SECTION K. RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES (Last Revised May 8, 2015)

K.1 General Information

K.1.1 Participants in the Grievance Process and Definition of Terms

K.2 Expectations for Members of the University Community

K.3 Definition of an Action,Grievable Action and Grievance

K.3.1 A Grievable Action does not include:

K.3.2 Types of Grievable Actions and Burden of Proof

K.3.3 Determination of the Validity of a Grievance

K.3.4 Basis of Proof

K.4 The Right to Grieve

K.4.1 Persons Entitled to Grieve

K.4.2 Process

K.4.3 Responsibility to Respond

K.4.4 Section K Process

K.5 Initiation of the Section K Process

K.6 Documentation

K.7 Right to Clerical Assistance

K.8 Mediation Process

K.9 Initiating the Grievance Hearing Process

K.10 Grievance Procedure

K.10.1 Hearing Committee

K.10.2 Conduct of Grievance Hearings

K.10.3 Order of Proceedings for Grievance Hearings

K.10.4 Rules Regarding Witness Testimony and Submitted Material

K.10.5 Recommendation of the Hearing Committee

K.10.6 Appeals and Administrative Reviews

K.10.6.1 Appeal of the Recommendation From the Hearing Committee

K.10.6.2 Review by the Provost

K.10.6.3 Appeals of the Recommendation From the Provost

K.10.6.4 Review by the President

K.10.6.5 Review by the Board

K.11 Grievance Panel and Hearing Committees

K.11.1 Grievance Panel

K.11.2 Administrative Duties

K.11.3 Election of Grievance Panel Members

K.11.4 Formation of Hearing Committees

K.12 University Grievance Officer

K.12.1 Selection, Qualifications, and Term of the University Grievance Officer

K.12.2 Oversight of the University Grievance Officer

K.12.3 Service of the University Grievance Officer

K.12.4 Duties of the University Grievance Officer

K.12.5 Legal Advice

K.12.6 Temporary Special University Grievance Officer

K.13 University Mediators

K.13.1 Qualifications of University Mediators

K.13.1.1 Qualifications of University Mediators for Faculty

K.13.1.2 Qualifications of University Mediators for Administrative Professionals

K.13.2 Selection, Terms, and Evaluation of University Mediators for Faculty

K.13.3 Selection, Terms, and Evaluation of University Mediators for Administrative Professionals

K.14 Key Time Limits Within the Mediation and Grievance Processes


SECTION K. RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES(Last revised May 8, 2015)

K.1 General Information

Colorado State is committed to the timely and fair resolution of disputes. This section describes procedures for a faculty member or administrative professional to challenge a decision, recommendation or action by a supervisor that has or will have an adverse academic and/or professional impact on the faculty member or administrative professional and that is unfair, unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory. If a decision, recommendation or action by a supervisor is retaliatory, it may serve as the basis for a grievance if it has or will have an adverse academic and/or professional impact on the faculty or administrative professional and is unfair, unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory. The University Grievance Program generally provides three avenues for resolution of such claims: a) informal conciliation, b) mediation, and c) a formal grievance hearing process.

Several offices on campus are available to assist with the resolution of other disputes. See the website for the Office of the Ombuds and Employee Assistance Program for details and contact information. An overview of the procedures described in this section can be found on the website of the University Grievance Officer.

K.1.1 Participants in the Grievance Process and Definition of Terms
Grievant – A faculty member or administrative professional who asserts that one or more decisions, recommendations or actions by a supervisor (1) has an adverse academic and/or professional effect on the faculty member or administrative professional, and (2) is unfair, unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory.

Hearing Committee- A group of between three and five (3-5) faculty members or administrative professionals from the University Grievance Panel who are convened to review and make recommendations about a Grievance.

Responsible Administrator – A university official to whom the supervisor in a Grievance reports and who oversees the activities of the unit where the Grievant is employed.

Reviewing Administrators – University officials responsible for review and approving recommendations from a Hearing Committee, namely the Provost and President. These senior officials are also responsible for supporting, respecting, enforcing the process and providing required financial resources.

Supervisor – A university administrator, faculty member, or administrative professional who either directly oversees the work of the Grievant or who makes decisions directly affecting the terms and conditions of the Grievant’s employment. A supervisor also can be a state classified employee who directs the work of an administrative professional.

University Grievance Officer (UGO) – The university official responsible for administering the grievance process advising Grievants and Supervisors, and coordinating involvement by others.

University Grievance Panel – A pool of faculty members or administrative professionals who are elected by their peers and volunteer to serve on a Hearing Committee, as needed and as available.

University Mediator (UM) – A neutral person from the university community appointed by the UGO to facilitate a resolution of a dispute or Grievance between a Grievant and Supervisor.

K.2 Expectations for Members of the University Community

a. Cooperation and participation by the members of the University community in the resolution of a complaint under these procedures is necessary.

b. All witnesses shall be truthful in their testimony. Failure to comply with this expectation may result in the imposition of University sanctions.

c. No person shall restrain, interfere with, coerce, attempt to intimidate, or take any reprisal against a participant in the Section K process. Failure to comply with this expectation may result in the imposition of University sanctions.

K.3 Definition of an Action, Grievable Action, and Grievance

An Action is a decision, recommendation or other act by a Supervisor.

A Grievable Action is an Action by a Supervisor that has or will have an adverse academic and/or professional effect on the Grievant and is unfair, unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory. If an Action by a Supervisor is retaliatory, it may serve as the basis for a Grievance if it has or will have an adverse academic and/or professional impact on the Grievant and is unfair, unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory.

A Grievance is a written complaint by a Grievant asserting that a Grievable Action has occurred.

