The purpose of the Valley City State University grievance policies and procedures is to provide a fair and efficient process to resolve faculty grievances.
This policy provides a process that may be used to resolve faculty grievances. These policies and procedures are only available to faculty as defined in SBHE Policy 605.01 (2) (c) and for grievances as defined by SBHE Policy 612 (2).
"Grievance" is defined in SBHE Policy 612 (2) as follows:
"Grievance" means an allegation of a violation of a specific Board or institutional policy, procedure or practice pertaining to the employment relationship. This includes the terms of the grievant's employment contract and this policy. Discretionary actions, such as salary adjustments and performance evaluations, may not be grieved, except to determine: (a) whether the discretionary action was made in accordance with relevant Board or institutional policies, practices, procedures or criteria; and (b) whether the action constitutes a clear abuse of discretion. Complaints involving any matters covered under Sections 605.3 or 605.4 are not grievances under this policy. Grievances cannot be filed against written Board and institutional policies, per se.
"Faculty" is defined in SBHE Policy 605.1 (2) (c) as follows:
"Faculty" means all members of the academic staff, excluding only coaches and administrators in their capacities as coaches or administrators.
III. Informal Resolution
The goal of informal resolution is to resolve disputes involving faculty without resort to mediation or other formal grievance procedures. Faculty should make reasonable and good faith efforts to resolve disputes directly, promptly, and informally. Faculty seeking to resolve a dispute informally may seek the assistance of academic administrators (including division and department chairs).
SBHE Policy 605.05 (4) provides that mediation is mandatory in connection with grievances. If a faculty member is unable to resolve a grievance informally, and still desires to pursue the grievance further, the faculty member must initiate the mediation process as provided in VCSU Policy V605.5 and SBHE Policy 605.05.
V. Post-Mediation Formal Grievance Process
Most disputes involving faculty should be resolved either informally or through the mediation process. At times, however, informal resolution or resolution through mediation is not successful. If resolution of the grievance is not accomplished informally or through mediation, then the grievant may initiate the post-mediation formal grievance process.
The process described in this policy is intended to facilitate the internal resolution of faculty grievances. The University expects participants in the process to attempt in good faith to carefully follow the procedures described in this policy. Nonetheless, there may be circumstances when participants in the process err in attempting to follow the procedures described in this policy. If such an error is promptly brought to the attention of the Chair of the Standing Committee on Faculty Rights, the University will make reasonable efforts to correct the error, if practicable. However, such an error in complying with the requirements of this policy shall in no event provide the basis for any legal claim against the University or against participants in the process.
Sponsor: Faculty Senate
Approved: December 2012