Code of Conduct

Rector's Letter

Professors of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
Members of the Rector’s Board
Technical-Administrative Personnel and Collaborators
Students of the Various Schools and ISSRA

Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct, the fruit of long and thorough work that involved many collaborators, is offered today as a reliable reference to guide the conduct of all members of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross’ academic community. Inspired by the doctrine of the Catholic Church, it is accompanied by, and integrated with, the Statues, Rules, and Regulations of our Institution.

As is customary in many Universities and Institutions found in democratic societies that respect human rights, this Code covers typical aspects of academic and working life. It speaks of transparency, confidentiality of personal information,  prohibition of discrimination and attitudes that offend personal dignity, and conflicts of interests, among other things. To oversee its application, a Supervising Committee has also been established,  autonomous and independent from the ordinary governing bodies. It will be at the disposition of anyone who wishes to make reports or suggest improvements

With this Code’s enactment, the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross intends to publicly declare its continuous commitment in favor of the human person, and to reaffirm the principles of morality, integrity, and honesty, that should always illumine the daily conduct of its members.

The Code will be widely spread until everyone—Managers, Faculty, Students, Employees, and Collaborators in general—becomes aware of its presence and fully understands the responsibility to adhere to its contents.

I entrust the future of our academic community, as well as all the members that form it, to St. Josemaría, the inspirer of our University, and to the Venerable Alvaro del Portillo, its first Chancellor. May our service to the Church and to humanity be ever more effective, and always be carried out in an atmosphere of peaceful cooperation and fruitful work.

Rome. September 24, 2012

Mgr. Luis Romera

I. Preface

  1. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross is an institution for "research and study in the ecclesiastical sciences." Erected by the Holy See and entrusted to the care of the Prelature of Opus Dei, "it includes the Schools of Theology, Canon Law, Philosophy, and Church Communications Social Institutional Communications" (Statutes, 1,1). "The Higher Institute of Religious Studies also forms part of the University" (Statutes, 1,2).
  2. In fulfillment of the mission entrusted to it by the Church, the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross seeks to offer a deep, sound knowledge of the truth about God, man, and the world. It does so in light of both Christian Revelation and reason, and through the academic study conducted according to each discipline's appropriate method.
  3. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross identifies itself with the values found in the Catholic Church's doctrine and moral teaching. Due to its educational function, the University expects everyone, without distinction (teachers, students, technical and administrative personnel, collaborators, consultants, etc), to display exemplary moral and civil conduct. Such conduct is expected both in private life and in the fulfillment of one's respective duties, individually and collectively, regardless of the task being performed.
  4. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross--providing whatever means necessary on her part--expects every member of the academic community to contribute to the Institution's goals. This is done through a commitment to improving one's professional abilities (knowledge, quality, competence, and both technical and relational capacities). 
  5. All of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross's activities, as well as all of her relationships with members and those she comes in contact with, are regulated by the following: :
    • the Statutes;
    • the different Norms and Procedures;
    • this Code;
    • as well as any applicable law (civil or canonical).
    Extracts of the mentioned Statutes and Regulations are attached to this Code.
  6. Compliance with this Code and with the University of the Holy Cross's foundational principles is essential to fulfilling any academic, work-related, or collaborative relationship or contract with her. 

II. Government Structure

  1. According to its Statutes, the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross’s autonomy implies managerial power over its own body of government and free choice concerning the appointment of teachers, technical-administrative staff, and the admission of students, according to clear and impartial criteria.
  2. Its structure is inspired by the principles of collegiality and participation. The Chancellor, with whom resides the University’s highest governing authority, the Rector’s Board, and the other organs of government, carry out their appropriate functions in accordance with the Statutes and their own particular procedures, which establish the different ways for members to participate in the life of the academic community.

