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 Recommended Code of Ethics for CEOs of Community Colleges 

11/9/2005

(Officially approved by the AACC Board of Directors at its Nov. 5 meeting.)

Recommended Code of Ethics for Chief Executive Officers of Community Colleges

July 8, 2005

Preamble

            The Chief Executive Officer of the community college helps to determine ethical standards for his/her institution through personal conduct and institutional leadership.
            The Chief Executive Officer is expected to maintain the highest ethical standards through his/her individual actions and decisions within the institution and to expect adherence to the same standards by Boards of Trustees, administrators, faculty, staff and students. 
            A set of core values can help foster the ethical standards for an institution. The following core values can serve as a guide for Chief Executive Officers:

Core Values

            The Chief Executive Officer and other members of the campus organization should strive to promote the following core values both internally and externally.  

  1. Trust and respect for all individuals;   
  2. Honesty in all actions;   
  3. Just and fair treatment of all people;   
  4. Integrity in all actions.

Responsibilities to Board Members

  1. The Chief Executive Officer will strive to ensure that all members of the Board receive essential information efficiently and in a timely manner.   
  2. The Chief Executive Officer will avoid direct conflicts of interest and actions that might create the impression of a conflict of interest.   
  3. The Chief Executive Officer has an obligation to accurately represent the Board in internal and public communications, both written and oral.   
  4. The Chief Executive Officer is expected to execute Board policies and decisions in a conscientious and timely manner.   
  5. The Chief Executive Officer has the responsibility to foster teamwork among Board members and to facilitate a sense of common purpose.

RESPONSIBILITIES TO ADMINISTRATION, FACULTY AND STAFF

  1. The Chief Executive Officer has the obligation to encourage the highest standards of excellence in teaching and learning.   
  2. The Chief Executive Officer has the duty to encourage standards of excellence in the advancement and application of knowledge.   
  3. The Chief Executive Officer will promote and support an institutional environment that fosters open communication among all administrators, faculty, staff and students.   
  4. The Chief Executive Officer will respect the integrity and professionalism of administrators, faculty and staff at all times.   
  5. The Chief Executive Officer will set expectations for the highest ethical standard and actively encourage adherence throughout the institution.   
  6. The Chief Executive Officer shall not use the CEO position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself/herself or others.   
  7. The Chief Executive Officer should strive to ensure that administrators, faculty and staff do not engage in sexual or other inappropriate behavior with students.   
  8. The Chief Executive Officer will seek and respect the recommendations of administrators, faculty, staff and students in matters pertaining to college life and governance.   
  9. The Chief Executive Officer has the obligation to treat all college employees fairly and equitably.   
  10.  The Chief Executive Officer will work to preserve confidentiality, to provide appropriate due process, and to allow a clearly specified process for corrective action among all college employees.

RESPONSIBILITIES TO STUDENTS

  1. The Chief Executive Officer will ensure that all students are treated equally and with respect.   
  2. The Chief Executive Officer will promote diversity both internally and externally.    
  3. The Chief Executive Officer will work to provide educational opportunity that embraces the highest standards of excellence and access for all students.   
  4. The Chief Executive Officer will seek sufficient resources to ensure viable programs of study.   
  5. The Chief Executive Officer will ensure that accurate and complete descriptions of available academic programs are provided to students through official college communications channels.   
  6. The Chief Executive Officer will seek recommendations from students with respect to college decisions that affect them.   
  7. The Chief Executive Officer will ensure that there is no unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, or exploitation of students in any aspect of college life.   
  8. The Chief Executive Officer will ensure a safe and secure learning environment for all students.

RESPONSIBILITIES TO OTHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

  1. The Chief Executive Officer will keep both his/her office staff and members of the college community informed of key developments at local, state and federal levels.   
  2.  The Chief Executive Officer will be honest and forthright in reporting college data, budgets and needs of the institution to the public.   
  3. The Chief Executive Officer will honor all agreements and maintain confidential information as allowed by law.   
  4. The Chief Executive Officer will promote collaboration among institutions.

RESPONSIBILITIES TO BUSINESS, CIVIC GROUPS AND THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE

  1. The Chief Executive Officer will work to ensure that the college is continually meeting the changing program needs of its state and local community.   
  2. The Chief Executive Officer will set expectations that are realistic and will work vigorously to facilitate the realization of those expectations.   
  3. The Chief Executive Officer will ensure that all parties have the opportunity to express individual viewpoints regarding college policies.   
  4. The Chief Executive Officer will facilitate opportunities for all groups to participate in the programs of the college.   
  5. The Chief Executive Officer will avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest in contracts, services or the sharing of information.   
  6. The Chief Executive Officer will honor all laws and regulations pertaining to the operation of the college.

RIGHTS OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

A Chief Executive Officer should have the right:

  1. To work in an open, honest, and professional environment;   
  2. To a clear, written statement of the expectations of the Board of Trustees;   
  3. To participate in setting goals and policies of the college;   
  4. To a written contract between the Board and the Chief Executive Officer outlining conditions of employment, method of evaluation, and levels of compensation;   
  5. To have a clear and concise job description outlining duties, expectations of the Board, and areas of responsibility for the CEO;   
  6. To a clearly defined scope of authority and to exercise judgment and perform agreed upon duties without disruption or harassment;   
  7. To not be placed in a position, by board action or political pressure, to participate in any activity which would be deemed to be unethical or illegal under state, local or federal laws;   
  8. To be able to select the management team that will allow the Chief Executive Officer to meet the goals and policies set by the Board of Trustees;    
  9. To be present or represented at meetings of the Board of Trustees.    
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