|ISU Home | A to Z Listing of Web Sites | Search|
Part 4. Personnel Policies
Section V. Internal Grievance Procedures
C. Faculty Procedures for Suspension/Dismissal/Termination for Cause (Updated 5/02)
The procedure described herein provides for grievance procedures by faculty in the case of suspension, dismissal or termination for cause. This procedure applies to academic and certain College of Technology faculty and all employees of equivalent faculty rank (certain library and museum staff). This policy satisfies two (2) objectives:
a. to affirm a faculty memberís right to be informed of and question personnel recommendations at any level, and
b. to provide a mechanism for grieving an institutional decision to suspend, dismiss or terminate a faculty member for cause. This procedure does not apply in the case of nontenured faculty members who are notified that they will not be reappointed, or in the case of a reduction in force, approved by the State Board of Education and resulting from a declaration of financial exigency. In the event it is alleged that the action taken was taken for illegally discriminatory reasons, the matter should be grieved under the Affirmative Action grievance procedures.
This process is intended to assure a faculty member of his or her rights and to resolve the grievance at the earliest moment possible. Therefore, the following procedures include:
a. an informal opportunity to meet with the person(s) making the recommendation of suspension, dismissal or termination to present any reasons, evidence, or information in mitigation or opposition to the recommendation before a recommendation is sent to the President recommending a faculty memberís suspension, dismissal, or termination, and
b. a formal grievance procedure which can be utilized if the faculty member wishes to grieve the recommendation made to the President to suspend, dismiss, or terminate that faculty member. It shall be the responsibility of the University in the event of a formal grievance to substantiate that adequate cause exists.
3. Informal Review
In order to assure a faculty member of his or her right to be informed of and question any personnel recommendations regarding suspension, dismissal or termination for cause, a faculty member must be notified of any contemplated discipline and recommendation to the President that the faculty member be suspended, dismissed or terminated for cause. This notification must be given in writing and must include the reasons behind the recommendation and a statement of the evidence supporting the recommendation. In any event, the faculty member must be given an opportunity to meet with the person(s) making the recommendation to present any reasons, evidence or information in mitigation or opposition to the recommendation before the recommendation is sent to the President.
4. Notification by the President
If a recommendation of dismissal, termination, suspension, or demotion is made to the President, the President must notify the faculty member, in writing, of the recommendation in the following manner:
a. The President must notify the faculty member of the recommendation.
b. The notice from the President must be in writing and may be personally served upon said faculty member, or be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the employee.
c. The notice must contain a concise statement of the charges against the faculty member and the nature of the proposed action.
d. The notice must contain a statement of the faculty member's right to exercise the applicable University grievance procedures as set forth herein. Except as otherwise provided in these or Board policies, discipline, up to and including dismissal, may be effective prior to the initiation by the faculty member of the internal grievance process.
5. Internal Grievance Procedure
a. If the faculty member elects to use the internal grievance procedure, this process is initiated by submitting a written notice of grievance to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Chair of the Faculty Senate (academic faculty, staff with equivalent faculty rank) or the Chair of the College of Technology Faculty Council. The notice of grievance must be accompanied by all correspondence and materials relating to the informal review. A summary of the informal review meeting prepared by the faculty member shall be provided, which shall include the date on which the meeting was held, the names of the persons present, the nature of the discussion, and the outcome of the meeting. In addition to the above, the faculty member may include any other information which he or she deems relevant to the grievance. The internal grievance must be initiated within fifteen (15) calendar days of the date of receipt of the notice given by the President, and the entire internal grievance process must be completed within thirty (30) calendar days of the faculty memberís receipt of the notice. Upon receipt of a written notice of grievance, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall notify the President.
b. In the event of a recommendation to dismiss or terminate a faculty member for cause, the faculty member shall be suspended with pay until he or she has had the opportunity to exercise his or her grievance rights within the University.
