Code of Conduct

Association for the Study of Higher Education
Events Code of Conduct
Approved by the ASHE Board of Directors on April 30, 2021

In 2020, ASHE adopted its first ever Code of Conduct to set expectations of attendance and engagement with our virtual events. As we return to in-person events as well as continue virtual events, the ASHE Board of Directors has adopted an extended Code of Conduct regarding acceptable behavior and provides specific (albeit not exhaustive) examples. This policy was adopted from the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM (, which ASHE joined in 2020, as well as with feedback from ASHE’s attorneys and the Board of Directors.

Events Code of Conduct

This Events Conduct Policy (the “Policy”) of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (“ASHE”) seeks to advance productive outcomes, with safety, full participation and belonging for organizers, attendees, speakers, exhibitors, award recipients, staff, contractors, volunteers and guests (“Participants”) in ASHE Events. Participants are expected to be familiar with this Policy and must agree to uphold these policies during the annual conference, other ASHE-sponsored or -organized meetings, conferences, workshops and other events and gatherings, wherever located, and all meetings, events and gatherings in ASHE-owned, leased or controlled property, regardless of the sponsor or organizer (“Events”). Participants must affirmatively indicate their understanding and agreement to this during registration.

As is commonplace in academic discourse and professional associations, Participants are welcomed and encouraged to express an opinion, raise research, or describe an experience that may differ from others if it is part of an on-point discussion of the topic at hand and is offered in a manner that does not interfere with others’ reasonable ability to participate fully. However, Participants should refrain from engaging in unacceptable behavior. Though it is not possible to list all forms of behavior that are unacceptable in an academic association’s professional settings, Participants should generally avoid expressions or conduct that either intends to or results in harm to another and takes place without scholarly justification, including (but not limited to) harassment, theft of intellectual property, and unapproved promotions (i.e., Participants should not promote products or services, special offers, job offers, product announcements, or solicit for services during events unless expressly approved by ASHE in writing).  

ASHE has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination, harassment, or intimidation of any form, including but not limited to sexual harassment by Participants. Examples include comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations; or threatening or stalking. This also includes the disruption of presentations/presenters as well as taking screenshots, photos, and/or audio recordings of participants and/or any chat room activity without consent. This is certainly not an exhaustive list of prohibited behaviors, but only seeks to demonstrate the types of behavior that will not be tolerated.

ASHE also wants to protect members from theft of intellectual property and/or the dissemination of papers, comments, or ideas without the consent of authors/presenters. Participants should not record or live stream presentations and discussions that occur during events; nor copy or take screenshots of presentation materials unless explicit (and ideally written) permission is granted by the presenter/author. If something being presented is of interest to you, we suggest contacting the presenter directly after the presentation.

Participants must register for an ASHE Event. Registration constitutes consent to audio and visual recording (and use and alteration of the recording) by ASHE (or those it authorizes) at the Event for non-commercial purposes aligned with ASHE’s mission. Failure to register or register under the correct designation is grounds for immediate removal at the Event. In the event of such removal, the Participant will not be entitled to a refund of any registration fees. This Policy will be included in all ASHE Events and agreed to as part of all registrations.

Requirements for Ethical, Professional and Inclusive Conduct

Participants’ conduct at ASHE Events must meet the following requirements to satisfy the Events’ purpose of advancing excellence by enabling equitable and full engagement and contributions by all Participants. These requirements apply to any ASHE-sponsored activity connected with an official ASHE Event.


  • demonstrate respect and consideration for all people and don’t dominate discussion;
  • listen well to others. Make room for a diversity of voices in group discussions, on panels, and the like. Facilitators, invite but be sensitive not to pressure those who have not communicated to do so;
  • be collaborative. Be mindful not to exert dominance over others. Consider the effect of relationship, position, experience, privilege, and power differentials, and other factors to avoid dominance;
  • demonstrate that differing perspectives are valued—critique ideas (not people);
  • demonstrate welcome for a diversity of individuals and their identities—pay attention to whether individuals of many identities and roles are included on panels, leading sessions, being called on when they raise their hands, and having their points considered;
  • report conduct concerns to an Event official so that concerns can be addressed responsibly and timely. Respect confidentiality of the identities of any individuals involved in a conduct concern, while it is being reviewed and addressed;
  • be aware of and do not enter others’ personal space without explicit invitation/consent;
  • answer questions about conduct concerns in a forthright and complete manner (e.g., when registering or during a review of concerns); and
  • if any leader or facilitator of an activity/session, any official of the venue, or any ASHE official directs a Participant to stop a behavior or comment, immediately comply. 


  • intentionally talk over or interrupt others;
  • engage in biased, demeaning, intimidating, coercive, or harassing/hostile conduct or commentary, whether seriously or in jest (e.g., based on power differential, actual or perceived gender [sex, identity, expression], sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or national origin, religion, marital status, veteran status, age, body size or other physical appearance, disability, or other identities); this is the opposite of respect and welcoming conduct;
  • engage in personal attacks;
  • comment on personal appearance, seriously or in jest;
  • retaliate against or disadvantage anyone for reporting a conduct concern or assisting in its resolution. Do not make bad faith accusations;
  • disrupt the meeting or engage in violence, threats of violence, harm or threats of harm of any kind. Do not create/contribute to a safety threat or unsafe or exclusionary situation; Unless the law of the Event locale requires otherwise, firearms, knives and other weapons are not allowed at ASHE Events;]
  • invade the personal privacy of individuals. Do not view, photograph, audio- or visual- record, or distribute photographs or recordings of, individuals (in any medium), at times or in places where people can reasonably expect privacy (e.g., bathrooms, breastfeeding rooms, etc.); or
  • take or distribute pictures or recordings (in any medium) of research posters or other research presentation materials unless explicit permission is granted. If something being presented is of interest to you, we suggest contacting the presenter directly, either via the chat or Q&A function or via email after the presentation. One way for any exhibitor to give permission is by posting a placard stating, “Picture-taking Allowed”.

