PERSPECTIVES: The Time Has Come–IRBs for Major University-Level Decisions

The job of Institutional Review Boards is to approve research involving human subjects. The ethicists, scientists, and community members who staff the IRBs do risk-benefit analyses before they allow a proposed study/experiment to go forward…. If campus reopening were an experiment, would it be approved by an IRB?”  While Professor David Grant doesn’t answer that question per se, he argues that “ethical analysis is more than just an academic exercise. When a college maintains ethical principles, it will make better decisions. Equally important, following ethical guidelines shows students and their families, faculty members, and administrators that the institution is making those decisions with their interests in mind–and not for financial expediency. Ethical decision making also improves the relationship between town and gown, because community members can trust an institution that carefully balances everyone’s benefits and risks.” Read more from Inside Higher Education.

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