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FACULTY HANDBOOK
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FOREWORD
SECTION I
SECTION II
SECTION III
SECTION IV
SECTION V
SECTION VI
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B
APPENDIX C
APPENDIX D
APPENDIX E
APPENDIX F
APPENDIX G
BAINBRIDGE COLLEGE
CONFLICT RESOLUTION PROCEDURES FOR EMPLOYEES AND STUDENTS

   I.    Definitions

         A.  The term Agrievance@ shall mean an identified cause of distress affording reason for complaint/dispute concerning the interpretation or application of a specific term or provision of employment.  A grievance alleges a violation of rights, privileges, or due process of one or more parties by an institution or system.

         B.   The term Agrievant@ shall mean an employee or group of employees, a student or group of students in distress/dispute over an issue provided herein.

         C.  The term AGrievance Committee@ is defined as those members selected in accordance with Section V of the Bainbridge College Grievance Procedures for Employees and Students.

  II.    Preliminary Steps to Filing A Formal Grievance

         It is advised that all problems should be resolved, whenever possible, before the filing of a grievance.  The parties involved are encouraged to resolve informally grievances whenever possible.  Open communication between employees, students, and administrators is encouraged to resolve conflict so that resort to a formal grievance procedures would not normally be necessary.  If no resolution is made at this level of communication, participants are required to pursue mediation as the next step.  If this fails, a formal grievance statement should then be filed with the body having appropriate jurisdiction under the grievance procedure.  A prompt and efficient procedure for the investigation and resolution of grievances would follow.

III.    Purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to provide a means to hear the complaints of college employees (faculty members and classified personnel*) and students who have exhausted all other normal channels (including mediation) but who have not received satisfaction in the resolution of the grievance.  Normally a faculty member with a complaint would first bring the complaint before his chairperson.  If the division/departmental chairperson does not resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the faculty member, then the grievant would approach the Dean of the Faculty.  If the faculty member did not receive satisfaction from the Dean regarding his/her complaint, then he/she would bring the complaint before the President of the College.  If these normal channels do not satisfactorily resolve the issue for the grievant, then he/she would voice his complaint before the Grievance Committee.  Classified employees shall appeal to the administration officers through and including one level of authority higher than the grievant=s first immediate supervisor to resolve satisfactorily the grievance.  Students shall first appeal to their instructor.  Then, if no satisfaction is reached, the student shall appeal to the chairperson of the faculty member.  If the student is not satisfied he/she should appeal academic matters to the Vice-President of Academic Affairs and for other matters the complaint should be directed to the Dean of Students.

*   Classified employees shall be constructed to mean those employees of the college other than faculty and administration of the college.

IV.    Jurisdiction

The Grievance Committee shall have jurisdiction to consider grievances of any faculty member, classified employee, or student of Bainbridge College.  Grievances heard by the Grievance Committee shall include, but not be limited to the following:

         A.  Complaints reasonably related to terms and conditions of employment, supported by affidavit of the grievant or other credible evidence, when properly and timely filed in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section VII, below.

         B.   Grievances concerning salary, promotion, tenure, or nonrenewal, when it is reasonably alleged that the complaint was the result of discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, disability, or age.  Examples of grievances that also might be brought before the committee could be complaints involving the following: overloads, summer employment, class scheduling, advisement, academic freedom, travel requests, equipment requests.  For decisions concerning salary, promotion, tenure, and nonrenewal for which no discrimination is alleged, the next level of review following the President=s decision is the Board of Regents, according to the provisions of Article IX of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents.

         C.  Any grievance concerning sexual harassment or other occurrences pertaining to the denial of a student=s rights.

         D.  Any grievance referred to the committee for hearing by the President of Bainbridge College or the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

In cases of termination (dismissal) of tenured faculty or nontenured faculty during their contract term pursuant to Article VI, Section B., paragraph D of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents, an application for review may be directed to the Board of Regents, according to procedures set forth in Article IX, of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents.  Grievances related to the termination (dismissal) of classified employees, may be pursued through the procedures for appeal set forth in the Business Procedures Manual of the Board of Regents.  After exhausting the procedures set forth therein, and obtaining a final decision of the President, a classified employee may apply to the Board of Regents for review of his or her termination in accordance with the provisions of Article IX of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents.

  V.    Grievance Committee

         A.  Selection of Chairperson

There shall be a Chairperson for each Grievance Committee, who along with one or more Alternate Chairperson(s), shall be elected annually by the faculty of the college from among the full-time teaching faculty* of the institution for a one (1) year term, to begin no later than November 30th of each academic year: provided, however, that not more than one person shall be elected from the faculty of any one department/division of the college.  The Chairperson and Alternate Chairperson(s) should be briefed thoroughly on the conduct of the grievance mechanism by  University System counsel or the Affirmative Action Officer of the College or the University System.  The Chairperson and Alternate Chairperson(s) shall rotate, on an alternating basis, the duties of the Chairperson, with each serving as the other=s assistant.

* Full-time teaching faculty members shall be construed to mean those full-time persons having faculty status and having at least one (1) academic year (nine-months) of continuous service during the previous year: excluding the President, Dean of Faculty, Comptroller, Dean of Students and all Department/Division chairpersons

          B.  Committee Selection

All grievances shall be filed in writing with the Chairperson within ten (10) days after the alleged act prompting the grievance.  If the grievance is determined by the Chairperson to be within the jurisdiction of the Committee, he shall draw a committee of nine (9) persons as potential members of the Grievance Committee, by lot, or other random process, from a list of eligible full-time teaching faculty members, classified employees, or students as appropriate to each case.

When grievances involve only faculty member(s), the Chairperson shall draw the nine (9) member committee from full-time members having at least one (1) academic (nine months) of continuous service at the college.  For grievances between faculty members and classified personnel, the Chairperson shall draw four (4) members of the committee from eligible faculty members and five (5) members from eligible classified employees, all of whom shall have at least nine months of continuous services at the college.  For grievances involving classified employees only, the Chairperson shall draw the nine (9) member committee from the names of classified employees having at least nine months of continuous service at the college.  For grievances involving students only, student and faculty members, and students and classified employees, the above procedure should be followed for the selection of the committee.  (A student pool of currently enrolled students will be developed by the S.G.A. President at the beginning of each Fall Quarter.)  A new committee for each grievance shall be drawn by the Chairperson in the presence of the Chief Personnel Officer or the Affirmative Action Officer of Bainbridge College who shall certify to the President that the committee drawing process has been impartially executed.

         C.  Eligibility for Service on Grievance Committee

All full-time employees (faculty and classified personnel as defined in Sections V A. and III) having at least one (1) academic year (nine months) of continuous service at the college and all currently enrolled second year students are potential committee members of the Grievance Committee.  Employee=s names shall be removed from the pool if:

               (a)   employment or enrollment terminates;

               (b)   an employee or student is a grievant; or

               (c)   an employee or student is named or otherwise directly involved in the grievance.

         D.  Excusing of Panel Members

Committee members who are drawn as possible Grievance Committee members may be excused by the Chairperson if he/she determines that:

               (1)   there is a bona fide conflict of interest between the committee member(s) and either of the parties of the grievance;

               (2)   the potential committee member is ill; or

               (3)   service on the Grievance Committee should be excused for good cause shown.

         E.   Selection of Grievance Committee Members

Each Grievance Committee shall consist of the Chairperson (non-voting) and three (3) voting members chosen from a committee of nine (9), constituted as set forth in Section V (B) above.  Upon notification of the names of the committee members, each party shall in the presence of the Chairperson strike the names of three (3) persons from the committee.  The parties shall alternate in exercising their strikes, beginning with the grievant, until three (3) members remain.  These three (3) members shall constitute the Grievance Committee.  It is anticipated that this Astriking@ process will be completed within five (5) days following the selection of the committee by the Chairperson.

