Faculty Handbook Chapters
This section begins with a three-part statement on faculty responsibilities endorsed by the University Assembly, then includes an alphabetical listing of other issues of policy and protocol.
Each faculty member who accepts a full-time appointment accepts an obligation to render a measure of service to the University which is appropriate to such an appointment. Faculty members are available for student advisement, consultation with colleagues, and participation in governance and committee work. Therefore, while not restricted by a rigid schedule of work hours, a faculty member should recognize the full-time commitment of his or her position.
In recognition of the importance of effective faculty participation in University governance, each full-time faculty member should become personally involved through attendance at and participation in meetings of committees, departments, colleges or schools, the University Assembly, and, as appropriate, the Faculty Senate.
As participants in the scholarly community, faculty members work toward continued intellectual development and professional competence through a variety of activities appropriate to their disciplines and consistent with their individual assignments of study, professional activities, research, publications, or other activities.
As a teacher, each faculty member brings his or her best efforts to the classroom and strives to develop improved teaching techniques and to teach in a creative, thoughtful manner.
Academic counseling of students is one of the functions of the teaching faculty. Therefore, faculty members participate in the academic counseling programs of their departments. In general, faculty members maintain accessibility to students for consultation and advisement via regularly scheduled office hours or equivalent procedures as defined by departmental faculty.
In their relationship with students, faculty members use as a guide the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students and should be fully aware of the services available to students to assist them with academic, health, finance, or personal problems.
Each faculty member meets classes at the regular or announced scheduled time and location unless a change is approved in advance by the department chairperson or unless an emergency occurs. Each faculty member is properly prepared for all classes and meets them punctually.
Each faculty member is responsible for giving early notice of resignation. In this regard, the faculty member and the University are guided by the AAUP Statement on Recruitment and Resignation of Faculty Members. The University accepts a responsibility to observe the AAUP guidelines regarding late offers to faculty members teaching at other institutions.
The University has developed certain regulations in order to make possible an orderly academic environment and to protect high academic standards. Each faculty member is dedicated to and demands the maintenance of academic integrity. Students should be clearly informed of classroom policies regarding academic honesty. It is the obligation of the faculty member to report all alleged violations of academic integrity to the dean of students.
In the area of academic affairs, each faculty member participates in developing and improving programs and curricula, developing and modifying the goals of the department, college or school, and University, and establishing policies on all levels.
The immediate governance of a department of the University is vested in its departmental faculty with jurisdiction over all the interests of the department, including authority to determine all department questions.
Faculty members, via representation within their department or unit, participate in the recruitment, selection, and orientation of new faculty, and in recommendations of tenure, promotion, reappointment, non-reappointment, and dismissal, consistent with the rules and regulations of that unit.
A committee of the University Faculty Senate has endorsed the desirability of evaluation of the teaching function. Faculty of each department or equivalent unit should develop meaningful methods of teacher evaluation and administer these evaluations uniformly within the academic unit.
In addition to the responsibilities outlined above, obligations to the University regarding political activity, outside employment, and absences from work are described elsewhere in this handbook.
(UA Little Rock University Assembly, 5/1976 amended 2/12/81.)
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a comprehensive, metropolitan university with a tripartite mission: to develop the intellect of students, to discover and disseminate knowledge, and to serve and strengthen society.
The goal of the UA Little Rock Faculty Instructional Load policy is to distribute responsibilities among faculty in a way that most equitably and efficiently advances this tripartite mission of teaching, research or creative activity, and service. Consistent with the university’s complexity and its role as a metropolitan university committed to diversity, the policy is designed to protect and promote the multiplicity of faculty roles. The policy is designed to promote quality teaching, research or creative activity, and service. It is also designed to enable colleges and schools, departments, and individual faculty to pursue, plan for, and recognize the fact that different individuals and units will have different objectives and will make different commitments among the three faculty roles.
The policy is designed to balance four concerns:
- Equity. Decisions about instructional load must be made to ensure fairness among all faculty.
- Diversity. Decisions about instructional load must recognize the diverse strengths of faculty, promoting excellence in teaching, research or creative activity, and service.
- Instructional Needs. Decisions about instructional load must reflect the university’s responsibility to meet instructional needs, offering quality education to students in all general education and degree programs.
- Resources. Decisions about instructional load must achieve a realistic and efficient allocation of existing faculty resources, full- and part-time.
For the most current approved policy, see ualr.edu/policy/home/facstaff/faculty-instructional-load.
