Allegations of failure to demonstrate integrity in research and scholarly work will be investigated by the Associate Vice President Research & Innovation in consultation with an Academic Integrity Investigation Committee (AIIC).
Complaints or allegations received by any other College employee are to be submitted to the Associate Vice-President Research & Innovation. Allegations of policy infraction must be made in writing to the Associate Vice President, Research & Innovation. Anonymous allegations will not normally be considered; however if compelling evidence is received anonymously by the Director or VP, the investigation process may be initiated.
The Associate Vice President will establish an ad hoc Academic Integrity Investigation Committee within 3 - 5 days of receipt of the complaint consisting of at least 3 members whose membership is determined by the nature of the allegations, none of whom are members of the Research Ethics Board or any persons directly affiliated with the same department. Where appropriate, the Investigation Committee will include a person with expertise in the area relevant to the complaint.
The complaint may be dealt with in several ways, depending on the severity of the alleged policy infraction and the strength of the supporting data presented. The complaint may be: dismissed if there is no compelling supporting data; resolved informally by the Associate Vice President Research & Innovation and the Academic Integrity Investigation Committee or submitted to the Seneca College Resolution, Equity and Diversity Centre to determine if there are sufficient grounds for a formal investigation of the allegations of policy infraction as outlined below. The individual alleged to have failed to comply with this policy will be notified by the Associate Vice President Research & Innovation of the investigation within 3 days of the receipt of the complaint, and the investigation will normally be completed within 3 weeks of receipt of the complaint.
The staff of the Resolution, Equity and Diversity Centre will conduct the review consistent with their established policies and procedures which include informing all parties involved of the decisions reached and an opportunity for either the complainant or the respondent to appeal the decisions.
Where there is perceived to be an infraction of this policy, the Associate Vice President Research & Innovation in collaboration with the Academic Integrity Investigation Committee will:
- conduct and document appropriate enquiries within two weeks of receipt of a complaint;
- protect the privacy of the person(s) alleged to be guilty of misconduct and of the person(s) making the allegations as far as is possible, given the need for due process in pursuing the inquiry;
- allow the person(s) alleged to be guilty of misconduct and the complainant(s) full opportunity to respond/comment on the allegations throughout the inquiry through mechanisms consistent with due process;
- if appropriate, submit all documentation to the Seneca College Resolution, Equity and Diversity Centre (REDC) for a formal investigation of the allegations, consistent with their normal investigative processes. Records of interviews with individuals involved will be maintained in a secure file in the REDC;
- decide whether or not there has been infraction of the policy based on the data gathered;
- determine the actions to be taken as a result of conclusions reached, including:
- any sanctions imposed
- any actions taken to protect or restore the reputation(s) or credibility of any person(s) wrongly alleged to be guilty of, or implicated in, misconduct in research, including procedures to ensure that if the charges have been dismissed, copies of documents and related files provided to third parties have been destroyed; and
- any actions taken to protect the person(s) deemed to have made a responsible allegation
- inform the person(s) alleged to be guilty of misconduct and the complainant(s) in writing of the results of the inquiry normally within 3 weeks of receiving the initial complaint, and of the actions that have been decided upon;
In the event that either the respondent or the complainant is not satisfied with the decision regarding misconduct, either the respondent or the complainant has the right to appeal the committee's decision in accordance with the Collective Agreement and any relevant appeals processes of the College. An appeal must be requested within 5 working days from the time the report was released.
Decisions regarding the appeal will be made by the Vice President Academic or designate and are considered final and binding on the institution except where provisions of the Collective Agreement prevail. There is no right of further appeal.
- prepare a report on the above, to be filed within 30 days with the Associate Vice President, Research & Innovation. The report will be kept in a secured file for five years, accessible only to the AVP Research & Innovation, Senior College staff, the complainant and the person(s) alleged to be guilty of misconduct.
- the report of the investigating committee shall include the specific allegations, the names of the committee members, why they were selected, methods used in investigation, persons interviewed or that provided information in the matter being investigated, details of any sanctions imposed, the proposed plan to restore reputations and protect complainants that have acted in good faith, and any other relevant details.
- If the research is supported by funds from external sources, (e.g., Tri-Council granting agencies), the report must also be filed with the sponsor within 30 days. If misconduct is confirmed, funds for the research project will not be accessible to the person(s) found guilty of misconduct until the matter is resolved.
The sanctions imposed by the Assoc. V.P. Research & Innovation in collaboration with the Academic Integrity Investigation Committee will be consistent with sanctions imposed in other college policies (such as the Acceptable Use, Copyright Policies and the Collective Agreement) and all decisions will be binding on the College, such as:
- verbal warning
- special monitoring of future work
- letter of reprimand to the individual's permanent personnel file
- withdrawal of specific privileges
- removal of specific responsibilities
- suspension or steps to terminate the appointment
In the case of students, sanctions may include verbal warning, special monitoring of work, letter of reprimand in the student's official file, or if warranted, suspension.