Discipline, Grievance, and Appeals: Global Faculty

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2.14.1. Faculty Discipline and Appeals

Faculty members at NYIT are expected to abide by the rules and regulations of the institution and the laws of their host country. Faculty should conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, fulfil their obligations to the university and profession, and respect the cultural diversity of the environment. The Executive Director/Campus Dean has the authority to act in a variety of ways when faculty fail to meet the expected standards and fulfil contractual obligations. At this discretion, the Executive Director/Campus Dean can recommend to terminate adjunct faculty during the term, can give written warnings to full-time faculty, or refer instances to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Full-time faculty members, after proper investigation, can be dismissed or suspended for cause, including professional misconduct and violations of NYIT policies that pertain to faculty; material misrepresentation of facts with respect to professional and academic qualifications, previous employment, academic credentials, publications, and other professional achievements; or gross neglect of duties. Decisions to dismiss or suspend full-time faculty members are made by the Vice President for Academic Affairs on the recommendation of the Academic Dean, the Executive Director/Campus Dean and the Assistant Dean. In the event that the institution determines to suspend or dismiss a faculty member, the individual is notified in writing of the charge or charges and disciplinary action against him or her. Appeals can be made to the Office of Academic Affairs or the Executive Director/Campus Dean. Information that the faculty members believe to be relevant to the issue should be submitted for consideration. The final, binding decisions on the appeal are made by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and relayed to the faculty member, the Academic Dean, the Executive Director/Campus Dean, and the Office of Global Academic Programs. (Policy D-9, Policies and Procedures Manual).

2.14.2. Faculty Grievances

Definition of a Grievance

A "grievance" means a dispute concerning terms and conditions of the employment arising from any administrative decision which the faculty member claims is in violation of rights under, or a failure to apply established NYIT personnel regulations, policies, or practices, or which results from a misinterpretation or misapplication thereof.

As faculty members may raise grievances about matters or issues relating to their work experiences at NYIT, the grievance procedure is intended to facilitate the handling of a grievance brought forward by a faculty member.

The internal procedures that apply within NYIT for addressing faculty member grievances on campuses outside of New York are set out below. These procedures are designed to ensure that throughout NYIT there is a transparent process for ensuring that faculty member grievances are dealt with fairly, consistently and promptly.

Principles of faculty member grievance resolution procedures of NYIT

  1. That the procedures used to review and resolve grievances are fair and must be seen to be fair;
  2. Confidentiality will be respected for all parties, unless the dissemination of the information is required by law;
  3. That staff involved in resolving grievances will act fairly at all times and ensure that conclusions will be based on a fair hearing of each point of view;
  4. There will be no reprisals or any disadvantage arising as a result of a faculty member making a grievance in good faith;
  5. That grievances are handled in a timely manner with achievable deadlines specified for each stage in the resolution process;
  6. Any faculty member who makes a grievance and any staff member or faculty member on whom the grievance has a direct impact, is regularly informed of the progress of the matter;
  7. Where the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome proposed by the decision-maker at the end of the Informal Approach, the faculty member is entitled to seek a review, either on procedural or substantive grounds, from the campus Grievance Committee (see below: Formal Approach).

Informal Approach – Assistant Dean/Supervisor and Faculty member Responsibilities

