Petition Closed
Petitioning Chair, UT Department of Sociology Christine L. Williams and 17 others

University of Texas at Austin: Do a Real Misconduct Investigation of Mark Regnerus


UT HAS A HISTORY OF SWEEPING MISCONDUCT UNDER THE CARPET

Only tremendous outside pressures finally moved officials of the University of Texas at Austin (UT) to do the right thing by having an independent outside panel investigate UT Professor Charles Groat.

Groat had carried out a study on fracking wastewater – (concluding that it was non-toxic) -- without disclosing that he was on the board of a fracking industry company and held $1.5 million of its stock.

UT CARRIED OUT A SHAM “INQUIRY” OF MARK REGNERUS

With its perfunctory "inquiry" of Mark Regnerus's "New Family Structures Study" (NFSS) in the summer of 2012, UT has again violated the public trust.

If UT had done a true inquiry, it would have disclosed to the public that W. Bradford Wilcox collaborated with Regnerus on NFSS study design. Then, it would have done a full misconduct investigation.

HUGE, MULTIPLE OUTSTANDING NON-DISCLOSURES OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Who is Brad Wilcox, and why is this so important?

In 2010, when the NOM-linked anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute organized the NFSS, Brad Wilcox was Director of Witherspoon’s Program for Marriage, Family and Democracy.

Witherspoon’s 2010 IRS 990 forms describe the NFSS as a “major accomplishment” of Wilcox’s Witherspoon program.

Wilcox recruited Regnerus to do the study for Witherspoon. After Witherspoon gave Regnerus a $55,000 NFSS “planning grant,” Wilcox collaborated with Regnerus on STUDY DESIGN. Then, Witherspoon arranged for Regnerus to have full study funding of $785,000.

It is A DOCUMENTED FACT that as Witherspoon Program Director, Brad Wilcox collaborated with Regnerus on the booby-trapped, anti-gay NFSS study design.

REGNERUS GOES BEYOND “NON-DISCLOSURE,” TO LYING

Nonetheless, in his study published in June, 2012, Regnerus LIES by saying that the funding sources were not involved “at all” in study design. In his “Additional Analyses” article published in November, 2012, Regnerus repeated that lie.

Wilcox also is an old crony to Regnerus and to James Wright, editor of the journal that published Regnerus -- Elsevier’s “Social Science Research.” Moreover, Wilcox is on the “Social Science Research” editorial board. It thus is hardly a surprise that when Wright was shown the documentation that Wilcox – as a Witherspoon Program Director – had collaborated with Regnerus on study design, Wright ignored that documentation, and published Regnerus’s lie for a second time.

Formulating and/or changing a study design to produce a study result desired by a funding agency constitutes misconduct.

For a researcher to lie about his relationships with his anti-gay-rights funders, in the pages of a scientific journal – as UT’s Mark Regnerus has done, twice – very seriously deviates from ethical research standards.

In the wake of the UT Groat scandal, UT is pretending that it is reforming its policies, which it has confessed were not sufficient to preventing flimflammery in research during the period Regnerus did the NFSS.

For UT, finally doing a real misconduct investigation of Regnerus will merely be a necessary part of the school’s finally getting its academic house in order.

UT Associate Professor Mark Regnerus is a shameless liar, with no autonomy whatsoever from his anti-gay-rights funders. The evidence and documentation already assembled – proving that beyond all doubt – goes far, far beyond what is stated above in this petition text.

UT must now carry out a full misconduct investigation of Mark Regnerus, if it wishes to begin to repair the public perception that the school is not at all trustworthy.

Letter to
Chair, UT Department of Sociology Christine L. Williams
UT, Media Relations David Ochsner
UT, General Counsel to the Board of Regents Francie A. Frederick
and 15 others
UT President William Powers
UT Provost Steven W. Leslie
UT Media Contact Tara Doolittle
UT Media Contact Gary Susswein
UT Associate Professor Mark Regnerus
Dean, UT College of Liberal Arts Randy L. Diehl
UT, Research Integrity Officer Robert A. Peterson
Director, UT Population Research Center Mark Hayward
UT Board of Regents
UT President's Office, Chief Communications Officer Geoff Leavenworth
UT, Deputy to the President Charles A. Roeckle
UT, Deputy to the President Nancy Brazzil
Media Contact, UT College of Liberal Arts Michelle Bryant
UT Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D.
UT, Legal Department Patricia Ohlendorf
Do a Real Misconduct Investigation of Mark Regnerus