Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook

21st Edition, 2011 Version


Chapter IV: Faculty Personnel Rules and Procedures of UW-River Falls

4.9 Procedure For Handling Complaints - Faculty Personnel Rules(UWS 6.01)link

4.9.1 Committee Defined

In the following, the term "Committee" refers to the Faculty Hearing, Grievance, and Appeals Committee.

4.9.2 Complaints Defined

Complaints are allegations by the administration, students, academic staff members, other faculty members, classified staff members, or members of the public charging conduct by a faculty member that is not serious enough to warrant dismissal proceedings under UWS 4link, but which does (a) violate University rules or policies or (b) adversely affect the faculty member's performance of his or her obligation to the University.

4.9.3 Procedure

4.9.3.1 Submission of Complaint

All complaints to receive formal attention under the provisions of this section shall be written, signed, and submitted to the Chancellor of the University within a reasonable time after the alleged misconduct.

4.9.3.2 Notification of Faculty Member

The Chancellor shall first notify the faculty member concerned, in writing, regarding the nature of the complaint and give him or her an opportunity to explain his or her conduct. The Chancellor may make further investigation of the allegations and shall then: (a) dismiss the complaint, or (b) invoke the appropriate disciplinary action, or (c) refer the complaint to the Committee. The Chancellor shall notify the faculty member, in writing, of his or her decision and/or action.

4.9.3.3 Request for a Hearing

If the Chancellor takes disciplinary action, the affected faculty member may request a hearing before the Committee. The request shall be made within 20 days after notice of the Chancellor's disciplinary action.

4.9.3.4 Time Limit for Hearing

The Committee shall hold a hearing not more than 30 days after receiving a request from the faculty member or after having a complaint referred to it by the Chancellor, except that this time limit may be lengthened by mutual consent of the parties. The affected faculty member shall be given at least 10 days’ notice of the hearing.

4.9.3.5 Closed/Open Hearing

The hearing shall be closed unless the faculty member concerned requests an open meeting in which case it shall be open (see Chapter 19.85 (1)(b)link, Wis. Statutes, Open Meeting Law )

4.9.3.6 Information Considered By Committee

The Committee shall consider all available information relevant to the complaint. Such information may be sought from students and members of the public. The Committee shall have the right to obtain information relevant to the complaint from University personnel.

4.9.3.7 Presence of Concerned Faculty Member

The concerned faculty member may be present at those times when information is being presented to the Committee.

4.9.3.8 Presumption of Innocence

The faculty member charged shall be presumed innocent by the Committee until proven otherwise.

4.9.3.9 Report of Committee’s Findings

The findings and recommendation of the Committee shall be reported in writing to the Chancellor and to the faculty member concerned. The recommendation may be for: (a) dismissal of the complaint, or (b) appropriate disciplinary action, or (c) referral of the complaint to the appropriate department or administrative officer.

4.9.4 Decision of the Chancellor

The decision of the Chancellor on the recommendation of the Committee, or on the complaint in the absence of a Committee recommendation, shall be final except that the Board of Regents at its option may grant a review on the record. The final decision of the Chancellor shall be supported by written reasons.

4.9.5 Preclusion of Double Jeopardy

After the hearing and recommendation of the Committee and the final decision of the Chancellor, the faculty member shall not again be called to account for the same alleged misconduct that was the subject of the complaint.