- Academic Affairs
- Administration and Finance
- Center for Health and Homeland Security
- Center for Information Technology Services
- Communications and Public Affairs
- Development and Alumni Relations
- Government Affairs
- Human Resource Services
- Office of Community Engagement
- Office of the President
- Police and Public Safety
- Research and Development
- University Counsel
Policies and Procedures
- Section III - 1.10(A) UMB POLICY AND PROCEDURES CONCERNING MISCONDUCT IN SCHOLARLY WORK
(Approved by the President, September 1991; revised June, 1997; revised December 1998)
Integrity in research and scholarly activities is the responsibility of the entire academic community. Scholars work in an environment in which there is an important sense of trust. Published material is assumed to have been obtained during the author's investigations. Falsification or fabrication of such data is intolerable. The University of Maryland, Baltimore ("UMB") (formerly named University of Maryland at Baltimore) is responsible for promoting academic practices that discourage misconduct. Also, it is responsible for developing policies and procedures and for providing the necessary resources for dealing with allegations or other evidence of misconduct in scholarly work.
All members of the university community--students, staff, faculty, and administrators--share responsibility for developing and maintaining standards to assure ethical conduct of research and detection of abuse of these standards. Fraud or misconduct in carrying out academic activities undermines the integrity of the educational system and the scientific enterprise, and erodes the public trust in the university community to conduct research and communicate results using the highest standards and ethical practices. The responsibility to prevent and detect misconduct, however, must be assumed without creating an atmosphere that discourages the openness and creativity which are vital to scholarship and the research enterprise.
The Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland ("System") (formerly named the University of Maryland System) has adopted a "University of Maryland System Policy on Misconduct in Scholarly Work" (the "Misconduct Policy"), approved November 30, 1989, and "Guidelines for Policies and Procedures Relating to Allegations of Misconduct in Scholarly Work" (the "Guidelines"). Under the System's policies stated in the Misconduct Policy, misconduct in scholarly work by any System employee is a breach of contract. Furthermore, misconduct in scholarly work by others associated with UMB (e.g., graduate students, volunteer faculty) will not be tolerated. It is the policy of UMB, as it is the policy of the System:
- To maintain high ethical standards in science and other scholarly work, to prevent Academic Misconduct where possible, and to evaluate and to resolve promptly and fairly instances of alleged or apparent Academic Misconduct.
- To take disciplinary action, which may include the termination of employment, against any individual found guilty of Academic Misconduct.
- To award no degree if Academic Misconduct in science or other scholarly work contributed to that degree, and, when warranted, to revoke such a degree if Academic Misconduct is discovered after its award.
The Policy and Procedures presented in this document affirm the Misconduct Policy, which charges UMB to prepare, implement and publicize appropriate policies and procedures intended to instill and to promote the principles of professional integrity, to prevent scholarly misconduct, and to discover and to deal with instances of scholarly misconduct if they occur. This policy (the "Policy") and the following procedures (the "Procedures" or "these Procedures") will apply to the investigation and resolution of alleged instances of Academic Misconduct.
The Policy and the Procedures apply primarily to faculty, staff and post-baccalaureate student research, scholarly writing, and the creation of works of art. They are not intended to address issues, such as the conduct of students in examinations and in fulfilling course requirements, which are covered by other policies. They are not intended to set up an alternative to existing procedures for resolving fiscal improprieties, issues concerning the ethical treatment of human or animal subjects, or criminal matters.
These Procedures replace all other prior and existing policies and procedures of UMB for the handling of Academic Misconduct not excepted above.
The scope of this Policy and these Procedures is not limited to matters related to externally sponsored research but covers all research and scholarly activity, regardless of source of support. The Procedures are intended to comply with any and all federal regulations as pertinent to a specific case (including, but not limited to, the Public Health Service Regulations and Assurances, 42 CFR, Part 50, Subpart A), may be modified as required by law, and apply to all individuals who may be involved with a research project supported by the Public Health Service or in making an application for PHS funding, as well as all other members of the UMB scientific community.
As used in the Procedures:
- The following terms established as defined terms in Part I have the meanings indicated in that Part:
- "Misconduct Policy"
- UMB Misconduct "Procedures"
- "Complainant" means the individual or individuals making allegations of Academic Misconduct.
