REG 05.25.04 - Faculty Grievance and Non-Reappointment Review

Authority: Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

History: First Issued: May 9, 2011.

Related Policies:
UNC Code Section 604 - Appointment, Nonreappointment and Requirements of Notice and Review
UNC Code Section 607 - Faculty Grievance Committee for Constituent Institutions
NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure
NCSU POL 05.25.01 - Faculty Grievance and Non-Reappointment Review Policy

Additional References: 
Section 604 Review Checklist 
Report of the 604 Review Committee 
604 Faculty Review Flow Chart
Section 607 Grievance Checklist 
Report of the 607 Grievance Committee  
607 Faculty Grievance Flow Chart

Official Record Checklist 
Review and Grievance Panel Workshop 2011 


Contact Info:
 Chair of the 604/607 Committee (919-515-2279); Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs (919-513-7741)


1. INTRODUCTION

1.1  This regulation serves as a companion to NCSU POL 05.25.01 - Faculty Grievance and Non-Reappointment Review Policy and establishes the procedures to be followed after a faculty member has filed a petition to review a non-reappointment decision pursuant to Section 604 of The Code of the UNC Board of Governors (“The Code”) or a grievance of an employment-related decision pursuant to Section 607 of The Code.

2. THE 604/607 COMMITTEE AND CHAIR SELECTION

2.1  The 604/607 Committee is a standing university committee that is authorized to hear petitions for the review of non-reappointment decisions filed in accordance with Section 604 of The Code and employment-related grievances filed in accordance with Section 607 of The Code.

2.2  Membership

2.2.1  Each college shall elect two (2) members of the General Faculty to serve on the 604/607 Committee; at least one of whom must be a tenured associate or full professor.  In addition, the General Constituency shall elect two (2) faculty members to serve on the 604/607 Committee.

2.3  Term

2.3.1  Faculty members will be elected to an initial two-year term and will be eligible for immediate re-election to an additional two-year term.  After serving two terms, a faculty member can become eligible to be elected to serve on the 604/607 Committee after the passage of one year.

2.4  Elections

2.4.1  Elections will be held annually and the terms of the members shall be staggered.  The timing of and procedures for elections shall coincide with the elections of the Faculty Senate.

2.5  Training

2.5.1  All members of the 604/607 Committee shall be trained annually to serve as both members and chairs of Review or Grievance Panels.  A member of the 604/607 Committee must have attended training as a pre-requisite to serving on a Review or Grievance Panel.

2.6  Chair

2.6.1  The Chancellor shall appoint a Chair of the 604/607 Committee (“604/607 Chair”) from the elected members of the 604/607 Committee.  The 604/607 Chair shall be appointed to a two-year term; if the 604/607 Chair is unable to complete the appointment, the Chancellor shall appoint a new Chair from the elected members of the 604/607 Committee to complete the two-year appointment.

3. THE REVIEW OR GRIEVANCE PANEL AND CHAIR SELECTION

3.1  Review Panel (Section 604 of The Code)

3.1.1  A Review Panel is a sub-committee of the 604/607 Committee selected to review non-reappointment decisions pursuant to Section 604 of The Code.  A Review Panel shall include only professors and tenured associate professors and shall not include any faculty member who has participated in the tenure decision that is the subject of the review.

3.2  Grievance Panel (Section 607 of The Code)

3.2.1  The Grievance Panel is a sub-committee of the 604/607 Committee selected to hear grievances of employment related decisions pursuant to Section 607 of The Code.  When the grievance pertains to a decision not to promote to the rank of professor, the panel shall include only full professors and shall not include any faculty member who has participated in the promotion review that is the subject of the grievance.

3.3  Selection of Members

3.3.1  Upon receiving notification from the Chair of the Faculty that a petition for review or a grievance has not been resolved through an informal process under Section 5 of NCSU POL 05.25.01 - Faculty Grievance and Non-Reappointment Review Policy, the 604/607 Chair will select four members of the 604/607 Committee to serve on a Review or Grievance Panel.  When contacting potential Review or Grievance Panel members, the 604/607 Chair shall inquire whether the proposed members have any conflicts of interest with any of the parties such that they could not maintain objectivity in the process.  (See Section 5 regarding conflicts of interest).

