Code of Ethics

Board of Trustees
Policy Number: 
Friday, April 4, 2014
Last Revised: 
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Section 1

The South Puget Sound Community College District 24 Board of Trustees sets the ethical tone for the college through the Board procedures and actions and through each trustee’s personal conduct.  Therefore, individual trustees and the Board as a whole should adhere to the highest ethical standards and promote the moral development of the college community.  The Board of Trustees believes the following values represent a shared ideal, which should permeate the institution:

A. Honesty Trustees are honest in their actions and words.
B. Integrity Trustees are principled, honorable and upright.
C. Reliability Trustees keep promises, fulfill commitments, and abide by the spirit as well as the letter of an agreement.
D. Fidelity Trustees demonstrate loyalty to others and to their institutions by support and devotion to duty; they keep information in confidence, when necessary. Trustees safeguard the ability to make independent judgments by avoiding undue influences or conflicts of interest.
E. Fairness Trustees manifest a commitment to justice, the equal treatment of individuals, and the acceptance of diversity. They are open-minded and willing to admit error and willing to change their positions or beliefs when that is appropriate.
F. Caring Trustees are concerned for the well being of others; they are compassionate, kind and serving; they attempt to help those in need and to avoid harming others.
G. Respect Trustees demonstrate respect for human dignity, privacy and the right to self-determination of all persons.
H. Citizenship Trustees are responsible citizens who recognize their ethical obligation to lawfulness, participation, social consciousness and public service. Trustees have the additional responsibility of encouraging participation of others and a special obligation to respect and honor democratic processes avoiding unnecessary secrecy or concealment of information, thus assuring the citizenry has all the information needed to exercise responsible citizenship.
I. Competence Trustees demonstrate the quality of their work in the public sector by being well informed and prepared to exercise public authority properly.
J. Accountability Trustees accept responsibility for decisions, for the foreseeable consequences of actions and inaction, and for setting an example for others.
K. Trustworthiness Trustees in the public sector have special obligations to lead by example, to safeguard and advance the integrity and reputation of the governance process, to avoid even the appearance of impropriety and to ensure actions are necessary to correct or prevent inappropriate conduct within the college.
L. Responsible Use of Social Media  Trustees will use social media in a responsible manner and consistent with College Administration Policy 107.

Section 2

Trustees shall not engage in sexual harassment, discrimination, or improper government conduct that would constitute a violation of SPSCC Human Resources Policies 102, 108, 112, and 113. Complaints against a trustee or trustees will be investigated under SPSCC Human Resources Policies 102, 108, and 112. Upon receiving information regarding the investigation outcome, the Board Chair will determine whether the matter will be reported to the Governor; if the Board Chair is the subject of the investigation, then the Vice Chair shall make the determination. A trustee remains subject to Board of Trustees Policy 101, Section 3 and RCW 28B.50.100.


To Whom Does This Policy Apply: 

Board of Trustees and individual trustees.