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Code of conduct

The inaugural Board of Directors developed and approved a code of conduct in 2011.

The AGU Board of Directors is critical to the success of the organization. Board members established this code of conduct to state their intent to work continuously to improve in governance of the Board and leadership of AGU. They pledge to serve as ambassadors of the vision, mission and operating principles of AGU. This requires them to be prepared and fully engaged at all times, behave with respect and civility in all discussions and debate, make decisions based on merit of issues, and act honestly, transparently and ethically. Members will support the decisions of the Board and respect the confidentiality of members’ opinions. They will be responsive to the governance structure and process, and partner with staff to advance the strategic plan.

  • We uphold the law, refrain from discriminatory behavior, and follow AGU bylaws and policies. We create mechanisms to implement and monitor conflict of interest policies.

  • We act on behalf of our members, rather than personal agendas. We make decisions based on the merits of the issues.

  • We implement AGU’s strategic plan and do so by devoting as much of the Board’s time as possible to weighing strategic issues with the greatest impact on the organization’s success.

  • We commit to ongoing Board development and learning best practices for governing an association.

  • We treat Board colleagues as professionals – with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.

  • We create an environment for healthy give and take, speaking candidly and openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals, discussing any concerns in person whenever possible, and taking responsibility for our statements by speaking as much as possible in the first person (“I” statements) rather than in the third person.

  • We avoid personal attacks directed toward other Board members, individual AGU members, AGU staff, partners and collaborators; not raising voices during Board discussions; and avoiding inappropriate or negative body language.

  • While we may disagree with Board colleagues during meetings–and discuss personal views with members if asked–we demonstrate a unified front and support of the ultimate decisions made by the Board.

  • We do not betray confidences. We can convey the general outcomes of Board discussions, but not the details of who said what during Board meetings, conference calls, and email discussions.

  • We will not share confidential or proprietary information.

  • We do not direct the work of the AGU staff or individual staff members. Rather, we support and respect the role of the organization’s staff and the executive director/CEO. If made aware of concerns pertaining to staff, we convey such concerns to the executive director/CEO.

  • We read the Board agenda materials distributed in advance of the meeting, come prepared to participate, and refrain from conducting professional business or using electronic technology during meetings (unless the activity is relevant to the discussion).

  • When participating in Board conference calls/webinars, we make every effort to assure that we are engaged and in a private setting – avoiding any distractions to the group.

  • We stay informed about trends in the profession, as well as macro environmental trends that will affect the organization.

  • We serve as ambassadors of the organization’s mission, policies, programs and services to its different stakeholders.

  • We refrain from speaking as an official spokesperson of the AGU to the media, partners and policymakers unless we have been designated as a spokesperson by the president and executive director/CEO.

  • We participate in periodic assessment of the Board’s performance and use this information to continually improve the performance of the Board.

  • We collectively and as individuals serve as role models to demonstrate the highest standards of ethical conduct.

This code of conduct applies to the AGU Board as a whole as well as to individual Board members.