Requirements for Health of Local Communities and Participants For In-Person Events

Participants must be mindful of place and space as visitors to an in-person event. Participants are expected to abide by all applicable laws, regulations, and ordinances of the jurisdiction of the Event as well as any guidance enforced by the host facility. Failure to abide by such requirements may result in a Participant’s immediate removal from the Event.

What to do if you have a conduct concern

Act if there is a conduct concern. If you have a conduct concern or are in distress or danger from a conduct concern—or if you see anyone in such distress or danger—act by:

  • Alerting an ASHE Staff Member:
    • Visit the Information Desk located near the Conference Check-in Desk (for in-person events).
    • For most virtual events, an ASHE Event Staff member will be in attendance to support presenters and attendees in upholding these guidelines.
    • Contact the ASHE Director of Conference and Events:  (call/text)
    • Contact the ASHE Executive Director: Jason Guilbeau at, (337) 258‑4112 (call/text)
  • Alerting the Ombudsperson who can offer confidential assistance.
  • Making a report online via the Ethics Report Form.
    • ASHE intends to monitor reports made on-line regularly throughout an ASHE Event; however, it is important to connect with an ASHE Staff Member or the Ombudsperson  if you do not receive a prompt response to an on-line report to ensure timely response.

Confidentiality. If the person raising the concern, any identified target, or the accused (each an “individual most directly involved”) or a witness asks the ASHE Staff or Ombudsperson for confidentiality of their identity while the concern is being addressed, reasonable steps will be taken to do so. But ASHE will not maintain (or may maintain limited) confidentiality, if in its judgment and discretion, safety or law, an investigation, determination of a violation, or disconnecting a Participant from the Event requires otherwise. Anyone who receives information during an investigation, however, must maintain its confidentiality; failure to do so is a serious violation of this Policy, as is retaliation against any target, witness or anyone who raises or helps resolve a conduct concern.

Determining a Violation

When a conduct concern under this Policy is raised to an ASHE Staff Member, the ASHE Staff Member will identify and speak to the individuals most directly involved, and may speak with any identified witnesses, if possible with information provided. The ASHE Staff Member will assess the situation in an area that may be on the site of, but is separate from, the main ASHE Event activities. The ASHE Staff Member will determine if the situation is one that can (and should) be diffused by discussion with the individuals most directly involved and, possibly witness(es) (“simple resolution”), or whether the facts present a possibility that a person might need to leave the ASHE Event and/or be subject to other consequences, or that police involvement may be required at the time.

A simple resolution is appropriate when an ASHE Staff Member provides a warning and clear conduct instructions to a  Participant accused of a violation of this Policy, the accused Participant complies, and it is apparent that: misunderstandings occurred and are corrected or lessons have been learned by those in need of learning; there is an authentic commitment to avoid a repetition of the cause of the conduct concern (and no reason to think a repetition is likely); and (considering all of this and the nature of the conduct concern and harm) a sense of safety and inclusion has been restored without the need for further action, and the identified target and accused Participant agree without coercion.

The ASHE Staff Member will create a written report of the incident and provide it to the Executive Director.

If a simple resolution is not adequate, the ASHE Staff Member will complete fact-finding if feasible during the ASHE Event and during any activities associated with the ASHE Event before or after it for those involved in the activities (Event Period) (considering time constraints and logistics). The ASHE Staff Member will make and give notes on fact-finding to the Executive Director, may amplify notes orally (later confirming the amplification in writing), and will identify any known consequential fact-finding gap that will not be filled during the Event Period. 

The Executive Director may determine (based on preponderance of the evidence standard), based fact-finding, whether a violation of this Events Conduct Policy occurred and will notify the individuals most directly involved in writing (email or paper). Before making a determination, the Executive Director may give the known/available individuals most directly involved an opportunity to provide (but will not require them to provide) in writing any additional facts relevant to the decision; will give a copy of each one’s submission (if any) to the other(s); and will give each an opportunity to briefly respond in writing to the other(s)’ submission(s) (if any). The Executive Director will set submission deadlines in their sole discretion but taking into account the nature of the conduct concern, timing and logistics. 

Consequences That May Be Imposed

If the Executive Director determines a violation of this Policy, the Executive Director may, upon notice, require an accused Participant to leave an ASHE Event at the Participant’s own cost and to maintain distance and separation from other Participants at all sites associated with the Event during the general timeframe of the Event. The Executive Director will make the determination, in that official’s sole discretion, to serve the best interests of ASHE’s membership and mission as reflected in this Events Conduct Policy. 

© American Association for the Advancement of Science for the benefit of and sponsored by the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment In STEMM (; original created by EducationCounsel LLC. Changes to original have been made by ASHE