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The Baruch College Faculty Handbook

IRB memos - Spring 2005



Last updated on 6/10/05

In May-June 2005, the following three memos were circulated by email to all members of the full-time faculty.

May 20, 2005 - IRB (I)

 

This will be the first of three notices to the Baruch community over the next week regarding changes in the College's Institutional Review Board (IRB). This notice is intended to convey our strong support of the IRB's mission and to urge members of the faculty to bring all relevant research -- all research with human subjects, including survey research and research by students -- to the Baruch IRB.

 

The IRB works to advance ethical research with human subjects and to ensure that researchers follow the federal regulations promulgated by the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), a branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services. As such, the board is an extremely important part of the research community at Baruch. IRBs protect human subjects, but they also protect researchers themselves from potential noncompliance with federal regulations. This protects the ability of all of us to conduct research.

 

We believe that researchers need to ensure their familiarity with both the federal regulations and with the ethical precepts on which they are based. To that end, the next academic year will see outreach from members of the IRB in the form of presentations and workshops. Moreover, starting next fall, all researchers submitting protocols to the IRB will be required to complete a new online training course. (CUNY's Office of Research Conduct is making arrangements for this course. More details will be available this summer.)

 

For more information about Baruch's IRB, see: http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/irb/

For more information about OHRP and about IRBs in general, see:  

 

More to come.

Kathleen Waldron, President

David Dannenbring, Provost

Dennis Slavin, Associate Provost

 

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May 24, 2005 - IRB (II)

 

With this, our second notice to the campus community about the IRB, we would like to acknowledge the skillful leadership that Professor David O'Brien has provided to the Baruch College IRB since 1994. Dr. O'Brien has demonstrated an extraordinary grasp of the often complex regulations developed by the federal Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). He played a major role in guiding Baruch through a CUNY-wide audit in the late 1990s and in devising a remediation plan for CUNY. Over the years he has helped to steer the college away from several instances of potential noncompliance; indeed, a recent review of the Human Research Protections Program at Baruch found no instances of noncompliance in the IRB review process. Under Prof. O'Brien's guidance, the Baruch IRB has helped to protect research subjects, researchers themselves, and the college.

 

Prof. O'Brien has worked tirelessly as the volume of research with human subjects at Baruch has grown, especially in the past two years. After 11 years as its Chair, he has asked to step down from the IRB to devote more time to his own research in experimental epistemology (see http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/psychology/people/DOBrien.htm ). Baruch College owes David O'Brien a profound debt of gratitude for his skill and dedication and looks forward to enjoying the fruits of his renewed scholarly labors.

 

The other faculty members of our IRB have served on the board anywhere from five to 17 years with little or no support other than recognition for service to the college. Their responsibilities have been significant: many research protocols must be carefully read and evaluated, and protecting human subjects by following federal guidelines sometimes requires the board to ask experienced researchers -- senior colleagues -- to amend protocols that they have worked on and developed with care. The members of the current board have done this difficult work conscientiously and well. For their hours of excellent service we would like to thank: Nancy Aries (SPA), Kapil Bawa (Marketing), Alfred Friedland (Math), Harold Goldstein (Psychology), and Gregg Van Ryzin (SPA).

Kathleen Waldron, President

David Dannenbring, Provost

Dennis Slavin, Associate Provost

 

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June 6, 2005 - IRB (III)

 

The new Chair of the Baruch College IRB will be Prof. Donald Vredenburgh of the Department of Management. Out of concern for the need to rotate membership of all college committees, we have asked five additional members of the faculty to join with Prof. Vredenburgh to form a new board: Profs. Lauren Block (Marketing), Harry Brent (English), Karen Lyness (Psychology), Thomas Main (SPA), and Shoshanna Sofaer (SPA). Three of the new members will serve two-year terms; the others will serve for three years. At the conclusion of their first term, each member will be eligible for a second three-year term (i.e., the maximum will be six years of consecutive service). Membership is by Presidential appointment, in consultation with the Provost and the Deans.

 

IRBs also include a community member. Father David Kossey, who joined the Baruch IRB this past academic year, will remain as our community member.

 

Ms. Keisha Petersen will continue as the administrator of Baruch's IRB. Her office is in VC 8-215, where she divides her time between the IRB and the Department of Psychology.

 

In March 2005 the College hired Dr. Jeffrey M. Cohen as a consultant to help us review our IRB procedures. Dr. Cohen reviewed records and interviewed 18 members of the faculty and several administrators. His report, "Evaluation of Baruch College's Human Research Protections Program," contains several recommendations, most of which we have taken or plan to follow up in the months to come. A copy of the report will soon be linked to the IRB page in the Faculty Handbook. [The report is now available online.]

 

Our email of May 20 (IRB -I) indicated that CUNY's Office of Research Conduct would be arranging for a new online training course. The recently issued CUNY Research Newsletter provides additional information about the training and describes what the new training (CITI) will mean for those who completed the previous training (CBT). See p. 6: http://www1.cuny.edu/portal_ur/content/research/news/rnews_6_05.pdf

 

Anyone with questions about the IRB is encouraged to call Keisha Petersen at 646-312-3780 and to investigate the website: http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/irb/

 

Kathleen Waldron, President

David Dannenbring, Provost

Dennis Slavin, Associate Provost