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Purdue University Executive Memoranda Master Listing

PURDUE UNIVERSITY
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
EXECUTIVE MEMORANDUM NO. B-16
(Supersedes Executive Memorandum No. B-16, Dated May 29, 1973)

June 1, 1978

To: Chancellors, Deans, Directors, and Heads of Schools, Divisions, Departments, and Offices

Re:: Grievance Procedures for Academic Personnel


This Memorandum, which is based on the recommendations set forth in University Senate Document 77-9, 19 December 1977, as amended and approved by the University Senate 20 February 1978, revises the Grievance Procedures for Academic Personnel established by Executive Memorandum B-16, dated May 29, 1973, and includes, in Section VI, a uniform school grievance procedure for academic personnel in each of the schools of the West Lafayette campus of Purdue University and for those schools or the regional campuses which choose to establish a school procedure.

This Memorandum shall be applicable to all grievances filed on or after July 1, 1978.

SECTION I
PURPOSE AND SCOPE

These grievance procedures shall be available to all faculty members, both tenured and nontenured, part time or full time, including those on leave of absence with or without pay, at the West Lafayette campus and each regional campus of Purdue University. The procedure shall also be available to all graduate student employees with the classification of graduate assistant, graduate instructor, graduate assistant in research, or graduate instructor in research. Termination of graduate student employees arising from failure to meet academic requirements may not be grieved or appealed through these procedures.

SECTION II
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES WITHIN ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS

Grievance procedures and committees shall be established within administrative units of Purdue University. This shall be accomplished at the West Lafayette campus at the school level through school procedures as set forth in Section VI and at those regional campuses which choose to have a two-stage grievance procedure, by the use of said procedure with such modifications as may seem appropriate subject to the approval of the president of the University. Such procedures are designed to afford a means of fairly considering and acting upon complaints of individuals covered by Section I. An aggrieved person is required to make use of such procedures if they are in existence and available to him/her before he/she initiates a grievance procedure with a campus grievance committee.

SECTION III
CAMPUS GRIEVANCE COMMITTEES

There shall be established on the West Lafayette campus and on each regional campus a campus grievance committee hereafter referred to as "the committee". On the West Lafayette campus the University Senate shall prescribe the number of committee members and alternates and the method by which they shall be chosen. On each regional campus the faculty of that campus shall prescribe the number of committee members and alternates and the method by which they shall be chosen. Members and alternates of each committee shall serve for a two-year term, beginning June 1. No person whose duties are primarily administrative may serve on any committee. A person is primarily administrative if more than 50 percent of the person's appointment during the current academic year (or during the current fiscal year or during the semester in which the grievance is filed) is devoted to administrative duties.

SECTION IV
DEFINITIONS AND GROUNDS

This section defines and describes the kinds of complaints which may constitute grievances over which the appropriate grievance committee has jurisdiction. For this purpose a grievance is a complaint initiated by an individual who claims he/she was directly and substantially wronged by a University decision related to his/her employment. A grievance complains of a decision or action of the University; it does not lie against an individual. A grievance must be initiated within 60 calendar days of the date the complainant becomes aware of the decision or action which is the subject of the grievance. A decision or action which is the subject of the grievance may be the subject of only one grievance by any one person.

A grievance may be either substantive or procedural in nature. In some cases it may be both. A substantive grievance is one based upon a complaint that the substance of a University decision or action was unfair, arbitrary, or capricious in nature. This would include decisions affecting such matters as working conditions, employee classifications, assignments, and reassignments of duties, or employee rights and benefits. Grievances involving tenure, promotions, nonreappointments, nonextension of appointments, the termination of employment of tenured faculty for cause, or the termination of nontenured faculty and graduate student employees for cause prior to expiration of the term of appointment may not be the subject of a grievance before a grievance committee upon substantive grounds except that a charge of illegal discrimination shall be considered as a substantive grievance on such issues alone, to the extent consistent with legal requirements.

A procedural grievance is one which is based on a complaint that a decision was made or an action taken in a manner which violated or ignored duly established procedures. Such violations may pertain to any aspect of the procedure, including the use of criteria for making decisions other than those specified as part of the procedure, as for example, the criteria of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, or physical and mental handicaps. All grievances as defined in Section IV may be processed on procedural grounds.

Grievance hearings at both the school and campus levels are internal administrative and collegial proceedings and not judicial processes.

