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Minutes: September 19, 2007

3 p.m., Wednesday, September 19, 2007
School of Medicine Administration, Board Room 103

PRESENT: Drs. Armstrong, Bagga, Bluemke, Brayton, Choi, Cooke, Cromwell, Dagnelie, Efron, Fairman, Goldstein, Halushka, Honeycutt, Kravet, Li, MacDonald, Maragakis, Mears, Oliver, Nguyen, Pidcock, Pirruccello, Schramm, Sterni, Stivers, Tufaro, Warner, Whitmore, Yaster, Yehia, Zellars.

ABSENT: Drs. Allaf, Bergles, Bhatti, Chan, Cormack, Flynn, Foy, Geller, Holcroft, Huang, Leahy, Magaziner, McCarthy, Mooney, Peters, Prucz, Rais-Bahrami, Robinson, Siberry, Tompkins, Woolf.

GUESTS: Mss. Heiser and Garrity.

I.  Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 3:05 pm.   The first two agenda items: I. Introduction of new members and election of officers, and II. Review and approval of minutes were moved to the end of the meeting.

II. United Way Campaign – Joanne Pollak, VP & General Counsel & VP for Compliance, JHM

Ms. Pollak was invited to address the Medical School Council about the importance of the United Way Campaign.  She described her role as the Chair of the 2007 United Way Campaign.

                Ms. Pollak outlined the importance of the campaign to the SOM, focusing on participation rates in prior United Way campaigns. Last year’s rate was 19-20% for JHM combined, but the SOM participation rate was 10-14%, with giving from physicians at an even lower rate. She acknowledged that faculty give every day through their work. However, Ms. Pollak described the impact of low participation rates to the funding of grants and her concern that issues with the United Way would need to be addressed to undertake a successful campaign this year.

                Ms. Pollak described her effort to confront concerns and misconceptions about the United Way that may be held by the faculty.  She met with the department directors to clarify their issues and was encouraged to meet with a particular faculty member in the DOM who held a number of specific objections.  This faculty member’s concerns and questions became the basis for a new fact sheet intended to clarify the activities of the United Way vis-à-vis fund-raising activities and the distribution of funds raised.

                Ms. Pollak specifically clarified that money can be contributed to Baltimore City and 5 surrounding counties, as well as to specific charities such as the House of Ruth.  Second, funds can be given to any organization in the US through a write-in process.  Third, it is preferable to give through Hopkins as opposed to directly, so that Hopkins is credited for participation.  Finally, administrative costs can be minimized by giving online, which requires only a 12% administrative overhead compared to 22% for many other organizations.

                A suggestion was made that receipts be provided at the end of each calendar year for all contributions.  Ms. Pollak indicated that she would take that suggestion forward.

III.   Research Misconduct – Sheila Garrity, J.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., Director, Research Integrity

                Ms. Garrity presented an update on the growing problem of research misconduct.  In 2000, there were 2 cases handled through the Office of Research Integrity and in 2006 there were 12 cases.  By September 2007, 10 cases had been reviewed.

                Ms. Garrity reviewed the “FFP” standard for research misconduct:

(a) Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.

(b) Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.

(c) Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

(d) Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

                Ms. Garrity reviewed the process by which a report of misconduct is made and subsequently investigated.  Reports typically come to the Dean or to the Office of Policy Coordination. Those investigations that go forward are ultimately seen by the Standing Committee on Discipline.  An inquiry is launched to see if the facts support a case.  Concerns about possible plagiarism can be checked though  If a report is submitted to a chair or lab director, those individuals should refer the report to the Office of Policy Coordination and not attempt to resolve allegations on their own.  While allegations may be submitted anonymously, at some point those reporting claims of misconduct will generally need to participate in the investigation for it to move forward.

                A question was raised about false accusations.   Last year, a claim was made about a PI who was accused of falsifying data from an animal model.  Ms. Garrity indicated that it turned out that the PI was falsely accused by someone who was denied a faculty position and intended to harm the PI’s career.  False accusations are also handled as disciplinary matters.

                Ms. Garrity reviewed the data from the resolution of recent cases.  Of those cases reviewed, 33% resulted in disciplinary action, and some involved negotiated departures. Some claims are put to rest at the investigatory phase, without the person accused even knowing that a report was made.

                The Investigation Committee must unanimously agree with a quorum of 2/3 members present, before the case can be sent to the Standing Committee on Discipline.  The decisions of the Standing Committee on Discipline are usually unanimous.

                In the subsequent discussion, questions were raised about how to get the word out about misconduct issues.  Ms. Garrity mentioned the new column in the publication Change, entitled “Conduct Matters” which airs various issues of research misconduct and professional misconduct and their resolution.   Dr. Laura Sterni suggested that an educational piece is needed on allegations and the investigation process, and recommended that something be made available through email.  It was further recommended that all faculty utilize tools like to review content prepared by post-docs for their grants.  Other suggestions included intensifying education to graduate students and post-docs about the issue, through Drs. Peter Maloney and Donna Vogel, and reinforcing the Honor Code to medical students.  A suggestion was also made to increase education on this issue to non-native English speakers who may not be aware of the seriousness of the concern, and may be more likely to turn to the Internet or other sources, for help in preparing written content due to language difficulties.

IV.  Introduction of New Members and Election of Officers  

                Dr. Sterni welcomed new members and asked all participants to introduce themselves.

                Dr. Sterni also reviewed the recent accomplishments of the MSC, and the impact of its work such as the recent revisions of the Gold and Silver Books. Several upcoming issues were also noted such as the curriculum changes, and the work of the Committee on Educational Value and Rewards.

                Dr. Sterni  indicated that the MSC members needed to elect the next chair, vice chair and member-at-large.  Dr. Nancy Honeycutt was nominated for Chair, and Drs. Richard Zellars and Gislin Dagnelie, were nominated for Vice Chair.  At the conclusion of voting, Dr. Nancy Honeycutt was elected as Chair, and Dr. Richard Zellars as Vice Chair.

                Dr. Nancy Honeycutt thanked Dr. Laura Sterni for her outstanding service as Chair of the MSC for FY07. 

V. Other Business

            The minutes of the June 27, 2007 meeting were approved.

             Dr. Nancy Honeycutt updated progress on the faculty survey.  MSC members were asked to encourage departmental faculty to participate in the survey.  Dr. Honeycutt reported over a 50% response rate to the 2004 survey, and recapped several changes that resulted from the survey. 

             Several ideas for the Agenda Committee were generated including:  Follow-up on needs for expanded and affordable child care facilities, including comparable facilities at Bayview; issues pertaining to the Curriculum Committee; Non-compete clauses; Branding and advertising and website issues; Review of the CTSA funding with Dr. Dan Ford; IS and IT Issues with Ms. Stephanie Reel; and Disabilities and Benefits issues.

There being no further business, this meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Heiser,

Assistant Dean for Faculty Development and Equity

These minutes were revised to correct inaccurate information; the revised minutes were approved in the November meeting.

Future Medical School Council meetings:

All meetings will be held in the School of Medicine Board Room (SOM 103), 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

October 17, 2007

November 14, 2007

December 12, 2007

January 23, 2008

February 20, 2008

March 19, 2008

April 16, 2008

May 14, 2008

June 18, 2008