Formal Grievances to the University Committee (FPP 8.15)
Faculty Policies and Procedures 8.15 allows faculty to file a grievance if they believe their rights have been violated or that they have been dealt with unfairly. Here are some examples of the types of grievances the University Committee receives: decision to issue a Letter of Expectation; denial of requests like emeritus, leave of absence, or salary equity; failure to follow a policy; or removal from a position. While Faculty Policies and Procedures does not provide any timelines for resolution of grievances, the University Committee will attend to them in a timely manner. The University Committee may consult the Office of Legal Affairs as needed during its consideration of a grievance.
- Faculty member needs to have tried to resolve the issue within their department and school/college.
- The University Committee will not hear grievances from faculty regarding disability or religious accommodations, discrimination, hostile and intimidating behavior (initial complaint), research misconduct, Title IX issues, or other issues on campus that have procedures for complaints and/or appeals delineated elsewhere. However, the University Committee will hear grievances regarding whether policy was followed, whether procedure resulted in an outcome in the spirit of the policy, and if policy resulted in an outcome where the faculty member was treated unfairly.
- Appeals regarding non-renewals, discipline, or dismissal should be directed to the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities (CFRR).
- Faculty member submits written grievance including remedies to University Committee copying relevant parties including their department chair and dean.
- Within five working days, the Secretary of the Faculty acknowledges receipt of grievance copying all relevant parties including the department chair and dean.
- The University Committee or UC chair conducts an initial review of the grievance to determine whether it meets the requirements for a grievance, is under the purview of the University Committee, and whether the case will be handled by the committee itself or by a separate panel.
- If a case does not appear to be unduly complex or time-consuming, the UC will ordinarily decide to handle the case itself and to make its own recommendations for a resolution of the matter. Members of the University Committee may recuse themselves as needed.
- If, however, the case appears to be complex, time-consuming, or otherwise unusually difficult, the University Committee may establish a fact-finding panel for that case.
- The panel should normally consist of three to five members of the tenured faculty who have no direct interest in the grievance and no impermissible relationship with any of the principal parties in the case.
- The University Committee will designate a chair of the panel.
- The panel shall have the same authority as the UC to seek documents and to conduct fact finding interviews. considered relevant to the grievance.
- After concluding its deliberations, the panel should transmit to the University Committee a written report with whatever recommendations it deems appropriate for a fair and reasonable resolution of the grievance.
- The University Committee informs all relevant parties of the outcome of the preliminary review and if it accepts the case, information about the right of the school/college or department to respond to the grievance and the deadline for the response is included.
- Both the grievant and the department/school or college will be informed of any fact-finding interviews and their right to attend those meetings. The grievant has the right to request that interviews be held in open session. The University Committee and/or panel will deliberate in closed session.
- The University Committee and/or panel may request documents from any parties. Documents requested will be shared with both parties.
- The University Committee will issue its findings and recommendations and copy all parties. Recommendations will be made to either the Provost or Chancellor who shall act on recommendations within 30 days.
- The Provost or Chancellor’s decision in the matter shall be final. The grievant may petition the Board of Regents for a discretionary review of the record.