Research Integrity Policy

  1. Purpose

The University relies on its members to establish and maintain the highest standards of ethical practice in academic work including research. Misconduct in research is forbidden and represents a serious breach of both the rules of the University and the customs of scholarly communities.

This policy establishes an administrative process for dealing with misconduct to ensure that the integrity of research undertaken at Barry University is maintained and to assure federal agencies that Barry University complies with all federal regulations for institutional oversight of scientific misconduct.

Although instances of research misconduct are relatively rare, the University has a responsibility to detect and investigate possible misconduct and to resolve cases of possible misconduct fairly and expeditiously. The primary responsibility for maintaining integrity in research must rest with those who perform it. In light of this responsibility, the University expects each individual member:

  • To maintain and further the highest standards of ethical practice in research. Especially important are integrity in recording and reporting results, care in execution of research procedures, and fairness in recognition of the work of others.
  • To be responsible for the integrity of the research carried out under his or her supervision, no matter who actually performs the work or under what circumstances.
  • To accept that a claim of authorship implies a definable and significant contribution to the work and an acceptance of responsibility for the methods and findings of the work.
  • To keep thorough and verifiable records of research and to insure that exact copies of these records are preserved by the unit in which the work is done.
  • To report suspected research misconduct to the Provost.

The University must also establish certain standards to assure a professional and transparent environment for research. These standards include procedures for dealing with alleged research misconduct.

  1. Scope

    This policy and related procedures apply to all individuals of Barry University engaged in research whether or not their work is supported by federal funding from a federal agency.

    Regulation 42 C.F.R. Part 93.301 (http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title42/42cfr93_main_02.tpl) of the Public Health Service (PHS) applies to any research or research-related grant or cooperative agreements with PHS, and National Science Foundation regulation (45 C.F.R. 689).

  2. Application

    This document outlines the procedures Barry University will follow in the event allegations of misconduct are brought against researchers or individuals employed by or enrolled at Barry University. Researchers include faculty, research associates, graduate students, undergraduate students, individuals holding adjunct appointments doing data analysis or other research-based work for a faculty member, individuals employed by or enrolled at Barry University, and any non-employed individuals performing research at Barry University. This policy defines research misconduct and provides guidelines for evaluating allegations expeditiously and responsibly.

  3. Responsibility to Report Misconduct

    All institutional members will report observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct to the Provost. If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of research misconduct, he or she may meet with or contact the Provost by phone (305-899-3020), email (provost@barry.edu), or in person (LaVoie 110) to discuss the suspected research misconduct informally, which may include discussing it anonymously and/or hypothetically. If the circumstances described by the individual do not meet the definition of research misconduct, the Provost will refer the individual or allegation to other offices or officials with responsibility for resolving the problem.

    At any time, an institutional member may have confidential discussions and consultations about concerns of possible misconduct with the Provost and will be counseled about appropriate procedures for reporting allegations.

  1. Definitions

Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Scholarly inquiry," "creative activity," and "research" shall be considered synonymous terms.

  1. Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
  2. Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
  3. Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, or results, or works without giving proper and appropriate credit.
  4. Serious deviation from accepted practices includes but is not limited to stealing, destroying, or damaging the research property of others with the intent to alter the research record, and directing or encouraging others to engage in fabrication, falsification or plagiarism. As defined here, it is limited to activity related to the proposing, performing, or reviewing of research, or in the reporting of research results. This policy does not address misconduct that occurs in the research setting but that does not affect the integrity of the research record, such as misallocation of funds, sexual harassment, and discrimination, which are covered by other University policies.

The research record is the record of data or findings that embody the facts resulting from scientific inquiry, and includes, but is not limited to, research proposals, laboratory records, both physical and electronic, raw data, datasets, interviews, transcripts, artifacts, progress reports, abstracts, theses/dissertations, oral presentations, internal reports, and journal articles.

Some forms of misconduct, such as failure to adhere to requirements for the protection of human subjects or to ensure the welfare of laboratory animals, are governed by specific federal regulations and are subject to the oversight of the Institutional Review Board and/or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. However, violations involving failure to meet these requirements may also be covered under this policy or possibly by other University policies when so determined by the responsible committees or institutional officials.

Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences in interpretation or judgment of data.

