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3.3.8 Faculty Academic Freedom, Ethics and Grievance

I. Authority

The authority to create this Faculty Academic Freedom, Ethics, and Grievance Committee ("AFEGC") is established by the Illinois State University Constitution.

The AFEGC is an external committee of the Illinois State University Academic Senate and is responsible to the Senate for the faithful execution of this policy and for upholding all policies associated with it.

For the purposes of this document, faculty is defined as including tenured, probationary tenure-track, unionized and non-unionized non-tenure-track faculty (NTT) and faculty associates.  The reference to negotiated NTT faculty in this document is for the express purpose of academic freedom and the Code of Ethics and does not create or add any new rights beyond those which may already exist in the NTT negotiated agreement.  Specifically, the NTT negotiated agreement for union members provides that its members can only bring to the AFEGC academic freedom complaints as defined in II.A.3 below and/or Code of Ethics complaints as defined in II.A.4 below.  The AFEGC will not hear complaints that:  1) relate to the subject matter of a filed or future grievance as defined in the NTT negotiated agreement; 2) that meet the definition of a grievance in the NTT negotiated agreement; or 3) that are specifically noted as not subject to the grievance process in the NTT negotiated agreement.

II. Jurisdiction, Exemptions and Malicious Charges

The AFEGC shall have Faculty jurisdiction over the following:

A.  Jurisdiction:  The AFEGC has faculty jurisdiction over the following:

     Referrals

1.  A referral from the Faculty Review Committee ("FRC"), pursuant to Article XIII.G.3 of the Faculty Appointment Salary Promotion and Tenure Policies ("ASPT"), in promotion and tenure cases where "the FRC believes that the basis of the appeal is an academic freedom or ethics violation."

2.  A referral from the College Faculty Status Committee ("CFSC"), pursuant to Article XIII.I.I of the ASPT, in performance evaluation cases where "the CFSC believes that the basis of the appeal is an academic freedom or ethics violation."

     Complaints and Grievances

3.  A complaint by a faculty member that the action of some person or persons, acting in an official capacity as an ISU employee or member of the Board of Trustees, has violated the faculty member's academic freedom in teaching, research, publication, shared governance or extramural activity.  A complaint alleging violation of academic freedom must be consistent with the Illinois State University Constitution, Article III.

4.  A complaint by a faculty member, an administrator, or an administrative body alleging that a faculty member or an administrator has violated the Code of Ethics.

5.  A complaint by a probationary faculty member, who has received a notice of dismissal for cause prior to the expiration of the faculty member's contract term, alleging that the basis of the dismissal is an academic freedom or ethics violation.  See ISU Constitution, Article III, Section 4.B.1.

6.  A complaint by a probationary faculty member, who has received a notice of non-reappointment, alleging that the basis of the non-reappointment is an academic freedom or ethics violation.  See ASPT, XIII.K.4.  Complaints must be filed within 5 business days of the date that the faculty member received the official notice of non-reappointment.

7.  A complaint by a faculty associate against a faculty member or a non-laboratory-school administrator, or a complaint by a faculty member or non-laboratory-school administrator against a faculty associate which is an allegation of an ethics or academic freedom violation.  Complaints alleging ethics or academic freedom violations that are related to dismissal, non-reappointment, or resignation under duress must be filed 30 days prior to the date of the termination of employment, 30 days after the receipt of the notice if less than 30-days notice was given, or by September 30 if notice was received between May 16 and August 15.

8.  A grievance in the form of a complaint by a probationary, tenured/tenure-track, or non-unionized NTT faculty member that is not based in academic freedom concerns or the Code of Ethics.  A grievance is defined as any dispute with respect to the meaning, interpretation, or application of University policy (including College and Department/School bylaws) or any dispute arising from deviation from long-standing past practice.  Board of Trustees Regulations and By-Laws, their meaning and/or interpretation may not be grieved.

