Office of Compliance
February 15, 2012
To: The College Community
From: Vicki Duggan, Interim Chief Compliance Officer
Subject: Introduction Memo from the Office of Compliance
After recent events at Virginia Tech, Penn State, and other respected colleges and universities, it has become critical for higher education institutions to practice greater sensitivity and improved effectiveness on issues of compliance. To ensure Montgomery College adheres to compliance at the county, state, and federal levels, President DeRionne Pollard created the Office of Compliance, which reports directly to her, to encourage and promote ethical conduct and commitment to compliance with the law.
The coordination of the College’s compliance efforts is the responsibility of the Office of Compliance. I will serve as the interim chief compliance officer, with Julie Foster serving as compliance specialist and project manager, and a search will be launched soon for a senior administrative aide. Currently, Ann Golibart is serving as the temporary aide for the office. Our shared goal is to achieve and maintain 100 percent compliance by working collaboratively with College units, as well as external agencies.
The Office of Compliance will be responsible for overseeing, monitoring, and coordinating compliance matters for the College, including applicable county, state, and federal laws, regulations and other requirements. The office will facilitate a communication and education effort to ensure that the College community is aware and informed of pertinent laws and regulations. The Compliance Office also will direct and advise College employees, as well as monitor the implementation of adequate internal controls and quality assurance processes to consistently meet requirements of the laws and regulations.
Our efforts will include:
- elucidating laws and regulations;
- analyzing processes for practical implementation;
- establishing best practices;
- recommending, as necessary, changes to College policies and procedures; and
- tracking and reporting the College’s responses to risks and areas of concern.
For identified areas of compliance vulnerability and risk, we will implement corrective action plans for the resolution of problematic issues, and provide general guidance on how to avoid or deal with similar situations in the future.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), intellectual property rights, federal grants, and use of College technology are examples of federal legislation and issues that have significant compliance and disclosure requirements for the College; these requirements mandate strict deadlines. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in serious financial consequences and negative impacts on the reputation of our institution.
As part of the overall compliance effort, we plan to establish and maintain a collegewide Compliance Committee. Committee members will advise on how to best coordinate compliance issues and activities, informed by knowledge of their own department and functions. Other committee functions include: enhancing compliance knowledge; facilitating coordination and communication between the Office of Compliance and the College departments; and identifying ownership and accountability for each area of compliance.
The responsibility of maintaining compliance is not the sole responsibility of this office; compliance is the responsibility of specific individuals and units. All members of the College community must conduct themselves ethically and in compliance with any and all laws and regulations that apply to their activities.
The Office of Compliance has established a compliance webpage and a collegewide e-mail account for ease of communicating with us, firstname.lastname@example.org. Our office is in Mannakee, room 350.
In the next few weeks and months, we will be arranging times to meet with College offices that deal with compliance matters. If you would like to schedule an initial meeting with us to discuss potential compliance issues, please contact us.
We are looking forward to working together and thank you for your care and attention regarding compliance requirements.
Information provided by the Office of Compliance does not constitute privileged legal advice.