|University of Arkansas at Little Rock|
|Policy Name: Faculty Appeals to the University Judicial Appeals Committee|
|Policy Number: 403.6|
|Effective Date: December 10, 1980|
The following procedures for faculty appeals and grievances were adopted by the University Assembly on December 10, 1980, in accordance with Board Policy 405.1. See the Constitution of the University Faculty Senate for the composition of the Appeals Council. Note: there are separate grievance policies and procedures for classified employees. They can be found in the UALR Classified Employee Handbook.
Faculty Appeals and Grievance Procedures
I. Procedures for Appeals and Grievances, Except Non-Reappointment and Dismissal
An appeal to the [Faculty] Appeals Council should be in writing to the chairperson of the Appeals Council. Appeal forms are available in the offices of the vice chancellors, the president of the University Faculty Senate, and the chairperson of the Appeals Council. The documentation submitted with the appeals form shall include evidence that the problem has been discussed with the appellant’s department chair and dean (or equivalent administrators). The appellant may amend the appeal form before the beginning of the first informal hearing; thereafter, changes can be made only at the discretion of the Appeals Council. The procedures for an appeal vary according to the nature of the appeal, as indicated below.
- Upon receipt of the appeals form, the chairperson of the council shall appoint from the members of the council a three-person investigative subcommittee within 10 class days of the receipt of an appeal. The investigation shall be completed within 15 class days from the appointment of the subcommittee. Both time deadlines may be extended by a two-thirds vote of the membership of the council. Appeals filed between the beginning of the third week and end of the tenth week of a spring semester will be examined in informal proceedings, but formal proceedings, if necessary, normally will not occur until the following fall semester, due to the timetable outlined below. No appeals will be accepted after the end of the tenth week of the spring semester and prior to the beginning of the third week of the fall semester.
- The investigative subcommittee shall make every effort to achieve a settlement of the grievance between the parties involved without a formal hearing. The investigators shall report to the chairperson of the council that a settlement has been reached, or if no settlement has been reached, formal proceedings shall commence if requested by the appellant.
- A formal proceeding will be conducted through one of the council’s hearing panels, established as described in the description of the Appeals Council in the Constitution of the University Faculty Senate. None of the persons who served as investigators during the informal proceedings nor any council member against whom an appeal has been filed shall participate in the deliberations of the panel, except as a witness.
- Upon receipt of a written request by an appellant that formal proceedings shall commence, the chairperson of the Appeals Council shall, within 10 class days of the receipt of the request, organize a formal hearing panel, informing the appellant as well as any additional individuals involved in the complaint. This hearing must begin within 15 class days of receipt of the request for a formal hearing.
- The hearing panel shall control the procedure of the hearings as it considers appropriate including selection of a panel chairperson. All rulings and determinations of the hearing panel shall be by majority vote of the full panel including the chairperson.
- The hearing and all deliberations of the hearing panel must be completed within 15 class days of the date of the first meeting of the hearing panel. Panel members must be present for all parts of the hearing, and the appellant and all others involved in the complaint must be given the opportunity to be present at all parts of the hearing.
- At the close of the hearing, upon due consideration of all evidence, the hearing panel, with all members present, shall formulate its recommendation. The recommendation shall be submitted to the chancellor or other appropriate officials and to the appellant within five class days of the end of the hearing.
- The chancellor or other appropriate official shall make known his or her decision to the chairperson of the hearing panel, to the appellant, and to other involved individuals within 14 days from receipt of the hearing panel’s recommendation.
- Time deadlines specified in these proceedings may be modified by mutual consent between the appellant and a majority of the hearing panel. During official university holidays, consultation day, exam days, days the university is closed due to weather, summer school, and the first two weeks of the fall semester before the council has elected its chairperson, the time schedule is not in operation. The term “days” refers to class days (Mondays through Fridays) during fall and spring semesters, except as noted above.
Procedures for Appeals and Grievances Involving Non-Reappointment
- These procedures apply to non-tenured faculty members who are not offered a next successive appointment for the period following the expiration of a current appointment. The appointment of a non-tenured faculty member may be terminated effective at the end of the appointment period, at the option of either the individual or the university. A chairperson, dean, or chief academic officer who decides not to recommend a non-tenured faculty member for reappointment shall notify him or her in writing in accordance with the following schedule and shall enclose a copy of this section with the letter of non-reappointment:
- Not later than March 1 of the first year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or at least three months in advance of its termination if the appointment terminates during the first calendar year of continuous employment.
- Not later than December 15 of the second year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or at least six months in advance of its termination if an appointment terminates during the second calendar year of continuous employment.
- At least twelve months before the expiration of the terminal appointment after two or more consecutive academic, fiscal, or calendar years in the institution.The terminal appointment will be for the academic or fiscal year, according to the appointment last held by the individual.
- The individual, upon being notified that he or she will not be reappointed, may request an interview within ten working days after receipt of the notice, first with the dean of the school or college or other appropriate administrator, then, if the employee requests an interview within an additional five working days, with the chief academic officer of the campus. The dean of the school or college or other administrator and the chief academic officer jointly will within ten working days make the final decision on any request that the decision be reconsidered.
- Department chairpersons and other employees on that campus may be requested to participate in their individual capacities in the interviews by the individual concerned, by the chief academic officer, or by dean or other appropriate administrator.
- If the individual does not request these interviews within the time limits stated above after receipt of notification of non-reappointment, the matter shall be considered closed.
Procedures for Appeals and Grievances Involving Dismissal
These procedures, as described in Board Policy 405.1, apply in appeals involving the dismissal of non-tenured faculty and equivalent (see definition— page 6-2) staff members prior to expiration of appointments and to the dismissal of faculty and equivalent staff members having tenure.
