Due Process Mechanism

(Approved by the Board of Trustees May 27, 1981; amended April 24, 1978; November 8, 1979; April 4, 1985; and October 1-2, 1992; revisions approved by Faculty Senate May 5, 2003 and General Faculty May 18, 2003.)

Preamble
The LCIV (Lecturer, Clinical, Instructor, Visiting) faculty and the administration agree that this Due Process Mechanism provides an orderly method to secure prompt and equitable disposition of complaints. LCIV faculty are those faculty who have full time appointments as lecturers, clinical faculty, instructors or visiting faculty. This policy excludes LCIV faculty in the School of Medicine and the School of Professional Psychology.

Introduction
The following procedures are not a replacement for a college's due process or for informal resolution. LCIV faculty are encouraged to discuss issues with appropriate administrative representatives at all levels.

These procedures are not applicable to cases involving only salary disputes. Procedures covering these violations are addressed in the revised Salary Inequity Appeal Process.

The procedures are presented as a mechanism which allows for the resolution of areas of disagreement with the least disruption to the university.

  1. Definitions
    1. "Complaint" is defined as an allegation by one or more LCIV faculty members that there has been a violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of policies or procedures affecting the conditions of the faculty member's (s') employment, or that such policies or procedures are opposed to the stated aims and goals of the university.
    2. "Complainant" is the faculty member or members initiating a complaint.
       
    3. "Administration" is the dean of the college or a provost at the university level.
       
    4. "Hearing Board" is a five-member committee appointed when needed by the University Faculty Affairs Committee.
    5. "Day" is defined as Monday through Friday throughout the calendar year, exclusive of Saturdays and Sundays, formal holidays recognized by the University and periods when the University is officially closed.

    At the college level, a three-member Hearing Board will be appointed when needed by a college committee that consists of at least a majority of LCIV faculty. This committee will determine the method used to appoint the Hearing Board. The complainant and the administration may peremptorily challenge the presence of one member of a Hearing Board. Replacements, if necessary, will be selected in a manner agreeable to both parties. The Hearing Board shall elect their own chair. The Hearing Board shall have the authority to dismiss nuisance cases following deliberations.
     
  2. Statement of Basic Principles
    1. Every LCIV faculty member or group of LCIV faculty shall have the right to present complaints in accordance with the procedures described herein. These procedures in no way preclude the faculty member or group from seeking resolution through administrative review.
       
    2. Publicity shall be avoided during the processing of a complaint, and the parties shall avoid infringement upon the rights of third parties.
       
    3. No one who participates in these procedures shall be subject to discipline or reprisal because of such participation.
       
    4. Administrators have the responsibility to consider and take action promptly, within authority delegated to them, on recommendations presented to them.
       
    5. The failure of an administrator at any level to act and communicate the administrator's decision within the prescribed time limits permits the LCIV faculty member to proceed to the next stage.
       
    6. The normal procedure is to attempt to resolve the problem first at the college level then at the university level. However, when the complaint originates at an administrative level higher than the college, the LCIV faculty member shall start the procedure at that level. If the complainant has filed the same or substantially similar complaint in an external state or federal agency or court, the college or university Hearing Board shall not consider that complaint unless the complaint is remanded to the appropriate Hearing Board by the external agency or court. Judgment as to what constitutes "the same or substantially similar complaint" rests with the college or university Hearing Board, as appropriate. Upon request of the college or university Hearing Board, the administration shall inform the Hearing Board in writing of each complaint filed by the complainant in an external state or federal agency or court.
       
    7. At each level every effort shall be made to resolve the problem by discussion.
       
    8. If the complaint involves suspension or termination of employment, full pay shall be continued during this procedure until termination of the complainant's contract.
       
  3. The Due Process Mechanism
    The procedures shall consist of discussion and a hearing, in that order.
    1. Discussion
      The complainant forwards to the administration a written description of the complaint, stipulating:
      1. the grounds constituting the complaint as defined in A.2.
      2. the remedy requested
      3. that this complaint is submitted pursuant to the Due Process Mechanism.

      The complainant and the administration shall meet to discuss the problem and to attempt to reach an acceptable solution. This discussion is informal and cannot be used later as evidence. The administration shall communicate its decision in writing to the complainant within five business days of the completion of discussion.
    2. College Level Hearing Procedures
      A request for a complaint hearing can be filed within five business days with the administration at the college level if the aggrieved is dissatisfied with the administrative decision(s) in C.1. and the aggrieved is convinced that further discussion will be fruitless at that level. As applicable, the procedures outlined in C.3. shall be used at the college level.
       
    3. University Level Hearing Procedures

      A request for a complaint hearing can be filed within five business days with the administration, if the aggrieved is dissatisfied with the administrative decisions(s) at the college level and the aggrieved is convinced that further discussion will be fruitless at that level.

