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Louisiana Tech University


Policies & Procedures

Policy 1413 - Faculty and Staff Grievance Procedures for Unclassified Personnel

Revision Date: 12/10/2009

Responsible Office: Chair, Grievance Committee


ARTICLE I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Purpose

The purpose of the following procedures is to establish a systematic and orderly method to consider the grievances of faculty and other unclassified personnel.

Section 2. Definitions

  1. An "employee" is an individual faculty member or other unclassified person.

  2. A "grievant" or "appellant" is an individual employee who is aggrieved because of an administrative decision or action that directly affects the individual employee.

  3. A "grievance" is a written complaint formally submitted via a current Notification of Grievance Form regarding an administrative decision or action that directly affects the aggrieved individual employee.

  4. An "appeal" is the written request to have the grievance considered by the initial appellate authority (administrative respondent) or by some subsequent appellate authority.

  5. An "appellate authority" or "administrative respondent" is an administrative superior of an individual employee to whom an initial grievance may be filed (such as a Unit Head, School Director, Area Head, or other appropriate administrator) or to whom an appeal of a grievance decision may be made (Dean, Vice President, or President). The University Grievance Committee also serves as an appellate authority between the Vice Presidential level and the Presidential level.

  6. A "division" is Academic Affairs, Research and Development, Administrative Services, Financial Services, Student Affairs, or University Advancement.

Section 3. Notification of Grievance and/or Notification of an Appeal of a Grievance Decision

An initial grievance (see Article II, Sections 1 and 2) or an appeal of a grievance decision (see Article II, Sections 3, 4, and 5) must be made to the appropriate appellate authority by notification in writing via a current Notification of Grievance Form. A current Notification of Grievance Form may be obtained from the Department of Human Resources. A grievance must be submitted and will be considered only on an individual basis. The grievance must indicate the specific decision being grieved, the specific resolution requested, and all information that is to be considered during the grievance process. No employee shall appeal the initial grievance to a higher appellate authority until an appeal has been made to all lower appellate authorities (administrative respondents). All administrative personnel who are affiliated with Louisiana Tech University and who are named in a Notification of Grievance as being individuals against whom a grievance has been filed should be afforded, in an administratively progressive order, the opportunity to respond orally as well as in writing to the grievance. Grievances must be appealed to all administrators as well as the University Grievance Committee in a progressive order: the Unit Head, Area Head, School Director, or initial administrative respondent against whom the grievance is being filed, the Dean of the College, the Vice President, the University Grievance Committee, and the President of Louisiana Tech University. Grievances being initiated or grievances in process at the end of the spring quarter or during the summer quarter may be held in abeyance at the written request of the grievant until the fall quarter. The desire to hold a grievance in abeyance over the summer quarter should be presented in writing by the grievant to the administrative respondent or appellate authority who will be responding to the grievance at this particular point in the grievance process. The applicable administrative respondent or appellate authority should then acknowledge in writing to the grievant that the grievant has elected to have the grievance held in abeyance until the fall quarter.

Section 4. Delay for Filing a Grievance and/or Delay for Filing an Appeal of a Grievance Decision

The initial grievance must be filed with the proper appellate authority/administrative respondent (see Article II, Sections 1 and 2) within thirty (30) calendar days or twenty (20) Louisiana Tech University “class days” from the date of the announcement of the administrative decision at issue. Any subsequent appeal to an appellate authority (see Article II, Sections 3, 4, and 5) relative to the grievance must be filed with the proper appellate authority within fifteen (15) calendar days or ten (10) Louisiana Tech University "class days" from the date the employee is notified of an adverse decision of the appellate authority/administrative respondent. (A Louisiana Tech University "class day" is a day in which classes are normally conducted and in fact were conducted at Louisiana Tech University.) Failure to initiate a grievance or to appeal a decision relative to a grievance within the applicable prescribed time period will result in waiver of the employee's right to initiate the grievance or to appeal a grievance decision to an appellate authority.

