Procedures for Investigating Academic Fraud
University of Chicago
Report of a faculty committee under the chairmanship of Richard A. Epstein. Passed unanimously by the Council of the University Senate on December 10, 1985. The following is the distributed, corrected version issued January 24, 1986.
Academic fraud is a threat to the intellectual integrity on which the advancement of knowledge depends. Academic fraud can taint the reputation of the University and of its honest scholars and researchers. It can compromise the position of collaborators, subordinates, and supervisors. Fraudulent research can lead other investigators down fruitless paths of inquiry, at enormous costs to knowledge, morale, careers, time, and money. Its occurrence places great strains upon collegial interaction.
The incidence of academic fraud is difficult to measure and is, one hopes, very small, but there have been a number of recent notable examples at other prominent universities. Academic fraud could happen here. One lesson learned from the reported cases is that ad hoc procedures do not allow universities to respond well to charges of academic fraud. Specific procedures developed in advance should help reduce the risks to everyone involved.
In recognition of the importance of the issues, the provost constituted the Committee on Academic Fraud in November, 1984. The committee had available to it the procedures now in place in the University to deal with academic fraud in the biological sciences. Its charge was to consider the standards and procedures that might be suitable for the University as a whole, including the biological sciences. This report recounts some of the major problems that the committee faced in its
Reprinted with permission from the University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
deliberations. It also sets out its major recommendations for University procedures and the reasons for adopting them.
II. Defining Academic Fraud
The first task of this committee was to define academic fraud. In the abstract the definition seems easy, even if the identification of fraud in individual cases is not. The definition of fraud distinguishes between an honest mistake and deliberate misstatement made with an intention to deceive others. Academic fraud involves a deliberate effort to deceive and includes plagiarism, fabrication of data, misrepresentation of historical sources, tampering with evidence, selective suppression of unwanted or unacceptable results, and theft of ideas.
Some cases of academic fraud are easy to detect and prove. For example, the discrepancies between the published work and the records, notes, or data on which it is said to rest may be so great that intentional misrepresentation is the only possible inference. In other cases the inference is more difficult to draw. Some errors are unavoidable in any research; others may be the result of negligence, but not fraud. Whether research techniques were very sloppy or deliberately misleading sometimes raises difficult issues of fact and judgment. Making the appropriate judgment about research techniques requires sophistication about both the subject matter and the research and the research methods of the work under review. Finally, charges of the theft of scholarly ideas are hard to verify because ideas are often "in the air." Cases of simultaneous discovery are common in science.
Nonetheless, the distinction between fraud and negligence must be observed. The Committee on Academic Fraud has a limited mission. It is not a committee for the correction of poor scholarship, as the merits of scholarly work are best assessed in the ordinary academic marketplace. Yet once a question of fraud exists, it must be investigated under established procedures. Should it become clear that fraud is not involved, then the investigation should cease, regardless of the degree of carelessness found in the work under scrutiny.
III. Institutional Structure
A. The Standing Committee
On the model of the present biomedical procedures, the committee recommends that a Standing Committee on Academic Fraud be formed
to oversee and coordinate the University's handling of academic fraud cases. The Standing Committee should be composed of six faculty members appointed by the provost and drawn from among different academic disciplines in the University. The central functions of the Standing Committee shall be (1) to appoint specific panels with subject matter expertise to handle charges referred to the Standing Committee after preliminary investigation within the departments; (2) then to review the work of the appointed panel to see that it has followed these procedures in the individual case and, in evaluating the evidence, has not made any material errors, apparent on the fact of the record; (3) where charges of academic fraud are sustained, to inform the proper administrative officials within the University so that they can send notice of the fraud and its extent to appropriate persons outside the University; and (4) whenever necessary because current or past members of the University have been charged with or found guilty of academic fraud at other institutions, to appoint a panel to investigate the extent of fraud and to review its work.
