MU to vote on new grievance policy

Thursday, October 16, 2008 | 8:44 p.m. CDT; updated 11:12 a.m. CDT, Monday, October 20, 2008

COLUMBIA — MU faculty members will vote Oct. 29 on a new policy that could change the way grievances are handled.  

For the past three years, any grievance filed by a faculty member was reviewed by a panel of five faculty members. Under a two-year pilot program that would test a change of the process, a panel of two faculty members and one upper-level administrator would evaluate the complaints, according to a posting on the Web site of MU's chapter of the American Association of University Professors.  

One goal of the new program is to have the complaints resolved more quickly. The revisions to the program are also aimed at making the handling of grievances more informal, the MU Faculty Council Web site states.

At a faculty meeting on Oct. 13, members of MU's AAUP chapter stated their opposition to the proposed changes. Members worry that having an administrator on the panel will put faculty members in a weaker position, according to Inside Higher Ed.

A story about the controversy was published on Inside Higher Ed's Web site on Thursday. The story was picked up because "most of our readers are faculty members, and they identify with this story," reporter Andy Guess said.  

What's happening at MU is not unusual, Guess said, although he said the change being considered isn't part of a national trend.


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