4.04 / Resolution of
Internal Disputes for Faculty
The collegial atmosphere of
the University community is best served through informal resolution of
disputes. To resolve internal disputes, to assure careful consideration of
personnel actions and complaints, and to safeguard academic freedom,
Wichita State University provides for the review of grievances filed by
faculty members of the University. Faculty members should turn to the
grievance process only after informal means of resolution have been utilized.
The term "faculty member" refers to all employees who, at the time
the grievance is filed, have teaching/research/library responsibilities of
50% or more and .5 FTE or greater including: temporary faculty,
probationary faculty, tenured faculty, contingent unclassified
professionals, provisional unclassified professionals, and regular
unclassified professionals (who have the e-class designation of FA or
Any faculty member who has
a grievance must first make a bona fide effort to resolve the matter
through University established lines of authority. In most instances this
should involve the chair, and if appropriate, the dean. If discrimination
is alleged, the faculty member shall seek resolution by contacting the
Executive Director of Equal Opportunity. In the event that the complaint
is directed against the Provost, the faculty member is encouraged to seek
resolution of the dispute with the President of the University. If a
faculty member appeals to agencies outside the University before the
internal grievance procedure has been completed, the President of the
University may tell the Faculty Senate Rules Committee to stop the
Right of Consultation:
A faculty member may invite a faculty colleague to attend a discussion or
meeting with his or her chair, dean, or other supervisory administrator at
which the faculty member's professional activity or performance will be
discussed, and should notify the administrator accordingly. The invited colleague may
act as an advisor or witness, and may participate in the discussion if
The invited colleague is
not a representative of the faculty member and shall not be nor serve as
legal counsel. His or her limited role is that of colleague and advisor,
assisting in the consultations to produce a satisfactory resolution of the
dispute. Responsibility for any decisions reached or actions taken remains
with the parties to the dispute. Any other administrative officer invited
to such a meeting or discussion has the same limited role as an invited
colleague, unless he/she has regular, pre-existing administrative
responsibilities for the issues being discussed.
When a faculty member
invites a colleague to attend such a meeting or discussion, the faculty
member assumes responsibility for any loss of confidentiality that results
from that colleague's actions. The presence of an invited colleague does
not imply that a written record of the meeting must be kept; it does not
preclude any participant from submitting a summary memorandum to others
who were present for their authentication.
Ombudspersons are available to provide assistance to faculty members in
the identification or articulation of internal disputes that arise within
the University. The Ombudsperson's role is to listen to concerns arising
from disputes within the University, provide resources and clarify
procedural options and, as such, may facilitate a satisfactory settlement
of the dispute without necessitating the filing of a grievance. The
decision whether to file a grievance is, however, the prerogative of the
faculty member with the concern. A list of the current Ombudspersons shall
be posted on the Faculty Senate's website. Faculty members are encouraged
to contact an Ombudsperson before filing a grievance. The president-elect
of the Faculty Senate shall assist the faculty member in connecting with
an Ombudsperson if necessary.
The Faculty Senate
Executive Committee shall nominate three tenured faculty members, from a
pool of previous faculty senate presidents, to serve as Ombudspersons for
three-year staggered terms. The appointments will be confirmed by a vote
of the Faculty Senate. By virtue of their prior service, those chosen to
serve as Ombudspersons will possess significant knowledge of University
structure and operations.
A person may not be in the
grievance pool during the time of service as Ombudsperson. Administrators,
as defined in the Faculty Senate Constitution, shall not be eligible for
appointment. Administrators include those persons holding the title of
President, Provost, Senior Vice President, Vice President, Associate Vice
President, Assistant Vice President, Dean, Associate Dean, Assistant Dean,
and Directors of all non-academic programs including, but not limited to,
Director of the Office of Institutional Research, Director of Physical
Plant, Registrar, and Director of Cooperative Education.
Policies and Procedures for
Processing Grievances for Faculty
I. Grievance General
A. Filing the
If the dispute is not
settled through the required informal means, the faculty member may invoke
the University's grievance policy by contacting the Chair of the Faculty
Senate Rules Committee and submitting a formal complaint. In matters
alleging discrimination, if contacted first, the Faculty Senate Rules
Committee Chairperson will direct the faculty member to the Executive
Director of Equal Opportunity.
Excluded from the Grievance Procedure
Complaints based on the
following are excluded from this grievance procedure:
C. Time Limits
- Tenure and Promotion
- Hiring Decisions
- Traffic Fines
- Library Fines
- Dismissal for Cause
- Sexual Harassment
- Complaints of Unlawful Discrimination
The complaint form should be filed within three months from the date on
which the act/s or omission/s which are the basis of the grievance
occurred or the date on which the act/s or omission/s reasonably would
have become known. All grievance procedures, including but not limited to
grievance hearings, are suspended from May 18 to August 18. Grievances
filed during that period will be processed as if filed on August 18. The time requirements in
this grievance policy shall be followed to the extent reasonably possible.
