UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH PROCEDURE 02-03-01

CATEGORY:              ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
SECTION:                  Academic Integrity
SUBJECT:                 Faculty Grievances
EFFECTIVE DATE:   May 9, 1988
PAGE(S):                    3

I.    PURPOSE

      To define the two-step process by which faculty members can seek redress for a

      grievance against certain actions by an administrator not covered by other University

      policies.

II.   SCOPE

      This procedure applies to all eligible members of the faculty as defined in section IV below

    . Research associates, whom the University excludes from faculty status, are not eligible

      to use this procedure.

III.  ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBLITIES

      The Chairperson, Dean or Campus President will attempt to resolve an appeal or dispute

      within the department, school, or campus, before the grievance process is initiated.

      The Senate Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee (TAFC) will conduct an informal

      investigation and dispute resolution process, following unsuccessful efforts at resolution

      at the department, school, or campus level.

      The Provost, in consultation with the President of the Senate (and in consultation with the

      Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences in cases arising from the School of the

      Health Sciences), will select a grievance panel to investigate and make recommendations

      for resolution.  The action taken by the Provost on the matter completes the process.

      The Grievance Panel, comprised of three persons selected from the elected members of

      the Faculty Assembly, and augmented as necessary to represent appropriate

      constituencies within the University, will, upon completion of its investigation, report its

      conclusions and recommendations to the Provost.

IV.  DEFINITIONS

      Faculty eligible to use this Faculty Grievance Procedure include: all full-time faculty; all

      part-time tenured or tenure stream faculty; and librarians with faculty status.

      Grievance is defined as an action or decision that has adversely affected a member of

      the faculty in his professional capacity, that has occurred or been reached unfairly,

      improperly, or in violation of University policy.

V.   PROCEDURE

      Time for filing

      In the normal case, the grievance procedure should be invoked no later than 90 days after

      the incident, or after the most recent incident in a pattern of incidents.  A person who has

      made a good faith effort to solve a problem at the department, school or campus level,

      however, should not be cut off from this grievance procedure if the attempts stretch

      beyond 90 days.

      Fist Step: Informal Grievance Process

      Faculty Member                           1.   Apply for assistance from TAFC.

                                                                 a.   If efforts to resolve the grievance dispute at the
                                                                       department, school, or campus level do not

                                                                       achieve satisfactory results, contact the chair of

                                                                       the TAFC to initiate an informal investigation and

                                                                       dispute resolution process.

      Chair of the Senate

      Tenure and Academic

      Freedom Committee

      (TAFC)                                         2.   After being contacted by an aggrieved faculty

                                                                 member, appoint one of the committee’s members

                                                                 to conduct an informal investigation and mediation

                                                                 effort to resolve the grievance dispute.

                                                                 a.   Every effort will be made to achieve a satisfactory

                                                                       resolution within two weeks of the initial contact

                                                                       with the aggrieved person.

      TAFC Mediator                             3.   If a satisfactory result cannot be achieved, write a

                                                                 letter to the aggrieved faculty member (with a copy

                                                                 to the chair of the TAFC) making whatever findings

                                                                 and recommendations seem appropriate under the

                                                                 circumstances.

      Second Step: Formal Grievance Process

      Faculty Member                           1.   File a written complaint with the Provost.


                                                                 a.   In the event that the informal investigation and

                                                                       mediation process does not resolve the

                                                                       grievance dispute, submit to the Provost a

                                                                       written statement of the grievance and the

                                                                       circumstances out of which it arose.

                                                                 b.   The written statement will be the complaint that

                                                                       will initiate the formal grievance procedure, and

                                                                       must be submitted within 30 days of receipt of

                                                                       the TAFC letter.

      Provost                                         2.   Within two weeks of receipt of the complaint, in

                                                                 consultation with the President of the Senate (and

                                                                 in consultation with the Senior Vice President for

                                                                 the Health Sciences in cases arising from the

                                                                 Schools of the Health Sciences) select a panel of

                                                                 three persons to constitute the Grievance Panel for

                                                                 the case.

                                                                 a.   The panel will normally be selected from the

                                                                       elected members of the Faculty Assembly, and

                                                                       will be augmented as necessary to represent

                                                                       appropriate constituencies within the University.

      Grievance Panel                          3.   Follow the same procedures as are followed by

                                                                 Appeals Panels in cases involving denial of tenure

                                                                 of promotion, as set forth in Policy and Procedure

                                                                 02-02-10, Faculty Reviews and Appeals.

                                                                 a.   Persons acting in an official capacity within this

                                                                       procedure shall maintain confidentiality to the

                                                                       extent practicable.

                                                           4.   Upon completion of its investigation of the

                                                                 grievance, the Panel shall report its conclusions

                                                                 and recommendations to the Provost, with copies to

                                                                 the aggrieved faculty member and the person

                                                                 against whom the grievance was brought.

                                                                 a.   The report shall be written so as to protect

                                                                       confidentiality.

      Provost                                        5.   Notify the President of the Senate, the Chair of the

                                                                 TAFC, and the parties concerned of the

                                                                 recommendations and the action taken.

                                                                 a.   Should the Provost not accept the

                                                                       recommendations of the Panel, the Provost

                                                                       shall, within 30 days of receipt of the report,

                                                                       notify all the above-mentioned parties in writing

                                                                       of the reasons for rejecting the

                                                                       recommendations.

                                                                 b.   The action taken by the Provost on the matter

                                                                       completes the process.

VI.  REFERENCES

      Policy 02-03-01, Faculty Grievances

      Policy 02-02-10, Faculty Reviews and Appeals

      Procedure 02-02-10, Faculty Reviews and Appeals