Email list hosting service & mailing list manager

Re: Top Secret Research Herbert B. Chermside 29 Apr 1998 17:02 EST

At 03:27 PM 4/29/98 -0500, you wrote:
>I am interested in knowing about any policies that relate to
>top secret research.  A number of years ago we discussed classified
>research and decided to take a pass on it.  Now top secret beccomes
>the topic of they day.  Besides the Georgia Techs and MITs, who is
>is doing this and what are your policies that relate to the issue?
>If you wish you may contact me directly.  Thanks for your help.
>Patricia A. Conway
>Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research
>Office of the Vice Chancellor for Reseearch  (M/C 672)
>1737 West Polk Street
>Chicago, Illinois 60612-7227
>Phone 312/996-1961
>Fax 312/413-0238

Security classified research can be a very emotionally charged subject on a
university campus.  The concept of data and scholarship that cannot be
shared openly violates written policies at many institutions.  In
additiona, the facilities and control opersonnel for secure storage of
data, secure experimental areas, etc. can be very expensive to maintain.

A likely concommittant is a drug-free workFORCE contract clause. This
involves arranging for a program of random drug testing.  At some
institutions this may also violate policies -- at my institution our Human
Resources head thinks she has been told from the A.G.'s office (we're
state!) that accepting that clause might be a violation of state personnel
regulations, but we didn't seek a clear determinations.

I have one researcher doing security classified work as a subcontract.
However, the arrangements involve
a) his security classification is maintained through another organization
(his private consulting company),
b) the work will be performed at the prime contractor's site, and no
classified material OR reports will be on our campus.

I suggest that the decision to bring such work on campus must be made at
the highest executive levels, and with full information on the long term

Also apply the "X test", where X is the local newspaper which runs scathing
attacks on your institution --  Suppose the headlines one Saturday morning
(NEVER on a day when you are in your office!) say, "XYZ U. undertakes top
secret work; locks professors out of labs!"

But if you do do it, successfully, share your techniques  and safeguards!


Herbert B. Chermside, CRA
Director, Sponsored Programs Administration
Virginia Comonwealth University
PO BOX 980568
Richmond, VA  23298-0568
Express Delivery Only:
        Sanger Hall, Rm. 1-073
        11th & Marshall Streets
        Richmond, VA  23219
Voice:  804-828-6772
Fax     804-828-2521
OFFICE e-mail   xxxxxx@VCU.EDU
Personal e-mail