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Research Ethics

Mary Baldwin College strongly encourages using research as a tool to advance academic knowledge. As a result it is imperative that the research environment provide support for researchers pursuing that knowledge and prohibit activities that may affect the integrity of that goal. Research misconduct is a serious threat to this environment and is not tolerated by the college.

When allegations of research misconduct are made, Mary Baldwin College is committed to a thorough investigation into such allegations while protecting the rights of all involved.

Who do I contact if I am concerned about a potential violation? Expressions of concern involving issues of research misconduct should be directed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the College Catharine O’Connell (x 7030) (referred throughout as the “Deciding Official” (DO)) and the Director of Sponsored Programs and Undergraduate Research Lydia Petersson (x 7235) (referred throughout as the “Research Integrity Officer” (RIO)).

What happens next? The DO and RIO shall determine whether the misconduct potentially involves federally funded projects. If so these officials will charge a committee to conduct an inquiry to determine whether the allegation can be substantiated with sufficient evidence to warrant an investigation.

What if the inquiry justifies an investigation? If an investigation is justified, the DO and RIO will establish a committee composed of three tenured/term contract members of the faculty selected by the Faculty Status Committee / ADP Review Committee to determine whether misconduct has occurred. Investigations will be conducted with the utmost discretion.

What happens if the committee finds that misconduct has occurred? The DO shall recommend appropriate sanctions on the individual(s) involved to the President.  Any sanction imposed by the President shall be consistent with the provisions of the Faculty Handbook, the Staff Handbook, or the Student Handbook as appropriate.

What happens if the committee finds that misconduct has not occurred? Mary Baldwin College, through the Office of the DO, will make every effort to protect to the maximum possible extent the positions and reputations of those persons who, in good faith, make allegations of scientific misconduct. Mary Baldwin College, through the DO, will also make every effort to the maximum possible extent to protect the positions and restore the reputations of persons alleged to have engaged in scientific misconduct when allegations are not confirmed.