      If a hearing is requested, the following process will be followed:
      1. Both the complainant and those alleged to have committed or assisted in it (hereafter referred to as respondent party) have the right to be represented at the hearing; to produce witnesses, statements, or other evidence; and to cross-examine positions. No attorney for either party shall attend the hearing.
         
      2. Within ten days of the filing of the complaint, the University Faculty Affairs Committee will appoint a five member Hearing Board. Both the complainant and respondent will be notified of the Hearing Board's membership.
         
      3. Within ten days after the notification, the complainant and the respondent may each challenge one member of the Hearing Board peremptorily, and the individual challenged shall not serve on the board. The University Faculty Affairs Committee shall select a substitute member, if required. There shall be no other challenges considered. The procedure for selecting a substitute member is for the two parties (complainant and respondent) each to submit two names who are eligible and willing to serve. The University Faculty Affairs Committee shall submit one name. Each party can then mark off two names. The committee will select the replacement from the remaining name or names.
         
      4. The hearing will begin no earlier than fifteen days after delivery of the allegation to the chair of the Hearing Board. Both parties should submit the names of first witnesses to be called, a summary of their expected testimony, and the description of any other evidence to be presented. This information should be available to both parties at least ten days before the scheduled hearing.
         
      5. The complainant has the right to either an open or closed hearing upon the complainant's request, but a majority of the Hearing Board can close any part of the hearing in which it appears that the evidence presented will adversely affect the personal reputation of third parties, or if it becomes difficult to protect the integrity of the proceedings.
         
      6. The complainant and the respondent shall each appoint a single spokesperson responsible for the conduct of the party's case during the hearing. The Hearing Board shall be responsible for holding the time constraints and operating procedures.
         
      7. Positions statements by the complainant(s) and respondent(s) and questions from the Hearing Board will be held to a maximum of ten minutes.
         
      8. Designated spokespersons will call witnesses for their respective parties. The Hearing Board will call its own witnesses. The order of witnesses called will be complainant, respondent and Hearing Board.
         
      9. Each witness will have ten minutes maximum per testimony, plus ten minutes maximum for cross-examination by the other party, plus five minutes maximum for cross-examination by the Hearing Board.
         
      10. After all witnesses have been called for the first testimony, any witness can be recalled by either the complainant party, the respondent party, or the Hearing Board, allowing a maximum of ten minutes for questions by each.
         
      11. Each witness called by the Hearing Board shall have ten minutes maximum per testimony, plus five minutes maximum for cross-examination by each party.
         
      12. Maximum total time for each side, including recalled witnesses, shall be no more than two and one-half hours. Maximum time for Hearing Board witnesses, including recalled witnesses shall be no more than an hour.
         
      13. Summary statements by the complainant's spokesperson, the respondent's spokesperson and the Hearing Board shall be ten minutes maximum for each party.
         
      14. At any time during the hearing, the Hearing Board may vote to extend any of the above time limits.
         
      15. The Hearing Board may declare one recess for no longer than one hour and a meal break, if required.
         
      16. A recording of the proceedings shall be made and preserved until the complaint has been settled, and a typed summary of the proceedings shall be sent to every member involved in the complaint. The recording (or minutes if no recording is made) shall be available to all concerned parties. Should the complainant not wish to have the proceedings recorded, the board shall keep detailed minutes of the hearing.
         
      17. The Hearing Board shall deliberate promptly and make a finding with recommendations within sixty calendar days from the date the request for a hearing was filed. This information will be sent simultaneously in writing to both the provost and the complainant. If the complaint is filed between sixty days before the end of the spring semester and the first day of the fall semester, the case will be considered when the fall semester commences; however, if the Hearing Board, the complainant, and the respondent all agree, the case may be considered before the beginning of the fall semester. Second, breaks between semesters within the academic year extend the sixty-day deadline by a like number of days.
         
      18. The complainant shall have ten business days to submit a written rebuttal to the Hearing Board's findings and recommendations. This rebuttal shall be sent to the provost and the Hearing Board.
         
      19. The administration shall communicate its decision to the complainant and the Hearing Board within ten business days of receipt of the Hearing Board's findings and recommendations.
         
      20. The complainant shall have ten business days to submit a written rebuttal to the Provost's decision. The rebuttal shall be sent to the provost and the Hearing Board.
         
      21. The provost shall have ten calendar days to make a final decision. A copy of the provost's findings shall be sent to every member involved in the complainant process.
    4. Qualifications

      If the complainant and the administration at any level agree that it is in the best interest of the university to ensure that a complaint should not proceed beyond that level and it is determined that the authority to deal with the matter lies at the respective level, then they can agree to have the Hearing Board serve as a board of binding arbitration.

      If the administration and the complainant agree, then the above hearing procedure may be altered to fit certain unusual circumstances.