Chris DiTeresi is ecstatic to take on his new role as associate vice president for research integrity and assurance at George Mason University, where he provides leadership and strategic direction for the Office of Research Integrity and Assurance (ORIA) and its six major compliance programs, including human participants protection, animal care and use, research integrity and responsible conduct of research, secure research, export control and sanctions, and conflict of interest.
DiTeresi’s vision for his new position is clear: “cultivate the organizational readiness and relationships required to cope effectively with uncertainty and respond flexibly to new challenges.” He plans to achieve this through strengthening and deepening communication between the ORIA teams responsible for different compliance areas and those whose research relies on their expertise and support.
“The more ORIA knows about the research faculty and units are not only actively conducting, but also pursuing and contemplating, the better able we will be to anticipate research compliance needs and ensure that resources and procedures are well aligned with actual research agendas,” he said.
Feeling empowered, DeTeresi is eager to utilize all the resources in his new position to continue developing and implementing a university strategy for fostering a culture of integrity in research and scholarship while supporting an ethical and responsible conduct of research.
DiTeresi finds inspiration in the variety and richness of research, scholarship, and creative activities at Mason and is looking forward to continuing to collaborate with a network of colleagues and an already outstanding ORIA team. He is proud to join and support the full spectrum of values, commitments, and passions of Mason’s researchers.
“I am excited and grateful that it is now my job to ensure the Office of Research Integrity and Assurance continues to meet the diverse and expanding compliance needs of Mason’s remarkable research enterprise,” he said.
Prior to joining ORIA, DiTeresi served as a faculty member in the College of Humanities and Social Science’s philosophy department, where he continues to teach and holds a secondary appointment as University Affiliate Faculty.
His path from philosophy to research integrity and assurance became clear as he and his then-colleagues assessed the research environment at Mason and created a framework and strategy for fostering a strong culture of ethical and responsible research.
“To me, research integrity and assurance is philosophy of science in action, philosophy going where it is needed and making a difference,” he said. “What interests me about this position is that I get to pursue—in an excitingly engaged, complexly situated, organizationally anchored form—the same intellectual work that has been my passion for decades.”
Based on DiTeresi’s experience, he believes most people understand that integrity is essential to the research enterprise. Without grounds for trust and confidence in the conduct of other researchers, cumulative growth of knowledge would be impossible. With that said, he finds it helpful to emphasize that ethical and responsible research is impossible without the scaffolding and support of a research institution.
“One of the great privileges of conducting research at an R1 institution is that Mason is committed to ensuring that researchers receive the support they need to conduct their research responsibly,” he said. “Excellence and integrity in research are institutional achievements that depend upon researchers partnering effectively with ORIA staff and other research administrators.”