These procedures are stated below to provide administrative recourse for resolving differences when informal measures have failed. Informal settlements of disagreements are strongly encouraged before initiating these procedures. All avenues of deliberation, consultation and mediation should be used before a grievance is filed. Disputes being adjudicated outside of DULA are excluded from these procedures.
A grievance is a complaint or allegation on the part of a faculty member against a member or members of the faculty, staff, or DULA administration. Examples include violations of DULA procedures or policies; infringement of established or inferred rights of faculty members; issues related to compensation, appointment, reappointment, promotion, or separation; and violation of academic freedom or ethical conduct. Grievances may not be filed solely to repeal DULA regulations or policies but may address how a regulation or policy was reached, interpreted, or implemented.
A grievance committee shall decide which grievances will be heard. The committee shall consist of 5 members: 2 faculty members selected and approved by the Dean of Academic Affairs and program director, 2 members appointed by the president, and 1 member from the administration selected unanimously by all members. The 5 committee members shall elect a chair. Individuals who are a party to the grievance or who have been previously involved in the attempts at informal resolution are not eligible for selection to the committee. The committee shall be autonomous in its organization and operation. All 5 members shall be present during the hearing of every case. In some circumstances, when a member cannot serve, a replacement shall be made according to the selection process noted above.
If all informal efforts to resolve are unsuccessful, a faculty member wishing to file an official grievance must do so in writing to the Dean of Academic Affairs within 90 days of occurrence of the grieve-able action. If filed after 90 days, justification for the delay should be included in the grievance document. The acceptance or rejection of a delayed filing shall be the decision of the grievance committee. The document should be a concise statement setting forth the basis for the complaint and allegation; it should also include details such as identify of parties involved, description of any alleged violation(s), actions and statements made by the involved parties, presentation of evidence supporting the grievance, and a description of all measures taken to resolve the dispute informally.
Upon receipt of a grievance, the Dean of Academic Affairs shall:
- Request appropriate documentation from the grievant and all other parties concerned.
- Notify the president of the pending grievance in order to begin the committee selection process.
When the committee has been formed and a chairperson elected, he/she shall obtain from the Dean of Academic Affairs all documentation related to the grievance. The committee will
convene within ten working days from receipt of the grievance. It will also decide if the grievance has merit and should be heard. If it chooses not to act upon the grievance, all decisions reached, or actions taken prior to the filing of the grievance shall stand. If the committee decides to hear the grievance, it shall, within three working days of its meeting, provide all parties concerned with copies of all documentation regarding the grievance. Concerned parties will have at least five working days in which to review this documentation before the hearing.
Grievance hearings will be private, and all participants are bound to confidentiality throughout. Both parties shall be permitted advisors or counsel (including legal counsel), who may be heard only upon consent of the committee chair. Each party shall have the right to call witnesses, present evidence, and cross-examine witnesses. If a witness who has made prior statements is unwilling or unable to appear at the hearing, the committee shall determine whether such evidence has relevance and/or probative value and rule on its admission. Also, in the interest of fairness to both parties, appropriate continuances may be granted by the grievance committee.
All formal proceedings shall be recorded on audiotape or digital media by the committee chair. During the proceedings, all persons involved in the grievance hearing shall have full access to all relevant records, while protecting records that are deemed to require confidentiality. After the hearing, all written records will be forwarded to the Dean of Academic Affairs, who will maintain them for at least one year. Within seven days of the hearing, the committee shall send its decisions to the president, including an explanation for its decision and any recommendations. The president shall notify all parties of his final decision in writing and shall include an explanation for his decision.
All parties to any grievance are responsible for substantiating their allegations with appropriate evidence, documents, and witnesses. The committee and the president shall consider all evidence before making a final decision. Any action taken by DULA that may have formed the basis for the grievance shall remain in effect during the grievance proceedings. The president may retroactively reinstate any and all rights and/or privileges removed as a result of the final decision in favor of the grievant within thirty (30) days.
All parties to any grievance may request an appeal review of the final decision. Within 10 days of receipt of a written request for appeal, the president shall appoint an appeal committee consisting of three impartial and unbiased members who did not serve on the grievance committee. The appeal committee may request interviews of all parties, consider any new evidence, request written responses from parties, and make recommendations to the president.
Should the reporting faculty member, or any other affected party, remain displeased with the outcome provided by the university, they may contact: