The Catholic University of America is a comprehensive Catholic and American institution of higher learning, faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ as handed on by the Church. Dedicated to advancing the dialogue between faith and reason, Catholic University seeks to discover and impart truth through excellence in teaching and research, all in service to the Church, the nation and the world.

To achieve this mission and ensure the continued excellence of the University and its reputation, all employees - administrators, faculty, and staff - must understand and uphold the highest of ethical standards and legal requirements. Integrity and ethical behavior undergird our system of shared governance and sound business practices.

The following Principles of Ethical & Responsible Conduct set forth the basic expectations that should guide each of us in our work at the University. These Principles are embedded within policies and practices throughout University handbooks, manuals, websites and contractual bargaining agreements.

The Catholic University community is encouraged to apply these principles as it fulfills the promise of its mission.  


  • 1. Respect for Others

    Catholic University’s people are its most important resource. The University is committed to provide a learning, working and living environment that is nurturing and supportive. Catholic social teaching encourages employees to engage with students, parents, advisees and colleagues fairly, respectfully and professionally. Diverse backgrounds, traditions and perspectives strengthen us. Demonstrating respect for all is a core principle of this community.

    For more information, please see the University's Code of Conduct Policy. 

  • 2. Equal Opportunity

    No person will be denied employment, admission, or educational opportunity, or otherwise be discriminated against or harassed at The Catholic University of America in its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, status as a veteran, or any other basis protected by applicable Federal and District of Columbia laws.

    For more information, please see the University's Non-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Title IX Compliance Policy
  • 3. Avoidance of Conflict of Interest

    Employees may not improperly benefit from their positions of trust at Catholic University. They should avoid actual and perceived conflicts while conducting University work. No one may inappropriately make or influence decisions for their personal advantage or that of their family or friends.

    For more information, please see the University's Conflict of Interest Policy for Staff and Faculty. 

  • 4. Responsible Conduct in Research

    It is an ethical obligation of all faculty and others holding academic appointments to actively contribute to an environment of intellectual honesty and integrity. Research must be conducted and the results disseminated honestly, accurately and fairly. Research should be conducted in alignment with Catholic teaching and ethics.

    For more information, please see the University's Faculty Handbook Part II, Research and Misconduct Policy. 

  • 5. Responsible Use and Stewardship of University Financial, Physical and Virtual Resources

    The Catholic University of America requires that all users of its physical campus, its financial and its virtual resources do so responsibly in accordance with the highest standards of academic and professional ethics, university codes of conduct and policies, and all applicable laws and regulations.

    For more information, please see the University's Technology Use Policy.

  • 6. Environmental Sustainability, Health and Safety

    It is the intent of the University to maintain a safe and healthful place to learn, work, live and visit; to operate in a manner that protects our environment; and to comply with applicable federal, District of Columbia, and other codes and regulations. Employees have a responsibility to comply with health, safety, and environmental rules issued by the University, their departments, and their supervisors. Employees must follow safe work practices, attend required training, use appropriate safety devices and personal protective equipment, and maintain good housekeeping in their work areas.

    For more information, please see the University's Safety and Protect of the Enviroment Policy and the Enviromental Health and Safety Manual.

  • 7. Protecting Confidentiality and Privacy

    Members of the University community are responsible for protecting the security, confidentiality, integrity and availability of information entrusted to them, and for taking affirmative steps to prevent its unauthorized disclosure or loss. This applies to all University activities, whether on campus or off, and to all information regardless of the medium in which it is stored (paper, electronic, etc.) or shared (electronically, verbally, visually, audibly etc.).

    For more information, please see the University's Information Security and Assurance Policy.

  • 8. Appropriate Conduct with Respect to Gifts, Travel and Entertainment

    Employees may not accept money, gratuities, gifts, favors, entertainment, or reimbursement of expenses from individuals, firms or organizations with which the University has business dealings if acceptance might reasonably be interpreted as an attempt to influence the employee in the conduct of their duties. University funds are to be used only to meet the educational, research and service missions of the University.

    For more information, please see the University's Conflict of Interest for Staff and Faculty.

  • 9. Appropriate Use of University Name, Logos and Wordmarks

    The University protects and regulates the use of its name, its shield and related trademarks and logos to protect the University’s reputation and to ensure that their use is appropriate. Any and all use of the University names, logos, and/or other marks for commercial purposes is prohibited unless approved by the Office of Marketing and Communications.

    For more information, please see the University's Trademark Policy

  • 10. Responsible Reporting of Suspected Violations and University Response

    We are all responsible for bringing suspected unethical conduct to the attention of University officials when we have a good faith belief that the conduct has occurred. Ethical misconduct means non-compliance with a law, University policy, the code of conduct, or other standard or requirement applicable to the University. All inquiries, and all good faith reports of suspected non-compliance regardless of whether they are substantiated and regardless of the method of reporting, can be made free from fear of retaliation per the University’s non-retaliation policy. Intentionally false or misleading reporting is itself unethical and unacceptable conduct.

    For more information, please see the University's Code of Conduct for Faculty and Staff.