(Previous discussion continued)
Re: Grant submissions and academic freedom Charles E. Graham 14 Aug 1998 11:58 EST

Re: Grant submissions and academic freedom Charles E. Graham 14 Aug 1998 11:58 EST

An interesting question. I cannot address the legal issues, except to point
out that the grantee would be the institution, not the faculty member: in
the instance of a proposal, the person is acting as an agent of his/her
employer. My supposition would be that the faculty member would have the
right to do research within the terms of his/her apppointment, but that the
university cannot be forced to enter into a contracual relationship that is
deemed inappropriate. But courts sometimes interpret "freedoms" in
unexpected ways.

Al LSU, our policy is that a dept head or dean cannot hold up a proposal by
refusing to sign the routing sheet; if s/he declines to sign and approve,
s/he must attach a memo explaining the reservations, forward it promptly to
the next level. However, it is part of the dept Head/Deans' job to decide
on the appropriateness of the application. The matter would likely be
resolved at the Vice Chancellor for Reseach level. We have not had an
instance like this in the almost 5 years I have been here that I am aware
of. Often, reason can prevail, if the process is not arbitrary.

Charlie Graham

At 01:21 PM 8/13/98 -0500, you wrote:
>I have a question and will appreciate any input subscribers to the ncurase
listserv may
>have.  The following brief scenario sums up the situation.   A faculty
member has found a
>foundation that may fund her research.  However, the dean of the college
will not sign
>the routing sheet allowing the faculty member to submit the grant because
he does not
>think that the work fits within the mission of the college and also does
not like the
>agenda of the foundation.  The faculty member has a right to do research
as a part of
>academic freedom.  The legal council for the school says that this is a
legal right and
>that the dean cannot stop the submission of the grant if the reason is
only that the work
>does not fit within the mission of the college and that the agenda of the
foundation does
>not appear to be compatible with that mission.  I concur that faculty have
significant
>rights under the umbrella of academic freedom, but I also am concerned
about the
>potential breadth of the lawyer's interpretation.  My question is under what
>circumstances might a dean or department chair be legally safe in stopping
a grant?
>(Other than the obvious e.g. not following policy on indirect cost
recovery, unacceptable
>language in the contract such as indemnification and hold harmless and
legal jurisdiction
>clauses in the case of state schools).  I am quite interested to know if
at schools where
>the annual evaluation process for faculty includes outlining their
research interests in
>a plan and the plan is approved by the chair, etc. if a grant outside of
this plan could
>be stopped on the grounds that it was not in the faculty member's yearly
plan.  Finally,
>is anyone aware of any court cases that are relevant to this issue.  Thanks.
>
>Michael L. Woodruff, Ph.D.
>Associate Vice President for Research
>East Tennessee State University
>

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