I see questions on this site that describe extremely unethical behavior by professors (e.g., not giving a student authorship when it is obviously warranted). I've also seen some behavior of this kind firsthand (not by my own advisor, thankfully), and realize that many of the perpetrators are "repeat offenders."
Often the object of the unethical behavior is a student/advisee, for whom it may not be personally beneficial to lodge a formal complaint. (The student, understandably, does not want to do anything that will jeopardize graduation, reference letters, etc.)
Given that many students won't go on the record about unethical behavior by a professor or advisor, how do academic departments and universities find out about these incidents? (Do they?) What do they do to prevent the offenders from doing it again?
I am not asking about actual university regulations, since I am specifically interested in cases where no formal complaint is made. Rather, I am asking what practical action one could take (e.g.as a faculty member of the same department, a dept chair, a dean of some kind) to
- Become aware of the incidents (dept gossip is the only way I know about, is there a better way?)
- Officially or unofficially try to stop it from happening again
For example, I know that in my own department, I will warn prospective students of an unethical advisor. I am a student though; I imagine this would be inappropriate for a faculty member.