All elements of the AASL evaluation process, including the content of questions and answers, discussions, interpretations, and analyses, are to be treated in the most private and professional manner. Both ethical and legal considerations demand that information acquired through the accreditation process not be used for purposes other than accreditation matters, unless permission is obtained from the institution, state, or professional organization.
Documents, reports, and other materials prepared by the institution, state, or professional organization for AASL review should be treated as private documents in the absence of specific policies that make clear the degree and extent of their exposure.
Beyond the principles herein discussed, individuals should exclude themselves from participating in AASL review activities if, to their knowledge, there is some predisposing factor that could prejudice them with respect to the review of the institution’s program or the review of a state’s standards.
Conflicts of Interest
Persons should not serve in any decision-making capacity regarding the approval of an institution’s program or approval of a state’s standards if they have formerly been on the faculty or staff, have been a student, or served as a consultant. This principle also applies when there has been some other significant tie, such as members of a common consortium or special research relationships.
Personnel involved in approval decisions regarding particular institutions should not have otherwise served in evaluation roles regarding the same institution, including membership on state program approval teams, accreditation teams, or evaluation committees for boards of trustees or regents.
Individual should avoid decision-making activities regarding institutions where they have been paid as consultants, served as a commencement speaker, received an honorary degree, or otherwise profited or appeared to profit from service to the institution.
Team members should avoid serving for institutions where they maintain closer personal or professional relationships. Those serving on teams are frequently well acquainted with a large number of professionals throughout the nation. Seldom does one find a team where some member does not know personally faculty or staff within the institution under review. The key to this principle is found in the term close personal or professional relationships. The team members should avoid serving in any decision-making capacity involving an institution where they have colleagues with whom they have jointly authored research or literature, where they have a family member, or where they have former graduate advisees or advisors. Where earlier supervision of dissertations is involved, personal prejudice is especially difficult to avoid and bias is often assumed.