The University seeks to resolve problems that employees may feel are obstacles to the full and satisfying performance of their duties. While not all problems can always be fully resolved, just the effort to resolve problems can often do a great deal to improve the working situation for both the employee and the supervisor. The positive resolution of problems serves well the institution's mission to deliver quality educational services to its students and other constituencies. The Complaint Procedure does not apply to decisions about salary adjustments, annual reviews or employee disciplinary matters.
The Complaint Procedure is a process whereby a concern of a serious nature can be presented, regardless of whether any defined policy or procedure is involved. This procedure is designed to provide a channel for employees to formalize concerns of a serious nature, and to have such concerns reviewed by a higher level(s) of management. An employee with a concern of a serious nature should approach his or her supervisor in a private meeting to discuss the problem within five (5) workdays of becoming aware of the problem. Supervisors should make prompt provision for a private meeting upon the request of the employee. If the complaint involves the direct supervisor, the employee may skip this step.
If the meeting with the supervisor does not resolve the concern, or if the concern involves the supervisor, the employee should send a letter describing the grievance to the supervisor's immediate superior, with a copy to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources, within five (5) workdays of the meeting or the occurrence with the supervisor giving rise to the complaint. The supervisor's immediate supervisor will arrange a meeting with the employee, normally to take place within ten work days of receipt of the letter, and shall deliver a written response to the employee normally within ten (10) work days of the meeting. If the supervisor’s immediate supervisor is a vice president or executive director, that person may proceed as outlined in the paragraph below.
If the effort to resolve the problem at the level of the supervisor's immediate superior is unsuccessful, the employee may notify the supervisor's vice president or executive director of the continuing concern. This must be done within five (5) workdays of receipt of the supervisor’s immediate supervisor’s decision. The vice president/executive director (or his/her designee) may arrange a meeting with the employee normally to take place within fifteen (15) workdays of the receipt of the complaint, or may refer the complaint to an appropriate office or function on campus (for example, Human Resources, the Provost’s Office, the Compliance Office, the Sexual Harassment complaint officer, Title IX officer, etc.).
If the vice president or executive director hears the complaint (rather than referring it), he or she will deliver the final disposition of the employee's concern in a written statement normally within ten (10) workdays of the meeting.
The application of the above steps may be adjusted as needed, and as practicable, to fit the number of reporting levels involved or the particular facts and circumstances of the case.
Separate procedures are provided under University policy for those complaints that may be considered to be sexual harassment or other forms of harassment, and can be found at the following links:
The Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Affirmative Action Officer serves as a resource to assist employees in handling complaints of alleged discrimination and harassment.
Nothing in this procedure prohibits or discourages any person from making a report to the EthicsPoint hotline, either in addition to or instead of using this Complaint Procedure.