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ACETA

Code of Ethics

Adopted by the Steering Committee on September 29, 2009

POLICY:  Members of the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama Steering Committee are committed to observing and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct in the performance of their leadership and governance responsibilities. Steering Committee members pledge to accept this code as a minimum guideline for ethical conduct and embrace these principles and practices.

PROCEDURES:

  1. Principles of Accountability: 1)Faithfully abide by the constitution, by-laws, and policies of the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama; 2) Exercise reasonable care, good faith, and due diligence in organizational affairs; 3) Fully disclose, at the earliest opportunity, information that may result in a perceived or actual conflict of interest, in accordance with the <Affiliate’s> conflict of interest policy; 4) Fully disclose, at the earliest opportunity, all information and insights that would have significance in Steering Committee decision-making; 5) Remain accountable for prudent fiscal management to affiliate members, colleagues in our broader professional community, and to government and funding bodies. 
  2. Principles of Professional Excellence: 1) Maintain a professional level of courtesy, respect, and objectivity in all affiliate Steering Committee activities. This includes acknowledging differences of opinion, providing for open and honest discussion, and making decisions only after hearing all points of view and considering all relevant data; 2) Maintain knowledge of affiliate positions and guidelines and endeavor to advance or explain them to a range of audiences. Avoid allowing leadership roles in the affiliate to be associated with political statements or public policy views that don’t align with those officially adopted by the affiliate; 3) Support and encourage membership and participation in all affiliate and NCTE programs, publications, and resources.
  3. Principles of Fiduciary Responsibility and Confidentiality: 1) Make decisions for the good of all members of the affiliate rather than for his or her personal benefit, or that of the constituency he or she associates with; 2) Respect the confidentiality of sensitive information known through service to the affiliate.
  4. Equal Opportunity and Diversity: Ensure the right of all affiliate members to appropriate and effective services and leadership opportunities without discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, national origin, race, religion, age, political affiliation, or disability, in accordance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

Compensation

Note: if the organization does not have any employees, there is no need to adopt the policy.

*ACETA does not have employees; therefore, this policy is void for this organization*

<NAME OF AFFILIATE>
Compensation Policy

 [Adopted by xx on Date xx]

POLICY:  The Compensation Policy of <Affiliate> applies to the financial compensation of the following persons employed by the <Affiliate>:

  1. The Organization’s chief employed executive.
  2. Other officers.  Officer is defined as a person elected or appointed to manage the Organization’s daily operations, such as a president, vice-president, secretary or treasurer.  The officers of the Organization are determined by reference to its organizing document, bylaws, or resolutions of its governing body, or as otherwise designated consistent with state law, but at a minimum include those officers required by applicable state law.  Include as officers the Organization’s top management official and top financial official (the person who has ultimate responsibility for managing the Organization’s finances).
  3. Other Key Employees.  A key employee of the Organization is one who meets all three of the following tests: (a) $150,000 Test: receives reportable compensation from the Organization and all related organizations in excess of $150,000 for the year; (b) Responsibility Test: the employee: (i) has responsibility, powers, or influence over the Organization as a whole that is similar to those of officers, directors, or trustees; (ii) manages a discrete segment or activity of the Organization that represents 10% or more of the activities, assets, income, or expenses of the Organization, as compared to the Organization as a whole; or (iii) has or shares authority to control or determine 10% or more of the Organization’s capital expenditures, operating budget, or compensation for employees; and (c) Top 20 Test: is one of the 20 employees (that satisfy the $150,000 Test and Responsibility Test) with the highest reportable compensation from the Organization and related organizations for the year.

PROCEDURES:

The <Affiliate> follows a process that includes all the following elements:

  1. Review and approval.  The compensation of the person is reviewed and approved by the board of directors or compensation committee of the <Affiliate> provided that persons with conflicts of interest with respect to the compensation arrangement at issue are not involved in this review and approval. 
  2. Use of data as to comparable compensation.  The <Affiliate> reviews and approves compensation of the person by using data as to comparable compensation for similarly qualified persons in functionally comparable positions at similarly situated organizations.
  3. Contemporaneous documentation and recordkeeping.  The <Affiliate> keeps contemporaneous documentation and recordkeeping with respect to the deliberations and decisions regarding the compensation arrangement.

