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FACULTY & STAFF | FACULTY MANUAL | OFFICE OF FACULTY SENATE

Faculty Grievance Committee

This committee shall consider individual grievances, including grievances regarding salary matters (see also "Terms of Employment"), brought before it by members of the faculty including full-time and part-time members, research professors, lecturers, and visiting professors. When, in its judgment, a grievance is determined to be well-founded, the committee shall attempt to resolve the matter through mediation or other appropriate action. See also "Academic Grievance Procedures." The committee shall consist of nine elected members for staggered three-year terms and one ex-officio member from the Faculty Salary Equity Oversight Committee appointed by the provost. All members of the committee shall be tenured full professors or tenured librarians, and, at the time they commence a term of service on the committee, a year shall have elapsed since their last service, if any, on the University Committee on Tenure and Promotions.


GRIEVANCE UPON NON-REAPPOINTMENT

Non-reappointment during the probationary period is different from a decision of non-reappointment in conjunction with a denial of tenure in the penultimate year of the maximum probationary period and as such constitutes grounds for a grievance only under the limited grounds stated in the Academic Grievance Procedures.

Non-reappointment in conjunction with denial of tenure in the penultimate year may be grounds for a grievance under the full provisions of the Academic Grievance Procedures.

Tenure and Promotion in Cases of Reorganization

  1. If independent tenure units are merged to form a new tenure unit, or if one or more tenure units are subsumed by another tenure unit, or if a tenure unit is divided into several separate tenure units, tenure and promotion criteria and procedures for each new unit or units, or for the newly augmented unit, shall be developed by the affected tenured faculty and approved in accordance with the standard practice.
     
  2. These new tenure and promotion criteria and procedures should reflect and accommodate differences in faculty activities and specializations.
     
  3. Until new tenure and promotion criteria and procedures have been finally approved for a new or reorganized unit, faculty members in the new or reorganized unit who are being considered for tenure or promotion or both, shall be evaluated under the criteria applicable to them prior to the reorganization. These faculty members may elect to have their file considered by the tenure and promotion committee of their prior unit as it existed before reorganization, or by the tenure and promotion committee of their new or reorganized unit. The file and recommendations of the committee shall then be forwarded, as appropriate, to the unit chair and to the dean of the new or reorganized unit.
     
  4. Faculty in their probationary period who were hired before reorganization is completed, who are being considered for tenure or for their first promotion after reorganization, or both, may choose to have applied to them either the newly established criteria and procedures or the criteria and procedures applicable to them that were in effect when hired in the tenure unit preceding the reorganization. For all subsequent promotions, such faculty shall be subject to the criteria and procedures of the new unit.
     
  5. Faculty hired prior to January 1, 1995, may, within five years of final approval of the new tenure and promotion criteria and procedures, choose to have applied to them the criteria and procedures applicable to them prior to reorganization. At the conclusion of the five-year period, the newly approved criteria and procedures for the reorganized unit must be applied.
ACADEMIC GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

For grievances involving non-reappointment, see section I (below); for those involving denial of tenure or denial of promotion, see section II (below). For grievances involving termination of a tenured faculty member, see section III (below). For grievances or procedures other than those stated in sections I, II, and III, including material breaches of special contractual obligations of the university, the faculty member shall attempt to resolve the issue at the department level. If a solution cannot be obtained at this level, the redress may be pursued through the offices of dean, provost, and president. For faculty members in health sciences units, redress may be pursued through the office of dean, vice president for research and health sciences, provost and president. If redress cannot be obtained from any of these officers, the faculty member may appeal to the Faculty Grievance Committee. If this committee finds that there are grounds for a grievance, it shall try to resolve the matter through mediation or other appropriate action. The committee shall report its recommendations and reasons to the faculty member and to the president. The president shall be the final university authority to whom a grievance may be submitted.

All days referred to in this procedure are calendar days; however, when the last day of such a period falls on a weekend or university holiday, the effective date shall be the next regular business day. The first day in the period shall be the day after the actual day of notification.
  1. GROUNDS FOR GRIEVANCE OF NON-REAPPOINTMENT

    Grievances concerning non-reappointment are limited to the grounds of denial of academic freedom or denial of procedural due process. Due process applies particularly to required annual faculty evaluation and the observance of the timely notice requirements.

    If these grounds are believed to exist, the faculty member shall have access to the grievance procedures outlined in section II (below).
     
  2. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE FOR DENIAL OF TENURE OR PROMOTION

    Upon receiving notice of denial of tenure or promotion, the faculty member may seek relief by taking the steps outlined below.