Section 5. General Procedures

Hearings conducted by the University Grievance Committee shall provide for the individual grievant and the appropriate appellate authority/authorities to be present. Consideration of the grievance will be limited to the issue(s) identified by the University Grievance Committee (see Article II, Section 4.A.3) and will be limited in scope to the issue(s) presented in the initial grievance. Each party (i.e., the grievant and the appropriate appellate authorities/administrative respondents) shall be given the opportunity to address the University Grievance Committee relative to the specified grievance issue(s). The University Grievance Committee hearing record will consist of the written information initially provided by the employee, any supplemental information requested by an appellate authority, the written information provided by the University administration, and the written recommendation and rationale provided by the University Grievance Committee. Grievances submitted to the University Grievance Committee near the end of the spring quarter or during the summer quarter will normally be held in abeyance and will not be considered by the University Grievance Committee until the following fall quarter, except in situations where holding the grievance in abeyance until the fall quarter would, in effect, deny the grievance. (Note: The grievant should inform the Chairperson of the University Grievance Committee in writing whether or not he/she desires the University Grievance Committee to consider his/her grievance during the summer quarter. The Chairperson of the University Grievance Committee will acknowledge in writing the request of the grievant.) The University Grievance Committee shall report to the President (a) the identified grievance issue(s), (b) an evaluation of the evidence and findings of fact, (c) the recommended specific course of action, and (d) the rationale in support of the recommendation.

A Louisiana Tech University employee who is filing a grievance or a Louisiana Tech University administrator who is responding to a grievance should consult with the Chairperson of the University Grievance Committee if there is any aspect of the grievance process that needs clarification.

ARTICLE II. UNIVERSITY APPELLATE AUTHORITIES AND UNIVERSITY GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE

Section 1. Initial Appellate Authority or Administrative Respondent

The initial appellate authority or administrative respondent shall be the individual against whom the grievance is initially filed and against whose actions or decisions are being grieved.

The initial appellate authority/administrative respondent has thirty (30) calendar days or twenty (20) University “class days” to respond orally as well as in writing to a grievance. The progression of a grievance, assuming the initial appellate authority is a Unit Head, Area Head, or School Director, would proceed as discussed in the following sections.

Section 2. Unit Head, Area Head, or School Director as Initial Appellate Authority

An individual employee, as defined in Article I, Section 2.A., would normally initially present the grievance in writing via the Notification of Grievance Form to the Unit Head, Area Head, or School Director under whom the individual is employed. Before rendering a decision in writing and without undue delay (ideally within fifteen (15) calendar days or ten (10) University “class days” from having received the Notification of Grievance Form), the initial appellate authority will afford the grievant the opportunity to meet to discuss the grievance. The initial appellate authority will respond to the grievant in writing within thirty (30) calendar days or twenty (20) University “class days” from having received the Notification of Grievance Form. Written responses by other appellate authorities to appeals of adverse decisions from administrative personnel should be made within thirty (30) calendar days or twenty (20) University “class days” after receiving the grievance in writing from the employee. (Note: The non-granting of tenure to a non-tenured employee is not a grievable decision to the employee.)

Section 3. Dean of the College and/or Vice President

A faculty employee may appeal an adverse decision of the Unit Head, Area Head, School Director, or initial administrative respondent regarding a grievance to the Dean of the College. The Dean of the College should then obtain the initially filed grievance documents and all subsequent responses relative to these documents from the initial appellate authority. Before rendering a decision in writing and without undue delay (ideally within fifteen (15) calendar days or ten (10) University "class days" from having received the Notification of Grievance Form), the Dean of the College will afford the grievant the opportunity to meet jointly with the Dean and the grievant's Unit Head, Area Head, School Director, and/or initial administrative respondent to discuss the grievance. The Dean of the College will respond to the grievant in writing within thirty (30) calendar days or twenty (20) University “class days” after receiving the grievance appeal in writing from the employee. An adverse decision of the Dean of the College may be appealed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The appeal should be accompanied by a copy of the Notification of Grievance Form initially filed with the Unit Head, Area Head, School Director, or initial administrative respondent, indicating the date the grievance was formally filed with the appropriate administrator and subsequently with the appropriate Dean. The Vice President for Academic Affairs should then obtain the initially filed grievance documents and all subsequent responses relative to these documents from the Dean of the College. Before rendering a decision in writing and without undue delay (ideally within fifteen (15) calendar days or ten (10) University "class days" from having received the Notification of Grievance Form), the Vice President for Academic Affairs will afford the grievant the opportunity to meet jointly with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean of the College, and the grievant's Unit Head, Area Head, School Director, and/or initial administrative respondent to discuss the grievance. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will respond to the grievant in writing within thirty (30) calendar days or twenty (20) University “class days” after receiving the grievance appeal in writing from the employee.

