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KU Edwards Grievance Procedure

Procedure
Purpose: 

To describe the procedures for hearing grievances arising within the Edwards Campus.

Applies to: 

Faculty and students who have a complaint or grievance arising within the Edwards Campus. Staff follow the University Staff Grievance Procedure.

Campus: 
Edwards
Policy Statement: 

In accordance with the requirements set forth in Article XII of the University Senate Code (USC) and Articles V and VI of the University Senate Rules and Regulations (USRR), this policy establishes the procedure to hear grievances arising within the Edwards Campus as a Large Organizational Unit. Units subordinate to the Edwards Campus may establish grievance procedures. If a unit subordinate to the Edwards Campus has a grievance procedure, grievances arising within the subordinate units or its subunits must be heard under the subordinate unit’s grievance procedure unless exceptional circumstances, as determined by the Edwards Campus, make it more appropriate for those grievances to be heard at the Edwards Campus level. Appeal of a grievance heard at a subordinate unit level is to the Judicial Board, not to the Edwards Campus.

Except as provided in USRR 6.5.4, no person shall be disciplined for using the grievance procedure or assisting another in using the grievance procedure.

The Edwards Campus shall provide a copy of this procedure to anyone who requests it.

Procedures for student or faculty grievances directed to KU Edwards Campus administration:

  1. To start the grievance process, the complaining party must submit a written grievance to the Edwards Campus Associate Dean by email at edwardsinfo@ku.edu or by postal mail to 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park, KS 66213. The grievance shall contain a statement of the facts underlying the complaint and specify the provision(s) of the Faculty Code of Conduct, University Senate Code, the University Senate Rules and Regulations, the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, or other applicable rule, policy, regulation, or law allegedly violated. The grievance shall also indicate the witnesses or other evidence relied on by the complaining party, and copies of any documents relevant to the grievance shall be attached. 
  2. At the time the grievance is submitted to the Edwards Campus, the complaining party shall provide a copy of the complaint, with accompanying documents, to the respondent(s), (i.e., the party or parties charged in the grievance).
  3. Upon receipt of the grievance, the Edwards Campus shall contact the respondent to verify that the respondent has received a copy of the grievance and to provide the respondent with a copy of these procedures.
  4. Pursuant to University Senate Code Article XII.2, a respondent has the privilege of remaining silent and refusing to give evidence in response to a grievance. The respondent also has the right to respond and give evidence in response to the grievance.
  5. If the respondent chooses to reply to the grievance, they shall submit a written response to the Edwards Campus Associate Dean and the complaining party within 14 calendar days of receiving it. The response shall contain the respondent’s statement of the facts underlying the dispute as well as any other defenses to the allegations in the grievance. The response shall also identify the witnesses or other evidence relied on by the respondent and shall include copies of any documents relevant to the response.
  6. Upon receipt of the response, the Edwards Campus shall contact the complaining party to verify that a copy of the response has been provided.
  7. Upon receiving the grievance and response, or if the respondent fails to respond within the 14-day time period, the Edwards Campus Associate Dean shall appoint a committee to consider the grievance. The committee members shall be disinterested parties who have not had previous involvement in the specific situation forming the basis of the grievance.
  8. Pursuant to USRR 6.8.4.2, the chair of the committee may contact other hearing bodies within the University to determine whether a grievance is currently pending before, or has been decided, by any other hearing body involving the underlying occurrence or events.
  9. To use this procedure, the complaining party must submit the written grievance by email or mail as evidenced by a postmark with the Edwards Campus within six months from the action or event that forms the basis of the grievance. The six-month time period shall be calculated using calendar days (including weekends and days during which classes are not in session).
  10. Upon receiving the grievance, if the chair of the committee determines that any of the following grounds exist, he or she may recommend to the Edwards Campus Associate Dean that the grievance be dismissed without further proceedings. The grounds for such dismissal are: (a) the grievance or another grievance involving substantially the same underlying occurrence or events has already been, or is being, adjudicated by proper University procedures; (b) the grievance has not been filed in a timely fashion; (c) the Edwards Campus Associate Dean lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter or any of the parties; (d) the grievance fails to allege a violation of a University rule; (e) the party filing the grievance lacks standing because they have not suffered a distinct injury as a result of the challenged conduct and have not been empowered to bring the complaint on behalf of the University; or (f) the party filing the grievance has been denied the right to file grievances pursuant to USRR 6.5.4.
  11. If the chair of the committee determines that a grievance on its face properly should be heard by another body, the chair will recommend that the Edwards Campus Associate Dean send the grievance to the appropriate hearing body without further proceedings in the Edwards Campus. The Edwards Campus Associate Dean will send a copy of the referral to the complaining party and any responding parties.
  12. Prior to scheduling a hearing, the parties shall participate in mediation of the dispute unless either party waives mediation. Mediation shall be governed by USRR 6.2.3.
  13. If mediation is successful, the mediator will forward to the Edwards Campus Associate Dean, the committee chair, and all parties a letter describing the outcome of the mediation and the terms upon which the parties have agreed to resolve the dispute. This letter shall be a recommendation to the Edwards Campus Associate Dean. The Edwards Campus Associate Dean will notify the mediator, the committee chair, and the parties that the recommendation has been accepted, modified, or rejected.
  14. If mediation is not successful, the mediator will notify the Edwards Campus Associate Dean, the committee chair, and the parties that mediation has terminated. If mediation is not successful, or if it is waived by either party, the grievance committee will schedule a hearing no later than 30 calendar days from that date. The 30-day period may be extended for good cause as determined by the chair of the committee. The hearing will be closed unless all parties agree that it shall be public.
  15. Each party may represent themselves or be represented by an advisor or counsel of their choice.
  16. Each party has the right to introduce all relevant testimony and documents if the documents have been provided with the grievance or response.
  17.  Each party shall be entitled to question the other party’s witnesses. The committee may question all witnesses.
  18. Witnesses other than parties shall leave the hearing room when they are not testifying.
  19. The chair of the committee shall have the right to place reasonable time limits on each party’s presentation.
  20. The chair of the committee shall have the authority and responsibility to keep order, rule on questions of evidence and relevance, and shall possess other reasonable powers necessary for a fair and orderly hearing.
  21. The hearing shall not be governed by the rules of evidence, but the chair of the committee may exclude information they deem irrelevant, unnecessary, or duplicative. Statements or admissions made as part of the mediation process are not admissible.
  22. The committee will make an audio-recording of the hearing but not of the deliberations of the committee. The audio-recording will be available to the parties, their authorized representatives, the committee and the Edwards Campus Associate Dean. If a party desires a copy of the audio-recording or a transcript of the recording, that party will pay for the cost of such copy or transcript. In the event of an appeal, the audio-recording will be provided to the appellate body as part of the record of the case.
  23. After the presentation of evidence and arguments, the committee will excuse the parties and deliberate. The committee’s decision will be a written recommendation to the Edwards Campus Associate Dean. The committee shall base its recommendations solely upon the information presented at the hearing.
  24. The committee will send its written recommendation to the Edwards Campus Associate Dean and the parties as soon as possible and no later than 14 calendar days after the end of the hearing.
  25. Within 14 calendar days of receiving the committee recommendation, the Edwards Campus Associate Dean will notify the parties of the acceptance, modification, or rejection of the recommendation. The Edwards Campus Associate Dean will advise the parties of the procedure available to appeal the decision.
Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