When used, the term "class days" refers to weekdays, when classes are in
D. Administrative Leave for Faculty During the Proceedings
A faculty member may be
placed on administrative leave during a grievance if the Executive
Director of Human Resources, in consultation with the appropriate Dean,
deem there is an immediate danger to the faculty member or to others. The
administrative leave may be with or without compensation as determined on
a case by case basis.
E. Complaint Form
The complaint form requires the faculty member to describe the nature of
the complaint, the date on which the act/s or omission/s which is/are the
basis of the grievance occurred, and shall state the alleged improper
action and explain the desired remedy. This statement will serve as a
petition submitted to the Faculty Senate Rules Committee requesting it to
call together a Review Committee to review the matter. Submission of a
petition does not guarantee a Review Committee will be called, that an
investigation will occur or a detailed review of the problem will be
F. Review by the
Faculty Senate Rules Committee
The Committee must decide
whether the faculty member has made a good faith effort to resolve the
problem through informal means. The Committee will decide within ten class
days whether the grievance should be processed and a Review Committee
formed. A decision not to process the grievance may be appealed to the
Faculty Senate President who will decide within five class days of
receiving the appeal whether to overrule the decision. If the petition is
accepted, the Rules Committee Chair shall appoint a Convener from the
Panel of Conveners and a Review Committee from the faculty members who are
on the Grievance Board (See Section VII below). It is the
responsibility of the Chair of the Faculty Senate Rules Committee to
ensure that the review complies with all established timelines.
The Panel of Conveners will consist of ten individuals, selected from
faculty members who are eligible for Faculty Senate membership by the
Rules Committee of the Senate in consultation with the Chair of the
Faculty Senate Rules Committee. The
Convener is not a voting member of the Grievance Review Committee. The
Convener's role is that of an administrator and executive secretary. The
Convener shall have the following responsibilities:
H. The Review
- Send a copy of the
complaint form and supporting documents to all parties to the action,
to the dean, and to the Provost.
- Schedule all meetings of
the Review Committee. The first hearing meeting is to be scheduled no
later than 15 class days after the appointment of the Review Committee.
all meetings of the Review Committee.
all parties informed.
that fair and proper procedures are followed.
the final report with the office of the Provost and with the Chair of
the Faculty Senate Rules Committee.
as secretary for all appeals of the grievance.
A Review Committee of five
will be chosen from the Grievance Board by the Chair of the Faculty Senate
Rules Committee. Faculty may remove themselves from the case for bias or
conflict of interest. In addition, each party to the grievance will have a
total of two challenges. If any member of the Review Committee is unable
to continue because of illness or for other good and sufficient reasons,
the hearing shall proceed with fewer members unless one or more of the
parties has a compelling reason for requesting that another person from
the Grievance Board be selected to replace the Review Committee member who
is unable to continue, in which case the Convener shall request the Chair
of the Faculty Senate Rules Committee to select a replacement. The Review Committee has
the following responsibilities:
- To attend all meetings called by the Convener.
- To ensure that fair, proper, and confidential
procedures are followed.
- To consider all pertinent and relevant
evidence in the case.
- To decide whether the allegations have been
sustained by the evidence, determine whether a wrong has occurred, and
to make recommendations concerning possible redress.
A. Meeting of the
Convener and the Parties
The parties to the dispute
will submit written summaries of the major issues to be decided to the
Convener, and the Convener will then schedule a meeting with the parties
B. Meeting of the
Convener and the Review Committee
- Clarify and, where possible, simplify the
- Stipulate to the facts, if possible.
- Arrange for the exchange by the parties of all
documents which each party intends to present to the Review Committee,
and establish a deadline for that exchange which shall be no later
than five class days before the formal hearing. A party to the
grievance may not present any documents to the Review Committee at the
grievance hearing unless they have been provided to the other parties
to the grievance by the foregoing deadline.
- Identify the witnesses whom each party intends
to call at the grievance hearing.
- Discuss the participation of advisors to the
parties who are not and shall not act nor serve as legal
- To notify either or both parties of specific
material/information requested by the Review Committee.
The Convener will call the
Review Committee to its first meeting to review the procedures and
responsibilities of the Review Committee.
C. Cooperation of the
All parties should make
every effort to cooperate with the Convener and each other during these
preliminary activities. If there are unjustifiable delays in the
proceedings, the Convener may so advise the Review Committee. At its
discretion the Review Committee may determine that one or more of the
parties are not cooperating, report this fact to the Faculty Senate Rules
Committee, and adjourn. If the adjournment is accepted by the Rules
Committee, the Convener will declare the proceedings closed and the
grievance process shall be terminated.
