ASEEES Code of Conduct
Approved by the ASEEES Board of Directors on November 23, 2019; Amended and approved on November 18, 2021
ASEEES is committed to fostering an environment free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation at its annual convention and other ASEEES-organized activities. To that end, in addition to this Code of Conduct, ASEEES points members to its anti-harassment policy and statement on diversity and inclusion, as well as to those committees and affiliate organizations that address diversity and inclusion.
The ASEEES Annual Convention is convened for the purposes of professional development and scholarly and educational interchange in the spirit of free inquiry and free expression. Speakers are asked to frame discussions as openly and inclusively as possible and to be aware of how language or images may be perceived by others. All attendees, especially chairs of panels and senior scholar participants, are asked to help create an environment free from unacceptable behaviors. Attendees are reminded that all professional academic ethics and norms apply as standards of behavior and interaction at the convention. Exhibitors must follow all ASEEES exhibition rules, regulations, and policies.
Behaviors that do not promote this goal and are therefore unacceptable include:
1. Sexual or physical assault, or real or implied threats of assault
2. Harassment or intimidation based on race, age, physical appearance, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, citizenship status, country of origin, social class, physical and sensory abilities, neurodiversity, academic or professional status, political perspective, field of study, or religion
3. Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact, as well as making sexist remarks or displaying sexist materials for purposes other than research
4. Shouting down, threatening, putting down, persistently interrupting, or talking over speakers
5. Retaliating against a complaint of misconduct
All attendees of the annual convention are expected to abide by the code of conduct in all convention venues, including online venues, ancillary events, and official and unofficial convention-related social events. Attendees may exercise their option to leave a session or a conversation at any time. Attendees asked to stop a hostile or harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Any physical assault or threats of physical assault should be reported to the ASEEES staff, the event venue security, and to the local police department.
The scope of potential sanctions may include the following which may be imposed individually or in combination:
1. Written warning that the violator cease their conduct;
2. Suspension of the violator from the convention or any on-going ASEEES responsibilities or appointments for a set duration;
3. Barring the violator from attending future conventions or assuming any future governance positions within ASEEES;
4. Revoking the violator’s ASEEES membership (following the process in the bylaws).
ASEEES is offering a trained ombuds to serve as a point of contact during the convention and for a short duration following the convention. The ombuds is available for free, confidential consultation and advising about reporting a violation. The obmuds can be reached at email@example.com
Any ASEEES-sponsored event, as a condition of sponsorship, must publicize a similar code of conduct policy or include the ASEEES Code of Conduct Policy.
Procedures for Addressing Alleged Violations of ASEEES’s Code of Conduct Policy
ASEEES’s procedures for addressing alleged violations of the Code of Conduct Policy apply to all ASEEES members and other attendees at the ASEEES Annual Convention and other ASEEES-organized activities for the duration of the activity. Any attendee of the ASEEES Convention or other ASEEES-organized activity may pursue a complaint of code of conduct violation regarding an incident that has occurred within the last 12 months.
Definition of Complainant and Respondent
The term “complainant” refers to a person who brings a formal or informal complaint of misconduct to the attention of ASEEES.
The term “respondent” refers to a person against whom a complaint of misconduct has been made.
Affected attendees can contact any of the following ASEEES-designated officials:
ASEEES will offer a trained Ombuds to serve as a point of contact during the Annual Convention and for a short duration following the convention. The Ombuds is available for free, confidential consultation and advising about reporting a violation as well as mediation. The Ombuds can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Please note that this email address is wholly separate from ASEEES and not accessible by ASEEES staff or officers in order to maintain confidentiality.)
ASEEES Executive Director
The ASEEES Executive Director can provide detailed information about options for pursuing a formal complaint.
Affected attendees have the option of addressing grievances through the following:
Pursuit of Information and Mediation: Ombuds
The Ombuds is available for confidential consultation to provide guidance and advise on how to report an alleged violation of ASEEES’s Code of Conduct. If requested by the complainant, the Ombuds is available to provide mediation between the two parties. The Ombuds cannot provide legal advice but can offer support and guidance.
Note: It is strongly recommended to consult with the Ombuds first for clarification about the entire range of options for addressing grievances. Consultations are confidential and the details of such conversations will not be reported to any administrator, office, or committee of ASEEES, except as required by law. At all times, the role of the Ombuds is entirely independent of any formal complaint you may decide to pursue.
Pursuit of Formal Complaint: Executive Director
After a consultation with the Ombuds, if the complainant decides to lodge a formal complaint of a Policy violation, they should contact the Executive Director. The Executive Director is trained to provide detailed information about the options for pursuing a formal complaint and initiate the procedures within ASEEES.
The Code of Conduct Sub-committee of the Executive Committee will make recommendations on sanctions, when appropriate, based on the investigation. If necessary, the identity of the complainant may be disclosed for the purposes of taking appropriate action following the investigation.
A formal complaint and request for investigation is filed with the Executive Director.
All fact-finding will be conducted by the Executive Directorand the Code of Conduct Sub-committee.
The complainant will be asked to provide a written statement which should include as much identifying information as possible, the approximate time/date of the behavior, the location and circumstances surrounding the incident, and any other people that may have been involved in or witnessed the incident.
The Executive Director shall inform the respondent whose conduct is in question. A written statement of the complaint shall be made available to both parties.
The respondentwill also be asked to provide a written statement providing their account of the activities in the complaint.
The Executive Director and the Code of Conduct Sub-committee may ask to meet with either the complainant or the respondent in question, solicit evidence and a statement from identified witnesses, or consult with others with direct knowledge of the event in question.
