Ethics Commission

ETHICS COMMISSION COMPLAINT

For filing complaints: etica@ubbcluj.ro

For ombudsman: ombudsman@ubbcluj.ro

Any person, within and outside the university, can inform the University Ethics Commission of possible violations committed by members of the university community. All complaints received are treated in confidence by the Ethics Commission.

It is recommended that the complaint be lodged to the Commission only after the exhaustion of domestic remedies and following the chain of command within the University: head of department, dean, ethics commission at faculty level (where available), vice-rector, rector - for teachers, students, master's students, doctoral students; head of service, economic director, Administration Council - for the administrative staff

The Commission may decide to investigate ex officio, situations or documents issued at various levels that may violate the ethical guidelines for education, research, and administration, as well as other areas of university life.

Allegations of possible breaches of the ethical principles as contained in the UBB Code of Ethics will be received in writing, via the UBB Registry or by e-mail to etica@ubbcluj.ro. We will not progress anonymous allegations, so you are urged to include your name and contact details. The complaints will be submitted in a sealed envelope addressed “To the Ethics Commission”. Upon submission, the Registry officer will not take the complainant's name, but will allocate a case number and record the complaint, mentioning is as an: “Ethics commission complaint”.

The written complaint about possible breaches of the ethical principles as contained in the UBB Code of Ethics, will contain:

a) name and contact details of the person submitting the complaint to the Commission
b) the description of the allegation in breach of the ethical principles as contained in the UBB Code of Ethics, respectively in the provisions of Law no. 206/2004, as further amended and supplemented
c) the name of the person against whom the complaint is filed and any other information required for the handling and investigation of the complaint
d) the complaint shall explicitly indicate the name of the person accused of the violation, the facts they are accused of and the name of the person lodging the complaint.

Allegations that do not include at least the elements indicated in the previous article will not be considered by the UBB Ethics Commission.

Following a complaint, the university Ethics Commission initiates the procedures outlined in the Code of ethics and academic conduct, respectively in Law no. 206/2004, as further amended and supplemented. The Commission shall reply to the complainant within 30 days of receipt of the complaint if the allegation is well founded and an inquiry is initiated; if the allegation is unfounded and an inquiry is not initiated, the complainant will be informed of the judgement or decision reached after deliberations.

OPERATING PROCEDURE OF THE BABEȘ-BOLYAI UNIVERSITY ETHICS COMMISSION:

The Commission meets weekly or as many times as needed. The Ethics Commission holds regular sessions to inquire complaints or ex-officio investigations of alleged deviations from the academic and research ethics as soon as possible from the date of their receipt.

Where deemed necessary, the Commission shall summon for hearing, by postal service with recorded delivery or registered, signature required, the complainant or the designated representative of the complainant.

In order to resolve the complaint, the respondent accused of having failed to comply with the principles of academic and research ethics may be heard by the Ethics Commission or may be invited to state their version of events in writing. The respondent will be summoned at least 5 working days before the hearing date.

The Commission may decide, either at the request of the parties or on its own accord, to summon for the hearing any person who might provide information or evidence to enable it to reach a conclusion. Their identity will remain confidential.

Hearings and deliberations are conducted in closed sessions. The members of the commission and any other person who has access to the documents and the factual background have the duty to preserve the confidentiality of the hearings, deliberations, and the content of the documents.

If the commission considers that the dispute between the parties can be resolved amicably, and that the deviation from the principles of academic ethics is minor, a settlement will be proposed to the parties; where settlement is reached by conciliation, the commission will take note of the decision and the complaint will be closed.

Where necessary, the Commission may convene an expert or a group of experts for further analysis and resolution of complaints. It can consult with the senate committees or other structures of the university in order to review and resolve complaints.

Following the investigation and deliberations, the commission will present a response or a report with the description of the measures that need to be taken, which is submitted to the rector. The rector enacts the decision on the sanction against the party involved.

The complainant, as well as the respondent, will be notified in writing of the conclusions reached by the Ethics Commission following the investigation and deliberation.

The decisions of the Ethics Commission concerning the dispute resolutions on the alleged deviations from the Code of Ethics will be adopted with the simple majority of the votes cast by the members of the commission.

The decisions of the ethics commission are supported by the legal advisor of the university.

All memos and information pertaining to the activity of the Ethics Commission are available only through the specialized structures of the University.

