Approved: August 7, 1996
Nomenclature changes: July 16, 1997
Monitor: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Eastern Illinois University recognizes that integrity in research is an uncompromising component of academic life. Toward the end of assuring the continuance of this goal at the University, the following procedures are adopted for dealing with and reporting possible misconduct in science.
The University recognizes that cases of scientific misconduct are rare. Nevertheless, it is the intent of this policy to provide a basis for dealing with any alleged occurrence of scientific misconduct (as defined in the definitions section) at the University on a research, research-training or research-related grant or cooperative agreement funded by the Public Health Service (PHS). It is recognized that non-scientific issues are covered by other policies and are not intended to be part of these considerations.
Assertions or charges of misconduct are to be in writing and signed by the accuser. They are to be submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The process for dealing with possible misconduct shall include the initiation of at least one and possibly two committees. In the case of an accusation, the Inquiry Committee, shall be appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs on an ad hoc basis. The chairperson of this committee shall be the Director, Research and Sponsored Programs. In addition, the committee shall include four faculty members, all of whom have significant University administrative and/or research experience.
The Investigative Committee shall be convened only if the Inquiry Committee finds reason to pursue the allegations. The investigative committee shall be a standing committee appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and shall include the Director, Research and Sponsored Programs as a member. The Dean, Graduate School and International Programs shall serve as the Chair of the standing committee. Members shall be appointed, on a staggered basis, for three-year terms.
Upon receipt in writing of alleged misconduct, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall, if necessary and after appropriate consultations, appoint an ad hoc Inquiry Committee and refer the matter to the Chair of the Inquiry Committee. The Committee shall initiate an inquiry into the charges. During this process all involved shall endeavor to keep the names of both the accused and the accuser confidential. Confidentiality will be breached only on a "need to know" basis.
The definitions above emphasize that the inquiry stage of the misconduct process is only to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to initiate an investigation.
In many cases, action on the recommendations at this stage of review will complete the case appropriately and justly. The allegation of misconduct may be sustained, but its magnitude may be deemed to require only minor sanctions or changes in practice.
The investigation stage of the process shall occur only when the inquiry has provided sufficient reason for a formal examination to determine whether misconduct has occurred.
The Chair of the Inquiry Committee shall, prior to contacting the committee, discuss with the Vice President for Academic Affairs the possible involvement of the University Legal Counsel in the matter. After a determination has been made relative to whether to involve legal counsel, the chair shall initiate an inquiry into the merits of the accusation. The inquiry shall be completed within sixty calendar days from receipt of the allegation unless circumstances clearly warrant a longer period. In the process of the inquiry, the appropriate Dean and Department Chair shall be consulted. A written report shall be sent to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
During the inquiry, the accused shall be provided with an opportunity to respond to the charges. The response shall be duly recorded as part of the record of the proceedings. Records of the process shall be maintained by the University for three years.
If, after review of the results of the inquiry, the Vice President for Academic Affairs determines that there is sufficient grounds to warrant an investigation, the investigation shall be initiated within thirty days of the completion of the inquiry. The investigative body shall consist of the Investigative Committee as defined above, plus additional members deemed vital by the Vice President for Academic Affairs for a fair and impartial resolution.
The following procedures shall be followed: