Regulating the Use of Biological Hazardous Materials in Universities

Author: Valcik, Nicolas A.
The research is a case study of one university’s policies and practices with regard to the procurement, use, storage and disposal of biological Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) in the context of a changing internal structure and a changing regulatory environment. The research utilized qualitative methods for gathering the data that allowed for analysis of the current situation with how the institution conducted operations with biological elements in the organization. Recommendations were formulated from gathering policies, procedures, and practices from other research institutions as well as utilizing federal guidelines for safeguarding biological materials. The research highlights several areas of safety and security for biological HAZMAT that can be improved and makes recommendations based on those findings.


“ ... there has been a substantial increase in research activities which involve radiological, biological, or chemical agents and such studies often involve either dangerous or potentially hazardous specimens as well as the waste products of the research. While it might be expected that there are uniform guidelines for the conduct of research with dangerous materials, or that compliance with such guidelines is ensured through strict monitoring and auditing by federal agencies, the reality of the situation is far from definitive ... In this book, Dr. Nicolas Valcik employs a case study approach of one university’s policies and practices with regard to the procurement, use, storage and disposal of biological HAZMAT. By adopting a case study of a single institution, Dr. Valcik provides an organizational theory approach to the examination of how changing university structures and administrative policies and procedures function within a changing regulatory environment thus producing a set of generalizable observations, conclusions, and recommendations ...” – (from the Foreword) Professor Paul E. Tracy, University of Texas at Dallas

“ ... This piece of academic scholarship provides a comprehensive overview of the issues facing research institutions dealing with biological hazards and uses a case study approach to document the successes and failures of one university at meeting the stringent federal requirements. Concise, eloquent, and insightful, this important book highlights how compliance with HAZMAT legislation and procedures is achieved or neglected, and what implications this has for security, safety, and the overall health of the university community.” – Professor Danielle Lavin-Loucks, University of Texas at Dallas

Table of Contents

Foreword by Paul E. Tracy
1. Regulatory Change and Organization Responses: A Case Study of the Procurement, Use, Storage and Disposal of Biological Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) in a University Environment
2. Rise of Federal Agencies’ Power Over Research Institutions
3. Organizational Framework – Organizational Drift, Life Cycle and Agency Theory
4. Methodology
5. How HAZMAT Conditions in the Science Buildings Evolved
6. Security Survey on Campus
7. Existing Policies and Procedures
8. Practices and Procedures at Other Institutions
9. Summary, Recommendations and Concluding Remarks