Texas Tech Forms Investigator Financial Disclosure Committee

The committee will provide guidance about policy to manage institutional conflicts of interest.

The new faculty-led committee will greatly benefit Texas Tech in its quest to become a tier one university.

The new faculty-led committee will greatly benefit Texas Tech in its quest to become a tier one university.

A new faculty-led Investigator Financial Disclosure Committee (IFDC) has been formed by Taylor Eighmy, senior vice president for research at Texas Tech.

The committee will provide guidance about policy to manage Texas Tech institutional conflicts of interest and develop and monitor management plans when a potential conflict is identified.

“Going forward, public universities are likely to continue experiencing severe budget pressures,” said Ralph Viator, IFDC chairman and Clark and Lois Webster Professor in the Area of Accounting. “Faculty seek to ease these pressures by performing academic research in partnership with the business community and governmental agencies, securing external funding for graduate student stipends as well as salary supplements. However, a reasonable question arises: ‘Does this growing partnership lead to research outcomes that are biased by the pressures to obtain external funding?’ One objective of the IFDC is to develop institutional-level policies and procedures that directly manage these pressures and reduces the likelihood of biased research, increasing the odds that published academic research continues to be objective and respected.”

Among its responsibilities, the IFDC will provide administrative and faculty advice concerning: Texas Tech financial conflict of interest (FCOI) policies and compliance with the 2012 revision of the National Institutes of Health FCOI policies; structure and oversight of management plans; and changes needed in Texas Tech policy to comply with sponsor mandates, and evolving best practices for management of conflicts of interest and commitment.

“It is vital that university researchers work with private and public external sponsors to solve important issues facing our society,” said Alice Young, associate vice president for research (research integrity). “The IFDC will provide key guidance to our faculty on how to identify and manage potential conflicts.”

“I appreciate the efforts of Dr. Young, her staff, and the Faculty Senate for its collaborative efforts in working to see this effort through,” said Eighmy. “We benefit from faculty-based collaborations on research compliance and the new committee will help greatly as we move ahead.”

Committee members are:

  • Ralph Viator, committee chair, Clark and Lois Webster Professor, Area of Accounting
  • Mukaddes Darwish, associate professor, Department of Construction Engineering and Engineering Technology
  • Russell James III, associate professor, Division of Personal Financial Planning
  • Tom Knight, Horn Professor and Emabeth Thompson Professor of Risk Management, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics
  • Mellinee Lesley, associate professor, Department of Curriculum & Instruction
  • Alyson Outenreath, assistant professor, School of Law
  • John Zak, professor and associate dean for research, Department of Biological Sciences and College of Arts and Sciences
  • Alice Young (ex officio), associate vice president for research (research integrity)
  • Amy Baugh (ex officio), administrator for financial disclosure, Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR)

Baugh assumed the duties of financial disclosure administrator in the Office of the Vice President for Research on May 1. She is a Texas Tech alumna. Prior to joining the OVPR, Baugh served as a County Extension Agent for Texas AgriLife Extension Service. She brings a wealth of experience in planning, developing, managing, marketing and evaluating educational programs and events for a variety of individuals and organizations, and she understands the importance of accountability and compliance. She has received numerous awards for her extension educational programming efforts, including the Texas A&M AgriLife Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence, Outstanding Community Resource and Economic Development Programming, Excellence in Community Development, Distinguished Service Award, Achievement in Service Award, and Community Partnership Award. Baugh also is a certified child passenger safety technician and serves on the Injury Prevention Coalition of the South Plains board of directors.

Office of Research and Innovation

The Office of Research and Innovation is tasked with facilitating excellence in research, scholarship and creative activity for Texas Tech students, faculty and staff. The office promotes an academic environment embracing creativity, curiosity, innovation, diversity, ethics and integrity.

Among other programs, the OR&I supports responsible and safe conduct of research, faculty development and recognition, interdisciplinary collaborations, externally sponsored research, partnerships with industry and community stakeholders, international research collaboration and the application of research for the benefit of society. The OR&I promotes a culture of creative expression, discovery, innovation and collaboration with the goal of advancing Texas Tech’s status as an elite national research university.



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