United Faculty-AAUP Grievance Procedures

Every faculty member at the University of Northern Iowa has the right to grieve under the Master Agreement between UF-AAUP and the Iowa Board of Regents, and the AAUP Statements of Principles and Practices. This document covers article 10 grievances (allegations of violations of the Master Agreement) and Article 11 grievances (pertaining to denial of tenure or dismissal). The purpose of the grievance process is (1) to determine what wrongs may have been committed against the faculty in terms of violations of the Master Agreement and/or AAUP Principles and Practices, (2) to present a case outlining the alleged violations to the UNI administration and request a remedy, and (3) to decide whether the grievance goes to arbitration should the UNI administration be unwilling to agree to a remedy that is agreeable to all parties or to the national AAUP for an investigation and possible sanction of the administration.

The UF-AAUP grievance process includes the following steps:

  1. The faculty member contacts either the President or Vice President of  UF-AAUP as soon as an alleged violation has occurred.  For most violations, of the master agreement or AAUP principles and standards, timeliness is of the essence.  Following this initial meeting the faculty member is provided a copy of the UF-AAUP grievance procedures.  The faculty will be advised that in order to document all evidence in a grievance, a UF-AAUP representative needs to be present in all future meetings with the UNI administration.
  2. The faculty member will be requested to write a brief synopsis of the grievance providing a listing of those areas of the Master Agreement and/or AAUP Principles and Practices that may have been violated, and submit it to the Vice President of UF-AAUP.  In addition, the faculty member will receive a privacy form to be returned to UF-AAUP to assist with the grievance.  The grievance statement and privacy form should normally be completed and returned to the Vice President of UF-AAUP  within 5 class days of initial contact with UF-AAUP.
  3. The Vice President of UF-AAUP, as Chair of the Grievance Committee, will select two names from the list of UF-AAUP Grievance Committee members and submit them to the aggrieved faculty member.  These two faculty members are not to be from the same department, and preferably not from the same college, where the grievance is being heard.
  4. The faculty will then select which UF-AAUP Grievance Committee member he or she would like to have working with him or her on the grievance.  At this point, the UF-AAUP Grievance Committee member will meet with the aggrieved faculty and assist him or her in the further stages of the grievance proceedings.
  5. A grievance may involve any or all of the following: (1) effort at informal resolution of the grievance (2)completion of the Master Agreement Grievance form which then would be initially submitted to the Dean of the faculty member’s college (3) filing a complaint to either the Iowa Civil Rights Commission or the UNI Office of Compliance if there may have been a violation of  civil rights law or the Americans with Disabilities Act (4) filing a complaint to the UF-AAUP Committee on Academic Freedom.  The faculty, member with the assistance of the UF-AAUP Grievance Committee member, will weigh the circumstances and factors to determine which of the various venues offer the best likelihood of obtaining resolution of the grievance.
  6. The UF-AAUP Grievance Committee member assigned to assist the faculty with the grievance will submit a brief report to the UF-AAUP Vice President who will then submit it to the  Executive Board/Central Committee at its next meeting following initiation of grievance proceedings.  Thereafter, the UF-AAUP Grievance Committee member will report on any significant progress to the grievance committee, chaired by the Vice President of UF-AAUP, concerning the grievance.
  7. At all hearings on the grievance, the role of the UF-AAUP Grievance Committee member will be to: (1) document all proceedings in order to preserve a record of facts, decisions and actions taken by the UNI administration and the faculty member (2) to provide advice to the faculty member in those areas relating to the Master Agreement and/or AAUP Principles and Practices and (3) seek, wherever possible, to resolve the issues of the grievance in a fair and timely manner.
  8. The grievance process available to UNI faculty is to be one where faculty receive a fair hearing.   Therefore, it is important that there be no real or perceived conflicts of interest on the part of the UF-AAUP member who is serving to assist faculty grievances. A UF-AAUP member who takes on any form of supervisory or administrative duties for the UNI administration can not assist with faculty grievances.    Should a UF-AAUP member become part of the UNI administration while serving on a faculty grievance, the Vice President of UF-AAUP in consultation with the President of UF-AAUP and the grieving faculty member will select a replacement.  Once a replacement has been identified, the President of UF-AAUP will send a letter to the UNI Provost stating the change.  In addition, if a grieving faculty member requests a change to a new UF-AAUP faculty member to assist with his or her grievance, the Vice President along with the President of UF-AAUP will work to see such a change occurs.
  9. During the summer months, the Vice President and President of UF-AAUP will work together to resolve all new grievances that arise.  Timelines may be different in the summer depending on the situation.
  10. At this stage of the grievance process, if the faculty member feels that there has been an inadequate resolution of the matter, he or she may make a request to the Executive Board/Central Committee to receive assistance with arbitration or to move the matter to the national AAUP.  A formal request needs to be made in writing to the President of UF-AAUP who will then schedule it as an item at the next meeting of the Executive Board/Central Committee.  The faculty member may then come to the meeting of the Executive Board/Central Committee to outline the reasons for their request.  The Executive Board/Central Committee will review the grievance with respect to issues including but not limited to:
  11. violations of the Master Agreement or principles and standards of the AAUP,
  12. quality of evidence showing how the provisions of the Master Agreement or principles and standards of the AAUP have been violated and
  13. costs and likelihood of a favorable arbitrator’s or national AAUP decision.

It will decide whether to provide legal assistance with a formal arbitration or appeal to the national AAUP.