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Faculty Grievance Procedures

(Adopted by the University Senate May 10, 1973, approved by the Board of Trustees May 21, 1973)

The purpose of these regulations is to establish University procedures by means of which faculty members can seek redress of their grievances. A grievant must be a faculty member of New York University when he or she initiates the appellate grievance procedure under B, infra.

A. Faculty Grievances, General

Faculty grievances are classified into two main types:

1. Those connected with appointment, reappointment, promotion, or tenure.

2. Those concerned with other matters, such as duties, salaries, perquisites, and working conditions.

Although it may be preferable to treat all grievances as uniformly as possible, whatever the issue, those stemming from appointment decisions must be dealt with in a manner that conforms to the general appointment procedures. The initial protection for the faculty member is in the “Statement in Regard to Academic Freedom and Tenure” and the regulations and procedures on “Appointment and Notification of Appointment”. It is expected that most grievance cases, particularly those concerned with matters such as duties, salaries, perquisites, and working conditions, will be settled within each school or faculty. The schools and faculties have wide latitude in establishing procedures to meet their needs.

3. In the case of all grievances, attempts shall be made to settle the dispute by informal discussions between the concerned parties, possibly with the assistance of mediators.

4. Each school or faculty shall establish a faculty committee to hear grievance cases in order to advise the dean. This grievance committee shall be elected by the voting members of the faculty and shall be a standing committee of the school or faculty. A majority of the committee shall be tenured members of the faculty. It shall not include departmental chairpersons or departmental heads or any faculty member whose primary assignment is administrative.

5. If a faculty member’s grievance is not settled informally at a level below the dean, or by the dean himself or herself, the faculty member may appeal to the dean to convoke the grievance committee of the school or faculty. The dean shall do so within 15 working days5. After obtaining the recommendation of the grievance committee, the dean shall decide the case and in writing shall notify the concerned parties and the grievance committee of his or her decision, together with reasons therefor, and information on the procedure for appeal.

6. If a faculty member has no grievance at a level below the dean but the dean makes a decision against the faculty member, the latter may request the dean for a hearing before the grievance committee of the school or faculty. The dean shall convoke the grievance committee within 15 working days5. After receiving the recommendation of the committee, the dean shall then make his or her final decision and shall notify as in A-5.

B. Appeal from a Dean’s Decision on Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, or Tenure

1. Appeals from such decisions can be made only on the following grounds:

a) That the procedures used to reach the decision were improper, or that the case received inadequate consideration;

b) That the decisions violated the academic freedom of the person in question, in which case the burden of proof is on that person.

2. A faculty member intending to make an appeal shall indicate such intention in writing to the Chancellor of the University and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs within 15 days after receiving written notification of the dean’s decision. An exception to this may be made only with the consent of the grievant, the dean, and the Chancellor of the University and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

3. Where such an appeal is made, the dean shall transmit to the Chancellor of the University and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs a report of the proceedings in the case at its earlier stages. The Chancellor of the University and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs shall in each case obtain the advice of a standing committee of no less than three tenured faculty members selected by the Faculty Council but not necessarily members of that body. This committee shall be called the Faculty Council Grievance Committee.

4. The Faculty Council Grievance Committee shall hold a hearing and shall complete its deliberations and notify the Chancellor of the University and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of its recommendations, preferably within 30 days of the close of the hearing, but in any case within 60 days.

5. The Committee shall not judge professional merits, but only ascertain whether procedural safeguards have been observed. Evidence that a decision appealed from is so arbitrary that it has no rational foundation may be considered on the issue of “inadequate consideration” (B-1-a above).

6. The Committee shall at all times follow the requisites of a fair and equitable hearing, but it is not to be restricted by the technical rules of evidence or the formality of the adversary proceeding as in a court trial. In each case the Committee shall determine its own procedure, adapting the requirements of the particular case to the equity of the situation. This shall include, for example, the question of a record of the hearing, the examination of witnesses, the schedule and public nature of meetings, etc. The grievant, however, may determine whether he or she shall have the aid of an advisor or counsel.

7. After receiving the advice of the Faculty Council Committee, the President and the Chancellor of the University and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs shall decide the case and notify the grievant, the dean, and the Chairperson of the Faculty Council Committee. If the advice of the latter is not followed, the reasons shall be reported with the decision.

8. If the dean’s decision is favorable to the faculty member and hence is not appealed and the Office of the Chancellor of the University and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs reverses that decision without seeking the advice of the Faculty Council Grievance Committee as described in B-1 through 7, the faculty member may then invoke the appeal procedure.

C. Appeal from a Dean’s Decision on Matters Such as Duties, Salaries, Perquisites, and Working Conditions (A-2 above)

Where such an appeal is desired by a faculty member and the Chancellor of the University and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs is so informed within 15 days after the member is notified of the decision, the Central Administration shall make informal procedures available.

Appeal from the dean’s decision can be made only on the same grounds as in B-1 above.

D. Copies of the Grievance Procedures

A copy of the school’s grievance procedure and of this appellate procedure should be given to each full-time faculty member.

5 EXPLANATORY NOTE: In any instance in which the dean has not convened the school’s grievance committee within the mandated 15 working days, the faculty member has the right to bring it to the attention of the Office of the Chancellor.

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