What is compliance?
Answering this question requires setting the stage. Almost all companies and organizations are required to comply with numerous laws and regulations. These laws govern the entire organization as well as internal areas such as employment (equal opportunity, fair labor, discrimination, etc.), safety (Occupational Safety and Health Act), and the environment (Environmental Protection Agency). Higher Education is no different. Hundreds of statutes govern how a university operates and TWU is subject to these laws. So, to answer the question, compliance is a dedicated, centralized role in university administration. The primary responsibility of this function is to understand at a high level what local, state, and federal statutes apply to the university and provide a framework for addressing these regulations. In addition, based on levels of risk, this Office oversees efforts that help ensure the university has the people, policies, products, and processes in place to comply with these laws and regulations.
Why do we have compliance at TWU?
Texas Woman’s University is committed to operating with integrity and in full compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies—local, state, and federal. Throughout the university, there are many talented people and substantial resources dedicated to achieving this end.
In support of this vision, in July 2015 Texas Woman’s University established the Office of University Compliance within the Office of the General Counsel. This office expresses TWU’s commitment to carry out its educational and research activities in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations and with the highest integrity.
What is the role of the Office of Compliance?
It is important to note that the Office of Compliance does not assume the duties of the existing substantive compliance areas. All ongoing compliance activities continue in their existing reporting structures because these functions were designed to address specific legal and regulatory requirements. Instead, this Office’s role is to centralize the information produced by these activities, to coordinate these efforts, and to assess University-wide compliance performance. This information can then be risk-ranked, consolidated, and organized in a manner that gives compliance a single voice to the university community, general counsel, cabinet, and regents. This will be especially important when high risk compliance areas need high level attention.