With the resolution of 24 March 2021, the University Council established a reporting office, which is independent of the University in terms of personnel, to which reports of suspected or actual abuses and misconduct by University employees can be made.
The reporting office has the task of promptly forwarding the reports received to the responsible offices and persons at the university (e.g. integrity officer [currently Prof. Dr. Jörg Schmid; regulations], person investigating sexual harassment, dean, university manager, rector), who in turn clarify the facts and take the necessary measures within the scope of their legal competences. The Reporting Office itself does not clarify the facts and has no authority to take measures or to communicate with the public.
The Reporting Office is based on § 25b of the Statute of the University of Lucerne as amended on 24 March 2021 (unofficial translation):
1 The University shall maintain a central reporting office, independent of the University, for information concerning suspected or actual breaches of rules and irregularities affecting the University or members of the University.
2 The Reporting Office shall be elected by the University Council at the request of the president. The term of office shall be four years. Re-election is possible.
3 Reports can be submitted in writing, by telephone or electronically. The system guarantees the complete anonymity of the reporting party, if this is desired.
4 Incoming reports shall be forwarded by the reporting office to the responsible office of the university for processing, provided there is no obvious conflict of interest. In the latter case, the report shall be forwarded to the president of the University Council.
5 The Reporting Office shall submit an annual written report to the president of the University Council.
6 The rector shall regulate the details of the responsibilities and the procedure in a directive.
University members and third parties are entitled to report suspected or actual misconduct by university members or other grievances either to the Reporting Office or directly to the responsible office or person. In particular, suspected or actual violations of laws, ordinances, regulations and guidelines of the University of Lucerne as well as violations of cantonal and federal decrees are eligible to be reported.
If employees of the university make allegations of misconduct directly to the public or the media, this may constitute a breach of the duty of loyalty under employment law.
The report may be made in writing or verbally, in person or anonymously to the Reporting Office.
The reporting person is entitled to confidentiality. If this cannot be maintained during the procedure, information and clarifications that allow conclusions to be drawn about the reporting person will only be provided after consultation with the reporting person. The right to confidentiality shall not apply if the person making the report has voluntarily disclosed the facts in question to the public or has otherwise made them known.
Any right of the reporting person to refuse to testify shall be governed by the relevant federal, cantonal and university provisions.
Dr. Crispin Hugenschmidt (1974) worked as an assistant and project manager at the University of Basel's Faculty of Law from 1999 to 2000. From 2000 to 2002 he was the Faculty Manager of the Faculty of Law at the University of Lucerne. He also held a lectureship in study and work techniques at the University of Lucerne. From 2002 to 2008 he was a member of the teaching prorectorate executive board and head of the (Bologna) study reforms specialist unit at the University of Zurich. Since 2008 he has been Secretary General of the Department of Education for the Canton of Basel-Stadt.
Dr. Crispin Hugenschmidt has held the subsidiary role of the University of Lucerne Ombudsman since 1 January 2014 and the role as Head of the Reporting Office since 1 May 2021.
The head of the Reporting Office accepts incoming reports personally.
He or she shall confirm receipt of the report within five working days to the reporting person, unless the latter has remained anonymous. The head of the Reporting Office clarifies the responsibility for investigating the reported violation and forwards the report to the competent authority or person. If there are clear indications that the responsible instance or person has a conflict of interest, the report is forwarded directly to the President of the University Council.
If a report appears to be obviously unfounded, it will not be forwarded.
The head of the Reporting Office shall inform the reporting person, unless he or she has remained anonymous, about the further procedure, in particular to whom the report has been forwarded.
The Reporting Office is bound by official secrecy and is expressly not authorised to inform the public about reports.
The authority or person responsible for the clarification shall be determined by the procedure applicable to the specific violation; the Administrative Jurisdiction Act of the Canton of Lucerne (Verwaltungsrechtspflegegesetz) shall apply in a subsidiary capacity.
The authority or person to whom the report was forwarded shall make an enforcement report to Reporting Office as soon as the case has been settled.
The reporting person has a right to information on the status of the proceedings and any measures taken, provided he or she has a personal and legally protected interest in this.
In the coming months, a digital reporting system will be set up allowing two-way communication while maintaining anonymity.
University of Lucerne
P.O. Box 4466
T +41 41 229 50 56