(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
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:
The Chief Executive Officer and other members of the campus organization should strive to promote the following core values both internally and externally.
- Trust and respect for all individuals;
- Honesty in all actions;
- Just and fair treatment of all people;
- Integrity in all actions.
Responsibilities to Board Members
- The Chief Executive Officer will strive to ensure that all members of the Board receive essential information efficiently and in a timely manner.
- The Chief Executive Officer will avoid direct conflicts of interest and actions that might create the impression of a conflict of interest.
- The Chief Executive Officer has an obligation to accurately represent the Board in internal and public communications, both written and oral.
- The Chief Executive Officer is expected to execute Board policies and decisions in a conscientious and timely manner.
- 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
- The Chief Executive Officer has the obligation to encourage the highest standards of excellence in teaching and learning.
- The Chief Executive Officer has the duty to encourage standards of excellence in the advancement and application of knowledge.
- The Chief Executive Officer will promote and support an institutional environment that fosters open communication among all administrators, faculty, staff and students.
- The Chief Executive Officer will respect the integrity and professionalism of administrators, faculty and staff at all times.
- The Chief Executive Officer will set expectations for the highest ethical standard and actively encourage adherence throughout the institution.
- The Chief Executive Officer shall not use the CEO position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself/herself or others.
- The Chief Executive Officer should strive to ensure that administrators, faculty and staff do not engage in sexual or other inappropriate behavior with students.
- The Chief Executive Officer will seek and respect the recommendations of administrators, faculty, staff and students in matters pertaining to college life and governance.
- The Chief Executive Officer has the obligation to treat all college employees fairly and equitably.
- 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
- The Chief Executive Officer will ensure that all students are treated equally and with respect.
- The Chief Executive Officer will promote diversity both internally and externally.
- The Chief Executive Officer will work to provide educational opportunity that embraces the highest standards of excellence and access for all students.
- The Chief Executive Officer will seek sufficient resources to ensure viable programs of study.
- The Chief Executive Officer will ensure that accurate and complete descriptions of available academic programs are provided to students through official college communications channels.
- The Chief Executive Officer will seek recommendations from students with respect to college decisions that affect them.
- The Chief Executive Officer will ensure that there is no unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, or exploitation of students in any aspect of college life.
- The Chief Executive Officer will ensure a safe and secure learning environment for all students.
RESPONSIBILITIES TO OTHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
- 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.
- The Chief Executive Officer will be honest and forthright in reporting college data, budgets and needs of the institution to the public.
- The Chief Executive Officer will honor all agreements and maintain confidential information as allowed by law.
- The Chief Executive Officer will promote collaboration among institutions.
RESPONSIBILITIES TO BUSINESS, CIVIC GROUPS AND THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE
- The Chief Executive Officer will work to ensure that the college is continually meeting the changing program needs of its state and local community.
- The Chief Executive Officer will set expectations that are realistic and will work vigorously to facilitate the realization of those expectations.
- The Chief Executive Officer will ensure that all parties have the opportunity to express individual viewpoints regarding college policies.
- The Chief Executive Officer will facilitate opportunities for all groups to participate in the programs of the college.
- The Chief Executive Officer will avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest in contracts, services or the sharing of information.
- 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:
- To work in an open, honest, and professional environment;
- To a clear, written statement of the expectations of the Board of Trustees;
- To participate in setting goals and policies of the college;
- To a written contract between the Board and the Chief Executive Officer outlining conditions of employment, method of evaluation, and levels of compensation;
- To have a clear and concise job description outlining duties, expectations of the Board, and areas of responsibility for the CEO;
- To a clearly defined scope of authority and to exercise judgment and perform agreed upon duties without disruption or harassment;
- 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;
- 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;
- To be present or represented at meetings of the Board of Trustees.