The initial hearing for disputes involving alleged academic misconduct by faculty or students and alleged violations of student rights by faculty or staff normally will be at the unit level and in accordance with USRR Article II, Section 6. However, a Judicial Board hearing panel shall hear the dispute if both parties agree to hold the hearing at that level, or either party petitions the Judicial Board chair to have the hearing at the Judicial Board level and the petition is granted. The petition must state why a fair hearing cannot be obtained at the unit level; the opposing party has an opportunity to respond to the petition (USRR 6.4.3.1).

These procedures are not available to University Support Staff (USS) and Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS) who wish to file a grievance about employment-related issues such as performance of responsibilities, leaves and other related matters. Such grievances are heard under the University Staff Grievance Procedure.

This procedure shall not be used to hear disputes assigned to other hearing bodies under USRR Article VI, Section 4.

Contact: 

Edwards Campus Associate Dean

edwardsinfo@ku.edu

913-897-8400

Approved by: 
Edwards Campus Dean
Approved on: 
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Effective on: 
Monday, November 2, 2020
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Definitions: 

Respondent - The person or people charged in the grievance by the complaining party.

 Party - Any person directly involved with the grievance.

Keywords: 
Grievance, complaint
Change History: 

11/02/20: Procedure added to the Policy Library with approval from the Edward Campus Dean and the Office of General Counsel.

Personnel: Administrators Categories: 
Grievance & Appeals
Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 
Grievance & Appeals
Personnel: Student Employees Categories: 
Grievance & Appeals

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