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Standing Committee on Discipline By-Laws
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The name of the Committee shall be the Standing Committee on Discipline (SCD).
The School of Medicine is an institution dedicated to truth in pursuit of knowledge through biomedical research, to the transmission of knowledge through publication and teaching, and to the application of medical knowledge to patient care. A spirit of mutual respect and a broad trust that all faculty members, students, and staff share this dedication to the truth are essential to the function of the School. On occasion, however, it is necessary for the School to respond to evidence or complaints of unsatisfactory performance of professional duties, unacceptable behavior, or allegations of misconduct in research.
The Procedures for Dealing with Issues of Professional Misconduct and the Procedures for Dealing with Issues of Research Misconduct define the responsibilities of the SCD. If there is a finding of professional or research misconduct after an investigation, the SCD’s role is to review the investigation report in the context of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances, while considering any rebuttals submitted by those faculty found to have engaged in research and/or professional misconduct, and to then make a recommendation to the Advisory Board of the Medical Faculty (ABMF) for corrective and/or disciplinary action, if indicated.
The SCD may accept or reject the investigation report in whole or in part, and recommend to the ABMF those sanctions and remedial actions, if any, that the SCD may consider appropriate to the circumstances; or return the matter to the Investigation Committee for additional investigation or modification of its report.
Before making a final decision regarding sanctions and remedial actions, if any, the SCD shall meet with the accused individual’s Department Director (or, at the discretion of the Department Director, both the Department and Division Directors) so the Director(s) can provide the SCD with information bearing on the impact of the proposed disciplinary action and/or remediation measures on the Department. If the Director(s) disagree(s) with the SCD recommendation, SCD shall note the difference of opinion, but its final recommendation shall be made independently. The SCD shall document the reasons for any differences of opinion between the Director(s) and the SCD and it shall include this documentation in its report.
The SCD’s recommendations to the ABMF may include one or more of the following corrective and/or disciplinary actions:
withdrawal or correction of papers, abstracts or grant applications;
notification directed to editors of journals where plagiarism, fraudulent, or suspect research has been published or is under review;
notification of sponsoring agencies;
termination or alteration of employment status, including periods of supervised probation;
postponement or denial of promotion or advancement;
release of information about the incident to the public, particularly when public funds were used to support the fraudulent or suspect research; or
any other action deemed appropriate to the circumstances.
The SCD will forward its report and recommendation to the full ABMF; which will, in executive session, consider the case and decide what, if any, disciplinary action to take.
From time to time, the SCD may make recommendations to the Dean regarding revisions or modifications of the School’s Procedures for Dealing with Issues of Professional Misconduct, Procedures for Dealing with Issues of Research Misconduct, and Rules and Guidelines for Responsible Conduct of Research. Policy revisions are subject to review and approval by the Advisory Board of the Medical Faculty.
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ARTICLE II - MEMBERSHIP
The SCD will consist of no fewer than fifteen and no more than twenty voting members, a majority of whom should be Department Directors in the School of Medicine; all SCD members shall be full Professors in the School. The Vice Dean for Research and the Vice Dean for Faculty shall be non voting members ex officio. Members will be appointed by the Dean of the School of Medicine, in consultation with the Vice Dean for Research and the Vice Dean for Faculty, for three-year terms, beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30.
SCD members are eligible for re-appointment. However, no member shall serve more than two consecutive three-year terms.
The Dean on the advice of the Vice Dean for Research and the Vice Dean for Faculty will appoint the SCD Chair. The Chair will serve for one five-year term and may be reappointed for a second consecutive term.
Vacancies. When a vacancy on the SCD exists as a result of a member’s resignation or removal, suggestions for new members may be received from present SCD members by the Chair, who will submit the suggestions to the Vice Dean for Research and the Vice Dean for Faculty. However, decisions regarding appointments of new members will be made by the Dean. The vacancy may be filled before the end of the resigning or departing SCD member's term.
Absences, Resignation, and Termination. Resignation from the SCD before the end of one’s term must be made in writing and should be sent to the Dean or Vice Dean for Research and SCD Chair. A SCD member may be removed by the Dean for any reason, including failure to attend a majority of the full Committee meetings in any particular academic year.
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ARTICLE III - MEETINGS OF MEMBERS
The Chair or, in his/her absence, another SCD member acting as Chair, shall preside over each meeting of the SCD. Standing meetings will be scheduled on a twice monthly basis and canceled if there is no business to conduct.
Semiannual Meetings. The date, time, and location of regular semiannual meetings will be set by the SCD Chair. At the semiannual meetings, a summary of the SCD’s activities will be reviewed, current procedures discussed, and new procedures developed as needed. Areas of special interest in the fields of academic and research integrity will be discussed.
Quorum. At least one-half of the voting SCD members (quorum) must attend a meeting in order for business to be transacted or motions made or passed.
Conflicts of Interest. Members are required to recuse themselves from discussion and voting on any case if:
those involved in the case report directly to the member; or
the member reports to those involved in the case
the member belongs to the same division (e.g., in a large department) or department (if a small department) as the individual(s) whose case is under discussion; or
the member has significant professional involvement with those involved in the case; or
one or more of those individuals involved in a case is in the member’s immediate family; or
required by SOM or JHU policy;
if the member perceives a conflict of interest for any reason.
The presiding Chair may ask the conflicted member to remain in the meeting room to provide information or to answer questions. However, any conflicted individual, as defined in Section 4 above, must recuse himself/herself until consideration of the case, including discussion, deliberation and voting, is complete
Confidentiality. All materials pertinent to the case being reviewed are privileged communications prepared for use by SCD members and staff and should not be shown to or discussed with other individuals. SCD members must not independently solicit opinions or discuss particular cases outside meetings of the SCD. There must be no direct communications between respondents and SCD members or complainants and SCD members outside an SCD meeting about the case. SCD members’ requests for additional information must be directed to the SCD staff who will handle all such requests.
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ARTICLE IV - AMENDMENTS
These By-laws may be amended when necessary by a vote of two-thirds of the SCD members, subject to approval by the Dean. Proposed amendments must be submitted to the Chair and will be sent to the membership with regular SCD announcements.
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