Conflict of Interest

Adopted by the Steering Committee on September 29, 2009

POLICY:  This Conflict of Interest Policy for the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama 1) Defines conflicts of interest; 2) identifies classes of individuals within the affiliate covered by this policy; 3) facilitates disclosure of information that may help identify conflicts of interest; and 4) specifies procedures to be followed in managing conflicts of interest

PROCEDURES:

  1. Definition of conflicts of interest: A conflict of interest arises when a person in a position of authority over the affiliate may benefit financially from a decision he or she could make in that capacity, including indirect benefits such as to family members or businesses with which the person is closely associated. This policy is focused upon material financial interest of, or benefit to, such persons.
  2. Individuals Covered: Persons covered by this policy are the affiliate’s officers, directors, or other appointed individuals.
  3. Facilitation of disclosure: Persons covered by this policy will annually disclose or update the President of the affiliate or designee their interests that could give rise to conflicts of interest, such as a list of family members, substantial business or investment holdings, and other transactions or affiliations with businesses and other organizations or those of family members.
  4. Procedures to manage conflicts: For each interest disclosed to the President of the affiliate (or designee), the President (or designee) will determine whether to a) take no action; b) assure full disclosure to the affiliate board; c) ask the person to recuse him or herself from participation in related discussions or decisions within the affiliate; d) ask the person to resign from his or her position in the affiliate. The President (or designee) will monitor proposed or ongoing transactions for conflicts of interest.

Document Retention and Distruction

Adopted by the Steering Committee on September 29, 2009

POLICY:  This Document Retention and Destruction Policy of the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama identifies the record retention responsibilities of staff, volunteers, members of the steering committee, and outsiders for maintaining and documenting the storage and destruction of the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama’s documents and records.

PROCEDURES:

  1. Rules.  The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama’s staff, volunteers, members of the Steering committee and outsiders (i.e., independent contractors via agreements with them) are required to honor these rules:  (a) paper or electronic documents indicated under the terms for retention below will be transferred and maintained by Executive Secretary; (b) all other paper documents will be destroyed after three years; (c) all other electronic documents will be deleted from all individual computers, data bases, networks, and back-up storage after one year; and (d) no paper or electronic documents will be destroyed or deleted if pertinent to any ongoing or anticipated government investigation or proceeding or private litigation.
  2. Terms for retention.
    1. Retain permanently:
      1. Governance records ¬– Constitution and amendments, Bylaws, other organizational documents, governing board and board committee minutes.
      2. Tax records – Filed state and federal tax returns/reports and supporting records, tax exemption determination letter and related correspondence, files related to tax audits.
      3. Intellectual property records – Copyright and trademark registrations and samples  of protected works.
      4. Financial records – audited financial statements, attorney contingent liability letters.
    2. Retain for ten years:
      1. Pension and benefit records – Pension plan participant/beneficiary records, actuarial reports, related correspondence with government agencies, and supporting records.
      2. Retain for three years:
        1. Employee/employment records – Employee names, addresses, social security numbers, dates of births, INS Form I-9, resume/application materials, job descriptions, dates of hire and termination/separation, evaluations, compensation information, promotions, transfers, disciplinary matters, time/payroll records, leave/comp time/FMLA, engagement and discharge correspondence, documentation of basis for independent contractor status (retain for all current employees and independent contractors and for three years after departure of each individual).
        2. Lease, insurance, and contract/license records – Software license agreements, vendor, hotel, and service agreements, independent contractor agreements, employment agreements, consultant agreements, and all other agreements (retain during the term of the agreement and for three years after the termination, expiration, or non-renewal of each agreement).
    3. Retain for one year:
      1. All other electronic records, documents and files – Correspondence files, past budgets, bank statements, publications, employee manuals/policies and procedures, survey information.

3.  Exceptions: Exceptions to these rules and terms for retention may be granted only by the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama’s Executive Secretary or President.

