DISCIPLINARY ACTION AND GRIEVANCES
11.1 BEHAVIORAL COMPLAINTS AGAINST FACULTY MEMBERS
It is not intended that the complaint resolution procedures set forth below in this subsection be
utilized to: (1) resolve grade appeals or similar complaints by students against faculty members, or
(2) provide a duplicative remedy for a single complaint. In the former situation, the complaint shal
be handled in accordance with the student appeal provisions set forth in the applicable Bul etin or
student handbook. In the latter situation, the appropriate vice president shall make the final
determination regarding the most appropriate complaint procedure or appeal mechanism to be
utilized for the handling of the complaint.
11.1.1 Inappropriate Behavior
Upon receipt by the CSM administration of a complaint alleging inappropriate behavior on the
part of a faculty member, which, in its judgment, does not appear to rise to the level of
misconduct covered by paragraph 11.1.2 below, the administration shal first refer the
complaint to the immediate supervisor of the faculty member at the department/division level
for resolution. If resolution of the complaint at the department/division level is unsuccessful,
the complaint wil be handled by the appropriate vice president according to the applicable
procedure set forth in the Academic Affairs Procedures Manual, which shal be adapted as
necessary for use in departments outside of Academic Affairs.
A. Preliminary Complaint Investigation
Upon receipt by the CSM administration of a report or complaint al eging faculty
misconduct that is deemed to be of a serious nature, the appropriate vice president shal
notify all accused parties and conduct a preliminary investigation to determine whether the
allegation has merit. If a vice president is an accused party, the President shall perform
the duties assigned to the vice president in this subsection. If the President is an accused
party, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees shall perform the duties assigned to the vice
president in this subsection. The vice president may conduct the preliminary investigation
personally, delegate this task to another qualified administrator, or engage an external
investigator to conduct the investigation. In conducting the preliminary investigation, the
investigator shall review relevant documents and discuss the matter with all individuals
directly involved in the matter. Additionally, the investigator may consult with any
individual possessing expertise in the subject matter of the complaint or any member of
the CSM community whose assistance is deemed by the investigator to be helpful to an
equitable resolution of the complaint. Under normal circumstances, it is expected that the
preliminary investigation wil be concluded within thirty days. If the preliminary
investigation takes longer than thirty days to complete, the vice president shall update the
affected parties about the progress of the investigation. At the conclusion of the
preliminary investigation, the vice president shal decide whether or not the al egation has
sufficient merit to proceed to a formal investigation. If a formal investigation is deemed
unwarranted, the vice president shall send a letter to the affected parties announcing the
decision not to undertake a formal investigation and the reasons therefor. If a formal
investigation is deemed warranted, the vice president shall send a letter to the affected
parties announcing the decision to undertake a formal investigation and inviting the
accusing parties and the accused parties to submit written position statements to the ad
hoc investigatory committee, which shall be appointed as indicated below. The formal
investigation of the complaint shall then commence in accordance with subparagraph B
B. Formal Complaint Investigation and Resolution Procedure
The vice president, in consultation with the president of the faculty organization of which
the accused is a member, shal appoint an ad hoc investigatory committee consisting of
three faculty members having no professional involvement or personal interest in the
matter to be reviewed by the committee. The committee shal be charged with
investigating the complaint and delivering to the vice president a written recommendation
with respect thereto, including proposed findings and a proposed resolution. In conducting
the formal investigation, the committee shal review al relevant documents and discuss the
matter with the individuals directly involved in the al eged misconduct. Additionally, the
committee may consult with any individual possessing expertise in the subject matter of
the complaint or any member of the CSM community whose assistance is deemed by the
committee to be helpful to an equitable resolution of the complaint. The committee shal
compile a file of its work and deliberations and deliver the file to the vice president with its
formal recommendation. Under normal circumstances, it is expected that the formal
investigation will be concluded within sixty days. If the formal investigation takes longer
than sixty days to complete, the chairperson of the investigatory committee shal update
the affected parties and the vice president about the progress of the investigation. At the
conclusion of the investigation, the vice president shal review the investigatory file and
recommendation and render a formal decision in the matter. After reviewing al
information related to the accusation, the vice president shall prepare a written decision
resolving the matter, including a statement of sanctions, if appropriate, and deliver copies
of the formal decision to the affected parties. Under normal circumstances, it is expected
that the vice president wil announce a formal resolution of the complaint to the affected
parties within fifteen days from his or her receipt of the investigatory committee
The sanctions imposed for an offense may vary from a letter of reprimand to dismissal for
cause, depending upon the nature of the offense and any aggravating or mitigating
factors, including, but not limited to, the presence or absence of malicious intent.
