Mason’s Code of Ethics

Ethical behavior is as vital in the workplace as it is in our personal lives.

Our actions have an impact on our work and the work of our colleagues, our students, and their families. Our personal and professional ethics help us set up rules and guidelines that identify George Mason University’s mission, values and principles.

Members of the George Mason University community aspire to the following principles and values:

  1. We perform our public responsibilities, services, and activities ethically, competently, efficiently and honestly, in keeping with university policy and applicable law. We expect that all necessary and proper controls safeguarding public resources are in place and observed, with periodic auditing of functions and departments by the State Auditor of Public Accounts and/or the university’s Internal Audit and Management Services.
  2. We do not accept any favor, loan, service, business, or professional opportunity from anyone knowing that it is offered in order to improperly influence the performance of our public duties, or when acceptance thereof may reasonably be perceived as an impropriety in violation of university policy or state law. University procurement of goods or services is undertaken only by authorized personnel and, when competitive principles apply, decisions are made impartially and objectively in accordance with established policy and state law.
  3. We preserve and respect the confidentiality of university records, including personnel and student records. We do not externally disclose confidential records or other non-public information without appropriate authorization, and any confidential record or information we access as a result of our position or duty is neither exploited for personal benefit nor misused for any unauthorized purpose.
  4. We are committed to the principles of federal and state law guaranteeing equal opportunity and non-discrimination with respect to university services, programs, activities and employment, and we support an environment that respects the rights and opinions of all people. Complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are investigated and, when warranted, appropriate corrective action is taken and disciplined in accordance with state and university policy and applicable law.
  5. Our communications on behalf of the university with all persons, including co-employees, clients, customers, students, guests and vendors, are conducted professionally and with civility.
  6. We do not condone dishonesty in any form by anyone, including misuse of university funds or property, fraud, theft, cheating, plagiarism or lying. We encourage and expect reporting of any form of dishonesty, and that our managers and supervisors will appropriately investigate such reports. We also expect that the police and/or State Auditor of Public Accounts will be notified when circumstances reasonably indicate fraud or theft of university funds.
  7. We strive for continuous improvement in our performance of public duties for the University.
  8. We bring any violation of these principles or circumstances, reasonably indicating that a violation has occurred or may occur, to the attention of supervisors and managers, the university auditor or other responsible university office. Such reporting in good faith in order to promote the ethical integrity of operations is expected and encouraged by the university, and retaliation by any university employee as a result against the person making such good faith report shall be subject to disciplinary action. We appropriately investigate all such reports, and if warranted by the facts, require corrective action and discipline in accordance with state and university policy and state law.