(UP 403.13. effective 9/13/1994)
While emphasizing the fact that full-time faculty and non-classified staff members (including, but not limited to, senior administrators) of the University are obligated to devote their working time and efforts primarily to University activities, the University recognizes that a limited amount of outside work for private compensation may be advantageous to all concerned. Such persons are therefore encouraged to engage in outside employment which will affirmatively contribute to their professional advancement or correlate usefully with their University work. This employment shall not interfere in any substantial way with the employee’s University duties nor conflict with his/her University assignments.
Written approval from the department head and/or dean shall be obtained in advance of such outside employment. Each dean or similar officer shall keep records on outside employment by personnel in his/her college or administrative unit and shall prepare an annual report on such outside employment. The report should include the actual time spent during the reporting period. Such records shall be reviewed periodically by the appropriate administrators and shall be submitted to the Chancellor, Vice President for Agriculture, or chief executive officer for the unit (or a designee who is a senior administrator) by September 30 of each year.
It is the employee’s responsibility to make clear that, with respect to the outside employment, he/she is not acting as an agent or representative of the University. University facilities or property shall not be used except with permission of the department head or dean, taking into account the best interests of the University, and the payment of appropriate fees may be required. Prior approval is also required for concurrent employment with another university unit or state agency, pursuant to Arkansas Code Ann. § 19- 4-1604 & Arkansas Code Ann. § 6-63-307.
(BP 450.1 3/30/2016; UP 402.43 9/26/1997)
An Off-Campus Duty Assignment is an appointment, usually away from the campus, which allows eligible faculty and administrators to pursue an approved project while being relieved of teaching and administrative duties. The purpose is to enhance the individual’s value to the institution.
Faculty members (including research faculty and extension personnel) and nonclassified administrators who have completed six years of continuous full-time employment with the University or who have completed six years of continuous full-time services since a previous Off-Campus Duty Assignment, may apply for an Off-Campus Duty Assignment. The application, prepared in accordance with campus regulations, must describe the project which the applicant wishes to undertake, where it is to be done, and the anticipated value to the individual and the University. To be approved, a proposed assignment must be consonant with the needs, objectives, and mission of the campus.
An Off-Campus Duty Assignment is a privilege, not a right. A limited number may be approved by the Board of Trustees each year upon the recommendation of the Chancellor and the President. Assignments should not exceed one semester at full salary or two semesters at half-salary for employees on nine-month appointments, and should not exceed six months at full salary or twelve months at one-half salary for employees on twelve-month appointments. The University assumes no financial responsibility beyond the salary stated above.
Within sixty days after returning to the campus from an Off-Campus Duty Assignment, the faculty member or administrator must submit a written report of his or her activities and accomplishments during the year following the end of assignment.
Off-Campus Duty Assignment to the chairperson of his / her department, the dean of the college, the chief academic officer, the Chancellor, and the president.
In accepting an Off-Campus Duty Assignment, the recipient agrees to return to the University for at least one year following the end of the assignment.
(UASP 435.4, 4/7/1980. revised 4/29/16)
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) provides information, services, and support to members of the UA Little Rock community to enable them to compete successfully for outside funding to conduct scientific research; create works of art; compose music; write books and articles; improve their performance in the classroom; and better serve their students, professions, and the public. ORSP ensures accountability, compliance, and stewardship for sponsored programs as directed by all applicable federal, state, local, and institutional policies, procedures, and regulations.
In support of its mission, ORSP helps the campus community locate external funding sources; assists in budget development; performs proposal and contract review and submission; reviews, negotiates, and accepts awards; maintains oversight and support for awarded projects; and provides education, outreach, and professional development to UA Little Rock faculty and staff to advance research, instruction, and other sponsored activities at UA Little Rock.
Grant and contract research and other activities supported by outside funds are administered by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. The administrative responsibilities of this office, with respect to research and other activities funded by grants and contracts, extend to all departments and units of the University.
The director of research and sponsored programs is available to assist faculty and staff members in the preparation of proposals to potential sponsors of projects. Direct contact between the grant proposer and a potential sponsor is encouraged during the preliminary stages of grant preparation. The office attempts to keep faculty and staff informed of research and program trends and of sources of support from sponsoring agencies.
Faculty and staff members considering submitting grant proposals should contact ORSP at an early stage in the preparation of the application. Early communication of certain procedural matters can avoid revisions and wasted effort. For example, University policy with respect to amounts charged for fringe benefits and indirect costs must be followed in preparing budgets for grant and contract applications.
Upon award, a separate account is established for each project, and expenditures are made upon request of the principal investigator under the terms of the grant or contract and University regulations. In handling these details, close cooperation is maintained between the project director and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
Faculty and administrators directing grant-supported projects must inform in writing any personnel hired from grant revenues that the University does not have a commitment to continue employment of that person beyond the terms of the grant, unless otherwise specified.
