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Massachusetts College of Art and Design is committed to complying with all laws, rules and regulations that govern its operating practices. In that spirit, the College has established internal controls and procedures designed to prevent violations of law and applicable regulations. The College encourages all employees, students, volunteers, and vendors/contractors acting in good faith to report suspected improper activity. When the College becomes aware of potential violations, it has a responsibility to investigate such allegations promptly. Similarly, the College has a responsibility to ensure that individuals who report what they reasonably believe are violations do not suffer retaliation.

The College’s policy is designed to provide guidance to individuals for reporting suspected violations of law, rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to the law. This policy is not meant to abridge any processes or protections available to individuals under any collective bargaining agreement, federal or state law. This policy also does not replace the grievance processes provided in the respective collective bargaining agreements to investigate complaints regarding the terms and conditions of employment, or the affirmative action grievance process established to address alleged unlawful discrimination.


This policy is intended to protect any individual who engages in good faith disclosure of alleged wrongful conduct to a designated MassArt official or public body, and to inform employees of their rights and obligations under the Massachusetts Whistleblower Protection Act, M.G.L. c.149 s.185. More specifically, it: 

1.     encourages individuals to disclose wrongful conduct engaged in by others to the appropriate MassArt official so that prompt, corrective action can be taken by the College;

2.    informs individuals how allegations of wrongful conduct can be disclosed;

3.     protects individuals from reprisal by adverse employment action or other retaliation as a result of having disclosed wrongful conduct (individuals who self-report their own misconduct are not afforded protection by this policy); and

4.     provides individuals who believe they have been subject to reprisal or false allegations a fair process to seek relief from these acts.  

Any communication that proves to have been both unsubstantiated and made with malice or with knowledge of its falsity is not protected by this policy. This policy is also intended to protect individuals against false allegations of wrongful misconduct. Nothing in this policy is intended to interfere with legitimate employment decisions. 

I. Definitions  

(a)       Wrongful Conduct - An activity, policy or practice that the employee reasonably believes is in violation of a law, or a rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to law, or which the employee reasonably believes poses a risk to public health, safety or the environment. 

(b)       Protected Disclosure – a disclosure of Wrongful Conduct as described in this policy.

(c)        Retaliation - Adverse action, such as discipline, suspension, demotion, or discharge, against an individual because she or he has made a Protected Disclosure or has participated in an investigation, proceeding or hearing involving a Protected Disclosure.


II. Regulations 

(a)       Acting in Good Faith. Anyone making a Protected Disclosure pursuant to this policy must be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates Wrongful Conduct. 

(b)       False Allegation. Any person who knowingly or with reckless disregard for the truth gives false information or knowingly makes a false report of Wrongful Conduct or a subsequent false report of Retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Any student who makes false allegations in the non-employment setting will be subject to judicial action. Allegations that are not substantiated yet are made in good faith and are not subject to corrective action. 

(c)        Retaliation. No individual who makes a Protected Disclosure will suffer harassment, retaliation, or adverse employment consequences. Any person who retaliates against any individual who makes a Protected Disclosure is subject to discipline up to and including termination.

(d)       Confidentiality. Protected Disclosures and investigatory records will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation, in order to comply with law, and in accordance with the Commonwealth's Public Records Act.

(e)       Handling Protected Disclosures. The offices receiving the Protected Disclosure will notify the disclosing individual (if her or his identity is known) and acknowledge receipt of the reported violation or suspected violation. All reports will be promptly investigated and appropriate corrective action will be taken if warranted by the investigation. 


III. Reporting Procedure

(a)       Any individual may report Wrongful Conduct.  Individuals are encouraged to report such conduct in writing, although reports may be made orally. Any such report should be based on facts, rather than speculation, and should contain as much specific information as possible to allow for an effective investigation.

(b) Individuals should share their questions, concerns, or reports with a MassArt administrator who can address them properly. In many cases the individual's supervisor is in the best position to address an area of concern. If an individual is not comfortable speaking with their supervisor, or is not satisfied with the supervisor's response, individuals should take their concerns to the individuals listed below that will investigate and/or address the concern as appropriate. 

            Alisa M. Chapman

            Executive Director of Compliance

            EO Officer, Title IX & ADA Coordinator, Records Access Officer




            Justine Caron

            Executive Director of Human Resources



(c)   Supervisors who receive Protected Disclosures are required to report that information to the Executive Director of Compliance or the Executive Director of Humans Resources as soon as practicable.  In circumstances where the alleged improper activity is a minor violation of a rule or regulation, it may be appropriate for the supervisor to investigate the alleged activity. When a supervisor is uncertain how the report should be investigated, the supervisor is encouraged to seek guidance and direction from the Executive Director of Compliance or the Executive Director of Human Resources.

(d) The Massachusetts Whistleblower Protection Act, M.G.L. c. 149, s. 185, also provides for protection of individuals who disclose alleged improper activities to a public body.  In accordance with the Act, individuals are required to report alleged improper activities to the appropriate College official as described in this policy prior to disclosing the matter to a public body, unless the individual is reasonably certain the activity is known to a supervisor and is an emergency, the individual reasonably fears physical harm will result from disclosing the activity to a College official, or the disclosure is for the purpose of providing evidence of a crime. Such notice to the appropriate College official must be made in writing prior to notification of a public body.




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