Sawey, Skerpan-Wheeler, Stone, Stutzman
Guests: B. Covington, H. Ginsburg, G. Krampitz
Call to order at 4:07 p.m.
Harvey Ginsburg, professor from psychology, asked the Senate to consider
taking action on what he considers to be questionable research practices by
the Texas Dare Institute, a statewide tenant program housed in the
Department of Criminal Justice.
Ginsburg said he would like to see the university reprimand the institute
for twice failing to seek permission from the SWT Institutional Research
Board to conduct research on minors enrolled in school systems serviced by
the DARE program. Ginsburg and Bill Covington, Associate VP for research
and sponsored programs, agreed that the institute was guilty of two
infractions -- one involving a U.S. Department of Education grant, the
other on a STEP grant originating from the governor's office.
Ginsburg said a reprimand is appropriate to preserve the integrity of the
review process, which is designed to limit the mistreatment of human
subjects in academic research. If punishment is not meted in this instance,
he said, other researchers will feel entitled to ignore the IRB regulations
as well. Further, he said, federal investigators might use the Institute
infractions to freeze all federal grant money flowing the the university.
Covington did not dispute the contents of a five-page memo submitted to the
Senate by Ginsburg, but he said he opposes a reprimand because the Office
of Research and Sponsored Programs brought the Institute into compliance
after the fact. Conceding that federal investigators probably would have
legitimate cause to "hammer" the university, Covington said he is satisfied
that ORSP acted quickly, appropriately, and decisively after discovering
the problems. He said the fact that ORSP froze spending on the second grant
until it was in compliance puts the university on fairly solid ground.
Senator Renick proposed a compromise, suggesting that Covington send the
Institute a letter outlining the infractions and a copy of the evidence as
a means of mitigating future enforcement actions against the university and
to provide an adequate deterrent for the Institute. Covington said he did
not feel such action was necessary. Chair Hays said she would seek the
counsel of university attorney Bill Fly before Senate takes further action.
Krampitz told the Senate that the reimbursement of sick time on retirement
currently is prohibited by state law, and that she did not anticipate the
administration straying from that mandate. She said any such change must
originate in the Legislature. The matter was referred back to committee for
consideration of joining forces with TFA to seek legislative change during
the next session in January.
Krampitz also clarified the policy on phased retirement faculty and summer
teaching. She said the determination of summer load assignments still rests
with the departments and that they are free to enforce their own policies
for covering summer courses. Hiring phased retirement faculty is
discouraged, she said, and should be used only when there is a compelling
reason related to program delivery.
Senator Stone introduced a form to be used by academic deans to report
decisions on performance/merit appeals to the VPAA. The form is designed to
help the VPAA and Senate track appeals filed under provisions of PPS 7.10.
After minor alterations to the document, Chair Hays said she would take it
to the Council of Academic Deans for consideration.
Adjournment at 5:46 p.m.