The purpose of an inquiry is to conduct an initial review of the evidence to determine whether there are reasonable grounds for believing that the allegations may be true and whether an investigation is warranted.  An inquiry does not require a full review of all the evidence. The Inquiry Committee will be comprised of tenured faculty members, but in consideration of the privacy of all concerned, will be limited to the minimal number required for competent completion of the task. A faculty member will not be appointed to the Inquiry Committee if the dean believes that individual to have a potential conflict of interest in relation to the matter at hand or the individuals involved. The Inquiry Committee will immediately secure all materials it believes directly relevant to the allegations, in addition to any materials secured by the dean.  The dean will promptly inform the respondent that an allegation has been made and will be subject to an inquiry and will provide to him or her the names of members of the Inquiry Committee and sufficient information about the allegation so as to permit the respondent to prepare to answer.

The dean will notify the provost that an inquiry has been initiated and of the nature of the alleged misconduct. If warranted, in the dean’s judgment, based upon an overriding need to protect the health, safety, reputation or financial interest of others or when required by federal regulations, the dean will notify relevant funding, regulatory or other agencies or entities, including any journal that has published data subject to challenge, of the initiation of the inquiry. Where federally-funded research is involved, the dean will take such interim administrative actions during the inquiry (or during any later investigation) as are appropriate, in his or her judgment, to protect federal funds and ensure that the purposes of the federal financial assistance are being carried out, as required under federal regulations.

The Inquiry Committee will seek to interview the complainant(s) and the respondent so as to hear first hand the allegations as well as the response of the respondent.[9] The Inquiry Committee also may interview or otherwise request information from others within or outside the University, including persons uninvolved in but knowledgeable about the matter under inquiry, and may seek expert advice. All persons requested to participate in the inquiry or to provide documents are expected to cooperate. The members of the Inquiry Committee will make every effort to maintain the confidentiality of their materials and deliberations. All correspondence, minutes, and other records will be marked “confidential” and kept in a locked or secured location. In seeking information, the Inquiry Committee, insofar as it can, will require confidentiality of those with whom it must communicate. The Inquiry Committee will give due regard to preserving the privacy of the person(s) bringing the allegations; however, if the Inquiry Committee determines that confidential disclosure of the identity of the complainant to any person (including the respondent) is necessary in order for it to proceed fairly with its deliberations, the Inquiry Committee, after first informing the complainant, may make such disclosure.

As soon as practicable, and normally within 60 days after receiving its charges, the Inquiry Committee will prepare a written report for the dean setting forth its conclusions and the evidentiary basis for those conclusions (including summaries of interviews). If circumstances clearly warrant extending the inquiry beyond 60 days, the report shall include documentation of the reasons for the extension. The inquiry may result in one of two outcomes:

  • If the Inquiry Committee concludes that there are not reasonable grounds for believing that the allegation may be true or that a formal investigation is not warranted, the dean may, at his or her discretion, inform the complainant, and to the extent appropriate, persons consulted by the Inquiry Committee, of that conclusion and the reasons for it and will provide a copy of the report to the respondent. The dean will for a period of three years maintain the written report of the Inquiry Committee in a locked or secured location. The dean will also determine what steps, if any, should be taken to restore the reputation of the respondent.
  • If the Inquiry Committee concludes that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the allegations may be true and that a formal investigation is warranted, it will provide to the dean along with its report a formal written statement detailing the specific charge or charges of academic misconduct that should in its judgment be the subject of an investigation. The dean will convey the report and this statement to the respondent.

If the inquiry substantiates academic misconduct that is admitted by the respondent, the dean will determine what actions should be taken, including any further investigation, and the sanctions to be imposed or recommended, consistent with applicable disciplinary procedures and with the approval of the provost. If fraudulent scholarship or research has been published, the dean will see that the facts are submitted to the appropriate journals in sufficient detail to allow for correction of the relevant public record. The dean will notify the applicable funding, regulatory or other agencies of the outcome, as required by law or regulation. [10] The dean will notify the respondent of his or her decision in writing.

Next: Investigation

9 When being interviewed by the Inquiry Committee, the respondent may be accompanied by an adviser, who may be any member of the Yale Community, but not by legal counsel.

10 In appropriate circumstances the Dean, in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel and the Provost, may notify additional persons or entities deemed to have a legitimate interest in the proceedings, including, without limitation, the current employer of the respondent