Investigation may be a step in the right direction

Investigation may be a step in the right direction
Request by BCAAUP should be acknowledged by the University in hopes of maintaining our reputation
By Heights Editorial Board
The Heights
Published: Sunday, April 1, 2012

In light of the ongoing controversy relating to the Belfast Project, the Boston College chapter of the American Association for University Professors (BCAAUP) has started a petition asking for the formation of a third party committee to investigate the research methods and practices of the Belfast Project. The BCAAUP has stated their concern that the University’s reputation could be harmed as a result of the project’s international legal implications, and their hope is that a third party review of the project’s practices would help bring out more facts related to the case.

The Heights believes that this request is, at the very least, worthy of analysis. It is unquestionable that the Belfast Project has put BC’s reputation as a research institution into jeopardy. If BC has a chance to maintain its reputation, it should take any steps necessary to do so. After all, the status of our University affects all of us, regardless of our role or relation to the Belfast Project. If BC was to be perceived as an institution with poor research practices and standards, researchers throughout the University would be affected. That being said, the question that remains is: is the third party review proposed by BCAAUP necessary?

On the one hand, BCAAUP is concerned for the school’s reputation as a research University. On the other hand, the University has stated that their legal counsel has already reviewed practices undertaken by Belfast Project research directors. Though unlikely, it is possible that a further investigation uncovers unflattering details about the school. At the very least, a further investigation will decrease gossip and rumors about the oral history project.

The University is one community that is affected as a whole, and it is important that faculty and administrators work together to solve problems that arise on campus. Whether or not the third party committee is appointed to review the practices of the Belfast project, The Heights hopes that the reputation of the University will not be negatively affected as a result of the Belfast Project.