Dispute Resolution for Administrative/Professional and Clerical/Service Staff Members (VI.D.1)

Volume VI: Human Resources
Chapter D: Dispute Resolution
Responsible Executive: Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer
Responsible Office: Office of the Vice President for Human Resources
Date Issued: October 1, 2004
Date Last Revised: July 21, 2017


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






Policy Clarification

Office of the Vice President for Human Resources — Employee Relations



Fort Wayne Campus Questions

Human Resources


Human Resources contact information

Northwest Campus Questions

Human Resources



West Lafayette Campus Questions

Employee Relations Specialist


Employee Relations contact information

Special Situations/Exceptions

Vice President for Human Resources




All employees are encouraged to seek and obtain answers to questions or concerns relating to their employment and working conditions through normal, day-to-day supervisory contacts and channels. However, when informal discussions are not resolved to the employee’s satisfaction and the matter meets the definition of a Dispute, employees covered by this policy may utilize the Dispute Resolution Procedures for Administrative/Professional and Clerical Service Staff Members to address the issue.

This policy will be applied and administered in a manner consistent with the University's equal employment opportunity and affirmative action programs without regard to race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability or status as a veteran, except where age or sex is a legitimate occupational qualification. Employees may exercise all rights and procedures of this policy without being subject to reprisal, harassment or retaliation.

Every effort will be made to keep the matters at issue in the dispute resolution process confidential. Any request for confidentiality must be balanced with applicable legal reporting requirements, the risk of harm to any individual and the University's duty to maintain a safe work environment for all. Knowingly submitting a false or malicious written statement of Dispute will result in disciplinary action.


This policy exists to provide a fair and equitable formal process for an employee to have his or her Dispute(s) heard when complaints are unable to be resolved informally.


This policy affects all campuses, colleges, departments, offices and other units of the University. The following classifications of employees may bring forward Disputes in accordance with this policy:

  • Clerical/service staff as defined in Business Office Memorandum No. 66, as amended or superseded, and
  • Administrative/professional staff as defined in policy VI.F.5, as amended or superseded.


This policy does not apply to complaints brought by the following employee classifications:

The above employees may raise concerns with their Supervisor and through the Human Resources department on their campus.

This policy does not apply to complaints, objections or questions related to the following matters:

The matters listed above may, of course, continue to be the subject of informal communications with the appropriate supervisory and Human Resources personnel.


ADR Specialist

  • Facilitate the Informal Alternative Dispute Resolution process as described in the Dispute Resolution Procedures.
  • Complete written summary of Step 1 of the Dispute Resolution Procedures in a timely fashion.


  • File a written statement of Dispute in accordance with this policy and the associated procedures.

Human Resources

  • Provide counsel to the Complainant, Supervisor/department and Witnesses as requested and help to facilitate the parties through the Dispute Resolution Procedures.

HR Director

  • Interpret this policy.
  • Assign an ADR Specialist to facilitate Step 1 of the Dispute Resolution Procedures.
  • Select the final Review Committee members and assign a human resources staff member to provide administrative and advisory assistance as necessary.
  • Forward the Review Committee’s recommendation to the Vice President for Human Resources or the Chancellor, as the case may be.
  • Promptly investigate allegations of retaliation and work with the unit head to take appropriate disciplinary action when necessary.

Review Committee

  • Conduct a formal review and provide findings and recommendations to the Vice President for Human Resources or the Chancellor, as the case may be.


  • Cooperate and fully participate in the Dispute resolution process. 

Vice President for Human Resources or Chancellor

  • Review the Review Committee’s findings and communicate his or her final decision to the Complainant and Supervisor/department head.


  • Provide firsthand, factual information when being questioned during the Dispute resolution process.


All defined terms are capitalized throughout the document. Additional defined terms may be found in the central Policy Glossary. Some defined terms may be found only in the associated Dispute Resolution Procedures for Administrative/Professional and Clerical/Service Staff Members.

ADR Specialist
An employee of Human Resources who is trained in workplace alternative dispute resolution to the satisfaction of Human Resources.

A University employee who provides advice and support to the Complainant or the Supervisor.

Back Pay
Past wages and benefits to which a Complainant is entitled due to the alleged wrongful act. The purpose of Back Pay is to make a Complainant who has succeeded on his/her claim whole. 

The employee who files a written Dispute.

Capacity utilization level (full-time equivalency). For example, an employee who works full time has 100 percent CUL. An employee who works 20 hours per week has 50 percent CUL.

A complaint by an employee that alleges he or she has been, or is being, adversely affected by a specific:

  • Improper application of one or more University rules, regulations or policies; or
  • Improper action, inaction or decision of any Supervisor, department head or other persons with administrative control and responsibility.

The Dispute must be directed toward the University, not a person, and the Employee must not have raised the concern through any other University policy or procedure. 

HR Director
This refers to the following individuals:

  • Fort Wayne: Director of Human Resources and Office of Institutional Equity
  • Northwest: Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
  • West Lafayette: Employee Relations Manager

Relief Sought
Action by the University that will resolve the Dispute. The Relief Sought by the Complainant must relate to his or her employment relationship and may not be monetary damages, with the exception that a Complainant may request Back Pay, as defined.

Review Committee
A three-member group composed of individuals selected from a trained pool of potential members. One member of the committee will be from the same employee classification as the person filing the Dispute.

The person to whom the Complainant reports and who has the authority to hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer, discipline or take other, similar powers to directly affect the terms and conditions of the Complainant’s employment.

An individual who has firsthand knowledge about facts relating to the Dispute. Individuals who could provide character information are not normally called upon as Witnesses. Providing information as a Witness is optional at the discretion of the individual from whom the information is sought. 

Regardless of the Complainant’s or Supervisor’s regular work schedule or CUL, Workdays are defined as Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding official University holidays. 


Dispute Resolution Procedures for Administrative/Professional and Clerical/Service Staff Members





July 21, 2017: Contacts section and definition of HR Director updated.

July 1, 2015: Policy updated and converted to new template. In so doing, the procedures have been separated from the policy. The term Dispute has been introduced in lieu of the term Grievance, and the equal opportunity statement has been updated to conform to Board resolution.

November 18, 2011: Policy number changed to VI.D.1 (formerly IV.8.1) and website address updated. Link in Related Documents section also updated.

January 1, 2011: Many of the responsibilities previously assigned to the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance were reassigned to the HR Director, and the policy was reformatted into the current policy template.

The April 15, 2009, revision of this policy makes minor wording clarifications, removes reduction in workforce as an issue that can be grieved, and supersedes the November 12, 2007, version.

This policy was updated November 12, 2007, to delegate to the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance, formerly the Vice President for Human Relations and to respective regional campus Chancellors the President’s authority to review committee reports and render a final decision.

This policy supersedes the following:

  • Executive Memorandum B-37, “Grievance Policy and Procedure for Members of the Administrative and Professional Staffs of Purdue University," dated July 10, 1975.
  • Vice President and Assistant Treasurer’s Memorandum No. 137, “Complaint and Grievance Procedure for Biweekly Employees," dated November 9, 1979.
  • Grievance Policy for Administrative/Professional and Clerical/Service Staff Members (VI.D.1)”, dated October 4, 2004.


There are no appendices to this policy.

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2017 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by University Policy Office

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact University Policy Office at policies@purdue.edu.