III. General Norms of Conduct

  1. The end and goals of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross require full adherence to this Code by all of her members. It also requires adherence to the Statutes, the Norms, and to the Procedures, as well as a lively, working collaboration. This will be manifested through participation in assigned tasks and promotion of the academic community's common good.
  2. All members of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross--teachers, technical-administrative staff, and students--are held responsible for respecting the Institution's good name and for not causing damage to her reputation.
  3. Teachers, due to the special role they fulfill in the academic community, must particularly distinguish themselves for scholarly competence and uprightness of life, fulfillment of contractual duties, respectful collaboration with the academic authorities, and in general for their willingness to serve the University and all those that form part of her.
  4. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross accomplishes its institutional goals with the collaboration of its technical-administrative personnel. She considers them resources that should be valued and invested in, and will carry out their evaluation, wherever provided for,  with criteria marked by impartiality and transparency.
  5. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross welcomes as students anyone who meets the necessary academic conditions, as well as those provided for by applicable law, without discrimination of nationality, race, sex, etc. She gives particular attention to the mission that the Church entrusts to Ecclesiastical Universities--that of forming candidates to priestly ministry (cfr. Veritatis Gaudium, Appendice I, III). This helps ensure that a sound, intellectual preparation, together with the environment in which it is transmitted, favors the proper human, spiritual, and pastoral formation of future priests.

IV. Board of Supervisors

  1. Compliance with and verification of the principles contained in this Code of Conduct are entrusted to the Board of Supervisors (CdV), body of collegial composition and decision.
  2. There are five members of the CdV. These are nominated by the Rector after consultation with Representatives of both the teaching and non-teaching staff, as well as with students delegates in the Academic Senate. Their service lasts four years.
  3. Composition of the CdV must correspond to the following criteria:
  • Both women and men, teaching and non-teaching personnel must be included;
  • Members of the Rector's Board and of the Managing Committees of Schools, and the Director of Personnel may not form part.

  1. CdV has autonomous powers for initiative and control, and is specifically in charge of:
  • Monitoring the implementation and operation of this Code and proposing both informational and formational programs to the Rector's Board;
  • Reporting any areas of risk and proposing different solutions (organizational changes, new procedures, etc.);
  • Proposing the start of any verification and disciplinary procedures to the Rector's Board.
  1. Any situation or behavior contrary to the directives in this Code, to internal procedure, or to current standards,  should be communicated to the CdV. With specific motive, it may also be directly communicated to the competent authority (as seen in the Statutes, Norms, and Procedures).
  2. The CdV will examine every credible report without retaliation or discrimination against those who have reported alleged violations. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross assures maximum confidentiality in handling reports. If in light of investigation the CdV believes measures should be taken, whether disciplinary, organizational, or otherwise, it will refer to the competent authority and oversee their fulfillment. The CdV will periodically inform the Rector's Board of cases handled.
  3. The CdV also has authority to evaluate, with a disciplinary end, any behavior which-- though carried out privately or outside University premises--places one in clear and open contrast with Catholic doctrine and moral teaching. This includes criminal offenses, behavior that is objectively disreputable and incompatible with the expectations of a member of the academic community, or any motive of moral scandal that throws discredit upon the Institution.

V. Psychological Harassment and Abuse

  1. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross is opposed to every form of psychological violence or "bullying," as well as any attitude or behavior that manifests unjust discrimination or prejudice.
  2. Sexual harassment is not tolerated. It is understood as every unwanted behavior with sexual connotation, or as any type of unjust discrimination based on sex that offends the dignity of women and men. It includes physical actions and non-physical interactions, both verbal and nonverbal.
  3. Whoever believes they have been harassed or unjustly discriminated against due to age, sex, race, state of health, nationality, political opinion, etc., as well as anyone who knows of this conduct in any way, is earnestly asked to report the situation to the CdV. They are asked to provide any relevant information that could assist with an intervention preventing such behavior from being continued or repeated.
  4. Should a University Authority (members of the Rector's Board, the Schools Managing Committees, the Director's Office) become aware of any such facts, he is obligated to immediately report them to the CdV or another superior authority.