B.  Exemptions:  Except for those cases provided for in II.A.1-2 and II.A.5-6 above, the ASPT guidelines and other university policies provide that the AFEGC has no jurisdiction in the following cases:

     1.  Faculty complaints in promotion, tenure, or performance evaluation matters, where a faculty member "believes that there has been a misinterpretation, misjudgment, or procedural error relating to a promotion, tenure, or performance evaluation recommendation concerning the faculty member." ASPT,XIII.C

     2.  Cases involving the "dismissal of a tenured faculty member."  ASPT,III.E.

     3.  All cases heard under University Policy 1.8 Integrity in Research and Scholarly Activity.

     4.  All cases alleging violations of University Policy 1.2.1 Anti-Harassment & Non-Discrimination.

C. Malicious Charges:  Bringing unfounded charges motivated by malice, or failure to treat colleagues and students fairly, with respect, civility and decency, without exploitation and without discrimination based on irrelevancies, constitutes malicious charges and is a violation of the Code of Ethics.  Where appropriate, the Report of the Hearing Panel and/or the Report of the Appeals Hearing Panel will state explicitly whether there was a reasonable basis in fact and honest belief for making charges.

If either Report should determine that the making of the original charges or the testimony of any person was maliciously motivated, that finding shall be communicated to the Provost and to the respondent and that person can then decide whether to pursue a grievance/counter-complaint.  The Provost may enter a finding of malicious conduct in the person's personnel file and communicate the finding to the person, the person's Dean and the person's Department Chair/School Director/Unit Director.  Such a finding may be the basis for disciplinary action or other personnel decisions in accordance with University rules and regulations.

 

 3.3.8A Academic Freedom, Ethics, and Grievance Committee ("AFEGC")

Creation and Composition of the Committee

A.  Committee chairperson

Since AFEGC terms will coincide with the beginning of the academic year, at the call of the preceding Chairperson, the Chair and Vice-Chairperson will be elected within the first month of classes for one-year terms.  In the event the preceding AFEGC chair is no longer serving on the committee, a meeting of the AFEGC will be called by the Chair of the Academic Senate for the sole purpose of electing a chair for AFEGC.  The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the AFEGC shall be tenured faculty members.  The Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson must hold tenure in different colleges; neither shall handle any case originating from their own department.

The Chairperson's duties shall include the following:

 

  1. To inform the university faculty concerning the jurisdiction of the AFEGC and its policies and procedures in AFEGC matters (see AFEGC Flowchart)
  2. To inform all university faculty members about the referral, complaint and grievance processes by providing them annually by e-mail the website for the AFEGC Policies and Procedures and the Code of Ethics.
  3. To call and preside over meetings of the AFEGC
  4. To ensure that proper procedure is followed in the handling of AFEGC matters, including the timely processing of complaints and referrals
  5. To initiate, when deemed appropriate, the informal conciliation of complaints filed with the AFEGC as provided in Policy 3.3.8C.
  6. To provide training to members.  In order to increase consistency in decision-making when the committee turns over, at the beginning of each year the chairperson of the AFEGC shall provide a summary of all cases of the last five years (those resolved informally and those resolved in a formal Hearing).  No individual, department, or college names shall appear in the summaries.  These summaries shall be drawn up at the end of each year by that year's chairperson.  The cases shall be presented as scenarios for discussion by the new members. This summary shall be filed with the Academic Senate chairperson, who will keep the information contained therein in strict confidence.
  7. To extend deadlines as needed to provide for equitable due process, in consultation with and on agreement of all parties concerned.  A committee may petition the chairperson of the AFEGC for an appropriate extension of deadlines.
  8. To oversee the election of committee members other than the Chair to serve as voluntary conciliation facilitators, with duties as outlined in Policy 3.3.8C

B. Members

The AFEGC will consist of thirty-three (33) members defined below.  Each year, the faculty members of every department shall nominate by election within the Department one faculty member with tenure. University personnel in the following positions shall NOT be eligible to serve on the AFEGC:

  • College deans
  • Department chairpersons/school directors
  • Academic Senate members
  • Faculty Review Committee members
  • University Review Committee
  • College Faculty Status Committee members
  • Administrative Personnel (e.g. university counsel, associate vice presidents or provosts, associate deans)
  • Administrative Professional and Civil Service Personnel

Department/School Faculty Status Committee members may not serve on cases involving their own departments. A faculty member with tenure may petition to be included as an addition to the departmental/school nominees by indicating willingness to serve on the annual Senate external committee form.

Only persons holding full-time faculty appointments (tenure-line or non-tenure line) or full-time faculty associate appointments may serve as members of AFEGC.

C. Procedures for electing members

The Academic Senate Faculty Caucus shall elect the AFEGC during the Spring Semester prior to the seating of newly elected Senators using the following procedures.

Tenured faculty (18): In each year of an election, the six (6) faculty with the highest number of votes shall be declared elected for a three-year term.  Any vacancy occurring between elections shall be filled by the first eligible person of those who, at the last election, received the next highest number of votes.  The position on the AFEGC of anyone who will be or has been absent from regular duties for one semester or longer shall be declared vacant.  A member named to fill any vacancy shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term.

NTT Faculty (9, consisting of 5 negotiated and 4 non-negotiated):  The NTT faculty members of each college who are covered by the NTT negotiated agreement will elect one (1) full-time non-tenure-track faculty member with status from their college and covered by the NTT negotiated agreement to a pool.  The pool shall be elected annually each spring through the Senate office.  A different member will be chosen from this pool for each committee (hearing, appeals) for cases where a complainant or respondent is a non-tenure-track faculty member covered by the NTT negotiated agreement.  These NTT pool members will only serve in cases regarding NTT complainants or respondents covered by the NTT negotiated agreement.

It is understood that two college (Mennonite College of Nursing and Milner Library) have no NTTs covered by the negotiated agreement.

Non-tenure-track faculty members not covered by the NTT negotiated agreement in Mennonite College of Nursing and Milner Library shall each elect to a pool two (2) full-time non-tenure-track faculty members with at least eight consecutive semesters (fall, spring) of service within an eight year period maximum with breaks in employment no greater than one fall or spring semester.  The pool shall be elected annually each spring through the Senate office, with members elected by the NTT faculty of their own college.  A different member will be chosen from this pool for each committee (hearing, appeals) for cases where a complainant or respondent is a non-tenure-track faculty member not covered by the NTT negotiated agreement.  These NTT pool members will only serve in cases regarding NTT complainants or respondents not covered by the negotiated agreement.

NTT members serve a one-year renewable term.

Faculty Associate (6):  The faculty associates at Metcalf School and University High School will each elect three (3) tenured faculty associates to a pool.  The pool shall be elected annually each spring through the Senate office, with members elected by the faculty associates of their own laboratory school.  A different member will be chosen from this pool for each committee (hearing, appeals) for cases where a complainant or respondent is a faculty associate.  These faculty associate pool members will only serve in cases regarding faculty associate complainants or respondents.

Faculty Associate members serve a one-year renewable term.

If a member of the AFEGC is engaged in a hearing or other process related to a complaint or referral, the member will continue to serve regarding that matter until the matter is terminated (i.e. any appeals elected by the parties have been exhausted), even though such service may thereby extend beyond the expiration of the member's term of office.  Terms extend for three full years (tenured faculty) or one full year (NTT, FA) from the beginning of the academic year on August 16, and may occasionally include service between May 15 and August 16 if a matter is not terminated by May 15 or if urgent need arises.

3.3.8B Types of Cases & Procedures for Cases

Complaints, Grievances, and FRC or CFSC Referrals

General Procedures for Complaints and Referrals

Complaints and referrals will be filed with the Chairperson of the AFEGC, or in his/her absence or if the complaint or referral arises from the department/school of the Chairperson, with the Vice-Chairperson.  Upon receipt of the complaint or referral, the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson shall confirm in writing to the complainant or referee receipt of the complaint or referral and the date of filing within five (5) business days.  The Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson shall also transmit a copy of the complaint or referral to the appropriate respondent(s).

In this and subsequent matters, members of the AFEGC shall use only confidential campus mail envelopes to transmit items related to complaints and referrals, unless the Chairperson of the AFEGC has received signed permission from all parties and committee chairpersons that email or another electronic transmission mode is acceptable.

Referrals

A referral to the AFEGC shall be defined as a referral either from the FRC, as described above in II.A.1, or a referral from a CFSC, as described above in II.A.24. A referral shall at a minimum include:

  1. A written statement by the FRC or CFSC describing the basis for the referral;
  2. Forwarding of any documentation from the FRC or CFSC pertinent to the referral;
  3. Indication from the FRC or CFSC as to the timelines by which the AFEGC is to submit its report back to the FRC or CFSC.

Procedures in Referral Cases

Where a case is referred to the AFEGC by the FRC or a CFSC, the Chairperson of the AFEGC shall call a meeting of the tenured members of the AFEGC - except for any members from the department(s) from which the case originates or having other conflicts of interest - to determine, by majority vote, whether a hearing is warranted.  If no hearing is warranted because a decision can be rendered with the materials at hand, the AFEGC reports its decision to the original referring committee - FRC or CFSC.

If a hearing is warranted in the case, the AFEGC shall proceed directly to an appeal hearing.  The Chair of the AFEGC (or the Vice Chair if the Chair is from a department from which the case originates) shall form an Appeal Hearing Panel (AHP). As outlined in ASPT, XIII.G.3 and XIII.I.1, the report of the AFEGC, shall offer recommendations to the FRC or CFSC so that they may exercise their ASPT responsibilities. 

In the case of an appeal of an Appeal Hearing Panel (AHP) decision by either the complainant or respondent, copies of the decision by the AFEGC AHP will be forwarded to the original referring committee and to the Chairperson of the Academic Senate.

The elected members of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Caucus - except for any members from the department(s) from which the case originates or having other conflicts of interest - will then review the decision within five (5) business days of receiving the AHP decision on appeal.  The Executive Committee of the Faculty Caucus may decide that an AHP decision warrants a hearing by the Faculty Caucus of the Academic Senate or it may file a report directly to the original referring body and to the Provost. 

If a hearing is held by the Faculty Caucus of the Academic Senate within ten (10) business days, the Faculty Caucus submit its decision to the original referring body and to the Provost.  Members of the Faculty Caucus from the department(s) from which the case originates or having other conflicts of interest shall not participate in the hearing or receive materials regarding the case.

If the deadline for action by the original committee has passed during any part of this process, the chair of the AFEGC will forward the decision by the AFEGC appeals hearing panel (AHP) to the President, the Provost, and the original referring committee (for tenure and/or promotion cases) or to both the CFSC and DFSC in performance evaluation cases. 

Complaints and Grievances

A complaint shall be defined as a written statement alleging a matter within the jurisdiction of the AFEGC, as defined above by II.A.3-II.A.78.

A grievance shall be defined as a written statement alleging a matter within the jurisdiction of the AFEGC, as defined above by II.A.8.

A complaint or grievance shall at a minimum include:

  1. The jurisdictional basis of the complaint or grievance, by specification of the subsection II.A which provides for the jurisdiction of the AFEGC;
  2. A written statement detailing the basis of the complaint or grievance, including a narrative of the facts which the complainant believes could be proven if a formal hearing were to take place;
  3. For complaints, a statement of the section(s) of the Code of Ethics the complainant believes has been violated, if applicable;
  4. For grievances, a statement of the policy or past practice the complainant believes has been violated;

Complaints and grievances may also include as attachments any documentation believed to be relevant to the complaint.

Procedures in Complaint Cases

In cases of complaints filed by a faculty member, the Chairperson shall consult the Provost's Office as to the appropriate respondent, who shall be designated by agreement of the AFEGC Chairperson and the Provost.  In the absence of an agreement between the AFEGC Chairperson and the Provost, the faculty members of the Senate Executive Committee shall determine the appropriate respondent. 

Members of the Senate Executive Committee from the complainant's and respondent's own department(s) shall recuse themselves from these decisions and shall not be made aware of the case.  For cases from the Senate Chair's own department, the Senate chair will recuse him/herself and hand over the case documentation and the chairing of the decision to the Senate Secretary (if from a different department) or the senior member of the Executive Committee (in years of service on Exec and then years of service on the Senate).

In cases of complaints alleging ethics violations, the appropriate respondent is the person accused of the ethics violation.  In appropriate cases, such as where discrimination or sexual harassment is alleged, the AFEGC Chairperson shall notify the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access.

 

3.3.8C Voluntary Conciliation

Encouragement of Voluntary Informal Conciliation Efforts with Complaint Cases

As a matter of general policy, the Academic Senate and the AFEGC hereby encourage but do not require any complainant, before filing a complaint, to seek informal conciliation and resolution of the perceived grievance.

Such informal conciliation can take many forms.  Usually a prospective complainant confers with a representative of the administration who would normally respond to the complaint (if filed by a faculty member); or an administrator considering an ethics complaint against a faculty member confers with that faculty member.

The parties involved in this informal conciliation conference typically seek to resolve the complaint voluntarily, in order to preclude the necessity of filing a complaint.

If such voluntary informal conciliation efforts fail, or if one or more of the parties in the dispute refuse informal conciliation, for whatever reason, they may consult with the University Ombudsperson Council prior to filing a formal complaint with the AFEGC.