With the exception of some fellowships, all proposals are submitted by and all awards are made to the Board of Trustees, University of Arkansas, on behalf of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
For guidelines and additional information relating to grant proposals, see ualr.edu/orsp.
Internal Grants and Funding
From time to time UA Little Rock grant funds may be open to UA Little Rock personnel. Information on the availability of funds and procedures for applying will be provided to all eligible employees. Once an opportunity is announced or, faculty or staff should consult the chairperson of the appropriate committee or ORSP.
The Office of Research Compliance reports to the Vice Provost for Research and provides support and training for the faculty, staff, and students of UA Little Rock. The mission is to promote the responsible conduct of research by complying with federal, state, and institutional regulatory requirements. It strives to foster compliance without impeding the process of research.
The Office of Research Compliance (ORC) is dedicated to providing administrative support to IRB, IACUC, and IBC as well as to educate the campus community in the areas of export control.
The mission of the ORC is to encourage and support the research and creative endeavors of faculty, staff and students of UA Little Rock. The vision of the ORC is to provide a cohesive and efficient unit, dedicated to enhancing research and creative endeavors by providing training, support, and specialized expertise.
Main objectives of ORC are to:
- Support faculty in maintaining compliance with laws and regulations through education and promoting best practices.
- Increase professional development opportunities for faculty, staff, and students in the areas of responsible conduct of research and export controls.
- Enhance partnerships with UAMS, NCTR, other universities in Arkansas, and the community through collaboration.
All research involving human participants conducted by faculty, staff, or students of UA Little Rock must be reviewed by the UA Little Rock Institutional Review Board (IRB).
For guidelines and additional information, see ualr.edu/irb.
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is a federally mandated committee that oversees the institution’s animal program, facilities, and procedures. It provides a framework for compliance with federal policies, guidelines and principles related to the use of animals in research, teaching, and testing.
For guidelines and additional information, see ualr.edu/researchcompliance/home/animal-research-iacuc.
Federal Guidelines established by the National Institute of Health, require that institutions conducting or sponsoring research using recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules covered by the NIH Guidelines, be responsible for ensuring that the research is conducted in full conformity with the provisions of those guidelines. In order to fulfill this responsibility, UA Little Rock has established an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), charged with oversight responsibilities for all research-related activities involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules and other biohazardous materials.
For guidelines and additional information, see ualr.edu/researchcompliance/home/ibc.
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training
In 2007, Congress passed, and President Bush signed the America Completes Act. Section 7009 of this legislation refers to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and defines an expectation that a plan is put in place to ensure that certain participants in NSF-sponsored research and educational projects be trained in the responsible conduct of research. This policy in its original form intended to create compliance with the letter and spirit of the America Competes Act. The salient paragraph of the law states:
“The Director (of the National Science Foundation) shall require that each institution that applies for financial assistance from the Foundation for science and engineering research or education describe in its grant proposal a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed research project.”
This revised policy is a response to circumstances that have and continue to evolve. A trend in federal agencies has been observed in which the accountability standards defined for NSF in the America Competes Act are being mimicked. Furthermore, as UA Little Rock’s portfolio of research clients grows beyond the federal sponsors; industry, foundations, state sponsors, and others will expect the same level of research integrity that is currently expected at the federal level. In addition, the evolving definition of responsible conduct of research is limiting the range of practices that in times past were considered entirely reasonable and ethical, but are now thought of as suspect in the context of contemporary professional and societal standards. Finally, as UA Little Rock continues on its path of globalization, a growing number of foreign students, faculty, and other researchers are collaborating with UA Little Rock staff. Recognizing that standards of acceptable research behavior vary considerably from one culture to another, and that the western world has the most stringent rules in this area, it is imperative that a broader cadre of individuals become acquainted, through training, with best practices as currently understood.
For guidelines and additional information, see ualr.edu/policy/home/ed-programs/rcrtraining.
(UP 603.5, 10/8/2012)
The following policies regulate and inform extramural funding and sponsored programs at UA Little Rock. All principal investigators and funding-seekers should consult ualr.edu/orsp/policies-and-clauses.
The basic principle in the conduct of scholarly activity rests on objective inquiry and the pursuit of truth. Integrity in the conduct of scholarly activity is essential and must be maintained.
Although instances of misconduct are rare, it is acknowledged that they do occur. Once they do occur, they present a serious threat to continued public confidence in the integrity of the scholarship and the stewardship of funds that support the scholarly activity.
This policy applies to all individuals at University of Arkansas at Little Rock paid by, under the control of, or affiliated with the institution, including faculty, administrators, scientists, trainees, technicians and other staff members, students, fellows, guest researchers, or collaborators at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. This policy neither limits nor supersedes the University’s policies on Academic Integrity and Discipline for undergraduate and graduate students as stated in the UALR Student Handbook.
