Institutional review boards have the responsibility of ensuring that the welfare and rights of the people in a given institution are observed. The institutional review board also has the task of planning and overseeing research conducted in their respective institutions. The board must always review any research study that is funded by the federal government regardless of the objective of the study. The Institutional Review Boards in higher education institutions are responsible for the formulation of good policies on how to research in these institutions. They are also tasked with ensuring that discipline and success are paramount. The students must be held responsible for their academic and discipline actions. The institutional review boards in institutions of higher education are faced with several ethical concerns in line with the implementation of their duties. The ethical issues could be related to students, lecturers, and subordinate workers and even institutional administrators.
The contribution of institutions of higher education to the productivity of a country’s economic, social and political status is paramount. Young people should be molded into responsible, honest, disciplined and hardworking individuals who can take charge of public institutions in future. Institutional review boards in institutions of higher education are meant to ensure that education standards are high enough and that what is taught there is applicable in real life. The issue of non-for-profit and for profit institutions of higher education also falls under the responsibility of the institutional review boards. The IRB must assess the ability of a private institution of higher education to ensure the learning conditions and facilities are adequate enough to sustain learning.
Retention of Students
This is one area of the major ethical concerns faced by Institutional Review Boards. Student retention involves tolerating students, who would otherwise be sent away from the institution because of indiscipline or lack of fees. The main objective of IRBs is to ensure high levels of discipline in the organization. However, the student retention policy violates this responsibility. This creates a conflict of interest on whether the institutions should be firm on disciplinary cases or tolerate them. It is obviously unethical for students to be tolerated just because the government wants to increase the number of students finishing college. The IRBs should stick to their responsibility of ensuring there are high discipline levels in all institutions of higher learning. Those students who are found guilty of indiscipline should be punished according to the rules rather than sparing them. Sparing students who do wrong can encourage more incidents of indiscipline due to lack of punishment
Institutions Requirements and Facilities
Similarly, retaining students in school yet they have not completed their fees can trigger another ethical problem. Not all students are needy students. It is also realistic to provide financial help to those students who cannot afford to sustain themselves in school financially. However, allowing some students in school yet they owe the institution money can trigger a bad habit. Students who are well endowed may as well ignore to pay fees because they know they will be retained regardless of their actions. This ethical issue should be addressed by the IRBs because they should be the ones to clear the students who should get financial help.
Research in Institutions of Higher Learning
IRBs are responsible for gauging the quality of the students in higher education institutions. Research is one way of achieving this objective. IRBs must approve any research study that is done by these students. Even though the research done by students may not be used in government policy formulation, it is important that the board checks the performance and potential of students. This will also help in the appraisal of colleges. Colleges that produce students who write good research should be given recognition by these boards. The ethical concerns on this issue are that the IRB could be biased when assessing the research studies. Some members of these boards could be of a certain opinion to help a given institution gain recognition. Therefore, they could intentionally give extra credit to the performances of some students just to earn the college recognition. This is an unethical practice that must be discouraged. Board members in charge of reviewing institutions of higher learning should be professional and transparent.
Composition and Loyalty
Institutions Review Boards are usually composed of professionals from the respective field. These professionals have different interests and affiliations. This creates a potential ethical concern when it comes to reaching consensus. Board members can easily be driven by personal interests when acting on behalf of the board. There is also chance that the members in the board can misunderstand one another or disagree on matters on higher education. The main concern is that these members must learn to act in the best interests of the board and not their own interests.
The board members must be thoroughly vetted before being selected to join the board. This will ensure that the members are loyal, honest, transparent and honest when conducting their duties of ensuring the standards in education institutions are descent.
Therefore, Institution Review boards have the responsibility of ensuring that higher education standards are competitive and sustainable. It should also ensure ethical compliance of colleges and universities with state and federal regulations. The university policies must also be observed by each institution. The board is also a liaison between institution review boards and researchers. Ethics is very important in ensuring that institutions of higher learning work diligently towards educating young people. The boards are tasked with ensuring a cordial relationship between different institutions, their administrators and students.
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Danis, M., & Largent, E. (2012). Research Ethics Consultation:A Casebook: A Casebook. London: Oxford University Press.
Lo, B., & O’Connell, M. E. (2005). Ethical Considerations for Research on Housing-Related Health Hazards Involving Children (illustrated ed.). New York: National Academies Press.
Miller, F. G. (2012). The Ethical Challenges of Human Research: Selected Essays. New York: Oxford University Press.
Schrag, Z. M. (2010). Ethical Imperialism: Institutional Review Boards and the Social Sciences, 1965–2009. Washington: JHU Press.