The committee believes that this structure, while complex, is necessary. Given the need for special expertise, no single committee can do the direct investigating work itself. In addition, the structure we recommend ensures the diffusion of responsibility, since any purported fraud will be looked into by many individuals at three different levels of inquiry. The complex structure, therefore, provides an important check against sustaining false charges against an individual member of the University, while helping protect the individuals who serve on the Standing Committee or its panels from allegations of personal spite. Any investigation made pursuant to these procedures only determines whether fraud has been committed; it has no disciplinary functions, as these are lodged in the offices of the president and provost and are governed by separate University procedures.
B. Procedures of the Standing Committee on Academic Fraud
Any charge of academic fraud shall be handled in several stages. First, there shall be a preliminary examination by the responsible administrative official, who shall give notice that an inquiry is taking place to the appropriate dean, or where that official is the dean, to the provost. Second, if not terminated at this stage, the case then shall be referred to the Standing Committee on Academic Fraud. Third, the Standing Committee shall then refer the case to a special panel for investigation on the fact of fraud. Fourth, where fraud is found, then
the Standing Committee shall ordinarily refer the case to a new panel for an investigation into the extent of fraud.
1. The Initial Complaint.
Identifying academic fraud depends upon the willingness of individual members of the University community to report possible instances of academic fraud to persons with administrative responsibility for academic departments. Charges of academic fraud will sometimes be made by coworkers of the accused; they will sometimes come from other colleagues; they will sometimes be made by investigators and scholars outside the University. Charges of fraud are always an emotional matter; the procedures must be able to cope with cases in which coworkers fear retaliation by the accused or his or her friends and with cases where the charges are motivated by personal bitterness. Persons who make credible charges must be protected, while every effort must be made to discourage frivolous accusations.
The procedures set out are designed to ensure that an impartial and thorough review of the charges will be undertaken at a preliminary level, so that only those charges based on sufficient evidence to merit a further investigation will be referred to the Standing Committee. It should be stressed that so long as there is any reason to believe that academic fraud has been committed, the matter should be promptly forwarded to the Standing Committee. To secure these objectives, the procedures control any conflict of interest that might arise, for example, because the party charged and the administrative official have collaborated on research that is the subject matter of the charges. The procedures further provide that the administrative official responsible for reviewing the case should notify his or her dean (or where the dean is the responsible administrative official, the provost) that charges have been brought. The administrative official shall be free to consult in confidence with those persons in the University who might be able to provide useful assistance. Where the administrative official believes that there are no sufficient reasons to press the case forward, he or she may dismiss the charges, giving appropriate notice to the dean or provost, as the case may be, and to the party making the charges. In cases where the charges are dismissed, the administrative official may decide whether or not to notify the party charged of the charges made. Where the party charged has been informed of the charges, then he or she should be notified that they have been dismissed.
Where the preliminary investigation gives the responsible officer reason to believe that the case may have to be forwarded to the Standing
Committee on Academic Fraud, then he or she shall notify the party charged and provide an informal opportunity for the matter to be discussed before making the final decision about whether to forward the matter to the Standing Committee. Within a reasonable time thereafter the administrative official shall inform the party charged, the party making the charges, the appropriate dean, and the provost as to whether or not the case has been forwarded to the Standing Committee. The official shall forward the case to the Standing Committee where the charges cannot be dismissed as being without substantial merit.
2. Fact of Fraud.
Once the Standing Committee has received the charges of academic fraud from the appropriate administrative officer, it must appoint a panel, with at least three members, to investigate the truth of the allegations. Typically, the panel will be composed of members of the University who are knowledgeable about the subject matter of the work suspected of being fraudulent, but who are not working with the accused on the same or similar projects. Normally, members of this panel shall be drawn from within the University, but, when necessary, persons outside the University may be appointed to the panel. Since the Standing Committee must review the work of the panel, no member of the Standing Committee shall serve on the panel. The panel may inquire of whom it chooses but in any event must give the accused an opportunity to be heard and to call a reasonable number of witnesses to be examined in the course of the proceedings. The panel must also allow the accused to pose question to witnesses but may determine in its discretion whether the questions posed by the accused shall be oral or in writing.