- Preliminary Proceedings
- When a chairperson or dean has reason to consider a decision to dismiss a person who has tenure rights or an untenured faculty member prior to the expiration of an appointment, he or she shall discuss the matter with that person privately. After the discussion, if the decision of the chairperson or dean is to recommend dismissal, he or she shall prepare a statement of the grounds constituting the cause for dismissal and forward it through the dean’s office and the vice chancellor and provost’s office to the chancellor. If the faculty member requests it, a subcommittee of three faculty members of the Appeals Council shall be named by the chairman thereof to make an informal inquiry into the situation and to effect an adjustment, if possible. If no settlement is effected, the subcommittee shall determine whether, in its view, formal proceedings shall be instituted to consider the individual’s dismissal, and it shall notify the individual concerned, the chancellor, and other appropriate administrators of its conclusion. If the subcommittee recommends that such proceedings be begun, or if the chancellor, after considering a recommendation of the subcommittee favorable to the individual, decides that a proceeding should be undertaken, action shall be commenced according to the procedures which follow.
- Hearing Procedures
- The formal proceedings shall be initiated by a communication addressed to the individual by the chancellor informing him or her of the dismissal and the grounds for it, and that, if he or she so requests, a hearing to recommend whether his or her employment by the university shall be terminated on the grounds stated will be conducted at a specified time and place by a faculty committee constituted as described in Section 4 below. Sufficient time shall be allowed to permit the individual to prepare a defense. The individual shall be informed in detail or by reference to published regulations of the procedural rights to which he or she is entitled, including the right to advice of counsel.
- The individual shall indicate whether he or she wishes a hearing and, if so, shall file with the chancellor within two weeks of the date of the mailing of the communication by the chancellor an answer to the statement of grounds for the proposed dismissal.
- If the individual does not request a hearing, no further action shall be taken. Further, at the request of the individual, the proceedings provided for herein may be terminated at any time after the request for a hearing on written notice to the chancellor of the employee’s acquiescence in the dismissal. Similarly, the administration may drop dismissal proceedings at any stage.
- Suspension of the individual from normal duties or reassignment to other duties during the proceedings will occur only if an emergency exists which threatens harm to the individual, to others, or to the university. Determination of an emergency shall be made by the chancellor in consultation with the president. Such suspension shall be with pay.
- Hearing Panel
- Upon receipt from the chancellor of a copy of the statement of grounds for dismissal, accompanied by the individual’s answer thereto, a panel to conduct the hearing and recommend a course of action shall be appointed by the chairman of the UALR Appeals Council in accordance with the procedure described in the council’s charge. It shall consist of five persons selected from the membership of the council, not including any of the three members of the subcommittee which conducted the preliminary inquiry. The hearing panel shall not include staff members of the department or administrator involved. The hearing panel shall select its own chairman.
- Hearing Panel Proceedings
- The hearing panel shall proceed by considering, before the time of the hearing, the statement of grounds for dismissal already formulated and the individual’s written response. In addition to the members of the hearing panel, only the person requesting the hearing and his or her representative, the chancellor and/or his or her designee, and witnesses called by the hearing panel are permitted to attend the hearing.
- Charges contained in the initially formulated statement of grounds for dismissal may be supplemented at the hearing by evidence of new events occurring after the initial communication to the individual which constitute new or additional cause for dismissal. If such supplementary charges are added, the hearing panel should provide the individual with sufficient time to prepare his or her defense.
- The chancellor shall have the option to attend or not to attend the hearing, and he or she may designate an appropriate representative to assist in developing and presenting the case.
- The hearing panel shall determine the order of proof and shall supervise the questioning of witnesses.
- The individual shall have the aid of the hearing panel when needed in securing the attendance of witnesses. The individual or his or her representative and the chancellor or his or her designated representative shall have the right within reasonable limits to question all witnesses who testify orally.
- The hearing panel will use its best efforts to provide an opportunity for those involved to confront all witnesses, but where this cannot be achieved despite the efforts of the hearing panel, the identity of such non-appearing witnesses, and any written evidence they may have furnished, shall be disclosed to all interested parties during the hearing.
- Subject to these safeguards, written statements may, when necessary, be taken outside the hearing and reported to it. All of the evidence shall be duly recorded. Formal rules of court procedure need not be followed, but the hearing panel shall exercise reasonable efforts to protect the rights of the parties in the reception of evidence.
- Consideration by Hearing Panel
- The hearing panel shall formulate its recommendation in private on the basis of the hearing. Before doing so, it shall give opportunity to the individual and the chancellor or his or her designated representative to make oral statements before it. If written arguments are desired, the hearing panel may request them. The hearing panel shall proceed to arrive at its recommendation promptly without having the record of the hearing transcribed when it feels that a just decision can be reached by this means, or it may await the availability of a transcript of the hearing. It shall make explicit findings with respect to each of the grounds presented for removal.
- The chancellor and the individual shall be notified of the recommendation in writing, and a copy of the record of the hearing shall be available to both. A copy of the record of the hearing and the recommendations of the hearing panel shall be furnished to the president of the university for his or her decision. The decision of the president shall be transmitted to the chancellor and to the individual involved.
- Consideration by Board of Trustees
- If the decision of the president is appealed to the Board of Trustees, or if the Board of Trustees chooses to review the case, the president shall transmit to the Board of Trustees the full report of the hearing panel, stating its recommendation and his or her own decision. The review shall be based on the record of the previous hearing, accompanied by opportunity for argument, oral or written or both, by the principals at the hearing or by their representatives. The decision of the Board of Trustees on review shall be final. It shall be communicated to the president and through him or her to the person involved.
Source: University Assembly, December 10, 1980