FACULTY GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE
1997-1998 ANNUAL REPORT
Philip J. Michels, Chair
The Faculty Grievance Committee (FGC) received five formal grievances, a continuation of a sexual harassment grievance, and a few informal inquiries during the 1997-1998 academic year. Of the five new grievances, all involved denial of promotion and three of these involved denial of tenure.
The committee agreed with the administration's prevailing decision in three cases. In the remaining two cases the committee recommended that the President reconsider his decision. In both cases President Palms reversed his earlier decision.
Based on this year's activities, the FGC makes two recommendations to strengthen due process protection, to clarify university policy, and to improve information exchange between university committees. First, the FGC understands that the USC Sexual Harassment Policy maintains that accuser(s)' statements (i.e. the investigative file) be made available to the defendant (Section II G 4 g). This interpretation should be more explicitly stated in the policy. We endorse full disclosure as due process protection which would allow the accused the opportunity to prepare an informed response to each complaint.
We also recommend that witnesses be informed that their disclosure(s) will be seen by the accused. In so doing, the policy would need amending (Section II G 3 f). We recognize the need for university counsel to make the final decision on a case by case basis regarding the extent of full disclosure.
The second issue involves feedback to the FGC from the University Committee on Tenure and Promotion (UCTP). Given the promotion and/or tenure grievances provided us, we rely solely on UCTP vote justifications. As noted in last year's annual committee report, we request more decision-making clarification from UCTP regarding details of their reasoning especially when voting against the unit, the Dean and/or the Provost in promotion and/or tenure. In such cases, the form of feedback could include:
- More detailed vote justifications
- Audio tape feedback from UCTP case deliberation
- The presence of a UCTP subcommittee representative familiar with and willing to discuss the case with the FGC
This page updated 25 August 1998 by the Office of the Faculty Senate,
and copyright 1998, The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.