AABS Code of Professional Conduct
The Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies, as a Learned Society, affirms its belief in the value of open inquiry and treats with respect all freely expressed scholarly opinions and research findings. From its foundation, the AABS has dedicated itself to upholding the standards and the historical values of a Learned Society. The mission of a Learned Society is to provide a forum for scholars to engage in free and open discussions of their research and scholarship. Attendees at AABS conferences and authors of articles and reviews in the publications of the AABS need to feel that they are free to express their points of view, their interpretations, and the results of their research. In fulfilling its mission, the AABS expects its members and others who participate in the activities of the association to live up to professional standards and to treat others involved in AABS activities with respect and courtesy and refrain from disparaging the personal qualities or beliefs of others that are not related to scholarly activity.
The AABS regards as unprofessional any violations of the standards of professional conduct that disparage and discriminate against other members or participants in AABS activities on account of their disability, sex, race, color, religion or religious belief, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin or belonging, marital status, age, body size, class, veteran status, or any other reason not related to an evaluation of their scholarship. Further examples of unprofessional conduct include any disruption of scholarly discourse or breaches of confidentiality at AABS events. Sexual harassment in any form, including inappropriate language and intimidation, or physical threats to the well-being of members or participants in AABS activities are considered a violation of the Code of Professional Conduct.
The AABS is firmly committed to upholding its code of professional conduct at its conferences and in other AABS organized activities. Any member who believes that he/she/they has experienced a violation of the Code of Professional Conduct may consult with a member of the Committee on Professional Conduct. If the complainant so wishes, he/she/they can lodge a written complaint/report with one of the members of the Committee on Professional Conduct. If the member believes a law has been violated, the member should contact the appropriate local authority.
A Committee on Professional Conduct of four AABS members shall be set up to investigate any report of violations of the AABS Code of Professional Conduct:
1. President-Elect – serve as Chair of the Committee
2. Executive Director
3. Two members of the AABS appointed by the President for two-year terms
The committee member, who has been approached, shall inform the other members of the committee of the complaint. If a member of the committee has a perceived conflict of interest with any party involved in the incident, he/she/they, as a matter of professional ethics, should recuse himself/herself/themselves. The complainant has the right to remain anonymous (except to the initial committee member consulted). The committee should secure statements from witnesses, who may wish to remain anonymous (except to the committee), to the incident. The committee will then provide the accused a written summary of the complaint and request a written response. Upon receipt of the written response, the committee will determine if a mutually acceptable solution may be found. If the committee concludes that the original charge lacks merit, it will so inform the parties and the Board of Directors. If not, the committee may recommend to the Board of Directors sanctions against the accused and inform the complainant and the accused of the recommendation. The Board of Directors may ratify the recommendation of the committee or change the sanctions. The sanctions may include: a written reprimand; suspension of the violator from an on-going conference; denying the violator the right of participation at future conferences or other association events for a specified period of time; or revoking the membership of the violator (following the process in the Bylaws, Article V, Section 4). Investigations and decisions will be carried out as quickly as possible and, if need be, during a conference. A complaint needs to be filed within 6 months of an incident.
For incidents that occur outside AABS organized activities, individuals should seek other appropriate means to address their complaints. In case of legal issues, the injured party should contact the appropriate authorities. The AABS cannot provide legal advice. The AABS can levy sanctions only with regard to the activities of the association – that is participation in the conferences and other activities organized by the association.
The AABS Code of Conduct was presented at the AABS Member Meeting on May 29, 2022 and was approved by the AABS Board of Directors at a board meeting on November 1, 2022.
Committee on Professional Conduct
For information about AABS, contact the Administrative Executive Director at the Executive Office:
Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies
University of Washington
Seattle WA 98195-3420