American Sociological Association

Association Ethics Policies

Anti-Harassment Policy 

Ethics Disclosures  

Award Revocation

Removal from Leadership Positions 

 

 


 

Anti-Harassment Policy
ASA reminds everyone: Our Annual Meeting is convened for the purposes of professional development and scholarly educational interchange in the spirit of free inquiry and free expression. Harassment of colleagues, students, or other conference participants undermines the principle of equity at the heart of these professional fora and is inconsistent with the principles of free inquiry and free expression. Consequently, harassment is considered by ASA to be a serious form of professional misconduct.

The following Anti-Harassment Policy outlines expectations for all those who attend or participate in ASA meetings. It reminds ASA meeting participants that all professional academic ethics and norms apply as standards of behavior and interaction at these meetings.

Purpose. ASA is committed to providing a safe and welcoming conference environment for all participants, free from harassment based on age, race, sex, ethnicity, national origin, religion, language, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, disability, health conditions, socioeconomic status, marital status, domestic status, or parental status (hereafter, simply harassment). “Participant” in this policy refers to anyone present at ASA meetings, including staff, contractors, vendors, exhibitors, venue staff, ASA members, and all other attendees.

Expected Behavior. All participants at ASA meetings are expected to abide by this Anti-Harassment Policy in all meeting venues including ancillary events as well as official and unofficial social gatherings.

  • Follow the norms of professional respect that are necessary to promote the conditions for free academic interchange.
  • If you witness potential harm to a conference participant, be proactive in helping to mitigate or avoid that harm.
  • Alert conference security personnel or law enforcement if you see a situation in which someone might be in imminent physical danger.

Unacceptable Behavior. Harassment of any participant is unethical behavior under the American Sociological Association Code of Ethics. Harassment may consist of a single intense and severe act or of multiple persistent or pervasive acts which are demeaning, abusive, or offensive, or create a hostile professional or workplace environment. Harassment may include sexual solicitation, physical advance, or verbal or non-verbal conduct that is sexual in nature; it may also include threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual or group; epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping based on group identity.

Attendees are encouraged to immediately report instances of harassment during the Annual Meeting to the ASA Executive Director, Nancy Kidd, at nkidd@asanet.org, (646) 408-9063 or to the Director of Meeting Services, Michelle Randall, at mrandall@asanet.org. Reports will be treated as confidential. Violations of this policy may lead to removal from the Annual Meeting.  To read the American Sociological Association Code of Ethics in its entirety, visit www.asanet.org and follow the link to Ethics.

 

Ethics Disclosures

Disclosures for Awards
All nominations for awards will include response to a question regarding the nominee’s professional ethics and scientific integrity. Finalists for awards will be required to answer a self-disclosure question regarding professional ethics and scientific integrity. 

The question for nominations follows: “All ASA members and nominees are expected to meet the commonly held standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity articulated in our Code of Ethics (e.g., harassment, plagiarism, discrimination). Do you have any concerns of which ASA should be aware regarding the nominee satisfying this expectation?”  

The question for self-disclosures follows: “You have been nominated for Award X.  Do you have any concerns of which ASA should be aware regarding how you’ve upheld the standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity as articulated in our Code of Ethics (e.g., harassment, plagiarism, discrimination)?” This question will be asked of the top-ranked candidate for an award.  

If a disclosure is made by a nominator or a nominee or other relevant information is brought forward to ASA, it will be evaluated by an executive committee composed of the president, immediate past president, president-elect, secretary-treasurer, and executive director.  Once a disclosure/information is received, the executive committee may engage in limited additional fact-finding if deemed necessary, with an understanding that confidentiality should be maintained to the extent practicable.  The executive committee will give reasonable consideration to factors like prevalence, duration, time, seriousness of the charges, etc. 

A nominee will not be given an award if the executive committee finds there is credible evidence of a nominee not meeting or upholding the standards articulated in the ASA Code of Ethics (e.g., harassment, plagiarism, discrimination).  