A non-faculty employee may appeal an adverse decision of his/her Area Head regarding a grievance to the Vice President under whom the grievant is employed. The appeal should be accompanied by a copy of the Notification of Grievance Form initially filed with the Area Head or initial administrative respondent, indicating the date the grievance was formally filed with the appropriate Area Head or administrative respondent. Before rendering a decision in writing and without undue delay (ideally within fifteen (15) calendar days or ten (10) University "class days" from having received the Notification of Grievance Form), the Vice President will afford the grievant the opportunity to meet jointly with the Vice President and the grievant's Area Head and/or initial administrative respondent to discuss the grievance. The Vice President will respond in writing to the grievant within thirty (30) calendar days or twenty (20) University “class days” after receiving the grievance appeal in writing from the employee.

Section 4. University Grievance Committee

  1. Procedure

    1. An employee may appeal an adverse decision of the Vice President of the employee's division to the University Grievance Committee. The appeal should be accompanied by a copy of the Notification of Grievance Form initially filed with the Unit Head, Area Head, School Director, or other initial administrative respondent, indicating the date the grievance was formally filed with the appropriate Unit Head, Area Head, School Director, or other initial administrative respondent, the subsequent date(s) of appeal with the appropriate Dean and/or Vice President, and the respective response of each appropriate appellate authority. The Chairperson of the University Grievance Committee should then obtain the initially filed grievance documents and all subsequent responses relative to these documents from the appropriate Vice President.

    2. The University Grievance Committee is authorized to hear, mediate, and advise on an individual employee basis with respect to adjustment or resolution of the grievance of a member of the faculty and unclassified staff those grievances that were timely filed and had proceeded through the appropriate appellate authorities. The authority of the University Grievance Committee shall be solely to hear presentations by the grievant and the appropriate appellate authorities, to mediate voluntary adjustment or resolution when possible, and to make recommendations to the administration when deemed appropriate.

    3. Upon receipt by the Chairperson of the University Grievance Committee of the employee's Notification of Grievance Form, the University Grievance Committee will meet to determine if the hearing request identifies a specific grievance issue that warrants a hearing. The Chairperson of the University Grievance Committee shall inform the employee in writing of the following:

      Approval of hearing. When a hearing is deemed warranted, the Chairperson of the University Grievance Committee will provide notification of

      1. the date, time, and place of the hearing, and

      2. the issue(s) to be considered at the hearing.

      Request for clarification. The grievant and/or appellate authorities may be asked to provide clarifying information regarding the grievance before the hearing request is acted upon.

      Denial of hearing. The employee will receive written notification of the reason for the denial of a hearing.

    4. The grievant may be accompanied by legal counsel to the formal grievance hearing should the grievant so desire. Likewise, the University may be accompanied by legal counsel to the formal grievance hearing should the University so desire. Legal counsel for the grievant and/or legal counsel for the University will serve in an advisory capacity only; i.e., legal counsel will not be permitted to participate in the proceedings of the hearing.

    5. Should there be a member of the University Grievance Committee who either the grievant and/or an administrative respondent believes should be recused from the hearing for some specific and appropriate reason, the President of Louisiana Tech University should be notified by letter of this request (as well as the reason and rationale for the request) on or before the date that the grievance petition is presented to the University Grievance Committee. The President of Louisiana Tech University should be provided with the reason(s) for the request for recusal of any specified University Grievance Committee member(s). The President of Louisiana Tech University will notify the Chair of the University Grievance Committee of the decision with respect to whether or not the University will require the University Grievance Committee member(s) to be recused from the specified grievance.

