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Effective Date:July 1, 2015
Last Updated: December 1, 2019
Last Reviewed: December 1, 2019
Next Review: December 1, 2020

Faculty Staff Policies and Procedure

SUBJECT: Grievance Procedures

Original Issuance Date: July 1, 2015

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1. POLICY PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to establish grievance procedure parameters for faculty staff that includes elements required by Wis. § Stat. 36.115(4).

2. DEFINITION

A grievance is defined as a personnel problem, experienced by a faculty member, that adversely affects him/her, arises from circumstances that he/she does not fully control, and is not covered by other personnel rules.

3. POLICY BACKGROUND

Under Wis. Stat. § 36.115(4) and UW System Administrative Policy 1233 (formerly Gen 14) the new University of Wisconsin System personnel systems must include grievance procedures applicable to dismissals that include the following elements:

   a. A written document specifying the process that a grievant and an employer must follow Wis. Stat. § 36.115(4)(a).

   b. A hearing before an impartial hearing officer Wis. Stat. § 36.115(4)(b).

   c. An appeal process in which the highest level of appeal is the Board of Regents Wis. Stat. § 36.115(4)(c).

4. TIME LIMIT

In order to assure dealing with grievances in a timely manner, a grievant must file a written grievance, under the procedures set forth, within thirty days of the time when the grievant knew or should have known that the incident which forms the basis of the grievance occurred. (Under section UWS 1.098, "days" means calendar days.)

5. INFORMAL SETTLEMENT

Before seeking a remedy through formal grievance procedures, a faculty member is urged to present the problem to his/her department chair with a view to settling the matter informally; or if the chair is a party to the grievance, the problem should be addressed to the appropriate dean. The chair or dean shall communicate the results of the informal settlement efforts to the grievant, in writing, within ten days after settlement efforts are concluded.

6. FORMAL PROCEDURE

If the faculty member decides not to submit a request for informal settlement, or if the proposed settlement is unsatisfactory to the grievant, the grievance may be presented, in writing, to the Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Committee. In dealing with a grievance, the committee shall be governed by the procedures set forth in this policy.

A. Receipt of Grievance

(1) Whenever the committee receives a grievance brought by a faculty member, it shall within a reasonable time undertake an investigation of the grievance and offer to discuss the grievance informally with the faculty member concerned.
(2) The committee may offer to informally mediate the grievance.
(3) In the absence of a mediated settlement, the committee shall undertake a formal hearing and reach a recommendation.

B. Hearing and Recommendation

(1) The Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Committee shall serve as the hearing committee for all grievances brought by faculty members and not resolved by mediation.
(2) The committee shall have the power to conduct hearings and fact-finding related to the grievance.
(3) The committee shall conduct the hearing, make a record of the hearing, prepare a summary of the evidence, and transmit such record and summary, along with its findings and recommendations on the hearing record, to the chancellor.
(4) Investigation and Hearing Process The committee is authorized to establish its own procedures for the investigation and hearing of a grievance. The committee, within 10 days of the completion of its investigation and hearing, shall furnish to the grievant and the chancellor its written findings and recommendations.

7. CHANCELLOR’S DISPOSITION OF GRIEVANCE

(a) The chancellor shall act on the recommendations of the committee within thirty days, and shall advise the grievant and the committee of his/her decision in writing. Before making his/her decision, the chancellor shall give full consideration to the hearing record and the findings and recommendations of the committee.

(b) If the chancellor's decision on the disposition of a grievance does not confirm the recommendation of the committee, he/she shall consult with the committee, prior to advising the grievant of his/her decision, and provide the committee with an opportunity to prepare a written response to his/her decision. In the letter to the grievant advising him/her of the disposition of the grievance, the chancellor shall include the committee's response and a statement of the reason why his/her decision does not confirm the committee's recommendation.

(c) The decision by the chancellor on the recommendation of the committee shall be final except that the Board of Regents, at its discretion, upon petition of a grievant or the committee, may grant a review on the record.

Related documents:

UW System Administrative Policy 1233 (formerly Gen 14)

Chapter UWS 4

Chapter UWS 7

Wis. Stat. 36.115 (4)

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