||June 15, 1978; Revised May 15, 1982; Revised June 15, 1989; Revised November 14, 1990; Revised June 22, 1995; Revised December 4, 2014 (eff. 1/1/15); Reviewed and Approved with No Changes April 22, 2022|
SCHEDULED REVIEW DATE: April 2027
The purpose of this policy is to supplement the administrative and academic
procedures of Old Dominion University and to provide a grievance procedure
which will insure academic due process and fair treatment for faculty.
Only faculty under full-time teaching and research contracts and professional
librarians may use the procedure described in this policy. A teaching
and research administrator with departmental designation may use the
procedure but only to grieve, in accordance with the requirements described
herein, an action concerning the academic promotion of or the award
of tenure to that administrator.
- Definition of Grievance
As used in this policy, a grievance is an allegation by a faculty member
that he or she has suffered direct injury as a result of the following:
An action, refusal to act, or failure to act by an administrative officer of the university which
deviated materially from the existing policies or procedures of the
- An action by an administrative officer of the university which
was arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, or contrary to the facts.
"Administrative officer," as used in this
policy, refers to any individual exercising administrative authority,
including, but not limited to, a department chair or a program
Except as otherwise provided herein, a faculty member who chooses
to grieve under this policy may seek any remedy appropriate to the
grievance which the university has the authority to provide.
The remedy available to a faculty member who chooses to grieve
a personnel action, i.e., a nonreappointment, promotion, evaluation,
salary increment, a decision not to award tenure, or appointment
to emeritus status, is the initiation of a proper reconsideration
of that decision through the applicable procedures of the university.
- Limitations Upon the Application of the Grievance Policy
Except as provided in I.E.3 herein, a faculty member must
exhaust existing administrative or academic procedures for review
of an action about which the faculty member chooses to grieve prior
to filing a grievance under this policy.
An action concerning the imposition of a sanction upon a faculty
member or the dismissal of faculty from employment due to a financial
exigency, etc. must be reviewed in accordance with the applicable
policies for review of such an action and may not be reviewed under
this Grievance Policy unless the applicable policies so provide.
An action concerning the promotion of a faculty member or the
award of tenure to a faculty member must be grieved by that faculty
member after action by the provost and vice president for academic
affairs but before the faculty member's request for review
by the president.
An action concerning the promotion of a faculty member, the nonreappointment
of a faculty member, or the award of tenure to a faculty member only
may be grieved by that faculty member upon the ground that there
was a material deviation from the applicable procedures of the university
during the process leading to the action.
- Maintenance of Records
The complaint and all records developed during the investigation of
the complaint shall be considered confidential and shall not be
released except as required by law or by the provisions of this policy.
The complaint and all records developed during the investigation of
the complaint shall be retained in the University Counsel's Office
for a period of three years after the date of the final determination.
Records developed as a result of the grievance will be filed separate
from the faculty member's official personnel file. Thereafter the records
shall be destroyed unless state or federal action is pending.
- Informal Resolution of a Grievance
A faculty member who chooses to grieve under this policy should first
discuss the matter with the administrative officer whose action or
failure to act is the basis for the grievance.
If the discussion does not produce a resolution, the faculty member may request
mediation provided by the Faculty Mediation program through the Faculty Senate
If, as a result of the faculty member's discussion with the
administrative officer, the matter is not resolved to the faculty member's
satisfaction, the faculty member shall discuss the matter with the immediate
supervisor of the administrative officer whose action is the basis of
the grievance. The faculty member shall not discuss the matter with the
immediate supervisor of the administrative officer if that immediate
supervisor is the president.
If, as a result of these discussions and/or mediation, the matter is not resolved to
the faculty member's satisfaction, the faculty member may proceed
to formal resolution of the grievance.
- Formal Resolution of a Grievance
- Written Statement of Grievance
A faculty member shall initiate formal resolution of a grievance
by filing a written statement of grievance with the chair of the
Faculty Grievance Committee.
