Faculty Personnel Policies
B22 Appeals and Grievances
- The Appeal and Grievance processes have as their aims:
- To uphold principles of equity and academic freedom;
- To bring
the case to prompt and final resolution;
- To achieve mutual understanding
through patient consideration of facts, careful weighing of all
evidence, and scrupulous attention to the rights and duties of
the concerned parties;
- To promote an atmosphere of mutual confidence
in the college community;
- To enable review and improvements of policies
- Definition: An appeal is a formal procedure which is the
last administrative channel in cases of tenure and promotion. The
full process consists of two stages: 1) A faculty member who has
been denied tenure or promotion by the Status Committee or higher
authority may request a review of the decision by the Status Committee:
2) if the faculty member is not satisfied with the outcome of the
review, s/he may appeal the decision.
- Grounds for review: A
request for review may be based on any one or more of the following
grounds or allegations:
- Discrepancy between stated criteria, the evidence presented
and the reasons given for the decision;
- Failure to follow
- New evidence to refute the reasons
given for denial;
- Violation of academic freedom; or
- Illegal discrimination.
- Grounds for appeal: An
appeal may be based on any one or more of the grounds or
allegations for review, and the following:
handling of the review, such as the failure to follow published
guidelines or procedures or the prejudicial conduct of the
of adequate consideration, based on an apparent lack of reasonable
congruence between the evidence and the decision;
- Once the faculty member has received from the Provost
the written reasons for denial of tenure or promotion,
s/he may ask for a meeting with the Provost to request
elaboration on these reasons.
- A request for review, stating
the grounds on which the request is based, should be submitted
to the Provost within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving
written notification of the Status Committee's recommendation;
tenure candidates may be given a ten-day extension
- The Provost notifies the President and the
Status Committee that the request has been submitted and
sets up a meeting of the Status Committee with the dissatisfied
faculty member. This meeting and any additional meetings
that may be necessary shall be governed by the procedures
listed in subsection b5 below.
- Within twenty (20) calendar
days of the request for review, the review must be completed
and written notification of the Status Committee's decision
be given by the Provost to the faculty member, with copies
to the President, divisional dean, and chairperson. If
additional time is needed to allow both sides to deal with
new considerations that arise in the course of the review,
this deadline may be extended so long as the total time
for steps b) through d) is not more than fifty (50) days
from initial notification, or sixty (60) days in the case
of tenure candidates.
- Within ten (10) days of notification of the results of
the review, a faculty member who chooses to appeal this
decision shall file an appeal with the chairperson of the
Appeals and Grievances Panel (see A6.f), stating grounds,
with copies to the Provost and the President.
- The chairperson
of the Appeals and Grievances Panel will draw up a list
of panel members available to serve on an ad hoc appeal
committee, excluding any who would face a conflict of interest
and excluding if possible those already serving on a committee
in either an appeal or grievance process. From this list
the chairperson will present a roster of six possible committee
members to the appellant and the Provost, offering each
the opportunity to request removal of one name from the
roster without stating reasons. From the remaining names
on the list, the chairperson then appoints the committee
of three (3), who will select their own chairperson. At
least one member of the committee must be a former member
of the Status Committee. There may not be more than one
representative from any single academic division nor only
one gender represented on the committee.
- All relevant material
will be given to the named Appeal Committee, including
copies of the reasons given the faculty for the initial
negative decision, copies of all materials initially submitted
to the Status Committee by the dean and chairperson, any
new material presented during the review, the written notification
of the outcome of the review, and the grounds for appeal
with all supporting documents from the faculty member.
meetings of the Appeal Committee, a quorum shall consist
of all members of the committee.
- The Appeal Committee will
schedule a hearing with the appellant. The hearing will
be conducted in accord with established principles, such
as the calling of witnesses at the discretion of the Appeal
Committee, with the Appeal Committee having authority to
determine precise procedures, including time limits.
the Appeal Committee deems it advisable to interview the
Status Committee, the entire Status Committee shall be
invited to attend. Members may be questioned individually,
at the discretion of the Appeal Committee, in the presence
of at least two other members of the Status Committee,
including the chairperson.
- The Appeal Committee may conclude
that the appeal is not sustained and no further action
is required; or that the recommendation of the Status Committee
should be reconsidered, because of irregularity, impropriety,
or inadequate consideration. By April 15 the committee
will report its findings and conclusions to the President,
with copies to the appellant and the Provost.
- If the Appeal
Committee sustains the appeal, the President may (1) ask
the Status Committee to repeat the decision-making process
and submit its recommendation to him/her, or (2) overrule
the Status Committee (notifying the Status Committee of
this action with reasons) and submit the faculty member's
name to Board of Trustees for confirming action, or (3)
reject the conclusions of the Appeal Committee (notifying
it, with reasons).
- The President will notify the appellant
and the Provost of his/her decision.
- Procedural Rules
- In both the review and appeal stages, the faculty member
shall have these rights:
- Access to documents (except confidential letters);
be accompanied by a faculty colleague as advisor in both
review and appeal hearings;
- Due process including the right
to speak, submit material, ask relevant questions and receive
answers; and the right of the accompanying advisor to do
so on his/her behalf, subject to the respective committee's
responsibility to ensure that the proceedings continue
in an orderly fashion.
- The burden of proof rests with the
faculty member, not with the College.