A. Activity record means any data, document, computer file, computer diskette, or any other written or non-written account or object that reasonably may be expected to provide evidence or information regarding the proposed, conducted, or reported activity that constitutes the subject of an allegation of misconduct. An activity record includes, but is not limited to, grant or contract applications, whether funded or unfunded; grant or contract process and other reports; laboratory notebooks; notes; correspondence; videos; photographs; works of art; X-ray film; slides; biological materials; computer files and printouts; manuscripts and publications; equipment use logs; laboratory procurement records; animal facility records; human and animal subject protocols; and consent forms.
B. Allegation means any written or oral statement or other indication of possible misconduct made to an institutional official.
C. Complainant means a person who makes an allegation of misconduct.
D. Conflict of interest means real or apparent bias due to prior or existing personal or professional relationships.
E. Good faith allegation means an allegation made with the honest belief that misconduct may have occurred. An allegation is not in good faith if it is made with reckless disregard for, or willful ignorance of, facts that would disprove the allegation.
F. Inquiry means gathering information and initial fact-finding to determine whether an allegation or apparent instance of misconduct warrants an investigation.
G. Integrity Officer means the University of Arkansas at Little Rock official responsible for assessing allegations of misconduct and determining when such allegations warrant inquiries and overseeing inquiries and investigations.
H. Investigation means the formal examination and evaluation of all relevant facts to determine if misconduct has occurred, and, if so, to determine the responsible person and the seriousness of the misconduct.
I. Respondent means the person against whom an allegation of misconduct is directed or the person whose actions are the subject of the inquiry or investigation. There can be more than one respondent in any inquiry or investigation.
J. Retaliation means any action that adversely affects the employment or other institutional status of an individual that is taken by University of Arkansas at Little Rock or an employee because the individual has, in good faith, made an allegation of misconduct or has cooperated in good faith with an investigation of such allegation, or inadequate institutional response thereto.
K. Misconduct means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scholarly community for proposing, conducting, or reporting scholarly activity. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.
Rights and Responsibilities
A. Integrity Officer
The Chancellor will appoint the Integrity Officer who will have primary responsibility for implementation of the procedures set forth in this document. The Integrity Officer will be a University of Arkansas at Little Rock official who is well qualified to handle the procedural requirements involved and is sensitive to the varied demands made on those who conduct scholarly activities, those who are accused of misconduct, and those who report apparent misconduct in good faith.
The Integrity Officer will preside over the inquiry and investigation committees and ensure that necessary and appropriate expertise is secured to carry out a thorough and authoritative evaluation of the relevant evidence in an inquiry or investigation.
The Integrity Officer will attempt to ensure that confidentiality is maintained. The Integrity Officer will assist inquiry and investigation committees and all University of Arkansas at Little Rock personnel in complying with this policy and with applicable standards imposed by government or external funding sources. The Integrity Officer is also responsible for maintaining files of all documents and evidence and for the confidentiality and the security of the files.
If a sponsored project is involved, the Integrity Officer will report to the Funding Agency and keep the Funding Agency apprised of any developments during the course of the inquiry or investigation that may affect current or potential sponsored funding for the individual(s) under investigation or that the Funding Agency needs to know to ensure appropriate use of external funds and otherwise protect the public interest.
The complainant will have an opportunity to testify before the inquiry and investigation committees, to review portions of the inquiry and investigation reports pertinent to his/her allegations or testimony, to be informed of the results of the inquiry and investigation, and to be protected from retaliation. Also, if the Integrity Officer has determined that the complainant may be able to provide pertinent information on any portions of the draft report, these portions may be given to the complainant for comment.
The complainant is responsible for making allegations in good faith, maintaining confidentiality, and cooperating with an inquiry or investigation.
The respondent will be informed of the allegations when an inquiry is opened and notified in writing of the final determinations and resulting actions. The respondent also will have the right to be interviewed by and present evidence to the inquiry and investigation committees, to review the draft inquiry and investigation reports, and to have the advice of legal counsel employed at his or her own expense.
The respondent is responsible for maintaining confidentiality and cooperating with the conduct of an inquiry or investigation. If the respondent is not found guilty of misconduct, he or she has the right to receive institutional assistance in restoring his or her reputation.
D. Deciding Official
The Chancellor will receive the inquiry and/ or investigation report and any written comments made by the respondent or the complainant on the draft report. The Chancellor will consult with the Integrity Officer or other appropriate officials and will determine whether to conduct an investigation, whether misconduct occurred, whether to impose sanctions, or whether to take other appropriate administrative actions [see Institutional Administrative Actions Section].
