Faculty Grievance Committee
The ad-hoc Faculty Grievance Committee, consisting of nine (9) faculty members appointed by the Faculty Senate, provides an avenue of appeal for faculty who feel mistreated in their relationship(s) with other faculty members or with administrators of the University of Memphis. In addition, the Grievance Committee provides a source of appeal for tenured faculty who feel they have been unfairly treated during annual evaluations. The Faculty Grievance Committee provides advice to faculty members bringing a grievance, decides to accept or reject submitted grievances, investigates grievances, mediates when called upon, and makes recommendations to the president of the university. In addition, the Grievance Committee provides a source of appeal for faculty regarding their evaluations only based on claims of violation of academic freedom or failure to follow the proper procedures in conducting the annual evaluation. Matters regarding the substance of the evaluation are not subject to appeal.
The Faculty Grievance Committee is also charged with reviewing cases where a faculty member alleges that a decision of non-renewal of appointment due to budgetary concerns was a result of inadequate consideration of the relevant standards of the institution.
Guidelines and Procedures
The Faculty Grievance Committee should provide an unbiased and independent forum for issues that do not qualify as formal grievances under the University policy for "Grievance Process and Conflict Resolution" (HR5052), but for which the faculty member involved seeks redress. In such situations, the Faculty Grievance Committee will consider the complaint and all available evidence and render a recommendation if it deems appropriate. The following guidelines and procedures should be followed for the review of complaints:
- The issue must concern a matter other than tenure and promotion reviews (for which a committee already exists) or discrimination under the law or any issue for which legal action has begun.
- The complainant must first determine that his or her request has been denied (or a hearing refused, or no timely response given) by administrators.
- The Faculty Grievance Committee will make a preliminary determination whether the reported issue is of sufficient gravity to warrant the issuance of a recommendation to the administration, and will decide promptly whether to hear the case.
- If the Faculty Grievance Committee agrees to hear the complaint, it will first attempt to mediate the disagreement by working with the complainant and the administrator involved.
- If mediation is unsuccessful, both the complainant and the relevant administrator(s) will be asked to provide material evidence at a timely hearing before the Faculty Grievance Committee. The Faculty Grievance Committee will arrive at a recommendation by majority vote and forward it to the administration and the complainant within 10 working days of the hearing. In its deliberations, the Faculty Grievance Committee will consider its perceptions of procedural and distributional justice, publications of the American Association of University Professors, the prevailing policies of other universities, and other appropriate sources.
Procedure for Selection
The Faculty Grievance Committee Chair and members shall be officially nominated by the Faculty Senate Committee on Committees and appointed following a majority vote of the Faculty Senate.
The information presented on this page should be considered a guide and does not supersede or replace policies and procedures outlined in the University of Memphis Faculty Handbook