  1. Policy

A finding of research misconduct requires that:

  1. There be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community; and
  2. the misconduct be committed intentionally, or knowingly, or recklessly; and
  3. the allegation be proven by a preponderance of evidence.
  1. Procedure

The following procedures recognize the need to protect the rights and reputations of all individuals, including those who are alleged to have engaged in misconduct and those who report the alleged misconduct. These procedures also recognize that ethical standards are not only an individual obligation but represent a responsibility to the institution, to scientific communities, and to the public at large.

All committees and parties to an inquiry or investigation have the obligation to maintain maximum confidentiality throughout the proceedings. Exceptions to this obligation are those noted for the Research Integrity Officer (RIO) and Provost in Section 4. All persons concerned have the obligation to cooperate and furnish all requested information. If any party refuses to do so, the committees of inquiry and investigation will note this in their reports to the RIO.

Charges of misconduct must be resolved expeditiously in a fair and objective manner, protecting the rights of the person or persons against whom a complaint has been filed (the respondent), the person or persons filing the complaint (the complainant), and persons serving as informants or witnesses.

The making of knowingly false or reckless accusations regarding research misconduct violates acceptable norms of behavior for members of the University community and may result in formal charges being brought against the person making such accusations under University procedures (e.g. Procedure Governing Sanctions Taken against Members of the Faculty).

The Provost will receive the investigative report and any written comments made by the respondent or the complainant on the draft report. The Provost will determine whether misconduct occurred, whether to impose sanctions, or whether to take appropriate administrative actions.

A Research Integrity Officer will be appointed by the Provost. The RIO will have primary responsibility for implementation of the procedures set forth in this document. The RIO is the University official who is qualified to handle the procedural requirements involved and is sensitive to the varied demands made on those who conduct research, those who are accused of misconduct, and those who report apparent misconduct in good faith.

The RIO will conduct the inquiry and oversee the investigation committee, with consideration that necessary and appropriate expertise may be appropriate to carry out a thorough and authoritative evaluation of the relevant evidence in an inquiry or investigation. The RIO will maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings, consistent with this policy and other applicable policies and law.

The RIO will assist the investigation committee and University personnel in complying with these procedures and with applicable standards imposed by government or external funding sources. The RIO is also responsible for maintaining files of all documents and evidence and for the confidentiality and the security of files.

The RIO will be responsible for making reports and providing information to research funding sponsors in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and in research funding agreements. In particular, the RIO will, to the extent and in a manner required by applicable law and regulations, report to ORI and keep ORI apprised of any developments during the course of the inquiry or investigation that may affect current or potential Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) funding for the individual(s) under investigation or that PHS needs to know to ensure appropriate use of federal funds and otherwise protect the public interest.

The RIO will receive the inquiry and/or investigative report and any written comments made by the respondent or the complainant on the draft report. The Designee will consult with the appropriate officials and will determine whether to conduct an investigation after receipt of an inquiry report.

In the event the RIO is unable to fulfill any of the responsibilities set forth herein for any reason, such responsibilities will be fulfilled by the Provost.

1. Preliminary Inquiry

1.1. Before filing a complaint of research misconduct, an individual is encouraged to review the matter with his/her Department Chair, Dean, RIO, and/or University Divisional Vice President, to seek advice from individuals he/she trusts, and through such consultation to determine whether the matter should be pursued. Inquiry into research misconduct should be initiated by written complaint filed with the RIO. The complainant can be any individual, whether or not affiliated with the University. To the extent possible, the complaint should be detailed, specific and accompanied by appropriate documentation. The RIO should determine whether the complaint meets this standard. Upon receipt of the complaint, the RIO will notify the Provost. The RIO and the Provost have the responsibility to protect the position and reputation of the complainant and any informants or other witnesses, and to protect these individuals from retaliation, so long as their allegations were made in good faith. The Provost will notify the Chair of the Faculty Senate that a complaint has been filed and the nature of the complaint, but will not identify the complainant, any informant, or the respondent, in order to preserve maximum confidentiality at this very preliminary stage of inquiry

