Faculty Grievances (I.B.1)

Volume I: Academic and Research Affairs
Chapter B: Faculty Affairs
Responsible Executive: President
Responsible Office: Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Date Issued: January 19, 2011
Date Last Revised: September 14, 2020

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Contacts
Statement of Policy
Reason for This Policy
Individuals and Entities Affected by This Policy
Exclusions
Responsibilities
Definitions (defined terms are capitalized throughout the document)
Related Documents, Forms and Tools
Website Address for This Policy
History and Updates
Appendix

CONTACTS

Policy Clarification

Title/Office

Telephone

Email/Webpage

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

765-496-9503

Faculty Affairs Team

 

Campus Specific Questions

Title/Office

Telephone

Email/Webpage

Fort Wayne: Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management

260-481-6116

Academic Officers

Northwest: Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

219-989-2446

vcaa@pnw.edu

West Lafayette: Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

765-496-9503

Faculty Affairs Team

 

STATEMENT OF POLICY

Purdue University has a well established tradition of excellence in all of its academic endeavors. In order to sustain this standard, Faculty and administrators must work together in a respectful and collegial manner. To accomplish this, it is essential that the University maintain a climate that values Faculty and fosters prompt and fair resolution of their concerns and Grievances.

Purdue University encourages its academic personnel to resolve their disagreements through informal, frank, and open discussion. However, the University also recognizes that occasionally more formal processes are needed. All such activities, whether informal or formal, must be carried out by all participants within a framework of good faith collegiality. None of these activities are judicial in nature, nor may legal counsel participate. Purdue Faculty or staff who are attorneys may take part in the Grievance process in their role as a University employee, but not as attorney for any of the parties. All parties participating in the Grievance resolution process as outlined in this policy may exercise their prerogatives and fulfill their responsibilities without being subject to reprisal or retaliation.

Grievances and the proceedings under this policy will be treated with the greatest degree of confidentiality possible. Initiators are advised, however, that confidentiality can only be respected insofar as it does not interfere with the University’s obligations to investigate allegations of misconduct that require it to take corrective action, or to fulfill duties imposed by law, including, but not limited to, the Indiana Access to Public Records Act, responses to discovery requests in litigation, and third-party subpoenas.

When extenuating circumstances warrant, the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost or Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, as the case may be, has authority to extend any of the time limits set forth in the Operating Procedures for Resolving Faculty Grievances that accompany this policy, except those relating to the filing of an appeal.

In the event that a Grievance concerns an action or decision of a Chancellor or the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the President will designate an individual to be responsible for implementing the responsibilities of such Chancellor or the Provost pursuant to this policy. In the event that a Grievance concerns an action or decision of the President, the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees is responsible for implementing the responsibilities of the President pursuant to this policy.

Any question of interpretation regarding this policy will be referred to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost for final determination.

REASON FOR THIS POLICY

This policy exists to provide a fair and equitable process to resolve Faculty Grievances regarding employment including, but not limited to, alleged violations of academic freedom, professional ethics, or procedural fairness.

INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES AFFECTED BY THIS POLICY

All campuses, units, Faculty and staff of Purdue University are affected by this policy.

EXCLUSIONS

This policy applies only to issues of procedural fairness, and does not apply to substantive decisions made with regard to the following situations:

  • Tenure or promotion
  • Non-reappointment or non-extension of appointment
  • Compensation
  • Evaluation of performance

This policy also does not apply to:

  • Complaints involving the establishment, revision, or substantive content of University policies, rules, or regulations
  • Termination of tenured faculty for cause or termination of non-tenured faculty for cause prior to the expiration of their term of appointment
  • Complaints involving allegations of discrimination or harassment

Complaints involving tenure, promotion, or the tenure probationary period may be brought under the University’s Procedures for Granting Academic Tenure and Promotion. Complaints involving allegations of discrimination or harassment may be brought under the University’s Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment. Complaints regarding termination for cause may be brought under Executive Memorandum No. B-48.

RESPONSIBILITIES

President

  • Appoint another University Faculty member or academic administrator to perform the duties of the Provost or the Chancellor in the event that either participated in the Grievance hearing or was a party to the Grievance.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the information and records related to the Grievance.

Chancellor

  • Appoint another University Faculty member or academic administrator to perform the duties of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in the event that the vice chancellor participated in the Grievance hearing or was party to the Grievance.
  • Make a determination on any written appeals made requesting that a Grievance be allowed to proceed to the Formal Grievance Resolution Process as specified in the Operating Procedures.
  • Make a determination on any appeals concerning the outcome of the Grievance hearing.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the information and records related to the Grievance.

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

  • Appoint members to the Faculty Mediation Committee for the West Lafayette campus jointly with the campus University Senate Chair.
  • Provide training to the West Lafayette Faculty Mediation Committee and Grievance Hearing Panels regarding procedures and resources.
  • Make a determination on any written appeals made requesting that a Grievance be allowed to proceed to the Formal Grievance Resolution Process as specified in the Operating Procedures.
  • Appoint another University Faculty member or academic administrator to perform the duties of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs in the event that the vice provost participated in the Grievance hearing or was party to the Grievance.
  • Make a determination on any appeals concerning the outcome of the Grievance hearing.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the information and records related to the Grievance.

