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 the normal methods
of administrative remedy have been tried. The term "faculty member" refers
to persons who, at the time the grievance is filed, are full-time members
of the faculty or who hold a fractional time appointment of .5 or more,
and who are tenured, temporary, probationary, or instructors with faculty
Any faculty member who has a grievance must first make a bona fide effort
to resolve the matter through University channels at the most immediate
level. 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 Director of Equal Opportunity. In
the event that the complaint is directed against the Provost and Senior
Vice President, 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 review.
The invited colleague may act as an advisor or witness, and may participate in the discussion if invited to do so by any of the others present.
The invited colleague is not a representative of the faculty member and shall not be nor serve as legal counsel. His or her role is that of colleague and advisor, with a responsibility to assist in the consultations to produce a satisfactory resolution of the dispute. Responsibility for any decisions 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 responsibilities as an invited faculty 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, he or she 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.
Faculty Senate Ombudsperson
Faculty Senate 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 resolve
concerns and disputes that arise within the University, 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 individual. 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, 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 Information
A. Filing the ComplaintIf the dispute is not settled through informal means, the faculty member may invoke the University's grievance policy by contacting the Chair of the Rules Committee and submitting a formal complaint. In discrimination grievances, if contacted first, the Rules Committee Chairperson will direct the faculty member to the Director of Equal Opportunity.
Complaints based on the following are excluded from this grievance procedure:
The complaint form should be filed within three months from the date on
which the act/s which are the basis of the grievance occurred or the date
on which the act/s became 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
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 session.
D. Suspension of Faculty Member During the Proceedings
A faculty member may be suspended during a grievance if, in the judgment
of the President, immediate harm to the faculty member or to others is
threatened by continued service. This suspension occurs without prejudice
and, except in extremely unusual circumstances, without loss of
compensation until the grievance procedures herein are concluded and the
action of the Provost and Senior Vice President is taken pursuant to
Section IV of this policy.
E. Complaint Form
The complaint form requires the faculty member to describe the nature of the complaint, the date on which the act/s which is/are the basis of the grievance occurred, and shall state the alleged improper action and explain the desired redress. This statement will serve as a petition requesting the Rules Committee to call together a Review Committee to review the matter. Submission of a petition does not automatically entail investigation or a detailed consideration of the problem.
F. Review by the Rules Committee
The Rules Committee must decide whether the faculty member has made a bona fide effort to resolve the problem. The Rules 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 (See Section VII below) and a Review Committee from the faculty members who are on the Grievance Board (See Section VIII below).
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:
The Review Committee has the following responsibilities:
II. Pre-Hearing Procedures
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 to:
B. Meeting of the Convener and 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 Parties
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 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.
III. Hearing Procedures
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
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 Rules Committee determines that the grievance should be
B. The Review Committee will judge 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 grievant 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 witnesses.
E. The parties to the grievance may invite an advisor from the Wichita State University community to be present and give counsel, 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 Review Committee
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 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 Senior Vice President, and to the Chair of the
Rules Committee, who shall file the report in the Faculty Senate office.
The report should (1) restate the charges, (2) present the facts, (3)
indicate whether a wrong occurred, and (4) recommend what should be done.
The Review Committee will make its recommendations to the Provost and
Senior Vice President who will decide to accept, reject, or modify those
recommendations. In the event that the Provost and Senior Vice President
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.
V. Appeal to the Provost and Senior Vice President
Either party has the right to make a final statement in writing to be
sent to the Provost and Senior Vice President. The statement must be
submitted no later than five class days after receipt of the Review
Committee's recommendations. The Provost and Senior Vice President will
act on the matter within ten class days after the deadline of receipt of
final statements. Notice of final action taken by the Provost and Senior
Vice President shall be sent to the Convener, the parties, the dean, the
Review Committee, and the Chair of the 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 and Senior Vice President for three years. This material will
be held in confidence as personnel related material.
VI. Appeal to the President
Either party to the grievance may appeal the decision of the Provost and
Senior Vice President by submitting a letter to the President of the
University within ten class days from the date of the receipt of the
Provost and Senior Vice President'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 and Senior
Vice President, 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
March 15, 2006
March 15, 2014