6. Formation and Composition of the Appeals Board
a. Selection ó The Appeals Board shall consist of five (5) members, at least three (3) of whom must be tenured.
b. Appeals Board Selection for Academic Faculty and Staff with Equivalent Faculty Rank:
(1) Chair ó At the first meeting of the academic year of the Faculty Senate, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate will appoint one (1) faculty member to chair the Appeals Board. This faculty member must be a tenured member of the academic faculty and hold the rank of associate professor or professor.
(2) Two (2) appointees of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate ó Upon notice of appeal to the Chair of the Faculty Senate, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate will appoint two (2) additional members from the University faculty, both of whom must be tenured. If possible, these two (2) members should be familiar with the academic area of the grievant, one (1) being a member of the grievantís academic department and one (1) not. For the purposes of this section, University faculty is defined as any member of the academic or professional-technical faculty, or any staff member of equivalent faculty rank. The definition of those persons familiar with the academic area of the grievant will vary with each individual case, but in general might include faculty members from the same college, department, or field of interest.
(3) One (1) appointee of the Vice President for Academic Affairs ó The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall appoint one (1) member from the University faculty to serve on the Appeals Board.
(4) One (1) appointee of the grievant ó The grievant shall appoint one (1) member from the University faculty to serve on the Appeals Board.
(5) All members of the Appeals Board must be full-time department chairs and/or teaching faculty or hold equivalent faculty rank.
c. Appeals Board Selection for College of Technology Faculty
(1) Chair ó At the first meeting of the academic year of the College of Technology Faculty Council, the Executive Committee of the College of Technology Faculty Council will appoint one (1) faculty member to chair the Appeals Board.
(2) Two (2) appointees of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council ó Upon notice of grievance by the Chair of the College of Technology Faculty Council, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council will appoint two (2) additional members from the University faculty. If possible, these two (2) members should be familiar with the professional-technical area of the grievant, one (1) being a member of the grievantís professional-technical division and one (1) not. For the purposes of this section, University faculty is defined as any member of the academic or professional-technical faculty or any staff member of equivalent faculty rank. The definition of those persons familiar with the professional-technical area of the grievant will vary with the individual case, but in general might include faculty members from the same division, department, program, or field of interest.
(3) One (1) appointee of the Vice President for Academic Affairs ó The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall appoint one (1) member from the University faculty.
(4) One (1) appointee of the grievant ó The grievant shall appoint one (1) member from the University faculty to serve on the Appeals Board.
(5) All members of the Appeals Board must be full-time program coordinators and/or full-time teaching faculty or hold equivalent faculty rank. If needed, professional-technical faculty will be granted release time with pay from their classes to sit as members on the Appeals Board.
7. Procedures and Limitations Regarding Appeals Board Membership
a. The Appeals Board Chair shall notify both the grievant and the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the names of the entire membership of the Appeals Board within four (4) calendar days of the filing of a grievance, for the purpose of allowing challenges to the seated members. The Appeals Board Chair is responsible for:
(1) Convening the Appeals Board within ten (10) calendar days after the grievance has been filed with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Chair of the Faculty Senate or the Chair of the College of Technology Faculty Council,
(2) Providing the Appeals Board with all available factual information pertinent to the case, and
(3) Seeing that the function of the Appeals Board is carried out in a fair and unbiased manner. During the grievance hearing, the Chair shall be the presiding officer.
b. The grievant and the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall each have the right of challenge to membership on the Appeals Board. This includes the right of each to challenge with cause any member of the Appeals Board and one peremptory challenge (no cause needed). Challenges shall be made in writing and shall be delivered to the Appeals Board Chair within three (3) calendar days of receiving the list of Board member names. All challenges to the membership will be ruled on by the Executive Council of the Faculty Senate (in the case of a grievance by academic faculty or staff of equivalent faculty rank) or the Executive Council of the College of Technology Faculty Council (in the case of a grievance by professional-technical faculty). Vacancies, however created, shall be filled by the original appointing authority as described above and shall also be subject to challenge, keeping in mind the necessary time frame.
(1) No person shall be chosen to serve on the Appeals Board if he or she has received notice of layoff or nonrenewal as a result of financial exigency, has received notice of termination or nonrenewal for any other reason, or has any grievance, appeal, or litigation pending against any officer of the University. Nor shall any person be chosen who has made recommendations, offered comment, or otherwise participated in the deliberations leading to the institutional decision being grieved.
