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New ASECS Policy on Harassment Approved

We are delighted to announce that the new ASECS Policy on Harassment has been approved unanimously by the Executive Board and is effective immediately. Collaborating on the development of this policy have been three successive Executive Boards; the 2019-2020 Committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA); and the many individual members of the Society who shared their ideas and advice. The Executive Board is grateful to all who thoughtfully contributed to crafting this important statement of our Society’s values and commitment to the wellbeing of our members.

Pursuant to the requirements of the Policy, the Executive Board is in the process of hiring an external Ombuds, who will be named in the very near future. Once the Ombuds is appointed, their contact information will be posted on the ASECS website and shared with members. The Ombuds will be available to members seeking information or advice on issues related to the Policy on Harassment. Consultation with the Ombuds will be confidential. For a complete description of the Ombuds position, please consult the Policy on Harassment.

The Board has also begun the process of appointing the ASECS Committee on Harassment. As detailed in the Policy, the Committee is responsible for receiving, investigating, and adjudicating complaints about violations of the Policy on Harassment. This Committee, consisting of three members and two alternates, will receive training in matters pertaining to harassment, sexual misconduct, and conflict resolution from the Society’s external Ombuds. The specific charge of the Committee is included in the Policy on Harassment.

The Board invites nominations, including self-nominations, for service on the ASECS Committee on Harassment. Nominations should be sent to the Executive Director at Review of nominations will begin on September 1. Membership on the Committee is for staggered three-year terms, and members must commit to attending the Annual Meeting while serving on the Committee. One member of the Committee must be a former member of the Executive Board; graduate students are not eligible to serve on ASECS committees (except DEIA).

The Policy on Harassment applies to all activities sponsored by ASECS. Participants in ASECS Annual Meetings and other events will be required to acknowledge that they have read and understood it. The Board has approved an amendment to the bylaws confirming the application of this policy to ASECS business, as follows:

“Bylaw 15.

“The Executive Board adopted a Policy on Harassment on 28 June 2020. In accordance with this Policy, the Board will hire an external Ombuds and will appoint a Committee on Harassment charged with receiving, investigating, and adjudicating complaints from any participant in an ASECS-sponsored activity regarding the violation of the Policy. The work of the Ombuds, the operation of the Committee on Harassment, and ASECS member activities will be consistent with the procedures outlined in this Policy.”

Members who wish to address this revision to the bylaws may raise this matter at the Annual Business Meeting of the Society, which will take place during the 2021 Annual Meeting.

If you have questions about this Policy, please contact President William Warner ( or Executive Director Lisa Berglund (

Yours truly,

The ASECS Executive Board

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