ETHICS COMMISSION MEMBERS

  1. Chair: Professor Dacian Dragoș, PhD - Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences/ Faculty of Law;
  2. Deputy chair (ombudsman): Associate professor Dégi Csaba, PhD - Faculty of Sociology and Social Work;
  3. Professor Călin Cormoș, PhD - Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering;
  4. Professor Andrei MĂRCUŞ, PhD - Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science;
  5. Associate professor Marius Harosa, PhD - Faculty of Law;
  6. Associate professor Nicoleta Marțian, PhD - Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences;
  7. Associate professor Călin Săplăcan, PhD - Faculty of Greek-Catholic Theology;
  8. Associate professor Imre Ungvári-Zrinyi, PhD - Faculty of History and Philosophy;
  9. Assistant professor Oana Fodor, PhD - Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences;
  10. Assistant professor Voichița Radu, PhD - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration;
  11. Student Ionuț Leonte Zbranca - Faculty of History and Philosophy;

REGULATION FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF BABEŞ-BOLYAI UNIVERSITY ETHICS COMMISSION


I. Members, responsibilities and duties of UBB Ethics Commission

Art. 1. The UBB Ethics Commission is an independent  structure from the Senate and the Rector's office and operates under the National Education Law no. 1/2011, as further amended and supplemented and Law No. 206/2004 on the ethical conduct in scientific research, technological development and innovation, as amended and supplemented.
Art. 2. The university ethics commission has the following duties:

a) reviews and resolves allegations of violation of academic integrity, following complaints or by ex officio investigation, under the UBB Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct;

b) prepares an annual report on the observance of the academic ethics and research ethics, which it submits to the Rector and the University Senate and which is a public document;

c) contributes to the developing and amending of the UBB Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, which is submitted to the University Senate for approval;

d) the duties established by Law no. 206/2004, as further amended and supplemented;

e) other duties provided by law or established according to the University Charter. 

Art. 3. Ethics Commission Members:
a) The structure and composition of the university ethics commission are proposed by the administration council, endorsed by the university senate and approved by the rector. Professional prestige and moral authority are the underlying criteria for the composition of the Commission. It is recommended that the Commission include ethics and legal experts. The Commission has 11 members. The structure and composition of the Commission may be changed as required only on the proposal of the administration council, with the consent of the Senate and the approval of the Rector. 
b) Students will have at least one representative in the Ethics Commission.

c) The persons occupying the position of rector, vice-rector, dean, vice-dean, chief administrative officer, head of department or of a research-development unit, design unit, or micro production unit cannot be members of the university ethics commission.

d) The chair of the commission leads the meetings of the commission, coordinates its activity, represents it in the relations with the University leadership and the Senate leadership and with other institutions.

e) Meetings attendance is compulsory for all members, and the president has the power to request the replacement of members who have accumulated 3 consecutive unexcused absences or have accumulated 5 unexcused absences throughout an academic year. 

f) For serious breaches of the university code of conduct and of the rules of operation of the Ethics Commission, members may be removed from the commission by the vote of two thirds of the members of the commission. A replacement recommendation will be made to the Administration Council. The Administration Council proposes adding new members, with the consent of the Senate and with the approval of the Rector.
g) The term of office of the Commission members is 4 years.

h) The commission is served by a secretary from the general secretariat of the university. 

II. Ethics Commission Complaint

Art. 4. a) Any person, within and outside the university, can inform the University Ethics Commission of possible violations committed by members of the university community. 
b) All complaints received are treated in confidence by the Ethics Commission.
Art. 5. It is recommended that the complaint be lodged to the Commission only after the exhaustion of domestic remedies and following the chain of command within the University: head of department, dean, ethics commission at faculty level (where available), vice-rector, rector - for teachers, students, master's students, doctoral students; head of service, economic director, Administration Council - for the administrative staff
Art. 6. The Commission may decide to investigate ex officio, situations or documents issued at various levels that may violate the ethical guidelines for education, research, and administration, as well as other areas of university life.
Art. 7. Actions of the members of the university community may be brought to the attention of the Commission:
a) undergraduate students, master’s students, doctoral students,
b) teaching staff and researchers,
c) management staff,
d) administrative staff.
Art. 8. Allegations of possible breaches of the ethical principles as contained in the UBB Code of Ethics will be received in writing, via the UBB Registry. We will not progress anonymous allegations, so you are urged to include your name and contact details. The complaints will be submitted in a sealed envelope addressed “To the Ethics Commission”. Upon submission, the Registry officer will not take the complainant's name, but will allocate a case number and record the complaint, mentioning is as an: “Ethics commission complaint”.
Art. 9. The written complaint about possible breaches of the ethical principles as contained in the UBB Code of Ethics, will contain: 
a) name and contact details of the person submitting the complaint to the Commission,

b) the description of the allegation in breach of the ethical principles as contained in the UBB Code of Ethics, respectively in the provisions of Law no. 206/2004, as further amended and supplemented

c) the name of the person against whom the complaint is filed and any other information required for the handling and investigation of the complaint.

