Webinar Reviews Ethical Guidelines Ahead of July 1 Implementation

By Katy Hopkins, Communications Staff 

NASFAA President Justin Draeger, National Chair Eileen O’Leary, and Ethics Commission Chair Mary Sommers reviewed the organization’s Code of Conduct, Statement of Ethical Principles, and enforcement procedures that will take effect July 1, 2015 in a webinar Wednesday. Catch up on the highlights and stay tuned to Today's News for an announcement next week when the Webinar Archive is available.

The package of ethical guidelines is the result of two years’ worth of work by the task force, periods of time for member feedback, and revisions based on that feedback, the presenters said. For members, they will offer tangible benefits: Not only will the ethical standards demonstrate to policymakers that we are policing ourselves, they can provide cover at your institution if you are asked to do something you think is inappropriate, O’Leary said.

The Statement of Ethical Principles is like a guiding light for members, O’Leary said – meant to be aspirational, rather than prescriptive. The Code of Conduct, on the other hand, is like the “rules of the road” – guidelines that are enforceable if not followed. 

However, NASFAA does not expect to deliver heavy enforcements often, O’Leary said. “The goal of the board is to educate, not punish, membership,” she added. 

As of July 1, NASFAA will offer an online system for anyone – whether they’re a NASFAA member or not – to submit a complaint. If the complaint is about an individual who works at a NASFAA member institution or the institution as a whole, NASFAA’s Ethics Commission will have jurisdiction to investigate the matter, try to educate the parties in question and rehabilitate the situation, and, as a last resort, move to enforcement procedures, which ultimately could include a suspension or loss of membership. 

NASFAA will also continue to debunk clear-cut and hazy ethical dilemmas through its Today’s News series, including Ask Mr. Ethics and Exploring Ethics


Publication Date: 5/14/2015

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