October 3, 2004:

Update regarding delays in the completion

of the initial Bailey investigation

(Stay Tuned for Results)


by Lynn Conway

Copyright 2004, Lynn Conway



More recent updates:

October 26, 2004

November 19, 2004





In discussions on July 6, 2004, Northwestern University administration sources finally provided us with some basic information about the Bailey investigation committee's formation, meetings and timeline.  At that time, these sources informed us that the initial Bailey investigation committee had concluded its meetings, and expected to submit a draft report to Northwestern University's Office of Research Integrity (NU-ORI) in mid-July.


However, the committee did not complete its final round of sign-offs at that time, and apparently at least one member then went on vacation (and couldn't be located). This delayed things on into the summer vacations of the other members of the committee. In August the administration informed us that the report was not expected to be submitted until late that month or early September.


On August 13, 2004 we filed a report on the initial investigation, including a timeline of events, a discussion of the complaints investigated during by the initial committee, whom they met with, what evidence they examined, and a projection of the then-expected completion date as being sometime in early September.


Since that time there have been further delays in the completion of the initial investigation, which we document here along with a revised estimate of when the results are likely to be announced.



Update regarding delays in the completion of the initial Bailey investigation:

In mid-September 2004 learned from Northwestern administration sources that the initial investigation committee finally submitted their draft report to the Office of Research Integrity on August 20, 2004. The report was then provided to Mr. Bailey*, and he was given a generous amount of time to respond to the report


Although the fact-checking and response were initially projected to take approximately two weeks, in this case Northwestern officials provided Mr. Bailey a generous amount of time, asking him to respond by September 24, 2004.


However, some kind of further delay intervened, and on September 28, 2004 we learned that they had pushed the date for his response out to October 4, 2004.


Once Mr. Bailey does finally respond to the draft report (by indicating any facts in it with which he disagrees, and attaching his comments to the report), the committee will then finalize the report in response to his fact-checking.  NU administration sources inform us that this committee response is expected to take only a few days. The committee will then submit the initial investigation report to NU-ORI.


The report then proceeds to C. Bradley Moore, Vice President for Research.  Dr. Moore will study the report and, if it contains findings of wrongdoings involving possible sanctions, will add his recommendations for what those sanctions should be. Finally, Lawrence B. Dumas, the Provost of Northwestern University, will review the whole package.  If the Vice President for Research has recommended that sanctions be imposed, Dr. Dumas will determine what they are to and how they are to be imposed. He will then notify Mr. Bailey of the results of the initial investigation.


The processing of the report by the initial investigation committee, by Dr. Moore and then by Dr. Dumas is expected to only about a week, or perhaps two at most. Thus if Mr. Bailey submits his response to the draft report on Oct. 4, 2004 as requested, the initial investigation should be completed by mid-October 2004, and the results announced shortly thereafter.


(*We refer to J. Michael Bailey as "Mr. Bailey" in deference to his recent claims that his book was merely an anecdotal work and not a scientific study.  For example, as early as July 17, 2003, as part of his early defense against then-emerging charges of research misconduct, he is quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education as saying he had "never considered Anjelica et al. research subjects", adding that "I was writing about my own life experiences among transsexual women."  However, we note that this later claim is inconsistent with his earlier claims to the National Academy Press that the book is a scientific work and is based on his own original research, and also inconsistent with his claims in the book itself that the trans women he interviewed were indeed his research subjects.  If Mr. Bailey were himself still making those earlier claims, then we would refer to him in that professional context as "Dr. Bailey". Meantime, for an introduction to the 'Ethical Minefields" involved when blurring professional and personal lines in "sex research" as in this case, see the following article in Seed Magazine).



Stay tuned!


We will report the results of the initial Bailey investigation soon after their announcement.  Will this very limited initial investigation find Mr. Bailey guilty of anything?  After all, they only addressed such a small subset of the complaints against him, interviewed only two of the complainants on one occasion, and avoided any and all contact with most of the women who formulated the case against him.  And if this initial investigating committee does find him guilty of something, will Northwestern University then actually sanction him?  Who knows?


Stay tuned!  And stay tuned too for follow-on investigations of the other as-yet unresolved complaints against Mr. Bailey



Lynn Conway

October 3, 2004.



Update of October 26, 2004:


We learned today from Northwestern Administration sources that Provost Lawrence Dumas had "within the past few days" received the final committee report on the initial investigation from the Office of the Vice President for Research.  The Provost is now determining and documenting his decisions on the initial investigation, and is expected to complete this work "within two weeks".


Update of November 19, 2004:


We learned today from Northwestern Administration sources that Provost Lawrence Dumas has determined and documented his findings regarding the initial Bailey investigation, and that the Provost's Office at Northwestern will be mailing these findings to the complainants sometime during the coming week.




This page is part of Lynn Conway's

"Investigative report into the publication of
J. Michael Bailey's book on transsexualism
by the National Academies"