Research Misconduct Reporting
USU expects members of its community to conduct scholarship and business with honest and integrity. This applies to employees, students and volunteers who are employed by USU, use University resources or facilities, or receive funds or other resources administered by USU. Individuals must comply with statutes, regulations, policies and rules established by governmental entities and by USU. USU Policy 583: Research, includes the university’s expectation that members of the USU community will avoid misconduct in the planning, conduct and reporting of research and scholarly activities. Misconduct, as defined in Section 13 of the policy, includes fabrication, falsification or plagiarism of data. Every member of the USU community is responsible for reporting research misconduct they observe or become aware of. To make a report contact Research Integrity & Compliance at (435) 797-0186, or use USU’s Hotline website or telephone service. USU’s reputation as a leading research university relies on a shared commitment to the responsible conduct of its scholarly work. Training on the Responsible Conduct of Research and Research Financial Administration are available through the Division of Research Integrity & Compliance.
Reporting Discrimination & Harrassment
In its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment, Utah State University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state, or local law. USU’s policies regarding these issues include:
- Policy #339, Sexual Harassment
- Policy #305, Discrimination Complaints
- Policy #321, Respectful Workplace
- Policy #323, Employees with Disabilities
- Policy #325, Employment Grievance Procedures
- Policy #342, Violence in the Workplace;
- Policy #533, Public Safety, Response and Reporting and
- Sections within the faculty code and student code that enumerate the rights and responsibilities of members of the USU community.
All members of the USU community are encouraged to report instances of discrimination or harassments that they observe or have reason to know occurred. Discrimination reporting is facilitated at the Equity Office Reporting site.
USU encourages members of the University community to report instances of harassment, discrimination, or mistreatment directed toward themselves or other individuals, and to report malfeasance with regard to USU-related activities and responsibilities. USU therefore protects employees, students and visitors from retaliation or reprisals against them pursuant to their initiation of reports against, or participation in investigations of, individuals or units at USU when those reports are made in good faith. USU Policy # 305, Discrimination Complaints, includes the prohibition of retaliation in 305.5.
University Policy Library & Policy Process
During 2018 a working group constituted by the President initiated changes to USU regulations, including new policy categories, a new template to guide the drafting of policy (available at the Policy Library website), and policy development guidance. Over the coming months and years, USU policies will be reformatted to match the new template. No changes have yet been made to USU policy numbers, but once the policy categories have been finalized, policies will be renumbered and placed in their new categories. At that time a list will be included in the Policy Library to provide a crosswalk between the old numbering system and the new modified numbering system.
Conflict of Interest Policy & Disclosures
Conflicts of Interest (COI) often arise as individuals at USU remain engaged in other aspects of their lives. Conflicts of Interest are not considered problematic on their own. However, the introduction of bias into USU’s decision making processes is of concern. USU therefore requires all personnel to disclose to their supervisors any significant outside interests they have which could influence work they do within their roles at the university. If a COI is identified through the disclosure process, a plan to manage, reduce or eliminate the COI is developed and tracked for as long as the COI exists. Information about the COI process is available at the Kuali Coeus website. Financial interests may be disclosed and tracked using the Kuali Coeus system as well.
Several Federal Agencies have promulgated policies and guidance to increase transparency and provide appropriate controls related to influence of foreign governments and foreign countries on US institutions of higher learning. These efforts include:
Increased scrutiny of foreign gifts and contracts through mandatory reporting of gifts or contracts received by universities from foreign governments, companies that are owned by foreign governments or individuals, or from foreign individuals when those contract or grants exceed $250,000 cumulatively over a 12 month period. Further information is available from the Department of Education.
The Departments of Defense and Energy, and the National Institutes of Health have focused increased attention on recruitment by foreign entities, including the Thousand Talents Program implemented by China. The US Intelligence Community has worked with universities and higher education associations to outline further steps to be taken to protect US national security interests from undue foreign influence. The American Council on Education has provided background and recommendations in their letter to its members of May 10, 2019.
At USU most activities will be adequately disclosed, allowing for appropriate controls to ensure compliance, if individuals disclose outside financial interests as required in USU Policy #307, Conflicts of Interest, and list all other sources of income when submitting proposals for grants and contracts to the federal government.