20.01 Code of Ethics

Approved: January 14, 2006
Revised: August 12, 2011

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (Academic Senate) 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.

  1. Personal and Professional Integrity The Academic Senate 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 Academic Senate. Executive Committee members shall adhere to the Code of Ethics for Executive Committee members and comply with the Academic Senate's Conflict of Interest Policy.
  2. Mission The Academic Senate has a clearly stated mission and purpose approved by the delegates. All of its programs support that mission and all who work for or on behalf of the Senate understand and act in accord with that mission and purpose. The mission is responsive to the constituency and communities served by the Academic Senate and of value to the higher education community at large.
  3. Governance The Academic Senate has an active governing body in its Executive Committee that is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of the Academic Senate and oversight of the finances, operations, and policies. The Executive Committee:
    • Has a policy that ensure that conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof are avoided or appropriately managed through disclosure, recusal or other means; 
    • Ensures that the Academic Senate is fair and inclusive in all of its hiring, and promotion policies and practices for all staff positions and selection of all its Executive Committee members and volunteers; 
    • Ensures that the Academic Senate conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty;
    • Ensures that policies of the Academic Senate are in writing, clearly articulated, and officially adopted; 
    • Ensures that the resources of the Academic Senate are responsibly and prudently managed; and,
    • Ensures that the Academic Senate carries out its work based on mutual respect, fairness, and transparency in order to protect public resources.
  4. Legal Compliance The Academic Senate is knowledgeable of and complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
  5. Responsible Fiscal Stewardship The Academic Senate and its associated programs, projects, and committees manage their funds responsibly and prudently including the following considerations:
    • The Academic Senate spends a reasonable percentage of its annual budget directly on programs in pursuance of its mission;
    • The Academic Senate spends an adequate amount on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, competent staff, and other expenditures critical to professional management;
    • The Academic Senate compensates staff, and any others who may receive compensation, reasonably and appropriately;
    • The Academic Senate does not accumulate excessive operating funds;
    • The Academic Senate ensures that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable and appropriate to fulfill the mission of the Academic Senate; and,
    • The Academic Senate follows General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and ensures that all financial reports are factually accurate and complete in all material respects.
  6. Openness and Disclosure The Academic Senate 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 about the Academic Senate 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.
  7. Inclusiveness and DiversityThe Academic Senate maintains a policy of promoting diversity and inclusion and will actively pursue that policy in a manner that is consistent with its mission, its Constitution and Bylaws, with this Code of Ethics, and with a high degree of professionalism, fairness, and equality. The Academic Senate 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.
  8. Code of Conduct for Executive Committee Members The Academic Senate 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 Academic Senate are committed to observing and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct in the performance of their responsibilities on the Executive Committee. Members pledge to accept this code as a minimum guideline for conduct and shall:

  1. Accountability
    1. Faithfully abide by the Articles of Incorporation, Constitution, By-laws, and policies of Academic Senate.
    2. Exercise reasonable care, good faith and due diligence in Senate affairs.
    3. Fully disclose, at the earliest opportunity, any facts that would have significance in decision-making.
    4. Remain accountable for prudent fiscal management to the Academic Senate Member Senates, the Executive Committee, and when applicable, to government and funding bodies.
    5. Agree to uphold the official positions taken by the Academic Senate through resolutions and position papers adopted at plenary sessions.
    6. Maintain regular and informed attendance at Executive Committee meetings. Follow through and complete accepted tasks.  
  2. Professional Excellence
    1. Maintain a professional level of courtesy, respect, and commitment in all Academic Senate activities.
    2. Strive to uphold those practices and assist other members of the Executive Committee in upholding the highest standards of conduct.
    3. Strive to perform all responsibilities as directed in the Executive Committee Policy manual under Executive Committee responsibilities.  
    4. Display respect of and courtesy for all elected, appointed, and hired individuals. 
    5. Represent the organization with professionalism and be responsible for conduct which is courtesy and with appropriate behavior.  
    6. Keep personal opinions and actions separate from those made as a representative of this organization.  
  3. Personal Gain/Conflict of Interest
    1. Exercise the powers invested for the good of the Academic Senate rather than for personal benefit, or that of the local campus they represent.
    2. 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.
    3. Fully disclose, at the earliest opportunity, information that may result in a perceived or actual conflict of interest.  
  4. 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.
  5. 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 Committe in many forms including but not limited to email, verbal and written communication and should be treated equally as confidential. 
  6. Collaboration and Cooperation
    1. Respect the diversity of opinions as expressed or acted upon by the Executive Committee, committees and Member Senates, and formally provide access to those with a dissenting voice as appropriate.
    2. Promote collaboration, cooperation, and partnership within the Academic Senate and among Member Senates