If the executive committee determines during the nomination phase that a disclosure or other information should preclude someone from receiving an award, that nomination will not be forwarded to the relevant award committee for consideration, though the committee will be informed that a nomination was withheld.  Given the tight timeline, it may be the case that an award committee needs to deliberate while the executive committee is considering a disclosure or other information.  Should the executive committee determine that a nomination should be withdrawn from consideration, the relevant award committee will be notified promptly.  Should the executive committee receive a disclosure or information that it determines should preclude someone from receiving an award after a preliminary award decision has been made by the relevant award committee, the executive committee will inform the award committee that it has to revisit the decision.  It will be at the discretion of the executive committee to determine how much information should be shared.  If the executive committee considers a disclosure or information prior to the announcement of an award and determines that it should not preclude the person in question from the possibility of receiving an award, the relevant award committee will be informed of that decision.

Disclosures for Leadership Positions
Before being brought forward for election or appointment, all nominees for Council, standing committees, and editorships will be required to answer a self-disclosure question regarding professional ethics and scientific integrity. 

The question for self-disclosures follows: “You have been nominated for position X.  Do you have any concerns of which ASA should be aware regarding how you’ve upheld the standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity as articulated in our Code of Ethics (e.g., harassment, plagiarism, discrimination)?” 

If a disclosure is made or other relevant information is brought forward to ASA, it will be evaluated by an executive committee composed of the president, immediate past president, president-elect, secretary-treasurer, and executive director.  Once a disclosure/information is received, the executive committee may engage in limited additional fact-finding if deemed necessary, with an understanding that confidentiality should be maintained to the extent practicable.  The executive committee will give reasonable consideration to factors like prevalence, duration, time, seriousness of the charges, etc. 

A nominee will not be considered for a leadership position if the executive committee finds there is credible evidence of a nominee not meeting or upholding the standards articulated in the ASA Code of Ethics (e.g., harassment, plagiarism, discrimination).  

 

 

Award Revocation 
ASA may revoke an award when an awardee has not met or upheld the standards or principles articulated in the ASA Code of Ethics. An award may be revoked in accordance with the Committee on Professional Ethics policies and procedures. If a request for award revocation is made under circumstances that are ineligible for COPE consideration (and only for awards given after this policy was approved [in 2020]), the ASA Council may act independently of the COPE policies and procedures. 

The ASA Council may revoke an award based on the following procedures:

If a member believes that an award should be revoked because the awardee has not met or upheld the standards or principles articulated in the ASA Code of Ethics, a request for review should be made to the executive director. The executive director will determine whether the case falls under COPE jurisdiction.  If so, the COPE policies and procedures will be followed.  If the request for award revocation is made under circumstances that are ineligible for COPE consideration, but the request for revocation alleges that an awardee has not met or upheld the standards or principles articulated in the ASA Code of Ethics, the executive director will facilitate the alternate process for evaluating an award revocation request.  

Alternate process: The complainant should submit to the executive director information regarding findings, actions, or sanctions taken by a credible body, including, but not limited to, a Federal government agency or office (i.e., NSF, NIH), a professional organization, an academic institution, or a court of law.  An executive committee composed of the president, immediate past president, president-elect, secretary-treasurer, and executive director, along with the chair or a co-chair of the Committee on Professional Ethics, will consider revocation requests. The executive committee may engage in limited additional fact-finding if deemed necessary, with an understanding that confidentiality should be maintained to the extent practicable. The award winner in question must be notified, if he or she is living, that a revocation request has been made and provided with an opportunity to respond to the executive committee.  

An award will be considered by Council for revocation if the executive committee finds there is credible evidence of an awardee not meeting or upholding the standards or principles articulated in the ASA Code of Ethics (e.g., harassment, plagiarism, discrimination).  Council votes on revocation decisions based on the recommendations of the executive committee. A 2/3 vote of Council is required for an award revocation. 

Should a decision be made to revoke an award via either process, the Committee on Awards and the current committee for the award in question will be informed prior to publicizing the decision. 


 

Removal from Leadership Positions
ASA members may be removed from positions of organizational leadership in accordance with provisions in the ASA Bylaws. If a member believes that a person should be removed from a position of leadership, a request for review should be made to the executive director.