3.3.2  Note:  If the respondent of a Section 607 grievance is the head of a department and/or dean of the college in which the faculty member holds his/her appointment, the Grievance Panel shall not include faculty members from the respondent’s department (in the case of the head) or college (in the case of the dean).

3.4  Notification to Parties of Prospective Panel Members and Challenge for Cause

3.4.1 The 604/607 Chair shall notify the petitioner or grievant and respondent(s) in writing of the proposed members of the Review or Grievance Panel.

3.4.2   Response to Proposed Panel

3.4.2.1  Upon receipt of the notification of the proposed Panel members, each party shall have five (5) business days to notify the 604/607 Chair in writing whether the party requests the removal of a proposed member(s) from the Panel for cause.

3.4.3  Challenges for Cause

3.4.3.1  A party requesting removal of a proposed member of the Panel for cause must specify the reasons for removal.  Within ten (10) business days of receipt of the request, the 604/607 Chair shall determine whether a proposed member should be disqualified for cause.  The Chair’s decision regarding removal, along with the written request, will be made a part of the Official Record.  The 604/607 Chair shall replace a proposed Review or Grievance Panel member who is removed for cause with another eligible member of the 604/607 Committee as soon as practicable.

3.5  Selection of Chair of Review or Grievance Panel

3.5.1  Once the membership of the Review or Grievance Panel is finalized, the 604/607 Chair shall select a non-voting Chair of the Review or Grievance Panel (“Panel Chair”) from among the four members.

3.6  Notification to Parties

3.6.1  The 604/607 Chair shall provide the petitioner or grievant and respondent(s) with the names of the Panel Chair and members of the Review or Grievance Panel and will schedule the initial meeting of the Panel.

4. HEARING PROCESS

4.1  Respondent’s Request to Dismiss Petition or Grievance

4.1.1  Within five (5) business days of receiving notification of the names of the members and Chair of the Review or Grievance Panel, the respondent(s) may submit to the 604/607 Chair a written request to dismiss all or part of the petition or grievance.  Any request to dismiss shall state the grounds for dismissal and shall be reviewed by the Panel at the initial meeting as part of the Panel’s determination on jurisdiction.

4.2  Petition or Grievance and Request to Dismiss Provided to Panel

4.2.1  Prior to the initial meeting of the Review or Grievance Panel, the 604/607 Chair shall provide the members of the Panel with a copy of the petition for review of the non-reappointment decision (Section 604) or the grievance (Section 607) as well as with a copy of any request to dismiss from the respondent(s).  The 604/607 Chair shall also provide a copy of the petition or grievance and request to dismiss to the Office of General Counsel and the Provost’s Office.

4.3  Legal Counsel for the Review or Grievance Panel

4.3.1  The Chair of the 604/607 shall request that legal counsel be assigned to the Review or Grievance Panel from the Office of General Counsel to provide advice on procedural matters.

4.4  Initial Meeting

4.4.1  Preliminary Orientation

4.4.1.1  The 604/607 Chair shall schedule the initial meeting of the Review or Grievance Panel (may be in person or via virtual technology) and may provide the Panel with a brief orientation regarding the matter.  The Panel Chair shall oversee all remaining proceedings of that particular panel.

4.4.2  Determination of Jurisdiction

4.4.2.1  The Review or Grievance Panel shall review the petition or grievance and any request to dismiss (if submitted) to determine if the petition or grievance was timely filed, if the petitioner or grievant has met the pre-requisites for filing the petition or grievance, and if the petitioner or grievant has stated proper grounds for the petition (Section 604) or for the grievance (Section 607) as provided for in NCSU POL 05.25.01 - Faculty Grievance and Non-Reappointment Review Policy (including whether the named respondent is an appropriate party to the review or grievance).  If there is no jurisdiction to hear the petition or grievance, the Panel Chair shall compile the record and submit a report recommending dismissal of the petition or grievance to the Chancellor and the 604/607 Chair; copies of the report shall be provided to the parties.  If there is jurisdiction over all or part of the petition or grievance, the Panel Chair shall notify the parties in writing of the jurisdictional decision and the reasons for such decision.  If the petitioner or grievant has not provided sufficient information to show that the matter may be heard, the Review or Grievance Panel may dismiss the matter or request that the petitioner or grievant provide additional information if it appears likely that such information could inform the jurisdictional decision.

