Mission | History | Strategic Goals | Code of Conduct

The Urban Affairs Association (UAA) is the international professional organization for urban scholars, researchers, and public service professionals.

Mission

The Urban Affairs Association is dedicated to creating interdisciplinary spaces for engaging in intellectual and practical discussions about urban life.  Through theoretical, empirical, and action-oriented research, the UAA fosters diverse activities to understand and shape a more just and equitable urban world. (Adopted March 12, 2010)

History

UAA is the successor organization to the Council of University Institutes for Urban Affairs, formed in Boston in 1969 by a group of directors of university urban programs. As urban affairs developed as a professional and academic field, the need for an organization that welcomed urban faculty, professionals, and students as well as urban program directors and deans became increasingly apparent. In recognition of this need, in 1981 the organization’s name was changed to the Urban Affairs Association. Today, UAA includes over 700 institutional, individual, and student members from colleges and universities throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. Among its other activities, UAA sponsors the Journal of Urban Affairs, a refereed annual journal, publishing manuscripts related to urban research and policy analysis of interest to both scholars and practitioners. All UAA members receive the Journal of Urban Affairs as part of their membership fee.

The Urban Affairs Association holds a conference each spring in an urban center. Recent conferences have taken place in Montréal, Seattle, Baltimore, Chicago, Honolulu, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, San Antonio, Miami, and San Diego. Future conferences will occur in Los Angeles (2019) and Washington, D.C. (2020). These yearly conferences are an integral part of UAA’s efforts to increase knowledge about urban places and promote the development of research activities. They provide an excellent opportunity for members to exchange ideas, information, and experiences. The conference program features both topics of institutional concern and those related to urban issues. Although formal papers are presented, with selected papers published, the conference format also allows opportunities for informal activities designed to foster professional networking and open discussion.

Strategic Goals

(adopted October 1, 2010)

    1. To foster education, professional development, and student mentoring in urban affairs;
    2. To foster and build the capacity among scholars, policymakers and other members of the community for collaboration on significant urban issues;
    3. To foster interdisciplinary scholarship on urban affairs;
    4. To offer a space for the examination of university engagement in urban communities such as service learning, engaged scholarship and university/community partnerships;
    5. To support university based urban affairs education, research and service; and
    6. To recruit, develop and sustain scholars to serve and influence the field of urban affairs and its institutions.

Code of Conduct

(adopted July 23, 2018) 

Purpose

The mission of the Urban Affairs Association (UAA) is as follows: The Urban Affairs Association is dedicated to creating interdisciplinary spaces for engaging in intellectual and practical discussions about urban life.  Through theoretical, empirical, and action-oriented research, the UAA fosters diverse activities to understand and shape a more just and equitable urban world.

To sustain a space in which this mission can be fulfilled, all members of the Association, event participants, Association staff, and contracted vendors of the Association are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that affirms the worth, dignity, and respect of others present when at Association conferences or events.  The following statements serve as a reminder of expected behavior and professional conduct at all Association events.

The Urban Affairs Association expects that all members, conference/event attendees, guests, and staff will:

  1. Abide by norms of professional respect/conduct at all times;
  2. Encourage others to abide by norms of professional respect/conduct;
  3. Alert Association staff should you see a dangerous situation or someone in distress;
  4. Report any incidence in which you as an individual believe that you have been subject to inappropriate or unprofessional behavior on the part of another person during a UAA conference or event.

Unacceptable behaviors at Urban Affairs Association gatherings include:

  1. Any intimidating, harassing, demeaning, or derogatory speech or actions towards others that undermine principles of academic and professional exchange;
  2. Identity-based attacks on the basis of gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, age, or religion that undermine principles of academic and professional exchange;
  3. Recording or sharing others’ intellectual property without their permission;
  4. Sustained disruption of talks or events;
  5. Intimidation, stalking, threats towards others, or assault;
  6. Making false claims of inappropriate behavior against an event participant;
  7. Physical touching, suggestive language, photographing, and/or videotaping of a conference or event attendee that violates the individual’s right to privacy and respect;
  8. Display, distribution, and/or affixing of unauthorized materials (e.g., advertisements, flyers) during a UAA conference or event without the express permission of UAA;
  9. Promotion of services or products to attendees at UAA conferences or events without the explicit permission of UAA.

Application of the Code of Conduct

Each person who registers for a UAA event will be required to acknowledge and agree to abide by the Code of Conduct.  If an individual is reported to be in violation of the Code, a formal investigation of alleged actions will be made by UAA. The alleged violator will be given an opportunity to give statements regarding any incident. Based on all statements and reports related to an alleged violation, UAA will determine if a violation has occurred. UAA reserves the right to take any and all appropriate actions to protect the safety and well-being of event participants.

Consequences of Violating the Code of Conduct

The Urban Affairs Association reserves the right to request that individuals who violate principles of the code of conduct leave the event. The Association also reserves the right to ban violators from future Association activities. At the discretion of the Association’s Executive Director in consultation with the Governing Board Chair, violations may be reported to local authorities or to the violator’s home institution.

Reporting and Accountability

Should you witness or experience behavior which runs counter to the principles in this code of conduct, please alert an Association staff member as soon as possible. In addition to contacting staff directly, an anonymous web form is available for reporting any issues of concern. Any information submitted via that form is only accessible by the Association’s Executive staff and Governing Board officers. If you observe any individual experiencing an immediate threat or assault, please contact the authorities directly, alert event security or staff, and alert Association staff.