UNR Panel Considers Professor's Discipline

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A faculty panel is considering whether an animal nutrition professor is the victim of retaliation or should be disciplined on allegations of plagiarism and keeping research funds that should have gone to the university.

Hussein S. Hussein argues that he did credit his graduates students' work and that his research was not funded by grants, but by gifts, which do not require payment of indirect costs to the University of Nevada, Reno.

If the charges are not dismissed, the 52-year-old internationally known professor of animal nutrition faces disciplinary measures that range from a warning to possible dismissal.

Special hearing officer Peter Breen, a retired Washoe District Court judge, told committee members they must base their recommendation to UNR President Milton Glick on the preponderance of evidence, or which side's argument most likely is true.

During arguments Tuesday, John Albrecht, a lawyer hired by UNR, said Hussein did not credit four graduate students for their work on research reports he submitted.

He also maintained that Hussein failed to give UNR its $377,000 portion of research money to cover indirect costs during five research projects from 1977 to 2005.

Albrecht said Hussein kept the money to improve his laboratory.

Jeff Dickerson, Hussein's attorney, argued the hearing is another attempt to punish the professor for reporting the abuse of research animals at the university in 2004.

This is the second time in three years UNR has held a disciplinary hearing on Hussein.

In 2005, the hearing ended in dismissal of claims that he had violated university regulations by hiring an outside veterinarian to examine and care for research pigs at the UNR Agricultural Experiment Station.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)