- "Due Process" means the procedural guarantees granted to the Respondent during each stage of the Procedures, from the initial allegation to the final resolution of the charges. Specifically, the Respondent:
- must be notified in writing of the specific allegation being considered under these Procedures, as set forth in Section IV herein;
- must be given reasonable time to respond to the allegations at the Inquiry stage and to prepare a defense to the allegations at the Investigation stage;
- must be permitted an opportunity to participate in the Inquiry and Investigation proceedings as outlined herein;
- must be given access to documents, reports, summaries of witness statements, and other evidence upon which the allegations of Academic Misconduct are based;
- has the right to consult with counsel;
- has the right to a decision based exclusively on the evidence presented;
- has the right to a written statement of the decision and of the reasons for the decision, including the evidence relied upon for the decision.
- "Inquiry" means information gathering and initial fact finding to determine whether an allegation or apparent instance of Academic Misconduct warrants an Investigation.
- "Investigation" means the formal examination and evaluation of all relevant facts to determine if Academic Misconduct has occurred and its extent.
- "Academic Misconduct" or "misconduct in scholarly work" means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly work. Academic Misconduct also includes any form of behavior, including the making of allegations that involve frivolous, mischievous or malicious misrepresentation, whereby one's work or the work of others is seriously misrepresented. Academic Misconduct may take numerous forms including, but not limited to, those listed in Section X, below. Academic Misconduct does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.
- "President" means the President, UMB.
- "Respondent" means the individual(s) against whom an allegation of Academic Misconduct is made.
- "Responsible Official" means the officer or academic administrator designated by the President to assume responsibility for carrying out these Procedures with respect to any specific allegation of Academic Misconduct. The Responsible Official normally will be the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Vice President's designee.
- "Senior Academic Administrator" means the concerned dean of a UMB professional school. If the Respondent is associated with more than one professional school at UMB, the President shall specify which of the concerned deans shall act as the Senior Academic Administrator. In cases of actual or apparent conflict of interest, the President may specify a different individual to act as Senior Academic Administrator.
- "Vice President" means the Vice President for Academic Affairs, UMB.
III. PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THE PROCESS FOR
HANDLING ALLEGATIONS OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT
In the Inquiry and in the Investigation which may follow allegations of Academic Misconduct, UMB shall focus on the substance of the issues and be guided by the following principles:
- UMB must undertake examination of any allegation of Academic Misconduct according to these Procedures.
- The Respondent shall be granted due process during all stages of the Procedures. However, UMB is responsible for protecting the health and safety of research subjects, patients, students and staff. If, in any stage of the Procedures, there is cause to believe that the immediate health or safety of any of these persons is endangered or that there is a need to protect federal funds or equipment and or individuals affected by the inquiry, or if there is reasonable indication of possible criminal violations, then the PHS Office of Research Integrity ("ORI") will be notified within 24 hours and interim administrative action may be taken by the Senior Academic Administrator or Vice President prior to the conclusion of either the Inquiry or the Investigation. Such action may range from slight restrictions to complete suspension of the Respondent and notification of the research sponsors and will also probably be publicly reported. Appropriate interim administrative action may also be taken to protect federal funds and ensure that the purposes of the federal financial assistance are being carried out.
- The evaluation of allegations shall be kept confidential to the maximum extent possible. Unless and until a finding of Academic Misconduct is made by the Senior Academic Administrator, information about the allegations and about the examination of the allegations may be made available only to those who need to know, as determined by the Responsible Official in consultation with the Senior Academic Administrator. Generally, those who need to know include only the Respondent, individuals who are called upon to provide pertinent information or expert opinions, those conducting the evaluation, appropriate institutional officials, counsel, and recipients of reports to federal agencies as required by law.
- The integrity of the process must be maintained by painstaking avoidance of conflict of interest and the appearance of conflict of interest. No decisions regarding the seriousness of allegations of Academic Misconduct should be made by anyone whose personal or professional interests may be involved. Thus, although allegations may first be reported to a collaborator, a co-worker, a co-author, a faculty advisor, or a team leader, the allegations must then be reported to the Senior Academic Administrator for further investigation. If a Complainant believes that the Senior Academic Administrator cannot have an impartial involvement in the matter, the person may make the allegations directly to the Vice President or, if the Complainant believes that the Vice President cannot have an impartial involvement, to the President. If conflict of interest on the part of the Senior Academic Administrator or the Vice President is claimed by a Complainant, the President shall make a determination with respect to that claim prior to designating a substitute Senior Academic Administrator and a Responsible Official for the Academic Misconduct allegation. If conflict of interest claims relate to that President, the Chancellor of the System may be requested to designate the president of another System institution to act in lieu of the President.
- The Senior Academic Administrator and the Responsible Official, as officials involved in the review process, may not counsel the Complainant or the Respondent. Any questions or concerns of those parties about the UMB procedures will be addressed by a UMB official not involved in the review of the allegation.
