Faculty Handbook

Faculty Grievance Policy (continued)

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IV. APPEALS

A. Initiation of Appeals

  1. The decision of the Provost in response to the findings and recommendations of the initial hearing panel may be appealed to the University Appeals Board. Appeals must allege either that there has been a prejudicial violation of the procedures established for the conduct of the initial hearing, and/or that the decision of the Provost is not consistent with the preponderance of the evidence presented at the initial hearing.
  2. A written appeal must be filed with the FGO within 28 days of receipt of the decision of the Provost. Failure to appeal within the prescribed time shall be deemed acceptance of the Provost's decision.
  3. If an appeal is filed, the Provost's decision on the grievance shall not be implemented, except insofar as the appeal is dismissed on jurisdictional grounds or the decision is subsequently ratified by the President.

B. Appeal Panel Procedures

  1. The FGO shall randomly select a three person appeal panel from the University Appeals Board.
  2. Appeals shall be decided upon the written appeal, the record of the hearing, the Provost's decision, any written response to the appeal submitted by the parties, and a recommendation provided by the FGO. The parties may not submit new information or evidence unless the information/evidence is relevant to the appeal and was previously unavailable to the party although the party acted with due diligence to obtain such evidence.
  3. Upon receipt of the appeal, the appeals panel will determine whether the jurisdictional requirements described in Section IV.A.I of this Policy have been met.  If the jurisdictional requirements have not been met, the appeal will be dismissed and the decision of the Provost shall stand.
  4. If the appeal panel determines that it has jurisdiction to consider the appeal, the appeal panel will review the materials described above and recommend the affirmation, reversal, or modification of the Provost's decision on the grievance. The panel may also recommend that the grievance be reheard by a new grievance hearing panel if it determines there was a prejudicial violation of the procedures established for the conduct of the initial hearing.
  5. The findings and recommendation of the appeal panel shall be forwarded to the FGO within 21 days of the completion of the panel's review of the appeal. The FGO shall forward the findings and recommendations to the President and to the parties and their counsel within three (3) days of its receipt.
  6. For stated cause, the President may return the findings and recommendations to the appropriate panel once for reconsideration.
  7. The President shall decide the appeal within 28 days of receipt of the appeal panel's findings and recommendations. The FGO will forward a copy of the President's decision to the parties, their counsel, and the members of the appeal panel within three (3) days of its receipt.

V. CONFIDENTIALITY

All records and information related to grievance proceedings under this Policy (both formal and informal) shall be kept confidential to the degree permitted by law. The FGO, parties to the grievance, their counsel, and other relevant administrators and faculty (including witnesses, presiding officers, and panel members) shall respect the confidentiality of information and records and the privacy of all parties whose interests are affected by a grievance.

VI. OTHER UNIVERSITY POLICIES

A. This Policy does not preempt or replace the Anti-Discrimination Policy ("ADP") or the Relationship Violence & Sexual Misconduct Policy ("RVSMP"). Any grievance alleging violation of the RVSMP or discrimination or harassment in violation of the ADP will be referred to the appropriate University office for investigation and determination regarding those claims. The remainder of the grievance will proceed but will be revised to remove all references to the claims of discrimination/harassment or violation of the RVSMP.

B. A grievant must promptly notify the FGO if he or she initiates litigation against the University while a grievance is pending. A grievant may not pursue a complaint under this Policy while litigating the same issue(s). A grievance filed under this Policy shall be held in abeyance by the FGO pending the conclusion of the litigation.

C. Decisions and actions taken by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) and its Chairperson cannot be grieved under this Policy. However, disciplinary action imposed by an administrator on the basis of IRB action is grievable under this Policy.

D. Decisions and actions taken under the Procedures Concerning Allegations of Misconduct in Research and Creative Activities, the Anti-Discrimination Policy, the RVSMP, or the Faculty Conflict of Interest Policy cannot be grieved under this Policy. However, disciplinary action imposed by any administrator on the basis of a decision under one of these policies is grievable under this Policy.

VII. INDEMNIFICATION

In accordance with the University's Indemnification Policy, indemnification shall be provided to the FGO, the FGO staff, members and Presiding Officers of hearing and appeal panels, and University faculty serving as unpaid, volunteer counsel for the parties to a grievance, in their roles as participants in a grievance.