General Policies and Principles
A. Responsibility to Report Misconduct
All employees or individuals associated with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock should report observed, suspected, or apparent misconduct in scholarly activities to the Integrity Officer or Chancellor. If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of misconduct, he or she may call the Integrity Officer to discuss the suspected misconduct informally. If the circumstances described by the individual do not meet the definition of misconduct, the Integrity Officer will refer the individual or allegation to other offices or officials with responsibility for resolving the problem.
At any time, an employee may have confidential discussions and consultations about concerns of possible misconduct with the Integrity Officer and will be counseled about appropriate procedures for reporting allegations.
B. Protecting the Complainant
The Integrity Officer will monitor the treatment of individuals who bring allegations of misconduct or of inadequate institutional response thereto, and those who cooperate in inquiries or investigations. The Integrity Officer will ensure that these persons will not be retaliated against in the terms and conditions of their employment or other status at the institution and will review instances of alleged retaliation for appropriate action.
Employees should immediately report any alleged or apparent retaliation to the Integrity Officer.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will protect the privacy of those who report misconduct in good faith to the maximum extent possible. For example, if the complainant requests anonymity, the University will make an effort to honor the request during the allegation assessment or inquiry within applicable policies and regulations, and state and local laws, if any. The complainant will be advised that if the matter is referred to an investigation committee and the complainant’s testimony is required, anonymity may not be possible. UA Little Rock will undertake diligent efforts to protect the positions and reputations of those persons who, in good faith, make allegations.
C. Protecting the Respondent
Inquiries and investigations will be conducted in a manner that will ensure fair treatment to the respondent(s) in the inquiry or investigation and confidentiality to the extent possible without compromising public health and safety or thoroughly carrying out the inquiry or investigation.
D. Cooperation with Inquiries and Investigations
University of Arkansas at Little Rock employees will cooperate with the Integrity Officer and other University of Arkansas at Little Rock officials in the review of allegations and the conduct of inquiries and investigations. Employees have an obligation to provide relevant evidence to the Integrity Officer or other University of Arkansas at Little Rock officials on misconduct allegations.
E. Preliminary Assessment of Allegations
Upon receiving an allegation of misconduct, the Integrity Officer will immediately assess the allegation to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant an inquiry and whether the allegation falls under the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s definition of misconduct.
Conducting the Inquiry
A. Initiation and Purpose of the Inquiry
If the Integrity Officer determines that the allegation provides sufficient information to warrant specific follow-up and falls under the definition of misconduct, he or she immediately will initiate the inquiry process. In initiating the inquiry, the Integrity Officer should clearly identify the original allegation and any related issues that should be evaluated. The purpose of the inquiry is to make a preliminary evaluation of the available evidence and testimony of the respondent, complainant, and key witnesses to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of possible misconduct to warrant an investigation. The purpose of the inquiry is not to reach a final conclusion about whether misconduct definitely occurred or who was responsible. The findings of the inquiry must be set forth in an inquiry report. An Inquiry Committee shall be appointed as provided for herein.
B. Sequestration of the Activity Records
After determining that an allegation falls within the definition of misconduct, the Integrity Officer must ensure that all original activity records and materials relevant to the allegation are immediately secured. This sequestration should occur before the respondent is notified of the inquiry.
C. Appointment of the Inquiry Committee
The Inquiry Committee shall consist of the supervisory dean and supervisory chairperson and may include one additional expert appointed by the supervisory dean in the case of students and faculty OR the immediate supervisor and one additional expert in the case of other employees.
The Integrity Officer will notify the respondent of the inquiry and the members of the Inquiry Committee. If the respondent submits a written objection to any member of the Inquiry Committee based on bias or conflict of interest within 5 days, the Integrity Officer will determine whether to replace the challenged member with a qualified substitute.
D. Charge to the Committee and the First Meeting
The Integrity Officer will prepare a charge for the Inquiry Committee that describes the allegations and any related issues identified during the allegation assessment and states that the purpose of the inquiry is to make a preliminary evaluation of the evidence and testimony of the respondent, complainant, and key witnesses to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of possible misconduct to warrant an investigation. The purpose is not to determine whether misconduct definitely occurred or who was responsible.
At the committee’s first meeting, the Integrity Officer will review the charge with the committee, discuss the allegations, any related issues, and the appropriate procedures for conducting the inquiry, assist the committee with organizing plans for the inquiry, and answer any questions raised by the committee. The Integrity Officer will be present throughout the inquiry to advise the committee as needed. Institutional legal counsel will be available to advise the committee if needed.
E. Inquiry Process
The Inquiry Committee normally will interview the complainant, the respondent, and key witnesses, as well as examine relevant activity records and materials. The Inquiry Committee then will evaluate the evidence and testimony obtained during the inquiry. After consultation with the Integrity Officer and institutional legal counsel (if deemed appropriate), the committee members will decide whether there is sufficient evidence of possible misconduct to recommend further investigation.