K.3.1 A Grievable Action does not include:

 

a. An issue that does not individually affect a faculty member or administrative professional, such as dissatisfaction with a university policy of general application.

b. Actions specified in the Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual as “final” and thus not subject to redress through the grievance process. Any action deemed “final” constitutes exhaustion of internal grievance procedures.

c. An act by any person who is not the Grievant’s Supervisor or responsible administrator.

d. Terms agreed to by the Grievant under a Section K mediation agreement.

e. Acts in response to possible violations of law or endangerment of public safety.

f. A subsequent complaint for the same action by the same supervisor once a Grievance regarding the original complaint has concluded.

g. Termination of “at-will” employees. For information about the university’s policy regarding at-will employees and the recommended steps and considerations for termination of at-will employees, employees should refer to the university policy for Administrative Professionals and Non-Tenured Academic Faculty (“At Will” Employment) found in the CSU Policy Library (see also Section D.5.6 and E.2.1 of the Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual). Employees may contact the University Grievance Officer with questions about disciplinary action or termination of at-will employees.

K.3.2 Types of Grievable Actions and Burden of Proof

 

K.3.2.1 (“Class A”)

In a Grievance that involves a complaint about the following specific actions, the burden of proof falls upon the Supervisor:

a. termination of contractual rights;

b. reduction of salary and/or demotion;

c. violation of academic and/or intellectual freedom; or

d. assignment of unreasonable workload.

K.3.2.2 (“Class B”)

In a Grievance that involves complaints about a term or condition of employment other than those specific cases that are identified above in K.3.2.1, the burden of proof falls upon the Grievant. Examples of such Grievances include:

a. decision on the amount of salary;

b. denial of reappointment;

c. denial of promotion or tenure;

d. receipt of a lower evaluation than deserved on a performance review; or

e. denial of sabbatical leave.

K.3.3 Determination of the Validity of a Grievance

a. The UGO shall determine whether a Grievance sets forth a Grievable Action, i.e., whether there is a sufficient basis to pursue mediation (see Section K.8) and/or a hearing (see Section K.9), based on the written complaint by the Grievant and the Supervisor’s response, as well as any supporting materials. The UGO may seek appropriate legal advice (see Seciton K.12.5). This determination by the UGO shall be made within five (5) working days of receiving the Grievant’s written complaint and the Supervisor’s response.

b. If the Grievant disagrees with the UGO’s determination, he or she may appeal this decision. Such an appeal must be made in writing to the Chair of the Grievance Panel (see Section K.11.1) within ten (10) working days of receiving written notification via email of the determination by the UGO. If such an appeal is submitted, the Chair of the Grievance Panel shall form an Appeal Committee consisting of three (3) members from the Grievance Panel, including the Chair of the Grievance Panel, for the purpose of reviewing whether the UGO’s determination should be reversed or affirmed. The Chair of the Grievance Panel shall chair the Appeal Committee and recruit members following the same procedure as for the formation of a Hearing Committee (see Section K.11.4). The Appeal Committee shall consider the appeal, the written Complaint of the Grievant and any supporting materials provided by the Grievant, as well as the response of the Supervisor and any supporting materials that are included. Within five (5) working days of the submission of the appeal, the Appeal Committee, with legal advice if appropriate, shall make a determination solely regarding the validity of the Grievant’s appeal, specifically whether the Grievance sets forth a Grievable Action. The Appeal Committee’s determination shall be made by a majority vote. The Appeal Committee’s determination shall be final. The Appeal Committee shall include a written report to the UGO and the Grievant notifying them of its decision. If the Appeal Committee reverses the determination of the UGO, the members of this Appeal Committee shall not serve on a Hearing Committee for this Grievance.

K.3.4 Basis of Proof

The basis of proof regarding a Grievable Action is determined by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., that the claim is more likely to be true than not to be true).

K.4 The Right to Grieve

K.4.1 Persons Entitled to Grieve

Any faculty member or administrative professional may pursue resolution of a Grievable Action. Grievances by more than one employee from a single administrative unit may be joined into a common grievance if, in the opinion of the UGO, their Grievances have sufficient commonality to be heard collectively, and if thos employees filing Grievances from a single unit agree to join in a common Grievance.

K.4.2 Process

If a Grievant initiates the Section K process the Grievable Action shall not be effective prior to the completion of the Section K process.

K.4.3 Responsibility to Respond

a. The Supervisor whose decision, recommendation or action was the basis for the Grievance shall be responsible for responding to the Grievant and the UGO within five (5) working days from the day the Grievance is submitted to the UGO and the Supervisor.

b. If the Supervisor whose Action is being challenged no longer is employed by the university or no longer holds the relevant supervisory position, then the responsible administrator(s) for the unit, at his or her discretion, shall decide who should represent the unit in the Section K process. The unavailability of the original Supervisor does not affect the right of a Grievant to seek resolution. If no person in authority responds to the Grievance, the UGO shall continue with the Section K process.

c. When a faculty member has been denied promotion or tenure (see Section E.10.5.1, paragraph 6, E.13.1 paragraphs 4 and 5) in the case of a negative recommendation by the department chair, the complaint shall be directed to the department chair, who shall be responsible to respond. In the case of a negative recommendation at the college level, the complaint shall be filed against the dean, who shall be responsible to respond. In the case of a negative recommendation at the provost level, the complaint shall be filed against the provost who shall be responsible to respond.

K.4.4 Section K Process

In the spirit of reaching an expeditious resolution of disputes, an aggrieved party shall follow all applicable parts of the Section K process before initiating legal action with external agents or agencies. However, the Grievant has the right to seek legal advice from outside counsel at any point during the Grievance process. Nothing in this section supersedes the Grievant’s rights under federal and/or state laws.

K.5. Initiation of the Section K Process

A claim of a Grievable Action must be submitted in writing by an administrative professional or a faculty member to the UGO no later than twenty (20) working days after the date of the Action giving rise to the Grievable Action or that point in time when the individual could reasonably be expected to have knowledge that a basis for a grievance existed. The UGO shall then meet with the administrative professional or the faculty member to discuss the claim.