If, in exceptional circumstances, a complainant or respondent is concerned about or unwilling to work with a University Ombudsperson in pursuing an informal and voluntary resolution to the issue of concern, that person may contact an AFEGC member who has been elected by the committee to serve as a voluntary conciliation facilitator.  The parties may work with this designated committee member in pursuing an informal resolution to the case at any stage.

A voluntary conciliation facilitator who works with parties to pursue an informal resolution may neither serve on nor appoint any hearing panel or appeals hearing panel related to the case without the consent of all parties.

The complainant may still file a formal complaint with AFEGC after the appropriate Ombudsperson or a voluntary conciliation facilitator elected by the committee has been consulted, if the case remains unresolved.

 

3.3.8D Hearing Panels, Hearings, Appeals, and Reports

Principles applicable to all hearings

 Hearings shall be conducted according to the following procedures:

     a. Proceedings shall be conducted in good faith;

     b.Formal hearings shall be closed unless both parties consent to an open meeting or an open meeting is required by law;

     c.The chairperson of the Faculty Hearing Panel (FHP), Appeals Hearing Panel (AHP) or the Faculty Caucus, or a designee shall, at the outset of the hearing, state the issues in the proceedings to all involved parties;

     d. Subject to applicable law, the privacy of confidential records and proceedings in the hearing process shall be respected;

     e. Members serving on hearing and appeals panels should scrupulously avoid any conflict of interest and must notify the Chairperson of the AFEGC if any such conflict exists or arises;

     f. Except as modified below, the principal parties should be accorded the right to see all documents considered by the hearing or appeals panel, to hear opposing statements, to present evidence, to call witnesses, and to be accompanied by a technical or informal advisor who may be present only to advise the party and not to participate.

Faculty Hearing Panel (FHP)

In cases of complaints where a conciliation effort is not deemed appropriate by the complainant, the AFEGC Chairperson, an Ombudsperson or an AFEGC voluntary conciliation facilitator, or where such an effort has been unable to resolve the matter, the Chairperson shall appoint, from the members of the AFEGC, a three (3) member Faculty Hearing Panel (FHP) for each case that necessitates a hearing. The appointment shall normally take place within five (5) business days of a referral or of a decision that a hearing is warranted.  The AFEGC Chairperson shall make every effort to avoid seating members from the complainant's and respondent's own college(s) in cases that may involve college-level issues, but may do so if other AFEGC members are not available.

In cases where the complainant or respondent is a non-tenure-track faculty member or faculty associate, the Chairperson shall appoint two (2) tenured faculty members of the AFEGC to the FHP and one (1) non-tenure-track or faculty associate member from the appropriate pool of NTT or faculty associate members of AFEGC. 

 

  1. The FHP shall elect a chairperson from its own membership.
  2. The Chairperson of the AFEGC shall supervise the election procedure after deciding that a FHP needs to be formed.  No member of the AFEGC shall serve on a FHP who: (1) is the Chairperson of the AFEGC; (2) is a member of the same department/school/unit as the person(s) for whom the hearing will be held; or (3) for good reason believes he/she cannot or should not serve (e.g., actual or apparent conflict of interest, such as those who have served on a DFSC/SFSC, CFSC, or FRC that has been involved with the complaint).
  3. In the event of vacancies making it impossible to staff a FHP with appropriate representatives as established above, the Chairperson may appoint any member of the AFEGC who is not a member of the same department/school/unit as the complainant or respondent to the FHP.

Hearing

Within ten (10) working days of the constitution of the committee, the chairperson of the FHP shall set a date for the hearing, unless this timeline is extended by mutual agreement of the chairperson, complainant, and respondent. Within these ten (10) days, the Chairperson of the AFEGC and Chairperson of the FHP will schedule a meeting of the FHP membership to provide training to review procedures, standards and confidentiality with the FHP membership.