- The Inquiry and any subsequent Investigation should be as expeditious as practical.
- Relevant facts ascertained at each stage of these procedures shall be documented in detail, and any material evidence gathered shall be retained as part of the Inquiry or Investigation record. It is a violation of this Policy for any person, including the Complainant and the Respondent, to destroy, remove from UMB, or suppress any documentary evidence or other information in any format relevant to the subject of allegations of Academic Misconduct.
- Allegations shall be pursued within the scope of this Policy without regard to whether related civil or criminal proceedings have been initiated or are underway. The Senior Academic Administrator may suspend any Inquiry or Investigation temporarily but is not under obligation to do so, as the academic integrity standards of UMB may differ from standards of behavior imposed by civil and criminal law.
- After resolving allegations of Academic Misconduct favorably or unfavorably to the Respondent, the Senior Academic Administrator shall communicate the results of these procedures internally, to all involved individuals, and externally, as appropriate in his determination, to the public, to the sponsors of the relevant research, to scientific and/or professional journals, and to the scientific and professional community.
- Even if a Respondent leaves or has left UMB before the examination of the allegations is concluded, the examination will be pursued to its conclusion.
IV. REPORTING MISCONDUCT: THE INITIATION OF AN
ALLEGATION OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT
- Reporting Academic Misconduct in scholarly work is a responsibility shared by everyone at UMB. Frivolous, mischievous or malicious misrepresentation in alleging Academic Misconduct to UMB or other persons or entities will not be tolerated and will be subject to sanctions under these Procedures.
- Allegations must be reported to the Senior Academic Administrator or the Vice President. If the Complainant believes that both of these parties have a conflict of interest, the allegations may be reported to the President or the University Counsel.
- Anonymous allegations are not encouraged. However, anonymous allegations will be acted upon to the extent practical. Anonymity of an individual making allegations cannot be assured.
- If allegations under this Policy involve Respondents or Complainants associated with other campuses, centers, or institutes in the System, the Vice President shall meet with a corresponding official of the other unit and agree upon a division of responsibility for administering these Procedures.
- If more than one Complainant has brought allegations relating to the same subject matter or underlying facts and circumstances, the allegations may be the subject of a combined inquiry and of combined proceedings under parts V and VI of these Procedures in order to avoid repetitious inquiry and investigation and in order to accomplish expeditious resolution of all pending allegations.
V. INQUIRY PROCEDURES
The first step of the review process is the Inquiry, which has as its purpose fact finding in an expeditious manner to determine only whether there is sufficient basis for the allegations to warrant a full Investigation, and, if an Investigation is not warranted, to make any other necessary recommendations concerning the disposition of the case.
- Consultation with Complainant
When allegations subject to this Policy have been made, the Responsible Official or the Responsible Official's designee shall provide the Complainant with a copy of this document, shall advise the Complainant of the seriousness of proceedings under this Policy and the possible sanctions for inappropriate allegations of Academic Misconduct, and shall review with the Complainant the policies and procedures to be used in reviewing the allegations. If, following this review, the Complainant wishes to proceed, or the Responsible Official has determined from information gathered that the allegations should be examined regardless of the wishes of the Complainant, the Responsible Official will initiate the Inquiry process. In appropriate cases the Responsible Official will initiate the Inquiry process even if the person originating the allegations does not wish to be identified officially as the Complainant. The Inquiry may be divided into a Preliminary Review and the formal Inquiry, at the discretion of the Responsible Official.
- Collection of Relevant Materials
At the outset of the Inquiry, the Responsible Official shall gather all original data and other original records relevant to the issues. It is the responsibility of the Complainant, the Respondent, and others holding relevant materials to provide them upon request. Under the Responsible Official's direction, copies of materials may be made for use of the Complainant and Respondent. Original materials will be available for use and examination by the Complainant and Respondent (under strict supervision), the Inquiry Committee, and the Investigation Committee. The original materials shall be maintained securely by the Responsible Official or his designee.
- Preliminary Review of the Allegations
The Responsible Official shall determine whether the allegations are allegations of Academic Misconduct subject to this Policy or are instead allegations falling under other policies and procedures, such as those relevant to employment grievances. In the latter case, the person making the allegations shall be referred to the alternative policies and procedures, or the allegations shall be referred to appropriate administrators for resolution.
