Effective Date Dec 14, 2015
Faculty Grievance Resolution Procedure
This procedure is intended to provide a fair, internal process for resolving complaints and or grievances that may arise from faculty members. This procedure only applies to faculty members as defined within the Faculty Handbook of Florida Institute of Technology under FH2.1 Academic Rank (http://assets.fit.edu/scripts/policy_view.php?id=4364).
A faculty member who believes that he/she has a legitimate grievance should attempt to resolve the matter informally. The faculty member should bring the complaint or dispute to the individual or group with whom he/she has the grievance in an attempt to resolve the problem through informal discussion. The formal procedure set forth below is not meant to supersede attempts to resolve complaints through other means. The procedure should be used only after every effort has been made to settle the dispute informally. This procedure has been modeled after several other such university procedures throughout the United States.
The following procedure should be used for faculty members wishing to file a formal complaint.
- The faculty member must use the organizational structure to which he/she reports.
- The complaint must be in writing and contain at a minimum the following information:
- The nature and extent of the problem;
- An indication of what policies and/or procedures are allegedly being violated;
- Identification of the alleged person/persons responsible for the problem;
- The attempts made to resolve the problem; and
- Remedy sought.
- The complaint will be acted on within a two to three week timeframe to find a suitable solution.
- If the faculty member is not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint at the organizational reporting level, this matter may be taken to the Faculty Ombudsman Committee.
- Ombudsman Committee: Three senior faculty members are appointed by the chief operating officer to serve as an ombudsman committee to hear grievances (other than those associated with termination) that a faculty member does not feel comfortable pursuing through the usual organizational structure, i.e., department head, dean, chief operating officer or the president. Usually, the faculty member approaches one member of the committee and describes the problem. They then decide whether other members of the committee should be involved and the best approach to resolving the problem. If resolution of the problem requires disclosure of the member's identity, such disclosure is made only with the approval of the faculty member making the complaint.
- Membersof the committee include:
- Alan Leonard, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
- Phil Farber, Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology program, School of Psychology
- John Windsor, Professor, Department of Marine and Environmental Systems
- If the faculty member is still not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint at the Faculty Ombudsman Committee, a request can be made for the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (EVP/COO) (or designee) to handle the complaint. This request must be submitted in writing to the Office of the EVP/COO within two weeks after the notice of resolution by the department head, dean and/or Ombudsman Committee. The decision made by the Office of the EVP/COO shall be deemed as final.
A grievance is a complaint by a faculty member that he/she has been adversely affected in his/her professional activities as a result of an arbitrary and capricious act or failure to act or a violation of a university or college procedure or regulation by the complainant’s supervisor, administrator, peer or administrative body.
The grievance procedure may NOT be used for:
- Complaints alleging discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status or veteran status. As referenced in FH2.6, “It is Florida Tech’s policy and practice to prohibit discrimination because of race, gender, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, protected veteran status or any other discrimination prohibited by law.”
- The university, as an Equal Opportunity Employer, has adopted standards and practices that insure all applicants for employment and all employees are treated in a fair and impartial manner that recognizes the dignity of each individual and allows selection and advancement based on qualifications and abilities. If a faculty member feels he/she has been discriminated against regarding access to employment, hiring, promotion, compensation, job assignment or fringe benefits solely because of race, gender, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, protected veteran status or any other discrimination prohibited by law, he/she is entitled to request review by an ad hoc Faculty Senate grievance committee (see policy “Dismissals and Terminations”). See references to the Ombudsman Committee in the policy “Standing Committees of the Academic Faculty.”
- Complaints pertaining to general levels of salary, fringe benefits, or other broad areas of financial management and staffing.
- Disputes that are personal in nature or do not involve the complainant’s professional activities.
- A complaint, the resolution or remedy of which would conflict with a current policy approved by the Faculty Senate, university administration, current policy of Florida Institute of Technology, federal, state or local law or regulation, or any contract to which the university is a party.
- A complaint pertaining to an issue within the purview of any other standing committee or policy of the university or college, unless the complaint arises from a committee’s alleged failure to act or to follow the policies or procedures of the university or college.
 The terms grievance and complaint will be used interchangeably throughout this procedure.
 Section FH1.5 Standing Committees of the Academic Faculty