Policy 801 - Professional Conduct

Section: Work Environment
Policy Number: 801
Responsible Office: HR/HR Services
Effective Date: 4/1/01
Revised: 6/30/02; 2/13/12


This policy applies to all administrators and staff.


An employee, while a member of the St. John’s University community, assumes an obligation to act in a manner conducive to the maintenance of good order and respect for the rights and property of others. Employees’ conduct is expected to be consistent with the University’s Core Values (found in the Introduction, policy #005) and compatible with the goals and purposes of an educational institution established in the Vincentian tradition.

As representatives of St. John’s, the University expects its employees to exhibit professionalism on the job and in their contact with others. Professional conduct can range from the manner in which an employee answers the telephone or addresses a visitor to the integrity and honesty with which the employee performs his or her work.

Employees whose conduct violates University policy may be subject to corrective action. For the policy on Corrective Action, see #702, Employee Relations section.

Use of University Property and Resources

The use of University property and resources (i.e.: facilities, equipment, supplies, technology, the University’s name, stationary, etc.) by employees must be limited to University business only. Use of the University’s name, stationary, or postage for personal purposes, including activities such as private business ventures, endorsement of political candidates, and organization of social or charitable events, may be in violation of both criminal and civil laws and could result in legal action. University keys issued to employees may not be duplicated and must be returned to the University, along with any other University property the employee has, upon termination of employment. Problems with University equipment should be immediately reported to a supervisor.

Telephone Use

Office telephones are an important means of conducting University business. Personal calls can interfere with important business calls and should be made only in an emergency. Urgent personal calls should be kept as brief as possible. Telephone manner is a vital part of the University’s public relations. The impression that an employee makes on a caller is often the only impression the caller will have of both the employee and the University. The quality and tone of voice used project the attitude with which an employee approaches his or her job. Employees should check with their supervisor regarding the specific manner in which to answer the telephone. Employees should practice the following courtesies:

  • Answer phones promptly.
  • Identify oneself.
  • Quickly notify the person being called, if other than oneself.
  • Be attentive and obtain complete and accurate information.
  • Explain any delays, transfer calls competently, and end calls pleasantly.

Employees should make every effort to assist callers in the most efficient and polite manner possible. Professionalism and courtesy are also expected of employees when making calls and leaving messages in voice mail.

Computer and Information Security

See policy #901 for guidance on the acceptable uses of the University’s computers, networks and related computing resources. The policy addresses such topics as access control, user responsibility, improper usage, information security requirements and sanctions.


Every St. John’s employee is a vital part of the operation of the University and any absence necessitates a temporary adjustment of work schedules. Employees are required to notify their supervisor directly, and on a daily basis, whenever they will be late to work or unable to work. If an employee is unable to call his or her supervisor, someone else must notify the supervisor on the employee’s behalf. In the event of such an unscheduled absence or lateness, the employee should contact his or her supervisor as early as possible, but not later than 30 minutes after the employee’s scheduled start time. Some departments, such as those that provide services outside of normal office hours, may require earlier notification from their employees. Employees should become familiar with the attendance procedures for their department.

Frequent absences and lateness impair the value of an employee’s service and could result in discharge. Failure to contact the supervisor regarding inability to report to work will be considered an unexcused absence, which may warrant corrective action.

Appropriate Professional Attire

All employees are representatives of the University. In order to maintain a positive and professional image and in consideration of others, all employees should dress in appropriate professional attire. Employees who have questions regarding what constitutes professional attire should seek the advice of their supervisor.

Additional Related Policies

St. John's University, New York
Human Resources Policy Manual