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Formal Hearings Board
Policies and Practices

 
  1. Formal Hearing of Complaints.
     
    1. A faculty member may request a formal hearing either in place of informal mediation, or subsequent to informal mediation by the Professional Review Committee. Any party involved in a faculty grievance may request that a formal hearings board be convened as specified by V.E.5.a of the faculty constitution:

    2.  
      V.E.5.a   Hearings Boards. The {faculty} council will serve as the formal hearings board in the case of termination for cause or dismissal for cause.   The council will also serve as the formal hearings board for a faculty grievance if such a hearing is desired by any party involved in the grievance.  In addition, any full-time faculty member recommended for termination or dismissal by the {discriminatory and} Sexual Harassment Complaint Board may appeal the sanction to Faculty Council, which will serve as the formal hearings board for the appeal. 

    3. A faculty grievance is defined in VIII.A of the Faculty Handbook:
       
      VIII.A. Definition.  A grievance is a formal documented statement by a faculty member that he or she has been harmed professionally by the deliberate effort of a faculty colleague or administrator to threaten, malign, or discriminate against the petitioner.  Grievances may include, but are not limited to, claims of salary inequity, capricious denial of professional development funds, or discriminatory harassment.  Claims of sexual harassment are to be pursued according to Appendix 3.

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    5. Before bringing a complaint to the Formal Hearings Board, the complaint must be first appealed under the normal channels of authority (e.g. department chair, dean of the faculty, President).

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  3. Conflict of Interest.
     



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  5. Procedure of the Formal Hearing.
     
    1. Within seven days of the receipt of a written petition for a formal hearing, Faculty Council will meet and determine if the grievance is covered by the description provided in I.A and I.B, above.

    2.  
    3. If Faculty Council decides the grievance falls within its jurisdiction, it will notify all parties to the dispute within seven days that a formal hearing will be convened no later that 30 days after receipt of the written petition described in III.A. If Council decides the complaint is outside its jurisdiction, it will notify the complainant in writing within seven days after the written petition was reviewed.

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    5. All the proceedings of the hearing will be confidential in accordance with VIII.B.6 of the Faculty Handbook:
       
      VIII.B.6. Confidentiality.  The hearing is private; all proceedings at the hearing, including all testimony of witnesses and all exhibits, shall be confidential communications.

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    7. The scope of the hearing will be limited to the points of contention raised in the written petition. The petition is to be made available to all parties 10 days prior to the hearing according to VIII.B.5.
       
      VIII.B.5. Testimony.  All parties shall have furnished to them, ten days before the hearing, a written statement of the points in contention.  The scope of the hearing shall be confined to the written charges.  All parties shall have the opportunity to be heard in their own cause, and to confront and cross-examine all witnesses.

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    9. The rules for parties in attendance, testimony and cross-examination, and the keeping of records are stipulated in VIII.B.4 and VIII.B.5 (above) of the Faculty Handbook:
       
      VIII.B.4. ÖThe president and the dean of the faculty have the option of attending the hearing.  All parties have the right to be represented by an individual of their choice other than a practicing attorney.  Any costs for the representation will be borne by the respective party.  There will be a full stenographic or taped record of the hearing, paid for by the College, available to the parties concerned.

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    11. The judgement and recommendation of Faculty Council will be dispensed as stipulated in VIII.B.7 of the Faculty Handbook:


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      VIII.B.7. Judgment and Recommendation.  The Faculty Councilís judgment and recommendation for action will be based solely on the evidence of the hearing and will be given in writing to all parties of the dispute, to the dean of the faculty, and to the chair of the Board of Trustees.  Additionally, copies of the councilís recommendation will be placed in the permanent files of the parties to the dispute.  The dean of the faculty, if he or she is not a party to the dispute, will consider councilís recommendation in resolving the grievance.  If the dean of the faculty is an accused party, councilís recommendation for action will go to the president.  If the president is the accused party, the councilís recommendation for action will go to the chair of the Board of Trustees.  In the last two cases, action to resolve the grievance will be taken by the president and Board representatives, respectively.  A statement of action taken to resolve the grievance will be placed in the permanent files of all parties to the dispute and given to the chair of the Board of Trustees.

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    13. The appeal process is set forth in VIII.B.8 of the Faculty Handbook.
       
      VIII.B.8. Appeal.  Any party may appeal Faculty Council's judgment and recommendation to the Professional Review Committee within seven days of the decision.  Such an appeal will be to determine if the specified procedure was followed by Faculty Council.  The appeals hearing shall be conducted in the same manner and under the same terms and conditions as the formal hearing before the Faculty Council.  The chair of the Board of Trustees shall be given written notice of any appeal.


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