The Inquiry Report
A. Elements of the Inquiry Report
A written inquiry report shall be prepared that states the name and position of the committee members and experts, if any; the allegations; a summary of the inquiry process used; a list of the activity records reviewed; summaries of any interviews; a description of the evidence in sufficient detail to demonstrate whether an investigation is recommended and whether any other actions should be taken if an investigation is not recommended. Institutional legal counsel may review the report for legal sufficiency.
B. Comments on the Draft Report by the Respondent and the Complainant
The Integrity Officer will provide the respondent with a copy of the draft inquiry report for comment and rebuttal and will provide the complainant, if he or she is identifiable, with the portions of the draft inquiry report that address the complainant’s role and opinions of the investigation.
The Integrity Officer may establish reasonable conditions for review to protect the confidentiality of the draft report.
2. Receipt of Comments
Within 5 calendar days of their receipt of the draft report, the complainant and respondent will provide their comments, if any, to the inquiry committee. Any comments that the complainant or respondent submits on the draft report will become part of the inquiry report and record.
Based on the comments, the inquiry committee may revise the report as appropriate.
C. Inquiry Decision and Notification
1. Decision by Deciding Official
The Integrity Officer will transmit the final report and any comments to the Chancellor (Deciding Official), who will make the determination of whether findings from the inquiry provide sufficient evidence of possible misconduct to justify conducting an investigation. The inquiry is completed when the Chancellor makes this determination, which will be made within 75 days of the first meeting of the inquiry committee. Any extension of this period will be based on good cause and recorded in the inquiry file.
The Integrity Officer will notify both the respondent and the complainant in writing of the Chancellor’s decision of whether to proceed to an investigation and will remind them of the obligation to cooperate in the event an investigation is opened. The Integrity Officer will also notify all appropriate University of Arkansas at Little Rock officials of the Chancellor’s decision.
D. Time Limit for Completing the Inquiry Report
The inquiry committee will normally complete the inquiry and submit its report in writing to the Integrity Officer no more than 60 calendar days following its first meeting. This includes conducting the inquiry, obtaining comments from the respondent and complainant, and submitting the report to the Chancellor through the Integrity Officer.
Conducting the Investigation
A. Purpose of the Investigation
The purpose of the investigation is to explore in detail the allegations, to examine the evidence in-depth, and to determine specifically whether misconduct has been committed, by whom, and to what extent. The investigation will also determine whether there are additional instances of possible misconduct that would justify broadening the scope beyond the initial allegations. This is particularly important where the alleged misconduct involves clinical trials or potential harm to human subjects or the general public or if it affects activity that forms the basis for public policy, clinical practice, or public health practice. The findings of the investigation will be included in an investigation report.
B. Sequestration of the Activity Records
The Integrity Officer will immediately sequester any additional pertinent activity records that were not previously sequestered during the inquiry. This sequestration should occur before or at the time the respondent is notified that an investigation has begun. The procedures to be followed for sequestration during the investigation are the same procedures that apply during the inquiry.
C. Appointment of the Investigation Committee
The Chancellor shall appoint three tenured faculty members, who he/she deems to have appropriate expertise to assure a sound knowledge base from which to work, to the Misconduct in Scholarship Investigation Committee. The Chancellor can appoint additional members to the Investigation Committee if certain knowledge or experience is desired.
The Integrity Officer will notify the respondent of the proposed committee membership within S days of initiation of the investigation. If the respondent submits a written objection to any appointed member of the investigation committee within S days of receipt of such notification, the Integrity Officer will determine whether to replace the challenged member with a qualified substitute.
D. Charge to the Committee and the First Meeting
1. Charge to the Committee
The Integrity Officer will define the subject matter of the investigation in a written charge to the committee that describes the allegations and related issues identified during the inquiry, defines misconduct, and identifies the name of the respondent. The charge will state that the committee is to evaluate the evidence and testimony of the respondent, complainant, and key witnesses to determine whether, based on a preponderance of the evidence, misconduct occurred and, if so, to what extent, who was responsible, and its seriousness. During the investigation, if additional information becomes available that substantially changes the subject matter of the investigation or would suggest additional respondents, the committee will notify the Integrity Officer, who will determine whether it is necessary to notify the respondent of the new subject matter or to provide notice to additional respondents.
2. The First Meeting
The Integrity Officer will convene the first meeting of the Investigation Committee to review the charge, the inquiry report, and the prescribed proced ures and standards for the conduct of the investigation, including the necessity for confidentiality and for developing a specific investigation. The Integrity Officer may seek the assistance of institutional legal counsel in conducting these duties. The Investigation Committee will be provided with a copy of the instructions.