D. Avenues of Appeal
If the accused party disagrees with the findings of the investigation or the sanctions
imposed, he or she may file a grievance pursuant to the Exempt Employee Grievance
Procedure set forth in subsection 11.3 below. If, as an outcome of the investigation, the
accused faculty member is terminated for cause, he or she may appeal the termination
pursuant to the Termination and Non-Renewal Appeal Procedure set forth in subsection 9.6
11.2 DISCIPLINARY ACTION
If a department head or equivalent director and the appropriate vice president have determined
that a faculty member has failed to behave in an ethical and professional manner, or is guilty of
misfeasance or nonfeasance of duty, he or she may issue a formal letter of reprimand to the faculty
member. Letters of reprimand, in combination with other factors, may constitute cause for
termination of the employment of a faculty member by CSM. If the faculty member disagrees with
the disciplinary action imposed, he or she may file a grievance pursuant to the Exempt Employee
Grievance Procedure set forth in subsection 11.3 below.
11.3 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
11.3.1 Purpose and Scope
A. This procedure is intended to provide a means for faculty to seek redress regarding
employment-related concerns. This process can only be used for matters directly affecting
the faculty member’s working conditions or work assignments. Subject to the limitations
set forth in 11.3.1 B, faculty members may file a grievance under this procedure for any
action, inaction, or decision by a Mines employee that has a tangible adverse professional
impact on the faculty member and that the faculty member has reasonable grounds to
believe was unfair or arbitrary.
B. This grievance process cannot be used to review:
1. Matters involving performance evaluations, al egations of discrimination, sexual
harassment, promotion and tenure, or other matters covered by Board of Trustees
policies and procedures, including other Faculty Handbook or Academic Affairs
procedures that contain specific avenues of appeal.
2. A decision or action by the Board of Trustees.
3. Any matter pertaining to broad areas of the fiscal management, staffing or structure of
the university, CSM policies, procedures, and practices of a general nature. Examples
of such items include the annual budget, operating procedures and protocols,
organizational structure, etc.
4. Any matter for which the resolution is not under the control of the university.
Examples of these might include federal regulations governing recruitment, grant
operations and reporting, state statutory or rule requirements, generally accepted
accounting practices, approved fringe rates, etc.
C. Grievances that are frivolous, vexatious, retaliatory, initiated in bad faith, are filed to harass
or annoy the Respondent, or grievances that are on their face clearly unreasonable, are not
to be filed and may result in sanctions or disciplinary actions against the individual(s) who
filed the grievance. If the Respondent believes that the grievance meets the conditions
described in this Paragraph C, he or she may ask the Grievance Hearing Panel to consider
this in its findings and recommend sanctions against the Grievant. If such a request is
made, the panel wil include in its report to the Decision Maker a section regarding the
Respondent’s request (see 11.3.3. K below).
A. “Respondent” refers to the individual whose decisions, actions, or inactions have given
rise to the Grievant’s concerns.
B. “Decision Maker” refers to the Provost or Vice President who is charged with making the
C. “Panel” refers to the Grievance Hearing Panel selected using the process defined in
Sections 11.3.4 F and G of this grievance procedure.
11.3.3 Informal Resolution
If a dispute or conflict arises, the Grievant is expected to make reasonable, good faith efforts to
resolve the dispute or conflict directly and promptly with the Respondent prior to beginning the
Grievance Procedure (11.3.4). A Grievant should first discuss his or her concerns with the
Respondent. If those efforts fail, the Grievant may utilize the Grievance Procedure below,
except as noted in 11.3.7A when the President is the respondent of the grievance.
11.3.4 Grievance Procedure
A. A grievance must be provided in writing to the Associate Vice President for Human
Resources (AVPHR)1. It must be filed no later than forty-five (45) days after the grieved
action, inaction, or decision became known to the Grievant. If the Grievant fails to file the
grievance by this deadline, the grievance is ended.
B. The written grievance must contain, at a minimum, a statement that identifies the issue(s)
in dispute and the Respondent, describes the factual basis for the grievance and the efforts
to resolve the matter, and describes with specificity the desired outcome.
C. The AVPHR wil promptly provide a copy of the grievance to the Chair of the University
Grievance Committee. The Chair wil determine whether it is a grievable matter (Handbook
Section 11.3.1) that fal s within the jurisdiction of the Grievance Committee and wil
determine whether the grievance is compliant with the submission requirements of
Handbook Section 11.3.4 B.
D. If the grievance is deficient, the Chair wil advise the Grievant in writing and may allow the
Grievant to revise and resubmit the grievance. The Chair must receive the revised
grievance no later than seven (7) days after the Grievant’s receipt of the Chair’s notice of
deficiency. Failure to resubmit within this deadline ends the grievance.
E. The decision of the Chair as to whether it is appropriate for the Committee to hear the
grievance is final and may not be grieved or otherwise appealed.
F. For grievances that qualify to be heard, a Grievance Hearing Panel wil be selected from
Committee membership. The Chair and the AVPHR wil jointly and promptly conduct a
random selection of the initial Panel.
