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Grievance Policy for Faculty Administrators

Statement:

  1. Applicability
    This policy shall be applicable only to full-time salaried teaching and research administrators ("faculty administrators") employed by Old Dominion University.
  2. Purpose
    The purpose of this policy is to provide a formal procedure for the consideration and resolution of grievances for faculty administrators, to whom the university's Faculty Grievance Policy is not applicable.
  3. Statements of Policy
    1. The university recognizes and encourages the use of informal discussions between employees and their supervisors as a means to resolve grievances. This policy is not intended to be used until it is apparent that such informal discussions will not resolve a grievance.

    2. This policy shall not supersede, modify, or duplicate other university policies or procedures unless expressly so stated. This policy is not to be used in addition to other internal complaint procedures which may be available to the faculty administrator.

    3. Remedies available to the grievant under this policy are limited to those remedies which the university has the authority to provide. No supervisor, senior administrator, or Grievance Committee, acting under this policy and its procedures, may recommend or provide a remedy which amends, modifies, or changes a university policy or procedure or which is not in accordance with either university policy, or state and federal laws or regulations or federal laws or regulations.

    4. It is the responsibility of the decision maker at each step of this procedure to assure that a grievance is grievable under these procedures before considering the merits of the grievance. If a grievance is found to be nongrievable at any step, the grievant may appeal that finding as described in Section 7 below. If the grievance is then found to be grievable on appeal, the decision maker at that level of appeal shall proceed to consider the merits of the grievance.

    5. This policy is designed to resolve work-related complaints expeditiously in a nonadversarial climate. In order to meet this objective, neither the grieving faculty administrator nor the management respondent will be represented by legal counsel during the panel hearing. The panel will attempt to resolve questions by allowing freedom of expression for both parties, without the intimidation often encountered by legal counsel's presence.

    6. There shall be no retaliation against faculty administrators for the use of this policy.

  4. Definition of a Grievance
    1. A grievance shall be a complaint or dispute by a faculty administrator in which he or she has suffered a direct injury as a result of a violation or an improper application of any laws, rules, policies, procedures, or regulations affecting his or her terms and conditions of employment or as a result of an arbitrary and capricious management action concerning his or her employment.

    2. According to the Board of Visitors Policy on Administrative Faculty no person has right of continuance in a specific administrative assignment, and any faculty administrator may be reassigned to different responsibilities at any time. Therefore, nonreappointment and work reassignments are not grievable under this policy.

  5. Other Definitions
    1. "Administrative Unit" means all those departments, divisions and offices which report to the same vice president or other administrative officer who reports directly to the president.

    2. "Chair" means the individual appointed by the president to serve as chair of the Faculty Administrator Grievance Committee. The chair shall be primarily responsible for the implementation of this policy and shall have the specific responsibilities described herein. The chair shall ensure accurate recordkeeping as outlined in section 6 of this policy. The chair shall not participate in the review of the merits of a grievance. In the event that the chair is in the administrative unit in which a grievance arises or has otherwise had direct involvement in a matter which is the basis of a grievance, the chair shall be disqualified from participating as chair with regard to that grievance, and the president shall appoint another member of the committee to serve as chair for that grievance.

    3. "Grievance Panel" means a group of three individuals selected from a committee of ten members appointed annually by the president. The three members on the panel shall be selected as follows:
      • one member shall be chosen by the grievant.

      • one member shall be chosen by the senior administrator.

      • one member shall be chosen by the first two members.

      No member of a Grievance Panel may be in the administrative unit in which the grievance arises.
    4. "Senior Administrator" means a vice president or other administrative officer who reports directly to the president.

    5. "Supervisor" shall mean the immediate supervisor who customarily assigns, supervises and evaluates an employee's work.

    6. "Days" shall mean working days and shall exclude Saturdays, Sundays, and university holidays.

  6. Maintenance of Records
    1. The complaint and all records developed during the investigation of the complaint shall be considered confidential and shall not be released except as required by law or by the provisions of this policy.

    2. The complaint and all records developed during the investigation of the complaint shall be retained in the Department of Human Resources for a period of three years after the date of the final determination. Records developed as a result of the grievance will be filed separate from the faculty administrator's official personnel file. Thereafter the records shall be destroyed unless state or federal action is pending.