One of the most vexing problems faced by the Committee on Academic Fraud was whether lawyers should be permitted to be present at the hearings. In general the committee believed that their presence would not often be necessary, but it recognized that the party charged might want the assistance of a lawyer when a career is at stake. The procedures we recommend set out the basic rules that regulate the role of lawyers before the panel. The essential rule is that the party charged has the right to bring a lawyer whenever he or she has the right to be present. When the party charged brings a lawyer to panel proceedings, the panel may request the University to supply it with a lawyer for its assistance. The panel may also determine whether it wishes to proceed by oral examination or written exchanges. The panel may meet in executive session at any time to prepare for the examination of
witnesses, to review the evidence, to prepare its report, and for whatever other purposes it regards as appropriate.
The procedures also take into account that the panel may not be able to gain access to relevant evidence obtained under guarantees of confidentiality unless the guarantee is waived. The procedures provide, however, that the party charged shall normally provide tabular information and summary data used in the preparation of reports, unless it is shown that this information involves a breach of some confidentiality agreement. Where confidential information is provided for the limited purposes of this investigation, then all parties involved in the case shall endeavor to ensure that confidential information is used only for the purposes for which it has been released.
Upon the conclusion of its investigation, the panel shall write a report that summarizes the evidence presented and indicates whether it has been unable to obtain relevant evidence. Where evidence is unavailable, the report should indicate whether the party charged claims that it has been destroyed, and, if so, whether the panel accepts the claim. Where the evidence is withheld, the report should indicate whether the panel believes that the party charged had good reasons for not presenting the information requested, i.e., a valid claim of confidentiality. The report shall indicate whether fraud has been found, and it shall give the panel's reasons for all its conclusions. The panel shall forward the report to the Standing Committee, which shall provide a copy of the report to the party charged, who has a right to comment upon it. When both the report and comments are received, the Standing Committee shall review the record it receives from the panel. Where the panel has found the party charged guilty of academic fraud, then the Standing Committee can reverse the decision and remand the case to the panel, or assign it to a new panel only where it thinks that the panel's findings are manifestly against the weight of the evidence or that the panel has applied a clearly improper standard of fraud. The Standing Committee itself cannot make a determination of fraud. Where the panel has found the party charged innocent of the charges of academic fraud, then the Standing Committee can remand the case to the panel or assign it to a new panel only if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the panel's finding was tainted by the perjury of the party charged or the improper suppression of evidence not known to the panel.
Where academic fraud is found, a second panel will normally be required to examine its extent. There is a clear need for separate panels. The finding on the fraud issue should be made as quickly as possible and should not be deferred until a detailed examination of much of the scholarly output of the party charged has been carried out. Where the volume of work done by the party charged is substantial,
Section 5 of the procedures ordinarily directs that the investigation be focused on recent work or on work whose subject matter is closely connected with the research found fraudulent by the fact of fraud panel. The committee does not believe that it is possible to specify exactly the scope of inquiry for the panel investigating the extent of fraud, as that may depend in part upon the nature of the panel's initial findings. The extent of fraud panel will operate under basically the same rules as the fact of fraud panel, and its work will also be reviewed by the Standing Committee after opportunity to comment in writing is provided the party under investigation. The procedures also provide that appropriate notice shall be given to appropriate parties outside the University by the appropriate dean, and the provost shall be notified of the outcome at each stage of the proceedings.
C. Coordination of Investigations with Outside Institutions
Many researchers work at different institutions at various stages of their careers. Charges of fraud may be brought or established against someone who is no longer at The University of Chicago. Similarly someone now at The University of Chicago might be the subject of an investigation elsewhere, or might even be found guilty of academic fraud at another institution. In such cases, the committee believes that prompt action may be required at this University. Where investigations are known to be taking place elsewhere, the Standing Committee should keep abreast of developments so that it is in a position to initiate an investigation if and when a finding of academic fraud is made at another institution. When a finding of academic fraud is made elsewhere about a person currently or formerly associated with The University of Chicago, then the Standing Committee should determine whether an investigation should be undertaken here and, when necessary, constitute a panel to carry out that investigation. Any investigation conducted at the University should be coordinated with ongoing and completed investigations elsewhere.