SECTION V
PROCEEDINGS BEFORE CAMPUS GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE

  1. An individual covered by Section I desiring to appeal a formal grievance proceeding before the appropriate committee shall deliver a written notice of grievance to the chairperson of the campus committee, with copies to the appropriate department head, dean, and the executive vice president and provost. The notice shall contain a statement of the facts giving rise to the grievance, state the relief sought and describe the efforts made to resolve the matter on an informal basis, identifying all persons involved in those efforts.

    The chairperson of the committee shall request and promptly receive from the appropriate department head, dean, or administrator involved, a written response to the notice. The response shall state the administrator's position with respect to the facts alleged in the notice, and state any additional relevant facts and the reasons for the decision. On the basis of the notice and the response, a five-member screening board randomly drawn from the membership of the campus grievance committee shall decide within two weeks after receiving the response whether grounds for a grievance proceeding exist and whether a hearing should be held, or whether no action should be taken in the matter. An affirmative determination that grounds for a hearing exist shall be made only if the criteria stated in Section IV (Definitions and Grounds) are met in the opinion of at least two members of the screening board.

  2. At any time prior to the beginning of the formal hearing, the aggrieved person may withdraw the grievance at his/her own discretion. Once the formal hearing has begun, the grievance may be withdrawn only by mutual consent of the parties. Evidence and witnesses presented must pertain to allocations as stated in the original grievance: new charges cannot be introduced during the hearing process.

  3. At a formal hearing the aggrieved person may present his/ her grievance himself/herself and he/she and any other person directly involved in the dispute may also be advised or represented by a reasonable number of other persons either selects. The parties to the grievance and their advisers or representatives may all present statements, question each other, and call and question witnesses. The panel may request additional information from any party and may call and question witnesses. The parties to the grievance shall be afforded access (with enough time for response) to any document or other evidence reviewed or considered in any grievance procedure pertaining to the case.

  4. Each formal hearing conducted by the committee shall be heard by a panel appointed by the chairperson of the committee after consultation with the members of the committee and chosen in the following manner:

    1. The panel shall consist of five members drawn randomly from a slate consisting of those members of the committee who remain eligible after:

      1. allowing members of the committee to withdraw from the slate because of personal involvement, service on a concurrent panel, or other University duties

      2. requiring members to withdraw who have served in an earlier grievance procedure involving the same case

      3. allowing the grievance party and the other party each to exclude up to three members from the slate.

    2. If fewer than five members remain on the slate the additional members needed to comprise a panel of five members shall be drawn randomly from the group of alternates, subject to the same exclusions again as could be exercised with respect to the members of the committee.

  5. Each panel shall select its own chairperson, and the chairperson shall be responsible for the conduct of the meetings. Within the guidelines of this document, the committee shall establish, and modify as necessary, rules and procedures for proceedings of its hearing panels.

  6. Once the panel has been formed, it shall begin the hearings within five working days and shall schedule hearings each week until it reaches a decision.

  7. All grievance hearings shall be open only to the advisers to the parties, to the University faculty, graduate student employees, and administration, except that they shall be closed upon request of either party to the grievance. The closing of a hearing shall not prevent the parties to the grievance from bringing their advisers to the hearing, nor prevent the panel and the parties to the grievance from calling witnesses.

  8. The factual findings and conclusion of the panel must be based only on evidence introduced at the hearing. The panels recommendations with respect to any action to be taken in the matter shall be presented as soon as possible in writing to the president of the University, with copies to the parties to the grievance. For grievances arising on a regional campus, the panel's report to the president shall be transmitted via the appropriate regional campus chancellor. The decision with respect to the grievance shall be made by the president. If the president proposes to take action different from that recommended by the panel, he shall first review the case with the hearing panel. The president shall make the final decision regarding the grievance and report his decision in writing to the panel and the interested parties within 60 calendar days of receipt of the panel's recommendation.

SECTION VI
SCHOOL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

A grievance committee for academic personnel shall be established in each of the schools of Purdue University as provided in Section II.

  1. Makeup of School Grievance Committee

    1. The school grievance committee hereafter referred to as "the committee" shall consist of thirty members selected at random from the voting faculty of the school whose responsibilities are not primarily administrative. A person is primarily administrative if more than fifty percent of the person's appointment during the current academic year (or during the current fiscal year or during the semester in which the grievance is filed) is devoted to administrative duties.

