Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook

23rd Edition, 2013 Version


Chapter VI: UW-River Falls Academic Staff Personnel Policies and Procedures

6.11 Complaints: UWRF 11 (UWS 13.01link)

6.11.1 General

In the following, the term "Council" refers to the Academic Staff Council.

6.11.2 Complaints Defined

Complaints are allegations by persons other than the academic staff member's supervisor(s) including administrators, students, other academic staff, faculty, classified staff, or members of the public, concerning conduct by an academic staff member that violates University rules or policies, or which adversely affects the staff member’s performance of obligations to the University, but which allegation is not serious enough to warrant dismissal proceedings under UWS 11link.

6.11.3 Procedure

A. All complaints to receive formal attention under the provisions of this chapter shall be written, signed, and submitted to the Chancellor of the University within thirty (30) days after the alleged misconduct.
B. The Chancellor shall first notify the academic staff member concerned, in writing, regarding the nature of the complaint and give him or her an opportunity to explain his or her conduct. The Chancellor may make a further investigation of the allegations and shall then:

  1. dismiss the complaint, or
  2. invoke appropriate disciplinary action, or
  3. refer the complaint to the Council.

The Chancellor shall notify the academic staff member, in writing, of his or her decision.

C. If the Chancellor takes disciplinary action, the affected academic staff member may request a hearing before the Council. The request shall be made in writing to the Chair of the Council within twenty (20) days after notice of the Chancellor's disciplinary action.
D. The Council shall hold a hearing not more than thirty (30) days after receiving a request from the academic staff member or after having a complaint referred to it by the Chancellor, except that this time limit may be extended by mutual consent of the parties. The affected academic staff member shall be given at least ten (10) days notice of the hearing.
E. The hearing shall be open unless the Council votes to close it under the provisions of the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law,  §19.81link. The individual in question, however, may demand that the hearing be open; required public notices of the hearing must indicate this option (§19.81(1)(b).link The compliance guide to the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law can be found at http://www.doj.state.wi.us/AWP/2007OMCG-PRO/2007_OML_Compliance_Guide.pdfdocumentlink.
F. When considering individual complaint cases, Academic Staff Council members shall be disqualified if they participated in bringing the allegations against the affected academic staff member. On the motion of either party in a case, any additional member(s) of the Academic Staff Council may be disqualified for cause by majority vote of the members. If any additional member(s) is disqualified, the remaining members shall select a replacement(s) by majority vote from among the academic staff as needed to achieve a
quorum of the Council.
G.Instructional Academic Staff: When a complaint is brought before the Council that pertains to an instructional academic staff member, the Council shall decide if it is a personnel rules matter or an instructional matter. If the Council determines the complaint pertains to instructional matters a special committee shall be established for the purpose of considering the complaint. This committee shall be composed of the Chair of the Council, the ranked faculty
representative to the Council, three instructional academic staff members elected by a majority vote of the Council and two ranked faculty members elected by a majority vote of the Faculty Senate Hearing, Grievance and Appeals Committee.
H. The Council shall consider all available information relevant to the complaint. Such information may be sought from students and members of the public. The Council shall have the right to obtain information relevant to the complaint from University personnel. The Council is empowered to establish procedures to conduct a hearing under this paragraph.
I. The concerned academic staff member may be present at the discretion of the Council at those times when information is being presented to the Council. The majority of the Council must vote to exclude the complainant.
J. The academic staff member charged shall be assumed innocent by the Council until proven otherwise.
K. The findings and recommendation of the Council shall be reported in writing to the Chancellor and to the academic staff member concerned. The recommendation may be for:

  1. dismissal of the complaint, or
  2. appropriate disciplinary action, or
  3. referral of the complaint to the appropriate department or administrative officer.

6.11.4 Chancellor's Decision

The decision of the Chancellor on the recommendation of the Council, or on the complaint in the absence of a Council recommendation, shall be final. The decision of the Chancellor shall be supported by written reasons, and copies of these reasons shall be provided to the academic staff member concerned and to the Council.

6.11.5 Decision

After the hearing and recommendation of the Council and final decision by the Chancellor, the academic staff member shall not again be called to account for the same alleged misconduct that was the subject of the complaint.


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