D. Additional Rules
In order to ensure that there will be no gaps in the rules, the Standing Committee is given the power to supplement and clarify the rules contained in these procedures in a manner that is consistent with the basic structure of the overall system of review.
IV. Concluding Observations
No set of procedures will be able to respond to all questions that might arise in responding to a single charge of academic fraud. The committee has done its best to anticipate the many problems that might arise in any case of academic fraud and believes that the procedures it recommends should prove serviceable in the event that allegations of fraud arise in the University.
COMMITTEE ON ACADEMIC FRAUD
Richard A. Epstein, the James Parker Hall Professor in the Law School, Chairman.
Charles M. Gray, Professor in History and the College, Master of the New Collegiate Division, Associate Dean of the College, and Lecturer in the Law School.
Jack Halpern, Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor in Chemistry.
Robin W. Lovin, Associate Professor in the Divinity School.
David Malament, Professor in Philosophy, the College, and the Committee on the Conceptual Foundations of Science.
Bernard Roizman, the Joseph Regenstein Distinguished Service Professor and Chairman in Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology, Professor in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and the Committee on Genetics and Chairman of the Committee on Virology.
John R. Schuerman, Professor in the School of Social Service Administration and Member of the Committee on Public Policy Studies.
I wish to address the issue of the role of attorneys in the proposed procedures for handling accusations of academic fraud. I want to begin, however, with some comments on a larger issue with which the committee struggled. In my view, that issue concerns the counterpoising of two quite different approaches to finding truth, the legal and the scholarly. Both are powerful models of discovery and proof. In the proposed procedures the committee has attempted to adopt elements of both, presumably in order to enjoy the benefits of both.
In the main, under the committee's proposed procedures, the investigations will be conducted by a group of scholars who are familiar with the relevant research area. The qualifications of such a group are
a thorough grasp of accepted methods in the field, of the state of knowledge in the field, and a commitment to the values of scholarship. But the cumulating finding of fraud turns on a determination of intent, the state of mind, the motivation of the accused. Because the legal system has well-worked-out procedures for making judgments on intent, we have tended to turn to those procedures as models (although in the legal system the ultimate determination of intent is often made by a layman jury). In my view, it would be best to allow the scholarly examination of the facts to proceed without the intrusion of another system for establishing truth.
Because of the potentially momentous consequences of these proceedings for the person under review, the committee has chosen to adopt some values and procedures of the legal system. That is, under the draft procedures a lawyer may be present at meetings of the committee with the accused and meetings of the committee with other persons. In addition, provision is made for modified cross-examination of witnesses. If the committee seeks the advice of experts uninvolved in the case, those experts may be required to submit to cross-examination. I believe that fairness and justice are afforded through other procedures the committee is proposing, without the use of these components of the legal system.
I am troubled by the committee's effort to provide some, but not all, features of a legal system. The features that are provided do not seem to be there to enhance the likelihood that truth will be found; in fact the committee appears to feel that the presence of lawyers in these meetings is not desirable. There is a belief that the proceedings can retain a non-legalistic character if lawyers are allowed in a limited role. It seems to me likely that once lawyers are present, the proceedings will shift in tone, from scholarly inquiry to legalistic battles. Evidence will be considered not in light of scientific criteria but in terms of the courtroom. There is potential for intimidation of scholars who must be able to make judgments on scientific grounds.
The framing of proper procedures must obviously balance competing interests, the interest in ridding the body of scholarship of falsehood, the interest of the institution in maintaining its integrity, and concern for fairness to the person under review. I submit that the procedures contemplated by the committee will unduly jeopardize the interests of scholarship and the University. I submit further that a proceeding without lawyers would continue to have substantial protection for the accused. Decency, civility, and objectivity are all high ideals of the academy and would be expected to pervade the deliberations of the investigating committees. The possibility of eventual appeal to the courts remains (through suits for defamation of character, violation of
employment contract, and probably other actions). That possibility both preserves important rights of an accused found in the University process to have been fraudulent in research and provides additional incentive for the relevant committees to proceed with care.