E. Investigation Process
The Investigation Committee will be appointed and the process initiated within 30 days of the completion of the inquiry. The investigation normally will involve examination of all documentation including, but not necessarily limited to, relevant activity records, computer files, proposals, manuscripts, publications, correspondence, memoranda, and notes of telephone calls. Whenever possible, the committee should interview the complainant(s), the respondent( s), and other individuals who might have information regarding aspects of the allegations. Interviews of the respondent should be tape-recorded or transcribed. All other interviews should be transcribed, tape-recorded, or summarized. Summaries or transcripts of the interviews should be prepared, provided to the interviewed party for content or revision, and included as part of the investigative file.
The Investigation Report
A. Elements of the Investigation Report
The final report submitted to the Chancellor must describe how and from whom information relevant to the investigation was obtained, state the findings, and explain the basis for the findings. The report will include the actual text or an accurate summary of the views of any individual(s) found to have engaged in misconduct.
B. Comments on the Draft Report
The Integrity Officer will provide the respondent with a copy of the draft investigation report for comment and rebuttal. The respondent will be allowed 15 calendar days to review and comment on the draft report. The respondent’s comments will be attached to the final report. The findings of the final report should take into account the respondent’s comments in addition to all the other evidence.
The Integrity Officer will provide the complainant with those portions of the draft investigation report that address the complainant’s role and opinions in the investigation. The complainant will be allowed 15 calendar days to review and comment on the draft report. The complainant’s comments will be attached to the final report. The findings of the final report should be modified, as appropriate, based on the complainant’s comments.
3. Institutional Legal Counsel
The draft investigation report will be transmitted to the institutional legal counsel for a review of its legal sufficiency. Comments should be incorporated into the report as appropriate.
In distributing the draft report, or portions thereof, to the respondent and complainant, the Integrity Officer 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, the Integrity Officer may request the recipient to sign a confidentiality statement or to come to his or her office to review the report.
C. Institutional Review and Decision
Based on a preponderance of the evidence, the Chancellor will make the final determination of whether to accept the investigation report, its findings, and the recommended institutional actions. If this determination varies from that of the Investigation Committee, the Chancellor will submit to the Investigation Committee a written explanation detailing the basis for rendering a decision different from that of the Investigation Committee. The Chancellor’s explanation should be consistent with the Institution’s definition of misconduct, the Institution’s policies and procedures, and the evidence reviewed and analyzed by the Investigation Committee. The Chancellor also may return the report to the Investigation Committee with a request for further fact-finding or analysis. The Chancellor’s determination, together with the Investigation Committee’s report, constitutes the final investigation report for purposes of Funding Agency review. If the activity is externally funded, the Chancellor will explain any variance in his/her final determination in the final investigation letter transmitting the report to the Funding Agency.
When a final decision on the case has been reached, the Integrity Officer will notify both the respondent and the complainant in writing. In addition, the Chancellor will determine whether law enforcement agencies, professional societies, professional licensing boards, editors of journals in which falsified reports may have been published, collaborators of the respondent in the work, or other relevant parties should be notified of the outcome of the case. The Integrity Officer is responsible for ensuring compliance with all notification requirements of funding agencies.
D. Transmittal of the Final Investigation Report to Funding Agency
After comments have been received and the necessary changes have been made to the draft report, the Investigation Committee should transmit the final report with attachments, including the respondent’s and complainant’s comments, to the Funding Agency, through the Integrity Officer.
E. Time Limit for Completing the Investigation Report
An investigation ordinarily should be completed within 120 calendar days of its initiation, with the initiation being defined as the first meeting of the Investigation Committee. This includes conducting the investigation, preparing the report of findings, making the draft report available to the subject of the investigation for comment, submitting the report to the Chancellor for approval, and submitting the report to the Funding Agency.
Requirements for Reporting to the Funding Agency
A. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s decision to initiate an investigation must be reported in writing to the Funding Agency, on or before the date the investigation begins. At a minimum, the notification should include the name of the person(s) against whom the allegations have been made, the general nature of the allegation as it relates to the funding agency definition of misconduct, and the application or grant number(s) involved. The Funding Agency must also be notified of the final outcome of the investigation and must be provided with a copy of the investigation report. Any significant variations from the provisions of the institutional policies and procedures should be explained in any reports submitted to the Funding Agency.
B. If the University of Arkansas at Little Rock plans to terminate an inquiry or investigation for any reason without completing all relevant requirements of this policy, the Integrity Officer will submit a report of the planned termination to the Funding Agency, including a description of the reasons for the proposed termination.
