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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Faculty Code and Governance

Faculty Code

Chapter 27

Administrative and Conciliatory Proceedings for the Resolution of Differences

This chapter describes the informal proceedings available for the resolution of differences as described in Chapter 25, Section 25-62. The proceedings set forth in this chapter are voluntary. A faculty member may instead initiate a request for adjudicative proceedings, keeping in mind the time limits of Chapter 28, Section 28-35. Should the faculty member choose to engage in administrative and/or conciliatory proceedings prior to seeking adjudication, time limits provided in Chapter 28, Section 28-35 shall be extended for the period required for completion of such proceedings. Administrative and conciliatory proceedings are always available, with no time limits.

Section 27-31   Administrative Proceedings

The faculty member may first discuss the issue of concern with the appropriate department chair, and if the faculty member so wishes, the academic dean. The matter may be concluded by mutual consent at this point.

S-A 73, May 24, 1985; S-A 164, May 9, 2023: both with Presidential approval.

Section 27-41   Conciliation Officers and Conciliation Board

If the process of resolution by mutual consent under Section 27-31 does not take place or fails, the faculty member or the dean may request the assistance of a conciliation officer as a neutral third party by applying to the University Ombud for the assignment of a conciliation officer. Conciliatory proceedings aim at resolving problems by informal means without resorting to the more formal adjudicative proceedings provided in Chapter 28.

A. Conciliation Officer Eligiblity

Conciliation officers shall be tenured members of the faculty, associate and full professors without tenure for reasons of funding, or emeritus faculty who are familiar with procedures and opportunities for the resolution of disputes or complaints involving faculty members.

B. Conciliation Officer Numbers and Terms

There shall be no fewer than six conciliation officers who shall serve three-year terms.

C. Conciliation Officer Selection

Conciliation officers shall be selected by the President from a list of names exceeding the number of positions to be filled, prepared, and approved by the Senate Executive Committee. Vacancies for the remainder of unexpired terms shall be filled according to this same procedure. Conciliation officers may be reappointed to successive terms by mutual consent of the President and the Senate Executive Committee.

D. Conciliation Officer Removal

Any conciliation officer may be removed from office by concurrent decision of the President and the Senate Executive Committee.

E. Attachment to University Ombud

Conciliation officers shall be attached to the Office of the University Ombud but shall be limited in their activity to disagreements arising among faculty members or between individual faculty members and the University administration.

F. Conciliation Board

In attempts to achieve conciliation of differences, the conciliation officer assigned to a case shall have the assistance and advice of a Conciliation Board, consisting of the University Ombud and the other conciliation officers. The Conciliation Board shall:

  1. Advise or assist the conciliation officer, at the officer's request, on conciliation efforts in which the officeris engaged; and

  2. Report annually to the President, the Secretary of the Faculty, and the Senate Executive Committee the number of conciliations, if voluntary disposition was or was not achieved, and any observed patterns of disputes which have occurred, together with any recommendations to be studied by the appropriate faculty council for legislative consideration.

G. Conciliation Officer Assignment

The University Ombud, who may consult with the other members of the Conciliation Board, shall determine which conciliation officer shall be assigned to a case, and shall inform the Secretary of the Faculty of appointments made. No conciliation officer shall be assigned to a case arising within the officer's own school or college.

S-A 73, May 24, 1985; S-A 78, December 14, 1988; S-A 120, June 4, 2009: all with Presidential approval; RC, March 3, 2013; S-A 135, January 7, 2016; S-A 164, May 9, 2023: both with Presidential approval.

Section 27-42   Conciliatory Proceedings

A. Investigation by Conciliation Officer

The assigned conciliation officer is authorized to investigate the matter, to examine and collect documents and other information, and to discuss the issues with both sides with a view to achieving a mutually agreeable resolution. In discussions with the conciliation officers, only the parties may participate.

B. Conciliation Officer as Intermediary

The assigned conciliation officer shall act as an intermediary. Although free to advise and assist the parties to the dispute in analyzing the situation and in crystallizing the issues, the officer does not serve as a representative or counsel for any party.

C. Privileged and Confidential Proceedings

Statements and information divulged in the course of the conciliatory proceedings shall be privileged and confidential. They may be shared by the conciliation officer only in the course of consultation with the University Ombud and the Conciliation Board. They shall not be used for impeachment purposes nor shall they be discoverable or subject to subpoena or disclosed to anyone else, including the Hearing Committee conducting a subsequent adjudicative hearing, or the other parties involved, or in any other adjudicative or judicial proceeding, without the written permission of the individual who divulged the original information. All materials shall be returned to the appropriate parties at the conclusion of the conciliatory proceedings.

D. Concluding Conciliatory Proceedings

Either party may decide to end conciliatory proceedings at any time. Ordinarily, the conciliation effort shall conclude within 60 days of the request for conciliation. The University Ombud shall keep the parties informed of these time limits. Upon completion or breaking off of the proceedings, the conciliation officer shall take one of two possible actions:

  1. If a voluntary disposition was achieved, its results and terms shall, in writing, be given by the officer to the parties to the conciliation and filed with the University Ombud.

  2. If a voluntary disposition was not achieved, the officer shall, in writing, notify the parties and the University Ombud that the conciliatory proceedings have ended and that adjudicative proceedings may be available, as described in Chapter 28. The faculty member may seek advice from the Secretary of the Faculty or the University Ombud about these procedures.

E. University Ombud Report to the Secretary of the Faculty

At the termination of a conciliation proceeding, the University Ombud shall promptly report to the Secretary of the Faculty the date of termination of the proceeding, the general nature of the dispute and whether a mutually agreeable resolution was or was not achieved.

S-A 73, May 24, 1985; S-A 135, January 7, 2016: both with Presidential approval.