d) the complaint shall explicitly indicate the name of the person accused of the violation, the facts they are accused of and the name of the person lodging the complaint. 
Art. 10. Allegations that do not include at least the elements indicated in the previous article will not be considered by the UBB Ethics Commission.
Art. 11. Following a complaint, the university Ethics Commission initiates the procedures outlined in the Code of ethics and academic conduct, respectively in Law no. 206/2004, as further amended and supplemented. The Commission shall reply to the complainant within 30 days of receipt of the complaint if the allegation is well founded and an inquiry is initiated; if the allegation is unfounded and an inquiry is not initiated, the complainant will be informed of the judgement or decision reached after deliberations.

III. Operating Procedure of Babeș-Bolyai University Ethics Commission:

Art. 12. The Commission meets on a monthly basis or as many times as needed. The Ethics Commission holds regular sessions to inquire complaints or ex-officio investigation of alleged deviations from the academic and research ethics as soon as possible from the date of their receipt.
Art. 13. Where deemed necessary, the Commission shall summon for hearing, by postal service with recorded delivery or registered, signature required, the complainant or the designated representative of the complainant. 
Art. 14. In order to resolve the complaint, the respondent accused of having failed to comply with the principles of academic and research ethics may be heard by the Ethics Commission or may be invited to state their version of events in writing. The respondent will be summoned at least 5 working days before the hearing date.
Art. 15. The Commission may decide, either at the request of the parties or on its own accord, to summon for the hearing any person who might provide information or evidence to enable it to reach a conclusion. Their identity will remain confidential. 
Art. 16. Hearings and deliberations are conducted in closed sessions. The members of the commission who have access to the documents and the factual background have the duty to preserve the confidentiality of the hearings, deliberations, and the content of the documents. 
Art. 17. If the commission considers that the dispute between the parties can be resolved amicably, and the deviation from the principles of academic ethics is minor, a settlement will be proposed to the parties; where settlement is reached by conciliation, the commission will take note of the decision and the complaint will be closed.
Art. 18. Where necessary, the Commission may convene an expert or a group of experts for further analysis and resolution of complaints. It can consult with the senate committees or other structures of the university in order to review and resolve complaints.
Art. 19. Following the investigation and deliberations, the commission will present a response or a report as appropriate:
a) Rejects the complaint because it considers that the allegations of violation of the ethical guidelines were not substantiated. When the allegations are not substantiated the report stays with the Commission. A copy of this report can be forwarded to the respondent on request; 
b) Accepts the complaint and proposes a sanction, taking into account the gravity of the violation. 
c) Proposes remedies following ex officio investigations where the Ethics Commission finds the action to be in good faith. 
Art. 20. Submits to the Rector a report containing detailed proposals on the measures to be taken. The Rector approves the sanction decision against the party involved. 
Art. 21. The complainant, as well as the respondent, will be notified in writing of the conclusions reached by the Ethics Commission following the investigation and deliberation.

Art. 22. The decisions of the Ethics Commission concerning the dispute resolutions on the alleged deviations from the Code of Ethics will be adopted with the simple majority of the votes cast by the members of the commission. 
Art. 23. Following the investigation of possible breaches of the ethical principles as contained in the UBB Code of Ethics, the UBB Ethics Commission will write an investigation report covering the underlying information for their analysis and evaluation, where possible the points of view of the commission members, if there were differences of opinion, as well as the measures and sanctions it has agreed on. 
Art. 24. The decisions of the ethics commission are supported by the legal advisor of the university. The legal responsibility for the decisions and activity of the ethics commission rests with the university.
IV. Penalties for breaches of academic integrity and misconduct in research
Art. 25. The penalties that can be imposed on the teaching and research staff and on the ancillary teaching and research staff by the university ethics commission for breaches of academic integrity or for misconduct in scientific research are: 
a) written warning;

b) reduction of the basic salary, cumulated, when applicable, with the leadership, coaching and scrutiny allowance;

c) withdrawal, for an established period of time, of the right to apply for a higher teaching position or of a leadership, coaching, and scrutiny position, as a member in doctoral, master's or undergraduate degree committees;

d) removal from the leading position in education;

e) disciplinary termination of the employment contract. 

Art. 26. The penalties that can be imposed on undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students by the university ethics commission for breaches of academic integrity are: 
a) written warning;

b) withdrawal or suspension of scholarship for an established period of time

c) withdrawal of accommodation in the University residence halls for the academic year following the finding of the violation;

d) permanent withdrawal of accommodation in the University residence halls;

e) expulsion;

f) other penalties provided by the Code of ethics and academic conduct. 