    2. Each member shall serve a two-year term; however, to insure continuity, 15 members (determined by lot) of the first group will serve only one year. Thereafter, 15 members will be selected every spring for two-year terms beginning in the following fall.

    3. Within two weeks of the beginning of each fall term, the grievance committee will meet to review its charge and to elect a chairperson, secretary, and steering committee consisting of the chairperson, secretary, and three other members of the committee.

  2. Proceedings Before the School Grievance Committee
    1. Any individual covered by the Grievance Procedures for Academic Personnel desiring to initiate a formal grievance proceeding before the appropriate committee shall send a written notice of grievance to the chairperson of the committee, with a copy to the appropriate department head. The notice shall contain a statement of the facts giving rise to the grievance, state the relief sought and describe the efforts made to resolve the matter on an informal basis, identifying all persons involved in those efforts.

      The chairperson of the committee shall request and promptly receive from the appropriate department head, or administrator involved, a written response to the notice. The response shall state the administrator's position with respect to the facts alleged in the notice, and state any additional relevant facts and the reasons for the decision. On the basis of the notice and the response, the steering committee shall decide within two weeks after receiving the response whether grounds for a grievance proceeding exist and whether a hearing should be held or whether no action should be taken in the matter. An affirmative determination that grounds for a hearing exist shall be made only if the criteria stated in Section IV (Definitions and Grounds) are met. A grievance shall be heard if at least two members of the five-person steering committee vote to hear it. Any rejection may be appealed to the Campus Grievance Committee. If the appeal is upheld by the Campus Grievance Committee, the school grievance committee shall be required to hear the case.

    2. At any time prior to the beginning of the formal hearing the aggrieved person may withdraw the grievance at his/her own discretion. Once the formal hearing has begun, the grievance may be withdrawn only by mutual consent of the parties. Evidence and witnesses presented must pertain to allegations as stated in the original grievance; new charges cannot be introduced during the hearing process.

    3. At a formal hearing, the aggrieved person may present his/her grievance himself/herself, and he/she and any other person directly involved in the dispute may also be represented by a reasonable number of other faculty members acting in an advisory capacity. The panel may request additional information from any party and also may call and question witnesses. The parties to the grievance and their advisers may all present statements, question each other, and call and question witnesses. The parties to the grievance shall be afforded access (with enough time for response) to any document or other evidence reviewed or considered in any grievance procedure pertaining to the case.

    4. Each formal hearing conducted by the committee shall be heard by a panel appointed by the chairperson of the committee after consultation with the members of the committee and chosen in the following manner:

      1. The panel shall consist of five members drawn randomly from a slate consisting of those members of the committee who remain eligible after:

        1. allowing members of the committee to withdraw from the slate because of personal involvement, service on a concurrent panel, or other University duties;

        2. requiring members to withdraw who have served in an earlier grievance procedure involving the same case;

        3. allowing the aggrieved party and the other party each to exclude up to three members from the slate.

      2. If fewer than five members remain on the slate the hearing shall be conducted by three members selected randomly.

    5. Each panel shall select its own chairperson, and the chairperson shall be responsible for the conduct of the meetings. Within the guidelines of this document, the committee shall establish, and modify as necessary, rules and procedures for proceedings of its hearing panels.

    6. Once the panel has been informed, it shall begin the hearings within five working days and shall schedule hearings each week until it reaches a decision.

    7. All grievance hearings shall be open only to the advisers to the parties, the school faculty, graduate student employees, and administration, except that they shall be closed upon request of either party to the grievance. The closing of a hearing shall not prevent the parties to the grievance from bringing their representatives to the hearing, nor prevent the panel and the parties of the, grievance from calling witnesses.

    8. The factual findings, recommendations, and conclusion of the panel must be based only on evidence introduced at the hearing. The panel's recommendations with respect to any action to be taken in the matter shall be presented as soon as possible in writing to the dean of the school, with copies to the parties to the grievance. The decision with respect to the grievance shall be made and announced by the dean within 30 calendar days of receipt of the panel's recommendation. If the dean proposes to take action different from that recommended by the panel, he/she shall first review the case with the hearing panel. Either party may appeal the decision to the Campus Grievance Committee subject to the procedures set forth in Section V of these regulations. Such an appeal must be made within 30 calendar days of the date of the complainant's becoming aware of the dean's decision.

Arthur G. Hansen
President