    The grievance procedure may turn out to be lengthy, and the faculty member who initiates a grievance procedure is advised to maintain a file of dated correspondence sent or received, as well as dates and notes of conferences held concerning the case. Failure of any administrative official or reviewing authority to comply with the deadlines for action specified herein shall not operate to reverse or modify a tenure or promotion decision, but shall permit the faculty member to proceed directly to petition the Faculty Grievance Committee for consideration.
     
    1. The first recourse of the faculty member shall be to request an immediate oral explanation from the member's administrative officer for the denial of tenure or promotion.
       
    2. If the faculty member does not receive an oral explanation or believes that it is unsatisfactory, the faculty member may request from the dean of the college a written summary of the evaluations and reasons advanced pertaining to the faculty member's case upon which judgments were made and actions taken. The written request must be submitted to the dean within seven days of notification of denial of tenure or promotion. The dean will provide a summary within fifteen days of the request. The dean, after consultation with the provost, shall respond with a detailed summary of the evaluations included in vote justifications, in letters from external referees, and in administrative reviews, and with the vote of the UCTP. Such a summary will be made so as to protect the identity of the referees and faculty members.
       
    3. Within seven days of receiving the dean's summary of the case, if the faculty member believes there are grounds for reconsideration of the case, the member may state in writing the grounds for this belief and submit them to the president. The president may order a review, at any faculty or administrative level, on the grounds for reconsideration set forth by the faculty member if the president believes the findings of the review could substantially alter the basis upon which the initial decision of denial of tenure or promotion was reached. The president shall inform the faculty member in writing of the president's decision upon reconsideration and the reasons for it.
       
    4. At that time, in the event of a negative decision, the president shall also inform the faculty member about the right of review by the Faculty Grievance Committee, including the name of the chair of the committee and the applicable review procedures. The presidential review, including any unit reviews, must be completed within a reasonable time not to exceed 120 calendar days.
       
    5. After a negative decision upon reconsideration, a faculty member who believes that there is cause for grievance may petition the Faculty Grievance Committee. Such a petition must be made in writing to the chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee no later than seven days from receipt of the president's letter.
       
      1. The petition must be based on one or more of the following allegations: inadequate consideration of unit criteria, use of impermissible criteria, denial of procedural due process, or denial of academic freedom. The petition shall state the factual basis for the allegations and the relief requested. The committee shall use the following procedures in reviewing the petition:
         
        1. The chair shall notify the faculty member of the time and place of the review and inform the faculty member about the specific procedures governing the review. The review shall be closed and non-adversarial.
           
        2. The proceeding shall be recorded on tape, which shall be for the confidential use of the committee only.
           
        3. For the review, the faculty member shall be permitted to choose as advisor either a faculty member or an academic administrator or privately retained counsel.
           
        4. The committee shall assist the faculty member in securing the attendance of those whose testimony may be of assistance to the committee in making its findings and recommendations. In addition to the summary provided to the faculty member by the dean of the college, the committee will provide the faculty member with a detailed summary of letters and evaluations included in the file. To retain confidentiality, the summary shall be prepared by the committee without attribution.
           
        5. The review is to be held as speedily as possible taking into account the necessity to maintain a quorum and availability of parties essential to the proceeding. If a review cannot be completed within 120 calendar days the committee should notify the grievant of the schedule for completion of the review.
      2. If the Faculty Grievance Committee finds that there has been inadequate consideration of the unit criteria, the use of impermissible criteria, denial of procedural due process, or denial of academic freedom, the committee shall remand the case to the faculty or administrative level at which the inadequacy or denial occurred, and the evaluation of the faculty member shall begin anew at that point. The committee shall send a statement of its findings and decisions, including the reasons for them, to the faculty member, to the unit or administrative officer involved, and to the president. If the new consideration still results in denial of tenure or promotion, the level to which the case was remanded shall state the reasons in writing to the faculty member and to the committee.
         
      3. If the committee finds that the faculty member has cause for grievance but concludes that a new consideration of the case would not be worthwhile, it shall recommend to the president an equitable resolution of the case and provide the faculty member and the unit involved a statement of its findings and recommendations and the reasons for them. The committee, however, will not substitute its judgment for the qualitative professional judgments of the faculty in determining whether the relevant unit criteria have been adequately met. Thus, disagreement with such faculty judgment is not sufficient basis for the committee to recommend modification of the decision. The committee shall be limited to considering whether there is a factual basis in the record, taken as a whole, upon which an individual acting in good faith could rationally reach the result being grieved.
         
      4. If the committee recommends that the president modify or reverse a decision that is unfavorable to the faculty member, the president may implement the recommendation. If the president rejects the recommendation, the reasons for the rejection shall be stated in writing to the faculty member and to the committee. The president shall act on the committee's recommendation within twenty days.

        The president shall be the final university authority to whom a grievance may be submitted.

From: THE FACULTY MANUAL
THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA COLUMBIA
Latest Revision Date: June 29, 2006

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