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General Medical Faculty By Laws: Grievance Committee

VII. Standing Committees and Councils of the School of Medicine (cont.)

2. Grievance Committee

  1. The Grievance Committee shall elect its own Chairman and function as the Executive Committee or equivalent designated in the University statement on Academic Freedom, Tenure and Responsibilities. It shall consist of the Chairman of the General Medical Faculty, ex-officio, six representatives elected from the General Medical Faculty (three from Clinical and three from Basic Science Departments); and the Dean, ex-officio, or a representative appointed by him. The elected representatives shall serve for three-year terms. Initially, three Basic Science members and three Clinical Science members will be elected for three-, two- and one-year terms. After implementation, one new Basic Science member and one new Clinical Science member shall be elected each year. It is expected that a committee member who feels unable to rule objectively in a given case will withdraw from consideration of that case. The Chairman of the General Medical Faculty will appoint a replacement from the respective clinical or basic science faculty.
  1. Matters appropriate for consideration by the Grievance Committee include, but are not restricted to:
  1. Matters relating to academic freedom, tenure and responsibilities.
  2. Complaints relative to dismissal of non-tenured faculty.
  1. The procedure for dealing with faculty grievances as outlined under b above shall be as follows:
  1. Prior to submission of a written complaint, the faculty member should exhaust all means of resolving the matter through negotiation with his or her immediate superior (Section Chief, Department Chairman or Dean). If negotiation with his or her immediate superior fails, the faculty member should take the matter to the next in authority (Department Chairman, Dean or the Chancellor).
  1. If the matter cannot be resolved in consultation, the faculty member shall then submit his or her complaint, in writing and with specific details on its basis to the Chairman of the General Medical Faculty, who may refer the matter to the Grievance Committee. The Chairman of the General Medical Faculty will not refer grievances to the committee unless the procedure outlined in (1) above has been followed. If the complaint appears to be trivial or frivolous, the Chairman of the General Medical Faculty may decline to transmit the matter to the Grievance Committee. The Chairman of the General Medical Faculty shall notify the faculty member of his/her decision within five (5) working days. If the Chairman of the General Medical Faculty declines to refer the matter to the Grievance Committee, he shall notify the aggrieved, in writing, of his or her decision. The aggrieved shall then be entitled to a hearing before the Faculty Advisory Committee following a written request within five (5) working days. The Faculty Advisory Committee may overrule the General Medical Faculty Chairman's decision by a simple majority vote. The matter then goes to the Grievance Committee.
  1. As soon as practicable after receipt of a Statement of Grievance and a request for a hearing and, in any event, within twenty (20) working days, the Grievance Committee shall hold a hearing on the faculty member's complaint. Neither party shall be represented by an attorney at anytime during the hearing by the Grievance Committee.
  1. Both parties shall be present at all times during the hearing and shall have the right to a fair hearing. Each shall have the right to call and examine all appropriate witnesses, to introduce written or other evidence, and to rebut any testimony or evidence produced without undue time constraints. It is the grievant's responsibility to call his/her witnesses and present his/her evidence.

Both parties shall present any physical evidence and a list of witnesses with a brief summary of the expected testimony no less than five (5) working days prior to the hearing by the Grievance Committee. Testimony by witnesses not listed or additional physical evidence may be excluded by the Grievance Committee. However, this shall in no way preclude witnesses recalled in rebuttal. The Grievance Committee shall so schedule the hearing that the aggrieved shall be heard first, followed by the accused, then statements and/or witnesses in rebuttal.

The Grievance Committee shall have documented that both parties have received all physical evidence and lists of witnesses with their expected testimony no less than five (5) working days before the hearing. A tape recording of the testimony will be made for purposes of preparing a written summary of the hearing. Once the written summary is completed to the satisfaction of the Grievance Committee, the tapes will be discarded. This summary of the proceedings will be kept in the Office of the Chancellor with a copy of the Grievance Committee's final recommendations and should be made available to both parties.

  1. The Grievance Committee shall decide regarding merit of the complaint and, where appropriate, recommend remedial action. All matters for decisions by the Grievance Committee shall be decided by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the Grievance Committee present and voting. In the event of a split decision, the grievance under review will be referred automatically to the Dean of Tulane University School of Medicine. In all cases, the decision of the Grievance Committee shall include a statement of the findings of fact upon which the decision is based. In the event there is not a unanimous decision, a minority statement may be submitted.
  1. Copies of the faculty member's written complaint, including the action recommended by the Grievance Committee, will be distributed to the faculty member involved in the grievance, the Chairman of the faculty member's department and the Dean of the School of Medicine. The Chairman of the department or the Dean will implement the action recommended by the Grievance Committee within a period of fourteen (14) working days unless one of the parties, including the Chairman or Dean, requests, in writing, a meeting with the Chancellor of the Medical Center or his/her appointed representative during that period of time.
  1. Following receipt of a request for such a meeting, the Chancellor or his/her appointed representative shall have seven (7) working days to review the proceedings of the Grievance Committee, meet with the involved parties, and render his/her decision. The findings of the Grievance Committee are not binding on the Chancellor.
  1. If the action by the Chancellor is unacceptable to either party, that one may request that the grievance be heard by the University Senate Committee on Faculty Freedom, Tenure and Responsibility. The faculty member shall submit a written statement of his or her grievance along with written evidence, transcripts of the deliberations of the Grievance Committee, and the recommendations for action by that committee within twenty-one (21) working days following recommendations by the Chancellor. Failure to submit such a request in writing within the specific time constitutes a waiver of the right of appeal.

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