1.2. Upon receipt of a properly documented allegation of research misconduct, the RIO shall immediately begin an inquiry and identify any outside funding source(s) for the research that is the subject of the inquiry. The RIO will also inform the respondent of the nature of the charges, making every effort to avoid identifying the complainant or any informant. The RIO shall outline to the respondent and to the complainant, his/her rights and obligations by reference to this and other relevant University procedures. The RIO will take steps to secure all documents, data and other materials that appear to be relevant to the allegations. The respondent is obligated to cooperate fully in all such efforts. The materials will be copied and the copies provided to the respondent. The original copies will be retained as specified in Section 4.12. Every effort will be made to minimize disruption to the respondent’s research during this and subsequent phases of the inquiry subject to Sections 4.4- 4.7. The RIO will also appoint a preliminary inquiry committee within 10 days of the initiation of the inquiry consisting of at least three individuals, none of whom is a member of the same department as, or a collaborator with, or has a conflict of interest with the complainant or respondent. The members of the committee should be unbiased and have appropriate backgrounds to investigate the issues being raised. They may but need not be members of the faculty of the University. Upon appointment of the preliminary inquiry committee, the RIO will notify the complainant and the respondent of the names of the committee members within 5 days of appointment. The respondent has the right to submit a written objection to any appointed member of the inquiry committee, based on bias or conflict of interest, within 5 days. The RIO will determine whether to replace the challenged member with a qualified substitute. The RIO will also make every effort to protect the anonymity of both complainant and respondent with respect to the larger community. The appointment of the preliminary inquiry committee will ordinarily be completed within two weeks of the receipt of a properly documented complaint.

1.3. The purpose of the preliminary inquiry is not to reach a final conclusion about whether misconduct definitely occurred or who was responsible, but is a process of gathering information and initial fact-finding to determine whether an allegation or apparent instance of research misconduct warrants an investigation. An investigation is warranted if there is (1) a reasonable basis for concluding that the allegation falls within the definition of research misconduct, and (2) the preliminary information gathering and preliminary fact finding from the inquiry indicates that the allegation may have substance. As part of the inquiry, the Inquiry Committee, as it deems necessary, may seek information from the respondent and/or the complainant. Both the complainant and the respondent may consult with his/her own legal counsel or a non-lawyer personal advisor (who may not be a principal or witness in the case) and, subject to the RIO’s prior approval, bring the counsel or personal advisor to interviews or meetings on the case. When a counsel or personal advisor is present at an Inquiry or Investigation Committee interview or meeting, his/her activities will be limited to advising the Complainant/Respondent, as opposed to representing the Complainant/Respondent before the committee. The adviser or counsel should not direct questions to the Committee. The committee will then submit a written report of its findings to the RIO with a copy to the Provost, the complainant and the respondent. The report should state what evidence was reviewed, summarize relevant interviews and include the committee’s recommendation, which will be decided by simple majority of the committee; any dissenting opinion will be noted. This report will ordinarily be submitted within thirty calendar days of receipt of the written complaint by the RIO. The respondent will be given the opportunity to make a written reply to the report of the preliminary inquiry committee within fifteen calendar days following submission of the report to the RIO. Such reply will be incorporated by the RIO as an appendix to the report. The entire inquiry process should be completed within forty-five calendar days of the receipt of a properly documented complaint by the RIO unless circumstances clearly warrant a delay as determined by the RIO in consultation with the Provost. In such cases the record of inquiry will detail reasons for the delay.

1.4. If the report of the preliminary inquiry committee finds that a formal investigation is not warranted, the Provost may (i) drop the matter, (ii) not initiate a formal investigation, but take such other action as the circumstances warrant, or (iii), initiate a formal investigation. The decision and its review should be completed within twenty-five calendar days of the receipt by the RIO of the report (ten days following a response, if any). The RIO will inform the concerned parties of the decision. In the event that a formal investigation is not initiated, the RIO and the Provost will, as appropriate, use diligent efforts to restore the reputation of the respondent and to protect the position and reputation of the complainant unless the complaint was found not to be made in good faith. An inquiry that does not result in a formal investigation shall not be considered in any future retention or promotions decisions related to the respondent. Any reference to the allegations in the personnel file of the respondent shall be removed promptly. The Provost will notify the Chair of the Faculty Senate that the case has been dropped.

1.5. If no formal investigation of the respondent is conducted, sufficient documentation will be maintained for at least seven years by the office of the Provost following the inquiry to permit a later assessment of the reasons that a formal investigation was not deemed warranted (see Section 4.12). These documents must be provided to the ORI or other authorized NIH personnel upon request.

