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Ethical Leadership. Shoreline Community College Operations Committee December 1, 2008 Presented by Stephen Smith Vice President for Human Resources and Legal Affairs. Change and Challenges.

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Ethical Leadership


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    1. Ethical Leadership Shoreline Community College Operations Committee December 1, 2008 Presented by Stephen Smith Vice President for Human Resources and Legal Affairs

    2. Change and Challenges • We are living and working in extraordinary times, where change is virtually constant. Please check for updates momentarily on: The World . . . • The Country . . . • The Budget . . . • The College . . . • Them . . . • Us … You .. . Me! Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    3. Supervisory Responsibility • Identify issues and risks • When uncertain of correct procedure • When perceived as unusual or improper • When information is unclear (directives and responses) • Informed choices • Find and understand the facts (investigate!) • Comply with all law, contract, policy requirements • Human factors (personnel and beyond) • Timely Action Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    4. Ethics - General Definition The embodiment of those values that the person or organization feels are important…, and spell our proper conduct and appropriate action. - Webster’s Dictionary Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    5. Sources of Ethical Core Values • College Mission • Strategic Plan • Legal and Contractual Compliance • RCW 42.52 • WAC 292-110-010, et. seq. • RCW 28B • Collective Bargaining Agreements • Etc., etc., etc. Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    6. Ethical Awareness • Public sector ethics issues are both practical and political, involving: • Public, Media, and Legislative interests • Constituent and Labor Relations • Audit Findings • Employee Morale • Public Trust and Confidence • These issues affect enrollment and funding in higher education Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    7. Ethical Choices • Ethical choices are generally not between issues of good and evil, but rather between two goods, such as: • Truth vs. Loyalty • Failing to disclose or address improper conduct • Individual vs. Community • Private or personal benefit • Short-term vs. Long-term • “Expediency is the opposite of ethics, but …” Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    8. Ethicsin State Government • Policies, law, and expectations that define the minimum standards of conduct for state employeesto achieve: • Public trust in government operations and cooperation with government authority • Efficient use of public resources to conduct the business of government • Accountability of public employees Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    9. Ethics Context at SCC Vision • We will be a world-class leader in student success and community engagement Mission • We are dedicated to serving the educational, workforce and cultural needs of our diverse community. Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    10. Ethical Awareness • Daily ethical choices • Words • Actions • Nonverbal • Clearly distinguish and understand “must,” “can” and “should” Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    11. Ethics Law Requirements • Ethics law requires that all of our actions are consistent with the highest principles of public service: • Selfless -- without any personal or private benefit • Efficiently and productively doing our job • Serving the public interestas defined by Leadership through Mission, Strategic Plan, etc. Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    12. Ethics Law Consequences • Investigations and audits • State and federal • College • Corrective and disciplinary action • Grievances, mediation, arbitration • Individual fines and civil penalties • Negative public perception Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    13. Defining Ethical Leadership From an executive/HR perspective: • Consistent, professional behavior (Leadership by Example) that demonstrates the highest values of official conduct and accountability. • Timely perception and action that fulfills agency business objectives efficiently and respectfully for all parties. Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    14. Ethics Standards The ethical standards for each employee are defined and reflected in the words and actions of their supervisor … and all other College leaders Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    15. Core Principles of Leadership • (Clarity) Decisions, communication and actions are clear and logical • (Transparency) Actions are consistent with law and core business purpose – and anticipate public disclosure and controversy • (Diversity) Actions are equitable and respectful for all persons • (Productivity) Actions efficiently fulfill formal business objectives and core values Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    16. Key LeadershipIssues • Power and Perception • Objectivity • Transparency • Confidentiality • Appearance of Impropriety • Abuse of Authority or Position • Conflict of Interest • Misuse of state resources • Critical choices: Can vs. Should Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    17. Power and Perception Ethical behavior is respectful • Treating people with respect … including compassion … is the most productive and efficient use of our (state) resources, time and energy. • More healthy … less downtime • Less conflict … reduced liability • Demonstrate respect for individual’s rights and inherent qualities Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    18. Ethical cognitive errors: common rationales for unethical behavior • Deadlines or performance goals • Lack of resources, staff, time • Fear of authority • Career pressures to get the job done • The action “isn’t really” illegal • The action is in an individual’s or organization’s “best interests” • The action is “unlikely” to be discovered Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    19. Global Ethics Principles • Objectivity • Selflessness • Stewardship • Transparency Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    20. Objectivity • College employees are public employees under the law and must place the public’s interest before any private interest or external obligation. Decisions should be made on the merits of any issue. • RCW 42.52.020, Activities incompatible with public duties • RCW 42.52.030, Financial interests in transactions • RCW 42.52.040, Assisting in transactions Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    21. Selflessness • College employees should not make decisions in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. • RCW 42.52.070, Special privileges • RCW 42.52.140, Gifts • RCW 42.52.150, Limitations on gifts • RCW 42.52.080, Employment after public service Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    22. Stewardship • College employees have a duty to conserve public resources and funds against misuse and abuse. • RCW 42.52.070, Special privileges • RCW 42.52.160, Use of persons, money, or property for private gain • RCW 42.52.180, Use of public resources for political campaigns • WAC 292-110-010 – Use of State Resources Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    23. Transparency • College employees must be as open as possible about decisions and actions while also protecting confidential information. • RCW 42.52.050, Confidential information • RCW 42.17 Public Disclosure Requirements Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    24. Conflict of Interest • A conflict of interest occurs when you (or a member of your family) have a private interest that may benefit from your official actions, or when a private interest could interfere with official duties • Money or financial • Non-monetary • Most conflict of interests result from the exercise of discretionary (unsupervised) authority … and the supervisor can remain individually liable Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    25. The Appearance of ImproprietyRecognizing Potential Conflict of Interest Mission Official Responsibilities Use of College Resources Personal Relationships and Activities Private Employment Commercial Business and other Private Transactions CONFLICT Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    26. Consider This “If … you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    27. Ethical Leadership Summary • Demonstrate that you understand your role and responsibilities • Comply with all laws, and rules and policies • Clearly communicate and model expectations for staff • Consult with Human Resources early and often! • Expect Ambiguity, Change and Paradox Ethical Leadership/December 2008

    28. Discussion? Questions? Thank you.