If it is not apparent from the content of an allegation whether or not it relates to Academic Misconduct and/or warrants initiation of an Inquiry, the Responsible Official may conduct a Preliminary Review. The Responsible Official shall determine whether to conduct a Preliminary Review or proceed directly to an Inquiry within ten (10) working days after receiving an allegation. If a Preliminary Review is undertaken, it shall be concluded within thirty (30) calendar days after it is commenced. In the Preliminary Review, the Responsible Official, or persons designated by the Responsible Official, shall interview the Complainant (if known) and the Respondent (if identified in the allegation). Records of information gathered in this manner shall be made.
Based on the result of the Preliminary Review, the Responsible Official shall decide either (1) to proceed with an Inquiry, or (2) subject to the concurrence of the Senior Academic Administrator, to close the file. The Responsible Official may close a file only if the Preliminary Review indicates (a) that there is no evidence to support an allegation; (b) that the allegation involves matters which are beyond the scope of Academic Misconduct; or (c) that the allegation involves minor or insignificant matters that do not warrant initiation of an Inquiry.
- The Inquiry
Upon deciding to proceed with an Inquiry, the Responsible Official shall appoint as expeditiously as possible, but in all cases within thirty (30) calendar days following the Senior Academic Administrator's determination to proceed with an Inquiry, an Inquiry Committee composed of tenured faculty with no conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest, with no appointment in the departments of either the Complainant or the Respondent, and with appropriate expertise for evaluating the information relevant to the case. The number of committee members shall be three (3), and one of these members shall be named as chair of the committee by the Responsible Official. Records made during the Preliminary Review shall be provided to the Inquiry Committee and to the Respondent.
The Responsible Official shall notify the Respondent formally, in writing, of the allegations and of these Procedures, providing the Respondent with a copy of this document and calling attention to the Respondent's due process rights under these Procedures. Further, the Respondent (and the Complainant, if applicable) will be informed of the proposed membership of the Inquiry Committee for the purpose of identifying in advance any conflict of interest issues. If the Respondent raises such issues, they shall be addressed and resolved by the Responsible Official.
The Inquiry Committee shall arrive at a judgment as expeditiously as possible. An Inquiry must be completed within sixty (60) calendar days of its initiation unless circumstances clearly warrant a longer period. If this deadline cannot be met, a request for extension which includes a report of reasons for the request, a description of the progress to date and an anticipated schedule for completing the Inquiry shall be filed with the Responsible Official, and all involved persons shall be informed by the Responsible Official.
Where the Complainant seeks anonymity, the Inquiry Committee shall operate in such a way as to maintain that anonymity to the degree compatible with accomplishing the fact-finding purpose of the Inquiry. As stated above in IV.A, anonymity cannot be assured. In fact, anonymity of the Complainant is neither desirable nor appropriate where the statement or evidence of the Complainant is important to the substantiation of the allegations.
The Inquiry Committee has the authority to collect all information as described below. The Inquiry Committee also may call meetings with individuals whom they believe to be able to provide information pertinent to the fact-finding charge.
When information, expert opinions, records, and other pertinent data are needed, the Inquiry Committee shall obtain this evidence from or through the Responsible Official. The Responsible Official may request information, expert opinions, records and other pertinent data. However, the Responsible Official has no subpoena power nor any other compulsory process, and the cooperation of the Respondent (beyond production of relevant materials and data, as described in Part B above) shall be entirely voluntary. If the Inquiry Committee determines that information voluntarily submitted to it is insufficient to determine that the allegations of Academic Misconduct are ill-founded, it may recommend the implementation of an Investigation in an effort to resolve the issues.
The Respondent is free to consult legal counsel, at his/her own expense.Timely access to all documents reviewed by the Inquiry Committee will be assured to the Respondent. All material will be considered confidential and shared only with those with a need to know.
Records of the Inquiry, including copies of all documents and related communications, are confidential and shall be kept secure in the office of the Responsible Official or a place directed by the Responsible Official. Sufficiently detailed documentation of the Inquiry will be kept to permit a later assessment of the reasons for determining that an Investigation is or is not warranted.
The conclusions of the Inquiry Committee will be conveyed to the Responsible Official. The Committee's written report shall state what evidence was reviewed, summarize relevant interviews, and include the findings and conclusions of the Inquiry. The Respondent and the Complainant shall be given a copy of the report of the Inquiry Committee by the Responsible Official and shall have fifteen (15) calendar days to comment on the report. If the Respondent or Complainant comments on that report, those comments shall be made part of the record.
If the Inquiry takes longer than sixty (60) calendar days to complete, the record of the Inquiry shall include documentation of the reasons for exceeding the sixty (60) calendar day period.
If UMB plans to terminate any inquiry for any reason without completing all relevant requirements, a report of such planned termination, including a description of the reasons for such termination, shall be made to ORI.