1.6. If the report of the preliminary inquiry committee finds that a formal investigation is warranted, or the RIO or Provost decides the matter should be pursued through a formal investigation, the RIO will initiate a formal investigation as provided in Section 2. The Provost will inform both the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the appropriate government agency or source funding the research, in writing, that a formal investigation has been initiated and will identify the respondent to the agency or source.

1.7. The inquiry report shall include:

1.7.1. the name and position of the respondent

1.7.2. the specific allegation

1.7.3. PHS support, if relevant, including grant numbers, grants applications, contracts, and publications listing PHS support

1.7.4. the identity of each expert or consultant who participated in the inquiry

1.7.5. a summary of the inquiry process

1.7.6. a list of the research records reviewed

1.7.7. summaries of all interviews

1.7.8. a statement of conclusions reached and basis for conclusions

1.7.9. recommendations as to whether an investigation should be conducted

1.7.10. names of inquiry committee members

1.7.11. PHS Criteria warranting an investigation

1.7.11.1. The allegation falls within the definition of research misconduct and involves PHS supported biomedical or behavioral research, training or activities related to the research or research training;

1.7.11.2. Preliminary information-gathering and preliminary fact-finding from the inquiry indicates that the allegation may have substance.

2. Formal Investigation

2.1 To initiate a formal investigation, the RIO will appoint a formal investigation committee of not less than three individuals, none of whom has been a member of the preliminary inquiry committee but whose appointment will be subject to the same provisions governing appointment of the preliminary inquiry committee as described in Section 1.2. A majority of the formal investigation committee must be members of the standing faculty. One of the appointed members will be designated chair of the committee by the RIO. The formal investigation will be initiated by the committee as soon as possible and usually within thirty calendar days after the report of the preliminary inquiry committee has been received by the RIO. The formal investigation will be divided into four phases: (i) investigation and development of an initial factual record, (ii) draft report of the findings, (iii) hearing, if requested, and (iv) final report of the findings. The Office of the General Counsel will provide guidance in procedures appropriate to the case and may have a representative present at any or all meetings of the committee. The representative will not participate directly in the proceedings except when and as requested to do so by the committee. As with the Inquiry process, both the complainant and the respondent may consult with his/her own legal counsel or a non-lawyer personal advisor (who may not be a principal or witness in the case) and, subject to the RIO’s prior approval, bring the counsel or personal advisor to interviews or meetings on the case. When a counsel or personal advisor is present at an Inquiry or Investigation Committee interview or meeting, his/her activities will be limited to advising the Complainant/Respondent, as opposed to representing the Complainant/Respondent before the committee. The adviser or counsel should not direct questions to the Committee.

2.2 The RIO will provide a written charge to the committee that includes:

2.2.1. Description of the allegations and related issues identified during the inquiry

2.2.2. Identification of the respondent

2.2.3. Provides a directive that the committee follow the procedures as stated in this policy

2.2.4. Definition of research misconduct

2.2.5. Direction to the committee that it must evaluate the evidence and testimony to determine whether, based on a preponderance of the evidence, research misconduct occurred and, if so, the type and extent of it and who was responsible

2.2.6. Direction to the committee that in order to determine that the respondent committed research misconduct it must find that a preponderance of the evidence establishes that: (1) research misconduct, as defined in this policy, occurred (respondent has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence any affirmative defenses raised, including honest error or a difference of opinion); (2) the research misconduct is a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community; and (3) the respondent committed the research misconduct intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly; and

2.2.7. Direction to the committee that it must prepare or direct the preparation of a written investigation report that meets the requirements of this policy and 42 CFR § 93.313.

2.3 Investigation and development of an initial factual record. The formal investigation committee will be provided with copies of the complaint, the report of the preliminary inquiry committee and any other materials acquired by the preliminary inquiry committee during the course of its inquiry. The formal investigation committee will undertake a thorough examination of the allegations, including, without limitation, a review of all relevant research data and proposals, publications, correspondence, and records of communication in any form. The committee is not bound by strict rules of legal evidence and may admit any evidence it finds probative, relevant, and reliable. Experts within or outside the University may be consulted. The formal investigation committee will also investigate any possible acts of research misconduct by the respondent that come to light during its investigation, and will include them in its findings. Whenever possible, interviews will be conducted with the complainant and respondent, as well as with others having information regarding the allegations. Recordings will be made of all interviews and saved as documentation. Summaries of the interviews will be prepared, provided to the interviewed party for comment or revision, and included as part of the investigatory file. When appearing before the committee the respondent and the complainant may each be accompanied by an adviser, who may be a lawyer but who may not participate directly in the proceedings except when and as requested to do so by the committee. The committee will not conduct formal hearings at this point. Except in unusual cases, the respondent and the complainant will not appear before the committee at the same time.

