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
The AFEGC has faculty jurisdiction over the following:
- 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."
- A referral from the College Faculty Status Committee ("CFSC"), pursuant to Article XVII.I.1 or 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
ASPT guidelines and other university policies provide that the AFEGC has no jurisdiction in the following cases:
- 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, in addition to imposing any further disciplinary action recommended by an AFEGC panel. 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")
- 3.3.8B Types of Cases & Procedures for Cases
- 3.3.8C Voluntary Conciliation
- 3.3.8D Hearing Panels, Hearings, Appeals, and Reports
- 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
- 3.3.12C Appendix to Code of Ethics: Involvement in Political Activities
- 3.3.13 Academic Freedom Policy
- 3.2.19 Shared Governance Policy