The hearing shall be conducted according to the following procedures:

  1. The complainant shall be given five (5) working days prior to the scheduled hearing to submit any documentation the complainant deems relevant to the FHP. Through the chair of the FHP, the complainant must also provide the respondent with:
    • A written position statement detailing the basis of the complaint, including a narrative of the facts which the complainant believes could be proven if a formal hearing were to take place;
    • Any documentation the complainant deems relevant.
    • A list of proposed witnesses, if relevant;
    • Notification of intent to bring a technical or informal advisor who in rare circumstances may be an attorney, and notification of the name of that advisor.
  2. The chairperson of the FHP has an obligation to transmit all documentation, names of witnesses tentatively agreed to by the full FHP and names of advisors to the respondent within one (1) working day. If this timeline cannot be met for any reason, the timeline for the respondent’s response shall be lengthened by as many days as it took the chairperson of the FHP to transmit the information to the respondent.
  3. Within ten (10) working days of receipt of the submission by the complainant, the respondent shall submit to the FHP and the complainant through the chairperson of the FHP:
    • A written statement detailing the response to the complaint, including a narrative of the facts that the respondent believes could be proven in a formal hearing.
    • Any documentation the respondent deems relevant.
    • A list of proposed witnesses, if relevant;
    • Notification of intent to bring a technical or informal advisor who in rare circumstances may be an attorney, and notification of the name of that advisor.
  4.  Within one (1) working day of receipt of the materials from the respondent, the chairperson of the FHP has an obligation to transmit all documentation, names of witnesses tentatively agreed to by the full FFP, and names of advisors to the complainant.  If this timeline cannot be met for any reason, the timeline for the succeeding steps shall be lengthened by as many days as it took the chairperson of the FHP to transmit the information to the complainant. 
  5. Assuming the timeline outlined in B, C, and D of this section is met, a Hearing shall take place within twenty (20) working days of the formation of the FHP.
  6. At the scheduled hearing, the FHP will:
    • Allow the complainant and the respondent, or their representatives, if they so elect, to make oral presentations supplementing their written submissions;
    • Ask the complainant and the respondent any questions the FHP deems relevant regarding their written submissions and/or oral presentations.
    • The FHP will inquire into the situation only to the extent necessary to enable the Committee to make a recommendation or to effect a resolution. Presentation and examination of witnesses will take place only when the FHP deems it to be appropriate in a particular case. The proceedings will be  audio recorded. The FHP may limit the oral presentations to any time length that it deems appropriate, but each side will have the same amount of time, not to be less than 20 minutes.
  7. Within ten (10) working days after the hearing is conducted, the FHP will issue its written report and recommendation, approved by a majority vote, to the Chairperson of the AFEGC regarding the complaint, which will take one of the following forms:
    • The FHP may recommend dismissal of the complaint;
    • The FHP may conclude that there are disputes of material fact such that a further hearing is warranted and necessary, or that a further hearing is warranted for any reason the FHP deems appropriate in order for the AFEGC to come to a recommendation regarding the complaint
    • The FHP may conclude that it has sufficient information to move to a decision and issue its final recommendation regarding the complaint.

The written report shall include:

  • A summary of findings of fact;
  • A summary of the rationale for reaching a conclusion or holding a further hearing;
  • A recommendation of action to the Provost, unless a further hearing by the HC has been recommended.

For written reports containing the FHP's final recommendation:

In academic freedom violation cases and grievance cases, the conclusion of the report and recommendation shall follow the format for each separate charge in the complaint:

“The AFEGC finds that the evidence presented in the complaint of _______has (substantiated) (not substantiated) the charge against _________. The AFEGC recommends to the Provost that the following action be taken:________________.”

In ethics violation cases, the conclusion of the report and recommendation shall follow the format for each separate charge in the complaint:

“The AFEGC finds that the evidence presented in the complaint of ___________which dealt with section ( ) of the Code of Ethics has (substantiated) (not substantiated) the charge against  ____________________.  The AFEGC recommends to the Provost that the following action be taken: _____________________________."

Once the FHP has delivered its final written report either dismissing the complaint or reporting its decision and making recommendations, the Chairperson of the AFEGC shall review that report, flag any areas of concern, and ask the FHP to clarify it in writing as necessary.  The Chairperson of the AFEGC shall then communicate the FHP’s recommendation to the complainant and the respondent and inform them of their right to appeal. Within five (5) working days after receiving the FHP recommendation, the complainant or respondent may appeal the recommendation of the Faculty Hearing Panel. The appellant's written request will explain the basis for the request.

Appeal Hearings

If, after a hearing, the AFEGC receives a request for an appeal hearing, or on referral from a College Faculty Status Committee (CFSC) or the Faculty Review Committee (FRC) deemed to warrant a hearing by an AHP, then the Chairperson shall constitute an Appeal Hearing Panel (AHP) with members who did not serve on any FHP in the case.  The AHP shall consist of five (5) members.

