Our culture of doing the right thing is supported by a strong governance structure along with clear policies for ethical conduct and decision-making. We are committed to transparently reporting on our financial, social and environmental activities.
ACC is governed by a board of seasoned leaders, nearly 90% of whom are independent. Our board chairman is also independent and separate from our CEO. The board of directors is elected annually.
Independent directors make up 100% of our board’s primary committees:
We enhanced our board’s diversity in 2019 by increasing its female representation. Diversity is a priority in our board nomination process. Our Nominating and Governance Committee not only considers gender, age, race and ethnic diversity but also diversity of thought, background and experience. A diverse board can provide a more robust, multidimensional perspective as well as better oversight in driving sustainable financial performance in today’s rapidly evolving business environment.
46-75 years, median 60 years
3/8 independent directors
1-16 years, median 8 years
Our codes and policies outline our expectations for ethical conduct, and our company-wide infrastructure supports compliance. All ACC employees must follow our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, which covers topics such as conflicts of interest, fair dealing and disclosure of proprietary information. We updated the Code in 2019, and all employees were required to review and affirm the new version.
We provide a whistleblower hotline for reporting violations, which go directly to our Audit Committee Chair. Our Protection of Whistleblowers policy protects reporting employees against retaliation. We also have an anti-harassment policy, which all employees have acknowledged.
In 2019, we updated our Guidelines on Governance, which address significant corporate governance issues such as the board’s role, selection and composition; committees; operation and structure; orientation and evaluation; planning and oversight functions and stock ownership guidelines. We also updated our Code of Ethical Conduct for Senior Financial Officers.
Our regular engagement with stakeholders enables us to transparently communicate our company’s performance, and to receive feedback that helps us improve.
In addition to quarterly earnings calls and the company’s annual stockholder meeting, ACC’s Investor Relations team meets with investors frequently to solicit feedback and provide updates on business priorities and earnings results.
Additional investor touchpoints include:
We keep an open, two-way dialogue with residents through our resident life programs, Hi, How Are You Project mental health program, surveys and events.
Additional resident engagement programs include:
ACC conducts robust community and neighborhood engagement programs for new developments. Additionally, we work in close partnership with local nonprofits to provide philanthropic support to the communities in which we are active. We also provide support and education to at-risk youth through the American Campus Charity Foundation.
Additional community interaction includes:
Our quarterly CEO call, Inside Track and leadership development programs and open communication encourage regular discussion of business priorities and gathering of employee feedback.
Additional employee engagement includes:
ACC’s executive compensation programs are designed to attract, retain and motivate talented executives. They reward executives for meeting individual goals, and also link a substantial portion of compensation to the achievement of company goals that drive stockholder value.
ACC maintains a defense-in-depth cybersecurity strategy, with multiple layers of controls throughout our technology systems. We continually monitor the global threat landscape and adapt to changes as they emerge. We also undergo voluntary third-party security assessments annually to ensure our security posture is aligned with risk tolerance.
We are committed to protecting the privacy of our employees, partners and current and prospective residents and their families. Every ACC employee completes annual, comprehensive trainings on data security and privacy awareness, which cover the latest privacy laws.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we immediately transitioned our corporate team members to work from home. At our communities, we implemented reduced work hours with some remote work options. We were able to continue all business processes, from accounts payable to customer service, without interruption and while maintaining data security.