5.7.4 General Policies & Principles

Responsibility to Report Misconduct
All employees or individuals associated with Georgia Tech shall report observed, suspected, or apparent misconduct in science to the Provost or Executive Vice-President for Research. If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of scientific or other scholarly misconduct, he or she may call the VP-LA&RM to discuss the suspected misconduct informally. If the circumstances described by the individual do not meet the definition of Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct, the Provost will refer the individual or allegation to other offices or officials with responsibility for resolving the problem. Compliance concerns in the Georgia Tech Research Institute may also be reported via their hotline. At any time, an employee may have confidential discussions and consultations about concerns of possible misconduct with the Provost and will be counseled about appropriate procedures for reporting allegations.

Protecting the Complainant
The Provost will monitor the treatment of individuals who bring allegations of misconduct or of inadequate institutional response thereto, and those who cooperate in inquiries or investigations. The Provost will ensure that these persons will not be retaliated against in the terms and conditions of their employment or other status at the institution and will review instances of alleged retaliation for appropriate action. Employees should immediately report any alleged or apparent retaliation to the Provost.

Also the institution will protect the privacy of those who report misconduct in good faith to the maximum extent permitted by Georgia law. For example, if the Complainant requests anonymity, the institution will make an effort to honor the request during the allegation assessment or inquiry within applicable policies and regulations and Georgia law. The Complainant will be advised that if the matter is referred to an investigation committee and the complainant's testimony is required, anonymity may no longer be guaranteed. Georgia Tech will make efforts to protect the positions and reputations of those persons who, in good faith, make allegations.

Protecting the Respondent
Inquiries and investigations will be conducted in a manner that will ensure fair treatment to the respondent(s) in the inquiry or investigation and confidentiality to the extent possible without compromising public health and safety or thoroughly carrying out the inquiry or investigation.

Institute employees accused of scientific or other scholarly misconduct may consult with legal counsel or a non-lawyer personal adviser (who is not a principal or witness in the case) to seek advice.

Cooperation with Inquiries and Investigations
All Georgia Tech employees will cooperate with the Committee of Inquiry, committee of Investigation and VP-LA&RM and other institutional officials in the review of allegations and the conduct of inquiries and investigations. All employees have an obligation to provide relevant evidence to the committees or VP-LA&RM or other institutional officials on misconduct allegations.

Decision to Conduct an Inquiry
Upon receiving an allegation of scientific or other scholarly misconduct, the Provost in consultation with the VP-LA&RM will immediately assess the allegation to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant an inquiry, whether sponsor support is involved, and whether the allegation falls under the definition of scientific or other scholarly misconduct found in Section 5.7.2 of this policy.

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