VI. Conflict of Interests

  1. All personnel are required to avoid situations that could manifest a conflict of interests, and should refrain from any illegitimate self-advancement, whether personally or through others. This includes business opportunities learned as a result of one's own duties, or in connection with activities carried out in the University.
  2. In the case that a conflict of interest may arise, those involved must notify as soon as possible their immediate superior, who will promptly inform the CdV. The CdV in turn, will evaluate the charges case by case, and offer measures that should be taken to avoid damaging and morally harmful effects.

VII. Accounting Transparency

  1. Teachers, collaborators, members of the Rector's Board, and technical-administrative personnel should act, each in their appropriate roles, with maximum transparency and completeness in their accounting documents. They should immediately refer to their superior any violations of the afore mentioned principles, as well as any falsifications, omissions, or gaps in their accounts, or in the documents upon which they are based.
  2. Employees who are involved in any way with writing the budget are required to comply with the rules and regulations regarding accuracy and clarity of data and assessments.
  3. These employees are also responsible for offering the maximum and most prompt collaboration with all competent organs of investigation that might request information and documentation concerning the administration of the University.

VIII. Gifts and Benefits

  1. Members of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross are responsible for not soliciting, and for refusing, every non-symbolic offer of gifts or benefits that may influence, even indirectly, the conduct of institutional activities. It is licit to accept spontaneous gifts and donations of a modest sum during meetings, visits, or other work-related moments. Accepting such gifts however, must never influence, even indirectly, the conduct of activities or decisions. 

IX. Confidentiality and Protection of Information

  1. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross safeguards the confidentiality of information for its members, and adopts adequate measures of security to this end.
  2. These measures include a ban on communicating and disclosing personal information without previous consent, and establishing rules for controlling the standards of privacy. 

The cases required by law, both civil and canonical, are excluded from this ban. In particular this refers to communicating necessary information about institutional activities, also to third parties, when there is an obligation to do so.
  3. It is the task of each person involved to make sure that any communication or disclosure of such information is carried out in complete observance of internal procedure, in the presence of specific authorization by the hierarchy, and in conformity with the standard regulations currently in effect.
  4. It is prohibited to disclose any news related to private or confidential information that is learned in function of one's work, without prior authorization by an immediate superior.

X. Use of Technology

  1. The use of any computer or technological resources or assets owned by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, should always be guided by the principles of diligence, morality, honesty, and good will.
  2. University equipment (computers, software, networks, etc.) must be used in accordance with academic and work-related purposes. Any other use must ordinarily be authorized in advance, and is confined to an occasional or restricted basis.
  3. Anyone who becomes aware of an immoral use of technological resources on University premises, even if they are of a personal nature, is required to report the activity to the CdV (for example, access to immoral sites without just cause, as well as to pornographic, violent, and discriminatory sites, and the exchange of indecent emails, etc.)

XI. Dissemination and Compliance with the Code

  1. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross commits itself to make known the Code of Conduct as widely as possible by making it available in print, on the appropriate bulletin boards, on the University website and intranet, and by any other means held opportune to that purpose.
  2. Regarding the canonical, civil, criminal, and administrative rules, the proven violation of this Code can constitute grounds to impose sanctions or disciplinary measures, including an appeal to the respective authority.
  3. Procedures that could lead to the imposition of sanctions (in the case of teachers or students) or to disciplinary measures (in the case of employees who do not teach) are determined by the Statutes and by the respective Procedures.
  4. When dealing with cases involving the gravity of criminal responsibility, the University--always with respect for the rights of third parties and of the accused--will notify the civil authorities or counsel the offended on their right to report a crime. In the case of any canonical crime, the University will notify the competent ecclesiastical Ordinary.

Communicating with the Board of Supervisors

To contact the Board of Supervisors, whose members and respective email addresses are listed in the appropriate section of the University web site, write to the following address:

Pontificia Università della Santa Croce
Commissione di Vigilanza
Piazza S. Apollinare, 49
00186 Roma

or send an email to: cdv [at]





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