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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, terminal, 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 from negotiated NTT faculty 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

 

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

     Referrals

1.  A referral from the Faculty Review Committee ("FRC"), pursuant to Article XVII.G.3 or XVII.L.7 of the Faculty Appointment Salary Promotion and Tenure Policies ("ASPT"), in promotion and tenure cases, sanctions cases, suspension cases, or dismissal cases where "the FRC believes that the basis of the appeal is an academic freedom or ethics violation" or otherwise "includes matters under the jurisdiction of the AFEGC."

2.  A referral from the College Faculty Status Committee ("CFSC"), pursuant to Article XVII.J.I of the ASPT, in performance evaluation cases or cumulative post-tenure review 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 (e.g. a Department/School/College Faculty Status Committee) 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, XVII.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 which is an allegation of an ethics or academic freedom violation per II.A.3 or II.A.4, including complaints alleging that the basis of a dismissal, non-reappointment, or resignation under duress was an academic freedom or ethics violation.  Complaints 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, terminal, 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:  ASPT guidelines and other university policies provide that the AFEGC has no jurisdiction in the following cases:

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

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

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

Complaints by terminal faculty that are directly related to a tenure denial may not propose to readjudicate issues already considered by the AFEGC or issues that could reasonably have been considered by the AFEGC during the academic year in which the denial was issued.  Determinations regarding jurisdiction for such complaints will be at the discretion of the Chair and Vice-Chair of the AFEGC, with an appeal to the voting members of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Caucus of any decision to deny the formation of a Faculty Hearing Panel.

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 Faculty 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 respondent and that person can then decide whether to pursue a grievance/counter-complaint.  If the counter-complaint is proven, 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 also be the basis for 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

I.  Committee chairperson

A.  Election

Since AFEGC terms coincide with the beginning of the academic year, at the call of the sitting Chairperson, a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson and an alternate will be elected between April 15 and May 15 for one-year terms beginning on August 16.  The alternate will serve as Vice-Chairperson when the Vice-Chairperson must serve as Chairperson.  The alternate will also serve as Vice-Chairperson for cases being handled by the Chairperson that involve the first Vice-Chairperson's department or another conflict of interest for the Vice-Chairperson. 

The Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons of the AFEGC shall be tenured faculty members.  The Chairperson and the Vice-Chairpersons must hold tenure in different colleges; none shall handle any case originating from their own department. 

In the event the current year's AFEGC Chairperson is no longer serving on the committee by April 15, a meeting of the AFEGC will be called by the Chairperson of the Academic Senate for the sole purpose of electing a chairperson for AFEGC. 

B.  Duties

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 at minimum (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.  The summary is distinct from reports of activity to the Faculty Affairs Committee of the Academic Senate, which are submitted at the end of each semester and do not detail specifics of individual cases.
  7. To extend deadlines as needed to provide for equitable due process, in consultation with all parties concerned.  A committee may petition the chairperson of the AFEGC for an appropriate extension of deadlines.
  8. The AFEGC Chairperson may not serve as a mediator or conciliator in any case.
  9. In consultation with the Vice-Chairperson or alternate, to determine whether cases fall under the jurisdiction of the AFEGC; and if no determination can be reached, or if an appeal of a determination that a case is outside its jurisdiction is entered, to consult with the Chairperson of the Academic Senate for a final determination, except as noted in 3.3.8.II.B Jurisdiction, Exemptions, and Malicious Charges.
  10. To receive requests for the recusal of a member of an ASPT committee from a disciplinary case and determine whether the proposed grounds for recusal are valid, according to ASPT Article XII.B.3.

II. Members

The AFEGC will consist of thirty-nine (39) 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.

III. Procedures for electing members

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

Tenured faculty (24): In each year of an election, the eight (8) 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 colleges (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

Referrals, Complaints, and Grievances

I.  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. 

Throughout this policy, a business day shall not include winter break or spring break.  Activity and timelines between May 15 and August 16 will be at the discretion of the AFEGC Chairperson according to 3.3.8A.II.

In all AFEGC matters, members of the AFEGC shall use only phone calls and confidential campus mail to communicate and transmit items related to complaints and referrals, unless the Chairperson of the AFEGC has received written notification from all of the principal parties (complainant, respondent, referring FRC or CFSC committee chairperson) that email or another electronic communication/transmission mode is acceptable.  The AFEGC Chairperson may reasonably extend deadlines should use of electronic transmission be denied by any of these parties.