(2) Any member of the Appeals Board who has any special relationship to any particular grievant or to the administration which might reasonably be said to raise a claim of conflict of interest will report that fact to the Appeals Board during the first meeting.
(3) The Chair of the Appeals Board will disqualify members based upon the limitations noted above. Vacancies created in this manner will be filled by the original appointing authority as outlined above and shall also be subject to challenge.
(4) In the case of academic faculty and staff with equivalent faculty rank, the Appeals Board Chair may not be a member of the grievantís academic department, and in the case of professional-technical faculty, the Appeals Board Chair may not be a member of the grievantís professional-technical division. In the event that the Appeals Board Chair is a member of the grievantís academic department or professional-technical division, the original appointing authority will appoint a new Appeals Board Chair.
8. Appeals Board Proceedings
a. The hearing process is not a judicial proceeding. The scope of any hearing will be limited to those charges or allegations stated in the notice given by the President. The Appeals Board is responsible for reaching a conclusion as to whether or not the information presented during the hearing supports the recommendation of suspension, dismissal or termination for cause. The Appeals Board may consider whether the University has applied its disciplinary action in an appropriate manner.
b. The first meeting of the Appeals Board must be called by the Chair within ten (10) calendar days of the filing of the grievance and will be held for the sole purpose of organization. The Appeals Board has final authority in all procedural matters, including the number and duration of the hearings, as well as a final report of their findings to be submitted to the President.
c. The second meeting of the Appeals Board will be held within three (3) calendar days of the first meeting, with both the grievant and the Vice President for Academic Affairs present for the following purposes:
(1) To consider the nature of the partiesí expected presentations, including the number and nature of witnesses and advisors to be called, and
(2) To set mutually agreeable dates for the hearing(s), including times and durations of the presentations.
Both the grievant and the Vice President for Academic Affairs will have the right to summon other parties who participated in the deliberations leading to the recommendation. The Chair of the Appeals Board will communicate its determinations in writing to the parties regarding c.(1) and c.(2) above within one (1) calendar day following this meeting. The Appeals Board Chair will rule on all disputed matters concerning this subsection.
d. As a general rule, the Appeals Board shall admit rather than exclude presentations which either party desires to make, deferring decisions on the relevance and weight to be given various submissions to the Appeals Boardís subsequent deliberations. The Appeals Board Chair may rule against presentations which are clearly repetitive, irrelevant or immaterial. The Appeals Board has the responsibility in each case to review all evidence presented to it. The facts upon which the decision to dismiss the faculty member was made and the reasons for the action taken shall be discussed orally at the hearing.
e. Unless extenuating circumstances can be demonstrated, failure of the faculty member to appear at the time and place specified for the hearing constitutes a waiver of further proceedings, and the Presidentís decision will stand.
f. Procedural Standards for the Hearing ó The procedural requirements of a formal judicial hearing shall not be required; however, the following minimal standards of procedure will be adhered to:
(1) Tape recordings will be made of each hearing session. Upon written request, a grievant and/or the Vice President for Academic Affairs may obtain duplicate copies of the tapes with the cost to be borne by the requesting party. The original tapes are the property of the Faculty Senate or the College of Technology Faculty Council, and requests for duplicate copies should be addressed to the Faculty Senate Chair or the Chair of the College of Technology Faculty Council.
(2) During the hearing, summary notes and tape recordings of the hearings will be made by the Chair or an appointee of the Chair. Upon the conclusion of the case, all summary notes and original tape recordings or certified transcriptions of those tape recordings are to be given to the Faculty Senate Chair for storage in the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Upon certified transcription, the tapes can be destroyed.
(3) The written grievance and subsequent information presented by the grievant will be made a part of the summary notes.
(4) The grievant shall be afforded the opportunity to appear before the Appeals Board and discuss the issues contained in the written grievance.
