Phases of the Response to an Allegation
The inquiry is the initial step after an allegation is made. It is an informal process intended to assess the probable validity of the allegation. It is performed by the administrative officer (AO), or by his or her designee, in accordance with the provisions of NSHE Code Section 6.8.2. Pursuant to NSHE Code Section 6.8.2(a), the inquiry shall be completed within 60 calendar days after receipt of the allegation, and the AO shall make a recommendation to the president of UNLV.
- During the inquiry, the AO shall take appropriate administrative action as necessary to protect federal funds and to ensure that the purposes of the federal funding are being carried out.
- The AO shall immediately secure all original research records and materials relevant to the allegation. The materials collected will be inventoried and maintained in a secure manner.
- If deemed appropriate to do so, the AO, with the approval of the president of UNLV, may informally resolve the allegation by conciliating with the complainant, respondent, and any other required parties by permitting the complainant to voluntarily drop the allegation or by permitting the respondent to voluntarily accept disciplinary sanctions. NSHE Code Section 6.8.2.(c).
- If, based on the AO’s recommendation, it is determined by the UNLV president that the matter should not proceed to a hearing, the allegation shall be dismissed and the disciplinary procedure shall be considered closed. NSHE Code Section 6.8.2.(f).
- To the extent required by federal regulation, the AO shall provide notice to federal authorities concerning the inquiry and its disposition.
If, on the basis of the inquiry, the AO determines a formal investigation should be initiated, additional steps shall be undertaken pursuant to NSHE Code Sections 6.8 through 6.13. The purpose of the investigation is to develop a research record and evaluate the evidence to determine if research misconduct has taken place. The investigation shall focus on accusations of research misconduct and shall examine the factual materials in each case. The investigation shall review carefully the substance of the charge(s) and examine all evidence.
- Within seven working days of the completion of the inquiry, the AO may recommend to the president of UNLV that a special hearing be held in accordance with NSHE Section Code 6.8.2(d). The president has seven working days after receipt of the recommendation to decide whether or not to proceed with the recommended hearing in accordance with NSHE Code Section 6.8.2(e) and (f).
- If the decision is made to proceed with a special hearing, the AO shall convene the hearing pursuant to the timeline and procedures specified in NSHE Code Section 6.9. The AO also shall ensure that any required additional procedures or notifications relating to funding agencies are performed by the appropriate offices or officials.
- A special hearing officer and committee shall be appointed pursuant to the timeline and procedures specified in NSHE Code Section 6.12. For hearings dealing with allegations of research misconduct, the following special considerations shall be made concerning the selection of the special hearing committee.
- Care must be taken to ensure that there is no conflict of interest on the part of the committee members.
- The special hearing committee should include persons having sufficient acquaintance with research and scholarship in the discipline in question so that the allegation may be properly assessed.
- The investigation shall be conducted by special hearing, and all procedures concerning inquiry, findings, disposition, and appeal shall be in strict accordance with the appropriate provisions of Chapter 6 of the NSHE Code.
The president of UNLV shall review the findings of fact and recommendations of the special hearing officer and special hearing committee and may: (a) dismiss the allegation, (b) affirm the recommended sanction, (c) impose a lesser sanction than recommended, (d) impose a greater sanction than recommended, or (e) order a new hearing. NSHE Code Section 6.13.1.