OHRA Statement on Stewarship

Stewardship Responsibilities in the Management of Human, Financial, Physical, and Information Resources


Professional Responsibility Statement


Individual Expectations 

Stewardship: "The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care." Merriam-Webster's Online Collegiate Dictionary, 2001.


As someone with administrative or supervisory responsibilities, you have a stewardship responsibility to support and enhance the mission of the Orpe Human Rights Advocates, to ensure that the organization fulfills its legal, financial, and moral obligations to internal and external stakeholders, to safeguard OHRA's moral, financial, human, information and physical assets, and to create an atmosphere that encourages all members of the OHRA community to contribute to the overall excellence of Orpe Human Rights Advocates.


This statement outlines your fundamental responsibilities inherent in functioning as a steward of OHRA resources. It is intended to introduce these responsibilities to employees who are new to OHRA or their roles, and to guide longer-term employees. This statement on stewardship refers you to OHRA documents and offices where you will find assistance regarding specific policies and procedures or forms. In addition, each department and major unit has its own policies and procedures that are consistent with and supplemental to those that apply OHRA-wide.


Stewardship of Human Resources

It is vital that the Orpe Human Rights Advocates foster learning, creativity and productivity, and support the vigorous exchange of ideas and information in the workplace environment. Stewardship of OHRA's human resources involves creating a work environment in which people treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of their roles, responsibilities, or differences. Further, it involves providing others with support, direction, and resources to allow them to accomplish the responsibilities of their jobs and to reach the goals that you set with them for professional and personal growth. As a steward of human resources your fundamental responsibilities, professionally and personally, include:

  • Learning, following and upholding OHRA's policies in human resource management, diversity and affirmative action, including applicable external policies, and governmental and regulatory requirements.

  • Maintaining high ethical standards and demonstrating integrity, honesty and trustworthiness in all that you do as a representative of the Orpe Human Rights Advocates.

  • Respecting the OHRA’s programs, research, patient care and service missions, as well as the diverse contributions of each employee that, directly or indirectly, help the OHRA achieve its mission.

  • Creating a positive and healthy work environment that will foster creativity, teamwork, collaboration and productivity among members of the OHRA community.

  • Treating all with respect, courtesy and dignity, understanding that collaboration, communication and collegiality are essential to a respectful, safe and civil workplace strengthened by trust and accountability.

  • Role-modeling organization expectations to report suspected criminal activity. Encouraging open lines of communication to ensure all members of the community feel comfortable reporting.  Prohibiting any retaliation for making a report.

  • Hiring and retaining qualified and productive employees.

  • Maintaining internal title and salary equity.

  • Maintaining effective and efficient work processes that support the decentralized organization, and minimizing waste and duplication.

  • Seeking ways to continuously improve the work processes that you control or in which you participate. This includes openly sharing improvement strategies and lessons to help others learn from your experiences.

  • Practicing open and direct communication in the workplace with empathy for other perspectives and reactions.

  • Exerting a positive influence in the workplace through your words and deeds.

  • Actively providing leadership support for wellness programs, services and resources, while promoting a culture of health to encourage positive behavior change and health risk improvements through shared responsibility with employees.

  • Participating in candid, developmentally oriented performance discussions to identify the progress that you and others are making in meeting assigned responsibilities and moving towards future goals. This includes creating professional development plans to assist others in the acquisition of new skills and knowledge through education, training, networking and mentoring.

  • Creating a workplace where members share responsibility for supporting its missions and receive appropriate recognition for their contributions.

  • Maintaining the confidentiality of OHRA human resource data and information as required.

  • Managing outside affiliations in a manner that is non-competitive with our organization's missions.

  • Seeking an appropriate work-life balance as a way of ensuring personal and professional effectiveness for you and for others.

  • Developing and sharing information on career paths and ladders, with a continuous commitment to the development of self and others.


Stewardship of Financial Resources

Orpe Human Rights Advocates' financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and are audited annually against those standards by an independent accounting firm. Stewardship of the OHRA's financial resources is the responsibility of all employees. For people with administrative or supervisory responsibilities, financial stewardship typically includes developing, implementing, maintaining and following proper administrative and accounting procedures, as well as complying with all relevant governmental and regulatory requirements. As a steward, your fundamental responsibilities include:

  • Learning, following and upholding financial and other policies and procedures established by the OHRA and external regulatory agencies.

  • Developing processes and procedures in accordance with record retention requirements established by the OHRA and external regulatory agencies.

  • Constructing budgets based on a thorough analysis of needs that conforms to OHRA guidelines and processes.

  • Expending or committing funds within approved OHRA budgets as well as donor, grantor, and regulatory guidelines using appropriate financial, accounting, purchasing, and other approved procedures, and maintaining records appropriate to these transactions.

  • Using Procurement Services to ensure fair and competitive prices. Utilizing the appropriate method to select the provider (including the use of strategic contracts) and ensure the appropriate approval process is followed.