2.4 Draft report of the findings. Following development of the initial factual record, the formal investigation committee will prepare and provide a written draft report of its proposed findings to the respondent, to the complainant, and the Office of General Counsel. The report will describe the allegations investigated, how and from whom information was obtained, the proposed findings and their basis, and will include texts or summaries of the interviews conducted by the committee. In distributing the report, or portions thereof, to the respondent or the complainant, the committee will inform the recipient of the confidentiality under which the draft report is made available and may establish reasonable conditions to ensure such confidentiality. For example, a recipient may be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

2.5 Hearing. If the respondent contests any material finding of fact made by the committee in the draft report, he/she may request a hearing before the committee. The request must be made to the committee in writing within fifteen calendar days following receipt of the draft report. Any such request must specify findings the respondent asserts are erroneous, the basis for the claimed error, identify each witness the respondent may desire to examine at the hearing, and specify the purpose for calling such witness and the nature of the testimony expected. Upon receipt of such a request, the committee will promptly schedule a hearing. The committee will use reasonable efforts to secure the attendance at the hearing of any witness requested by the respondent who may have information relevant to the disputed finding of fact. The committee may also request the attendance of witnesses in addition to those requested by the respondent, in which case the respondent will be provided with a list of these witnesses at the time the request is made. At the hearing, the respondent and committee will each have an opportunity to examine each witness. The respondent may be accompanied by an advisor, who may be a lawyer but may not participate directly in the proceedings except when and as requested by the committee, unless the alleged misconduct rises to the level of possible dismissal of the respondent, in which case legal counsel may take an active role. The committee will have full authority to determine all matters concerning the conduct of the hearing, including the number of witnesses, the amount of time allocated for questioning each witness, and the duration of the hearing. The committee may require that it pose questions on behalf of the respondent.

2.6 Final report of the findings. Following completion of the hearing, if any, the committee will submit a written final report to the RIO with copies to the Provost, the complainant, and the respondent. This report should describe the policies and procedures under which the investigation was conducted, how and from whom information was obtained, the allegations investigated, the findings and the basis of the findings, and should include texts or summaries of the interviews and hearing, if any, conducted by the committee. The committee will state that it finds the charge(s) made by the complainant or otherwise emerging during the course of its proceedings to be unsubstantiated or substantiated by a preponderance of evidence. For each charge considered, the vote of a majority of the committee will constitute the decision of the committee. The vote will be recorded. If the vote is not unanimous, a statement of any dissenting opinion will be included in the report. If the committee finds that a violation of University policy in addition to or other than research misconduct might have been committed, a description of the possible violation will be included for consideration by the RIO under other procedures. The final report will ordinarily be submitted within ninety days of the appointment of the formal investigation committee. The respondent and complainant will each be permitted to make a written reply to the RIO with a copy to the Provost within fifteen calendar days of submission of the report. Failure of the committee to follow procedures is grievable. The RIO will ask the committee to respond in writing to any replies from the respondent or complainant within seven calendar days. All such responses and replies will be incorporated as appendices to the report of the formal investigation committee. The final report should be submitted to ORI only when PHS funding is involved.

2.7 In addition to the interview summaries and comments made by the respondent and complainant on the draft report, the final report, should describe the policies and procedures under which the investigation was conducted, describe how and from whom information relevant to the investigation was obtained, and explain the basis for the findings. Specifically, the report:

2.7.1 Describes the nature of the allegation of research misconduct, including identification of the respondent

2.7.2 Describes and documents the PHS support, including, for example, the numbers of any grants that are involved, grant applications, contracts, and publications listing PHS support

2.7.3 Describes the specific allegations of research misconduct considered in the investigation

2.7.4 Includes the institutional policies and procedures under which the investigation was conducted, unless those policies and procedures were provided to ORI previously