PROCEDURES FOR INVESTIGATING ACADEMIC FRAUD
Section 1. Scope of the Work
The Standing Committee on Academic Fraud shall be appointed by the provost to coordinate the University's efforts to investigate allegations of academic fraud. Academic fraud means plagiarism; the deliberate falsification, misstatement, and alteration of evidence or data; the deliberate suppression of relevant evidence or data; and the deliberate misappropriation of the research work and data of others.
Section 2. The Standing Committee on Academic Fraud
The provost of the University shall designate a Standing Committee on Academic Fraud which shall consist of six members drawn from different areas within the University. The members of the Standing Committee shall serve for terms of three years. The initial appointments shall be for staggered terms, with two of the members appointed for one year, two for two years, and two for three years. The provost shall designate the chairman of the Standing Committee.
Section 3. The Initial Complaint
Any person who has reason to believe that any faculty member, staff member, or student has engaged in an act of academic fraud should make a report of that act to the first responsible administrative officer with supervisory power over the person so charged. Charges against students are subject to these procedures only to the extent that they involve dissertations of students who have received their degrees or work published or submitted for publication; other cases of alleged academic fraud by students shall be subject to the normal disciplinary
rules governing students. In the normal case governed by these procedures, the responsible academic official will be the department chairman, but when there are sections within a department it typically will be a section head. Where there are no departments, it will typically be the dean. When such charges are brought to any other person, they should be referred to the appropriate administrative official.
The administrative officer shall conduct a preliminary and informal investigation to see whether there is any substantial merit to the charges in question. That official shall have the right to consult in confidence with any person whose advice he or she finds appropriate before passing on the matter, and shall in any event notify his or her dean (or where the dean is in charge of the case, the provost) that the matter has been raised and thereafter of its disposition. When the charges are determined to be without substantial merit, then the matter may be dismissed without any written report being filed and without giving any notice to the party charged, provided always that if the party charged has been given notice of the charges, then he or she shall be given notice that they have been dismissed. In all cases, the party making the charges shall, however, be informed that the case has been dismissed.
When the allegations cannot be dismissed as being without substantial merit, then the administrative officer shall give the party charged an informal opportunity, which may take place without the presence of lawyers, to respond to the charges that have been made. If the administrative officer is then satisfied that the case is not without substantial merit, the matter shall be forwarded to the Standing Committee on Academic Fraud, together with all records and evidence in the case. When the case is forwarded to the Standing Committee, notice shall be given to the person charged and to the person who initially brought the matter to the attention of the administrative officer. Notice that a case has been forwarded to the Standing Committee shall also be sent to the Office of the Provost. Whenever possible, the decision whether or not to refer the matter to the Standing Committee shall be made within fifteen days after the matter has first been raised.
B. Conflict of Interest
Where the responsible administrative official charged with investigating a complaint perceives that he or she has a conflict of interest, he or she should refer the matter to the next superior administrative official. In consultation, the two shall decide whether the responsible administrative official should remove himself or herself from handling the case. If removal is necessary, the superior administrative
official may refer the matter to another person in the department for investigation, in which case the superior official may still receive any report that must be made before the complaint is dismissed or referred to the Standing Committee. Alternatively, the superior administrative official may act as the original investigating official, in which case his or her superior shall act as the reviewing officer.
A conflict of interest arises whenever the administrative officer has collaborated with the party charged on any research that is the subject matter of the complaint or on any matter closely related to it. It also arises whenever the administrative official is bound by blood or marriage to the party charged or whenever any compelling reason prevents him or her from making a fair and impartial disposition of the entire matter. The same standards for conflict of interest apply for the reviewing officer in any case.
Section 4. Inquiry into the Fact of Fraud
A. Selection of Panel
Upon receipt of a complaint of academic fraud, the Standing Committee shall constitute within fifteen days a special panel of not fewer that three members to investigate the charges. Members of the panel shall ordinarily be drawn from within the University and shall include persons not closely associated with the individual so charged, but who have knowledge of the field of research of the person charged. Where circumstances require it, the Standing Committee can appoint persons outside the University to the panel. No member of the Standing Committee shall be a panel member.
B. The Operation of the Panel
Collection of Evidence.