Within five (5) working days after receiving the written claim of a Grievable Action, the UGO shall assign a UM from the pool to mediate the dispute. The Mediation participants shall have five (5) working days from the date of the assignment of the UM to object to such an assignment. An objection may be raised only based on the UMs prior or current relationship with the Mediation participants and/or the UMs knowledge of previous related disputes. The UGO shall make the final decision on the assignment of a UM.

K.6 Documentation

a. Either the UGO or the UM assigned to the case may request, and is entitled to receive promptly, any and all materials from the participants in the Grievable Action that either the UGO or the UM may deem relevant to the dispute.

b. Any formal resolution reached during Mediation by the participants must be in writing and is subject to approval of legal sufficiency by the Office of General Counsel and approval by any other necessary individuals.

K.7 Right to Clerical Assistance

Any person initiating the Section K process has the right to clerical support from University personnel for preparation of documents for use in This process. Because maintenance of confidentiality is an important element of the Section K process, the clerical support should come from a unit at the next higher level than the one in which the Covered Member is housed (e.g., from the dean, for a faculty member, or from a vice president, for a dean).

K.8 Mediation Process

a. Within ten (10) working days of being assigned by the UGO, the UM meet with the Mediation participants, discuss their respective positions, and review relevant information.

b. If the UM believes there is a reasonable chance that Mediation efforts may produce a resolution of the dispute, the Mediation participants and the UM shall enter into a Mediation Period of up to twenty (20) working day to attempt to resolve the dispute. If the Mediation Period reaches its twenty (20) working day limit without producing a resolution of the dispute, the Mediation participants may mutually agree to extend the Mediation Period by an additional ten (10) working days if they believe that this is likely to produce a resolution of the dispute. However, after the initial twenty (20) working days, either party may choose to terminate the Mediation Process and refuse any extensions of it.

c. If the UM decides that Mediation efforts are not productive, then the UM may choose to terminate the Mediation Period at any time.

d. If the Mediation Period expires or is terminated by any party as described above, the UM shall immediately notify the UGO and all Mediation participants of this situation. The Covered Member shall then have five (5) working days after the date the UM provides such notice to initiate the formal Grievance process regarding any Grievable Action.

e. The UM may continue to work with the Mediation participants even after a formal Grievance is initiated. However, the UM’s Mediation efforts must cease before the beginning of a Grievance Hearing.

f. If the formal Grievance process is not initiated within the five (5) working day limit described in Section K.8.d, or if a claim of a Grievable Action is not referred to the UGO within the twenty (20) working day limit described in Section K.5, then the Grievable Action is not eligible to be heard by a Hearing Committee under the Grievance Procedure of Section K.10.

g. Documentation and other communication created specifically in connection with the resolution of a dispute shall be considered to be part of the Covered Member’s personnel file.1 Under the Dispute Resolution Act, C.R.S. 13-22-301 et seq., documents and communications that resulted solely from the Mediation process are confidential and shall not be disclosed and may not be used as evidence during a Grievance Hearing, except by agreement of the Mediation participants or as may be required by law. When a resolution is reached, documentation and other communication created during the Mediation process shall be forwarded to the UGO, who shall retain the materials. Records created by a Covered Member or a Responsible Administrator prior to a Covered Member’s initiation of the Mediation process are not considered confidential communications and may be used in a Grievance Hearing. Information and documents that are otherwise relevant do not become confidential merely because they are presented, discussed, or otherwise used during the course of mediation.

K.9 Initiating the Grievance Hearing Process

A formal Grievance must be initiated by the Grievant submitting a written complaint to the UGO and to the supervisor whose action is being challenged no later than ten (10) working days after the expiration of the Mediation Period or after the decision by the UM that Mediation will not take place, as described in Section K.8. The written Complaint shall:

a. Describe the nature of the Grievable Action;

b. Name the parties to the grievable dispute;

c. Describe how the Action being challenged is unfair, unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory;

d. Identify how the Action adversely affects the Grievant in his or her present or future academic and/or professional capacity; and

e. Summarize the material that the Grievant is prepared to submit to support the claim. Upon receipt of the complaint from the Grievant, the supervisor shall prepare a written response (hereinafter referred to as the “Response”) to the complaint and submit it to the UGO and the Grievant no later than five (5) working days after receiving the complaint. This Response should be limited to addressing the claims and statements made in the complaint.

K.10 Grievance Procedure

K.10.1 Hearing Committee

As described in Section K.11.4, a Hearing Committee shall be formed which consists of five (5) members, one of whom serves as the Chair of the Hearing Committee. The UGO shall forward the Complaint and the Response to the Hearing Committee.

At the request of either party, or on its own initiative, the Hearing Committee may:

a. Instruct the parties to file further written statements and/or

b. Direct the parties to produce additional documents relevant to the Complaint, to the extent permitted by law, and to identify possible witnesses and the relevance of these witnesses.

The UGO has the right to question and determine the applicability, reasonableness, and relevance of any material to the Section K process. This right may include the refusal by the UGO to forward the Complaint, the Response, and/or any supporting document(s) to the Hearing Committee until the UGO judges that the documents are in compliance with the requirements of Section K (see Section K.10.4). Failure by either party to bring documents into compliance with Section K requirements by a deadline set by the UGO shall, at the discretion of the UGO, result in either forfeiture by that party of the right to pursue the matter through Section K or the forwarding by the UGO of redacted documents to the Hearing Committee.

If the Covered Member disagrees with such a decision by the UGO, he or she may appeal this decision. Such an appeal must be made in writing to the Chair of the Grievance Panel within three (3) working days of being notified of the decision by the UGO. If such an appeal is submitted, the Chair of the Grievance Panel shall refer the matter to the Chair of the Hearing Committee, who shall make a decision regarding the matter within five (5) working days of the submission of the appeal. The decision of the Chair of the Hearing Committee shall be final.