Joint Venture

 Adopted by the Steering Committee on September 29, 2009

POLICY:  The Joint Venture Policy of the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama requires that the Organization evaluate its participation in joint venture arrangements under Federal tax law and take steps to safeguard the Organization’s exempt status with respect to such arrangements.  It applies to any joint ownership or contractual arrangement through which there is an agreement to jointly undertake a specific business enterprise, investment, or exempt-purpose activity as further defined in this policy.

PROCEDURES:

  1. Joint ventures or similar arrangements with taxable entities.  For purposes of this policy, a joint venture or similar arrangement (or a “venture or arrangement”) means any joint ownership or contractual arrangement through which there is an agreement to jointly undertake a specific business enterprise, investment, or exempt-purpose activity without regard to: (1) whether the Organization controls the venture or arrangement; (2) the legal structure of the venture or arrangement; or (3) whether the venture or arrangement is taxed as a partnership or as an association or corporation for federal income tax purposes.  

A venture or arrangement is disregarded if it meets both of the following conditions:

(a) 95% or more of the venture’s or arrangement’s income for its tax year ending within the Organization’s tax year is excluded from unrelated business income taxation [including but not limited to: (i) dividends, interest, and annuities; (iii) royalties; (iii) rent from real property and incidental related personal property except to the extent of debt-financing; and (iv) gains or losses from the sale of property]; and
(b) the primary purpose of the Organization’s contribution to, or investment or participation in, the venture or arrangement is the production of income or appreciation of property.

2.  The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama’s safeguards to ensure exempt status protection.  The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama will: (a) negotiate in its transactions and arrangements with other members of the venture or arrangement such terms and safeguards adequate to ensure that the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama’s exempt status is protected; and (b) take steps to safeguard the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama’s exempt status with respect to the venture or arrangement.  Some examples of safeguards include:

(i) control over the venture or arrangement sufficient to ensure that it furthers the exempt purpose of the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama;
(ii) requirements that the venture or arrangement gives priority to exempt purposes over maximizing profits for the other participants;
(iii) that the venture or arrangement not engage in activities that would jeopardize the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama’s exemption; and
(iv) that all contracts entered into with the organization be on terms that are arm’s length or more favorable to the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama.

Persons of Color

Approved by the Conference at Auburn University, February 17, 1996

Mindful and appreciative of the unique and important contributions of persons of color both to the discipline of English and also to the history and culture of the State of Alabama, the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama actively seeks the fullest possible involvement of persons of color in all its endeavors and enterprises.

Whistleblower

 Adopted by the Steering Committee on September 29, 2009

POLICY:  This Whistleblower Policy of the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama:  (1) encourages staff or volunteers to come forward with credible information on illegal practices or serious violations of adopted policies of the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama; (2) specifies that the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama will protect the person(s) from retaliation; and (3) identifies where such information can be reported.

PROCEDURES:

  1. Encouragement of reporting.  The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama encourages complaints, reports or inquiries about illegal practices or serious violations of the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama’s policies, including illegal or improper conduct by the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama itself, by its leadership, or by others on its behalf.  Appropriate subjects to raise under this policy would include financial improprieties, accounting or audit matters, ethical violations, or other similar illegal or improper practices or policies.  
  2. Protection from retaliation.  The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama prohibits retaliation by or on behalf of the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama against staff or volunteers for making good faith complaints, reports or inquiries under this policy or for participating in a review or investigation under this policy.  This protection extends to those whose allegations are made in good faith but prove to be mistaken.  The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama reserves the right to discipline persons who make bad faith, knowingly false, or vexatious complaints, reports or inquiries or who otherwise abuse this policy.
  3. Where to report.  Complaints, reports or inquiries may be made under this policy on a confidential or anonymous basis.  They should describe in detail the specific facts demonstrating the bases for the complaints, reports or inquiries.  They should be directed to the President of the Affiliate and to the Executive Secretary; if both of those persons are implicated in the complaint, report or inquiry, the documents should be directed to the Association’s Vice President.  The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama will conduct a prompt, discreet, and objective review or investigation.  Staff or volunteers must recognize that the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama may be unable to fully evaluate a vague or general complaint, report or inquiry that is made anonymously.