The recognized educational objectives of Saginaw Valley State University include, as important goals, the dissemination of existing knowledge and the discovery of new knowledge through research. The increasingly complex relationships among colleges and universities, government and industry call for more intensive attention to standards of procedure and conduct in government and industry sponsored research carried on at colleges and universities. Standards must be respectful of the purposes, needs and integrity of the universities and the rightful claims of the public interest; thus it is incumbent upon the academic community to be mindful of conflict-of-interest situations which may arise in these growing involvements of the University.
Saginaw Valley State University encourages faculty members and students to engage in research, including that sponsored by such outside agencies as foundations, professional associations, government, and private industry. Through continued and expanding research activity the excellence of teaching programs can be maintained and improved, and the function of the University as a contributor to the storehouse of knowledge can be fulfilled. Important reciprocal benefits from sponsored research accrue to the University and to sponsoring agencies if the basic purposes and function of each are respected.
Major Guidelines in Interrelating Sponsored Research Projects and Consulting Relationships to Government and Business
Through consulting relationships with government, business, and industry the faculty can provide an invaluable resource of expertise and assistance in transfer of technical knowledge and skill. At the same time such relationships serve the interests of research and education at the University. Consulting relationships are desirable, but require cognizance of the basic differences of purposes and functions of sponsoring agencies and the University. Specific policies and requirements, such as the Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement, are applicable to segments of the academic community and should be consulted as the primary document governing consulting relationships.
It has been deemed in the best interest of this University to avoid situations in which one unit of the University competes with another for outside grant support. Such circumstances prompt the grantor to raise questions as to whether the University is clear concerning its own priorities. The prospective grantor may be at a loss to know specifically what is expected and never has sufficient funds or resources to honor the many requests directed to it. For this reason a coordinated approach to prospective grantors, particularly the large foundations and industrial firms, has been deemed in the best interest of the respective units of the University. All requests to outside grantors for support of University-related programs must be coordinated by the Executive Director of Development.
The University endorses the statement on conflict situations published in December 1964 as a joint statement by the Council of the American Association of University Professors and the American Council of Education entitled, "On Preventing Conflicts of Interest in Government Sponsored Research at Universities."
Proposals will generally originate with the faculty or administrative/professional staff in one of the departments. Compatibility of research proposals with the University's educational goals can generally be best determined within the department itself. The review and approval of proposals by the respective department chairperson, dean, and vice president are to insure conformity with the objectives of the department and school. Equally important, such review will help keep academic administrators apprised of the proposals they are being asked to support. Questions of availability of space and equipment, recruiting of research assistants, and possible adjustments of teaching loads may arise. These frequently require specific administrative actions on the part of academic administrators if proposals are approved.
Projects are to be reviewed for budget construction by the Controller's Office before their transmittal to outside agencies. The Office of the Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs is responsible for resolving complex and knotty problems of institutional financing, accountability of funds received in support of research, and establishment of efficient fiscal methods involved in the execution of research projects. Management of funds consistent with the terms of grants and contracts is a responsibility accepted by the University at the time it accepts a grant and represents a basic commitment with the respective agencies sponsoring projects.
The Office of Sponsored Programs is responsible to the President for developing administrative arrangements which insure the coordination of proposals prior to their transmittal to outside organizations. The President has the final authority for approving the submission of all proposals. The responsibility for administering approved sponsored research projects or programs rests with the appropriate Dean or Director and the corresponding Vice President.
Review and Approval by Office of Sponsored Programs - Before proposals are transmitted extramurally, they are to be reviewed and approved by the Office of Sponsored Programs. This approval must accompany all applications in addition to any other signatures which may be requested by the potential sponsor.
Proposals are reviewed for approval by appropriate offices, for conformity with established policies, and for overall congruency with education-research aims of respective units.
The project leader and other signatories are notified of the completion and execution of the transmittal sheets as soon as this occurs, as well as the time that proposals are mailed to the prospective sponsor. Proposals will be mailed only by the Office of Sponsored Programs. If questions arise concerning the proposal, these will be resolved through the services of the Office of Sponsored Programs prior to transmittal to a sponsoring agency.
Adopted 10/12/81 BC