- Inquiry Report and Subsequent Actions
The final report of the Inquiry will be limited to the issue of whether to proceed to an Investigation. The report will be conveyed by the Responsible Official to the Senior Academic Administrator, who will consider it and may consult with other appropriate officials of UMB. In addition, the Senior Academic Administrator shall consult with legal counsel. The Senior Academic Administrator shall determine within fifteen (15) calendar days of receiving the Inquiry Committee's report from the Responsible Official whether to proceed to an Investigation. That decision shall be based upon the information contained in the report of the Inquiry Committee. In determining that an Investigation is warranted, the Senior Academic Administrator determines only that sufficient basis exists for conducting an Investigation. The decision to proceed to an Investigation is not a determination of fault and establishes no presumptions of fault.
If no Investigation is recommended, the Responsible Official should indicate whether, in his/her judgment and, if reported, in the judgment of the Inquiry Committee, the allegations appear to have been made in good faith and, if not, whether it appears that bringing the allegations may have been Academic Misconduct under this Policy or other conduct warranting sanction. The Responsible Official will report such recommendations to the Senior Academic Administrator for further action at the discretion of that individual. In such instances this Policy shall be implemented before any sanctions are applied against the Complainant.
If allegations are not confirmed by the Inquiry, then UMB will undertake diligent efforts as appropriate to restore the reputations of persons alleged to have engaged in misconduct.
If the outcome of the Inquiry does not indicate the need for an Investigation, but does suggest alternative action(s), such actions may be taken or directed by the Senior Academic Administrator. For example, the Senior Academic Administrator or the Inquiry Committee may determine that a correction of the literature is required, but no further action is indicated. Even if the Inquiry report does not recommend corrective action, the Responsible Official is free to recommend, and the Senior Academic Administrator to take, such action.
UMB will undertake diligent efforts to protect the positions and reputations of those persons who, in good faith, make allegations of scientific misconduct.
At the close of an Inquiry, all materials provided to the Inquiry Committee by the Responsible Official and other parties and all records of the Inquiry Committee will be delivered to the Responsible Official for safekeeping and disposition in accordance with this policy. In cases where the Inquiry determines that an Investigation is not warranted detailed documentation of the Inquiry shall be maintained for at least three years and will be provided to authorized D.H.H.S. personnel upon request.
When the Senior Academic Administrator determines that an Investigation is warranted, he/she shall inform the Responsible Official, who shall initiate an Investigation and notify the appropriate state and federal government agencies as required by law. UMB will inform ORI on or before the date the Investigation begins.
The Responsible Official shall appoint an Investigation Committee with three (3) or five (5) members within thirty (30) calendar days after the Senior Academic Administrator determines that an Investigation should be undertaken. The Investigation Committee shall be composed entirely of tenured full professors or professors emeritus at least one of whom shall not be associated with the University System of Maryland. Members of the Investigation Committee are to have no real or apparent conflict of interest, to hold no appointment in the department of either the Complainant or the Respondent, and to have appropriate expertise for evaluating the information relevant to the allegations. The Responsible Official shall name one member of the Investigation Committee as its chair.
The Respondent (and the Complainant, if applicable) will be informed of the proposed membership of the Investigation Committee for the purpose of identifying in advance any conflict of interest issues. If the Respondent raises such issues, they shall be addressed and resolved by the Responsible Official.
The purpose of the Investigation is to explore further the allegations, to determine whether the Committee finds that the evidence supports the allegations, and to determine the extent of any Academic Misconduct. In addition to evaluating the allegations, the Investigation Committee may recommend to the Responsible Official appropriate sanctions if the allegation of Academic Misconduct appears to be wellfounded.
- The Investigation
Investigation Committee meetings and hearings are confidential and will be closed by request of the Respondent or the Complainant or by action of the Committee. Written notification of meeting and hearing dates and copies of all relevant documents will be provided to the Respondent by the Responsible Official at least seventy-two (72) hours in advance of scheduled meetings. All interviews requested by the Committee will be tape-recorded. As practical, all interviews conducted at the Committee's request will be tape-recorded. Copies of these tapes will be made available to the Respondent, the Complainant, or members of the Committee upon request. At the election of the Responsible Official, statements and/or interviews may be taken with a stenographer present at the University's expense. At the election of the Respondent, statements and/or interviews may be taken with a stenographer present at the Respondent's expense. If both the Responsible Official and the Respondent request a stenographer, a stenographer shall be chosen by the University, and the expense shall be shared equally. The University and the Respondent, respectively, shall pay the cost of any transcript ordered from the stenographer.
