Comments - Canadian Association of University Teachers


Comments are posted in the language in which they were received.

RE: CAUT Response Regarding Proposed Changes to the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research

Dear Ms. Zimmerman,

On behalf of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), I write to submit comments and recommendations as part of the proposed revisions to the second edition of the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR Framework 2016).

CAUT represents more than 72,000 professors, librarians, researchers, and other academic staff working at universities and colleges across this country. We are committed to academic freedom and actively work in the public interest to improve the quality and accessibility of post-secondary education in Canada.

Overall, CAUT finds that the proposed changes to the RCR Framework 2016 provide useful clarification in a number of places. However, we raise the following for further consideration:

4.3.4 a. Investigating Allegations CAUT recommends adding the following sentences to this section: "The accused researcher and their academic staff association must be informed of such allegations at the earliest opportunity. Researchers must be informed of their rights to consult the academic staff association or a lawyer paid for by the institution before responding to any queries related to the allegations."

4.3.6 a. Accountability CAUT proposes reinserting language "in a timely manner" and other edits so the article clause reads as follows:

"A procedure to provide affected parties, including the academic staff association, with relevant information about the process and outcome of the inquiry and investigation in a timely manner. Institutions must disclose information on the measures that they may be taking to affected parties. Information should be provided in a manner consistent with the privacy legislation applicable to the institution(s) that are conducting the inquiry or investigation. Recourse against a Respondent should only be shared with the Respondent and their academic staff association."

We would welcome a meeting to discuss the proposed changes.

Respectfully submitted,

Brenda Austin-Smith

David Robinson
Executive Director

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