  7. Procedure
    1. Filing of Grievances
      Any faculty administrator having a grievance who desires to avail himself or herself of this procedure shall do so by notifying his or her supervisor, in writing, of the grievance within thirty days of the occurrence on which the grievance is based. Such notice shall state the name and position of the employee and shall describe, in detail, the nature of the grievance, the facts on which the grievance is based, the time when the action complained of occurred, the names and positions of any person or persons alleged to be involved in such grievance and the remedy desired. The employee may also submit any additional material in support of the grievance which he or she deems advisable. The notice shall be dated and signed by the employee.
    2. Review of Grievances
      1. Step 1
        1. After receiving a written notification of a grievance, the grievant's supervisor shall confer with the grievant to discuss the grievance. In addition, the supervisor may make such independent inquiry regarding the grievance as he or she deems appropriate.

        2. The supervisor shall render a written decision on the grievance and shall furnish the grievant with a copy. This written decision should be issued within ten days, and must be issued within thirty days of the supervisor's receipt of the notice of grievance. If the supervisor is the university president or if the grievant is satisfied with the supervisor's decision, the grievance proceeding shall be terminated upon the issuance of the decision.

      2. Step 2
        1. If the grievance proceeding is not terminated at Step 1, or if the issue is determined nongrievable, the grievant may appeal the supervisor's decision to the senior administrator for the area within which the grievant works. Such appeal shall be made in writing to the senior administrator and shall be made within ten days of the grievant's receipt of the supervisor's decision. The notice of appeal shall include a statement explaining why the grievant believes that the supervisor's decision should be overruled or modified. Upon receiving a notice of appeal, the senior administrator shall obtain from the supervisor the grievance and all material submitted by the grievant in support of the grievance.

        2. The senior administrator shall review the grievance and the supervisor's decision. During such review, the senior administrator may make such additional inquiry regarding the grievance as he or she deems appropriate. This may include a personal conference or conferences with the grievant, the supervisor, and others.

        3. The senior administrator shall render a written decision on the appeal and furnish copies thereof to the grievant and the supervisor. The senior administrator's decision should be issued within ten days, and must be issued within thirty days of the senior administrator's receipt of the notice of appeal. If the grievant is satisfied with the senior administrator's decision, the grievance proceeding shall be terminated. If the grievant is not satisfied, he or she may proceed to Step 3.

        4. An employee whose supervisor is a senior administrator shall proceed from Step 1 to Step 3 of these procedures if the grievance proceeding is not terminated at Step 1.

      3. Step 3
        1. If the grievance is not terminated at Step 1 or 2, or if the issue is determined nongrievable, the grievant may appeal the senior administrator's decision to the Administrative Faculty Grievance Committee. Such appeal shall be made in writing to the chair of the committee within ten days of the grievant's receipt of the senior administrator's decision. The notice of appeal to the committee shall include a statement explaining why the grievant believes that the senior administrator's decision should be modified or overruled.

        2. Upon receiving such a notice of appeal, the chair shall obtain a copy of the written grievance and all supporting material and copies of the decisions of the supervisor and the senior administrator. The chair shall have the members of the Grievance Panel selected as described in section 5.c. under "Definitions."

        3. The initial meeting of the Grievance Panel should occur within ten days, and must occur within thirty days of the panel's selection. The panel's initial meeting shall include discussions with the grievant and the supervisor. The panel may discuss the grievance with others, acquire additional documentation, and make additional inquiries as it deems appropriate. The panel may meet from time to time as it deems necessary to review the grievance and should render a written decision on the appeal within ten days; the written decision must be issued within thirty days of its initial meeting.

        4. The panel's decision shall be in the form of a recommendation to the president and transmitted to the committee chair.

        5. If the committee chair determines that the decision is not in compliance with this policy, the chair shall return the decision to the panel for such modification as may be necessary to comply with this policy.

        6. If the panel's decision is determined by the chair to be in compliance with this policy, the chair shall forward the decision, along with the notice of grievance, all supporting materials, and prior decisions, to the president. The chair shall provide a copy of the panel's decision to the grievant and to the senior administrator.

      4. Step 4
        1. Upon receiving the panel's decision, the president shall review the decision and all other materials provided by the chair. During such review, the president may make such additional inquiry as he or she deems appropriate, including personal conferences with the grievant, the supervisor, and others.

        2. The president shall render a decision in writing on the grievance and shall forward copies of the decision to the grievant and the senior administrator. The president's decision should be issued within ten days of the president's receipt of the panel's decision. The president's decision is final.

- Approved by the president
December 1, 1988
Revised April 2, 2014

          


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