The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) code of ethics identifies a set of values that includes commitment to the public good, accountability to the public, and commitment beyond the minimum requirements of the law. It also outlines broad ethical principles in the following eight areas: personal and professional integrity, mission, governance, legal compliance, responsible stewardship, openness and disclosure, program evaluation and improvement, and inclusiveness and diversity.
- Mission. The ASCCC has a clearly stated mission and values approved by the delegates to the ASCCC plenary sessions. All of its programs support that mission, and all who work for or on behalf of the ASCCC understand and act in accord with that mission and purpose. The mission is responsive to the constituency and communities served by the ASCCC and of value to the higher education community at large.
- Governance. The ASCCC has an active governing body in its Executive Committee that is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of the organization and oversight of the finances, operations, and policies. The Executive Committee does the following:
- Maintains a policy that ensures conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof are avoided or appropriately managed through disclosure, recusal, or other means;
- Ensures that the ASCCC is fair and inclusive in all of its hiring, in its promotion policies and practices for all staff positions, and in its recruitment and selection of all its Executive Committee members and volunteers;
- Ensures that the ASCCC conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty;
- Ensures that policies of the ASCCC are recorded in writing, clearly articulated, officially adopted, and available to the public;
- Ensures that the resources of the ASCCC are responsibly and prudently managed; and,
- Ensures that the ASCCC carries out its work based on mutual respect, fairness, and transparency in order to protect public resources.
- Personal and Professional Integrity. The ASCCC promotes an environment that values respect, fairness, and integrity. All staff, Executive Committee members, and volunteers of the organization shall act with honesty, integrity, and openness in all their dealings as representatives of the. Executive Committee members shall adhere to the Code of Ethics for Executive Committee members and comply with the ASCCC’s Conflict of Interest Policy.
- Legal Compliance. The ASCCC is knowledgeable of and complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations. The ASCCC Executive Committee is regularly trained on its fiduciary responsibilities.
- Responsible Fiscal Stewardship. The ASCCC and its associated programs, projects, and committees manage their funds responsibly and prudently, including the following considerations:
- The ASCCC spends a reasonable percentage of its annual budget directly on programs in pursuance of its mission;
- The ASCCC spends an adequate amount on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, competent staff, and other expenditures critical to professional management;
- The ASCCC compensates staff and any others who may receive compensation reasonably and appropriately;
- The ASCCC does not accumulate excessive operating funds;
- The ASCCC ensures that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable and appropriate to fulfill the mission of the Academic Senate; and,
- The ASCCC follows General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and ensures that all financial reports are factually accurate and complete in all material respects.
- Openness and Disclosure. The ASCCC provides comprehensive and timely information to the public, the media, member senates, and constituent groups and is responsive in a timely manner to reasonable requests for information. All information provided by the ASCCC fully and honestly reflects the policies and practices of the organization. Basic informational data about the organization, such as the Executive Committee minutes, agendas, Federal Tax Form 990, and audited financial statements, are available to the public. Informational materials accurately represent the organization's policies and practices. All financial, organizational, and program reports are complete and accurate in all material respects.
- Inclusiveness and Diversity. The ASCCC maintains a policy of promoting diversity and inclusion and actively pursues that policy in a manner that is consistent with its mission, its constitution and bylaws, its values, and this code of ethics and with a high degree of professionalism, fairness, and equality. The ASCCC takes an active, meaningful, and consistent role in promoting diversity and inclusion in its hiring and promotion of staff, retention of volunteers, committee recruitment, and constituencies served.
Code of Conduct for Executive Committee Members.
The ASCCC, in an effort to provide clear expectations and appropriate accountability processes regarding those expectations and to foster and maintain a professional status of the faculty volunteers to the Executive Committee, establishes the following code of conduct for its members. The goal of the code of conduct is to establish a set of principles and practices that will set parameters and provide guidance and direction for board conduct and decision-making.
Members of the Executive Committee of the ASCCC are committed to observing and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct in the performance of their responsibilities. Members pledge to accept this code as a minimum guideline for conduct and shall do the following:
- Faithfully abide by the Articles of Incorporation, Constitution, By-laws, and policies of ASCCC.
- Exercise reasonable care, good faith, and due diligence in ASCCC affairs.
- Fully disclose, at the earliest opportunity, any facts that would have significance in decision-making.
- Remain accountable for prudent fiscal management to the ASCCC’s member senates, the Executive Committee, and, when applicable, to government and funding bodies.
- Agree to uphold the official positions taken by the ASCCC through resolutions and position papers adopted at plenary sessions.
- Maintain regular and informed attendance at Executive Committee meetings. Follow through and complete accepted tasks.
- Professional Excellence
- Maintain a professional level of courtesy, respect, and commitment in all ASCCC activities.
- Strive to uphold those practices and assist other members of the Executive Committee in upholding the highest standards of conduct.
- Strive to perform all responsibilities as directed in the Executive Committee Policy Manual under Executive Committee responsibilities.
- Display respect of and courtesy for all elected, appointed, and hired individuals.
- Represent the organization with professionalism and be responsible for conduct that is courteous and with appropriate behavior.
- Keep personal opinions and actions separate from those made as a representative of the organization.
- Personal Gain/Conflict of Interest
- Exercise the powers invested for the good of the ASCCC rather than for personal benefit or that of the local campuses the members represent.
- Respect the requirement to inform the Executive Committee of any prospective conflict of interest. Refrain from discussing, voting, or otherwise exerting influence regarding decisions to participate or not participate in other activities that may result in a personal conflict of interest.
- Fully disclose, at the earliest opportunity, information that may result in a perceived or actual conflict of interest.
- Equal Opportunity
Ensure the right of all Executive Committee members, staff, volunteers, constituents, and member senates to appropriate and effective services without discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexual orientation, sexual identity, and expression (transsexual/transgender), disability status, religious and political affiliations, age, cultural background, socioeconomic status, academic and vocational disciplines, full- and part-time status, and the types of colleges that exist throughout the system in accordance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
- Confidential Information
Respect the confidentiality of sensitive information known due to service on the Executive Committee. Respect the privacy of persons served by the organization and hold in confidence sensitive, private, and personal information. Sensitive information comes to the Executive Committee in many forms, including but not limited to email, verbal, and written communication, and all should be treated as equally confidential.
- Collaboration and Cooperation
- Respect the diversity of opinions as expressed or acted upon by the Executive Committee, committees, and member senates and formally provide access to those opinions with a dissenting voice as appropriate.
- Promote collaboration, cooperation, and partnership within the ASCCC and among member senates.
Approved by ASCCC Executive Committee March 2021