Since the burden of proof for a Class B Grievance is on the Grievant, the Hearing Committee may decide a Class B Grievance without a Hearing if the Hearing Committee determines that the Complaint lacks substantive merit under the criteria specified in Section K.3. The Grievant shall have the right to appeal to the Provost a decision rendered by the Hearing Committee without a Hearing.

K.10.2 Conduct of Grievance Hearings

The rules and procedure outlined below shall apply in any formal Grievance Hearing conducted by a Hearing Committee.

a. The Hearings of a Grievance shall begin no later than ten (10) working days following the receipt of the Complaint from the Grievant. However, each party has the right to request a delay of no more than ten (10) working days upon showing a necessity to allow the proper development of the evidence and arguments, and the UGO shall have the authority to delay Hearings in order to facilitate the joining of Complaints as provided for in Section K.4.1. Grievance Hearings are closed to the public.

b. Each party to the Grievance shall be permitted to have a maximum of two (2) advisors present, consisting of peer advisors and/or legal counsel. These advisors may help the party prepare for the proceedings, including the preparation of any required written documentation, and may advise the party during the proceedings, but no advisor may participate actively in the proceedings. Advisors may not make statements, objections or attempt to argue the case (however, if an advisor is called as a witness, he or she is allowed to participate in this capacity). The only persons who have standing to speak at the Hearing are the members of the Hearing Committee, the UGO, the parties to the Grievance, and any witnesses called. Each party shall identify his or her advisors at the opening of the Hearing and neither party shall have the right to delay the Hearing because of a lack of or unavailability of advisors, except if an emergency occurs.

c. Once initiated, the Hearings shall continue on a daily or nightly basis, depending on the convenience of the parties and in all cases, the Hearing shall be concluded within ten (10) working days of its opening.

d. Parties to a Grievance have the responsibility to attend all scheduled meetings of the Hearing. No substitutes for the parties shall be allowed. If a party is unable or unwilling to attend any scheduled meeting of the Hearing, the meeting may be held ex parte.

e. If it is deemed appropriate by a majority of the members of the Hearing Committee, a person may participate in the Hearing from a different physical location (e.g., by video conference or teleconference). However, the questioning of witnesses must occur in a real-time, spontaneous format, unless a majority of the Hearing Committee concurs that this is not feasible. Any request to appear or participate in the hearing from a different physical location must be made in writing and must be submitted to the Hearing Committee at least five (5) days before the Hearing.

f. Parties to Grievances and advisors for such parties are responsible for abiding by the procedures herein established. Those parties failing to adhere to the procedures, or failing to assure that their advisors adhere to the procedures, may be excluded from participation in the Hearing by a majority vote of the Hearing Committee, and judgment shall be rendered without the presence of those parties.

g. The Chair of the Hearing Committee (see Section K.11.4) shall open the Hearing by determining that all parties are present and by identifying the advisors chosen by each party.

h. The Chair of the Hearing Committee shall provide each member of the Hearing Committee the opportunity to excuse himself or herself from service prior to the Hearing because of having an involvement with one or both of the parties and/or with the Action being challenged that renders him or her incapable of rendering an impartial judgment concerning the Grievance.

i. The Chair of the Hearing Committee shall provide each party the opportunity to challenge for cause members of the Hearing Committee.

1. A challenge for cause must be based on a claim that the challenged member of the Hearing Committee, through involvement with one or both of the parties and/or with the Action being challenged, may be incapable of rendering an impartial judgment regarding the Grievance.

2. The UGO, with appropriate legal advice (see Section K.12.5), shall decide all such challenges. Members successfully challenged shall be excused from the Hearing Committee and replaced as described in Section K.11.4. The UGO may excuse a member of the Hearing Committee even though actual cause cannot be proven.

j. The entirety of the Hearing shall be recorded. Upon request, either party shall be provided with a copy of this record, as well as any written material submitted during the Hearing. The Office of the Provost shall bear the cost of producing these copies.

K.10.3 Order of Proceedings for Grievance Hearings

Subject to the restrictions of Section K.10.2.e, the following persons are entitled to be present during the Hearing:

a. The parties and their advisors;

b. The UGO, the Hearing Committee members, and their legal counsel;

c. Witnesses when testifying; and

d. Such other persons as are specifically authorized by a majority vote of the Hearing Committee, unless their presence is objected to by either party and the objection is sustained by the UGO.

The Hearing should proceed in the following order (although this order may be altered by a majority vote of the Hearing Committee with the approval of the UGO):

a. Statement by the party having the burden of proof (hereinafter referred to as the “First Party”).

b. Statement by the other party (hereinafter referred to as the “Second Party”).

c. Presentation by the First Party of witnesses and materials, subject to the restrictions of Section K.10.4. The First Party shall have the right to call the Second Party as a witness. The Second Party shall have the right to challenge the relevancy and/or authenticity of witness testimony and submitted materials and to question each witness called by the First Party after that witness has been questioned by the First Party. Decisions on such challenges shall be rendered by the Chair of the Hearing Committee. Challenges of procedural decisions by the Chair of the Hearing Committee shall be decided by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Hearing Committee, with tie votes sustaining the Chair.

d. Presentation by the Second Party of witnesses and materials, subject to the restrictions of Section K.10.4. The Second Party shall have the right to call the First Party as a witness. The First Party shall have the right to challenge the relevancy and/or authenticity of witness testimony and submitted materials and to question each witness called by the Second Party after that witness has been questioned by the Second Party. Challenges shall be decided as described in the previous paragraph. The members of the Hearing Committee shall also have the right to question each witness called by the Second Party after that witness has been questioned by the First Party.

e. If either party claims to have been denied access to relevant University records and/or documents, the Hearing Committee may consider this claim in making its final recommendation (see Section K.10.5).

f. Members of the Hearing Committee shall have the right to direct questions to witnesses called or to the parties during these proceedings.

g. Summary arguments by the First Party.

h. Summary arguments by the Second Party.

i. The members of the Hearing Committee shall have the authority to direct any further questions to either or both parties following both summary arguments, to schedule additional meetings of the Hearing to develop points not yet clarified sufficiently, and/or to call additional witnesses. A decision to schedule additional meetings of the Hearing requires a majority vote of the Hearing Committee, and such a decision shall be announced by the Chair of the Hearing Committee to both parties. Both parties shall also be informed of any points that the Hearing Committee feels require further clarification and the names of any additional witnesses to be called by the Hearing Committee.

