SRI Member Revocation Policy
Purpose: As indicated in the SRI Bylaws, an SRI Member is one “who is committed to a productive research career in the field of women’s health and/or reproductive biology”, and therefore supports Article I, Section 4 of the Bylaws: Purposes*. In the rare case where a member of SRI no longer meets this expectation, the following set of guidelines and procedures are to be followed to request revocation and for the consideration of the revocation request to revoke an individual’s membership status.
Scope: SRI will, in its sole discretion, consider revoking membership status in cases of proven scientific misconduct, serious breaches of professional ethics, or when the member in the view of SRI otherwise no longer merits the status of an SRI member. All requests to revoke membership will be handled in accordance with the procedures provided herein.
Breaches of professional ethics might include sexual misconduct, racial discrimination, or other ethical violations. Sexual harassment or retaliation for declining, objecting to, or reporting harassment or other sexual conduct may constitute a serious breach of professional ethics. This policy covers professional activities wherever they take place. This includes, but is not limited to, academic buildings, laboratories, field sites, research stations, field course venues, professional meetings, or any such professional settings. This policy includes interactions with persons such as, but not limited to, colleagues, subordinates, students, teaching or research assistants or others with whom the member interacts as part of the members professional activities.
A request for revocation of membership must include an investigative report that documents findings, sanctions, or actions taken from an independent organization or agency, an organization affiliated with SRI, or SRI itself. Alternatively, a public announcement of the information in a report, or actions that have been taken, may be submitted. Media reports alone may not be sufficient to support a revocation request. SRI will only consider requests for revocation filed within four years of publication of the report or announcement of the finding, sanction, or action, and will not consider requests when the member is deceased.
- A request for revocation should be made in writing to the Executive Director at the office of the SRI. Requests may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. In all steps of these Procedures, the identity of the requestor will generally not be revealed by the Executive Director except as may be required by a court of competent jurisdiction or as otherwise required to comply with SRI’s legal obligations.
- A request must include the details of the incident, and/or an admission by the Member in question. The person filing the complaint must include detailed information about the sources used, in order to enable verification of information. In addition, they must agree in writing to maintain the confidentiality of the matter until its conclusion at SRI.
- The SRI Executive Director will conduct a preliminary review to determine if the request is substantive, has adequate documentation, and complies with these Procedures. As a result of this review, either these Procedures will continue or the request will be dismissed. In either case, the staff will provide a report to the SRI Committee on Committees (COC).
- During revocation procedures, deliberations on claims will be based on the evidence provided. Investigations by SRI of complaints or charges beyond information presented in the request or otherwise available publicly (such as publications or court records) will not occur as part of revocation procedures.
- Based on the submitted documents, the COC will decide whether to proceed with revocation procedures or to dismiss the request. If the COC proceeds, it will appoint a Revocation Panel of four current Council members including the current Membership and Nominations Committee Chair, to rule on the request. The Revocation Panel will remain active until a determination has been made on the request. This work may continue past the end of a COC or Council member’s term.
- If the COC decides to proceed, the Member will be notified of the request for revocation in writing and in confidence. The Member will be offered the option to resign their membership status. The COC will also define a timeline for the process. The Member will be given notice of the request, with the supporting documentation and the names of all COC members. The Member will be invited to respond in writing to the request, and if desired, to make an oral presentation to the Revocation Panel which will ordinarily occur via telephone conference. Such conference will not include any representatives of the Member and will be limited in time and scope per the direction of the Revocation Panel.
- After the deadline for responses has passed, the Revocation Panel will consider the original request, any responses, including the oral presentation/conference with the Member, if any, and may also consider any other pertinent information of public or official record. The Revocation Panel will discuss and vote on a motion of revocation. An affirmative majority vote of the Revocation Panel is required for this motion to pass. The decision of the Revocation Panel is the final decision and there is no appeal.
- After the decision is made, the Revocation Panel will provide a summary report to the COC. The report will indicate if the motion passed or not, but neither the vote tally nor the decisions of individual members of the Revocation Panel will be included. The SRI Executive Director will share this report with the SRI Council, the member who submitted the request, and the Member under review.
- If the SRI Executive Director in consultation with the SRI Council determines that there should be an announcement or publication of the decision to revoke membership status, the background factors or bases for the revocation may be included in the announcement.
- Reinstatement: After a Member’s status has been revoked or a Member has resigned under the procedures of this Policy, should significant, material new evidence come to light that would call into question the conclusion to revoke membership status, a Member may request reinstatement. The process and procedure for reinstatement will be substantively equivalent to the procedure to revoke membership status.
Proviso: The four-year time limit for submitting revocation requests will be waived for the first two years this policy is in effect.
Proviso: The COC will report on actions taken under this policy at each Council meeting.
Proviso: The COC will review this policy and bring forward to the Council not more than two years after the policy is in effect any proposed changes to this policy.
1. This policy will be available publicly on the SRI website.
2. Becoming an SRI Member is expected to be a lifetime activity. This revocation policy is still applicable to Members who have allowed their membership to lapse, but the SRI will not consider requests when a Member is deceased. The SRI maintains a comprehensive list of all Members since its beginning, within its home office.
3. It is the responsibility of the chair of the COC, working with SRI Executive Office staff, to ensure that all steps are followed in a timely manner and to make procedural decisions consistent with this document.
4. A finding from SRI itself could be the basis for a revocation request, such as a report produced due to an investigation of alleged inappropriate behavior at the SRI meeting.
5. Among statements that would be relevant when deliberating on “commonly held standards” is the SRI Code of Conduct.
6. If a revocation request based on a specific finding (e.g. a report) is not supported in the process, a new documented finding would be necessary if another revocation request is made for the same Member.
Based on the American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy on September 15, 2018