Update To UofL’s Faculty Grievance Policy

Check this bit from the latest University of Louisville email to faculty and staff:

All UofL faculty are invited to comment on a proposed revision to The Redbook Chapter 4.4 on Resolution of Faculty Dispites (a.k.a. grievance). A summary of the proposed changes and the proposed language replacing the current Redbook 4.4 can be read at…

Click here (Warning: External PDF) to review the summary of changes provided by UofL. It highlights findings of the Ad Hoc Grievance Process Review Committee from 2008 and briefly explains the 19 proposed changes:

  1. Places the focus of the article on dispute resolution instead of grievance procedures.
  2. Adds a strong anti-retaliation clause to the Redbook process (4.4.1.D.)
  3. Includes some part-time (.8 FTE and above) and term faculty in the dispute resolution process. (4.2.2.)
  4. Simplifies the definition of a grievable problem. Defines what can, and what cannot be grieved. (4.4.3. A and B)
  5. Creates two types of disputes and dispute resolution procedures. Type 1 for disputes that do not involve termination and could potentially be resolved through informal means, and Type 2 for disputes that do involve termination of an appointment. (4.4.3. A and B)
  6. For Type 1 disputes, the involvement of the Ombuds for an attempt at informal resolution is required. The faculty member may not pursue a formal grievance with first consulting the Ombuds. Refusal of any party to participate in Ombuds-suggested informal resolution will be reported to next higher level of administration. (4.4.A.1)
  7. Type 1 hearings for a grievance are conducted as a peer-review process. No attorneys may be present and the grievance committee panel is responsible for conducting the meeting. (4.4.A.3.)
  8. The result of a Type 1 hearing is a grievance resolution plan that recommends actions for resolving the dispute. If the parties and the Dean of the unit agree with the plan, the grievance is resolved without intervention of the Provost for a decision. (4.4.A.4)
  9. Disagreements with the plan may be appealed to the next higher level of administration, but there is no further appeal for this type of dispute. (4.4.A.5)
  10. Type 2 grievances are conducted in a more formal manner and do permit attorneys to attend the hearing, although if the grievant does not bring an attorney, the respondents may not be accompanied by counsel either. A Hearing Officer may be appointed at the request of the Grievance Committee. (4.4.B.8)
  11. Type 2 grievance hearings result in a recommendation from the grievance committee members to the Provost who renders a final decision. The Provost’s decision may be appealed. (4.4.B.10- 12.)
  12. For both dispute types, the process has more defined timelines and the required documentation has been simplified.
  13. For both types of disputes, the Chair of the Grievance Committee will convene a Grievance Committee panel to determine whether or not accept jurisdiction for a grievance and to clarify the grievable issues. If the grievance is accepted, a separate panel will be convened to conduct the hearing.
  14. Describes the duties of the Ombuds, the role in the grievance procedures and the relationship of the office to other faculty offices.
  15. Updates the duties of the Faculty Grievance Officer to reflect these process changes. (Appendix A, Sect. II)
  16. Updates the duties of the Chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee to reflect the process changes. Redefines this role as one of the key administrators of the process and places more focus on management of the committee’s process. (Appendix A, Sect. III)
  17. Expands the size of the grievance committee in order to seat panels more quickly. Changes the composition of the Grievance Committee to reflect the size of the various units. (Appendix A, Section IV) In addition, five seats have been added for term faculty member who will serve only on grievances for term faculty.
  18. Faculty may serve on hearing panels for disputes originating in their own units. For jurisdiction panels, there must be at least one person from the unit.
  19. Requires documentation of each stage of the dispute resolution process and reporting to key process administrators so that there is more opportunity for oversight and evaluation of the process.

Click here (Warning: External PDF) to review Redbook Article 4.4 – Resolution of Faculty Disputes. In light of the myriad scandals at the University of Louisville ranging from Robert Felner to the drama surrounding ignorance of freedom of speech, it’s super-important for you to know and understand the process if you work at UofL. May also want to click here (Warning: External PDF) to review additional information.

So, good? Bad? Ugly? Spill it, UofL folks.

2 thoughts on “Update To UofL’s Faculty Grievance Policy

  1. “Spoiled Sports, Spilled Milk, at Belknap”

    Felner Escapee #1: “Did you hear about the new UofL regs on grievances–a bit late to save my ass or yours.”

    Felner Escapee #2: “Well, they might at least help someone if they’re carried out properly (which is a big “if”) and not left mainly to honcho interpretation.”

    Felner Escapee #1: “It’s hard to get used to working daycare when you were once a professor. I’m sick of tuna sandwiches for lunch.”

    Felner Escapee #2: “I can imagine. I opened up this damn GED prep school with Robert’s blessing when he kicked me out the door after nobody took my grievance case against him very seriously. I get no clients because there are so few jobs around here. And I was once one of his golden boys until I made a peep in the opposite direction of his thoughts. Christ.”

  2. Anything Goes

    Here’s the thing. Updating policy that, as a rule,
    isn’t followed, doesn’t inspire confidence.

    The University of Louisville makes things up, all the time, and stands by their story.

    Despite documentation to the contrary.

    It is demented, and at some point, exhausting.

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