4.4.3  Other Matters

4.4.3.1  The Chair of the Review or Grievance Panel shall consult with the Panel members at the initial meeting to set a date, time, and location for the pre-hearing meeting.  The Panel Chair notifies the parties of the date, time, and location of the pre-hearing meeting and instructs the parties as to what to bring to the pre-hearing meeting (i.e. instruction to provide a proposed witness list at the pre-hearing meeting; such list should include a brief description as to what each witness will be expected to testify to and an estimated time for each witness’s testimony).

4.5  Respondent’s Response

4.5.1  In cases where the Review or Grievance Panel determines it has jurisdiction in the matter, the Panel Chair shall notify the respondent(s) to file a written response to the petition with the Panel Chair (and copy to the petitioner or grievant) within five (5) business days of the receipt of the decision on jurisdiction by the respondent(s).  The response shall include a brief statement of facts for each element of the petition or grievance that the respondent denies and should name the respondent’s observer, if any.

4.6  Pre-Hearing Meeting

4.6.1  The Chair of the Review or Grievance Panel presides over the pre-hearing meeting, which is a meeting that includes the Panel members and the parties.  The pre-hearing meeting is intended generally to handle preliminary matters and to establish expectations for the hearing.  The Panel does not hear evidence or arguments about the merits of the matter at the pre-hearing meeting.

4.6.2  General Matters

4.6.2.1  The Chair of the Review or Grievance Panel shall confirm the names of the parties’ observers, identify a number of potential hearing dates and times for which the parties and all Panel members are available, and instruct the parties that it is their responsibility to secure the availability of their witnesses for the hearing.  The Panel Chair may also make procedural rulings with respect to the hearing such as the number of witnesses that may be called by a party, the length of each party’s presentation, etc.  In addition, the Panel Chair may explore whether the parties can agree to any stipulated facts or other items that can reduce the time required to hear the matter.  If the parties are able to agree to any stipulations, such document should be introduced as a joint exhibit by the parties at the onset of the grievance hearing.

4.6.3  Exchange of Proposed Exhibits

4.6.3.1  The Chair of the Review or Grievance Panel shall instruct the parties to exchange proposed exhibits a certain amount of time prior to the hearing (the exchange should be at least three business days before the hearing).  On the specified date, one hard copy of a party’s proposed exhibits must be exchanged with the other party, with a copy also provided to the Panel Chair.  The parties and the Chair may agree to another format (i.e., e-mail with pdf attachments, thumb drive, disk, etc.) for the exchange.  Proposed exhibits should be marked sequentially by each party on the front page (i.e. Petitioner Exh. 1, Grievant Exh. 1, Respondent Exh. 1) and the pages of each exhibit should be numbered for easy reference.  The Panel Chair may not share the exhibits with the other members of the Panel at this point in time.

4.6.4  Hearing Schedule

4.6.4.1  The Panel Chair of the Review or Grievance Panel should establish the dates scheduled for the hearing; if possible, starting times and the hearing location should also be identified at the pre-hearing meeting.

4.7  Review or Grievance Hearing

4.7.1  The purpose of the hearing is to provide the parties with the opportunity to present their respective cases to the Panel.  Generally, the hearing consists of four parts: 1) opening statements; 2) petitioner or grievant’s case; 3) respondent’s case; and 4) closing statements.  The Chair has the authority and discretion to oversee the hearing process.  The hearing shall be closed to the public and witnesses to the proceeding shall be sequestered until such time as they testify.

4.8  Panel Deliberations and Closed Session

4.8.1  The Review or Grievance Panel’s deliberations take place in closed session after the hearing phase has been completed.  The Panel Chair does not vote, but should facilitate discussion among the Panel members.  The Panel should consider all of the competent evidence presented by the parties in support of their respective positions; evaluate conflicting evidence and place appropriate weight on the evidence; vote on whether the petitioner or grievant met the burden of proving his/her case by a preponderance (greater weight of) the evidence; and should make findings that resolve the material issues presented and provide a recommendation regarding the disposition of the matter.