The Responsible Official will provide to the Investigation Committee all information gathered during the Inquiry. The Investigation normally will include examination of all documentation including, but not necessarily limited to, relevant research data and proposals, publications, correspondence, and memoranda of telephone calls. The Investigation Committee has the authority to hold hearings and to collect and consider all of the evidence relevant to the allegations. Whenever possible, interviews shall be conducted with or statements taken from all individuals involved either in making the allegations or against whom the allegations are made, as well as other individuals who might have information regarding key aspects of the allegations. All interviews and statements shall be recorded or transcribed as determined by the Responsible Official. Summaries or transcripts of these interviews and/or statements should be prepared, provided to the interviewed party for comment or correction of errors in summarizing or transcription, and included, with any comments or corrections, as part of the investigatory file.
The Investigation must be sufficiently thorough to permit the Investigation Committee to reach a firm decision about the validity of the allegations and the scope of the wrongdoing or to be sure that further investigation could not alter an inconclusive result. The Responsible Official shall secure, upon the Investigation Committee's request, necessary and appropriate expertise to carry out the Investigation if the Investigation Committee's membership does not include all required expertise. In the course of an Investigation, additional information may emerge that may justify broadening the scope of the Investigation beyond the initial allegations. Should this occur, the individuals affected shall be informed in writing of significant new directions in the Investigation.
All members of the UMB community are obliged to cooperate in a timely fashion by producing any additional data requested for the Investigation. Copies of all materials obtained by the Committee shall be provided to the affected individuals following any deletions required to protect confidentiality of persons making allegations of Academic Misconduct. Original materials obtained by the Committee shall be stored securely along with other materials collected by the Responsible Official.
The Respondent shall have an opportunity to address the charges and evidence in detail, both in writing and at a hearing before the Investigation Committee. The Respondent shall have the right to present evidence and to call and question witnesses. The Respondent is free to seek the assistance of legal counsel at his/her own expense. Legal counsel may accompany and speak for the Respondent when meeting with or being heard by the Responsible Official and/or Investigation Committee.
If there is cause to believe that the health or safety of research subjects, patients, students or staff is endangered or that the integrity of sponsored research is endangered, the Investigation Committee shall immediately report significant developments during the course of the Investigation to the Responsible Official, who may report to the research sponsor.
An Investigation shall be completed within one hundred twenty (120) calendar days of the formation of the Investigation Committee, unless the deadline is extended by the Responsible Official. This includes conducting the Investigation, preparing the report of findings, conveying the report to the Responsible Official, making that report available for comment by the subjects of the Investigation, notifying the Respondent of a decision as to the ultimate outcome of the Investigation and recommendations, if any, and submitting the report to ORI.
If the Responsible Official, after receiving a request from the Investigation Committee to extend its deadline and after consulting with the Investigating Committee, determines that the Investigating Committee will not be able to complete the investigation before one hundred twenty (120) calendar days, he/she shall consider the request. At such time the Investigation Committee must submit to the Responsible Official an interim report on the progress to date and an estimate of the date of completion of the report and other necessary steps. An extension request will also be submitted to ORI. Such request to ORI will include an explanation for the delay, an interim report on the progress to date, an outline of what needs to be done, and an estimated date of completion.
Any consideration of a request for an extension must balance the need for a thorough and rigorous examination of the facts against the interests of the subject(s) of the Investigation, UMB and research sponsors in a timely resolution of the matter. It is the intent of this policy that extensions should be avoided, and should not be granted for unreasonable lengths of time. If the request is granted, the Responsible Official must document in writing the reasons and provide in writing an extension with a new deadline.
After all evidence has been received and hearings completed, the Investigation Committee shall meet in closed sessions to deliberate, and prepare its findings and recommendations. In its deliberations, the Investigation Committee shall apply the preponderance of evidence standard to the evidence it considers.
If UMB plans to terminate any Investigation for any reason without completing all relevant requirements, a report of such planned termination including a description of the reasons for such termination, shall be made to ORI.
- Investigation Report
Upon completion of the Investigation, the Investigation Committee shall submit to the Responsible Official a full report which details the Committee's findings and recommendations. The recommendations shall specify actions appropriate for the seriousness of the findings. These recommendations shall address actions to restore damaged reputations, if necessary, and shall identify specific retractions, disclaimers and announcements necessary to clarify the record. The Committee may recommend sanctions if Academic Misconduct is found.
If Academic Misconduct is not found, the Committee shall indicate whether or not the allegations appear to have been made in good faith and, if not, whether the bringing of the allegations appears to be Academic Misconduct or other misconduct warranting sanction by the Institution.