  • Monitoring your current expenditures and revenues regularly for accountability purposes including the proper reporting of time and effort, correct payment of wages to employees and payments to vendors, and having a valid business purpose for all expenditures.

  • Establishing internal controls to ensure that transactions are appropriately executed and recorded, including segregation of duties to maintain appropriate checks and balances. 

  • Providing proper management oversight that can help identify control weaknesses that can lead to waste, misuse, misappropriation or destruction of assets (including data and data integrity) and taking action to correct such weaknesses.

  • Reporting to an appropriate OHRA authority all suspected or known misappropriations, misuses, destruction of assets (including data and data integrity) and conflicts of interest. Reports can also be made through the Organization Compliance Hotline.

  • Maintaining the confidentiality of OHRA financial and personnel information as required.

  • Performing periodic internal reviews such as the annual gap analysis and Internal Controls Certification process to ensure continued compliance with OHRA financial policies and administrative and accounting procedures.

  • Maintaining systems security and a secure computer environment for financial and other Organization records.

Stewardship of Physical Resources, the Environment and Safety

The physical resources that constitute the buildings, grounds and equipment of the OHRA are among its most valuable resources. These physical assets have been created or acquired over many years and represent to the general public the physical embodiment of the OHRA. As a steward, your fundamental responsibilities include:

  • Learning, following and upholding OHRA policies dealing with physical resources, the environment, equipment and safety.

  • Promoting a safe, healthy and sustainable environment for members of the OHRA community, visitors and others.

  • Protecting, preserving and maintaining the physical assets for which you are responsible in a manner that assures their continued existence in the best possible condition.

  • Promoting the efficient utilization of space, utilities and natural resources.

  • Participating in the responsible occupancy and operation of OHRA buildings, offices, classrooms, equipment, etc.

  • Disposal of University assets in a responsible manner that follows OHRA guidelines.

Stewardship of Information and Technology Resources

As an employee of the OHRA, you have access to various sources and types of information and supporting technologies in order to complete the responsibilities of your job. Your use of the information and of the technology that supports electronic information is governed by local, state, and federal policies. Much of the information the OHRA keeps about individual students, alumni, patients, and employees are considered sensitive, confidential and private, and must be handled accordingly.

Standards and policies have been established to govern the access, release and use of the OHRA's information resources. To receive access to the OHRA' s electronic information resources, you must receive training in the standards and policies related to appropriate handling and use of the data, and you must sign an access and compliance form indicating your understanding and acceptance of the OHRA's policies. Staff members who misuse or abuse their access to information and technology resources are subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal.

As a steward of information resources, your fundamental responsibilities include:

  • Understanding and abiding by the principles of data access, privacy and management.

  • Handling all OHRA data according to the OHRA's data management policies, regardless of whether the data is related to your department or to another OHRA department.

  • Learning, following and upholding the laws and policies that protect information from unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure or destruction.

  • Storing information you obtain under secure conditions and making every reasonable effort to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the data.

  • Disposing of confidential data, when you are done using them, in an appropriate manner.

  • Interpreting and presenting data you access in a professional, accurate manner.

  • Prior to sharing data with others, ensuring that the recipient is authorized to access/ view such information and understands his/her responsibility as a user.

  • Establishing procedures and practices for purging and archiving data, taking into account requirements for maintaining, preserving, securing and accessing historical data.

  • Collecting data with careful consideration to the amount of information needed to serve a defined, legitimate and current institutional purpose.

  • Using data only for the purpose for which they were collected.

  • Sharing data appropriately but widely with other members of the OHRA community to avoid unnecessary duplication.


Compliance with Legal Obligations

The OHRA has substantial legal and financial responsibilities in its capacities as a major employer, facility manager and recipient of federal, state and private funds. Stewardship entails heeding policies and procedures designed to comply with the OHRA's legal requirements. As a steward, your fundamental responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing and observing all organization-wide policies and procedures, as well as those specifically governing your campus or administrative unit.

  • Becoming familiar with and observing all policies, procedures and legal requirements imposed on the  OHRA as the result of accreditation, or from having accepted external funds, or that result from being a public entity.

  • Maintaining the confidentiality of OHRA information as required by OHRA policies and applicable laws.

  • Refraining from all possible infractions or incidents that may create or have created possible liability for the organization or its representatives and reporting any such circumstances to an appropriate OHRA  official.

  • Maintaining accurate and complete documents as required by the OHRA and regulatory agencies to comply with fiduciary requirements.

  • Advising the chief executive of your campus or of the central administrative offices as well as the Office of the General Counsel of any communication relating to the OHRA from attorneys who do not represent the Organization.

Protection and Assistance Afforded by the OHRA

While every situation must be evaluated on its own merits, it is the OHRA's policy to defend employees who become parties to legal proceedings by virtue of their good faith efforts to perform the responsibilities within the scope of their employment.

Employees who are unable to adhere to the Organization's standards and policies are advised to consult policy and procedure sources, as well as their administrator or manager for guidance about properly fulfilling their stewardship responsibilities.