VIII. UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS

A. The University Committee on Faculty Affairs (UCFA) serves as an advisory committee to the FGO regarding the University's faculty grievance process.

B. The UCFA shall participate in the appointment, reappointment, and evaluation of the FGO, as described in the Appendix to this document.

C. The UCFA shall periodically review the performance of the FGO according to the procedures set forth in the Appendix to this document.

D. The UCFA shall have the responsibility to ensure that the procedures set forth in this document are fully implemented.

IX. FACULTY GRIEVANCE OFFICIAL

A. The FGO shall attempt to resolve grievances informally and without resort to formal hearings and to assure that all formal hearings are conducted in accordance with the procedures prescribed in this document.

B. The FGO shall administer the grievance procedures as set forth in this document and shall advise the parties about appropriate procedures to follow.

C. The FGO may request and shall have broad access to all relevant University information and records related to a pending or potential grievance, except those required to be kept confidential by law or contractual obligation. Upon request from the FGO, individuals or units should provide documents to the FGO in a form that protects the privacy and confidentiality of third parties. The FGO will share the documents with the grievant/potential grievant if the FGO determines that the documents are relevant to the grievance/potential grievance and that the grievant/potential grievant has need of them for resolution of the grievance.

D. Upon the request of either party, the FGO has the authority to request that appropriate individuals discontinue or postpone any action threatening irreparable harm to any party to a grievance pending final disposition of a grievance.

E. The FGO shall not serve as advocate for any party to any grievance and may participate in a grievance proceeding only as FGO.

F. The FGO may recommend to the UCFA changes in this Policy.

G. The FGO shall report once a semester to the UCFA and once each academic year to the University Council, and shall sit as an ex officio member of the University Council.

H. The FGO shall forward to the Chairperson of the UCFA a copy of all decisions of the Provost and President. The Chairperson of the UCFA may share the decisions with the members of UCFA. The Chairperson of UCFA and the members of UCFA shall maintain the confidentiality of the decisions.

I. The FGO shall maintain records of all grievances.

X. REVISION OF THIS POLICY

A. Any faculty member or administrator may propose revisions to this Policy.

B. All proposals for revision shall be submitted to the UCFA, which shall consider them and forward them to the Faculty Senate.

C. If approved by the Faculty Senate, the proposal shall be submitted to the University Council.

D. Proposed amendments and revisions approved by the University Council shall be forwarded to the President for action by the Board of Trustees and shall become effective upon Board approval.

XI. HISTORY

An Interim Faculty Grievance Policy was approved by the Board of Trustees on May 19, 1972. A revised Faculty Grievance Policy was approved by the Board of Trustees on April 5, 1991 and revised on June 28, 2002, August 16, 2009, and December 18, 2015.

APPENDIX

Appointment, Reappointment and Evaluation of the FGO

I. Appointment of and Support of the FGO

  1. UCFA shall prepare a list of candidates for presentation and discussion with the Provost and President.
  2. Upon approval of the Provost, the President shall appoint the FGO for a term not to exceed five years. The President may reappoint the FGO for additional terms of up to five years each.
  3. The FGO shall work with but be independent of the other administrative structures of the University in the pursuit of grievance dispute resolution.
  4. The UCFA shall consult as necessary with the Provost and President concerning salary, budget, office, and staff for the FGO.
  5. Whenever a vacancy occurs in the FGO position, the UCFA shall confer and recommend to the Provost and the President an individual to serve as Acting FGO.

II. Evaluation and Reappointment of the FGO

  1. The UCFA shall annually evaluate the FGO pursuant to criteria established by the UCFA in consultation with the Provost and the President.
  2. The UCFA shall discuss the evaluation with the FGO and shall forward its evaluation and a recommendation as to salary to the Provost and President.
  3. The UCFA shall establish procedures for review of the FGO's performance which shall be undertaken when reappointment of the FGO is under consideration. Such procedures shall involve input from individuals who have participated in grievances as grievants, respondents, their counsel, or hearing or appeal panel members or presiding officers.
  4. If the FGO is a candidate for reappointment, the UCFA shall conduct a review of all of the FGO's years of service and submit a recommendation on the FGO's reappointment to the Provost and President

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