II.  Referrals

A referral to the AFEGC shall be defined as a referral either from the FRC, as described in 3.3.8II.A.1 (Jurisdiction), or a referral from a CFSC, as described above in3.3.8 II.A.2 (Jurisdiction). A referral shall at a minimum include:

A.  A written statement by the FRC or CFSC describing the basis for the referral;

B.  Forwarding of any documentation from the FRC or CFSC pertinent to the referral;

C.  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.

Within five (5) business days of receipt of the referral, the Chairperson (or Vice-Chairperson acting as Chairperson) shall confirm in writing to the referee receipt of the referral and the date of filing.  The Chairperson (or Vice-Chairperson) shall also transmit a copy of the referral and all accompanying documentation to the faculty member and to the appropriate respondent(s), generally within five (5) business days of receipt, or within one (1) day of final determination as to the appropriate respondent, whichever is later.

III.  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 - as well as to the faculty member and the appropriate respondent(s).

If a hearing is warranted in the case, the AFEGC shall proceed directly to an appeal hearing.  The Chairperson of the AFEGC (or the Vice Chairperson if the Chairperson is from a department from which the case originates) shall form an Appeal Hearing Panel (AHP).The AFEGC Chairperson shall transmit the AHP's report to the original referring committee, the faculty member and the apporpriate respondent(s).

Whether a hearing is held or not, as outlined in ASPT, XVII.G.3, XVII.I.1, XVII.J.1, or XVII.L7, the report from the AFEGC, shall offer recommendations to the FRC or CFSC so that they may exercise their ASPT responsibilities. 

In the case of an appeal in a referral case of a decision by the AFEGC committee-of-the-whole or the Appeal Hearing Panel (AHP) by either the faculty member or the relevant ASPT committee or other respondent(s) against which a finding has occurred, copies of the decision by the AFEGC or AHP will be forwarded both 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 referral decision on appeal.  The Executive Committee of the Faculty Caucus may decide that a referral decision warrants a hearing by the Faculty Caucus of the Academic Senate or it may file a report directly to the original referring body, the faculty member, the respondent(s) and in tenure and/or promotion cases to the Provost. 

If a hearing is held by the Faculty Caucus of the Academic Senate, it must be held within ten (10) business days unless the Senate Chairperson requests and receives an extension; the Faculty Caucus submits its decision to the original referring body, the faculty member, the respondent(s) and in tenure and/or promotion cases 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 chairperson of the AFEGC or its Appeal Hearing Panel (AHP) or the chairperson of the Faculty Caucus will forward the decision by the Executive Committee or Faculty Caucus to the President, the Provost, the original referring committee, the faculty member, and any other respondent(s) (for tenure and/or promotion cases) or to both the CFSC and DFSC, the faculty member, and any other respondent(s) (for performance evaluation or cumu8lative post-tenure review cases).  They will give these parties notice by that deadline that an appeal is still pending.

IV.  Complaints and Grievances

A complaint shall be defined as a written statement alleging a matter within the jurisdiction of the AFEGC, as defined by 3.3.8II.A.3-II.A.7 (Jurisdiction).

A grievance shall be defined as a written statement alleging a matter within the jurisdiction of the AFEGC, as defined by 3.3.8II.A.8 (Jurisdiction).

Within five (5) business days of receipt of the complaint, the Chairperson (or Vice-Chairperson acting as Chairperson) shall confirm in writing to the complainant receipt of the complaint and the date of filing.  The Chairperson (or Vice-Chairperson) shall also transmit a copy of the complaint and all accompanying documentation to the appropriate respondent(s), generally within five (5) business days of receipt, or within one (1) day of final determination as to the appropriate respondent, whichever is later.

     A.  Through the Chairperson of the AFEGC, a complainant must provide the respondent(s) 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, and a rationale for each.  (If not supplied by the complainant, written statements may subsequently be requested from witnesses if deemed appropriate by the FHP, and will be transmitted to all parties upon receipt.);
  • Notification of intent to bring a technical or informal advisor who in rare circumstances may be an attorney, and notification of the name, relationship to the parties, and role at the University, if any, of that advisor.
  • Any other information requested by the AFEGC as part of its uniform procedures.

A complaint or grievance shall at a minimum also include:

  1. The jurisdictional basis of the complaint or grievance, by specification of the subsection 3.3.8II.A (Jurisdiction) which provides for the jurisdiction of the AFEGC;
  2. For complaints, a statement of the section(s) of the Code of Ethics the complainant believes has been violated, if applicable;
  3. For grievances, a statement of the policy or past practice the complainant believes has been violated;

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

V.  Procedures in Complaint Cases

In cases of complaints, the AFEGC Chairperson shall consult the Vice Chairperson as to the appropriate respondent, who shall be designated by agreement of the AFEGC Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson.  In the absence of an agreement between the AFEGC Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson, the Senate Chairperson shall determine the appropriate respondent. If the AFEGC Chairperson, AFEGC Vice Chairperson, and Senate Chairperson have named three distinct respondents, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Caucus shall determine the appropriate respondent.