2.7.5 Identifies and summarizes the research records and evidence reviewed and identifies any evidence taken into custody but not reviewed

2.7.6 Includes a statement of findings for each allegation of research misconduct identified during the investigation. Each statement of findings must: (1) identify whether the research misconduct was falsification, fabrication, or plagiarism, and whether it was committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly; (2) summarize the facts and the analysis that support the conclusion and consider the merits of any reasonable explanation by the respondent, including any effort by respondent to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she did not engage in research misconduct because of honest error or a difference of opinion; (3) identify the specific PHS support; (4) identify whether any publications need correction or retraction; (5) identify the person(s) responsible for the misconduct; and (6) list any current support or known applications or proposals for support that the respondent has pending with non-PHS federal agencies.

3. Adjudication

3.1 The RIO will consider the final report and replies. If the RIO in consultation with the Provost determines that there has been procedural error that is likely to have affected the committee’s findings, or that any material finding is unsupported by a preponderance of evidence, the RIO will remand the matter to the committee for further proceedings. Upon acceptance of the report by the RIO, the Provost will report the outcome of the investigation to the Chair of the Faculty Senate and the appropriate government agency or source funding the research. The Provost will also provide a copy of the report to the appropriate government agency or source funding the research, as required. The entire formal investigation process should be completed within 120 calendar days of its initiation, unless circumstances clearly warrant a delay as determined by the RIO in consultation with the Provost. In such cases the reasons for a delay will be documented.

3.2 Following a final finding of no research misconduct, including ORI concurrence where required by 42 CFR Part 93, the RIO must, at the request of the respondent, undertake all reasonable and practical efforts to restore the respondent’s reputation. Depending on the particular circumstances, the RIO should notify those individuals aware of or involved in the investigation of the final outcome, publicize the final outcome in any forum in which the allegation of research misconduct was previously publicized, and expunge all references to the research misconduct allegation from the respondent’s personnel file. Any institutional actions to restore the respondent’s reputation should first be approved by the Provost.

3.3 If the report of the formal investigation committee finds the charges against an individual member to be substantiated, the Provost in consultation with the Dean will take whatever actions are appropriate to the level of intent of the misconduct, the consequences of the behavior, and other aggravating and mitigating factors in accordance with University procedures and which consider the previous record of the respondent. Administrative or disciplinary action(s) may include, but are not limited to:

  • Appropriate steps to correct the research record;
  • The imposition of special certification or assurance requirements to ensure compliance with applicable regulations or terms of award;
  • Removal of respondent from the research project in question;
  • Termination or suspension of an active award;
  • Letter of reprimand;
  • Formal meeting;
  • Special monitoring of future work;
  • Disciplinary action allowed under applicable personnel or student policies, including suspension or termination of employment; OR
  • Other disciplinary action as deemed appropriate by the Provost in consultation with the Dean.

In the case of suspension or termination, the Provost in consultation with the Dean will determine whether there is substantial reason to believe that just cause exists, and will take other steps as may be appropriate under the University’s Procedure Governing Sanctions Taken Against Members of the University. In any subsequent proceeding commenced under such procedure, the final report of the formal investigation and all replies and responses thereto will form part of the record and be accorded appropriate weight.

4. Other Actions and Procedures

4.1 The RIO may designate a member of his/her staff to represent him/her in the administration of any case of misconduct. The Provost may similarly designate a member of his/her staff or a member of the Full-time Faculty to represent him/her.

4.2 If the respondent feels that any action of the RIO, preliminary inquiry committee, or formal investigation committee violates procedures set forth in this document or otherwise introduces an unfair bias into the proceedings, he/she may submit to the RIO, preliminary inquiry committee, or formal investigation committee, respectively, a written complaint that includes the nature of the action and the reasons why the action may influence either the material findings of fact or the conduct of the proceedings. The complaint to the RIO or respective committee must be made within 10 business days after the action in question. If the RIO or respective committee finds that the complaint does not merit action, or if the respondent is not satisfied with the nature of any corrective action, the respondent may appeal to the Provost. The Provost will decide the matter and will have the authority to take corrective action. Proceedings will not be delayed during consideration of the respondent’s claim by the Provost unless the Provost determines that a delay is essential for fair consideration.