The Responsible Official will send the Investigation Committee's report to the Respondent. If the Complainant can be identified, he/she shall be provided with those portions of the report that address his/her role and opinions in the Investigation. The Respondent and the Complainant will be allowed fifteen (15) calendar days to comment in writing upon the Investigation Committee's report. The report and the response, if any, of the Complainant and Respondent will be provided to the Senior Academic Administrator by the Responsible Official.
At the conclusion of the Investigation Committee's work, all materials provided to the Inquiry Committee by the Responsible Official and other parties and all records of the Investigation Committee will be delivered to the Responsible Official for safekeeping and disposition in accordance with this Policy. Documentation to substantiate the Investigation's findings will be prepared, maintained and made available to the Director, ORI.
The Respondent shall be informed of the appeals process, as described in paragraph VIII herein, when he/she is notified of the Committee's findings and when the Senior Academic Administrator's decision regarding application of sanctions is communicated to the Respondent. If the sanctions involve a recommendation for termination of employment, the policies of the System and UMB concerning termination of academic appointments or other employment will be invoked.
VII. RESOLUTION OF ALL ALLEGATIONS OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT
The final report of the Investigation Committee, conveyed to the Senior Academic Administrator by the Responsible Official, will be considered by the Senior Academic Administrator, who may consult with other academic officers as appropriate. The Senior Academic Administrator also shall consult with legal counsel. The Senior Academic Administrator shall make a determination as to the presence or absence of Academic Misconduct within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving the Investigating Committee's report from the Responsible Official. This thirty (30) calendar day period may be extended by the President for an additional thirty (30) calendar days for good cause.
A final report describing the policies and procedures under which the Investigation was conducted, how and from whom information was obtained relevant to the Investigation, the findings and the basis for the findings, and including the actual text or an accurate summary of the views of any individual(s) found to have engaged in misconduct, as well as a description of any sanctions taken by UMB, will be submitted to ORI.
- Finding of Absence of Academic Misconduct
All research sponsors and others initially informed of the Investigation should be informed in writing by the Senior Academic Administrator that allegations of Academic Misconduct were not supported.
Consideration shall be given as to what actions may be needed to restore the reputations of persons alleged to have engaged in Academic Misconduct when allegations are not confirmed. In publicizing the finding of no Academic Misconduct, the Senior Academic Administrator shall be guided by whether public announcements will be harmful or beneficial in restoring any reputation(s) that may have been damaged. Usually, such a decision will rest with the person who was wrongly accused. Consideration also shall be given as to what efforts are required to protect the positions and reputations of those persons who, in good faith, made allegations, whether or not those allegations were confirmed.
If the allegations, however incorrect, are deemed by the Senior Academic Administrator to have been made in good faith, no disciplinary measures shall be taken against the Complainant and efforts shall be made to prevent retaliatory actions.
If the allegations are deemed by Senior Academic Administrators not to have been made in good faith, appropriate procedures for disciplinary actions shall be initiated against the person(s) who made the allegations. Such a finding may constitute an allegation of Academic Misconduct on the Complainant's part. In such instanc- es, these Procedures shall be implemented before any sanctions are applied against the Complainant.
- Finding of Academic Misconduct
When there is a finding of Academic Misconduct, the Senior Academic Administrator shall determine whether sanctions will be imposed and the nature of those sanctions. The Senior Academic Administrator shall consult with legal counsel and with the Attorney General's Office, and may consult with the Responsible Official and any other individuals necessary before reaching a decision as to appropriate action. The Responsible Official or other campus officials designated by the Senior Academic Administrator will implement those sanctions approved by the Senior Academic Administrator. The sanctions will be appropriate for the seriousness of the Academic Misconduct, and may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- -- Removal from particular project;
- -- Special monitoring of future work;
- -- Letter of reprimand;
- -- Probation for a specified period with conditions specified;
- -- Suspension of rights and responsibilities for a specified period;
- -- Financial restitution;
- -- Termination of employment or other actions affecting employment or faculty appointment (if formal termination proceedings are instituted, such proceedings must be in accordance with System and Institution termination policies and procedures);
- -- Any other disciplinary actions available as corrective action in a case of inappropriate behavior by a student or a faculty member or other employee. In addition to imposing appropriate sanctions, UMB shall do everything it can to clarify the record, such as:
- -- Formal notification of sponsoring agencies, funding sources, co-authors, co-investigators, collaborators, department, campus and university publications, editors of journals in which fraudulent research was published, state professional licens- ing boards, other institutions, sponsoring agencies, funding sources with which the individual has been affiliated, and professional societies;
- -- Public announcements;
- -- Published retractions and disassociation with published papers;
- -- Formal withdrawal of pending applications for research support.