K.10.4 Rules Regarding Witness Testimony and Submitted Materials

The following rules shall apply to any Grievance Hearing before a Hearing Committee:

a. It shall be the responsibility of the party seeking to call a witness or submit material to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Chair of the Hearing Committee the authenticity and relevance of the witness or material.

b. Witnesses called shall have direct and personal knowledge of the points attested to and may be challenged on the ground that they lack such knowledge. A party calling a witness shall first establish the relevance of the testimony of the witness.

c. Material introduced by either party shall be accompanied by a showing of authenticity and relevance to the Grievance. Decisions, recommendations, and actions that occur prior to the Grievable Action may be relevant to the Grievable Action if they establish a pattern of action over time.

d. During a witness’ testimony, either party may object to such testimony on the grounds that the witness lacks personal knowledge for such testimony or that such testimony is not relevant to the Grievance. The party making the objection shall state the reason(s) for the objection, and the other party shall have the opportunity to respond to the objection. The Chair of the Hearing Committee shall rule on the objection.

e. The UM assigned to a specific case may neither attend the Hearing nor be called as a witness for that case.

K.10.5 Recommendation of the Hearing Committee

a. Following the completion of the Hearing, the Hearing Committee shall retire for the purpose of discussion, conference, and decision. These deliberations shall remain confidential to the full extent permitted by law. The Hearing Committee shall review the pertinent information and the Action of the Responsible Administrator which is the basis for the Grievance solely to determine whether this Action is unfair, unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory, but not to substitute its judgment regarding the substantive merits of the decision which is the basis for the Grievance. If the Hearing Committee concludes that there was a procedural deficiency which materially inhibited the review process, it may specify the nature of this deficiency and refer the matter back to the appropriate administrator for correction and subsequent return to the Hearing Committee.

b. When the Hearing Committee has agreed on a recommendation (hereinafter referred to as the “Recommendation”) by a majority vote, a written statement of the Recommendation shall be prepared that summarizes the relevant information and explains the reasoning that supports the Recommendation. It also shall state specifically any action necessitated by the Recommendation and identify any proposed relief to be provided. Normally, the Chair of the Hearing Committee shall oversee the preparation of this written statement of the Recommendation. However, if the Chair of the Hearing Committee opposes the majority vote, the members of the majority shall choose from among themselves a person to oversee the preparation of the written statement of the Recommendation. This person shall also represent the Hearing Committee, if necessary, during reviews and appeals.

c. If the Recommendation from the Hearing Committee is not unanimous, the dissenting minority shall prepare a written statement reflecting the minority opinion.

d. The written Recommendation from the Hearing Committee, together with any minority report, shall be submitted to the UGO by the Chair of the Hearing Committee within ten (10) working days of the completion of the Hearing.

e. Within two (2) working days after receiving the Recommendation from the Hearing Committee, the UGO shall announce this Recommendation to both parties and provide Written copies of the Recommendation, together with any minority report, to both parties. Within this same time frame, the UGO shall provide written copies of the Recommendation, any minority report, the Complaint, the Response, the record of the Hearing, and any written material submitted during the Hearing (hereinafter referred to collectively as the “Hearing Record”) to both the Provost and the President, unless the President is a party to the Grievance, in which case, the UGO shall instead send these copies to the Board.

K.10.6 Appeals and Administrative Reviews

Decisions of a Recommendation from the Hearing Committee that no action be taken as a result of the Grievance is final, unless the Grievant chooses to appeal this Recommendation (see Section K.10.6.1). Any Recommendation from the Hearing Committee that action be taken as a result of the Grievance must be reviewed by both the Provost and President before it becomes final, unless the Provost or the President is a party to the Grievance. If the Provost is a party to the Grievance, but the President is not, the review shall be made only by the President. If the President is a party to the Grievance, the review shall be made only by the Board.

K.10.6.1 Appeal of the Recommendation From the Hearing Committee

Whether or not the Recommendation from the Hearing Committee suggests that action be taken as a result of the Grievance, the Grievant has the right to appeal this Recommendation. This appeal must be made within five (5) working days of receipt of the written Recommendation from the Hearing Committee, and it must provide reasons for the appeal. Failure of the Grievant to file an appeal within this time frame shall constitute his or her acceptance of the Recommendation from the Hearing Committee. This appeal shall be submitted to the Provost, unless the Provost or the President is a party to the Grievance. If the Provost is a party to the Grievance, but the President is not, the appeal shall be submitted to the President. If the President is a party to the Grievance, the appeal shall be submitted to the Board.

K.10.6.2 Review by the Provost

If neither the Provost nor the President is a party to the Grievance, the Provost shall review the Hearing Record and any appeal from the Grievant (hereinafter referred to collectively as the “Appeal Record”), unless the Recommendation suggests that no action be taken as a result of the Grievance and no appeal was submitted by the Grievant within the five (5) working day limit. This review shall be based only on the Appeal Record. No party may introduce new substantive issues. The Provost shall modify the Recommendation from the Hearing Committee only if he or she finds that this Recommendation is unfair, unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory.

