Western Carolina University's Office of Compliance supports our common goal of conducting
university business with integrity and in accordance with all applicable rules and
regulations. All faculty and staff are responsible for maintaining compliance with
the regulations that govern our institution. The Office of Compliance assists by providing
resources and training and by encouraging staff and faculty to report violations openly.
Report an Issue
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Chief Compliance
Officer Ivy Gibson by email at email@example.com or by phone at 828-227-3036. Together we can achieve a level of compliance that guarantees an increasingly prosperous
future for everyone at WCU.
What is “Compliance?”
Compliance means meeting the requirements of the law on a basic level. That is, we
must ensure that our policies and practices are conducted in accordance with statutory
guidelines at the State and Federal level where applicable.
What is the Chief Compliance Officer?
The Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”) provides centralized oversight of compliance
issues. The CCO investigates issues relating to potential violations of regulations
and provides assistance and advice to departments who identify compliance issues.
The CCO works with the heads of various departments to ensure adequate compliance.
Why is there a need for centralized compliance oversight?
Institutions of higher education have historically enjoyed a great deal of autonomy.
Just a few decades ago, colleges and universities were essentially unregulated entities.
However, with changing regulatory attitudes and the acceptance of millions of dollars
of government funding, institutions of higher education are increasingly regulated
by state and federal statutes. The ever-changing nature of the regulatory landscape
poses a unique challenge to the administration: how can a multifaceted institution
such as WCU monitor the complexities and nuances of such regulations? The answer
is in a federated system of governance, where department heads are empowered by the
CCO with the information they need to maintain and exceed compliance.
What is the role of Chief Compliance Officer?
The CCO carries out the WCU Compliance Plan through the careful monitoring of University
procedures in conjunction with the applicable statutory framework(s). The CCO identifies
areas where compliance is at issue and works with the department representatives to
solve any identified problems. Further, the CCO advises department heads regarding
regulatory issues they face. The CCO reports directly to the Chancellor and the Board
of Trustees’ Finance and Audit Committee.
Who should I talk to if I have a compliance issue?
The CCO can be contacted directly be telephone at (828) 227-7116 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further, compliance issues may be reported anonymously using the University Compliance
Confidential Reporting System (“UCCRS”).
What is the University Compliance Confidential Reporting System?
The University Compliance Confidential Reporting System (“UCCRS”) allows faculty,
staff and students the opportunity to report compliance issues directly to the CCO.
This may be done by completing a simple online form. Those wishing to submit a report
may choose to remain completely anonymous by so indicating on the subject form. Each item submitted will receive the full attention of the CCO and appropriate University
personnel. Investigations into compliance issues initiated in this way will be conducted with
the utmost care so as not to reveal the identity of the reporting personnel should
he or she desire. Further, the UCCRS is not designed to be punitive in nature. Rather,
reports submitted through the UCCRS are intended to simply provide awareness of potential
compliance issues so they may be remedied without harm to the institution or embarrassment.
Why should I care about compliance issues?
Maintaining university-wide compliance decreases the risk that an adverse event will
occur. Many regulations are designed to prevent adverse occurrences and following
such regulations works to minimize the risk of a costly adverse event taking place.
Also, by staying in compliance, there is a decreased need for centralized oversight
of each respective department’s activities. This allows the people most qualified
to detect and correct compliance issues – those who work within the departments –
to have the autonomy to correct problems before they rise to a level requiring centralized
decision making. The CCO believes strongly that the best compliance resources are
the members of our institution and that they are best capable of correcting their
How do I know if a compliance issue exists?
If you have a question, you can always contact the compliance office or your direct
supervisor. It may help to ask yourself the following questions: Does the act seem
fair and honest? Are the policies of the University being followed? Would I be embarrassed
if the act was published on the front page of a national newspaper?