         F.   Removal of Grievance Committee Member for Cause

A party may present a request in writing, at least three (3) days in advance of any hearing, to the Chairperson, to remove any member of the committee for reasonable cause.  If the Chairperson grants the request, he/she shall fill the vacancy thus created by random selection of another member, according to the process described in Section V (B) above, The member chosen to fill the vacancy may likewise be removed for reasonable cause.  The Chairperson may on his own motion remove any member for reasonable cause stated.

         G.  Notice to Parties and Grievance Committee of Hearing

After the Grievance Committee (three (3) members) has been selected as aforesaid, written notice of the time and date set for hearing shall be hand delivered or mailed to the parties, and to the members of the Grievance Committee, by the Chairperson, no less than three (3) nor more than ten (10) working days in advance of the date set for the hearing.  This process shall be completed within thirty (30) days after the complaint is presented to the Grievance Committee.

VI.    Duties of the Chairperson

The Chairperson of each Grievance Committee shall not vote but shall be responsible for the conduct of the hearing and implementation of the grievance procedures.  His/her duties include:

         1.   Assuring that all parties are familiar with the grievance procedures.

         2.   Receiving the grievance and determining that:

               a.   It is one which is properly heard by a Grievance Committee, (if not, the grievant shall be so notified in writing).

               b.   It has been timely filed as provided in Section VII (A), below.

         3.   Drawing, at random, within five (5) working days following receipt of a written grievance, a committee of nine (9) persons as potential members of the Grievance Committee from the pool of full-time faculty, classified employees, or students (See Section V (B) above) as the case may be.

         4.   Notifying the parties:

               a.   whether the grievance is one which is properly heard by a duly constituted Grievance Committee, and if so

               b.   that a hearing panel of nine (9) members has been drawn and

               c.   that each party should come before him/her on a date certain and strike the names of three committee members.

         5.   Distributing the complaint (grievance) to the members of the Grievance Committee setting a date for the hearing after conferring with the Committee members.

         6.   Convening the hearing after written notice (at least three (3) but no more than ten (10) working days in advance of the hearing) to the members of the Grievance Committee and the parties: conducting and presiding over the hearing: ruling on motions of the parties and assisting the Grievance Committee during its deliberations.

         7.   Assuring that a tape recording or transcript of the hearing is made and retained for use in the event an appeal is filed.

         8.   Forwarding a copy of the written Findings of the Grievance Committee to the President within ten (10) working days after the hearing: and forwarding a copy of the Committee=s Recommendation(s), (if any) to the President as set forth in Section IX.

VII.  Procedures for Requesting A Hearing

         A.  The grievant, within ten (10) working days after the occurrence of the alleged act causing the grievance, shall file a written request for a hearing with the Chairperson of the Grievance Committee stating the following:

               1.   The facts of the complaint, including the date, time, and place the act occurred and other pertinent facts, verified (sworn to) by the grievant.

               2.   The names of possible witnesses.

               3.   A description of the evidence which tends to support the complaint.  The Chairperson, within three (3) days from the filing of the application for hearing by the grievant, shall determine whether the grievance is one which has been properly and timely filed, and whether the nature of the grievance is one which may be properly heard by a Grievance Committee.  If so, the Chairperson will instruct the parties as to the procedures to be followed in drawing the names of the members of the Grievance Committee and in conducting the hearing.  If not, the Chairperson will notify the parties and the President of his determination and give the reason(s).  The President may, nevertheless, direct that the grievance be heard by a duly constituted Grievance Committee.  The Chairperson will within ten (10) days following receipt of a grievance cause the panel and Committee members to be selected as provided in Section V (B) above.

VIII. Hearing Procedure (An example of how to conduct a grievance hearing can be found in the Appendix)

         A.  The hearing before the Grievance Committee will be conducted in private.

         B.   A tape recording, transcript, or written summary of the proceedings shall be kept and made available to the parties concerned at reasonable cost.

         C.  During the proceedings, the parties concerned will be permitted to have a participating advisor from the college and three observers of his or her choice.  These representatives may be from GAE, AAUP, or other professional organizations.  Attorneys are not authorized to participate actively for either party.

         D.  The parties shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to obtain and present witnesses and documentary or other evidence except personnel and other confidential records of college employees.

