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12.8 Statement on Scientific Misconduct

The Office of the Provost shall be responsible for the receipt of allegations regarding scientific misconduct and will be responsible for their proper handling.

“Misconduct in Science” means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate form those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data. Upon receipt of allegations of scientific misconduct the Provost shall order an immediate inquiry into the matter to be conducted by a designated representative and the Faculty Professional Activities Committee.

  1. Such inquiry will be completed within 60 calendar days including the submission of a written report to the Provost.
  2. The Office of the Provost shall maintain detailed documentation of any inquiries for a t least three (3) years, which must, upon request, be provided to authorized Department of Health and Human services (HHS) personnel.

If findings from an inquiry provide sufficient basis, a formal investigation shall be initiated within 30 calendar days of the completion of a inquiry. Such an investigation shall be conducted by impartial experts appointed by the Provost upon the recommendation of the Faculty Professional Activities Committee and shall be completed within 120 calendar days.

  1. Due precautions against real or apparent conflicts of interest in a inquiry or an investigation shall be taken.
  2. The affected individuals(s) shall be accorded confidential treatment to the maximum extent possible, a prompt and thorough investigation, and an opportunity to comment on allegations and findings of the inquiry and/or the investigation.
  3. The Public Health Service’s (PHS) Office of Scientific Integrity (OSI), at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), shall be informed at the outset that an investigation will be conducted.
  4. Should a reasonable indication of possible criminal violations be discovered, OSI shall be informed within 24 hours.
  5. Documentation to substantiate an investigation’s finding shall be maintained by the Office of the Provost for at least three (3) years after PHS acceptance of the final report.
  6. The Provost shall take appropriate interim administrative actions to protect Federal funds and ensure that the purposes of the Federal financial assistance are being carried out.
  7. The Provost shall promptly advise OSI of any developments during the course of the investigation which disclose facts that may affect current or potential Department of Health and Human Services funding for the individual(s) under investigation or that the PHS needs to know to ensure appropriate use of Federal funds and otherwise protect the public interest.
  8. Upon completion of an investigation, the Provost shall make efforts to restore the reputations of persons alleged to have engaged in misconduct when allegations are not confirmed and to protect, to the maximum extent possible, the positions and reputations of those persons who, in good faith, make allegations of scientific misconduct, and those against whom allegations of misconduct are not confirmed.
  9. Appropriate sanctions shall be imposed on individuals when the allegation of misconduct has been substantiate.
  10. The Provost shall notify the OSI of the final outcome of the investigation with a written report that thoroughly documents the investigative process and findings.
  11. The Provost shall inform the College’s scientific and administrative staff of these policies and procedures and the importance of compliance with them

(Initially circulated by President Robert M. Gavin, January 9, 1991)