    6. An audio tape recording will be made of all formal grievance hearings, with a transcript of the audio tape being provided to the grievant as well as to the University.

  2. Composition of the University Grievance Committee

    The University Grievance Committee shall be composed of nine selected/elected members and a Chairperson (non-voting) appointed by the President of Louisiana Tech University. The Executive Committee of the Louisiana Tech University Senate shall select six tenured faculty members (one from each College and one from a designated College on a specified rotating three-year basis) to serve on the University Grievance Committee. The six divisions of Louisiana Tech University (Academic Affairs, Research and Development, Administrative Services, Financial Services, Student Affairs, and University Advancement) shall be represented by three elected representatives to the University Grievance Committee, with the Divisions of Academic Affairs and Research and Development being represented by one elected member, the Divisions of Administrative Services and Financial Services being represented by one elected member, and the Divisions of Student Affairs and University Advancement being represented by one elected member. Only unclassified staff personnel may be elected to represent the divisions.

  3. Terms of Office

    The selected/elected members of the University Grievance Committee shall serve three-year terms of office. These terms will be staggered, and members may serve successive terms up to a maximum of six (6) consecutive years. During the summer quarter, the newly selected/elected members to the University Grievance Committee may be asked to begin service on the Committee.

Section 5. The President

A written recommendation from the University Grievance Committee will be forwarded to the President of Louisiana Tech University for the President's consideration and action. An adverse recommendation from the University Grievance Committee may be appealed to the President. This appeal and a possible subsequent Presidential hearing shall be based on and limited to the written records presented at the University Grievance Committee hearing, consisting of the written information provided by the grievant in the Notification of Grievance, the written responses from the appropriate appellate authorities, any additional information and/or relevant documents previously requested by an appellate authority/body, and the written report subsequently provided by the University Grievance Committee following the formal grievance hearing; i.e., with the exception of the written recommendation of the University Grievance Committee and the aforementioned documents, no new or revised written records may be introduced by the grievant or by the previous appellate authorities. The President does have the right to request additional clarifying information and/or relevant documents should he believe such information would be beneficial. The President may set a date, time, and place for a hearing and, if so determined, will notify the parties concerned of the same. Following receipt of the recommendation from the University Grievance Committee and any subsequent appeal from the grievant, the President shall take the matter under advisement and shall render a decision in writing within a reasonable time (if possible, within thirty (30) calendar days or twenty (20) University “class days” from receipt of the written recommendation from the University Grievance Committee or from receipt of a subsequent grievance appeal relative to an appellate decision and/or a University Grievance Committee recommendation).

ARTICLE III. UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

  1. Institutional Grievance Procedures. Each institution shall develop and promulgate an internal grievance procedure for employees (classified and unclassified). This procedure shall be approved by the Board. An employee must exhaust all administrative procedures at the institutional level before an appeal can be made to the Board.

  2. Board Review. If an employee makes an appeal to the Board, the administrative proceedings from the institution will be reviewed. The purpose of this review is to determine if an appropriate process has been provided to the grievant, not to review the particular outcomes. Following this review, the grievant will be notified of the Board's decision. (Revision 1/5/00)

  3. Granting of Hearing. The Board may grant the grievant a hearing and provide a fixed time for each party to present his/her case and all arguments shall be confined to the record of the administrative proceedings from the institution. However, after the review of the administrative proceedings from the institution, the Board may allow additional evidence to be presented. The Board will notify both parties of the type of additional evidence it seeks and the procedure to be used in its presentation.

  4. Board Policy on Grievance. The Board recognizes the necessity and desirability of providing employees a method and forum in which to resolve, in an orderly fashion, problems in the work place. However, by the adoption of this policy, it is not the intention of the Board to confer upon college and university employees any additional rights of substantive or procedural due process not mandated by law.


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