Natalie Brouwer Potts
Director of Equal Opportunity, Title IX, and Ethics
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue│C 216
Chicago, Ill. 60625
Phone: (773) 442-5412

employee ethics training

Northeastern Illinois University administers an ethics training program through the Office of the Executive Inspector General (OEIG) of the State of Illinois. From the OEIG’s website:

In conjunction with the Executive Ethics Commission and in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, the OEIG oversees an ethics training program for approximately 175,000 employees, appointees, and officials of public entities under the OEIG’s jurisdiction.

The various courses offered under this program are intended to educate public employees and appointees regarding issues of ethics and integrity and specifically about laws and policies that govern their conduct. Under the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, these public employees and appointees are required to complete ethics training at least annually. Furthermore, new employees, appointees, and officials are required to complete ethics training within 30 days of the commencement of their employment or office.


In addition to mandatory ethics training, the OEIG will also, from time to time, offer materials for state employees’ reference, such as:

Governor Limits Employees Gifts under the State Ethics Law

Northeastern employees should be aware of recent and important changes to the state ethics law, the State Official and Employees Ethics Act. A new Executive Order imposes significant limitations on the acceptance of gifts. As state employees, Northeastern employees are generally prohibited by law from accepting any gifts from a “prohibited source” (individuals or entities who are seeking official action from the University, conducting or seeking to do business with the University, are regulated by the University, are Illinois lobbyists, or who are immediate family members of any individuals falling into the preceding categories). Certain exceptions permitted Northeastern employees to accept gifts, including the $75 food and refreshments exemption, and the $100 gift exemption. 5 ILCS 430/10-15 These exemptions have been significantly curtailed.

Per the governor’s Executive Order 15-09, food and refreshments offered by a prohibited source may be accepted by a state employee only when provided de minimis at a business meeting or reception attended by the employee as part their official duties. This means the prior $75 food and refreshments exemption from the state ethics law is NO LONGER applicable. Additionally, Executive Order 15-09 removes the exception permitting state employees to accept small gifts during the calendar year having a cumulative total value of less than $100.

Accordingly, Northeastern employees may only accept de minimis food and refreshments from prohibited sources. Examples of de minimis food and refreshments include a boxed lunch, or one soda or cocktail at an evening event. In the alternative, Northeastern employees may pay out of pocket for food and refreshments that exceed the de minimis amount, or partake and donate the cost of the food and refreshments to a nonprofit charity. In addition, Northeastern employees may no longer accept ANY small gifts totaling less than $100. The revised state ethics law will be strictly construed by the state ethics office.

Please contact the University’s Ethics Officer with any questions.