Grievance Procedure

Purpose: The grievance process provides a means to resolve disputes which have not been resolved through the normal process of reasoned discussion. The grievance process is intended to define clearly the matters that are at issue; to assure the faculty member that his/her complaint or problem has been presented to and considered by appropriate University officials and bodies; and to assure the University community that decisions involving faculty members in their relationship to the University are fully considered. Please note that all allegations of unlawful discrimination or harassment,except those arising out of the tenure and promotion process for faculty with unmodified titles, are to be processed under the University’s policy regarding Alleged Unlawful Discrimination or Harassment,” rather than through the Grievance Procedure described here. All allegations of misconduct in scholarship and researchare to be processed under the University’s policy regarding “Allegations of Misconduct in Scholarship and Research.”  For faculty on the Medical Campus, all allegations relating to a decision not to promote are to be processed solely under the University’s policy regarding Promotions on the Medical Campus.  For professorial faculty with unmodified titles on the Charles River Campus, all allegations relating to a decision not to promote or award tenure are to be processed solely under the University’s policy regarding Tenure and Promotion on the Charles River CampusFor professorial faculty on the Charles River Campus with modified titles, allegations relating to a decision not to promote may be reviewed under this Grievance Procedure.

Process: This process is available to any faculty member who has a grievance with respect to appointment, salary, assignment of duties, academic freedom or working conditions. Only those faculty on the Charles River Campus with modified professorial titles may use this process to grieve a negative promotion decision. The grievance process is to be used when the faculty member has been unable to resolve the matter with the department chair and the dean of the appropriate School or College. The grievance consists of a written appeal, and any supporting documentation, which is transmitted by the faculty member to the University Provost, or where the grievance is against the action of the University Provost or President, to the President. If a resolution acceptable to the faculty member is not thereby effected, or if the faculty member has not received a response from the provost or president within thirty days after having submitted his/her appeal, the faculty member may request consideration of the grievance by the Faculty Grievance Committee. The faculty member will prepare a petition that sets forth in detail the nature of the grievance and shall state against whom the grievance is directed. It shall contain any data which the grievant deems pertinent to the case.

A Grievance Panel, comprised of members of the Committee, will decide whether the grievance merits further investigation. The submission of a petition will not automatically result in an investigation or detailed consideration of the grievance. If the Panel determines that a further investigation is not warranted, it shall report that finding to the grievant within thirty days of receipt of the grievance. If the Panel determines that further action is warranted, it will be provided with all relevant information and will seek to bring about a settlement of the issue. If, in the opinion of the Panel, such a settlement is not possible or is inappropriate, the Panel, within sixty days of receipt of the grievance, will report its findings and recommendations to the provost (or president), the parties to the grievance, and the chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee. If the Panel determines that the provost (or president) should take some action to redress the grievance, the provost (or president) shall, within thirty days, accept the recommendation(s) of the Panel or state reasons in writing for rejecting the recommendation(s) to the chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee and to the parties to the grievance, or shall indicate in writing why a decision is delayed and when a resolution is expected.

Please note that because the availability of Grievance Panel members and witnesses may be limited in the months between Commencement and Matriculation, it may be necessary to hold a grievance in abeyance over the summer and resume deliberations in the Fall. The grievant will be notified promptly if deliberations are suspended for this reason, as well as when they will resume.

Membership of the Grievance Panel and Committee: A Grievance Panel will consist of three faculty members chosen from among members of the Faculty Grievance Committee, normally in rotation. The Committee will consist of at least twelve faculty members holding Tenure or faculty members who have served in a full-time capacity on a continuous basis for eight years or more (with no undue representation from any School or College) and will be appointed in May of each year by the Provost and the Chair of the Faculty Council by mutual agreement, except that department chairs and deans shall not be eligible to serve on the Committee. The Faculty Grievance Committee will elect its own chair, who will report annually to the University Council. This annual report will provide a summary of the matters that came before the Committee and the disposition of those matters.

Last revised on May 8, 2018 by the University Council.