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Faculty Dispute Resolution Procedure - 63.13.01

College Policy Number/Title:

Howard Community College expects that every effort will be made on the part of both parties to reach an amicable and rational solution to issues prior to entering the dispute resolution process.   When such solutions cannot be achieved, grievable issues as listed in policy 63.13, Employee Dispute Resolution should proceed through the following steps when the complainant is a budgeted or temporary with benefits faculty member.

Step One

If a faculty member wishes to file a grievance, the faculty member must submit an official grievance form, which can be found on the portal, to the faculty member’s supervisor with a copy to the associate vice president of human resources.  The form must be submitted within 30 calendar days of the date the cause of complaint arose.  Within 30 days of receiving the grievance form, the supervisor will issue a written response to the faculty member’s grievance.

Step Two

Within five business days of the receipt of the supervisor’s written decision, the faculty member may request, in writing to the associate vice president of human resources, that the grievance proceed to step two.  The request must specify whether the faculty member wishes that the grievance proceed to a dispute resolution committee or directly to the vice president of academic affairs.  If no written request is submitted to the associate vice president of human resources within five business days of receiving the step one decision, the grievance process will be concluded and the step one decision will stand.

Should the grievance proceed directly to the vice president of academic affairs, the grievance will be reviewed at that level and a final decision will be issued within 30 calendar days.  Should a dispute resolution committee be requested, the following procedures will go into effect.

Dispute Resolution Committee

  1. The dispute resolution committee shall be composed of six employees: three faculty members, two administrative staff members, and the associate vice president of human resources or designee, who will be the facilitator (non-voting) for the committee.  The associate vice president of human resources or designee will convene the committee, chair the meetings, provide administrative support, and clarify any questions concerning the procedures being used.  When the need for a dispute resolution committee arises, the Faculty Forum will elect three representatives and an alternate to serve on this committee.  In the case of a clear conflict of interest, the representative or the committee may decide that a specific person should not serve on the committee.  In that case, the alternate serves on the committee.  If there is a question concerning a conflict of interest, the associate vice president of human resources will decide whether or not the representative's membership on the committee is appropriate.  The  associate vice president of human resources will select the administrative staff members to be on the committee. 
  2. The dispute resolution committee will be convened by the associate vice president of human resources within 15 business days after the faculty member has submitted a written request to convene a dispute resolution committee to the associate vice president of human resources.  Minimally, the committee shall meet with the faculty member and the supervisor, review any documentary support either party wishes to submit, and hear from any witnesses either party wishes to bring.  At the first meeting, the committee will determine the procedures to be followed and will so inform the complainant and supervisor.
  3. The committee will not accept anonymous materials as supporting evidence for either party.  Both parties will have access to all documents submitted as evidence.  Legal or other representatives will not be permitted to assist either party .  The dispute resolution committee will be directed by the associate vice president of human resources to hold all recommendations and deliberations confidential.
  4. After receipt of all documentary evidence and testimony, the committee shall, within 30 calendar days, prepare a report containing findings of fact and recommendations for the resolution of the dispute.  The report will be presented to the vice president of academic affairs, who will subsequently issue a final written decision on the matter within 15 calendar days.  In making the final decision, the vice president will take into consideration the report of the dispute resolution committee but is not required to abide by its recommendations.

Effective Date:  03/24/17

President's Office Use:  VPAF/VPAA

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