Within ten (10) working days of receiving an appeal from the Grievant or the expiration of the five (5) working day limit for submitting an appeal, the Provost shall respond by providing to all parties to the Grievance and to the UGO a written statement of his or her recommendation, which shall include a summary of the relevant information and the reasoning that supports this recommendation. A copy of this recommendation shall also be provided to the President, along with a copy of any appeal to the Provost from the Grievant.

K.10.6.3 Appeal of the Recommendation From the Provost

If the Provost modifies the Recommendation from the Hearing Committee, the Grievant has the right to appeal the new recommendation from the Provost. This appeal must be made within five (5) working days of receipt of the written recommendation from the Provost, it must provide reasons for the appeal, and it must not exceed two (2) pages with normal font size. Failure of the Grievant to file an appeal within this time frame shall constitute his or her acceptance of the recommendation from the Provost.

K.10.6.4 Review by the President

If the President is not a party to the Grievance, he or she shall review the Recommendation from the Hearing Committee, together with any minority report, the recommendation from the Provost (unless the Provost was a party to the Grievance), and any appeals from the Grievant. This review shall be based only on the Appeal Record, the Provost’s recommendation and any appeal by the Grievant. No party may introduce new substantive issues. Regardless of the recommendation from the Provost, the President shall modify the Recommendation from the Hearing Committee only if he or she finds that this Recommendation is unfair, unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory.

Within twenty (20) working days of receiving an appeal from the Grievant or the expiration of the five (5) working day limit for submitting an appeal, the President shall respond by providing to all parties to the Grievance, the UGO, and the Provost a written statement of his or her decision, which shall include a summary of the relevant information and the reasoning that supports this decision. The decision of the President is final.

If the decision of the President includes taking action as a result of the Grievance, he or she shall notify the appropriate parties of the action to be taken.

K.10.6.5 Review by the Board

If the President was a party to the Grievance, the Board shall review the Recommendation from the Hearing Committee, together with any minority report and any appeal from the Grievant, unless the Recommendation suggests that no action be taken as a result of the Grievance and no appeal was submitted by the Grievant within the five (5) working day limit. The decision of the Board is final. If the decision of the Board includes taking action as a result of the Grievance, this may involve special Board action and/or instruction regarding action to be taken by administrators.

K.11 Grievance Panel and Hearing Committees

K.11.1 Grievance Panel (last revised August 2, 2013)

The Grievance Panel shall be a pool of eligible Hearing Committee members consisting of twenty-one (21) tenured faculty members, with at least one (1) from each college and the University Libraries, and twenty-one (21) administrative professionals, representing at least four (4) administrative areas. Administrative professionals shall have had at least five (5) years employment at half-time (0.5) or greater at Colorado State University. No person having administrative duties, as described in Section K.11.2, shall be qualified to serve on the Grievance Panel.

K.11.1.1 Duties (last revised August 2, 2013)

As specified elsewhere in this section, individual members of the Grievance Panel may be recruited to a) serve on individual Hearing Committees, b) serve on search committees to select a new UGO, and c) consult with the leadership of Faculty Council or the Administrative Professional Council, as appropriate, on policy matters related to procedures outlined in Section K and the activities of the UGO.

K.11.1.2 Chair (last revised August 2, 2013)

Each year, a Grievance Panel Chair shall be appointed jointly by th presidents of the Faculty Council and Administrative Professional Council from among the panel’s elected members. This volunteer position shall be filled by a faculty member in academic years ending in an odd number and by and administrative professional in academic years ending in an even number.

As specified elsehwere in this Section, the chair’s duties are:

a. To meet with the UGO at least quarterly or as needed to review activities of the UGO,

b. To review challenges to the qualification and classification of grievances by the UGO (Section K.10.1),

c. To appoint a subcommittee to seek nominations and interview prospective UGO candidates (Section K.12.1),

d. To confer with the Provost on the appointment of a Temporary Special University Grievance Officer, as needed (Section K.12.6),

e. To advise the UGO on policy and procedural matters covered in this Section,

f. To advise the Faculty Council and Administrative Professional Council on matters pertaining to rights and responsibilities described in this Section,

g. To provide input for the UGO’s annual report (Section K.12.4.h),

h. To assist the Faculty Council and the Administrative Professional Council in their annual evaluation of the UGO be receiving and reporting on questionnaires to parties inquiring about or involved in mediation or the grievance process. These questionnaires will be distributed by the UGO (Section K.12.4.1),

i. To provide input on the UGO’s annual performance review (Section K.12.1).

K.11.2 Administrative Duties

With respect to qualification to serve on the Grievance Panel, administrative duty or duties refers to the service of those persons acting as the administrators responsible for the various administrative units, departments, colleges, and the University, and responsible for budgets and supervising and evaluating personnel other than state classified personnel. The term shall cover persons having the title “Assistant Dean” or “Associate Dean”. However, service by persons as chairs of committees, or as Principal Investigators on contracts and grants shall not be considered to be administrative duties.

K.11.3 Election of Grievance Panel Members

Faculty members shall be nominated by the Faculty Council Committee on Faculty Governance, who shall provide a full slate of nominees for election by the Faculty Council. Administrative professionals shall be elected by the Administrative Professional Council. Nominations for candidates shall be opened on February 15, annually, and election shall be held in April. Election shall be for a three (3) year term starting on the first (1st) day of Fall semester, with the terms staggered so that approximately one-third (1/3) of the faculty members and one-third (1/3) of the administrative professionals have their terms expire each year. Grievance Panel members who have served two (2) consecutive terms shall be ineligible for re-election for a period of two (2) years.

When a vacancy occurs on the Grievance Panel, it shall be filled by appointment, unless the vacancy occurs within one (1) month before the next regular election, in which case, the unexpired term shall be filled at that election. An appointment of a faculty member shall be made by the Faculty Council Committee on Faculty Governance, and an appointment of an administrative professional shall be made by the Administrative Professional Council.

