The Daily Iowan
Emeritus psychiatry professor and former UIHC employee investigated
March 5, 2020
State Auditor Rob Sand Wednesday released a report on an investigation into a University of Iowa psychiatry professor emeritus who he found did not report at least 1,024 hours in paid leave for non-university obligations while traveling.
Professor Emeritus Dr. Scott Stuart failed to comply with the UI Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy when Stuart did not disclose his ownership interest with the Interpersonal Psychotherapy Institute LLC. to the university, the report said.
The investigation covered the time period from Jan. 1, 2011 to Stuart’s retirement on Aug. 31, 2019.
According to the report, the National Institutes of Health reported that Stuart founded the Interpersonal Psychotherapy Institute LLC in 2009 and filed a certificate of organization with the Iowa secretary of state’s office on April 25, 2011.
The UI policy form was intended to be filled out annually, but Stuart did not officially report his connections to the organization to the university until 2018, the report stated.
Because of the discovered information, the university had probable cause to believe that Stuart had spent his time on Interpersonal Psychotherapy Institute LLC. matters instead of fulfilling university obligations, the report said.
Stuart assisted the university in identifying the 1,024 hours of unreported leave, including vacation and time spent on institute obligations. However, the report said, this number does not account for time spent on non-UI efforts in Iowa City or not traveling for an extended period of time.
Additional hours of unreported leave time may remain, but the report added that it is not possible to confirm at this time. Stuart incurred $7,491.90 of additional payroll costs for 65.6 hours of unreported paid leave given to him upon the time of his retirement.
If additional hours could be identified, that amount of paid leave would likely increase, the report said.
Stuart was a UI psychiatry and psychology professor in the UI Hospitals and Clinics until his retirement in 2019. He had been with university since July 1993, according to the report.
His focus during his time at the university involved studying the effects and possible treatments of postpartum depression, attending many conferences related to the topic during his UI career, the report said.
After learning Stuart’s role with the Interpersonal Psychotherapy Institute LLC., the report said the UI reduced Stuart’s appointment and created management plans to ensure the university obligations under his care were not negatively affected.
The university also reached out to the National Institutes of Health to request the termination of Stuart’s grants effective June 2019 because of his failure to comply with the university’s policies.
Psychiatry is one of the departments that is under operation by UIHC, and is ranked #19 in how much National Institutes of Health funding the department recieves, according to the auditor’s report.
The report also included recommendations for UI officials moving forward to be more observant when it comes to verifying paid leave time and investigating conflicts of interests in a timely manner.