Faculty Grievance Committee

To: Sarah Wise, Secretary, Faculty Senate
From: Philip J. Michels, Chairperson, Faculty Grievance Committee
Subject: 1996-1997 Faculty Grievance Committee Report
Date: July 28, 1997

The Faculty Grievance Committee received nine formal grievances and a few informal inquiries during the 1996-1997 academic year. Of these grievances, four involved denial of tenure, three involved denial of promotion to professor, and one involved a sexual harassment appeal. A formal grievance regarding salary inequity is still pending. Two additional cases involving denial of tenure and denial of promotion to professor were withdrawn by the candidates.

Of the six cases formally reviewed the committee agreed with the administration's prevailing decision in two cases. The committee remanded one case back to the University Committee on Tenure and Promotion (UCTP) for reconsideration. In the remaining three cases, the committee recommended that the President reconsider his decision. In one case the President did so. In another he was willing to reverse his earlier decision contingent on the grievant's accomplishment of an educational stipulation. In a third case, the findings are under reinvestigation. Unlike outcomes in recent years, the committee's recommendation has had a noticeable impact affecting three of the four controverted cases.

The committee strongly recommends a change in procedure. Those university officials who vote to deny a tenure or promotion application should be required to attend the grievant's hearing with our committee. As a result of information offered by the grievant, committee members could ask clarifying questions of university officials. Without this opportunity, committee deliberations are incomplete and potentially inaccurate. Even if our findings accurately reflect the substance of a grievance, reviewing administrators may discount our conclusions based on the lopsided nature of current procedures.

The committee finally recommends that the President's final reply to grievants be expanded from its brief and "boilerplated" language. More written justification about the President's decision would assist grievants and committee members to a fuller understanding of the grievance process.

This page updated 21 September 1997 by the Office of the Faculty Senate,
and copyright 1997, The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.
URL http://www.sc.edu/faculty/senate/97/annual/grievance.html