In the case that both appellant and the respondent to the appellant are tenured or probationary faculty members and/or administrators, the five members shall be drawn from the tenured faculty on the AFEGC. In the case that an appellant or respondent to the appellant is a non-tenure track member, the AHP shall consist of three (3) tenured faculty AFEGC members and two (2) non-tenure-track members drawn from the appropriate non-tenure-track faculty pool.    In the case that an appellant or respondent is a faculty associate, the AHP shall consist of three tenured faculty AFEGC members, and two (2) faculty associates.

The Chairperson of the AHP shall schedule the appeal hearing within ten (10) days after the AHP formation. This timeline may be extended by mutual agreement of the chairperson of the AHP, the appellant, and the respondent to the appellant. The parties will be given written notice of the date, time, place, and purpose of the hearing.  In constituting the AHP, the following procedures shall apply:

  1. The AHP shall elect a chairperson from its own membership.
  2. The Chairperson of the AFEGC shall supervise the election procedure after deciding that an AHP needs to be formed.
  3. No member of the AFEGC shall serve on an AHP who (1) is the Chairperson of the AFEGC; (2) is a member of the same department/school/unit as the person for whom the hearing will be held; or (3) for good reason believes he/she cannot or should not serve (e.g., actual or apparent conflict of interest, such as those who have served on a DFSC/SFSC, CFSC, or FRC that has been involved with the complaint)
  4. In the event of vacancies making it impossible to staff an AHP with appropriate representatives as established above, the Chairperson may appoint to the AHP any member of the AFEGC who is not a member of the same department/school/unit as the appellant or respondent to the appellant.

 

The chairperson of the AHP shall be responsible for conducting the appeals hearing and has the complete authority, in consultation with the other members of the AHP, to control all aspects of the proceedings, including process, the hearing of testimony, and the introduction of other evidence as deemed necessary and appropriate. The AHP will not be bound by any formal rules of federal or state court procedure and evidence, and may consider whatever evidence it deems relevant and give such evidence any weight it deems appropriate in the considered and collective judgment of the committee’s members.

The AHP will admit into the record of the proceedings the position statements and any documentation presented by the parties in the hearing, and may accept any additional documentation or evidence from the parties, so long as new allegations or charges are not raised.  The AHP will provide reasonable aid, within its ability, in securing attendance of witnesses through its status as an approved university committee. The AHP will afford each party an opportunity to examine all witnesses whose appearance it has approved.

The AHP may determine that the testimony of suggested witnesses is either not relevant or cumulative, and may call witnesses on its own motion.  The AHP will afford each party in the dispute an opportunity to be heard by the AHP and to be accompanied by an advisor or representative of their choice. The parties shall normally speak for themselves, but the AHP has the discretion to authorize either party's advisor or representative to examine witnesses or present oral or written arguments. 

In all cases, the appellant shall have the burden of proof throughout the hearing by a "preponderance of the evidence" standard. Oral arguments shall be limited to ten minutes, except at the discretion of the Chair.

The written report shall include:

  • a summary of findings of fact;
  • a summary of the rationale for reaching a conclusion;
  • a recommendation of action to the Provost.

In academic freedom violation cases and grievances cases, the conclusion of the report and recommendation shall follow the format for each separate charge in the complaint:

"The AFEGC finds that the evidence presented in the complaint of _______has (substantiated) (not substantiated) the charge against _________. The AFEGC
recommends to the Provost that the following action be taken:________________."

In ethics violation cases, the conclusion of the report and recommendation shall follow the format for each separate charge in the complaint:

"The AFEGC finds that the evidence presented in the complaint of ___________which dealt with section ( ) of the Code of Ethics has (substantiated) (not substantiated) the charge against ______________. The AFEGC recommends to the Provost that the following action be taken: _____________."

The AHP shall issue its final report and recommendation by a majority vote within 10 days of the completion of the formal appeal hearing.

Once the AHP has delivered its final written report, the Chairperson of AFEGC shall review that report, flag any areas of concern, and ask the AHP to clarify it in writing as necessary.  The Chairperson of the AFEGC shall then communicate the AHP's recommendation to the complainant and the respondent and inform them of their right to appeal.  Within five (5) working days after receiving the AHP recommendation, the complainant or respondent may appeal the recommendation of the Appeals Hearing Panel.  The appellant's written request will explain the basis for the appeal.