         E.   The parties concerned have the right to cross-examine all witnesses.  Where the witness cannot appear because of illness or other cause acceptable to the Committee, the sworn statement (affidavit) of the witness may be introduced into the record.  In such event the opposite party shall have the right to file counter-affidavits within three (3) days following the completion of the hearing.

         F.   An oath or affirmation shall be administered to all witnesses by a notary public.

         G.  The Chairperson will determine whether or not there should be a time limitation for the hearing.  If such a limitation is considered appropriate, the committee will inform both parties of the time allocated for each argument.

         H.  The Committee will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence.  The Committee may receive any evidence of probative value in determining the issues involved.  Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available.  All questions relating to the admissibility of evidence or other legal matters will be decided by the Chairperson or presiding officer.

         I.    The decision of the Committee, resulting in the findings and/or recommendations, will be based on the evidence introduced at the hearing and shall be made within ten (10) days after the date of the hearing or within ten (10) days after receipt of the transcript of the hearing if one is deemed necessary.  The Committee will report its decision in the form of findings and/or recommendations to the President and to the grievant.

         J.    Public statements and publicity about the complaint shall be avoided and the confidentiality of the hearing shall be preserved.

IX.    Findings and Recommendations by the Committee

The Findings of the majority and Recommendation(s) (if any) to the President from the Committee shall be written by a member selected by the Committee at the conclusion of the  hearing.  Findings shall be sent to the President, immediately upon conclusion of the hearing, but not later than ten (10) working days following the hearing, unless a transcript of the hearing is required, in which event Findings shall be sent no later than ten (10) working days following receipt of the transcript.  The Grievance Committee may in addition to its Findings, make Recommendation(s) (if any) to the President.  Findings, and Recommendation(s) (if any) made by the Grievance Committee to the President shall be advisory only, and shall in no way bind or commit him/her to any suggested course of action.

  X.    Action by the President

In making his/her decision, the President will not be bound by the Findings, or Recommendation(s) (if any) of the Grievance Committee.  The President, should, within ten (10) working days after receipt of such written notification of the Findings, and Recommendation(s) (if any) of the Grievance Committee, advise the faculty member, classified employee, his or her direct supervisor, student, and other parties concerned in writing of his/her decision, or he may refer the matter back to the Chairperson for the Grievance Committee for further response and recommendation(s) before rendering his/her right to apply to the Board of Regents for review of the President=s final decision in accordance with the provisions of the Article IX of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents.

XI.    Time Requirements of the Review Process

This process contemplates that grievance panels should be constituted within five (5) working days following receipt by the Chairperson of an acceptable written grievance from any employee or student at Bainbridge College, and that the final selection of a three (3) member Grievance Committee from the panel should be completed within ten (10) working days after the filing of the alleged grievance.  The Chairperson should give written notice of any hearing date to the members of the Grievance Committee and to the parties at least three (3), but no more than ten (10) working days prior to the date set for the hearing.  Findings and Recommendation(s) (if any) should be forwarded by the Grievance Committee to the President within ten (10) working days from the conclusion of the hearing unless a transcript of the evidence is required.  If a transcript of the evidence is required, such documents should be forwarded to the President within ten (10) working days after receipt of the transcript from the Chairperson.  The final decision of the President should be made within ten (10) working days thereafter unless he/she refers the matter back to the Grievance Committee for further response and recommendation(s).

XII.  Prohibition of Retaliatory Action

A grievant shall not be harassed, intimidated, or otherwise penalized for utilization of the grievance procedures.  Because of the seriousness and demoralizing effects of retaliation the grievant may at his/her election petition the Conflict Resolution Committee (CRC) to convene and hear allegations of retaliatory actions toward the grievant.  After hearing the allegation the CRC shall conduct a confidential investigation to determine the validity of the alleged retaliatory actions.  If the CRC determines the accusations valid, it shall present its written findings and/or recommendations to the President with a copy to the disputants and the appropriate level of authority above the disputants.  If the outcome of the process is not satisfactory to the grievant, his/her recourse will be the Grievance Procedure for Bainbridge College.