The Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance (OARC) performs independent internal audits, plans and oversees the university’s risk assessment process and oversees the institutional compliance program. OARC’s purpose is to support the mission of MSU by:

  • Providing an independent and objective process for monitoring and evaluating the reliability and integrity of financial and operating information to add value and improve MSU’s operations through internal audits and assurance services.
  • Providing oversight of the risk assessment process by creating and maintaining a framework to effectively identify, assess, and manage risk.
  • Promoting a university-wide culture of compliance and ethics through an effective Compliance Program that includes monitoring, education and investigation activities to prevent, detect, and resolve noncompliance with associated laws and regulations.

In addition, OARC will:

  • Implement a Policy Library and framework to communicate: organizational values and expectations regarding employee behavior; internal standards for compliance with laws and regulations; and, the consequences of noncompliance to both the organization and the employee.
  • Develop and implement an Employee Code of Ethics and Business Conduct (Code). The Code is being created with core values that include:


We commit to advancing knowledge and preparing our students to be the leaders of tomorrow. We aim to achieve the highest standards of excellence in all that we do. This commitment applies to all the work we perform, the instruction and services we provide, and our conduct and relationships in the community. Our goal is for the University to be a leading, model institution in higher education.


We promote a culture of compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies. Recognizing that legal and ethical behavior may overlap, they may also be distinct. We adhere to legal requirements and also aspire to ensure an ethical culture. When we are unsure of what our compliance responsibilities are, we will seek advice from the appropriate University offices.

Honesty and Integrity

To act with honesty and integrity means to be truthful, sincere, and free of deceit. We will conduct ourselves and our activities with forthrightness and utmost honesty and integrity. We foster freedom of thought, value truth, and promote intellectual independence and critical thinking in our pursuit of excellence. We conduct and report our research and findings in compliance with all applicable ethical and legal standards, and give credit where it is due, acknowledging the contributions of others.

This requires that all University community members act truthfully, fairly, impartially, and without bias in dealing with and on behalf of the University; refrain from influencing others to perform illegal or inappropriate acts; not lie, cheat, misappropriate, or plagiarize.


Transparency means being forthcoming, fair, complete, and accurate about our decisions, decision-making processes, and communications, while preserving the privacy of individuals under law and University policies. We will seek to prevent wrongdoing, promptly and thoroughly investigate allegations of misconduct, and swiftly take action needed to protect our University community.

Accountability and Responsibility

We hold every Community Member accountable under this Code. We set the same high standard for everyone, ensuring the utmost integrity of the University. We will exercise sound judgment and act in the best interest of the University’s community members and the University. We insist on compliance with the University’s Conflict of Interest Policy.

Any community member who violates this Code, University policies, regulations, or laws may be subject to disciplinary action by the University, up to and including separation from the University. Retaliation against any individual who in good faith provides information, files complaints, and cooperates with the University is strictly prohibited.

Respect and Inclusion

We uphold others’ rights and dignity as well as freedoms under the law. We exercise equity and fairness. We do not discriminate against, harass, or threaten others. Through our commitment to inclusivity, we create an environment that promotes diversity, safety, and equity.

Responsible Stewardship

We are stewards of the University community. We act in the best interests of those who have entrusted their resources to us. As Trustees and leaders of the community, we use money, resources, and information responsibly and prudently. This includes helping others maintain relationships of trust, and taking steps to address and remedy breaches of trust.


The Misconduct Hotline is a method for employees to report known or suspected misconduct. OARC administers the Hotline. Individuals may choose to remain anonymous when making a report.

What Should I Report?

The following are examples of acts that should be reported:


  • Violations of any federal, state or local regulations, e.g., safety regulations, HIPAA privacy rules
  • Violations of the University’s policies
  • Any form of retaliation for reporting


  • Theft or misappropriation of funds, supplies, property, or other University resources
  • Forgery or alteration of documents
  • Unauthorized alteration or manipulation of computer files
  • Falsification of reports to management or external agencies
  • Authorizing or receiving compensation for hours not worked


  • Excessive or unnecessary purchases, e.g., supplies or equipment purchased that are not used in a timely fashion
  • Wasteful or unnecessary use of University resources, e.g., extravagant travel or entertainment expenses


  • Pursuit of a benefit or advantage in violation of the University’s Conflict of Interest policy
  • Using University equipment for personal gain
  • Directing subordinates to do work that is not related to University work, e.g., requiring subordinates to do personal tasks

MSU maintains a commitment to non-Retaliation

  • By asking a question, raising a concern in good-faith or participating in a workplace investigation, you are doing the right thing. Retaliation (or threat of retaliation) is not tolerated.


The Associate Vice President and Chief, Audit, Risk and Compliance Officer of the OARC reports to the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee of the MSU Board of Trustees and to the President.

For more information about our office and the services we provide, we invite you to review our website or to contact us.