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7.2 Faculty Grievance Procedures

1.0 A grievance review will be available to hear the complaints of faculty members who have exhausted normal internal channels of appeal but who have not received satisfaction in the resolution of a grievance. Normal internal channels shall be construed to mean an appeal to administrative officers, through and including at least one level of authority higher than the employee’s immediate supervisor, to satisfactorily resolve the grievance.

2.0 The Grievance Committee shall consider and act upon all grievances filed by a faculty member except grievances related to salary, performance evaluations, workload assignments, promotion, tenure, dismissal, and non-renewal of employment status unless it is reasonably alleged that the action in dispute was a result of discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, creed, national origin, age, disability, genetics or protected veteran status. The committee shall not consider any grievance upon which the president has made a final decision.  

3.0. Request for Hearing

  1. The grievant’s name and job title
  2. The department/unit in which the grievant is employed
  3. The actions alleged, including the pertinent facts of the complaint, the date, time and place of the occurrence, the university policies believed to have been violated or improperly applied
  4. The communication between the grievant and the individuals in the normal internal channels for resolution, including the original complaint and supervisor’s response
  5. The reason the grievant disagrees with the response
  6. The grievant’s suggestion for corrective action
  7. The names of any witnesses who may have relevant information regarding the complaint
  8. Request for oral hearing, if desired (if not requested, the grievance committee will render a decision based upon written documentation provided by the grievant and respondent)

A copy of the written grievance will be provided to the other party or parties to the dispute (“respondent”). The respondent will have an opportunity to identify witnesses and provide documents. A copy of the documents will be provided to the complainant.

Once all documentation has been compiled, the provost (or president) will notify the Faculty Senate of the need to appoint a grievance committee. 

4.0. Selection of Committee

A Grievance Committee shall consist of one faculty member from each college and one representative from the library and one at-large faculty member, for a total membership of 7 faculty members. When a grievance committee is required, the Faculty Senate’s Leadership and Appointments Committee will identify the faculty representatives. All committee members shall elect the chair.

4.1. Removing Committee Members for Cause

The chair may excuse hearing committee members if he or she determines that there is a conflict of interest, illness, or other good cause. In this case, a new representative will be selected to replace the excused committee member. In addition, a party may present a request in writing, at least three days in advance of any hearing, to the chair to remove any member of the hearing committee for reasonable cause. If the chair grants the request, the Faculty Senate Leadership and Appointments Committee, will appoint another member to fill the vacancy thus created. 

5.0. Notice of Review

After the committee and chair have been selected, written notice of the date and time set for the review shall be hand-delivered, emailed, or mailed to the parties, and to the members of the committee, by the chair, no less than three or more than ten working days in advance of the date set for the review.

6.0 Review Procedure

The following procedures shall apply to committee reviews:

  1. The review will be conducted in private; however, a tape recording, transcript or written summary of the proceedings shall be kept and made available to the parties concerned at reasonable cost.
  2. The grievant may select an advisor to assist and advise the grievant. Although this is an internal process, legal counsel can serve as the advisor. Counsel is not permitted to question witnesses of either parties involved or to address the committee. The sole role of the counsel is to advise and counsel the grievant.
  3. If an oral hearing is to be held, the grievant shall appear first in the hearing; other parties who are respondents shall appear after the grievant. The committee may invite witnesses identified by either party to participate by meeting with the committee or if they prefer by responding in writing to the committee’s request for information.
  4. If an oral hearing is to be held, the chair of the committee will choose the option that the complainant and respondent appear separately or together. Parties will not be permitted to cross-examine each other during the hearing. Formal legal rules of evidence do not apply in the hearing.
  5. The grievant has the burden of proving by the preponderance of the evidence that he or she has been wronged. If at the conclusion of a review the committee is unable to reach a decision, the grievant fails to carry this burden and the finding should be in the respondent(s)’ favor.
  6. All persons involved should avoid public statements and publicity about the hearing process. 

7.0 Results of the Review

The committee should complete its report within ten (10) days of the conclusion of the review/hearing. The chair should send copies of the report to the president, the grievant, and his or her direct supervisor. The committee may send confidential recommendations to the president, which shall be advisory only, and shall in no way commit him or her to any suggested course of action.

8.0 Action of the President

In making his decision, the president will not be bound by the findings or confidential recommendation(s) (if any) of the Grievance Committee. The president should, within ten (10) class days after the receipt of such written notification of the findings and confidential recommendation(s) (if any) of the Grievance Committee, advise the faculty member, his or her direct supervisor, provost, and other parties concerned in writing of his decision, or the president may refer the matter back to the chair of the Grievance Committee for further response and recommendation(s) before rendering his or her final decision. The employee should also be advised by the president in writing of his or her right to appeal to the Board of Regents for review of the president’s decision in accordance with the provisions of the Policy Manual of the Board of Regents.

9.0 Prohibition of Retaliation

Any attempt to intimidate or retaliate against a person for raising an issue or participating in these procedures is strictly forbidden. Any person who makes such an attempt will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Approved 10/16/13

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