Educational Policy Council

Minutes of the Meeting of February 20, 2003

Present:    C. Bischoff, P. Bloniarz, B. Bosco, N. Claiborne, S. Coon, F. Hauser,
                  T. Hoff, S.B. Kim, J. Logan, D. McCaffrey, S. Phillips, C. Pearce,
                  J. Pomeroy, M. Pryse, M. Range, B. Shadrick, S. Stern, E. Wulfert (Chair), R. Farrell (Recorder)

Guests: Professor Bruce Dudek

1.   Approval of Minutes: The minutes of 10/23/02, 12/4/02 and 1/23/03 were approved.

2.   President’s Report: Both President Hitchcock and Provost were engaged at the annual University Recognition Day Luncheon. The President’s Report was       delivered by Interim Vice President for Research Peter Bloniarz.

      There has been very little new information about the state budget since the Provost addressed the Senate on February 10. The proposed $1200 tuition       increase is still being discussed which, along with the proposed cuts in state funding, would leave UAlbany with a $10,000,000 deficit. The Provost has       requested that each Vice President submit a –3% planning exercise to URPAC for 2003-2004 and for 2004-2005. Further information will continue to be       reported to the Council as it becomes known.

3.    Chair’s Report: Professor Wulfert attended the recent meetings of the Council on Research and CAFÉ, at which the document “Recommended Policy       Framework on Responding to Misconduct in Research and Scholarship” were discussed. Similarly, the Chair of the Research Council (Prof. Dudek) and the       Chair of CAFÉ (Prof. Armstrong) were invited to attend today’s Council meeting.

4.    New Business: Discussion of the draft document: “Recommended Policy Framework on Responding to Misconduct in Research and Scholarship”.

      The document is being created to establish a framework of principles that must be followed in creating new, complete campus guidelines, and also provide the       Senate and the President with a proposal which, if adopted, will give the University a structure for handling any cases of misconduct that might arise between       the time the proposal is adopted and the time the final guidelines are completed and approved.

      The primary principles included in the document are: 1) that the completed guidelines must cover allegations of fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other       practices that seriously deviate from those commonly accepted within the academic community in research and scholarship and in artistic performance and       expression, 2) there is a clear need for a strong faculty role in the institutional response to allegations of violations of academic integrity principles, and 3) that       the Vice President for Research is the institutional official charged with the responsibility of handling cases of alleged violations of academic integrity principles       and with conducting inquiries and investigations.

      There was a full and rich discussion over the proposed document, with some time having been spent clarifying that University guidelines, although incomplete,       already exist, and that federal and state guidelines also exist, even though these change with some regularity. The major points discussed in clarifying these       issues, and in arriving at a final motion, are as follow:

      Rather than trying to create guidelines so complex that they cover every conceivable sort of misconduct, this framework suggests very sound principles that       ensure the representation of senior faculty in the investigation of every allegation of misconduct in research or scholarship by faculty. At the same time, the       Committee on Ethics in Research and Scholarship (CERS) will be made up entirely of full professors. i.e., those whose scholarship has been recognized       through the terminal promotion, and the approval of this document by the Senate will give the final CERS membership authorization to work with the       administration in the drafting of the new, complete guidelines.

      The Vice President for Research is the University official charged with handling cases of misconduct in research and scholarship, and appeals to final decisions       are proscribed by the federal and state guidelines, as well as the contract between SUNY and UUP.

      The timelines for investigation, consultation and, if necessary, adjudication are contained in the present University guidelines, as well as in the federal and state       guidelines. Further, the new guidelines will address issues of notifications throughout the process.

      At the end of the discussion, the following motion was made and seconded:

      EPC supports the ad hoc Committee’s framework for participation in the cases of academic misconduct by faculty members, but does request a       clearer statement in the Senate bill about how the framework will be presented within the current policy, and requests further that this statement       and the comments of the other Senate Councils (Research and CAFÉ) reviewing this document be presented along with the bill to the full Senate.

      The motion passed 11-0-0.

6.    Report of EPC Representatives to URPAC: There was no report.

7.    Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 PM.

                                                                                 Respectfully submitted,
                                                                                 Richard J. Farrell