- The written statement filed electronically by the faculty member shall contain,
as a minimum, the following:
a description of the action, refusal or failure to act by the administrator that the faculty member is grieving;
the grounds upon which the faculty member is grieving the
action including an identification of the applicable policy or
procedures, if any;
a description of the events leading to the action, refusal or failure to act the faculty member is grieving;
a statement of the injury suffered by the faculty member and
the date thereof; and
a statement of the remedy sought by the faculty member.
The written statement should be no longer than 1,000 words.
The faculty member should attach to the written statement copies
of relevant documentation.
Except in cases involving personnel actions, the written statement
of grievance shall be filed with the chair of the Faculty Grievance
Committee within ninety (90) days of the date that the faculty member
suffers the alleged injury. In those exceptional cases when the faculty
member can demonstrate that he or she did not know, or have reason
to know, of the grievance within ninety (90) days, the Grievance
Committee may extend this period to one hundred and eighty (180)
days. If the faculty member's grievance concerns a series or
pattern of injurious decisions, the period shall run from that date
of the latest alleged injury; however, the committee may review all
of the decisions in the alleged pattern and the committee may make
recommendations concerning all of the decisions in the alleged pattern
if it finds that such a pattern did exist and that any incident of
the pattern occurred within the number of days specified herein.
In a case involving a personnel action, i.e., a nonreappointment,
promotion, evaluation, salary increment, or a decision not to award
tenure, the written statement of grievance shall be filed with the
chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee within thirty (30) days
of the date that the faculty member is provided notice of action
taken after administrative and academic review procedures have been
exhausted as required by paragraphs I(D)(2) and I(E)(3) herein.
If the period described in paragraph 5 or paragraph 6 above would
expire ordinarily between the university's regular semesters,
the period shall be extended and shall expire fifteen (15) days after
the beginning of the next regular semester.
- Review by the Faculty Grievance Committee
Upon a faculty member's filing of a written statement
of grievance with the chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee, the Grievance
Committee shall review the statement, and, if appropriate, proceed with
a review of the grievance in accordance with its applicable procedures,
as described in sections II and III of Faculty Grievance Committee and
Hearing Panels: Composition and Procedures.
- Withdrawal and Settlement of Matters Before the Committee
The faculty member in any matter before the Grievance Committee may withdraw
the matter at any time during the committee's proceedings without
the committee's or a Hearing Panel's approval.
Such a settlement removes the matter from the jurisdiction of the committee
and closes the case. The committee or a Hearing Panel may take whatever
steps it deems necessary and appropriate to encourage settlement.
- Decision by the President
Upon the conclusion of the applicable procedures of the Grievance
Committee and upon the president's receipt of the committee's
report and recommendation issued as described therein, the president
may decide to accept, alter, or reject the recommendation of the committee
as the president sees fit.
Before deciding whether to accept, alter, or reject the recommendation
of the committee, the president may request and consider written or oral
statements from the parties to the grievance or their designated representatives.
Each party must be provided a copy of the written statement filed by
the other party and each party must be provided the opportunity to be
present when an oral statement is made by the other party. The president
shall not discuss the matter with either party prior to making a decision
except as provided herein.
If the president decides to alter or reject the recommendation of
the committee, the president must state in writing the reasons for that
The president must provide notice to the grievant and to the Grievance
Committee of the president's decision, and, if required, the reasons
therefore, within thirty (30) days of the president's receipt of
the committee's recommendation and report. If the president fails
to forward notice to the grievant and to the committee within thirty
(30) days, the president shall be deemed to have accepted the committee's
The president shall cause the implementation of any remedy provided
to the grievant as a result of the president's decision.
- Review and Evaluation of the Policy and Procedures
The president or his/her designated representative(s) and the Faculty Senate
or its designated representative(s) shall jointly review and evaluate this
policy every five years. At a Board of Visitors' meeting near
the end of an academic year after the review, the president shall present to the Board of
Visitors a report describing the results of the review and evaluation and
recommending necessary changes, if any. The Faculty Senate, through the
designated faculty representative, may present a separate report containing
other recommended changes if it should choose to do so.