THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT ASHEVILLE
Senate Document Number 0710F
Date of Senate Approval 10/07/10
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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:
FWDC 3: Revision
to Procedures for Faculty Grievance
(SD4089S, SD4189S Faculty Handbook sections 3.6, 14.2)
Effective date: Fall 2010
The appropriate sections of the Faculty Handbook are modified in order to incorporate changes made to UNC Policy 101.3.2. In addition, an attempt is made to separate the two sections of the faculty handbook that deal with the protocols for dealing with grievances. Section 3.6 deals with the procedure for filing a grievance, responsibilities of mediation and the Grievance Committee, while section 14.2 deals with the constituency of the Grievance committee and the responsibilities of the Faculty Senate.
The major change in the procedure is to require mediation in any grievance filed pursuant to the UNC Code, section 607. It specifies that a mediator must have formal training, but does not necessarily have to be a member of the faculty or staff. It is up to the discretion of the Universities as to whether a faculty committee should be the route of appeal if a decision is made not to promote. This role is given to the Faculty Committee on Hearings.
Revised Faculty Handbook section 14.2, section VII. Insertions are in square parentheses, excised passages are in strikethrough.
C. Faculty Grievance Committee. (amended by SD4089S)
[4. Parties to a grievance must first participate in mediation in accordance with institutional policies as noted in Section 3.6.3 of the UNC Asheville Faculty Handbook. If the parties have not participated in mediation prior to the filing of the petition, the committee will refer them to a mediator.
5. The Grievance Committee shall organize itself within one week of the Fall Faculty meeting. The Chair of the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee shall call the initial meeting and preside over the election of a Chair and Secretary. After this meeting, the Secretary of the Senate will report the results of the election to the faculty.]
[3.6.0 Process for Filing a Grievance
Any faculty member having a grievance as defined in Section 14.2 may petition the Faculty Grievance Committee for redress. The petition shall be written and shall set forth in detail the nature of the grievance and the party against whom the grievance is directed. The petition shall contain any information that the petitioner considers pertinent to his case. If the grievance arises out of a single action, the petition should be filed within thirty days from the time that the grievant should have reasonably known that the action occurred. The committee shall decide whether the facts merit a detailed investigation so that submission of a petition shall not result automatically in an investigation or detailed consideration of the petition.]
Upon the receipt of a grievance petition, the Chair shall, within one week, summon the committee to meet.
Any committee member who is a party to the grievance or who is in the same academic department as the petitioner(s) shall disqualify himself. In addition, a faculty member who feels he or she has a conflict of interest may, after consultation with the Chair of the Grievance Committee and the Chair of the Faculty Senate, be disqualified.
The Grievance Committee shall assume its duties at the beginning of the academic year and shall continue in those duties until the new committee is formed the following year.
3.6.2 Initial Screening
Mere receipt of a petition does not establish the need for a full grievance hearing. The first effort of the committee is to "decide whether the facts merit a further investigation". This determination shall be made only by a designated committee member who will secure from the grievant details necessary to explain the petition. Such inquiry shall be made only of the grievant, and findings shall be reported back to the committee simply as allegations. The purpose of this inquiry is to allow members to understand the petition as delivered, to amplify written charges, to remove possible misunderstandings of or ambiguities in the petition, and to ascertain whether at least prima facie the grievant has raised a significant issue.
[If it is determined that this is the case, and if mediation has not already been pursued, the grievance will be submitted to mediation.]
the parties to a grievance that has been filed pursuant to Section 607 of the
Code agree, the grievance may be submitted to mediation
chair of the grievance committee will assemble a list of mediators to be agreed
upon by both parties.] Members of the
UNCA faculty or staff, members of the faculty or staff of other campuses within
the University, or individuals from outside the University community, may serve
as mediators, as long as they have successfully completed either (1) formal
mediation training that is substantially equivalent to the training required
for certification by the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, or
(2) formal mediation training that has been specifically designed for use in a
university setting. However, mediators may not be members of the committee that
If there are costs associated with the mediation, they will be shared by the parties to the grievance. Attorneys will not be allowed to participate in the mediation process, except as mediators.
party's decision not to pursue mediation will not be held against that party in
any further proceedings, and no blame will attach to either party if the
mediation does not produce a resolution.
No record of the mediation process will be produced by the mediator other than an unelaborated written statement to the appropriate authority necessary to invoke the next step in the grievance, i.e., that mediation was attempted, but settlement was not reached. Mediators may not be called as witnesses in any subsequent proceeding. Nothing that is said or done by any party during a mediation process may be referred to by, or used against, a party in any subsequent proceeding [and no blame will attach to either party if the mediation does not produce a resolution.]
Any mediation agreement that binds the University must be signed by a University official with the authority to bind the University concerning the particular agreement.
Any time limit concerning the grievance will be suspended for the duration of the mediation process.
[If mediation does not result in a satisfactory resolution of the grievance, the Grievance Committee initiates a formal inquiry.]
conducting an initial screening, the committee may, based on the petition and
the amplifying details uncovered, decide by majority vote that the petition
warrants a formal inquiry The formal
inquiry should begin within forty days of the receipt of the petition
[of the conclusion of unsuccessful mediation] unless all parties agree in
writing to an extension or the grievance is filed within forty days of spring
In conducting a formal inquiry, the Grievance Committee shall offer the petitioner(s) and the accused:
The committee shall offer to keep a recording of its hearings, and shall allow supervised access to the tape by the petitioners and the accused. A transcript of the tape will not be prepared except on request of one of the parties who shall bear the cost of the transcript.
The committee shall prepare minutes of each of its meetings, summarizing activity and listing in detail its findings and the reasons supporting them.
[If the committee determines that an adjustment in favor of the grievant is appropriate, the committee conveys that information to the faculty member, the dean, the department head, or other appropriate administrators. If the relevant administrator does not make the recommended change, or a different satisfactory change, within a reasonable period of time, the grievant will inform the chair of the committee, who will advise the chancellor of the committee’s recommendation. The decision of the chancellor is the final administrative decision, and he or she will notify the faculty member and the appropriate administrator of that decision in writing. The chancellor may consult with the committee prior to making a decision.
If the committee determines that no adjustment in favor of the grievant is appropriate, it will advise the faculty member and the chancellor.
If neither the relevant administrative official nor the chancellor makes an adjustment as recommended by the committee, the faculty member may appeal to the board of trustees by filing a written notice to the chancellor, with evidence of delivery, within 10 days of the receipt of the decision. The notice must include a brief statement of the basis for appeal. If the board agrees to consider the appeal, it does so as expeditiously as possible on a schedule established by the chancellor. The chancellor must inform the grievant of the time limit for filing the petition, the requirement of a written notice of appeal, and the schedule for submission of information to be reviewed by the board. The decision of the board of trustees is final.]
Grievance Committee will forward a copy of its decision to the appropriate
administrative officer and to each of the parties in the petition. Forwarding
its findings and recommendations ends the Grievance Committee's participation
in the dispute. Grievants
dissatisfied with decisions by the Grievance Committee possess the right under Section
501C4 of the University Code to appeal directly to the Chancellor.