  1. A faculty member who has a grievance shall discuss the grievance with his/her Assistant Dean/Supervisor in an effort to settle the same. The faculty member must do this personally.
  2. If the Assistant Dean/Supervisor and/or faculty member, after full discussion, feels the need for aid in arriving at a resolution, he/she may, by agreement between the faculty member and the Assistant Dean/Supervisor, invite other additional party/s as may be necessary and available to participate in further discussions. Such additional participants shall act as "resource" personnel but shall not relieve the Assistant Dean/Supervisor and the faculty member from the responsibility for resolving the problem. If a solution is found, the case is closed. NYIT expects that, in most cases, the discussion of the concern with the relevant faculty member will result in a prompt resolution of the matter which both parties will find acceptable.
  3. The Assistant Dean/Supervisor shall submit a written report to the Executive Director/Campus Dean detailing the grievance, the discussion that happened between the Assistant Dean/Supervisor and the faculty member, the consensual solution found by both parties and his/her final recommendation to implement the solution. This report shall be signed by both the grievant faculty member and the Assistant Dean/Supervisor.
  4. If the solution does not involve fiscal/financial consequences, and if, after review, the Executive Director/Campus Dean approves the recommendation, the case is considered closed, and files the report.
  5. If the solution does involve fiscal/financial consequences and/or is not approved by the Executive Director/Campus Dean, then the Executive Director/Campus Dean forwards the report to the Office of Academic Affairs for further examination and settlement.
  6. However, if a request or complaint is not satisfactorily resolved, the faculty member may put it in writing and file it promptly as a "formal" grievance (See Formal Approach).
Formal Approach – Procedural Steps
Settlement Step 1
  1. To be considered formally, a grievance must be filed with the faculty member's relevant Assistant Dean/Supervisor. The faculty member must complete a "Grievance Form" available from the Office of the Executive Director/Campus Dean, submit the completed form to his/her Assistant Dean/Supervisor and inform the Executive Director/Campus Dean in writing that s/he is raising an official grievance.
  2. The faculty member must answer the following questions on the form:
    • What specific right has been violated?
    • What is the University policy or local labor law that guarantees it?
    • What are the pertinent facts which may aid in arriving at a prompt and definitive resolution?
    • What efforts have already been made to settle this matter?
  3. The faculty member is free to ask and receive the assistance of the central Office of Human Resources in preparation of his/her grievance form.
  4. The Assistant Dean/Supervisor will review the informal decision he/she earlier gave the faculty member. The Assistant Dean/Supervisor may change, modify, or affirm his/her earlier decision. If the Assistant Dean/Supervisor changes the decision in a way to effect an informal agreement with the faculty member, he/she shall indicate "Resolved at Step 1" on the grievance form and return it to the faculty member with a copy of his/her recommendation, signed by both the faculty member and the Assistant Dean/Supervisor, to the Executive Director/Campus Dean.
  5. The Executive Director/Campus Dean will then comply with the actions 4) and 5) already defined above in the Informal Approach procedure.
  6. If, however, the Assistant Dean/Supervisor affirms or modifies his/her earlier decision in a manner not acceptable to the faculty member, the Assistant Dean/Supervisor shall indicate "Not Resolved at Step 1" on the grievance form, shall sign it and have it signed by the faculty, and shall forward the grievance to the Executive Director/Campus Dean (next level of supervision) within two (2) working days after date received.
Settlement Step 2
  1. The Executive Director/Campus Dean shall consider and answer the grievance in writing not later than ten (10) working days following the date of its receipt.
  2. The Executive Director/Campus Dean should proceed in the following ways:
    • Consult with the Assistant Dean/Supervisor involved.
    • Ascertain all the pertinent facts.
    • Examine carefully the policies involved, if any, and make a determination of the appropriateness of the issue for grievance.
    • Discuss the matter with the faculty member and if the complaint is not a grievable issue, the faculty member should be so notified.
    • If feasible, settle the matter within the framework of existing University policy to the satisfaction of the faculty member and his/her Assistant Dean/Supervisor.
  3. The Executive Director/Campus Dean shall indicate on the grievance form the disposition of the grievance at his/her level (Resolved at Step 2, Not Resolved at Step 2, or Not a Grievable Issue). The Executive Director/Campus Dean shall sign and date the form and hand deliver it to the faculty member, who will sign and indicate date received.
  4. If a mutually agreeable settlement is not reached at Step 2, the Executive Director/Campus Dean shall indicate on the grievance form that the matter has not been resolved at Step 2 and shall promptly refer the matter to a Grievance Committee (Step 3) for further investigation and impartial determination of the facts.
Settlement Step 3
  1. The Executive Director/Campus Dean shall refer the faculty member to a Grievance Committee (see the composition of the Grievance Committee here below) not later than two (2) working days after the non-resolution of Step 2.
  2. The Committee will submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee for a final decision on the matter.
  3. Based on the minutes of the grievance hearing and report, the Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee shall issue a final and binding decision on the case.
  4. The Executive Director/Campus Dean shall convey this outcome to all parties involved.
Special Cases
  1. If the initiation of the grievance involves a direct complaint against his/her Assistant Dean/Supervisor, implying that the Informal Approach or Step 1 procedures cannot be applied correctly, the faculty member shall file a "Grievance Form" directly with the Executive Director/Campus Dean, indicating the reason of his/her accusation. The Executive Director/Campus Dean will then proceed to the Step 2.
  2. If the initiation of the grievance involves a direct complaint against the Executive Director/Campus Dean, implying that the Informal Approach, Step 1and Step 2 procedures cannot be applied correctly, the faculty member shall file a "Grievance Form" directly with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, indicating the reason of his/her complaint.
    1. The Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee shall refer the faculty member to a Grievance Committee (see the composition of the Grievance Committee here below) not later than ten (10) working days after the filing of the grievance.
    2. The Committee will submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee for a final decision on the matter.
    3. Based on the minutes of the grievance hearing and report, the Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee shall issue a final and binding decision on the case and will convey this outcome directly to the faculty member, the Grievance Committee and the Executive Director/Campus Dean.
Composition of the Grievance Committee
  1. At the beginning of each academic year, a pool of faculty members susceptible to sit at the Grievance Committee shall be constituted by the Executive Director/Campus Dean, on the basis of a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 3 faculty members per school/college.
  2. Should Step 3 of a grievance process be reached, the membership of the Grievance Committee shall then be composed of:
    1. One faculty member from each school or college from the pool of faculty members identified at the beginning of the academic year (see 1. above), and selected by the Executive Director/Campus Dean on a rotating basis;
    2. One faculty member selected by the aggrieved faculty member;
    3. All members of the Grievance Committee must be fulltime regular appointed faculty member.
    4. On a regular grievance case, the Executive Director/Campus Dean will chair the Grievance Committee;
    5. If the Grievance Committee is called by the Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee for resolution of a special case 2., the Grievance Committee shall elect a Chair internally.