April 29, 2014: Senior Administration Replies to Concerns About the University’s Use of the MBid System to Select a Contractor Responsible for Managing the Inquiry

Responding to the April 23, 2014 letter sent by Trudo Lemmens and colleagues, Vice President Brian Herman and Professor Willam Durfee defended the university’s research practices and institutional review board. They wrote, “Evidence of our commitment to ethical human subject research can be seen in the fact that we have received Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) re-accreditation twice in the last ten years.” In their letter, Herman and Durfee failed to address Lemmens’ concerns regarding the narrow scope of the planned review and its apparent failure to address the Markingson case and the CAFÉ study, the use of the MBID system to select and hire an “independent contractor” responsible for reviewing research protections at the university, and the conflicts-of-interests inherent in senior administration selecting the contractor responsible for “managing” the review. While Herman and Durfee claimed that “faculty governance is engaged in the process” of establishing an inquiry, it appears that “faculty governance” has to date been restricted to the involvement of Professor Durfee and Professor Maria Gini.

Brian Herman and William Durfee (on behalf of President Eric Kaler, Professor Eva von Dassow, and faculty governance), Response to April 23, 2014 letter of concern sent by Lemmens and colleagues, April 29, 2014.

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