The Code of Conduct Sub-committee may hire an independent, neutral third-party to assist in the investigation.
The Executive Director will prepare a report summarizing the investigation for the Code of Conduct Sub-Committee within 30 days of the initial submission of the official complaint.
The Code of Conduct Sub-committee will decide on the case and either dismiss the complaint or issue a sanction. All determinations to issue sanctions by the Sub-committee must be unanimous. When the Sub-committee has reached its decision, the Chair of the Sub-committee will inform the President and Vice President of ASEEES. The President and Vice President will notify the complainant and the respondent with a written summary of the decision upon completion of the process, within 90 days of the initial submission of the official complaint.
b. Scope of Potential Outcomes
The Code of Conduct Sub-committee will determine the sanction(s) based on the severity of the violation and submit the determination to the President and Vice President of ASEEES. The scope of potential sanctions may include the following which may be imposed individually or in combination:
Written warning that the violator cease their conduct;
Suspension of the violator from the convention or any on-going ASEEES responsibilities or appointments for a set duration;
Barring the violator from attending future conventions or assuming any future governance positions within ASEEES;
Revoking the violator’s ASEEES membership (following the process in the bylaws).
Notification of Parties
Negative Finding: In the event that the Code of Conduct Sub-committee finding is unanimously negative, the Chair of the Sub-committee will convey this to the President and Vice President of ASEEES, who will inform both parties in writing.
Inconclusive Finding: In the event that the Code of Conduct Sub-committee finding is inconclusive, or if the Sub-committee’s vote is not unanimous in its determination that Policy has been violated, the Chair of the sub-committee will convey this to the President and Vice President of ASEEES, who will inform both parties in writing.
Finding Harassment: In the event that the Code of Conduct Sub-committee unanimously finds that a violation of the Code of Conduct Policy has occurred and has recommendations of appropriate sanctions, the Chair of the Sub-committee will convey the finding and the recommended sanctions in writing to be approved by to the President and Vice President of ASEEES, who will inform both parties of the findings and sanctions in writing.
Should either party wish to appeal a decision within 30 days after they are notified of a decision, they may make an appeal to the Executive Committee. Grounds for appeal include a claim of procedural error, substantive new evidence, evidence of the use of impermissible criteria, or evidence of bias in the treatment of the fact-finding and decision process. The Executive Committee will make a final unappealable decision at this time.
Records of all formal complaints, investigations, and decisions will be kept in the ASEEES office.
Code of Conduct Policy, Procedures, Scope, Eligibility, and Deadline
Scope: These procedures apply to all ASEEES members and attendees at the ASEEES Annual Convention and related ASEEES-organized activities, for the duration of the activity.
Eligibility: Must be an attendee at the ASEEES Annual Convention or ASEEES-organized activity.
Deadline: Any attendee of the ASEEES Annual Convention or related ASEEES-organized activity may pursue a complaint regarding an incident that has occurred within the last 12 months. ASEEES reserves the right to postpone consideration of a complaint if the conduct at issue is currently under investigation in another forum, such as EEOC, civil litigation, or an internal investigation at an academic institution.
Constitution of the Code of Conduct Sub-committee of the Executive Committee
A permanent Sub-committee (3 members) of the Executive Committee shall be appointed by the current President in conjunction with the Executive Committee. Members will be trained in the ASEEES Code of Conduct policy and procedures. Members will serve for five years.
No individual will be retaliated against for making a complaint or assisting with the investigation of a complaint.
The nature of complaints and names of complainants and respondents will be kept confidential to the extent reasonably possible. ASEEES aims to conduct swift investigations and take appropriate action, if necessary, based on the results of investigations. Therefore, strict confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. However, information related to a complaint will be disclosed only to the extent necessary to conduct an appropriate investigation, and otherwise will be kept confidential. All parties involved in an investigation process, including the complainant and respondent, are also expected to respect confidentiality as reasonably possible.
Conflict of Interest
If any member of the Code of Conduct Sub-committee identifies a conflict of interest, defined as current or past intimate relationship or family relation; current or past shared university affiliation, current or past relationship of co-authorship or collaboration, or prior Ph.D. supervision of either the complainant or individual whose conduct is in question, the person will be replaced by another member of the Executive Committee or another ASEEES staff member who has completed full training on the Code of Conduct Policy.
On-Site Procedures for ASEEES Officials and Staff
ASEEES officials or staff who become aware of any form of harassment or violation of the Code of Conduct Policy during the course of the Convention or an ASEEES-organized activity should proceed as follows:
Executive Committee’s Ability to Initiate Complaints
The Executive Committee can initiate a complaint on its own when the circumstances indicate that it is appropriate to do so. For example, if someone is suspected of violating the Code of Conduct Policy at an event and multiple people witness it, the organization’s interest in addressing the behavior may be greater than any one individual.
Unacceptable Behavior Outside of ASEEES-OrganizedActivities
In some cases, unacceptable behavior by a member of ASEEES takes place outside of ASEEES-organized activities, leading to criminal and civil sanctions, finally adjudicated findings of misconduct by employers, courts, and other entities such as a municipal government and its agencies, a state government and its agencies, the federal government and its agencies (EEOC etc.). These external decisions can be the basis to permanently exclude a member from ASEEES. The vote to remove a member will be taken following the procedure in the Bylaws.
For incidents that occur outside the context of ASEEES-organized activities, ASEEES members should seek out appropriate authorities with which to file claims of harassment. Typically, the line of formal complaint is through the individual’s home institution. ASEEES members should apprise themselves of the appropriate processes at their home institutions, as well as in the legal jurisdictions where research, fieldwork, meetings, and other business is conducted.