- Definition: A grievance is a formal
petition for redress on any matter of professional concern which
has not been resolved through administrative channels, except those
listed as subject to appeal (B22.b1) and those provided for under
Nonreappointment (B5) and Dismissal for Cause (B6.d).
- Before filing a formal petition, the aggrieved faculty member
may go to the Professional Interests Committee and/or the Faculty
Moderator for advice on whether to file a formal grievance
and on the best procedure for doing so.
- A written grievance
should be filed with the chairperson of the Appeals and Grievances
- A brief statement of the grievance, enumerating
the separate points if necessary, and naming the person(s)
against whom the grievance is directed;
- Supplementary materials, including
the grievant's explanation of the perceived injustice
and a brief history of attempts to solve the problem.
- The chairperson
of the Appeals and Grievances Panel will form, from the
Panel, a two-person Mediation Committee to make inquiry
and attempt through informal means to bring about a settlement
satisfactory to all. Any member of the Panel who is either
directly involved in the case or has a conflict of interest
will at this point disqualify him/herself from serving
on this committee or on the Grievance Committee described
below. The person(s) against whom the grievance has been
filed shall be notified promptly by the Mediation Committee
of the charges brought by the grievant. The Mediation Committee
will report to the Panel chair the results of its efforts.
the matter has not been resolved, and if within fifteen (15)
days of the Mediation Committee's report the Mediation Committee
and the grievant agree that the grievance process should be
continued, the chairperson forms a Grievance Committee, secures
from the Mediation Committee a written report of its work,
and notifies the chairperson of the Professional Interests
Committee (in summary form, protecting confidentiality) of
these steps being taken. In the event that the grievant requests
that the grievance process be continued, despite a contrary
recommendation of the Mediation Committee, the chair of the
Panel may form a Grievance Committee only after full consultation
with the Mediation Committee. The three-person Grievance Committee
is selected in the same manner as an Appeal Committee (see
B22.b4b)2), excluding the members of the Mediation Committee
and the chair of the Panel.
- If more than
one faculty member files a grievance at approximately the
same time on the same problem or similar problems, the chair
of the Panel may propose to combine them into a single grievance
to be handled by a single Mediation Committee and a single
Grievance Committee, provided all parties (grievants, person[s]
against whom the grievance was filed, and committee) agree.
Grievance Committee shall be charged with (1) ascertaining
the facts of the case and drawing it to a conclusion; (2) making
a report to the President, which may include recommendation
of action(s) and/or of reprimand or censure; and (3) when
it deems advisable, recommending to the Professional Interests
Committee or other appropriate body, or to an administrator,
such changes in policy or practice as might prevent similar
problems from occurring. A draft of its report(s) should be
reviewed by the Panel chairperson for advice (especially as
regards continuity and consistency with the approaches taken
by other similar committees). The committee will then report
its recommendations to the President, with copies to both parties
to the complaint, to the PIC chair, and to the Panel chair
for the Panel's archives.
- The Grievance Committee and
both parties will strive to complete the process expeditiously.
Under normal circumstances, thirty (30) days should suffice.
President should act promptly on the committee's recommendations.
If the President rejects any of the Grievance Committee's
recommendations, he/she will so inform them, providing reasons
for his/her decision and providing an opportunity for the committee
to respond, before taking action.
- Procedural rules
- Timely notice of the formal filing of a grievance will
be given by the chairperson of the Appeals and Grievances
Panel to the person(s) against whom the grievance was filed. Such
notice will include the specific point(s) of the grievance.
appointed, the Grievance Committee will be in full charge
of the entire process. Strict rules of courtroom procedure
need not apply. The Grievance Committee shall designate
one of its members as its chairperson, with responsibility
and authority to call and preside at meetings, maintaining
order and fairness.
- All parties will have
an opportunity to be heard and to present their position
on the matter. The Grievance Committee may interview any
other persons, as it may deem advisable. Subject to the
approval of the Grievance Committee, the parties have the
right to present evidence, both in written form and through
the use of witnesses. Both parties will cooperate with
the Grievance Committee in obtaining evidence, including
relevant documents and testimony.
- If a grievance is filed
against the Status Committee, the entire Status Committee
shall be invited to attend any meeting of the Grievance
Committee called for the purpose of interviewing the Status
Committee. Members may be questioned individually, at the
discretion of the Grievance Committee, in the presence
of at least two other members of the Status Committee,
including the chairperson.
- For meetings of the
Grievance Committee, a quorum shall consist of all members
of the committee.
- The burden of proof rests with the grievant.
- The hearings of the
Grievance Committee will be private and strict rules of
confidentiality will be maintained. Each party has the
right to be accompanied at hearings by a faculty colleague
as advisor and observer. The Grievance Committee will ensure
that a careful and complete record of the proceedings is
- Official Records
- The official record of each Appeal or Grievance Committee,
which is to be kept in the President's Office until all processes
have been completed, will consist of the following:
- All written
materials received from the administration, the faculty
member, and any other parties seen to be appropriate by
copy of the Committee's recommendations;
- A log of the Committee's
actions, including times of meeting, documents received,
and a record of parties with whom the Committee or its
- At the discretion of the President, following the
completion of all processes, the records will be transferred
to the Archives, where they will remain under seal, with
access limited to the President, the Provost, or their