It is the policy of Delta State University to provide an immediate and fair method to address grievances of faculty or academic staff members in order to resolve work related problems or conditions that may arise between the University and an employee or between two employees. A faculty or academic staff member who feels aggrieved should first seek an informal resolution at the unit, department, or college level before filing a formal grievance under this policy. If a problem cannot be resolved informally, the employee has recourse to this established grievance procedure. Faculty or academic staff members do not have the right to appeal through the grievance policy and procedures related to salary, appointment or reappointment.
This policy does not address matters of discrimination or harassment, both of which are covered under separate University Policies (see Equal Employment Opportunity: Harassment Policy). This policy does not address matters related to tenure and promotion or merit pay which are addressed under the Tenure and Promotion or Merit Pay Policies of the University. Other exclusions may apply where University Policy or external policy or law is identified that takes precedence.
Grievance: The claim of an individual employee that there has been a violation, misinterpretation or misapplication of a rule, policy, or procedure in relation to personnel policies, including working hours, working conditions, leaves, and other conditions of employment.
Faculty: All DSU employees, except student employees, listed in the official budget as occupying one of the accepted faculty ranks including professor, associate professor, assistant professor, visiting professor, adjunct professor, or instructor. For the purpose of this document, faculty are also defined as employees with a paid University appointment at the rank of academic specialist, lecturer, assistant instructor, research associate, or librarian, including those in a continuing appointment system and those with fixed term and visiting status.
Working Days: Includes the period from Monday through Friday of each week, excluding those days which are designated as holidays by the official University calendar or by action of the President.
Whenever possible, problems should be solved within the University at the level at which they arise. However, each member of the faculty shall have the right to a hearing and an appeal for redress of grievance through established channels. Access to these procedures is restricted to University employees.
A faculty member holding an administrative position will have access to these procedures with regard to his/her faculty duties, but will not have access to the procedures with regard to his/her administrative duties.
At all stages of the formal process, the grievance must be submitted in writing and provide sufficient detail to allow a response. The grievance will contain a statement of the perceived facts of the case and a precise description of the remedy sought by the grievant. The grievance will be accompanied by the Faculty Grievance Report form, initiated by the faculty member, throughout the process.
Legal counsel for the grievant may not be present at any stage of the internal grievance process though the grievant may have ongoing consultation with counsel as desired. If the grievant insists on bringing legal counsel, the process is then led by the Attorney General’s Office associated with the Institutions of Higher Learning of the state of Mississippi.
The Grievance must contain the following information:
The grievant may withdraw a formal grievance at any stage of the proceeding but may not reinstate it once it is withdrawn. The withdrawal request should be made in writing to the individual hearing the grievance at the time of the withdrawal.
Steps to be followed:
The Faculty Grievance Committee shall be comprised of six members of the faculty (as previously defined). One member and an alternate will be appointed by the President of the Faculty Senate. Each of the Colleges, School, and Library shall elect one member and an alternate. Committee members shall serve for an academic year and shall be eligible for successive terms. The Committee shall select its own Chairperson, who shall assemble the Committee timely, acquire all documents related to the filed grievance, record the recommendation of the Committee, and communicate this recommendation to the President. No member of the hearing committee shall be from the same department, college, school, or unit as the grievant or respondent. Therefore, the committee will be comprised of five members for any grievance.
Faculty Grievance Committee Hearing Procedure
Within fourteen days of the receipt of the recommendation, the President shall render a decision and notify the Chairperson of the Hearing Committee with a copy to the grievant and respondent. Decisions of the President are final with no right of appeal to the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.
Responsible Office and/or the Policy Owner: Office of Academic Affairs
Academic Council Minutes 12/13/11
Faculty Grievance Report Form (available -- Academic Affairs)
Policy Effective Date: December 13, 2011
Approval Date: December 13, 2011