The following is approved as the basic code of ethics for all members of the Seattle Colleges District Board of Trustees.

As a member of the Board of Trustees of Seattle Colleges District, I recognize that:

  1. The community has entrusted me with the education of local citizens through a wide variety of programs designed to fit the needs of the individual.
  2. I have a moral and ethical responsibility to discharge my functions impartially in the best interest of all of the students, staff, and faculty without distinction as to who they are or what their background may be.
  3. The future welfare of this community, of this state, and of this nation depends in the largest measure upon the quality of education and training we provide in the college.
  4. The transaction of Seattle Colleges District business should be conducted only in public meetings and properly publicized which allows meaningful public participation.
  5. Executive sessions should be allowed only for discussion of items such as personnel, acquisition of real estate, and other sensitive matters as cited in the Open Public Meetings Act RCW 42.30.
  6. My fellow Board members and I must take the initiative in providing the people of this District with the facts about their college, to the end that they will readily support our efforts to provide the finest possible instruction program, college staff, and physical facilities.
  7. Legally, the authority of the Board is derived from the State RCW 28B.50.100 which controls the organization and operations of the college district and which determines the degree of discretionary power left with the board and the citizens of this District for the exercise of local autonomy.
  8. I must never neglect my personal obligation to the citizens of the District and my legal obligation to the State, nor surrender these responsibilities to any other person, group, or organization, but that, beyond these, I have a moral and civic obligation to the nation which can remain strong and free only so long as higher education in the United States is kept free and strong.
  9. In view of the foregoing considerations, it shall be my constant endeavor to: Devote time, thought, and study to the duties and responsibilities of a member of a Board of trustees so that I may render effective and creditable service.
  10. Work with my fellow Board members in a spirit of harmony and cooperation in spite of differences of opinion that may arise during vigorous debate of points at issue.
  11. Base my personal decision upon all available facts in each situation; to vote my honest conviction in every case, unswayed by partisan bias of any kind; thereafter to abide by and uphold the final decision of the Board.
  12. Remember at all times that as an individual I have no legal authority outside the meetings of the Board and to conduct my relationships with the Seattle Colleges staff, local citizens and all media of communication on the basis of this fact. When acting outside this official capacity, it should be made clear to others that I am acting as an individual rather than as a member of the Board of Trustees.
  13. Avoid every temptation and outside pressure to use my position as a member of the Board to benefit either myself or any other individual or agency apart from the total interest of the District.
  14. Recognize that it is as important for the Board to understand and evaluate the educational program of the District as it is to plan for the District business operation.
  15. Bear in mind that the primary function of the Board is to establish the policies by which the District is to be administered, and that the administration of the District and the conduct of District business shall be delegated to the Seattle College District chancellor and the professional and support staff.
  16. Finally, to strive step-by-step toward ideal conditions for the most effective Board service to the District, in a spirit of teamwork and devotion to public higher education as one of the greatest instruments for the preservation and perpetuation of our representative democracy.

Adoption Date : 1985/10/15
Revision Date : 2019/10/10