Policy Manual

 

Subject:

Faculty Grievance Procedure

Policy #:

ACAD104

Authorized by:

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs date 6/21/04

Approved by:

Dean of the University date 6/28/04

This document replaces the old ACAD 104. It should be read along with the Regional Campuses Faculty Manual which provides further details regarding the Regional Campuses Process as well as the grievance process generally. Nothing in this document supersedes any provision of the Regional Campuses Faculty Manual.

Membership

Five members will be elected annually by the campus Faculty Organization to serve one year terms. Members must be tenured and cannot be persons who are serving on the local or Regional Campuses Tenure and Promotion Committee or the Regional Campuses Grievance Committee.

Purpose

The Grievance Committee is not a court of law; it is a committee elected by the faculty. Therefore, rules of evidence and other rules of procedure which apply to court proceedings shall not apply to hearings conducted by the Grievance Committee. The purpose of the Grievance Committee is to recommend actions which are fair to all parties. Hearings will therefore be conducted in a manner that is fair to all parties.

Definition of Faculty

Faculty members, for purposes of this grievance procedure, shall include full-time teaching and research faculty, professional librarians, and academic administrators who hold faculty rank.

Non-Reprisal

Faculty members shall be free from restraint, interference, coercion, or reprisal in bringing a grievance, serving as a representative of a grievant, appearing as a witness, or in seeking information about the grievance policy. The grievant may be represented by an attorney, at the grievant’s expense, at any stage in the grievance process.

Actions Subject to Appeal

Individual USC faculty members have the right to grieve any administrative decisions affecting their employment, including but not limited to the following matters:

  1. Denial of tenure or promotion, on the grounds of unlawful discrimination; violation or denial of procedural due process; inadequate or improper documentation, use of impermissible criteria, or improper evaluation of criteria; or denial of academic freedom.

  2. Salary and compensation, on the grounds of unlawful discrimination; violation or denial of procedural due process; inadequate or improper documentation, use of impermissible criteria, or improper evaluation of criteria; or denial of academic freedom.

  3. Non-reappointment of tenure-track faculty, on the grounds of violation or denial of procedural due process or denial of academic freedom.

  4. And other matters (e.g., work assignments and disciplinary actions are grievable, although the faculty member should exhaust all other administrative procedures first) on the grounds of unlawful discrimination; violation or denial of procedural due process; or denial of academic freedom.

A grievant may not ask the Grievance Committee to substitute its judgment for the qualitative professional judgments of any authorized university party or official who has already reached a decision on the matter in question. The Grievance Committee has authority only to review the process leading to the action or decision in question. Its function is to determine if there is substance to the allegations of the grievant. The Committee is limited to recommending appropriate action to the Dean of USC Sumter.

Procedure for General Grievance

  1. Grievant formally requests oral and written explanation from immediate supervisor. The supervisor has 15 days in which to respond.

  2. Within 7 days of receiving response from supervisor, the faculty member may file a grievance with the next level of supervision, if any. The administrative official will have 7 days to respond.

  3. Within 7 days of receiving response from the administrative official, the faculty member may request a hearing and submit a case to the USC Sumter Grievance Committee.

  4. The Grievance Committee will make its recommendation to the next administrative official, the Dean, within a 9-day period. A response from the Dean to the grievant relative to the Grievance Committee’s recommendation is due within 15 days.

For the remainder of the instructions the grievant is referred to the Regional Faculty Campus Faculty Manual, Appendix III. Grievance Procedure for Regional Campuses System, subsection on Procedure for General Grievances, instructions 3-6 (approximately pages F8 and F9 of the Regional Campuses Faculty Manual)

Procedure for Grievance Related to Denial of Promotion or Tenure

  1. A faculty member who is filing a grievance related to denial of promotion or tenure is referred to the Regional Campuses Faculty Manual, Appendix III. Grievance Procedure for the Regional Campuses System, subsection on Procedure for Grievance Related to Denial of Promotion or Tenure (approximately page F-9 of the Regional Campuses Faculty Manual).

  2. The Regional Campuses Grievance Committee may recommend that the grievance be remanded to the USC Sumter Grievance Committee.

Notes:

All requests and responses are to be in writing.

All days referred to in this procedure are calendar days, however, when the last day of such a period falls on a weekend or University holiday, the effective date shall be the next regular business day.

The day following the actual day of notification shall be the first day in the series.

Since dates are critical to these procedures, requests and responses should be sent by registered/certified mail.

The grievance procedure may be lengthy, and the grievant, who initiates a grievance procedure, is advised to maintain a file of dated correspondence sent and received as well as dates and notes of conferences held concerning the case. Failure of any administrative official or reviewing authority to comply with the deadlines for action specified herein shall not operate to reverse or modify a tenure and promotion decision, but shall permit the grievant to proceed directly to petition the Regional Campuses Faculty Grievance Committee or the next higher level in the Grievance Procedure.

In Tenure and Promotion grievances the official is expected to supply written summary of evaluations and reason for action.