C.If University of Arkansas at Little Rock determines that it will not be able to complete the investigation in 120 calendar days, the Integrity Officer will submit a written explanation which describes reasons for the delay, reports on the progress to date, estimates the date of completion of the report, and describes other necessary steps to be taken.
D. When Public Health Service (PHS) funding or applications for funding are involved, and an admission or finding of misconduct is made, the Integrity Officer will contact the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) for consultation and advice. Normally, the individual making the admission will be asked to sign a statement attesting to the occurrence and extent of misconduct. When the case involves PHS funds, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock cannot accept an admission of misconduct as a basis for closing a case or not undertaking an investigation without prior approval from the ORI.
E. The Integrity Officer will notify the Funding Agency at any stage of the inquiry or investigation if:
- there is an immediate health hazard involved;
- there is an immediate need to protect external funds or equipment;
- there is an immediate need to protect the interests of the person(s) making the allegations or of the individual(s) who is the subject of the allegations as well as his/her co-investigators and associates, if any;
- it is probable that the alleged incident is going to be reported publicly;
- the allegation involves a public health sensitive issue, e.g. a clinical trial;
- there is a reasonable indication of possible criminal violation. In this instance, the institution must inform the Funding Agency within 24 hours of obtaining that information.
Institutional Administrative Actions
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will take appropriate administrative actions against individuals when an allegation of misconduct has been substantiated.
If the Chancellor determines that the alleged misconduct is substantiated by the findings, he or she will decide on the appropriate actions to be taken, after consultation with the Integrity Officer. The actions include:
- informing in writing the agency (if any) sponsoring the activity;
- informing in writing the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees;
- recommending to the President appropriate administrative action as provided for in the policies and procedures of the University;
- withdrawal or correction of all pending or published abstracts and papers emanating from the activity where misconduct was found;
- restitution of funds as appropriate; and
- other action deemed appropriate by the Chancellor.
A. Termination of Institutional Employment or Resignation Prior to Completing Inquiry or Investigation
In the case of externally sponsored activities, the termination of the respondent’s institutional employment, by resignation or otherwise, before or after an allegation of possible misconduct has been reported, will not preclude or terminate misconduct procedures outlined in this Policy. If the respondent without admitting to the misconduct, elects to resign his or her position prior to the initiation of an inquiry, but after an allegation has been reported, or during an inquiry or investigation, the inquiry or investigation will proceed. If the respondent refuses to participate in the process after resignation, the committee will use its best efforts to reach a conclusion concerning the allegations, noting in its report the respondent’s failure to cooperate and its effect on the committee’s review of all the evidence.
B. Restoration of the Respondent’s Reputation
If the University of Arkansas at Little Rock finds no misconduct after consulting with the respondent, the Integrity Officer will undertake reasonable efforts to restore the respondent’s reputation. Depending on the particular circumstances, the Integrity Officer should consider notifying those individuals aware of or involved in the investigation of the outcome, publicizing the final outcome in forums in which the allegation of misconduct was previously publicized, or expunging all reference to the misconduct allegation from the respondent’s personnel file.
C. Protection of the Complainant and Others
Regardless of whether the institution determines that scientific misconduct occurred, the Integrity Officer will undertake reasonable efforts to protect complainants who made allegations of misconduct in good faith and others who cooperate in good faith with inquiries and investigations of such allegations. Upon completion of an investigation, the Chancellor will determine, after consulting with the complainant, what steps, if any, are needed to restore the position or reputation of the complainant. The Integrity Officer is responsible for implementing any steps the Chancellor approves. The Integrity Officer also will take appropriate steps during the inquiry and investigation to prevent any retaliation against the complainant. The University follows the Public Health Service Office of Research Integrity’s “Guidelines for Responding to Possible Retaliation Against Whistleblowers in Extramural Research.”
D. Allegations Not Made in Good Faith
If relevant, the Chancellor will determine whether the complainant’s allegations of misconduct were made in good faith. If an allegation was not made in good faith, the Chancellor will determine whether any administrative action should be taken against the complainant as provided for in the policies and procedures of the University.
E. Interim Administrative Actions
Institutional officials will take interim administrative actions, as appropriate, to protect external funds and ensure that the purposes of the external financial assistance are carried out.
After completion of a case and all ensuing related actions, the Integrity Officer will prepare a complete file, including the records of any inquiry or investigation and copies of all documents and other materials furnished to the Integrity Officer or committees. The Integrity Officer will keep the file for five years after completion of the case. The Funding Agency or other authorized Office of Research Integrity personnel will be given access to the records upon request.
For information regarding Policies and Procedures for Dealing with Misconduct in Research and Service, contact the Integrity Officer, the Vice Provost for Research of the Graduate School.