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Fiscal Misconduct Reporting Guidelines

Last updated: August 2014


These Guidelines have been established to help protect the assets and other interests of Michigan State University.  The Guidelines are intended to help employees recognize fiscal misconduct, encourage employees to report known or suspected fiscal misconduct, and provide a coordinated approach for review and resolution of possible fiscal misconduct situations.


Fiscal misconduct means a deliberate act or failure to act regarding a fiscal matter, contrary to law, rule, or University policy, with the intent to obtain an unauthorized benefit, which results in loss or other damage to the University. Fiscal misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Embezzlement, theft, or misappropriation of University funds, goods, property (including intellectual property), services, or other resources
  • Authorizing or receiving compensation for goods not received or services not performed, receiving compensation for hours not worked, receiving reimbursement for expenses not incurred or reimbursement for expenses not incurred for University purposes
  • Fraud, forgery, or unauthorized alteration of financial documents or records
  • Improper handling or reporting of financial transactions

Questions about what constitutes fiscal misconduct should be directed to the Director of Internal Audit (517-355-5036).

General Guidelines:

All administrators, faculty members, support staff, and other employees should promptly report any known or suspected fiscal misconduct immediately by contacting the Director of Internal Audit directly (phone 517-355-5036). An additional option is to call MSU's toll-free confidential hotline (1-800-763-0764) and web reporting system that can be used to anonymously report known or suspected misconduct including fiscal matters.

The University prohibits retaliation against an employee who makes a report, in good faith, of known or suspected fiscal misconduct.  Any employee who makes a false allegation of fiscal misconduct with the intent to disrupt University business or to cause harm to another individual may be subject to disciplinary action.

All employees are required to cooperate fully with those performing an investigation into possible fiscal misconduct.  An employee who suspects fiscal misconduct should not attempt to conduct an investigation on his or her own.

The University may take disciplinary action, pursuant to existing University policies and collective bargaining agreements, against any employee who commits fiscal misconduct. Criminal charges may also be brought against a University employee who commits certain acts of fiscal misconduct.

See for additional information on the hotline/web reporting process, local contacts, and frequently asked questions as well as other types of misconduct.