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Investigation of Allegations of Research Misconduct by a Graduate Student

Section C.2 of the Graduate School Handbook

C.2.1
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This process is used by the Graduate School when allegations of research misconduct by a graduate student have been forwarded by the Committee of Inquiry as detailed in the document “University Policy and Procedures Concerning Research Misconduct.” 

When a Committee of Inquiry determines that an allegation of research misconduct by a graduate student has substance so as to warrant further investigation, such investigation shall be handled by the Graduate School. 

Upon receipt of the final report by the Committee of Inquiry, the dean of the Graduate School shall appoint an Investigation Committee. The committee shall be composed of at least five members: two members of the Graduate Council (one of whom shall chair the committee), one member of the graduate faculty from the college in which the student is enrolled, one member of the graduate faculty with academic expertise relevant to the field of study of the student alleged to have committed research misconduct, and one graduate student selected in consultation with the president of the Council of Graduate Students. If the dean of the Graduate School determines that the complexity of the case requires that the committee be larger than five members, additional members may be added at the discretion of the dean of the Graduate School.

Upon receipt of a referral from the dean of the Graduate School, the Investigation Committee shall review any documentary evidence submitted by the Committee of Inquiry and shall meet with the graduate student alleged to have committed research misconduct. At its discretion, the committee shall interview individuals having information relevant to the allegation(s). The student shall be given copies of any documentary evidence submitted by the Committee of Inquiry. However, the student shall not have the right to be present when witnesses are interviewed or to question such witnesses. When the student is interviewed, the student may be accompanied by legal counsel or other advisor, but the role of such person in the process shall be limited to advising the student. The student may submit any relevant evidence for consideration by the Investigation Committee and may request that witnesses with information directly relevant to the allegation of research misconduct be interviewed by the committee.

Findings of the committee shall be based on greater weight of the evidence and the decision is reached by simple majority vote of the Investigation Committee. At the conclusion of its investigation, the committee shall report its findings to the dean of the Graduate School, including a conclusion concerning the merits of the complaint.

The Investigation Committee shall make every effort to conduct its investigation and submit its report to the dean of the Graduate School within 45 days. If the Investigation Committee finds that the greater weight of evidence indicates research misconduct, the dean shall forward the committee’s report to the coordinator of the Committee on Academic Misconduct. The coordinator shall schedule a hearing of the Committee on Academic Misconduct for the determination of sanctions. This hearing shall be held within a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 days. The rules of the Committee on Academic Misconduct will serve to inform this hearing and any appeal which may be filed.