SAA Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct
August 10, 2010 Washington, D.C.
Tim Pyatt (Chair)
Tom Hyry (Council Liaison)
Mimi Games (Observer)
Also attending a portion of the meeting:
Nancy Beaumont (Executive Director, SAA)
- Welcome and introductions
Outgoing intern Tiffany Schureman was present; incoming member Philip Eppard was in attendance as was an observer, Mimi Games. In addition to Phil, Tim Pyatt was reappointed to fill the other vacancy on CEPC. Benn Joseph will be the new intern.
b. Chair status
Tim Pyatt was reappointed as chair for another one year term.
c. Congratulations to Elena Danielson for her new book, The Ethical Archivist
Elena research for her book helped CEPC with its scan of other codes.
2. Approval of 2009 Minutes
a. Draft distributed via email and wiki
Minutes were approved as written
b. Volunteer for 2010 minutes
Jean Green volunteered to take minutes.
3. Code revision update
a. Recap of proposal, sent via email and posted on wiki
Tim gave brief history of the code revision process and discussions at previous meetings. SAA
Council approved that we should go forward with the code revision but the proposal has not been publicly distributed to membership. Council wants us to look at the code in conjunction with the draft statement issued by the Values task force.
b. Report from Council on revision (Tom Hyry)
Tom Hyry, CEPC Council Liaison, gave some background on code revision including Clark controversy. In of light of this controversy SAA Council thought code was not a particularly useful document – revision was in order. Mark Greene’s Presidential Address gave an overview of what our values we should have as archivists. In response a task force created to draft a values statement. This draft has been reviewed by Council as well as legal counsel and will now go out for member review.
ACTION: SAA Council needs a response to values statement from CEPC
Update from Nancy Beaumont: Nancy has talked with legal counsel and received reconfirmation that an aspirational code of ethics should still be our objective. The values statement is not a commentary on code of ethics and legal counsel suggested a few minor changes in language of the values; believes terms like “responsibility” and “anti-trust” makes the Society vulnerable. Nancy thinks the code should drive things; people will pay more attention to a code of ethics. She emphasized that the values statement and code are separate documents.
Tim asked Nancy who has ownership of and updates the Values statement? Tom said SAA Council and Nancy agreed. Tim then asked whether what is the role of CEPC without need to revise or update the code? More discussion on the future role for CEPC after Code revision occurred later in the meeting.
4. Forum on Code Revision – Thursday, August 12 at 12:15pm
Rand Jimerson (former CEPC chair and member, values task force) to attend and will talk about the values statement. Elena will give a summary of the scan of other codes and Tom will provide Council’s perspective. Tim will moderate the discussion. This forum will part of our information gathering. Discussion followed about whether the membership has expressed dissatisfaction with the code. The conclusion was that it was more observations by CEPC members than the membership at large. Consensus of the group was that we should still move forward based on feedback from SAA Council and comparisons with other professional association codes of ethics. There is nothing about conflicts of interest in current version of the code, for example.
Tiffany volunteered to take notes at the Forum (will be posted to PB works wiki)
5. Presentations to SAA Sections and Roundtables
The two program proposals submitted by CEPC did not make it to main program, but the proposal on ethics for processors was presented at Privacy & Confidentiality Roundtable. In addition an update on revision to the Code of Ethics was announced to the College & University Archives Section. CEPC members were asked to encourage members to attend the Forum and to look for forthcoming information – we want wide comment from membership. Robert noted that Cultural Property Working group was another interested group.
6. Code Revision, Next steps
The committee brainstormed about ways to disseminate information and solicit comment. These included:
· Blog and wiki – can SAA support and who will moderate? Elena to follow-up with Brian Doyle (SAA)
· Use of SAA’s Facebook page?
· Code revision
Robert proposed idea of parsing out sections for revision. Each CEPC member will volunteer to take a section and look at the values statement to see how that meshes with code. Volunteers were as follows:
Roger – Preamble and Purpose
Robert – Privacy and Judgment
Jean – Professional Relationships
Tim – Trust and Conflict of Interest
Elena – Access
Phil – Authenticity and Integrity/Security and Protection
It was agreed that the Law section will be eliminated and that we should all look at the titles of sections to see if we can come up with something better. Aspirational tone in intro applies to all elements. Use phrases like“archivists strive to..”
Tim will set updraft on PBWorks – drafts should be completed by end of October. We will follow-up on this with a conference call in early November. Our goal is to submit the draft revision for SAA Council review at their winter meetings. Next steps will be determined by Council’s recommendations.
7. Other Business
Values Draft: There will be an open call from comment from membership that will have a deadline in November; CEPC needs to be heard from formally. As we working on the code, look critically at the values statement and see if there is anything missing or anything that is not right. Send comment to Tim who will compile them and post on PBWorks for CEPC review before submitting.
Future role for CEPC: After the revision is complete, developing resources to support the Code, such as case studies and a bibliography, could be an ongoing activity. Depending on the status of the Cod revision, this will be an agenda item for next year’s meeting.
SUMMARY OF ACTIONS:
· Work on Code assignment – needed by the end of OCTOBER
· CEPC conference call to discuss draft – early NOVEMBER
· Comments on Values statement by CEPC – needed by NOVEMBER
· Structure for membership comment – needed after winter SAA Council meeting assuming we are approved to move forward