complaint. If the complaining individual does not want to put the complaint in writing, then the person to whom the report is made should document the oral report with a written summary. Once the complaint is documented, it should be forwarded to NLU’s Chief Legal Officer for immediate investigation.
No members of the NLU community shall engage in retaliation in response to reporting of University-related misconduct or to the filing of a complaint. Actions are considered retaliatory if they are in response to a good faith disclosure of real or perceived University-related misconduct and the actions have a materially adverse effect on the working or academic conditions of the whistleblower or if the whistleblower, as a result of the actions, can no longer effectively carry out his or her NLU responsibilities.
NLU will make every reasonable effort to stop retaliation immediately, to conduct a complete and thorough investigation of alleged acts of retaliation in a timely manner, to provide remedies to victims of retaliation, and to sanction the perpetrators of retaliation as appropriate. The act of good faith disclosure of University-related misconduct shall not be used to make any decision to the whistleblower’s detriment or to subject the whistleblower to adverse conditions that create a hostile working or learning environment. To encourage and protect whistleblowers, it is NLU’s policy that no reference to the good faith disclosure of University-related misconduct shall be made in personnel files, letters of recommendation, performance appraisals or any other permanent evaluative documents without the concurrence of the whistleblower.
Reports of any University-related misconduct that are not made in good faith are not protected under this policy. Those who make false reports in bad faith will be disciplined as appropriate through regular NLU procedures.