The faculty member may
elect to submit the grievance to a hearing before the Review Committee or
to waive a hearing. If a hearing is waived, the Review Committee will
evaluate the evidence and base its findings and recommendations on the
documents and materials provided by the parties to the grievance. If the
faculty member elects a hearing before the Review Committee, the following
procedures for the hearing shall be followed:
A. The Convener shall
establish a time for the hearing, taking into account the needs of the
parties. However, unless there are extenuating circumstances, the hearing
shall be held no later than forty-five calendar days after the Faculty
Senate Rules Committee determines that the grievance should be
B. The Review
Committee will determine what information it needs to decide the case and
may request that either or both parties provide such additional
information as it deems appropriate. The Review Committee has no power of
subpoena and participation in the hearing is voluntary on the part of the
parties. Unless good cause is shown, the hearing shall be closed. Upon
request from either party, witnesses may be excluded from the hearing room
while not testifying.
C. The hearing is not
a court of law and should not be expected to follow the rules and
procedures of a court. However, the hearing should ensure a thorough,
fair, open, and impartial review.
D. At the Review
Committee's discretion, during the course of the hearing the faculty
member may be invited to amplify the statement of complaint; the other
party may be asked to speak in defense; both parties may call witnesses;
the Review Committee and the Convener may question both parties and all
E. The parties to the
grievance may invite an advisor from the Wichita State University
community to be present and give advice, but such advisor, including those
with legal training, shall not be nor serve as legal counsel.
F. No recording or
transcript of the hearing will be made, but the Convener and each Review
Committee member may keep notes to assist in preparing a report describing
the proceedings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Review Committee.
A committee member's notes will be confidential and the work product of
the committee member.
G. When the Review
Committee is satisfied that all reasonably available pertinent information
has been presented, the Convener shall declare the hearing closed.
IV. Decision of the
The Review Committee shall
deliberate in private in order to review the information presented and
arrive at its recommendations. The Review Committee must submit a final
written report of proceedings, conclusions, and recommendations no later
than ten class days after the close of the hearing. The Convener shall
send the report to the parties of the dispute, the dean, the Provost, and
to the Chair of the Faculty Senate Rules Committee, who shall file the
report in the Faculty Senate office. The report should (1) restate the
charges, (2) present the finding of facts, (3) indicate whether a wrong
occurred, and (4) recommend what should be done. The Review Committee will
make its recommendations to the Provost who will decide to accept, reject,
or modify those recommendations. In the event that the Provost is the
subject of the grievance, the recommendation will be sent to the President
of the University. The existence of the grievance procedure assumes that
the Review Committee's recommendations will generally be accepted or will
be rejected or modified only for compelling reasons.
to the Provost
Either party has the right
to make a final statement in writing to be sent to the Provost. The
statement must be submitted no later than five class days after receipt of
the Review Committee's recommendations. The Provost will act on the matter
within ten class days after the deadline of receipt of final statements.
Notice of acceptance, rejection or modification of the Review Committee’s shall be sent to the Convener,
the parties, the dean, the Review Committee, and the Chair of the Faculty
Senate Rules Committee who shall file the notice, with identifying
information deleted, in the Faculty Senate office. The written material
presented by both parties to the Review Committee and the Review
Committee's final report will be kept on file by the Provost for three
years from the date of the final report. This material will be held in
confidence as personnel related material.
Appeal to the President
Either party to the
grievance may appeal the decision of the Provost by submitting a letter to
the President of the University within ten class days from the date of the
receipt of the Provost’s decision, requesting an appeal of that decision.
A copy of the appeal letter shall be submitted to the Review Committee
Convener, who will assure that the dean, the Provost, Review Committee
members, and the other parties to the grievance receive copies.
The letter requesting the
appeal must state the basis for seeking the appeal. An appeal must be
based on one or more of the following reasons:
The other parties to the
dispute and the Review Committee may submit written comments to the
President regarding the appeal no later than five class days after receipt
of the notice of the appeal. The President shall review the original
materials, any statements sent by the parties to the Provost or the
President regarding the grievance, and the Provost’s final action. The
President shall notify the Provost, both parties to the dispute, the
Convener of the Review Committee, and the Chair of the Faculty Senate
Rules Committee of his or her final action within ten class days of
receipt of material. A copy of this notification, with identifying
information deleted, shall be filed in the Faculty Senate office.
- The decision was not substantiated by the
- The decision was erroneous in light of
applicable University standards, policies, and/or procedures;
- The procedures as outlined in this policy
and/or as modified by the Review Committee (as allowed by the policy)
were not followed; or
- Actual bias on the part of the Review
Committee and/or Provost.
VII. Grievance Board
Each year a Grievance Board consisting of a representative panel of
members who are eligible for faculty senate membership will be selected to
serve in the grievance pool. Temporary, probationary, contingent
unclassified professionals will be given the opportunity to opt out with
no questions asked within a month of receiving notification regarding
their membership in the grievance pool. Those identified to act as
potential Review Committee members will be selected at random from the
grievance board in proportion to the numbers in each rank, race/ethnicity,
and sex. None of the Grievance Board members may be members of the Faculty
Senate Rules Committee. Persons who serve on a grievance Review Committee
are exempt from serving on another grievance committee for a three year
period. Persons selected for serving on the grievance board must petition
the Provost to be excused.
March 15, 2006
March 15, 2014
April 9, 2018