MU Faculty Council torn over grievance resolution panel

Friday, March 4, 2011 | 3:49 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The MU Faculty Council members are divided about whether an administrator should serve on the grievance resolution panel.

The council held a forum Tuesday to hear other faculty members' opinions about the new grievance policy. Instead of being read by the chancellor first, grievances would go directly to a resolution panel with two senior-tenured faculty members and one upper-level administrator for review.

The grievance resolution panel issue stirred up division during a council discussion Thursday. Members discussed it that day even though it was not on the agenda.

“There is a lot about the policy that people really loved,” said council member Leah Cohn. “But there is some controversy over whether the administrator should be on the panel.”

Cohn said some council members think that having an administrator on the panel would help resolve problems and provide a different perspective on grievance issues. The administrator would also serve as a conduit to the chancellor, who ultimately makes decisions on all grievances.

Council member Leona Rubin said she did not think the input from the administrator would be more influential than the faculty members’ input.

Other council members disagreed. In a "Concerns about an Administrator on the GRP," council member Victoria Johnson said the administrator could be seen as an expert, so his or her input would carry more weight. She also said the administrator might be biased toward protecting the university.

The council did not reach a decision, but it will address it at its next meeting on March 17.

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