The mission of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) is to promote collaboration among its members and others engaged in the study of higher education through research, conferences, and publications. ASHE values rigorous scholarly approaches to the study of higher education and practical applications of systemic inquiry. In 2015, ASHE adopted the Code of Ethics of the American Educational Research Association (2011) and the standards set forth therein to guide all those engaged in research in higher education. ASHE members are expected to adhere to this Code in their professional roles and activities.
In early 2020, then-ASHE President KerryAnn O’Meara formed a working group of ASHE members. She charged the members to create a suite of policies and procedures that will strengthen ASHE’s commitment to creating and supporting an ethically-sound Association and field. Further, she requested that the work be centered around our community’s values and mission. Throughout 2020, the workgroup developed a suite of documents that include the proposed creation of a new standing committee of ASHE on Ethics, as well as an Ethics and Conduct Policy, Committee Policies and Procedures, an Honors and Awards Policy, Governance Code of Ethics, and an Ombuds program. They did so with help from the work of other organizations including AERA and the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM. These documents underwent legal review and as well as a month-long Member Comment period.
As of Summer 2021, ASHE President D-L Stewart extended the working group’s charge to continue work on developing a Research Policy. That document will open for member comment later this year.
In furtherance of ASHE's mission, this Ethics/Conduct-Harassment Policy’s overarching objective is to advance excellence of the Association and of the broader field of higher education (“Field”), to help maximize their potential for contributions to the association-at-large. ASHE and the Field can flourish only with:
- high-quality work that has credibility and integrity;
- high standards of climate, culture, and associated conduct that foster full participation for all talent in ASHE and the Field;
- authentic openness to and welcome of a diversity of people and ideas to advance scholarship;
- a safe environment for all talent and those supporting or providing services to ASHE and Field; and
- an enterprise that engenders trust of current and future Field participants, the public and funders.
On April 16, 2021, the ASHE Board of Directors approved the ASHE Ombuds Proposal. As of Summer 2021, the ASHE Staff is engaged with an RFP process to contract with an Ombuds.
On June 17, 2021, the ASHE Board of Directors adopted the following ethics policies and procedures:
- Ethics, Conduct, and Harassment Policy
- ASHE Ethics Committee Policies and Procedures
- ASHE Governance Code of Ethics
- ASHE Glossary of Ethics Key Terms
- ASHE Honors and Awards-Policy
2020-2021 Ethics Work Group:
- Noah D. Drezner, Teachers College, Columbia University, Co-Chair
- Jeni Hart, University of Missouri, Co-Chair
- Victoria Barbosa Olivo, The Ohio State University
- José Cabrales, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
- Felecia Commodore, Old Dominion University
- Amalia Dache, University of Pennsylvania
- Karen Miksch, University of Minnesota
- Steve D. Mobley Jr., The University of Alabama
- Tara L. Parker, University of Massachusetts Boston
- Cecile H. Sam, Rowan University