Whistleblowing is reporting censurable conditions at Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). Of primary concern are situations that violate the law or ethical norms. Whistleblowing ultimately helps NMBU to improve our educational environment for everyone and should be considered if students observe any of the following:
- Unethical, illegal, or punishable conditions associated with the learning and work environment, pollution, corruption, misuse of public resources or abuse of power
- Problems or deficiencies that can contribute to serious injury or loss of life
- Students or staff being bullied, harassed, or discriminated against in connected with their work or studies at NMBU
As a student, you can also report situations that you have experienced yourself
Who will know that you have complained?
Your identity will not be known to any more people than are necessary to resolve your case. The person who is the subject of a complaint has the right to know about, see the details of, and comment on the complaint. That is to say that in most cases, a person accused of wrongdoing will know the identity of the person who has accused them.
You can make a report in writing, by telephone or in person.
It is possible to make an anonymous complaint. The Studentombud or your attorney can also make an anonymous report on your behalf. Be aware that anonymous complaints against staff or fellow students rarely lead to sanctions. In most cases, NMBU needs to know your identity to follow your complaint.
NMBU’s duty to investigate
Whether you report a case anonymously or via web-form, the person who receives your complaint is obliged to forward your case to the appropriate manager or department so that work can begin on researching and resolving the reported problem.
A caseworker will keep in contact with you while the case is being investigated as well as after the case has been resolved. It can be a good idea to discuss the case you wish to report with someone before you make your report. They can be an important resource, attending meetings and supporting you while the case is resolved. Whistle blowing can be difficult because you need to describe what you have experienced for those who will investigate the case. You may also, in the event a court case is initiated, be asked to be a witness. Be prepared to experience resistance and denial from the person or persons accused of wrongdoing - this may make you feel uncomfortable.
Be sure to keep documentation that supports your case (e-mail, sms, letters, pictures, etc.). Write what you experienced down as soon as possible.
Claim against claim
Understand that NMBU may have limited possibilities for action or implementing sanctions against a staff member if there is no evidence to support an accusation of misconduct. Your complaint may, in any case, have an effect in that it may discourage similar cases in the future.
Protection from retaliation and independent oversight
Staff members are not permitted to retaliate against you after you have reported a case (for example, by giving you a poor grade or limiting your carrier opportunities).
If the actions or situation is punishable under law, you will be encouraged to make a police report. NMBU may also, either by its own decision or due to legal reporting obligations, report the case to the police.
Be aware that making false accusations against an individual is a criminal offence.