G. The panel wil initially consist of five (5) members. From this number, the Grievant and
the Respondent wil each be required to disqualify one member. The disqualification
must be made by the Grievant and the Respondent each no later than two (2) days after
being notified of the initial Panel. The order of the disqualification selection wil be
determined by the flip of a coin. The remaining three (3) members wil be the Panel that
wil hear the grievance.
H. The Panel wil select a Presiding Panel Member (PPM) within three (3) days of the Panel
selection. Subject to Section 11.3.7 F., the PPM wil schedule a pre-hearing conference of
the panel including the Grievant and the Respondent. The purpose of the pre-hearing
conference is to clarify issues, provide exchange of documents, set a date for the
hearing, identify witnesses, and decide other preliminary matters. With consideration to
participants’ schedules, the pre-hearing conference wil occur promptly, typically no later
than ten (10) days after the selection of the PPM. If the pre-hearing conference
becomes difficult to schedule, the PPM may conduct it on weekends and evenings.
I. Following the pre-hearing conference, the PPM wil schedule the grievance hearing. The
schedule wil be set with reasonable consideration given to the schedules of the Grievant,
the Respondent, panel members, and possible witnesses. The hearing should normal y
occur no later than twenty-one (21) days after the pre-hearing conference.
J. Only members of the Panel, the Grievant(s), the Respondent(s), and their respective
counsels or representatives may attend the pre-hearing conference and the grievance
hearing. Witnesses may be present only while giving testimony.
1 If the grievance is against the Associate Vice President for Human Resources, it must be
provided in writing to the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration. In this event,
all references that follow within this procedure to the Associate Vice President for Human
Resources wil be replaced with the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration.
I. At the hearing, both the Grievant and the Respondent wil have the opportunity to present
their cases. The Grievant bears the burden of proof.
K. The Panel wil issue its report and recommendations, including its findings, to the Grievant,
the Respondent, and to the Decision Maker. The Panel wil issue its report within a
reasonable period of time after the hearing, general y within seven (7) days. Except in
unusual circumstances, the panel’s report and recommendations should be issued no later
than twenty-one (21) days after the hearing.
A. Within a reasonable period of time after receipt of the panel’s report and
recommendations, the Decision Maker wil issue his or her decision. The Decision Maker
wil use the standard of preponderance of evidence in making his or her decision. The
decision is normally expected to occur within ten (10) days after receipt of the panel’s
recommendation. If the Decision Maker needs to extend the time frame, he/she wil notify
the parties in writing of the extension.
B. The decision of the Decision Maker is final and there is no further appeal. The decision wil
be provided to the Grievant and the Respondent in writing. Copies of the decision wil be
provided to the Faculty Grievance Committee Chair, the PPM, and to Human Resources for
inclusion in the Grievant’s and/or Respondent’s personnel file as determined by the
A. The grievance process is an internal, procedure for resolving workplace disputes; it is not
intended to be a formal legal proceeding. Counsel or a representative may advise either
party and is permitted to attend the pre-hearing conference and the grievance hearing.
While counsel or a representative may advise the Grievant and the Respondent, no counsel
or representative may participate directly in the proceedings, testify, or question witnesses.
B. Mines’ General Counsel may advise the panel on procedural matters related to the
grievance. If the General Counsel is already actively involved in advising a party with
regard to the grievance, another attorney from Mines’ Legal Services Office, an attorney
from the State’s Attorney General’s Office, or external counsel may be assigned to advise
the Panel. An ethical wall wil be utilized to address and resolve any conflict of interest that
arises from this representation.
A. If the President is the Respondent to the grievance, the Grievant is encouraged, but not
required, to first discuss his or her concerns with the President. If the Grievant does not
wish to engage the President in a discussion of his or her concerns, the Grievant may
submit his or her grievance to the Chair of the Board of Trustees. If the Grievant elects to
discuss his or her concerns with the President, the President wil issue his or her decision in
writing to the faculty member. A decision issued by the President may not be submitted to
the Faculty Grievance Committee, but may be appealed to the Chair of the Board of
Trustees. Any decision by the Board of Trustees is the final decision of CSM with regard to
grievances brought against the President.
B. If a grievance is lodged against the Provost or a Vice President, the Panel report and
recommendation wil be provided to the President (or his or her designee) who wil make
the final decision.
C. References in the singular include the plural where the intent of the sentence is obvious
that the plural should be included and where the meaning of the sentence is not
material y changed. For example, the terms “Grievant” and “Respondent” shal include
“Grievants” and “Respondents” as appropriate.
D. All references to days are made to calendar days.
E. If any deadlines fal on a weekend or holiday, they wil be extended to the next business
F. If the pre-hearing conference or the grievance hearing fal within the period between the
end of the spring semester and the beginning of the subsequent fal semester, at the
discretion of the PPM, these may be postponed until the fall semester. If a
postponement is necessary, the deadline for setting the pre-hearing conference shal be
thirty (30) days after the start of the fall semester.