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A unit of the University System of Georgia

Gordon State College Statutes

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CHAPTER 4. THE FORMAL GRIEVANCE PROCESS

4.1       Initiating the Process

At any time during the formal procedure, the parties can decide to return to mediation.

The formal grievance procedure shall begin with the grievant making known in writing his/her grievance to his/her immediate supervisor within ten (10) days of a conflict. A grievant who feels a grievance is not satisfactorily resolved at this level shall have the right to appeal, in writing, to the supervisor's superiors, one level at a time but not including the President, allowing a reasonable period of time (at each level this time period shall be seven (7) working days during which the appropriate supervisor is actually on campus) for action at each level.

All supervisory responses shall be in writing. Grievances that are not satisfactorily resolved after appeal by the complainant to each supervisory level may be taken to the Chair of the Grievance Committee in writing.

Within seven (7) working days, the Chair of the Grievance Committee will select five members to form a Grievance Review Panel. The Panel will elect a Chair within seven (7) working days.

The responsibilities of the Grievance Review Panel Chair are as follows:

  1. To make arrangements for the review;
  2. To meet with the grievant and the person named in the grievance to discuss the conditions under which the review shall be conducted;
  3. To preside over the review;
  4. To insure that the procedures for the review are followed precisely;
  5. To write the report on the Faculty panel's findings;
  6. To deliver the finished report within seven (7) working days to the President and parties of the grievance.
  7. To secure evidence presented at the hearing.

4.2       Making Arrangements for the Review

The chair of the Review Panel Chair shall secure a room at the earliest date. Each Panel member, participant, or witness shall have ten (10) working days’ notice of the date and time of the review.

 

4.3       Establishing Conditions

The Chair shall determine the acceptability and availability of witnesses, pertinent written documents, and any additional pertinent information. The Chair shall establish the length and method of presentation. The Chair shall determine if there is a conflict of interest with any of the panel members based on documented evidence. If so the panel member will be recused and replaced by another member of the Grievance Committee chosen by its Chair.

All participants in the review shall be cautioned that the review is confidential and to avoid discussing the grievance outside the review process except with their advisers.

The Chair will assure that a sound recording of the hearing is made and retained for use in the event an appeal is filed (In the event a written transcript is needed, the requesting party is responsible for all costs incurred).

4.4       Presiding at the Review

The guiding principle at the review is that any involved party shall have fair opportunity to be heard and is entitled to an adviser. The role of the adviser is to advise participants. The adviser shall not take an active role in the review. The Chair shall ensure that the review is conducted in an orderly and impartial manner and insist that procedural determination of the panel be followed precisely.

The Chair shall convene the panel, conduct and preside over the hearing, rule on motions of the parties, assist panel members, and facilitate the procedures of the panel.

4.5       Review Procedure

The Chair may grant postponements (only if to proceed immediately would be unfair) and allow individuals to be questioned by the either party in the grievance. The Chair will also designate a member of the panel to be in charge of audio recording the review.

In the first segment of the review, the grievant shall present his/her information. In the second segment of the review, the person(s) named in the grievance shall present his/her/their information. The remainder of the session shall be used by the panel to question the participants. Those present at the review shall be cautioned to avoid discussing the information outside the review process. If the review involves allegation of discrimination, the College's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) officer shall attend.

4.6       Report of the Panel

The written report of the panel shall be based entirely on information presented at the review. The Chair of the panel has the responsibility of reporting the conclusions and the recommendations (if any), but he or she may delegate the responsibility. All conclusions and recommendations shall be determined by majority vote of the panel.

The report shall be delivered to the President within seven (7) working days of determination of conclusions and recommendations made by the panel.

4.7       Delivery of the Report

After fairly considering the statements of all interested individuals and taking other submitted findings into account, the Chair shall deliver the panel's written report to the President and to the participants. The President shall take the panel's report into account in making a final decision, which he/she shall render within seven (7) working days. The grievant should also be advised by the President in writing of his/her right to appeal to the Board of Regents for review of the President's final decision. The Chair shall deliver to the grievant the panel's report. Each member of the panel and the person named in the grievance shall receive a copy of the report.

4.8       To Secure Evidence Presented at the Hearing

At the conclusion of the panel’s duties, the Panel Chair will deliver all evidence to the Chair of the Grievance Committee. The Chair of the Grievance Committee shall retain this evidence in a secure fashion for three (3) years from the date of the review panel’s written recommendation, after which the Chair will destroy all the evidence.