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

  • Appoint members to the Faculty Mediation Committee for their campus jointly with the campus University Senate Chair.
  • Provide training to the campus Faculty Mediation Committee and Grievance Hearing Panels regarding procedures and resources.
  • Determine whether any Grievance Notices Filed meet the criteria to proceed to the Formal Grievance Resolution Process as specified in the Operating Procedures.
  • In the event that a Grievance will proceed to the Formal Grievance Resolution Process, provide copies of all materials as specified in the Operating Procedures.
  • When necessary, appoint additional members to the Grievance Hearing Panel.
  • Review and consider all information provided regarding the Grievance hearing and make a determination on the outcome as specified in the Operating Procedures.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the information and records related to the Grievance.

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

  • Determine whether any Grievance Notices Filed on the West Lafayette campus meet the criteria to proceed to the Grievance Resolution Process as specified in the Operating Procedures.
  • In the event that a Grievance will proceed to the Informal Grievance Resolution Process, provide copies of all materials to the Chair of the Mediation Committee, for the initiation of mediation as specified in the Operating Procedures.
  • In the event that a Grievance will proceed to the Formal Grievance Resolution Process, provide copies of all materials as specified in the Operating Procedures.
  • When necessary, appoint additional members to the Grievance Hearing Panel.
  • Review and consider all information provided regarding the Grievance hearing and make a determination on the outcome as specified in the Operating Procedures.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the information and records related to the Grievance.

Faculty Mediation Committee

  • Select a member of the committee to serve as its chair.
  • Attend any training sessions and/or read any training materials provided by the Provost or Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, as the case may be.

Chair of Faculty Mediation Committee

  • Appoint one member of the committee to assist the parties in resolving the Grievance.
  • Review all Informal Grievance Status Report Forms.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the information and records related to the Grievance.

Mediator

  • Assist the Initiator and Respondent(s) in resolving the Grievance through informal means.
  • Complete and submit to the committee chair an Informal Grievance Status Report Form following the conclusion of the Informal Grievance Resolution Process.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the information and records related to the Grievance.

Initiator and Respondent

  • Follow this policy and its Operating Procedures and adhere to all timelines.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to work toward a resolution.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the information and records related to the Grievance.
  • Abide by all determinations made during the course of both the Informal and Formal Grievance Resolution Processes.

Grievance Hearing Panel

  • Determine the order in which the hearing will proceed and set forth any time limits on elements included in the hearing; provide a written outline of such to both the Initiator and Respondent.
  • Question participants speaking at the hearing and call any additional Witnesses for questioning as necessary.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the information and records related to the Grievance.
  • Meet in executive session following the hearing and report the panel’s findings and recommendations in writing to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs or the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, as the case may be.

DEFINITIONS

All defined terms are capitalized throughout the document. Refer to the central Policy Glossary for additional defined terms.

Advisor
A University colleague invited to accompany an Initiator or Respondent to a hearing to provide advice and support or to observe the proceedings.

Days
Calendar days.

Faculty
For purposes of this policy, Faculty include all Purdue University tenured and non-tenured faculty; clinical faculty; research faculty; full-time or part-time faculty, including those on leave of absence with or without pay; lecturers; limited-term lecturers; and instructors.

Faculty Mediation Committee
A campus committee with a minimum of three and a maximum of 12 members appointed jointly by the Provost or Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, as the case may be, and the University Senate Chair of the corresponding campus (senate participation is of its own volition and according to its own selection procedures). An impartial mediator from this committee is appointed to assist in the resolution of Grievances under the Informal Grievance Resolution Process set forth in this policy.

File and Filed
The relevant document has been received and acknowledged by the University official specified in the Procedures.

Grievance
A complaint brought by an Initiator who claims to have been wronged by a University action or decision related to their employment.

Grievance Hearing Committee
A campus committee comprised as follows:

  • Three to four members selected from each college or school by its voting Faculty. In instances where a school is a subunit of a college, the requisite number is only required at the college level.
  • All members must be part of the voting Faculty.
  • Members serve three-year, staggered terms.

Impartial panels are drawn from this committee to hear Grievances under the Formal Grievance Resolution Process set forth in this policy.

Grievance Hearing Panel
A campus panel of three members drawn from the Grievance Hearing Committee, which conducts a Grievance Hearing and makes recommendations for the resolution of Grievances. 

Initiator
A member of the Faculty who seeks to resolve a complaint through the procedures set forth in this policy.

Mediator
A member of the Faculty Mediation Committee appointed to assist in the resolution of a Grievance through the Informal Grievance Resolution Process set forth in this policy.

Notice
A statement written by the Initiator declaring intent to begin the Formal Grievance Resolution Process as set forth in this policy.

Operating Procedures
The Operating Procedures for Resolving Faculty Grievances that accompany this policy.

Respondent(s)
The University employee(s) who made the decision or took the action on behalf of the University that precipitated the Grievance.

Witness
A person with knowledge of the alleged action or decision being grieved who attests to or furnishes evidence about what did or did not occur.

RELATED DOCUMENTS, FORMS AND TOOLS

Operating Procedures for Resolving Faculty Grievances

Procedures for Granting Academic Tenure and Promotion

Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment

Executive Memorandum No. B-48

WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY

www.purdue.edu/policies/academic-research-affairs/ib1.html

HISTORY AND UPDATES

September 14, 2020: Removed Operating Procedures to a separate document.

November 15, 2019: Contacts section updated. Definition of Faculty Mediation Committee updated to have a maximum of 12 members.

August 28, 2015: Contacts section updated.

February 1, 2014: Exclusion for reductions in workforce removed.

November 18, 2011: Policy number changed to I.B.1 (formerly VIII.7.1) and website address updated. Links to other policies updated.

January 19, 2011: This policy supersedes the Grievance Procedures for Academic Personnel (Executive Memorandum No. C-19).

APPENDIX

There are no appendices to this policy.

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