Principles of Responsible Conduct—A Reminder to the Penn Community

The Principles of Responsible Conduct promote the highest standards of integrity and ethics at Penn. To remind the Penn community of the basic expectations that should guide our work at Penn, the Principles of Responsible Conduct are published annually and are found below. Everyone at Penn is expected to be familiar with and adhere to the Principles of Responsible Conduct, which can be found on the Office of Audit, Compliance and Privacy website at:

The mission of the University of Pennsylvania and its Health System is to offer a world-class education to our students, train future leaders, expand and advance research and knowledge, serve our community and society both at home and abroad, and provide the most expert and outstanding health care for our patients. In pursuing this mission, and to ensure the continued excellence of the University and its reputation, all members of the University community need to understand and uphold both legal requirements and the highest ethical standards.

In the following Principles of Responsible Conduct, we articulate the basic expectations that should guide each of us in our work at Penn. These Principles are embedded within many policies and practices identified throughout University and Health System handbooks, manuals, websites and other materials. We have endeavored to distill these policies, rules and guidelines for easy review and access. The Principles are not intended to be a comprehensive catalogue of all applicable rules and policies of the University and the Health System. Rather, these Principles set forth the underlying expectations that we have for the conduct of University and Health System activities with the highest standards of integrity and ethics. Useful references to relevant policies and resources are included.

We urge you to read these Principles closely and familiarize yourself with both the expectations and the resources provided.

—Amy Gutmann, President

—Wendell Pritchett, Provost

—Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President

—J. Larry Jameson, Executive Vice President of the University for the Health System and Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine

Penn has many policies that govern the behavior of all Penn faculty, administration and staff. The ethical expectations contained in these policies are highlighted in the text of the ten principles that follow, and supporting policies, statements and guidelines are available for each at the corresponding web link.

Principles of Responsible Conduct

1. Ethical and Responsible Conduct. Penn’s faculty, administration and staff should conduct themselves ethically, with the highest integrity, in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and University policies, in all aspects of their work. They should be fair and principled in University and Health System business transactions and other related professional activities, acting in good faith when dealing with both internal constituents and external entities. Their conduct should always reflect their positions of trust and loyalty with respect to the University, the Health System and members of these communities.

2. Respect for Others in the Workplace. Penn recognizes that people are the most important resource for achieving eminence in accomplishing our mission in the areas of teaching, research, community service and patient care. Penn is an institution that values academic freedom, diversity and respect for one another. Penn is committed to the principle of non-discrimination and does not tolerate conduct that constitutes harassment on any basis, including sexual, racial, ethnic, religious or gender harassment.

3. Avoidance of Conflict of Interest. As more fully stated in Penn’s conflict of interest policies, Penn’s faculty, administration and staff should avoid conflicts of interest in work at Penn. As a non-profit institution, it is imperative, for both legal and ethical reasons, that University and Health System employees do not improperly benefit from their positions of trust at Penn. Financial conflicts must be appropriately disclosed in accordance with conflict of interest and conflict of commitment policies, so that they can be reviewed, and as appropriate, managed or eliminated. Faculty, administrators and staff are responsible for identifying potential conflicts and seeking appropriate guidance.

4. Responsible Conduct in Research. As members of a complex research university, Penn faculty, administrators and staff have significant responsibility to ensure that research is conducted with the highest integrity, and in compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations, as well as University and Health System policy.

5. Responsible Stewardship and Use of Penn Property, Funds and Technology. Penn faculty, administration and staff are expected to ensure that Penn property, funds and technology are used appropriately to benefit the institution, consistent with all legal requirements as well as University and Health System policies.

6. Environmental Health and Safety. Penn is committed to the protection of the health and safety of the University community and the creation of a safe working environment. To accomplish this end, Penn provides training in health and safety regulation and policy, and Penn faculty, administration and staff are expected to comply with sound practices and legal requirements.

7. Respect for Privacy and Confidentiality. In their various roles and positions at Penn, faculty, administration and staff become aware of confidential information of many different types. Such information may relate to students, employees, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, research sponsors, licensing partners, patients and others. Penn faculty, administration and staff are expected to inform themselves about applicable legal, contractual and policy obligations to maintain the confidentiality of such information, so as to protect it from improper disclosure and to protect the privacy interests of members of our community.

8. Appropriate Conduct with Respect to Gifts, Travel and Entertainment. Penn faculty, administration and staff are expected to conduct themselves so as to ensure that their positions are not misused for private gain, with respect to acceptance of gifts and the undertaking of University-related travel and entertainment.

9. Appropriate Use of the University Name and Logos. Penn regulates the use of its name, its shield and related trademarks and logos in order to protect the University’s reputation and to ensure that their use is related to the University’s educational, research, community service and patient-care missions. Faculty, administration and staff are expected to protect the University name and logos from improper use.

10. Responsible Reporting of Suspected Violations and Institutional Response. Penn faculty, administration and staff are expected to report suspected material violations of University and Health System policies, as well as violations of applicable laws and regulations, including laws requiring the reporting of sexual abuse involving minors, to appropriate offices, as set forth in the various policies. Penn faculty, administration and staff may be subject to discipline in accordance with the policies.

The Office of Institutional Compliance is available to present a training and awareness program on the Principles of Responsible Conduct to Penn employees. In addition, printed versions of the Principles of Responsible Conduct are available for Penn employees. If you are interested in obtaining the brochure or scheduling a presentation, please contact Linda E. Yoder, deputy institutional compliance officer, at (215) 573-3347 or at