University Statement on Scientific Misconduct Assessment

Monday, January 4 2010


MOSCOW, Idaho –The University of Idaho provides this statement on the outcome of its scientific misconduct assessment concerning professor of veterinary medicine Marie Bulgin. The specifics of these scientific misconduct assessments constitute personnel records, which are confidential under Idaho law.

"In June 2009, news media reported concerns raised by several groups and individuals, including Western Watersheds Project and representatives of the Nez Perce Tribe, about comments Marie Bulgin made in her testimony before the Idaho legislature during the 2009 session and in her written statements in federal litigation relating to transmission of disease between bighorn sheep and domestic sheep. The university took these reports and concerns seriously and launched a thorough assessment of the facts surrounding her comments. At the outset, the university and Bulgin mutually agreed that she would take leave from her administrative duties at the Caine Veterinary Teaching Center and refrain from conducting research regarding or disseminating research information on sheep diseases during the course of the inquiry.

The university’s assessment was conducted according to its scientific misconduct policy by Vice President for Research Jack McIver, who serves as the institution’s research integrity officer. The university’s policy defines scientific misconduct as "fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It also means any material failure to comply with federal requirements that uniquely relate to the conduct of research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data" (Faculty-Staff Handbook, Section 3230, B-14).

McIver did not find evidence of scientific misconduct in her testimony or written statements.

Bulgin will resume her former role in teaching, research and coordinating the veterinary medicine education program at the Caine Center and the university will begin restructuring overall administration of the Caine Center. Under university policy, Bulgin will operate under an approved conflict management plan that will address, among other things, her private activities as an advocate for the sheep industry. Conflict management plans are part of the university's Faculty and Staff Handbook (FSH 6240, D-1). Details about an individual's specific conflict management plan are part of the personnel record and, under Idaho law, are confidential."

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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation classification for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.







About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.