Art.27. The penalties that can be imposed on the administrative staff are:

a) written warning;

b) demotion from their position, with a reduction of pay corresponding to the lower ranking position into which the employee is moved, for a duration that cannot exceed 60 days;

c) reduction of the basic salary for a period of 1-3 months by 5-10%;

d) reduction of the basic salary and/or, as the case may be, of the leadership allowance for a period of 1-3 months by 5-10%;

e) disciplinary termination of the employment contract. 

f) If another sanctioning regime is established by professional statutes approved by special law, it will be applied. 

Art. 28. For breaches of the provisions of the Code of ethics and professional academic conduct, as well as for misconduct in scientific research and creative activity, the university ethics commission establishes one of the penalties provided in art. 25-27.  
Art. 29. The penalties proposed by the Commission must be in proportion to the severity of the violation and the damage caused by it. 

Art. 30. The penalties established by the university ethics and professional conduct commission are applied after the approval of the legal advisor by the rector or dean, as the case may be, within 30 days from the legal approval. 

V. Appeals

Art. 31. The decisions of the Ethics Commission regarding the proposed penalties for violations of the Code of Ethics can be challenged within 15 calendar days after notification.

VI. Confidentiality

Art.32. Throughout the investigation of the complaint alleging a breach of the Code of Ethics, third parties are not allowed access to the file, except for the state agencies empowered to investigate the claims of violations.
Art.33. Third party access to the documents of a case investigated by the Ethics Commission is prohibited even after the completion of the investigation, with the following exceptions:

  1. members of the appeals body;
  2. members of the Ethics Council within the Ministry of Education and Research;
  3. the competent state bodies, when the alleged violation is the subject of an official investigation while respecting the confidentiality of the data;
  4. researchers in the field of academic ethics and conduct, while respecting the confidentiality of data.

VII. Conflict of interest

Art. 34. If, during the investigation of the alleged violation of the Code of Ethics, a member of the Ethics Commission has a conflict of interest, they will withdraw from the assessment of the alleged violation. In the event of a vote, they shall abstain from voting.

VIII. Final provisions

Art. 35. The operating expenses of the Ethics Commission will be covered, by the decision of the Rector, from the revenues of UBB.
Art. 36. All memos and information pertaining to the activity of the Ethics Commission are available only through the specialized structures of the University.
Art. 37. The operating regulation of the Ethics Commission may be amended with the agreement of the Ethics Commission and of the UBB Senate. With the Senate’s approval of this regulation, any previous provisions that are contrary to its provisions are repealed.

This Regulation was adopted in the Senate meeting of 2 July 2020, the date of its entry into force.

Contact

For filing complaints: etica@ubbcluj.ro

For ombudsman: ombudsman@ubbcluj.ro

Professor Dacian Dragoș, PhD

Chair of Ethics Commission:

Dacian Dragoș

Dacian C. Dragoș is a Jean Monnet Professor of Administrative and European Law at the Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences and the Doctoral School of Law. Co-director of the Centre for Good Governance Studies. Marie Curie Fellow at Michigan State University (2005-2006); Vice President of the UBB Research Council (since 2013); President of the National Council for Research Ethics (2016-2017); Scientific coordinator of the Commission for drafting the Romanian “Code of administrative procedure” (2006-2008) and Legal expert in the Commission for drafting the Romanian “Administrative Code” (2010-2011). Member of the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Political and Constitutional System of Romania (2008-2009). Co-chair of the EGPA Permanent Study Group X - “Law and Public Administration” (since 2010). European Commission legal expert for Turkey (TAIEX) and Albania, World Bank Consultant (2020), legal expert for Spark Legal Network and Ecorys and Milieu Ltd - Law & Policy Consulting. Publications: 4 edited books by prestigious international publishers, over 30 book chapters in international volumes, 7 single author books and 4 co-author books, over 80 articles in scientific journals.

Associate professor Csaba Dégi, PhD

Deputy chair OMBUDSMAN:

Conf. univ. dr. Csaba Dégi

Dr. Dégi L. Csaba is an associate professor with habilitation at Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work in Cluj Napoca. He is a registered private practitioner principal social worker. He is director of the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS), director of the European Cancer Organization (ECCO) and is involved with the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) from USA as Romania’s representative. He is member of the Research Board of the National College of Social Workers from Romania and of the Committee for Social Work and Support in Oncology at the Romanian Ministry of Health. Since 2001 he has developed the APSCO® -www.psychooncology.ro - research project and is the president of the Association for Services and Communication in Oncology in affiliation with the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work of Babeș-Bolyai University.