Members of the Faculty Caucus 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 Chairperson's own department, the Senate Chairperson 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 (first in years of service on the Executive Committee 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 violation or grievance.

Such informal conciliation can take many forms.  Usually a prospective complainant confers with the prospective respondent and/or 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 at this level, for whatever reason, they may consult with the University Ombudsperson Council for assistance prior to filing a formal complaint with the AFEGC.

If the case remains unresolved after an Ombudsperson or other conciliator or mediator has been consulted, the complainant may file a formal complaint with AFEGC.

 

3.3.8D Hearing Panels, Hearings, Appeals, and Reports

I.  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:

  1. to see all documents considered by the hearing or appeals panel,
  2. to hear opposing statements,
  3. to present evidence,
  4. to submit to the AFEGC any number of proposed witnesses to be called at the discretion of the hearing panel,
  5. to submit any number of written witness statements, and
  6. to be accompanied by a technical or informed advisor who may be present only to advise the party and not to participate, including as a witness or representative.

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

     h.  The standard of proof for all hearings and deliberations will be a preponderance of the evidence standard.

II.  Faculty Hearing Panel (FHP)

In cases of complaints where a conciliation effort is not deemed appropriate by the complainant, the AFEGC Chairperson, or an Ombudsperson, or where such an effort has been unable to resolve the matter, the AFEGC 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 decision that a filed complaint falls within the jurisdiction of the committee. In cases that may involve college-level issues or relationships, the AFEGC Chairperson shall make every effort to avoid seating members from the complainant's and respondent's own college(s), 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 AFEGC 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 an FHP needs to be formed. 
  3. No member of the AFEGC shall serve on an 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).  Such members shall be considered ineligible.
  4. In the event of vacancies making it impossible to staff an FHP with appropriate representatives as established above, the AFEGC Chairperson may appoint any eligible member of the AFEGC who is not a member of the same department/school/unit as the complainant or respondent to the FHP.

III.  Hearing

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

The hearing shall be conducted according to the following procedures:

  1. Within fifteen (15) business 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, and a rationale for each.  (If not supplied by the respondent, written statements may subsequently be requested from witnesses if deemed appropriate by the FHP, and will be transmitted to all parties upon receipt.);
    • Notification of intent to bring a technical or informal advisor who in rare circumstances may be an attorney, and notification of the name, relationship to the parties, and role at the University, if any, of that advisor.
    • Any other information requested by the AFEGC as part of its uniform procedures.
  2. Within one (1) business day of receipt of the materials from the respondent, the chairperson of the FHP has an obligation to transmit to the complainant all the above documentation from the respondent, including names of witnesses tentatively agreed to by the full FHP, and names of advisors.  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. 
  3. Additional materials may not be submitted by the complainant following receipt of the respondent's materials.  Complainants and respondents may request at or before the hearing an additional exchange of documents and, if desired, an additional hearing to present arguments regarding them.  This exchange and/or additional hearing is at the sole discretion of the FHP.
  4. Assuming the timeline outlined in this section is met, the hearing shall take place as scheduled.  Should the resondent not submit the materials in a timely manner, the hearing will ordinarily take place as scheduled, but may be postponed.  It will ordinarily take place within twenty (20) business days of the formation of the FHP, the election of its chairperson, and the transmission of the complaint to the respondent, whichever occurs last.
  5. At the scheduled hearing:
    • The FHP will allow the complainant and the respondent, or their representative, if either so elects, to make oral presentations supplementing their written submissions;
    • 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.
    • The FHP may 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 Panel to make a recommendation or to effect a resolution.
    • Presentation and examination of all witnesses named in teh materials submitted prior to the hearing will take place only when the FHP deems it to be appropriate in a particular case.   The FHP may determine that the testimony of suggested witnesses is either not relevant or cumulative and limit oral testimony to a reasonable number, not to be less than up to three for each party. 
    • The FHP may call witnesses on its own motion and will do so to verify any hearsay testimony entered into the record by the parties or by witnesses. 
    • The FHP will provide reasonable aid, within its ability, in securing attendance of witnesses through its status as an approved university committee. 
    • The FHP will afford each party an opportunity to examine all witnesses whose appearance it has approved by submitting questions through the FHP.  The FHP has the discretion to authorize either party or that party's representative to examine witnesses. 
    • The FHP 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.
    • In all complaints and grievances, the complainant shall have the burden of proof throughout the hearing.
    • The chairperson of the FHP shall be responsible for conducting the hearing and has the complete authority, in consultation with the other members of the FHP, to control aspects of the proceedings not detailed here.
  6. Whether or not there is the need for a continuation of the hearing into another day, within ten (10) business days after the hearing is finally concluded, 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 it has sufficient information to move to a decision and issue its final recommendation regarding the complaint.