The panel shall examine the evidence to determine whether or not academic fraud has been committed. Upon request of the panel, the party charged shall turn over to this panel the following types of information relevant to the allegations of fraud raised by the case:
research notes, papers and notebooks, logs, source documents, computer printouts, and machine-readable materials;
a list of all current and former collaborators and coworkers;
a list of published abstracts, papers, and books and copies of abstracts, papers, and books pending publication or review; and
a list of reports and grant applications submitted to outside foundations and funding agencies and copies of such reports and applications.
The panel may inspect the log materials, research notebooks, and other research materials of the person so charged and, when appropriate, may take written or oral evidence from the person charged, from other faculty, staff, and students in the University, and from any party outside the University. Copies of any written material or other exhibits presented to the panel shall be provided the party charged or, when that is not feasible, made available to the party charged for inspection. Judicial rules governing the admissibility of hearsay evidence, authentication of documents, and the like shall not govern the investigation of the panel except insofar as it chooses to adopt them. The proceedings shall be conducted in confidence to the extent possible.
Where confidential information is relevant to an examination of academic fraud, the party charged shall not be required to produce that information except in a form that preserves the confidential character of the information in question, unless a waiver can be obtained from the relevant parties protected by the promise of confidentiality. Summary data or intermediate tabulations shall be provided to the panel unless shown to violate the rights of privacy of other individuals.
Right to the Assistance of a Lawyer or Other Person.
The party charged shall have the right to be accompanied by a lawyer or any other person at any proceeding in which the party charged has a right to be present. If the party wishes to have a lawyer present when appearing before the panel, then he or she shall give the panel notice in writing in advance of the session at which the lawyer intends to be present. In the event that the party charged chooses to be accompanied by a lawyer, the panel may ask the University to provide it with a lawyer to assist it whenever the lawyer for the party charged is present. The party charged is entitled to have the panel consider evidence by a reasonable number of witnesses, to be present when the panel is taking oral testimony from witnesses, and to examine any witness who presents evidence, oral or written, to the panel. The panel shall determine the extent to which the examination of witnesses by the party charged shall be written or oral. When that examination is oral, the panel may limit the nature and the extent of the questioning
permitted. When the evidence from witnesses presented to the panel is in writing, a copy shall be presented to the party charged for review and comment.
Preparation of the Panel Investigation and Report.
The panel may meet in executive session to prepare for the examination of witnesses and collection of evidence, to evaluate the evidence presented to it, and to prepare its findings and reports. The panel shall prepare a report which shall summarize the evidence presented and give reasons for its findings on the question of whether academic fraud has been committed. When evidence is not presented to the panel, it shall note whether the party charged claims that it was destroyed prior to the investigation or whether it was withheld under a claim of confidentiality or other privilege. The panel shall indicate whether it accepts the explanation offered by the party charged for the nonproduction of evidence, and the extent to which the unavailable evidence affected its ability to make a finding on whether academic fraud has been committed. The panel shall be expected to make its final report within forty-five days after it is formed. A copy of the report shall be forwarded to the Standing Committee on Academic Fraud.
Review of the Panel Report by the Standing Committee.
The Standing Committee shall review the report of the panel after it provides the party charged with the panel report and an opportunity to comment on it in writing within fifteen days after its receipt. Where the panel has made a finding that the party charged is guilty of academic fraud, its decision shall be accepted by the Standing Committee unless it determines either that the decision is against the manifest weight of the evidence or that it rests upon a clearly improper interpretation of academic fraud. In either case the Standing Committee may reverse the decision of the panel, remand it to the panel with instructions for further consideration, or transfer the case to a new panel. Where the panel has made a finding that the party charged is innocent of academic fraud, then its decision shall be binding upon the Standing Committee unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the party charged, unbeknownst to the panel has committed acts of perjury or improperly has suppressed relevant evidence. Where the party charged has so misbehaved,
the case may be remanded to the original panel with instructions for further consideration, or assigned to a new panel. Copies of any decision made by the Standing Committee shall be provided to the panel and the party charged. The Standing Committee shall issue its report within fifteen days after receiving the comments from the party charged and provide copies of its report, the panel report, and the comments of the party charged to the appropriate dean and to the provost.