The Respondent may appeal the findings of the Investigation Committee and the conclusions of the Senior Academic Administrator to the President following a determination of Academic Misconduct by the Senior Academic Administrator. A written statement of the grounds for the appeal must be submitted to the President within thirty (30) days of written notification of the Senior Academic Administrator's final determination. Grounds for appeal include, but are not limited to, new unconsidered evidence not previously available, recommended sanctions not in keeping with the findings, conflict of interest not previously known among those involved in the Investigation, failure to disclose to the Respondent in a timely manner evidence considered supportive of the allegation, failure to consider relevant information proffered by the person who was the subject of the allegation, prejudicial lapses in providing the Respondent due process as defined by these Procedures, and failure to follow these Procedures.
Upon receipt and consideration of a written appeal and such other information as the President may request of the Senior Academic Administrator or the Responsible Official, the President shall determine, in his/her sole discretion, whether to overturn the decision, modify the decision, request more information on specific points, or affirm the action of the Senior Academic Administrator. The President's decision shall be reported to all involved in a timely fashion. The President will endeavor to reach a decision within sixty (60) days after the appeal is received by the President.
IX. RECORDS OF PROCEEDINGS
If it is determined that an Investigation is warranted, the Inquiry records shall be maintained in a secure manner for a period of at least three (3) years after the termination of the subsequent Investigation, and, upon request, may be provided to authorized federal agencies. If no reason to proceed to an Investigation is found, records of an Inquiry shall be destroyed three (3) years after completion of an Inquiry unless otherwise required by law or directed by the Senior Academic Administrator.
Records of a completed Inquiry are confidential and shall be maintained by the Office of the Vice President or any other Office designated by the Senior Academic Administrator. The records of the Inquiry are to be passed on to an Investigation Committee if an Investigation is initiated. Records of an Inquiry may be provided to federal or state agencies as required by federal or state law.
Records of an Investigation, including copies of all documents and related communications, are confidential and shall be kept secure in the Office of the Responsible Official, or any other Office designated by the Senior Academic Administrator, for at least three (3) years. Records of the Investigation may be provided to federal or state agencies as required by federal or state law.
Upon destruction of Inquiry or Investigation records, any original research data or materials in the records shall be returned to the investigator(s) from whom the materials were obtained.
X. EXAMPLES OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT
These examples are taken from the Guidelines and from recommendations of a task force on Institutional Policy for the Handling of Academic Misconduct which included in its membership faculty from UMB and its sister institution University of Maryland Baltimore County. They are not intended to be exhaustive.
- FALSIFICATION OF DATA: Ranging from fabrication to deceptive, selective reporting of findings and omission of conflicting data, or willful suppression and/or distortion of data.
- PLAGIARISM: The appropriation of the language, ideas, or thoughts of another and representation of them as one's own original work.
- IMPROPRIETIES OF AUTHORSHIP: Improper assignment of credit, such as excluding others by knowingly not citing their work; misrepresentation of the same material as original in more than one publication.
- MISAPPROPRIATION OF THE IDEAS OF OTHERS: An important aspect of scholarly activity is the exchange of ideas among colleagues. Improper or nonattributive use of information acquired in this process constitutes Academic Misconduct. New ideas gleaned from such exchanges can lead to important discoveries. Scholars also acquire novel ideas during the process of reviewing grant applications and manuscripts. However, improper use of such information or wholesale appropriation of such material constitutes Academic Misconduct.
- VIOLATION OF GENERALLY ACCEPTED RESEARCH PRACTICES: Serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing or carrying out research, improper manipulation of experiments to obtain biased results, deceptive statistical or analytical manipulations, or improper reporting of results.
- DELIBERATE VIOLATION OF REGULATIONS: For example, failure to comply with regulations concerning the use of human subjects, the care of animals, health and safety of individuals and the environment, new devices, investigational drugs, recombinant products, or radioactive, biologic or chemical materials.
- INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR IN RELATION TO ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT: Including bad faith accusation of Misconduct; failure to report known or suspected Academic Misconduct; withholding or destruction of information relevant to a claim of Academic Misconduct; and retaliation against persons involved in the allegation or investigation of Academic Misconduct.
- MISAPPROPRIATION OF FUNDS OR RESOURCES: For example, the misuse of funds for personal gain.
- ABUSE OF CONFIDENTIALITY: For example, improper use of information gained by privileged access, such as information obtained through service on peer review panels and editorial boards.