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Know Your Rights

 

Know Your Rights

 

The Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct (Faculty Code) defines faculty members as “all persons with a tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenured faculty appointment; unclassified academic staff; and any person hired by the University to conduct classroom activities.” Lecturers, teaching professors, and professors of the practice are considered faculty at K.U. All faculty have rights under the faculty code; and any faculty member can file an “Appeal of Administrative Action.”

What is an “Appeal of Administrative Action”?

This is a challenge by a faculty member of any administrative decision that does not involve tenure, promotion, or dismissal (which are governed by other sets of rules). 

What are the grounds for bringing an appeal?

Appeals are available only if you believe your rights as a faculty member have been violated or adversely affected. Those rights are set forth in Article III of the Faculty Code.


So, what are my rights as a faculty member?

Under Article III of the Faculty Code faculty rights include the right to:

  • academic freedom and the right to freedom of inquiry, expression, and assembly 
  • impartial application of unit/department, school, and University policies
  • participate in the determination of school, department, and University policies and procedures
  • impartial treatment in the application of school, department, and university policies and decisions
  • participate in the determination of their assignments and responsibilities
  • impartial treatment and participation in the evaluation of their performance of their responsibilities
  • be informed about personnel files that contain information about them
  • be secure in their persons, offices, papers, computers, electronic files and effects against unlawful searches and seizures
  • due process in all disciplinary matters
  • notice of charges against them and the opportunity to request a hearing
  • invite and hear any persons of their own choosing
  • access University facilities
  • distribute written or electronic material on campus
  • pursue opportunities for improving their skills and developing their talents
  • engage in a limited amount of outside work, for pay or without pay
  • legal defense as specified by the Kansas Tort Claims Act
  • annual written evaluation from the departmental chairperson or dean
  • utilize applicable grievance procedures without retaliation


Who will hear my appeal?
Most appeals are considered by the Faculty Rights Board (FRB), which is appointed by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FacEx). All five members of the FRB are all faculty members; one member represents FacEx; one represents the American Association of University Professors (AAUP); and one is a member of the Law School faculty. Appeals of minor sanctions (e.g. warnings) are considered by the Judicial Board.

How will my appeal be decided?

You are required to prove that your rights have been violated  by a “preponderance of evidence.” This means you have to show that it is more likely than not that your claim is true. You have met this requirement when you present information that convinces the FRB (or the Judicial Board) that there is a greater than 50% chance that your rights were adversely affected.

If the FRB (or the Judicial Board) determines that there is reason to believe your rights may have been violated, it may conduct a hearing before making a recommendation. Hearings give you the opportunity to further present your arguments and evidence to the FRB (or the Judicial Board) and to answer questions, so that it can better understand your claims. The administrator(s) whose acts or decisions you are appealing will also have the chance to present their arguments and evidence to the FRB (or the Judicial Board) at a hearing.

After considering your appeal, the FRB (or the Judicial Board) will make a recommendation to the Chancellor or, in some instances, the Provost. The Chancellor will, then, make a final decision. You may not appeal the Chancellor’s decision.

How do I file an appeal?

Act quickly. In most cases, you have [14] calendar days from the time the administrative action is taken to file an appeal. In cases involving sexual harassment of a student by a faculty member, you must file your appeal within 7 days.

Write it down. Your appeal must be in writing and must:

  • identify the administrative authority that took the action, whether it is a University official or an administrator (at any level) or a tribunal or committee that allegedly violated faculty rights;
  • identify the disciplinary or other administrative action that allegedly violated faculty rights, or the action by a tribunal—such as a hearing panel formed by an academic unit—that allegedly violated faculty rights;
  • assert that a violation of faculty rights occurred;  
  • state the facts that underlie the appeal and describe the circumstances that led up to the alleged violation(s);
  • attach any documents that relate to the administrative action being challenged or that support the alleged violation(s) asserted in the appeal;
  • identify any witnesses who the faculty member knows possess information that support the alleged violation(s), and provide each witness’s contact information.

 

Send it. File your appeal with University Governance Office by email, at govern@ku.edu. You may, alternatively, deliver a paper copy to:

University Governance
Strong Hall, Room 33
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045  

 

Do I have any other options?

If you elect not to pursue an appeal, you may wish to explore avenues for informal dispute resolution. The Office of University Governance, the Office of the University Ombuds, and the Department of Human Resources have resources to help you explore these opportunities.

Resources:

This document summarizes information for your convenience. 

For the full text of the FRB’s  Procedures of the Faculty Rights Board for Hearing Appeals From Administrative Actions:

           http://policy.ku.edu/governance/FRB-appeals-from-admin-actions

For the full text of Article III of the Faculty Code: 

http://policy.ku.edu/FacultyCodeKULawrence/faculty-code-of-rights#III

For more information about the FRB, see Article VII, section 3 of the FSRR:

          http://policy.ku.edu/governance/FSRR#art7sect3

For the current membership and charges of the Faculty Rights Board:

 http://governance.ku.edu/frb20

For any official written policy at KU, consult the Policy Library:

http://policy.ku.edu/

For information about information about shared governance at KU:

              http://governance.ku.edu/


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