4.3 Any final action taken by the Provost under Section 3.3, and any administrative action taken under Sections 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, or 4.7 may be reviewed under other established University grievance and appeal procedures to the extent such review is within the stated jurisdiction of such procedures. All other actions taken, proceedings conducted and reports prepared under this procedure are not subject to review or consideration under other University Grievance Procedure.

4.4 The RIO in consultation with the Provost will, during the course of the inquiry or formal investigation, take administrative action, as appropriate to protect the welfare of animal or human subjects.

4.5 At any time during the preliminary inquiry or formal investigation, the RIO and Provost will immediately notify the relevant funding agency(ies) if:

  • Public health or safety is at risk; if agency resources or interests are threatened
  • Research activities should be suspended; if there is reasonable indication of possible violations of civil or criminal law
  • Federal action is required to protect the interests of those involved in the investigation
  • The University believes the preliminary inquiry or formal investigation may be made public prematurely so that appropriate steps can be taken to safeguard evidence and protect the rights of those involved
  • The research community or public should be informed.

4.6 Subject to Section 4.5, the RIO and Provost will, during the course of the inquiry and formal investigation, take administrative action, as appropriate to protect funds for sponsored research and ensure the purpose of any external financial assistance.

4.7 The Provost in consultation with the Dean will, during the course of the inquiry and formal investigation, take administrative action, as appropriate to ensure an acceptable working environment for individuals under the direction of, or working with the respondent. The Provost and Dean will also notify individuals, programs, or institutions of allegations or developments that would necessitate immediate action in order to prevent the likelihood of substantial harm.

4.8 The Chairs of the preliminary inquiry and formal investigation committees will inform the RIO of any issues relevant to Sections 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, and 4.7 arising during the course of the proceedings.

4.9 Inadvertent failure to record any interview under Section 2.2 will not be considered a procedural defect requiring correction.

4.10 If the final report of the formal investigation committee finds charges have been substantiated, the Provost will take appropriate steps to correct any misrepresentations resulting from the misconduct in question upon acceptance of the report by the RIO. Collaborators, and other affected individuals, organizations, or institutions will be informed. If misrepresented results have been submitted for publication, already published, or otherwise disseminated into the public domain, appropriate journals and other sponsors will be notified.

4.11

  1. If the RIO is the complainant or respondent or in any other way has a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest, he or she is obligated to remove him or herself from the case during the preliminary inquiry and formal investigation and to transfer to the Provost responsibility for carrying out these procedures. In carrying out the latter, the Provost will assume the role specified for the RIO and the President that specified for the Provost in sections 1, 2, 3, and 4.
  2. If the Provost is the complainant or respondent or in any other way has a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest, he or she is obligated to remove him or herself from the case during the preliminary inquiry and formal investigation and to transfer to a committee comprised of academic Deans responsible for carrying out these procedures. In carrying out the latter, the committee will assume the role specified for the Provost and the President that specified for the Provost in sections 1, 2, 3, and 4.

4.12 Complete records of all relevant documentation on cases treated under the provisions of this policy will be preserved by the offices of the RIO and the Provost in a manner consistent with the Protocols for the University Archives and Record Center. In cases adjudicated under Section 3, records will be preserved for a minimum of ten years following completion of all proceedings. Records of cases that are dropped under the provisions of sections 1.4 or 3.1 will be preserved for at least three years following the initial inquiry, but not as part of the personnel record of the respondent.

4.13 The University may act under these procedures irrespective of possible civil or criminal claims arising out of the same or other events. The Provost, after consulting with the General Counsel, will determine whether the University will, in fact, proceed against a respondent who also faces related charges in a civil or criminal tribunal. If the University defers proceedings, it may subsequently proceed irrespective of the time provisions set forth in these procedures.

Endnotes

  1. According to the regulations of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), if the research has been supported by a grant from DHHS, the decision to initiate a formal investigation must be reported to the Office of Research Integrity, DHSS.
  2. There is a discrepancy between University regulations, which use the standard of "clear and convincing" evidence, and regulations of the Office of Research Integrity, which uses the lower standard of "preponderance of evidence." In order to inform the University administrative entity that is responsible for determining possible sanctions when there is a finding of fault, the inquiry must explicitly state whether the higher University standard is met.
  3. The intent of this policy is that the appropriate administrative entity shall take responsibility for determining and implementing sanctions.

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