Written reports

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.

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 the  section of the Code of Ethics specified below 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) business 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.

IV.  Appeal Hearings

If, after a hearing, the AFEGC receives a request for an appeal hearing, or if a referral from a College Faculty Status Committee (CFSC) or the Faculty Review Committee (FRC) is deemed to warrant a hearing by an AHP, then the AFEGC 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 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 (3) tenured faculty 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 and the chairperson of the AFEGC.  Within these ten (10) days, the chairperson of the AFEGC will schedule a meeting of the AHP membership and will provide training to review procedures, standards and confidentiality with the AHP membership.  The appeal hearing should take place so that the timeline indicated by the referring body may be honored; for a complaint/grievance, a timeline similar tot hat observed by the EHP of twenty (20) days or less from receipt of the appeal should be honored. 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) Such members shall be considered ineligible.
  4. In the event of vacancies making it impossible to staff an AHP with appropriate representatives as established above, the AFEGC Chairperson may appoint to the AHP any eligible member of the AFEGC who is not a member of the same department/school/unit as the appellant or respondent to the appellant.

 At the scheduled appeals hearing:

  • 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 by submitting questions through the AHP.  The AHP has the discretion to authorize either party or that party's representative to examine witnesses.
  • The AHP may determine that the testimony of suggested witnesses is either not relevant or cumulative.  It may call witnesses on its own motion and will do so to verify any hearsay testimony entered into the record by the parties or by witnesses. 
  • 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 representative to examine witnesses or present oral or written arguments. 
  • In all cases, the appellant shall have the burden of proof throughout the hearing.
  • Oral arguments shall be limited to ten minutes apiece, except at the discretion of the AHP Chair.

Written Reports

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 appeal complaint:

"The AFEGC finds that the evidence presented in the appeal 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 appeal complaint:

"The AFEGC finds that the evidence presented in the appeal complaint of ___________which dealt with the section of the Code of Ethics specified below 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 appellant and the respondent to the appellant and inform them of their right to appeal.  Within five (5) business days after receiving the AHP recommendation, the complainant or respondent to the appellant may appeal the recommendation of the Appeals Hearing Panel.  That appellant's written request will explain the basis for the appeal.

V.  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 bullet point, the AFEGC Chairperson shall file the written report and recommendation of the FHP and, if applicable, the AHP on the matter with the Provost and the Chairperson of the Academic Senate; these report(s) and recommendation(s) will be filed at the conclusion of the hearing, if no appeal, or at the conclusion of the appeals hearing, if the FHP is appealed, or by the Senate chair to the Provost and the AFEGC Chairperson at the conclusion of the Faculty Caucus stage if the AHP 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; if a referral case is appealed to the Faculty Caucus, the Senate Chair will file reports as per 3.3.8B, III.

VI.  Appeals to the faculty caucus

In the case of an appeal of the AHP final report and recommendations, the appeal will be submitted simultaneously to the AFEGC Chairperson and the Chairperson of the Academic Senate.  The Chairperson of the Academic Senate shall distribute the report to the elected members of the Faculty Caucus Executive Committee.  Members of the Executive Committee and of the 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.

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, the AFEGC Chairperson will forward the report and recommendations to the Provost. 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 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 members of Faculty Caucus 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 Code of Ethics, 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 and no request to extend the deadline is received by the AFEGC chairperson from the Senate chairperson, the written report will go directly to the Provost without recommendation.

VII.  Provost's Actions in Response 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/or the recommendation of the Faculty Caucus, the Provost shall inform:

  1. the AFEGC Chairperson
  2. the FHP, and
  3. any applicable bodies

whether or not the report and recommendation have been accepted, modified, or rejected, and, if applicable, inform these parties of the nature of any redress. This notification shall be in writing, within 25 business days.  It shall be sent at a minimum to the complainant, the respondent, and the chairperson of the AFEGC, who will distribute it as necessary, and, except in referral cases that have not been appealed, to the chairperson of the Academic Senate.  If the recommendation of the FHP or AHP or Faculty Caucus has been modified or rejected, the notification must include a rationale supporting that decision.  After any appeal to the President, the Provost shall also inform any individuals or bodies who might be empowered by the Provost or by University policy to consider or impose disciplinary actions regarding the final disposition of the case and the nature of any redress.

VIII. Appeals to the President

The complainant, the respondent, an appellant, or the respondent to an appellant 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 business 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

3.2.19 Shared Governance Policy

Initiating body: Academic Senate

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

Previously Revised on: 12/2016

Revised:  4/2018


2018-04-23T15:27:29.594-05:00 2018
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