AFEGC Reports and Recommendations

  • In all cases dealing with academic freedom complaints, ethics complaints, or grievances, with the exception of cases described in the next sentence, the FHP or AHP shall file the written report and recommendation on the matter with the Provost and the Chairperson of the Academic Senate; at the conclusion of the hearing, if no appeal, or at the conclusion of the appeals hearing, if the FHP is appealed.
  • In cases referred to AFEGC from a CFSC or FRC the AHP will file its written report and recommendation with the body that referred the case to AFEGC.

In the case of an appeal of the AHP final report and recommendations, the Chairperson of the Academic Senate shall distribute the report to the elected faculty members of the Senate Executive Committee.  Members of the Executive Committee and of Faculty Caucus from the parties' department(s) and those who have actual or apparent conflict of interest, such as those who have served on a DFSC/SFSC, CFSC, or FRC that has been involved with the complaint shall not be included in this distribution or in any deliberations.

The report and recommendations will be forwarded to the Provost if there is no appeal or if in the case of an appeal, no faculty member of the Executive Committee requests that the report be considered by the joint faculty members of the Executive Committee. Otherwise, the joint faculty members of the Executive Committee will decide whether to forward the report to the Provost or to send it to the Faculty Caucus.  If the joint faculty members of of the Executive Committee decide to forward the report to the Provost, they may opt to append their written comments regarding the final report and recommendations.  These comments may not be in the form of a recommendation to accept or reject the AHP report and must be based entirely on observations regarding procedure and policy interpretation.

If the elected faculty members of Senate Executive Committee decide to forward the report to the Faculty Caucus, the Faculty Caucus will meet to discuss the appeal and will make a recommendation to the Provost on whether the AHP report should be accepted or rejected. This recommendation will be based entirely on whether the report adheres to the Faculty Ethics Code, to the relevant policy at issue in any grievance, or to the principles of academic freedom cited in Article III, Section 1.A. of the Illinois State University Constitution.  Ordinarily, the Faculty Caucus will not hold a formal hearing with the parties in attendance, but may vote to do so if circumstances warrant such a hearing.  The recommendation to the Provost from the Faculty Caucus shall occur only after any such hearing.

Within 25 business days of the Senate Chairperson’s receiving the AHP written report, the Faculty Caucus shall forward its recommendation to the Provost. If a recommendation is not made within 25 academic business days, the written report will go directly to the Provost without recommendation.

At the request of either party, a copy of the audio recording(s) of any formal hearing(s) shall be made available to them.

Provost's Reply to AFEGC Reports and Recommendations

After receiving the Final Report of the FHP and, when applicable, the written report of an Appeals Hearing Panel, the comment of the elected faculty members of the Executive Committee, and the recommendation of the Faculty Caucus, the Provost shall inform the AFEGC whether or not the report and recommendation have been accepted and, if applicable, inform the AFEGC of the nature of any redress. This notification shall be in writing, within 25 business days, and shall be sent to the complainant, the respondent, the chair of the AFEGC, and the chair of the Academic Senate, in the case of appeals of the AHP report.  If the recommendation of the FHP or AHP or Faculty Caucus has been rejected, the notification must include a rationale supporting that decision.

Appeals to the President

The complainant or the respondent may appeal a decision by the Provost to the President. The appeal shall take the form of a written statement to the President, filed within 5 working days of the Provost's decision, explaining the basis for the appeal. Unappealed decisions of the Provost, or decisions of the President in appealed cases, shall constitute final resolution of the complaint, and shall not be subject to any further appeal.

Links:

Flow Chart:  AFEGCFlowchart2006-04-03.ppt

Policy 1.17 Code of Ethics and appendices

Policy 1.17A Professional Relationships

3.1.44 Consensual Relations in the Instructional Context and Outside of the Instructional Context

3.3.12A Appendix to Code of Ethics:  Faculty Responsibilities to Students

3.3.12B Appendix to Code of Ethics:  Consensual Relations in Instructional Settings

3.3.12C Appendix to Code of Ethics:  Involvement in Political Activities

3.3.13 Academic Freedom Policy

Initiating body: Academic Senate

Contact: Vice President and Provost (309-438-7018)

Revised on: 12/2016


2017-02-27T11:59:02.948-06:00 2017
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