Faculty Grievance Procedures for Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty
(Grievance procedures for Tenured and Tenure-Track faculty were adopted by the University Senate May 10, 1973, approved by the Board of Trustees May 21, 1973 and subsequently on October 12, 2023)
The purpose of these regulations is to establish University procedures by means of which Tenured/Tenure Track faculty members can seek redress of their grievances. A grievant must be a faculty member of New York University when the grievant initiates the appellate grievance procedure under B, infra.
- Faculty Grievances, General
- Proceedings at the School Level
- Appeal from a Dean’s Decision on Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, or Tenure Following Review by the School Grievance Committee
- Appeal from a Dean’s Decision on Matters Such as Duties, Salaries, Perquisites, and Working Conditions (A-2 above)
- Copies of the Grievance Procedures
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. Tenured/tenure track faculty members may grieve related to matters in schools where they hold a full appointment or a Joint appointment. Faculty members may not grieve related to matters to schools in which they do not hold a full appointment or Joint appointment.
1. 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.
2. For grievances connected with appointment, reappointment, promotion, or tenure, the criteria for a grievance is a) whether the procedures used were proper; b) whether the case received adequate consideration; or c) whether the decision in question violated the academic freedom of the faculty member.
3. 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, and none shall have a conflict or the appearance of a conflict in reviewing the matter. The function of the committee is to advise the dean by reviewing the case and making a recommendation to the dean. The members of the grievance committee shall maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings both during and following the review, except as required by applicable law.
4. If a faculty member’s grievance is not settled informally at a level below the dean, or by the dean themselves, the faculty member may appeal to the dean in writing to convoke the grievance committee of the school or faculty. The faculty member’s written statement shall set forth the substance of the complaint, summarize the factual information in support of the complaint, provide documentation, if any, and request a resolution, if appropriate.
5. The dean shall convoke the grievance committee within 15 working days of receiving the faculty member’s written statement and shall transmit the written complaint to the chairperson of the committee. 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 the delay to the attention of the Provost.
6. In the event the faculty in electing the committee has not named a chairperson, the committee should elect one of its members as the chair, with such authority as their committee wishes to delegate for administrative purposes.
7. The first role of the committee is to evaluate the grounds for a grievance, as summarized in 2, above. The committee shall review the grievant’s written statement and may call the grievant to make an oral argument, interview witnesses and request pertinent documents from the dean or other offices or from the grievant. The second role, after reviewing its findings of fact, is to make a recommendation in writing to the dean on the merits of the grievance and a proposed resolution, if any, including reconsideration by a body that previously acted upon a matter. In performing these functions, the committee should bear in mind that it has no authority to substitute its judgment for another body in the area of professional evaluation. The members of the grievance committee have a clear obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings both during and following the review, except as required by applicable law.
8. After obtaining and considering 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 the dean’s decision, together with reasons therefore, and information on the procedure for appeal.
9. 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 days. 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 the delay to the attention of the Provost. After receiving the recommendation of the committee, the dean shall then make a final decision and shall notify as in item 8.
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 Provost and shall provide a written statement of appeal within 15 working days after receiving written notification of the dean’s decision. The faculty member’s written statement shall set forth the substance of the appeal and the grounds for the appeal [see 1a) and 1b) above], a summary of the factual information in support of the complaint, together with documentation, if any; and the resolution requested, if appropriate. An exception to the 15 working day time line may be made only with the consent of the grievant, the dean, and the Provost.
3. Where such an appeal is made, the dean shall transmit to the Provost a report of the proceedings in the case at its earlier stages. The Provost shall in each case obtain the advice of a standing committee of no less than three tenured faculty members selected by the Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty Senators Council, but not necessarily members of that body, and none shall have a conflict or the appearance of a conflict in reviewing the matter. This committee shall be called the ad hoc Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty Senators Council Grievance Advisory Committee. The function of the Committee is to ascertain whether or not proper procedures were followed in the grievant’s case at the school level, specifically, whether the procedures used by the dean in making their decision and the procedures used by the school Committee in making its recommendations to the dean were improper or gave inadequate consideration to the case or whether the decision violated the grievant’s academic freedom. The members of the ad hoc Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty Senators Council Grievance Advisory Committee have a clear obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings both during and following the review, except as required by applicable law.
4. The ad hoc Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty Senators Council Grievance Advisory Committee shall hold a hearing and shall complete its deliberations and notify the Provost of its recommendations, preferably within 30 working days of the close of the hearing, but in any case within 60 working days.
5. The Committee shall not judge professional merits, but only ascertain whether procedural safeguards have been observed at the school level. 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 the grievant shall have the aid of an advisor or counsel.
7. After receiving the advice of the ad hoc Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty Senators Council Grievance Advisory Committee, the Provost shall decide the case and notify the grievant, the dean, and the chairperson of the ad hoc Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty Senators Council Grievance Advisory Committee. If the advice of the latter is not followed, the reasons shall be reported with the decision. The decision of the Provost is final and there is no further appeal.
8. If the dean’s decision is favorable to the faculty member and hence is not appealed and the Provost reverses the dean’s decision, the faculty member may then invoke the appeal procedure. The review carried out by the Committee shall consider whether or not the procedures used at the Provost’s level in making the decision were proper or improper (in observing expressly required procedures); and whether or not the procedures gave adequate consideration to the case (whether the procedures considered all matters that should have been considered).
9. Officers of the University and other members of the administration, the members of the grievance and appeal committees, the dean and members of the faculty, and all witnesses and other participants in any hearing shall be privileged as to statements or publications made in connection with the grievance process, and shall have immunity for any decision, statement of fact, or comment relating thereto, all to the extent permitted under applicable law and in accordance with the Bylaws of the University.
Where such an appeal is desired by a faculty member and the Provost is so informed within 15 days after the member is notified of the decision, the Provost shall make informal procedures available. The decision of the Provost is final and there is no further appeal.
Appeal from the dean’s decision can be made only on the same grounds as in Item B-1 above.
A copy of the school’s grievance procedure and of this appellate procedure shall be posted at the school’s web site to the attention of all faculty.