The Aprikyan Case

Have you read Dr. David Dale’s frightening account of what happened to our colleague, Andrew Aprikyan?

Your own career could be next.

Andrew Aprikyan was charged with scientific fraud by an anonymous accuser who himself had a conflict of interest over the intellectual property in question.  Because of this accuser’s charges, a University attorney conducted an investigation that took seven years, likely destroyed Dr. Aprikyan’s career and utterly ignored American principles of law .. including Miranda rights. and the presumption of innocence.  The administration fired Dr. Aprikyan.

The UW, by the way, has also filed for a patent based on the contested work.

All of this was done by attorneys working not under the Attorney General, as required by state law, but for UW investigative bodies that claim powers not very different from those claimed by the KGB .

Andrew came to me for advice.  After surviving my own encounter with the UW, I became known about campus as an impartial expert on faculty rights.  I suggested that Andrew use his right of appeal … under Washington State Law and the Faculty Code ..  to an Adjudication Panel.  Andrew did that.  He won but President Emmet overrode the faculty and has fired Andrew.

The President also claimed that the Faculty does not have the authority to review an issue of scientific misconduct.

I certainly do not know whether Andrew is innocent or guilty, BUT I do accuse the UW of a gross violation of faculty and citizen’ rights.

The case comes to state court in November.  Attorney General McKenna will represent the State.  Dr. Aprikyan will pay for his own attorney.

This is not an unusal event as my own story below will tell. 

I urge every faculty member to  read Dr. David Dale’s account of the history of this event.

The UW has hired a large number of attorneys who hold high level admin posts.  These attorneys are NOT under McKenna and claim to be exempt from the rules of the bar because they do not represent the UW or the State, merely “use” their legal expertise.  That might be fine IF it were not for the fact that they are placed in positions of authority where there job is to make legal decisions.

To make matters worse, the UW claims to be immune from Miranda.  A UW attorney, with legal authority like that described in the Aprikyan affair, can exercise that authority to fire an individual.  Moreover, the policy of office the AG is to represent the Administration in any conflict.  In effect these attorneys serve the function of state prosecutors.

In Professor Aprikyan’s case it seems clear that the process was initiated by a litigious faculty member because of a conflict over authorship of a paper that has led to the UW filing of a possibly remunerative patent. Andrew Aprikyan was never told of his rights until he came to me.  I explained his rights under the Faculty Code and suggested that he use the faculty adjudication process.  Andrew did so,.  A prestigious faculty panel found for Andrew and faulted the UW’s process.  The President, acting on advice of the same attorney who had led the investigation, over rules the faculty panel, accusing it of not having expertise and being capricious.

The case comes to court in November,

There is nothing new here.

The flavor of this gets worse.  The UW has created investigative arms .. the UCIRO and OSI.  These are staffed by attorneys and claim to be able to investigate faculty without identifying the accuser or even telling the accused what the charges are.     To make matters worse, UCIRO and OSI attorneys do not inform the accused of his or her rights and, at least in my own case, I was told I was prohibited form talking to my own attorney.

They justify this KGB-like behavior under Federal laws protecting whistleblowers.  Perhaps this is their justification, however, the attorneys doing these jobs are usually given duties that include “risk management” .. that is protecting the UW from legal suits.  In my own experience, the UW threatened me with a UCIRO investigation.  The attorney leading this process informed me that he was an attorney and told me that I had no rights.  A large circle of colleagues and employees were then asked leading questions .. many of which bordered on slander.  As one example, although I am Jewish and my accuser was Jewish, witnesses were asked if I was an anti-Semite.

After I insisted on standing up for the rights of a disabled employee, the UW followed through with a months long investigation of me.  They also initiated an audit of my research expenditures and even used their access to my phone logs to question people I had talked with over the phone.   All this ended up with the UW sending me a letter of apology from the UW attorney leading the process.   The apology was because this attorney had publicized the fact that I had seen a psychiatrist and claimed, in a letter to my Dean, that I was known to have a psychiatric disorder.

Oh .. the audit?  The auditor found that the UW owed me money.

Again. I urge every faculty member to  read Dr. David Dale’s account of the history of the Aprikyan event.

Stephen M. Schwartz

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  1. BioBuddhist #

    I second Steve Schwartz’s suggestion to read former Dean of the School of Medicine David Dale’s account of the Aprikyan case. Dr. Dale has tremendous integrity and is in a unique position, both as a former Dean and as a scientist who can evaluate the science around the case, to assess this case and the ramifications it has had and may have for faculty and others in the future.

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