K.11.4 Formation of Hearing Committees

The UGO shall establish a rotation schedule for the members of the Grievance Panel to serve on Hearing Committees. Hearing Committees shall consist of five (5) members having the same appointment classification (faculty member or administrative professional) as the Grievant. Each Hearing Committee scheduled to hear a Grievance shall select from its membership a Chair, who shall be a voting member of the Hearing Committee, preside over the Hearing, maintain orderly procedures, and supervise the preparation of the written Recommendation regarding the Grievance.

If a member of the Hearing Committee excuses himself or herself as described in Section K.10.2.g or is excused by the UGO due to a challenge for cause, he or she shall be replaced on the Hearing Committee by the next person of the same appointment classification in the rotation order. If the Chair of the Hearing Committee is replaced in this manner the new members of the Hearing Committee shall select a new Chair from among themselves. In the event that it is impossible to establish a full Hearing Committee from the membership of the Grievance Panel, each of the parties in the Grievance shall nominate two (2) persons for each vacant position, and the UGO shall name the replacements from among those nominees, subject to further challenge for cause as provided in Section K.10.2.h.

K.12 University Grievance Officer

K.12.1 Selection, Qualifications, and Term of the University Grievance Officer

In October of the third year of the UGO’s term of office, the chair of the Grievance Panel shall appoint a subcommittee of the Grievance Panel to provide nominations for a UGO to serve the next three-year term. In November, this subcommittee shall solicit nominations, and, in January, it shall recommend two (2) or three (3) qualified persons to the President through the Provost. The UGO shall be selected by the President, after consultation with the members of the subcommittee during the second week of February. The selection must be confirmed by a majority vote of those cast by the Faculty Council and the Administrative Professional Council in April, such confirmations being conducted separately. In the event that a majority vote of those cast is not attained by both the Faculty Council and the Administrative Professional Council, another candidate shall be proposed by the President. The UGO shall take office on July 1 following the vote and shall report to the Provost. The Provost shall keep the President informed regarding the activities of the UGO.

The UGO shall be a tenured, full-time member of the faculty with at least the rank of associate professor and shall have no administrative duties (see Section K.11.2) throughout the term of service. The term of office shall be three (3) consecutive one (1) year appointments. There is no limit to the number of terms a UGO may serve. The UGO shall be evaluated annually. In February, the Executive Committee of Faculty Council and the Executive Committee of the Administrative Professional Council shall each send a written performance evaluation to the Provost. The Provost shall prepare the official evaluation of the UGO and submit it to the President preceding each reappointment. If the position of UGO becomes vacant before expiration of the term, the Grievance Panel shall recommend an interim appointment to the President, through the Provost, to serve until a confirmed UGO, selected the following February, takes office on July 1.

K.12.2 Oversight of the University Grievance Officer (last revised August 2, 2013)

The UGO shall be accountable to the Faculty and Administrative Professional Councils on matters pertaining to carrying out the responsibilities of the UGO. The UGO shall seek the advise of the Chair of the Grievance Panel on procedural matters. The UGO shall report administratively to the Provost.

K.12.3 Service of the University Grievance Officer

The UGO shall be appointed part-time, depending upon the work load. The appointment fraction and associated funds shall be negotiated at least annually among the UGO, the Provost, and the UGO’s department head and may be reviewed as necessary during the year. Adequate secretarial and expense support shall be provided by the Office of the Provost.

K.12.4 Duties of the University Grievance Officer (last revised May 8, 2015)

The UGO shall be responsible for:

a. Maintaining a record of actions taken as part of the processes in Section K and Section E.15.

b. Coordinating and facilitating the activities of the Grievance Panel by maintaining the records of the Panel, scheduling all meetings of the Panel for informational and organizational purposes, scheduling meetings of its Hearing Committees, calling individuals to appear before the Hearing Committees, and establishing the rotation order for service by the members of the Panel on Hearing Committees.

c. Overseeing the processes of Section K and Section E.15 and preparing reports to the Grievance Panel, including recommendations for improving these processes.

d. Assuring that faculty members and administrative professionals are familiar with the provisions, components, purposes, and procedures of the processes of Section K and Section E.15.

e. Consulting with at-will employees and the Office of General Counsel about disciplinary action or termination of at-will employees, as discussed in Section K.3.1.g.

f. Making recommendations to Hearing Committees regarding guidelines for the operation of these committees pursuant to Section K and Section E.15.

g. Advising potential and active parties to a Grievance of their prospects for sustaining a Grievance, including their responsibilities for following the procedural rules of Section K.10.

h. Facilitating the conduct of Hearings decision pursuant to Section K and Section E.15.

i. Preparing an annual report, in consultation with the Chair of the Grievance Panel each June for the Faculty Council and Administrative Professional Council, which summarizes activities and recommendations during the previous year.

j. Maintaining and updating the list of UMs.

k. Appointing appropriate UMs to mediate disputes involving faculty members, administrative professionals, and/or administrators.

l. Coordinating orientation and training of University Mediators and Grievance Panel members

m. Assisting the Faculty Council and Administrative Professional Council in their annual evaluations of the UGO by distributing questionnaires to parties inquiring about or involved in mediation or the grievance process, and assigning numerical identifiers to each questionnaire, thus maintaining participants’ anonymity.

K.12.5 Legal Advice

At any time, the UGO may seek legal advice from the Office of General Counsel for the University. If the UGO determines that it is appropriate to seek legal advice from outside the Office of the General Counsel for the University, he or she may request that the Office of the General Counsel engage the services of an attorney from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office to give legal advice to the UGO. If the UGO determines that it is necessary to seek legal advice from an attorney who is outside of the Office of the General Counsel and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, the UGO may make such a request to the Office of the General Counsel. Any such engagement must be approved by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. A denial by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office of such a request is not grievable.

