Compliance-Related Definitions

Compliance and Ethics Overview

What is compliance?

Compliance means abiding by applicable laws, regulations, and policies.  Because Norfolk State University engages in a broad range of activities the number and scope of applicable requirements is vast.  In a university setting, compliance is about understanding applicable regulatory requirements that apply to university activities as an institution and ensuring that we meet them – this is a challenging, university-wide endeavor.


What is integrity?

Integrity means being honest and always showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and in all circumstances.  For the NSU community, it means upholding the values of the University; behaving in an ethical manner; performing all duties with professionalism, accountability, competence, and honesty; focusing on solutions rather than fault and blame; and acting with initiative.  When members of the NSU community operate with integrity, it generates trust, enhances communication, improves the University’s culture, and supports our mission.


Who is responsible for compliance at Norfolk State University?

At NSU, compliance is integrated into the activities that take place across our campuses every day.  The University Compliance Office coordinates and works with leaders throughout the University to identify and fulfill legal and policy responsibilities.  Integrity results when leaders identify and resolve issues, and when all members of the NSU community act ethically.  Effective compliance and integrity depend on the individual commitment of every NSU community member. 


What role does a university compliance office serve?

NSU operates in an increasingly complex regulatory environment, which requires us to sharpen our focus on accountability and ensure compliance with our legal and ethical responsibilities. Outside regulators and funding sources increasingly require that the University have an embedded system in place to ensure that NSU understands its requirements and works to meet them.  The creation of the University Compliance Office demonstrates NSU's commitment to meeting our legal and regulatory responsibilities and fostering a culture that promotes ethical conduct.


What are compliance and integrity issues?

Compliance issues can be related to activities, situations, and transactions that could potentially violate federal, state, or local laws and regulations, or violate NSU’s policies, procedures, and rules.  Examples include violations of regulations associated with research, conflicts of interest, environmental concerns, information security, fire safety, etc.