Notice to Outside Parties at the Conclusion of the Fact of Fraud Investigation.
When a person charged has been found to have committed academic fraud under this section, then the appropriate dean shall, as quickly as possible, send notice to all appropriate outside granting agencies, journals, and research institutions with whom the party found to have committed academic fraud is now or has been professionally affiliated. The notice sent to the outside parties need not include the entire report of the panel and statement of the accused, but it should summarize the conclusions reached by the panel and the comments made by the party charged, and should indicate the status of any further pending investigations. The report may indicate the Standing Committee's belief that other related work by the party charged may be contaminated by the fraud and the reasons for its belief. Any notice sent may include statements that collaborators of the party found to have committed academic fraud are innocent of any misconduct.
Section 5. Investigation into the Extent of Fraud
A. Appointment of Panel to Determine Extent of Fraud
Upon a finding of fraud, the Standing Committee, except where circumstances clearly suggest that academic fraud has been confined to the single instance under review, shall appoint a second panel to investigate whether the party found to have committed academic fraud has committed least three persons knowledgeable in the field of inquiry, including academic fraud on other occasions. That panel shall consist of at at least two from outside the University. Members on the fact of fraud panel constituted under Section 4 may serve on this panel.
B. Scope of the Extent of Fraud Investigation
The extent of fraud panel shall investigate (a) academic work, published or unpublished, that is closely connected to the work found fraudulent in the fact of fraud investigation, and (b) other work that the fact of fraud panel believes has fallen under suspicion. Where the initial findings of the extent of fraud panel so indicate, the investigation may be expanded to cover additional research of the party charged.
C. Conduct of Investigation
The powers of the extent of fraud panel, the rules of confidentiality, the rules of evidence, the right to examine witnesses and obtain relevant documents and records, the right to the assistance of a lawyer or other person, and all other procedural aspects of the extent of fraud investigation shall be the same as they are in the fact of fraud investigation. The extent of fraud panel shall have access to all evidence made available to the fact of fraud panel. Upon the conclusion of its investigation, the panel shall prepare a report which indicates which work should be withdrawn or retracted and which not. The report may also indicate the work of collaborators and coworkers that is not tainted by fraud. The report shall be forwarded to the Standing Committee within thirty days after the conclusion of its investigation.
D. Review of the Panel Report by the Standing Committee
The Standing Committee shall provide the party charged with a copy of the panel report and an opportunity to comment on it in writing within fifteen days of its receipt. Thereafter the Standing Committee shall review the report. The Standing Committee shall accept the report when the panel has applied the proper standards for evaluating academic fraud and has made no error in the evaluation of evidence that is apparent from the face of the record. When the Standing Committee does not accept the report of the panel, it may hold that some or all the work investigated is not tainted by fraud; or it may remand the case, in whole or in part, to the panel with appropriate instructions; or it may ask a new panel to review all or part of the work. At the conclusion of its review, the Standing Committee shall prepare its final report of the case which shall be provided to the panel and to the party under investigation. The report may be a simple acceptance of the panel report, but, where the panel recommendations are not accepted, then the
report should contain a statement of reasons for the actions of the Standing Committee. A copy of its report, the panel report, and the written comments by the party investigated shall be forwarded to the provost and to the appropriate dean, who shall ensure that notification is provided to the appropriate persons outside the University.
Section 6. Coordination of Investigation with Other Institutions
When the Standing Committee learns that any person currently or formerly associated with the University is under investigation elsewhere, it shall, when appropriate, request a report as to the status of its inquiry from the investigating committee. Where any person currently or formerly associated with The University of Chicago has been found guilty of academic fraud for work done at another institution, the Standing Committee on Academic Fraud shall when appropriate form a panel to investigate whether any work done at The University of Chicago has been tainted by that fraud. The panel shall operate under the rules set out in Section 5 of these procedures and shall coordinate its investigations with those undertaken at any other institution.
Section 7. Rule-making Powers of the Standing Committee
Consistent with the rules set out above, the Standing Committee shall have at any time the power to supplement and clarify the applicable procedures.