(5) Witnesses may be asked to appear before the hearing body by the grievant, the administration, or by the Appeals Board Chair and asked to give testimony which is material and directly relevant to the decision under grievance. Those asked to appear have the responsibility to respond as though summoned by the President of the University. Each party may request the presiding officer to ask specific questions of an adverse witness, and the presiding officer shall comply if the questions posed appear to be probative, relevant, and fair. Direct questions by a party to an adverse witness shall be allowed only if they are asked without undue antagonism, and are truly questions and not argument.
(6) The grievant may choose to be represented by or have present an advisor of his/ her choice during the grievance hearing. Although this is not considered a judicial hearing, either party may elect to have an attorney serve as his/her advisor.
(7) The Appeals Board and the grievant shall be afforded access to any documentation and evidence which was considered in reaching the decision under grievance.
(8) It will be the responsibility of the University to substantiate that adequate cause for suspension, dismissal or termination exists as set forth in 8.a above.
(9) Any votes taken during the Appeals Board proceedings must be made by written secret ballot to be kept on file for the record.
(10) The Appeals Board shall have the power to establish its own procedural rules subject to the limitations imposed above.
(11) The hearing must be completed within seventeen (17) calendar days of the filing of the grievance. Within three (3) calendar days after the completion of the hearing, the Appeals Board will forward a report of its conclusions to the faculty member and the President. The Chair of the Appeals Board shall assume the responsibility for polling the members for their opinion, for drafting the report based upon the majority opinion, and for giving all members an opportunity to read and sign the report prior to submission to the President. A minority report may accompany the report submitted by the Chair of the Appeals Board. A copy of all Appeals Board reports must be included with the summary notes and tape recordings at the end of the hearing.
9. President's Decision
a. The President will render a decision on the grievance within three (3) calendar days after receiving the report, and will notify, by Certified Mail, the faculty member and the Chair of the Appeals Board of his/her decision. In the event the President determines that the original decision to recommend suspension, dismissal or termination of the faculty member was in error, the decision shall be declared null and void, and all records regarding the recommendation will be removed from the faculty memberís personnel file.
b. A copy of the Presidentís decision shall be included with the summary notes and tape recordings which shall be stored in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
10. Board Initiated Discipline
If, under extraordinary circumstances, the Board itself initiates discipline, up to and including dismissal, against a faculty member, it must, by a majority vote, direct the President, or any other administrator as may be appropriate, to follow established procedures for discipline of the faculty member.
11. Faculty Ombudsperson
(1) The faculty Ombudsperson listens to the concerns of the individual faculty members at ISU and uses informal means to facilitate the resolution of disputes. Any faculty member or administrator of the ISU community can bring a concern to the faculty ombudsperson, so long as it relates to the role and experience of faculty in the University.
(2) The faculty ombudsperson conducts discussions, make inquiries and keeps records about faculty concerns in a confidential manner.
(3) The faculty ombudsperson is a neutral and objective party whose primary purpose is to help faculty members find resolutions to problems affecting or involving them. The faculty ombudsperson is familiar with policies, procedures, and processes that exist at the University for handling complaints or concerns of the faculty.
(4) The faculty ombudsperson will listen to the concern, make appropriate inquiries, involve appropriate other parties, make suggestions to the faculty member and other parties involved, and conduct mediation as agreed upon.
(5) The faculty ombudsperson creates an environment in which the individual concerned and the others directly involved come to a clearer understanding of the situation and reach a reasonable and mutually satisfying agreements.
(6) The processes initiated by the faculty ombudsperson do not substitute for, or become part of, other institutional processes.
(7) The faculty ombudsperson will have reasonable access to records or other materials necessary to be effective.
(8) The faculty ombudsperson is encouraged to comment on policies, procedures, and processes with an eye to positive future change.
(9) The faculty ombudsperson authors an annual summary report, including data, on the types of matters handled and narrative reflecting the character of the yearís activities to the Faculty Senate through the President of the University.
The faculty ombudsperson will be selected from among the tenured faculty at ISU. The position is half-time and starts in the Fall Semester. The term of service will be for one year and is renewable, upon evaluation and review by the Faculty Senate.