K.12.6 Temporary Special University Grievance Officer

In the event of a conflict of interest by the UGO in a dispute, or in the event that the UGO becomes a Grievant or requests to be recused, the Provost, after consultation with the Grievance Panel and the President, shall appoint a Special UGO for that dispute. The Special UGO shall have all the duties herein of the UGO for the duration of the specific dispute for which he or she is appointed.

K.13 University Mediators

K.13.1 Qualifications of University Mediators

The individuals nominated and recommended as UMs shall be presently employed or retired faculty members or administrative professionals who have the skills, credibility and commitment that would enable them to discharge their duties effectively as UMs. Currently employed individuals shall obtain prior approval from their department head/supervisor. The UGO is not eligible to serve as a UM.

K.13.1.1 Qualifications of University Mediators for Faculty

Each UM for faculty members shall be a tenured, full-time faculty member with at least the rank of associate professor or a faculty member with a transitional or emeritus/emerita appointment who previously held such a rank. He or she shall have no administrative duties (see Section K.11.2) throughout the term of service. Within ten (10) working days of an appeal from the Grievant or a Hearing Committee decision that was not appealed, the Provost shall respond by providing to all parties to the Grievance and the UGO a written statement of the decision rendered with a summary of relevant evidence and the reasoning that sustains the decision.

K.13.1.2 Qualifications of University Mediators for Administrative Professionals

Each UM for administrative professionals shall be employed at least half-time (0.5) as an administrative professional at Colorado State University or, if retired, shall have been employed by the University at least half-time (0.5) as an administrative professional.

K.13.2 Selection, Terms, and Evaluation of University Mediators for Academic Faculty (last revised August 2, 2013)

The Chair of Faculty Council and the Provost shall solicit nominations for UMs from the faculty members prior to the end of each academic year. In consultation with the Faculty Council Executive Committee, the Council of Deans, and any other appropriate groups, the Chair of Faculty Council and the Provost shall jointly forward recommendations to the President. The President shall appoint at least two (2) faculty UMs for the upcoming year. The UMs for faculty members shall take office on July 1 following their appointment by the President.

University Mediators may be eligible to receive supplemental pay based on hours devoted to mediation activities. Moreover, the Provost and the faculty member’s immediate supervisor may choose to provide an adjustment in effort distribution and/or workload. In this case, individuals appointed as academic faculty UMs may negotiate this change in effort distribution or workload with their immediate supervisor, to reflect their involvement in the Mediation process.

The term of office for a UM shall be three (3) consecutive one (1) year appointments on an at-will basis. There is no limit to the number of terms a UM may serve. Each UM shall be evaluated annually. In February, the Executive Committee of Faculty Council who shall send a written performance evaluation to the Provost, and the Provost shall then prepare the official evaluation of the UM and submit it to the President preceding each reappointment. If the need arises to appoint an additional UM during the academic year, the Chair of Faculty Council and the Provost shall recommend jointly an interim appointment to the President to serve until a new UM is selected and takes office the next July 1.

K.13.3 Selection, Terms, and Evaluation of University Mediators for Administrative Professionals (last revised August 2, 2013)

The Chair of the Administrative Professional Council and the Vice President for University Operations shall solicit nominations for UMs for administrative professionals prior to the end of each academic year. In consultation with the Administrative Professional Council and any other appropriate groups, the Chair of the Administrative Professional Council and the Vice President for University Operations shall jointly forward recommendations to the President. The President shall appoint at least two (2) administrative professional UMs for the upcoming year. The UMs for administrative professionals shall take office on July 1 following their appointment by the President.

University Mediators may be eligible to receive supplemental pay based on hours devoted to mediation activities. Moreover, the Vice President for University Operations and the administrative professional’s immediate supervisor may choose to provide an adjustment in effort distribution and/or workload. In this case, individuals appointed as administrative professional UMs may negotiate this change in effort distribution or workload with their immediate supervisor to reflect their involvement in the Mediation process.

The term of office shall be three (3) consecutive one (1) year appointments on an at-will basis. There is no limit to the number of terms a UM may serve. Administrative professional University Mediators who have mediated one or more cases shall be evaluated in that calendar year by the Executive Committee of the Administrative Professional Council, who shall send a written performance evaluation to the Vice President for University Operations. The Vice President for University Operations shall then prepare the official evaluation of the UM and submit it to the President preceding each reappointment. If the need arises to appoint an additional UM during the academic year, the Chair of the Administrative Professional Council and the Vice President for University Operations shall jointly recommend an interim appointment to the President to serve until a new UM is selected and takes office the next July 1.

K.14 Key Time Limits Within the Mediation and Grievance Processes

Action Maximum Number of Working Days
(a) Action discovered
(b) Submission of written claim to UGO 20 days after (a)
(c) Appointment of University Mediator (UM) 5 days after (b)
(d) Decision by UM whether to attempt mediation 10 days after (c)
(e) Mediation Period 20 days after (d)
(f) Submission of written Grievance Complaint 5 days after (d) and (e)
(g) Written Response from Responsible Administrator 5 days after (f)
(h) Form Hearing Committee and begin Hearing 10 days after (f)
(i) Conclude Hearing 10 days after (h)
(j) Recommendation of Hearing Committee 10 days after (i)
(k) Notification of Recommendation by UGO 2 days after (j)
(l) Appeal of Hearing Committee Recommendation 5 days after (k)
(m) Review by Provost 10 days after (k) and (l)
(n) Appeal of Provost Recommendation 5 days after (m)
(o) Review by President 20 days after (n)

1 The term “personal file” refers to information collected because of the employer-employee relationship, and it does not necessarily refer to a single physical file. In orde3r for information to be part of the personnel file, there must be a reasonable expectation that such information will be kept private. Information in the personnel file is generally not made available for public inspection, but it is available to the individual and to his or her supervisors.