4.9  Panel Report and Official Record

4.9.1  The Chair of the Review or Grievance Panel is responsible for drafting the report of the Panel and for providing the report to the Chancellor and the 604/607 Chair (along with a copy to the parties).  A dissenting member of the Panel may include a minority report, which is attached to the primary report.  The Panel Chair is also responsible for working with the Faculty Senate administrative staff to compile the official record of the review or grievance.

4.9.2  Section 604 Reviews

4.9.2.1  The Chair of the Review Panel shall provide the official record and the Panel report to the Chancellor within 14 business days after the hearing.

4.9.3  Section 607 Grievances

4.9.3.1  In cases where the Grievance Panel does not find that the grievant has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that he/she has been aggrieved and/or where the Grievance Panel does not recommend an adjustment by the appropriate administrator, the Panel Chair shall provide the official record and the Panel report to the Chancellor within 14 business days after the hearing (with a copy of the Panel report provided to the 604/607 Chair).

4.9.3.2  In cases where the Grievance Panel does recommend an adjustment, the Panel Chair shall provide a copy of the report to the parties and the administrator with authority to make an adjustment within 14 business days after the hearing.  If the responsible administrator has not acted upon the recommended adjustment within 14 business days of receiving the report or the matter has not been otherwise resolved to the grievant’s satisfaction, the Panel Chair shall provide the official record and the Panel report to the Chancellor (with a copy of the Panel report provided to the 604/607 Chair).

5. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

5.1  Conflict of Interest Defined

5.1.1  A conflict of interest occurs in the hearing context when a member or chair of a Review or Grievance Panel (a) stands to personally gain or lose something depending on the outcome of the petition or grievance; (b) has particular knowledge about the review or grievance; or (c) knows a party or a witness involved with the grievance or review proceeding and may be viewed as biased in hearing the matter.  The existence of a conflict of interest does not automatically disqualify a member or chair from serving on the Review or Grievance Panel (see section 5.2).

5.2  Self-disclosure/recusal

5.2.1  A member or chair of the Review or Grievance Panel has the responsibility to disclose any conflict of interest and to recuse himself or herself from the Panel if the conflict would affect his/her ability to decide the case in an objective manner, solely on the basis of the evidence presented and the arguments made at the hearing.

5.3  Removal of a Panel Member

5.3.1  The 604/607 Chair has the authority to remove a member from serving on a Review or Grievance Panel should the 604/607 Chair determine that a conflict of interest exists and the individual fails to recuse himself or herself pursuant to section 5.2.  The 604/607 Chair shall replace the Review or Grievance Panel member with an eligible 604/607 Committee member as soon as is practicable.

6. DISSOLUTION OF THE REVIEW OR GRIEVANCE PANEL

6.1  When a committee is unable to convene and hear a petition or grievance in a timely manner, or is otherwise not functioning effectively, any member of the Review or Grievance Panel or either of the parties to the petition or grievance may ask the 604/607 Chair to dissolve the Review or Grievance Panel or to remove any members who are delaying or otherwise impeding the Panel’s progress.  Any request to dissolve a committee or replace a member shall be made in writing to the 604/607 Chair, who shall make the final decision on the request.  In addition, the 604/607 Chair, upon his or her own initiative, may dissolve the Review or Grievance Panel, or remove members who are delaying or otherwise impeding the Review or Grievance Panel’s progress.  In the event that a panel is dissolved or a member of a committee is removed, the 604/607 Chair shall select members for a new panel or select a replacement member as soon as practicable in order to expedite the review or grievance process.

7. REPORT OF THE 604/607 CHAIR OF THE 604/607 COMMITTEE

7.1  The 604/607 Chair, together with the Chair of the Faculty, shall make an annual report to the Faculty Senate and the Chancellor concerning the review and grievance process.  This report shall summarize, without disclosing specific details, the types of grievances considered, findings by categories and final administrative decisions.  As necessary, the 604/607 Chair shall convene a meeting of the Faculty Senate Personnel Policy Committee and the 604/607 Committee for the purpose of considering any proposed revisions to the review and grievance procedure for faculty.